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A (Helpful) Mind-Twister?

“The conscious is the servant of the unconscious. It is the conscious whose job it is to lie and deceive and protect the unconscious in its activities.” –W.R. Bion, as quoted in N. Abel-Hirsch

A strong statement, true. Still, in these information-saturated times, it is ironic that the more information we have, the more we feel empty, anxious, and frustrated. Perhaps it is time to respect how the unconscious does anyway what the conscious mind does not ‘know’?

A favorite source of mine notes that the conscious mind arises out of a necessary discarding of masses of information. The largely unconscious discarding process (creating ‘exformation’–Norretranders) is ‘thinking’.

As we approach infinite information, any one piece of it becomes less and less individually useful. As survivors in a rapidly information-amassing world, it can be tempting to deal with that by grabbing onto whatever information reduces / explains anxiety and frustration. When that leads to trouble later, we often see a ‘symptom’…

Unconscious, emotional, dreamlike thinking–which, through a symptom, signals our needs–is disguised by conscious intentions, talking, imitating, reasoning, etc. Sometimes we need to reexamine the pile of ‘exformation’ we have discarded, change how we examine information, or both. Often, that requires help.


Inspired by Bion and T. Norretranders (The User Illusion)

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