chapter  8
29 Pages

Mindlessness: the sensuous-concretisation syndrome

ByP. C. Sandler

To the suspicious amusement of André Green, and to the perplexity of other audiences, Bion used to say that psychoanalysis already existed before a Freud appeared to discover it: was it a thought without a thinker waiting for a Freud to think it?

Who told … Freud that he needed “artificially to blind himself” to explore the dark places of the mind? [I: 42]

Freud, as he often did, put his finger on the spot. In the seventh chapter of The Interpretation of Dreams, he said, answering his own question, “What is the conscious? It is nothing less than the sense organ for the perception of psychic quality.” It stands to reason then, that if he was right, this very recently developed organ, though not secondary to the probings of the grosser senses, may be capable of “probing” and reacting to the grosser senses by “psychic reality”. [I: 98]

Some readers find written attempts to describe the basic paradox of material-immaterial an unbearable reading experience.

278Falstaff, a known artefact, is more “real” in Shakespeare’s verbal formulation than countless millions of people who are dim, invisible, lifeless, unreal, whose births, deaths—alas, even marriages—we are called upon to believe in, though certification of their existence is vouched for by the said official certification … Many people are so lifeless that I could stare in silent admission that I did not believe the evidence of my senses. [I: 4–5]