How did Captain Hook Get into Eddie’s Closet? Captain Hook, of Eddie’s Internal Drama, Comes Alive When the Night Light was off.



When Eddie was a boy, he insisted on sleeping with a night-light on. When his bedroom was dark, Captain Hook was in his closet. And Eddie was terrified. When the light was on, Hook was gone, and Eddie was safe. What was this about? How could a flick of a light switch make so much difference? Peter Pan lived in Neverland, where there was no passage of time. Peter had superpowers— he could fly and fight, and he was extremely quick. However, timeless residence in Neverland wasn’t peaceful. It was actually endless war. Peter was eternally stalked by the evil Captain Hook. Hook was particularly menacing— there was that hook that replaced the hand that Peter cut off and fed to the alligator. Hook was consumed by the wish to kill Peter. It’s worth noting that the alligator was, in turn, stalking Hook. Hook was subject to the same kind of threat that he inflicted on Peter. The Peter Pan story is a timeless fantasy. (Once established, our characterological dramas exist outside of time.). It is relevant that the alligator, who was pursuing Hook, who was pursing Peter, represented time itself, through the ticking of the clock that it had swallowed. Time, in reality, ticks on. Actual living, which exists in time, is haunted by the ongoing presence of our timeless internal fantasies.

The form given to the bogeyman in Eddie’s closet was Captain Hook, who had become a figure in Eddie’s “image-ination.” Eddie took the Peter Pan story into his inner world, with him as Peter and his sadistic mother as Hook. Consequently, Captain Hook, created by J. M. Barrie’s imagination, became a figure in Eddie’s inner drama. It’s not surprising that Eddie attached himself to the images and plot of this story. The Peter Pan story is consonant with Eddie’s own inner drama.
The images of the sadomasochism between Peter and Hook are sword play, knives, dismemberment, cruelty, stalking, and killing. As the Puer Eternis (the eternal boy), Peter has power and conquers his fear of the cruel, dangerous, humiliating Hook. Peter dismembers, torments, and seeks to kill him. When the lights were off, the bogeyman popped right into Eddie’s closet. It’s worth noting that Hook was in the closet, as opposed to being actually visually seen. Figures of the characterological drama are always invisible in waking consciousness, even in the darkness. The darkness did transport Eddie into his inner living theater when he was no longer tied to reality by his visual sense. When the lights were shut off, the figure of Hook came on the stage and Eddie’s cortical theater was projected into the closet. His presence was palpable and scary. Eddie knew that Hook was lurking in there. Hook’s menacing presence was very real to Eddie. Hook was there in the closet, and Hook was gonna get him.

Cognitively, Eddie knew that Hook was just a character in a story and not real. Yet this piece of intellectual knowledge didn’t diminish the terror of Hook’s presence. This inner story was more emotionally impactful than reality itself. We can see that the drama was right below the surface. By flicking the night-light on, Eddie could keep the figure of his internal drama at bay. His visual sense in the light reoriented his consciousness back to reality. In the darkness, with just the flick of a switch, Hook returned. Where was Hook when the light was on? He disappeared from the closet, back into the invisible internal play. With the light off, Hook came right back. The characterological drama of consciousness is always— timelessly— there. It is always in play, as the cortical top-down play.


Consciousness is organized as a play in the theater of the brain with a cast of characters, feeling relationships between them, plots, set designs and landscape. All human communication transpires through art forms, that is symbolic form in the brain through which we transmit stories, one to one another. There is no direct transmission of thoughts from my brain to your brain, ever. In the trance state of REM sleep consciousness enacts itself in the form of dreams, plays that occur five times a night whose job it is to digest the issues of the day to clear consciousness to be at its best to take on the next day. Dreams operate through an inner context already established in our brains, the character plays we have already established. The characterological drama of consciousness gets established from theearly formative experience with Mother and Father. It forms in the cortex via the neuronal mappings of the experience of personas and their emotional relatedness. Once in place, the inner drama serves as the top-down processing of the emotional life of self and other. It is the prism through which we experience our emotional life. The inner drama is invisible, but present and ongoing. The feeling relatedness between personas in the drama is actively in play and happening in the brain. In the trance state of wakefulness, theses established plays of are not visible and not seen as they are in a dream. Yet they are nonetheless there serving as the filter through which we invisibly process our experience in a top down fashion.

2 replies
  1. Ashley
    Ashley says:

    I still can’t fully grasp what you’re saying here. So basically, this kid is afraid of captain hook because of his cortical system? So neurotransmitters don’t matter? And what’s this about hook being symbolic of his mother? Was he abused? Please help I would love to understand.

    • Robert Berezin
      Robert Berezin says:

      Thank you for your questions. These bloga are a kind of shorthand for what is fully developed in the book. Your questions are answered in detail there. So I hope you’ll read it and let me know what you think.


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