In Chapter Five I wrote of the way an all-inclusive principle permeates a range of elements in the personality. The problem is how to locate this principle when it is very diffuse. Grief is easy to detect when it is hitched to a particular event. At a funeral a wife is weeping as her husband’s coffin is lowered into the grave, its final resting place. But say the grief is because Natalie’s mother was depressed after giving birth to her. Depression means, in this case, that her mother was physically present but her spirit was absent after Natalie’s birth. The loss of her mother’s spirit caused grief, like the woman whose husband was being buried. Natalie’s grief is intense but it cannot be linked to the event that has stimulated it, so it is diffused through the personality. I say that it cannot be linked but this is not quite right. It is with difficulty that it is linked. The two examples above illustrate the matter. In the case of the wife weeping as her husband’s coffin is being lowered into the grave there is an inner connection between her and what is happening. It is possible for an inner connection to occur for Natalie also. It would be necessary for her to feel some feature in her personality and to see in a living way the connection to her absent mother. Let us say she has always had a longing to be loved by her brother but knowing always that this is not so. She has the sense of 132her brother’s absence and of seeing suddenly that this pre-dated her longing for her brother in a longing for her mother’s love. A moment of illumination occurs that lights up several pathways in her life. I think it is something like this that Bion was trying to describe in his use of the term the selected fact where he says: “The selected fact is the name of an emotional experience, the emotional experience of a sense of discovery of coherence …” (1984, p. 73). Coherence is the crucial word here. In Natalie’s longing for her brother, in a moment a pathway of similar longing is lit up, leading to her mother. It is the longing as a principle which receives its essential colouring from her relation to her mother. At that moment the knowledge that her mother was depressed after her birth ceases to be a practical fact like there is a Statue of Liberty at the entrance to New York harbour or the Battle of Waterloo was fought in the year 1815. Instead this disposition known as “longing” becomes shot through with personal significance.