здесь показывается, что только бесстрастие (в аскетическом смысле) избавляет наше восприятие реальности от того, что можно--с т.зр. психоаналитической--назвать ее искажением.
Do you think it is possible to attain a condition where one has no need or motivation whatsoever to distort reality in any way and, therefore, is able to be completely in touch with reality exactly as it is?
OK: I think that there are certainly degrees of freedom from distortion, and I would say that a function of the normal ego is to try to achieve enlightenment in the sense of decreased distortions and being able to see reality—both external and internal—as it is. But it seems to me that this is an ideal state that is reached only partially by most people and most likely not as a permanent condition, but oscillating. In other words, there are always unconscious needs that influence us; the shadow of our dynamic unconscious colors all of our perceptions, and it is almost inhuman to be able to free oneself completely from that. So I would say that enlightenment as you describe it seems to be a road, an aspiration. But I would seriously question that possibility in an absolute sense—except perhaps for extremely gifted, unique individuals whom we would consider saints. And even those probably have achieved such a condition only in a transitory way.
и дальше, о цели лечения как освобождения от несвободы:
I would say the goal of psychoanalysis is to free individuals from the restrictions of unconscious conflicts and the defenses related to them, as well as to resolve a lack of integration of the internal realm of object relations
в христианской аскетике подход с противоположной стороны: использование уже имеющейся свободы, чтобы ее не потерять, или остатков этой свободы, чтобы восстановить потерянное.
вообще, насколько я понимаю (подозреваю), Кернберг -- какой-то американский протестант. методист?