By Wilfred R. Bion
Those lectures, added in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in the course of 1973 and 1974, show Bion in his most crucial and not easy mode either in appreciate of the fabric he offers, and in his responses to the questions from his viewers
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Extra resources for Brazilian Lectures: 1973 Sao Paolo, 1974 Rio de Janeiro/Sao Paolo
The cup brought me visual impressions: I saw its form, its height, the colouring on it, although I could not see it very clearly. It seemed to have a trademark at the bottom. It is a physical, inanimate object which by common consent we call a cup. By experience I have with other cups, it is a small cup which is suitable for holding coffee. I could put it in another context, but it is better to call it simply a coffee cup. When you used the cup as a model for us to think about we could distinguish you as a person separate from the cup.
On the other hand, according to Homeric psychology, there is no difficulty in believing in a whole spirit or mind of the person who is asleep and off their guard, or dead. To return to the religious vertex: it is easy to believe in some kinds of god, like the one Virgil described. There are many other gods in whom it is difficult to believe without insulting one's intelligence. A war between what we call science and religion is, therefore, inevitable. It is impossible for anybody who knows what is visible from the religious vertex to believe in science.
Changing the vertex again: suppose the patient can discriminate colours (the differences in what a physicist would call visual elements, changes in the wavelength of light) to a point where he cannot tolerate the differences, not because he is unable to see, but because he can see much more than the analyst can. We could multiply those vertices. There can be no limit to the domain in which the person appears to be incapable because he does not possess the gifts. It may be true from a macroscopic point of view to say, 'Oh, he is hallucinating', or, 'She is highly disturbed', but it would not be true if one could see or hear or intuit what the analysand can.