Intuition: a conversation with Francis Grier and Margot Waddell

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3 July, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

£12 - £15

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Only by the form, the pattern

Can words or music reach

The stillness…

(Burnt Norton, V, 4-7)

A life-long quest of Wilfred Bion was to find a communicative register that meant anything to him, or, later, to anyone else. His autobiographical volume, The Long Weekend evokes the magnitude of the problem. Early papers on psychotic and schizophrenic states began to require their own term and the word ‘intuition’ started to appear. A shift slowly takes place from content to form: to art, poetry (always his great love) and music, as we shall see.

Bion needed to explore embryonic thought, which he regarded as the link between random sense impressions (beta elements) and consciousness. Emotional experience became the first step in thinking. ‘Truthfulness’, that is the true meaning of a person’s evolving experience, was of utmost importance. And working in the consulting room ‘without memory, desire or understanding’, came to be regarded as essential.

Bion was now much closer to Bergson’s belief that ‘Intuition is our highest faculty’ and, as he describes it, to the capacity of Trotter (his teacher and mentor at medical school) to make ‘a direct intuitive link with each person’s personality. With their inherent humanness’. It is to the emotional resonances of what may occur in the in-between that psychoanalytic thinking is increasingly turning towards, the intuitive position of the poetic and the musical becoming, more explicitly, vital dimensions of what may be gleaned of the unconscious itself.

Part of a series of exciting events which coincide with the exhibition ‘The Enigma of the Hour’, on display at the Freud Museum London, 6 June – 4 August.


3 July
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
£12 - £15
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Freud Museum London
20 Maresfield Gardens
London, NW3 5SX United Kingdom
020 7435 2002

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