chapter  7
Thoughts without a thinker
ByJANE VAN BUREN
Pages 10

Bion's notion of wild thoughts, or thoughts without a thinker, presented western culture with a profound reversal in the understanding of how thoughts came to be. The concept ``thoughts without a thinker'' describes the mind at work at levels beyond the familiar signs and symbols. The recognition of mindfulness and signi®cance existing beyond our ordinary reach of realizations and communications directed Bion further and intensely into a serious questioning of the meaning of words and beliefs and practices. He makes this point clear in his essay ``Taming Wild Thoughts'' (1997), in which he suggests that it is very dif®cult to ®nd the origins of meaning in the individual and in the culture. He says,

If we are concerned with physical diseases we have to learn the language the body talks. The human animal, unlike other species, can lie and has probably had a good deal of practice at lying and misinforming from a very early stage because feelings of guilt precipitate a proliferation of a capacity to lie and deceive.