Whilst reading Wilson I have discovered a new word - Vastation. To my surprise I also found that it is not in my medium sized Penguin dictionary. I allow myself to write in new words.
Vastation in general terms means to destroy, to clear away. It can also mean 'purified by fire'. Henry James Senior was diagnosed with having what Swedenborg would call a vastation. This is when in the mind the current self-identity is destroyed, cleared out in preparation for a new selfhood.