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A beam of intense darkness : Wilfred Bion's legacy to by James S. Grotstein

By James S. Grotstein

The scope of this paintings is to synopsize, synthesize, expand, and to problem Bion in a reader-friendly demeanour. offering crucial legacy-ideas for psychoanalysis—the principles which are at the innovative of the sector that must be identified through the psychological healthiness career at large—it highlights and defines the wider and deeper implications of his works.

A Beam of extreme Darkness provides Bion’s principles faithfully and in addition makes use of his principles as launching pads for the author’s conjectures approximately the place Bion's principles aspect. This comprises such rules as “the Language of Achievement”, “reverie,” “truth,” “O,” and “transformations”–in, of, and from it, but additionally “ L,” “H,” and “K” linkages (to convey how Bion rerouted Freud’s instinctual drives to emotions), “container/contained", Bion’s rules on “dreaming,” “becoming,” “thoughts with out a thinker,” “the Grid,” his erasure of the excellence among Freud’s, “primary and secondary methods “ and the “pleasure” and “reality principles,” “reversible perspective,” “shifting vertices,” “binocular vision,” “contact-barrier,” the alternative of “consciousness” and “unconsciousness” with infinity and finiteness, Bion’s use of types, his contrast among “mentalization” and “thinking,” in addition to many different goods.

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We are all used to words like “sex” which, if one considers the matter, means nothing. But the word “sex” like “the future”, is useful for this kind of discussion. [1973, p. 16] If one reads the above citation—as well as many like it—carefully, one may be able to begin to detect that Bion is a magus and/or a hypnotist! The questioner asked about “the future”. Bion suggests “sex”—as a model—that distracts from one’s focus on “the future”. As one reads through Bion in New York and São Paulo (Bion, 1980) or Bion’s Brazilian Lectures 1 (1973) and 2 (1974), one can begin to detect with increasing AN INTRODUCTION 17 certainty that Bion answers his questioners in a way so as to distract their attention, their focus, from what they believe they are asking by supplying a novel subject that is seemingly far removed from what the questioner thought he was asking.

He seemed to accord it instinctual status. He also referred to other instinctual longings of man. He often referred to man’s “religious instinct”, stating that Freud never really understood the power of man’s religious instinct—that it may even be more powerful than the libidinal instinct. He also frequently alluded to man’s “quest for truth” (see chapter 10), where I accord truth the status of an instinctual drive. Along with these ideas, he stressed the relationship between self and object and between objects rather than the object itself.

López-Corvo, 2003, p. xvi] Ogden (2004b) elegantly and poignantly surveys Bion’s style of writing and comments that there is (1) in Bion’s earlier writings (through Learning from Experience) “a dialectical movement between obscurity and clarification which moves toward, though never achieves, closure” (p. 288); and (2) a more evocative form of writing in his later works in which Bion sought to convey his experiences to the reader 14 A BEAM OF INTENSE DARKNESS directly—as the experience itself—as an authentic replication in the latter, without going through obfuscating explanations.

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