CHAPTER ELEVEN
Angling in

T he problem of being nourished by poisons seems fathomless when confronted by cases in which a person's sense of "well-being and vitality spring from the same characteristics which give trouble" ( Bion, 1965, p. 144). Bion has in mind mental illness so persistent that it is often attributed to inborn physical pathology. He wonders whether it might not be better to understand the individual's difficulties as arising from a "normal physical state and to spring from the very health and virility of the patient's endowment of ambition, intolerance of frustration, envy, aggression and his belief that there is, or ought to be, or will be (even if it has to be created by himself) an ideal object that exists to fulfil itself."

The very traits that are part of illness are, in some way, part of health: ambition, frustration, intolerance, envy, aggression, belief in a compelling ideal object. Is illness/health a matter of too much/too little, right or wrong use of such ingredients, warped ways of structuring them, varied ways of relating to warps?

A clinical point is that in attempting to remove illness, one may damage what is most alive and creative in the individual.

-187-

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Toxic Nourishment
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Introduction xiii
  • Toxic Nourishment xxii
  • Chapter One - Toxic Nourishment 1
  • Chapter Two - Suicide 13
  • Chapter Three - Miscarriages 35
  • Chapter Four - A Bug-Free Universe 57
  • Chapter Five - Feeling Normal 85
  • Chapter Six - Unconscious Learnings: Beyond the Lines 109
  • Chapter Seven - Self-Nulling 123
  • Chapter Eight - Empty and Violent Nourishment 139
  • Chapter Nine - Shadows of Agony X 159
  • Chapter Ten - Soundproof Sanity And Fear of Madness 171
  • Chapter Eleven - Angling In 187
  • Chapter Twelve - Desire and Nourishment 205
  • Epilogue 225
  • References 227
  • Index 229
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