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Comments by Mércia Maranhão Fagundes


Mércia Maranhão Fagundes


The names of O: is Bion a mystic? An elegant text clearly colored with profound philosophical thinking and a bearer of a tenacious investigative sense –, as I usually find the texts by this author to be.

Civitarese objectively confronts several theories formulated and proposed by his predecessors, to whom he dedicates a delicate and subtle feeling of gratitude and acknowledgement. In building upon Bion’s dreams, he presents himself as a psychoanalyst who tries to dream these dreams and give them his contribution, elaborating and expanding on them through his own reflections.

Undoubtedly, Civitarese, through his publications, proves to be a psychoanalyst who has been bitten by that cunning viper that will compel you to seek to expand the very mind. Thus, he can’t help but concede to how clearly Bion leaves us, as part of a fruitful legacy, his “modus operandi”. Nor can he shy away from understanding the means required to expand on the philosophical issues that permeate humans’ existential angst.

Perhaps anyone bitten by this viper who can host, contain and live with its poisoning will eventually live the shared emotional experience’s revealing position of meanings as they venture through Bionian studies. It is definitely not a choice, but the fortune of achieving a certain degree of containment, combined with profound resilience and faith. And great devotion …

As mentioned in previous texts, out of the several vertices that the contact with Bion’s restless mind offers us, Civitarese chooses to recognize in this author the apotheosis of a work which concludes itself in inconclusion and expansion: the concept of “O”.

We are then illuminated by Civitarese’s reflections – a panoramic view of his thoughts – to cast a light to more imprecise and unsaturated concepts, and we follow him through as he creates conditions, new paths, new ways to live with the imprecise psychoanalytical literature.

When Bion expands his research tools, he refines his observational work and establishes an intimate dialogue with various disciplines; he opens a broad horizon for Psychoanalysis; he shifts the Psychoanalysis paradigm to turn it into Contemporary Psychoanalysis. In an opportune moment, he states: Psychoanalysis is the practical answer to a man’s philosophical questions, which locates the psychoanalytical vertex and imposes on psychoanalysts the need to work on developing their own “Psychoanalytical Look”, their own work tool.

The dialogue between Psychoanalysis and Physics, especially Quantum Physics – which studies everything that is very small, tiny particles and their behavior – , can serve as an analogy between the famous “Black Holes” (studied in depth by S. Hawking) and Bion’s ultimate reality, intimate nature, and the “O”. Just like with these astrophysical phenomena, we can only access small emanations of each human being’s nature; despite being in such close mental contact, so close that the emotional experience feels like a unison, an at-one-ment.

The world is changing ever more rapidly. People are increasingly more connected; they use mobile devices and have more access to information. How do psychoanalysts intend to equip themselves so that they can be connected to so much evolution?

We are living in a time where we are threatened with nuclear wars, climate changes and artificial intelligence. Perhaps reality seems stranger than fiction. Never before has it been so necessary for humans to know themselves deeply, to know the emanations of their own nature, the emanations of “O”. In order to live freely and democratically, to re-signify what our species experiences in affection, to keep existing in our subjectivity and to continue our evolution as humans, we can rely on a precious method – Psychoanalysis. This strange method developed by Freud in the 1800s opens spaces and preserves limits for us to know our own subjectivity by means of the intersubjectivity emotionally experienced in each analytical meeting. It has consolidated itself throughout time as original knowledge to reflect human nature and its culture. Not only Psychoanalysis, but also psychoanalysts can offer such opportunity of self-knowledge. Could it be called the most useful and the most special tool for such challenging and difficult times?

It must be said that the deepest gratitude that disciples can show their masters is to continue on their paths. In the case of Psychoanalysis, the real gratitude psychoanalysts can bid to all their predecessors, starting with Freud, who conceived it, would be to devote themselves to the chaotic experience of everyday work in contemporary psychoanalysts, living in unison, with their patients, the strange emanations of “O” with a sense of humanity. As Civitarese does by facing his emotional experiences and accepting them with the unsaturation they deserve. He seeks the unison in new partnerships found in each reflection that is made public…

Mércia Maranhão Fagundes: Training and Supervising Analyst in the Brasilian Psychoanalytic Society of Ribeirão Preto-SP, Full Member in the Brasilian Psychoanalytic Society of São Paulo-SP, Child and Adolescent Analyst. Pediatrician.


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