Brazilian Lectures: 1973 Sao Paolo, 1974 Rio de Janeiro/Sao by Wilfred R. Bion

By Wilfred R. Bion

Those lectures, introduced in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in the course of 1973 and 1974, show Bion in his most crucial and difficult mode either in appreciate of the cloth he offers, and in his responses to the questions from his viewers

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Example text

1do not want to be reminded of these fantasies. ' The answer to that might be, 'I don't object to that, except that that "unconscious fantasy" of yours, as you call it, is horribly alive; it may be obscured but is active and powerful, though beyond the reach of my ability unless psycho-analysis (or something better) can bring it again within my scope'. The phrase 1 have used-'horribly alive'-is not an analytic concept; it is a synthetic concept in which the term 'alive' does not include the meaning, as it would analytically, of 'horrible'.

The analyst knows this, but the patient does not and therefore freely expresses 46 BRAZILIAN LECTURES hostility to his own or the analyst's perception without any idea what it costs him. With regard to the analyst's attitude, nothing can relieve him of the responsibility of knowing whether to be acutely illuminating or acutely blind and deaf. This problem was dealt with by one patient by staying in his bedroom, drawing the blinds, having thicker curtains put up and making it clear that he did not want to be called on the telephone.

There is, indeed, something important in this area which we can say belongs to the category of beta-elements. Freud gets near to this when he says that a dream is wish fulfilment. That is to say, there is no 'dream' (readily communicable formulation) which is not a 'wish', in contrast with the original, unknowable, unknown 'dream'. In other words, there is no nightmare so terrifying that it is not better than the thing-in-itself. Some patients will say they had a dream, and I may think, 'This is not a dream; it has no free associations'.

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