OCCASIONAL COMMENTS ON PSCHO-ANALYTIC MATTERS + CONTIBUTIONS fromMICHAEL ROLOFF Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society this LYNX will LEAP you to all my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS: http://www.roloff.freehosting.net/index.html "MAY THE FOGGY DEW BEDIAMONDIZE YOUR HOOSPRINGS!" {J. Joyce} "Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde" [von Alvensleben]

Friday, July 13, 2007


*Dr. Bernard Bail*

*_Irmgard_**_'s Flute_; _The Mother’s Signature_*

*Pubs: 2007**

Fortunately Dr. Bail has his own website, affording the reader the
ability to better inform himself.

* It is important how Philadelphia born Bail came to be an analyst. One
of six U.S. WW II Bomber** navigators trained in the then new-fangled
radar, Dr. Bail's B-24s kept getting shot up, the pilots near mortally
wounded, and Dr. Bail, a man of modest stature, amusingly kept guiding
the wrecks to assafe a survival landing as was possible. For these feats
he has been amply decorated. Finally shot down in enemy territory, he
survived the six weeks prior to liberation in a German hospital under
circumstances that resemble the more sentimental but life-changing
aspects of _A Farewell to Arms_: being loved and nursed, and as a Jew,
by the enemy. Anyhow, a sufficiently transformative experience, if we
are to believe his account in _Irmgard_, for an interest in French
history, to become medicinal, leading to a training at the Southern
California in the then traditional manner. Bail, now an analyst flier,
was the one who brought Alfred Bion to the United States; when the
Kleinians, in whose work Dr. Bail became greatly interested [who had
promised Bion a full complement of patients], copped out, Dr. Bail
became his first and only patient for some time. Bail stayed with Bion
for his ten year duration in SoCal yet did not end up a Bionist himself;
[and I must not be the only person who wishesfor his account of that
experience]. A combination of conscientiousness
and requisite vanity drove him to take a direction of his own. A
practice with a concentration on dreams as evidence, with some
discounting of wish fulfillment - where it needs to be kept in mind even
with the plentitude that dreams afford - in the poetic words of our now
ex-DefSec, "we don't know what we don't know," we cannot know what is
not manifested in dreams, nor at what realms of the unconscious
mechanism that we know to operate at others, continue their blinding.
Dreams are Bails chief baseline and the various beautiful, simple case
studies collected in _The Mother's Signature_ provide evidence of Bail's
From this work derives Dr. Bail's idea of "the mother's signature,"
which has much to recommend it even if you don't buy into Dr. Bail's
emphasis that such imprinting, as he calls it, may be, invariably, the
most determining for spiritual flourishing, or so frequently its
thwarting: Dr. Bail's findings - under aegis of what a skeptic might say
is something of a fetishization of science [where an entirely different
and non-jumbo-mumbo science cries to be developed]- are finding much
in evolutionary biological and fetal development studies that show the
exertion of maternal pressures even on the genetic and on DNA,
intra-uterine! Whether untoward changes in development - however
formulated within the specific family and larger culture - are amenable
to analytic exploration can only be assessed under the wishful
proposition that as of a certain age of experience as large a percentage
of the population as possible not so much shed as pass the immediate
determinants of their upbringing, including the limitations imposed
intra-uterine, through the analytic process. Come the day.
More immediately, parallel studies of twins, but not brought up by the same
mother, might confirm or alter Dr. Bail's findings. I have asked Dr.
Bail, also the first analyst to accompany patients on the trip across
the river Lethe, whether he had patients who were with child while
in analysis, but have not heard back. There is no such case among those
presented here, or where he had both mother and a child in analysis. The
idea of a mother's disposition during pregnancy exerting itself
life-long on a fetus is scarcely unfamiliar, I know of scores of hideous
and wonderful examples where, however, the passage from intra- to
extra-uterine - where the untoward influences of course persist - poses
the question of the duration and inception of lifelong traumatization,
whose vestiges exert their latent power at critical moments. Anyhow:
etiology in the here and now. Dr. Bail's notion of a mother's
unconscious negative influence then splitting the developing psyche
strikes me very much within the tradition of the Kleinians and Kohut,
though splitting I suspect is far too mechanistic a concept to explain
the mental realms that fail to communicate with each other. To take this
briefly out of the theoretical into the here and now of the comically,
abeit gallows humor, historical: what might the influence of being
intra-uterine "Battelship Barbara" be, as compared to the oedipal
relations with George Herbert, and growing up in an environment where
states can be overthrown at a moments notice, on our president; or maybe
we ought to seek the whale in Ma Cheney's womb. But that is Peter
Lowenberg's unenviable field.
No matter the import of the ultimate scientific verifiability of Dr.
Bail's ideas, he comes across as an enviably conscientious and
courageous and loving analyst who keeps stubbornly guiding his wounded
B-24s to as safe a landing as is feasible.

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MICHAEL ROLOFF http://www.facebook.com/mike.roloff1?ref=name exMember Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society this LYNX will LEAP you to all my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS: http://www.roloff.freehosting.net/index.html "MAY THE FOGGY DEW BEDIAMONDIZE YOUR HOOSPRINGS!" {J. Joyce} "Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde" [von Alvensleben] contact via my website http://www.roloff.freehosting.net/index.html