Philippe Gutton : the mystical paradox

The mystical evolution of St. Theresa of Lisieux is examined using a model of the state of illusion (according to Winnicott’s approach). The latter, defined by its paradoxical quality – “ me-not me ”, “ living-dying ” – is fragile before the threat of a paradoxical injunction. Throughout her childhood, this threat was acted out by what Theresa, after her mother’s death, called “the moms”. She had a very eventful childhood which would turn mystical when, in adolescence, her illusion tutors were condensed into “ Jesus-moms ”. “ Conversion ” she calls it, a transference soon consolidated by her Carmelite vocation and her doctrine.

Adolescence, 2008, T. 26, n°1, pp. 65-88.