Revista Brasileira de Psicanálise
versão impressa ISSN 0486-641X
On studying the supervisions given by Bion in 1978 in São Paulo, Brazil, one of the present authors (JAJM) identified references to a mental configuration, colloquially named by Bion as primitive conscience. Reviewing his articles and seminars from that time period, it was possible to identify this idea in different occasions. This concept, developed over Bions last years of life (1976-1979), is part of an important addition to the model of the mind developed by him. At that time, he formulated conjectures about a primordial mind, developed before birth, which would remain unchanged and active after that. Withthis hypothesis, Bion drew our attention to the earliest stages of the development of the mind, to somatic imprintings associated with organs (thalamus and adrenal) that are ready to act early in the body, before the cerebral cortex is prepared for records with mental potentiality. In this context, Bion conjectured that very primitive feelings of guilt, capable of triggering cruel sanctions to a fatal point, would give base to a primitive conscience. This conscience does not consider experience to indicate choices, but rather, imposes rules. This way, it vetoes emotional experiences potentially capable of leading to mental growth. Terms such as nameless dread and sub-thalamic fear were tentatively used by Bion in different moments to approach this condition.
Palavras-chave : Conscience; Superego; Archaic superego; Primordial mind; Bion.