“For Bion, “knowledge is not a thing we have, but a link between ourselves and what we know … K is being willing to know but not insisting on knowledge.” By contrast, -K is “not just ignorance but the active avoidance of knowledge, or even the wish to destroy the capacity for it” — and “enacts what ‘Attacks on Linking‘ identifies as hatred of emotion, hatred of reality, hatred of life itself.”
Looking for the source of such hate (H), Bion notes in Learning from Experience that, “Inevitably one wonders at various points in the investigation why such a phenomenon as that represented by −K should exist. … I shall consider one factor only — Envy. By this term I mean the phenomenon described by Melanie Klein in Envy and Gratitude” (1962, p. 96).
From: J.D. Sutherland: “Bion Revisited – Group Dynamics and Group Psychotherapy, in M. Pines (Editor), Bion and Group Psychotherapy (1985):
“…As primal motivating forces, the basic assumptions supply a fundamental thrust to all activity, yet the drive towards interaction with the real environment remains the more powerful dynamic in the long run, for, without that adaptive urge, survival would not be possible. The difficulties of reality interactions, however, are great. The physical environment may present insoluble problems; but it is the social factors that become prominent in their effects on the capacities of the individual when work demands co-operation with all the give and take that entails. The frustrations in sustaining work activity are thus perpetually liable to induce the regressed behavior of the assumptions. The more the individual becomes identified with a basic assumption, the more does he or she get a sense of security and vitality from fusion with the group, along with the pull back to the shared illusory hopes of magical omnipotent achievement inherent in the phantasies of the assumption. From all these sources there is derived what Bion described as a hatred of learning, a profound resistance to staying in the struggle with the reality task until some action gives the experience of mastery of at least a part of it, i.e., until development of new inner resources occurs…”