The threshold that Melanie Klein found to exist between the paranoid-schizoid and the depressive positions is the site of a series of transformations – extremely inducing murder or suicide – in which habitual forms of discourse break down. W.R. Bion defined the series of transformations as a state of catastrophic change: it is comparable to the stage in rites of passage, as described by Arnold van Gennep, in which initiates undergo an experience of psychic eclipse.
With the wealth of clinical material, linking themes derived from psychotherapy, the arts, anthropology and philosophy, Psychotic Metaphysics proposes that this turbulence, which logically precedes embodiment, is the impetus for the unique quality of human achievement. At the centre of turbulence, mind begins to realize that it has gained power by robbing its good objects. It enters into a necessarily metaphysical and depressive exploration of a psychotic iconography, in which an inadequate language of fetish and sign inhibits the emergence of the symbols of love; and it discovers a geography of binary division, an underworld (as well as an overworld), to which it has banished its counterpart, a twin foetus and its mother, whom it must come to acknowledge as the rightful inheritors of life.