Of Things Invisible to Mortal Sight: Celebrating The Work of James S. Grotstein honors the long and illustrious psychoanalytic career of Dr James Grotstein, one of the most internationally esteemed analysts and scholars in psychoanalysis. His prolific works span over 40 years, and a great part of them were dedicated to exploring the revolutionary contributions of Wilfred Bion.
The central focus of my new book, Bion And Being: Passion and the Creative Mind, is Wilfred Bion’s concept of O. It is the most mysterious and controversial of his ideas, although the controversy has often lived beneath the radar.
In a recent article on Bion’s later work, Blass (2011) writes of an often hidden unfavourable view of Bion’s later writings, inferred “from passing remarks in the relevant literature, as well as from the almost total neglect of Bion’s writings from 1966 onwards.” I would include the concept of O in that category, despite the fact that he did first discuss it in Transformations, written in 1965. There he describes O as ”the absolute facts of the session…. [which] cannot ever be known.” By the time they are addressed, a new reality is taking place and those original facts are transformed by the analyst’s mind. O is described here in terms of his theory of transformations, the brilliance and scholarly nature of which may inadvertently obscure its most controversial aspects of mysticism and the infinite, also included in the book.