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Grotstein, J.S. (2004). “The Light Militia of the Lower Sky” The Deeper Nature of Dreaming and Phantasying. Psychoanal. Dial., 14(1):99-118.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 14(1):99-118

“The Light Militia of the Lower Sky” The Deeper Nature of Dreaming and Phantasying

James S. Grotstein, M.D.

It is the author's belief that psychoanalytic interpretations of unconscious phantasies, rather than discrediting them vis-à-vis reality, actually reinforce and substantiate their functioning. Following Bion, it is his belief that all psychopathology can be considered to be id pathology, that is, pathology that results from an inadequate transformation of “O,” Bion's term for the Absolute Truth about Ultimate Reality (infinity, chaos). Normally, dreaming/phantasying acts as a containing contact-barrier between consciousness and the unconscious. Psychopathology is a testimony to a failure in the containment-dreaming-phantasying-contact-barrier continuum. Rather than defending against the libidinal and aggressive or destructive drives, an individual defends against the “truth instinct,” which emanates from evolving “O.” Dreaming and phantasying are first conducted for the infant by its mother, who, in a state of reverie, “dreams” him and “becomes” him in a non-Cartesian mode of knowing him and his pain. This process is repeated by the psychoanalyst.

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