ABSTRACT

This chapter focuses on Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex in light of Bion’s thought. It attempts to trace the links between the myth and unconscious processes—personal as well as social—that are illustrated by the myth. The Oedipus complex, Bion believed, was Freud’s greatest achievement— a discovery that was made possible by Freud’s unique intuitive ability. And Bion adds that we always stand in awe and wonderment when facing great discoveries. For Bion, the myth of Oedipus Rex presents us with a metaphor for each person’s search for meaning and individuality. The mythological narrative shows us the suffering and destruction a person has to endure before he or she can find his or her humanity. Some focal pairs in Bion’s theory are, for instance: container and contained; establishment and genius; concept and intuition; past and future; infant and mother; patient and therapist; Oedipus and the sphinx; psychic vision and psychic blindness.