Bion and Being
Passion and the Creative Mind

Paper: 978 1 85575 854 4 / $37.95
Published: May 2012  

Publisher: Karnac Books
186 pp., 5 3/4" x 9"
With his concept of “O,” Wilfred Bion provided a new psychoanalytic space in which to explore the mind.

Bion and Being: Passion and the Creative Mind examines the similarities between this psychoanalytic space and the artist’s creative sensibility, as well as mystical and religious states. This most mysterious and revolutionary of Bion’s analytic ideas reflects what is essentially a state of being, an experience of mental integrity and union between emotional and rational functions of the mind which is the basis of thinking and creativity. In an effort to provide emotional understanding to Bion’s theoretical ideas, Dr Reiner uses examples of artists, poets, writers, theologians, and philosophers--including Rilke, cummings, Shakespeare, Beckett, and Nietzsche--to illustrate these psychoanalytic concepts. She also presents detailed clinical examples of patient’s dreams to explore the obstacles to these states of being, as well as how to work clinically to develop access to these creative states.

Table of Contents:

1) “O”: Bion’s “truth instinct”
2) Self and other: passion and play in analysis and art
3) The development of language
4) “A rose is a rose is a rose . . .”: the power and limits of language
5) “O”: the spiritual aspect of being
6) The language of being and mental wholeness
7) Being and non-being: a clinical view
8) Duality and the myth of Sisyphus: a clinical exploration
9) Evolving states of wholeness and being
CH10) Summary and conclusions


Reviews & Endorsements:
"Fresh from the recent publication of her first book, The Quest for Conscience and the Birth of the Mind, a remarkable work in its own right, Dr Annie Reiner has written an outstanding follow-up work. Noting the paradox in the enormous popularity of Bion’s works existing side-by-side with great mystery and confusion about their meaning, she lucidly and astutely plunges into the centre of his most recondite discovery, transformations in and from “O”, relating them to others of his more complex ideas. Furthermore, she presents numerous clinical examples that aptly reflect many of these ideas. This is an incredibly credible work which, along with her first book, places her high among Bion scholars."
- Dr James Grotstein, Professor of Psychiatry , UCLA School of Medicine
"The clinician and the poet come together in this lucid presentation of Bion’s central thinking about the nature of Being. With uncommon erudition and deep clinical experience, Reiner brings the abstract to life in a work filled with apt clinical vignettes and sensitively chosen poetry. Bion, properly, is not made easy, but he is made more accessible."
- Dr Warren Poland, former Editor , Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Society