[Site note: Although the
paradigm and thinking on this site is incompatible with Velikovsky's paradigm in
this arena, the article is included because it is thought provoking and well
Our humanity were a poor thing but
for the divinity that stirs within us. - Bacon
by Immanuel Velikovsky
Every living being strives to transform all within its reach into itself,
as far as it can possibly do so.
Let us contemplate the life and the activity of any and every living
thing: it is in constant search after nourishment in order to turn food
and drink into parts of its body; it breathes in order to assimilate
into its body all that is usable in the air; its need is ever in a state of
renewal, for this drive to life is the condition of life itself.
This is the primal instinct. We call it the assimilation instinct. Not
only is self-assertion an assimilation instinct in the ontogenic
sense, but in the phylogenic sense as well.
Every living thing tries to recreate its likeness by means of its seed
from the universal whole, to mold all there is in its own image.
A grain of wheat sends out roots in order to fashion a new grain of
wheat from earth, sunlight rain and air. The cornflower, too, extorts its blue
blossoms from earth, sunlight rain and air. Coral strives to transform
the whole ocean into coral islands. Throughout the slow development of the
earth's crust a crystal tries to change everything around and about into crystals.
The man's seed is forced into the body of the woman and forces her
to nourish the man's likeness with her blood. The life principle hidden -
within her lets her mold the seed according to her features. Results a
struggle between the instincts of assimilation. The characteristic
qualities of both find themselves locked in embrace within the new being.
The assimilation instincts of the parents will keep on fighting in the child.
Procreating, nurturing, drinking, educating, learning, breathing,
creating; all are processes of assimilation. The fight for assimilation
requires consumption of strength and therein lies the condition for death.
The struggle is brought to a minimum in anabiosis. It is like a truce in
war. Death is the succumbing to the powers of assimilation of the outside
world. Death is an enormous loss in assimilation strength. But the body
fights for its assimilation even while in the process of decomposition.
Whatever is assimilated tries to assimilate on its part, too. In the
consumed flesh of an animal still flicker the powers of assimilation of
The drive for assimilation is a form of energy. All the energies of the
world are powers of assimilation: they spread themselves in order to
transplant all there is into their state.
This pertains as much to heat as it does to electricity. The loss of a
body's life energy is calculated by the extent to which the power of
assimilation of a body that has died is smaller than the same power was
during its lifetime.
The drive for assimilation as a form of energy plays a part in the
ensemble of energies. Thus arsenic enhances a body's power of assimilation.
In depression the instinct for assimilation grows weak. That is why the
depressed person refuses nourishment, starves, is immobilized, goes into
a stupor, takes his life. The manic state of manic-depression psychosis is
an attempt to whip up the life drive for assimilation; a person who feels
he is in danger of being swept away by the flood develops the greatest of physical disturbances.
Assimilation and Disassimilation
Not only does each act of assimilation evoke a contrary process in
which the assimilated tries to assimilate - the struggle between these two
drives is an image of what happens universally - but a deeper insight
lets us recognize that the process itself is always simultaneously one of
disassimilation. We explain this curious contradiction in the following way.
When someone makes an inspired speech and affects the psyche of his
listeners, then the speaker has formed his listeners to resemble himself
to a certain extent. And as each listener went through a process in which
the speaker and his line of thought became like him, it was the speaker
who was assimilated.
As seen from a different point of view: the listener is possessed by the
emotions emanating from the speaker and assimilates them in his psyche,
his brain. And even if, as in hypnosis, the attention of the listener
should be entirely passive, it would still be he, the listener, who is assimilated.
In the same way, the sight and contemplation of a natural scene exercises
an influence upon the psyche of the viewer. Colorful beams excite the
brain and transform themselves into psychic energies, into memory traces.
It is therefore the natural scene that influenced him, that formed his
psyche, and that assimilated him to its image.
But it was also he, the onlooker, who absorbed an amount of
nature's beams and who made them his owns assimilated them.
A sculptor works on a stone. He molds the stone according to his inner
vision. The stone adapts itself to the shape which had previously lived
within the sculptor. Who assimilated whom?
But there exists even a second reciprocal process of assimilations the
stone, according to its nature, resisted the changing of its shape, and
forced the sculptor to overcome obstacles; these obstacles left an
impression within his body which linked itself to his basic nature and
character. Once again - who assimilated whom?
From these observations, just as from our comprehension of immortality,
a picture of interaction and together-ness, and of the true unity of all
that exists, appears with clarity.
In the absolute sense, there is no such thing as individual existence;
everything becomes the common good, nothing knows an owner. For all
eternity, everything in the assimilation process circles through stone
and soul, everything acts reciprocally, everything is owned reciprocally.
There is nothing about which a man should say, "this is
mine" . Not about possessions, not about the body, not about thoughts.
All things circle and stream through one another, and everything wants
to shape everything else and leave something of itself in the thing reshaped.
What shapes and what is reshaped become one. We call this phenomenon introgenesis.
On the Four Kinds of Immortality
There are four kinds of immortality. The first is the immortality of all
matter. The body disintegrates, but it is not annihilated; it steps once
again into the eternal cycle of nature and continues on its road of
disassimilation and assimilation. The body has no death because in the
absolute sense there is no death, since nothing exists that does not
attempt to assimilate its surroundings. (Here we refer to our exposition:
there is greater or lesser aliveness corresponding to stronger or weaker
assimilation capability, and there is nothing that is absolutely dead.)
The body, though in a process of decomposition, still attempts to
assimilate its surroundings, even if in a weak way.
This immortality is not an individual one: but from a philosophical
view, in which life is thought to be a whole that has fallen into parts
(individuals), the further crumbling into single cells is nothing else
but the identical process of breaking up, only carried a step further.
It seems as if the individual has a private consciousness, whereas the
cells of disintegrated matter have no communal life; the basis of such an
antithesis will be seen when we consider the other forms of immortality.
In the absolute sense, there is no such thing as private consciousness.
The second immortality is that of the seed. Single cells of the organism
are able to escape disintegration. They are left to us by our forefathers
and we give this heritage from generation to generation in perpetuity.
Sperm and egg are the carriers of life, of character and of propagation.
Through the vigorous assimilation drives inherent in them, these germs
create new bodies in a continuous chain of renewal; these bodies
experience themselves as perishable individuals; the germs, however,
On the other hand, these germs which possess such great assimilation
strength and therefore enormous energy as well, simultaneously serve
also as an object for the surrounding assimilation drives of nature.
That is why the germ is not unchangeable. Poisons destroy it. The germ
is in constant flux, but it has such a high assimilation drive (and
concomitant vitality), that it withstands most onslaughts of other
assimilation substances and, besides the immortality of matter,
possesses the potential immortality of continued propagation.
In any case, until old age, the body's own cells are incapable of
defeating the assimilation power of germ cells and are exploited by the
germ cells for their growth. But if one sacrifices the germ cells to the
other cells of the body (Steinach operation), that is, if one frees the
body of its power of assimilation, then the body frees itself from a
strong assimilator and the tissues enlarge their lifespan. Under
conditions that are not too poor, germ plasm remains eternally alive and
does not lose its vast capacity for assimilation. And the fact that
organized life exists on earth proves that such adequate conditions are actually present.
The third immortality is that of creativity. What was created by a living
being remains perpetually alive in the indestructible chain of origins
and consequences. An effect that has apparently passed leaves its traces
behind. In an even clearer way every effect that imprints its form or
its power on what has been created remains immortal.
A being's power of assimilation is immortal in his work: in a stone
sculpture carved by him, in a composition noted down by him, in poetry
written by him. And from the point of view of assimilation doctrine, this
immortality should not be appreciated merely as poetic expression, but
rather as real perpetual life of a being's assimilation drive, a being that has created.
Then what is life? Assimilating. A work is the product of assimilation
which can affect both mind and body through further assimilation, and
therefore to be understood as being truly alive. (But it does not possess
the second not?, apparently, the fourth capacity for immortality, and
thereby differentiates the vitality of the creator from the vitality of the created).
The fourth immortality is that which finds its direction in psychic
energy and its interaction of assimilations.
Thinking is not isolated - within, each individual organism. (See Uber die
Energetik der Psyche, Zeitschrift für Neurologie und Psychiatrie, Volume
133). Thinking is an energetic process which affects everything around
it, particularly the thought centers of other beings.
Therefore no man can be sure about the true origin of his thoughts, nor
will he ever know where his thinking will be transplanted by
assimilation power. Thus thinking is a capacity which belongs to many
simultaneously. A common unconscious originates through the transplanting of unconscious
concepts from one brain into many others in space, as also at a time
when the brain is no longer able to create psychic energy.
The thought is altered in every new brain. Pear, apple and nut draw their
nourishment from identical matter, but produce different fruits. Thus
psychic matter from different brains is modified in a variety of forms;
the assimilation power of thought is ever alive and active. This is the
There is nothing that does not change its form. Everything is transitory
On Free and Unfree Will
A sleepwalker wanders over walls and on roofs with unfailing surety of
step. But should he be accidentally awakened or wake up by himself, he will fall off.
This strange behavior and accident can be taken as a point of departure
for a consideration of the problem concerning freedom of will. All
argumentations of philosophy and psychology on this theme were till now
built solely upon speculative ideas.
A sleepwalker's conduct is unconscious. If the sleepwalker gains
consciousness, he loses his security.
The infallible belongs to unconscious actions. But when the conscious
comes into play, confusions result, as e.g. in slips of the tongue and
inadvertent acts. Where inadvertencies are concerned, it is really not
the unconscious, but the conscious which carries the blame for the blunder.
Unconscious actions are not free, they are compulsive, instinctive. The
instinct belongs to the deepest layer of all, the uniquely infallible
layer of the unconscious; it is this same layer which compels the embryo
to grow in the mother's body, or which responds to the reception
of food with lyphocytosis.
Here free will exists. A measure of coercion is present, just as there
coercion in inorganic nature.
The instinct is the automatic in living nature that acts according to
the law of physics, as long as the conscious or the near-conscious does not
get into the fray. I say 'into the fray' because it deals
most often with a dual struggle, the fight of the instinctive-the automatic-
with the conscious psyche.
Living nature does not require the conscious in order to preserve itself
through generations. The masculine would come together with the feminine
with the same inevitability that copulates the sperm with the egg. The
urgency for life was precisely that power which separated the animal from
the earth, uprooted it, brought it into motion; in water, in air, and on
earth. Due to its very existence, the animal must come into conflict with
other species and individuals. The only infallible powers were at work
here, a totality and a parallelogram of powers would quickly begin, along
the diagonal of which everything would be consumed. The similarity would
lead to uniformity and to death, in the sense of the transformation from
conscious life to unconscious inorganic life.
Unconscious will is unfree; conscious will is free. But since the
conscious alone never rules man, his actions are but the result of the
struggle between the freewill of the conscious and the unfree will of the
unconscious. That is why, until today, it was equally impossible for the
adherents to the doctrine of the freedom of will to prove anything, as
it was for the adherents to the doctrine of the unfree will. Obviously,
both powers exist, but the activity of man is the product of the
confrontation or the co-operation of both.
The unfree will of the unconscious would never itself endanger the
individual for its own sake, because it deals with the security of the
infallible automatic and follows the introgenic instinct. The
automatically-wandering somnambulist does not fall from roofs. But the
fact that the automatic transaction is infallible will never be purposeful
to the extent of helping a victory for the unfree will of one person
over the similarly unfree will of another one. If an aggressive danger
confronted a sleepwalker, he would become its victim. If a sleepwalker,
while wandering on a wall were to collide with another sleepwalker who
is sauntering towards him, then both would hurtle down.
Conscious transaction can be faultv insofar as man's calculation can
deviate from the infallible logic of the physical nature of things. And
yet it is just this instability, this fallibility, this tendency to
waver, sometimes to slip and to tumble, - it is peculiarly this very
quality which raises man above infallible inorganic nature. A stone is never in
error and falls only as it overcomes its own inertia. Bacteria are also
virtually free from error and act according to the dictates of the laws
of chemotrophy. Erring is the convulsing of the automatic in nature's
biology, and free will is the blessed store of capacity for error.
Hostile Assimilation Drives and the Spectre of Paranoia
The paranoiac, it is said, lives in a delusional system unfounded upon
any objective circumstances; he believes that people talk about him, make
remarks and allusions, hatch plots, are disposed to be hostile toward him.
Is this entirely and solely just imaginary make-believe, a psychic fata
morgana? For is not society really hostile toward each and every single
individual? Are not the drives, and the introgenic drives in their crude
form, all directed against one another? For is the idea so entirely absurd
that every one of us has to serve as an object of malevolent gossip, of
degradation, of being made ridiculous? And does one not lie in wait for
us to falter, in order then to ventilate hostile feelings with loud laughter?
Is not bellum omnium contra omnia an actual fact? Has not man, more than
any other creature, brought cruelty and bestiality to expression in war
and revolution, inquisition and exploitation? When society behaves in a
friendly and well-bred manner, however, is not this friendliness merely
an acquired one? Does not the demeanor of human beings resemble that of the
skilled entrepreneur who fleeces his customers, but in such a way that
they imagine that they were being stroked?
When the hostility of the environment has seized someone, when it has
shaken him and brought .him outside the path of reason, then he becomes
a paranoiac who lapses into fear and terror and in his dread crosses over
to the offensive of the desperate.
Freud's keen eye let him see something of this connection. In his
work, Concerning Several Neurotic Mechanisms of Jealousy, Paranoia, and
Homosexuality, he says about a patient:
His material referred to the attack...totally unconscious coquetry ...
the hostility which the persecuted person finds in others is also a
reflection of his own hostile feelings against the others.
And this is true; Not only are the environment's hostile impulses
directed against him, but rather he himself, member of the family of man, is
permeated by hostility against the others. In the inversion, this impulse
must appear as one that consecrates itself to the role of redeemer. This
ambivalence of emotion comes forth at its most conspicuous precisely in
the case of the paranoiac who saves the world and murders people.
Ambivalence in general is the reflection of the struggle between
one's own impulses and tendencies and those that are newly incorporated.
Does this realization by the paranoiac come about only through his keen
view, only through an unconscious but usual sensory course of acquired
knowledge about the actual hostile environmental character, or must we
understand this unconscious and mind-boggling perception rather as the
result of the ubiquitously emanating, flowing, introgenic activity?
Surely the latter is correct.
Even in a close room, no thinking mind can remain unperturbed in the
midst of war and revolution or in the midst of mutually self-destructive
population, such as particularly in times of inflation and speculation.
The mutual interaction, the intrinsic deficiency of boundaries between
different personalities makes itself particularly noticeable in the
limited sphere of family, neighborhood, or city.
The paranoiac who likes all the mentally ill seemingly forfeited the
protective mechanism that shapes the personality into relative, though
in no way absolute individuality, succumbs to this intrusion of the foreign
(as far as something can be foreign within the meaning of introgenesis)
and hostile drive of the power of assimilation. The depersonification of
the schizophrenic or the split of the paranoiac follows: a primal I,
self-affirming on the widest possible scale, wants to incorporate
everything into itself as world savior, as the unique one, as God
himself, as unbridled primal power (introgenic power) solely affirmative of
itself, and at the same time a living being, persecuted, beset by all sides,
barely saving himself from foreign assassinations.
The psychic barriers that offered resistance to the absorption of
foreign greedy instinctual forces have become slack. The mentally ill is
depersonified because he absorbs foreign matter on a significantly larger
scale; he is however already less accessible to sensory intake. Someone
speaks and he misunderstands, whatever he sees is uncertain; certain for
him, however, are the figments of his fantasies, his inner voices, as
well as his telepathic impressions.
His ego affirms itself almost to the fullest extent in the instinctive
urge: the demand of the introgenic drive to incorporate everything, to
influence everything - that he personifies, while he imagines himself
and poses as a great world power; at the same time, however, he senses
unlike anyone else, the deployment of all world powers against him, and then
there is no possible escape in this world - and perhaps death alone
brings it. (We know that death does not bring any rescue, for it is a
capitulation to the oppressive forces of the environment).
In this connection "we do not have much to add concerning the
homosexual components of the paranoiac's urge to life. In conformity with our
interpretation this component is the primary tendency of the assimilative
power which strives to transact according to the economic principle similis
similia. This tendency endeavors to break through again" in
delusion; but the boundaries have already become rigid, and the
ferocious beats itself in the cage of the imprisoned personality.
We also want to try finally to understand as no longer senseless the
remarkable and ever-recurring phenomenon of the illness of schizophrenia.
The almost constant assertion of patients that one influences them,
induces them, telepathizes them: is this assertion to be understood as
entirely senseless merely because it comes from the mouths of madmen? Or
is not the constant recurrence of the assertion on the part of thousands
upon thousands of patients an obligation to ponder over this complaint,
and to attempt to pursue its cause? When one after another asserts that
his thoughts are besieged from the outside, and when we, without giving
it much thought, let these thousands, one after the other, go the way of
the lunatic asylum solely because of the madness of their assertion, then
possibly we, who are unable to see the partial truth in the remarkable
repetition of a phenomenon, stand accused of a rigid psyche as veil.
A human being feels bereft. His former ability to feel his thoughts,
memories, and wishes as his own inner realm goes to pieces. That which
shaped him into a personality, that which kept away his mental possession,
as it seemed to him, from the glance of others, this ability floats
away, and vague thoughts of an origin unknown to him stream into his own. No
longer do they trickle in slowly as before - the dam is washed away, they
flood inside in disorder. In vain he tries to defend himself. Even in
this catastrophe he struggles to differentiate his own from the foreign, to
designate the foreign and hostile as such. He implores, shouts, rages,
and all his assertions are in our eyes a certain sign of illness and of the
necessity for his internment.
Thus the outcry of a human being who has swallowed a corrosive poison
and who writhes in pain and moaning might as well be looked upon with equal
justification as the real phenomenon of the poisoning. This is not the
phenomenon as such, however, but rather only the loud complaint about
the unbearable quality of the phenomenon: its magnification and its pain.
The feeling that the tissue of one's thoughts is woven through with
foreign pessimistic threads is, moreover, precisely a sign of insight,
the insight into the depersonification. If the reestablishment of the
barriers cannot happen, if the insight is lost, then the derangement begins, a
chaos that paralyzes the will and the imagination.
Side by side with the feeling of being influenced by others, of having
to absorb the foreign in intolerable doses, there exists a very similar
sensation; that of being observed by others, of being in a position to
protect the inner self from the psychic eye of strangers: one whispers
to him; one telepathizes him; thus he has absorbed the foreign.
The other means that his thoughts are discovered by others, have been
absorbed by others. The first is the schizophrenic type, the second the
paranoiac. If the barriers of his psychic personality have broken to
pieces, then his property has become common property. He who is slain in
the field is delivered up to all marauders. One exhausts his thoughts,
one leaves him nothing he may still deem his own, one pursues him with
glances, his psychic realm is defenseless and at the mercy of plunder;
he defends himself, tries to close himself up into himself in order, if
possible, to hide by exterior means the secret, the protection of which
an individual ranks as his sacred right. Autism is an attempt to protect
oneself from depersonification with extreme measures.
He shuns people because he is not certain of being able to conceal his
thoughts from them, he senses the foreign glance as piercingly
scrutinizing and persecuting, he defends himself desperately.
Not only does the thought pattern of the schizophrenic and the paranoiac
become comprehensible from the standpoint of introgenesis, but so do the
patterns of ... thought and feeling of the neurotic, hysteric, and the
manic-depressive. The entire cycle of psychic disturbances which do not
rest on crude ... anatomical foundations is embraced thereby. And when
the most diverse forms of thought disturbance, which otherwise find no
explanation, each singly and all together fit into one formula and are
explicable according to one formula, is this, then, not a sign that the
trodden path is well-chosen?
The compulsive neurotic with all his compulsive inversions and
compulsive thoughts casts spells. His witchcraft concerns the most important
moments of existence: life and death. Thus compulsion neurosis and its inversion
are nothing else but a black and white magic. He conjures constantly and
hastens to carry out counter-magic. Because the thought concerns the
death of someone close to him, the counter thought must annul the first thought.
He wants to curse and is forced to bless by his moral imperative, his
superego. He curses and blesses because he is confronted by an insoluble
dilemma; to wish someone put out of the way (or to see him done away
with), yet this someone was already absorbed into his own psyche, was
"incorporated" , and now he will naturally protest the
annihilation of his
origin, the living father or mother. Here I would like to cite some
lines by Anna Freud; "We have no doubt about the origin of these inner
voices, or of the conscience. It is the continuation of the parental voice which
now functions from the inside instead of from the outside as before. The
child has swallowed a piece of father and mother, or rather, the commands
and prohibitions it has received from them, likewise swallowed and
transformed into a permanent part of his own being."
From the standpoint of introgenesis, in this theory of
parents" , a kernel of truth is contained, as it is in the
collective unconscious of C.G. Jung, in the universal unconscious of
parapsychologists, and in the cosmic soul of pantheists (or, more
It is precisely the circumstance that parents, in the introgenic sense,
are "incorporated" into the psyche of their child on the one
hand, but that they can be most disturbing for the human being's expansive
self-affirmation on the other hand - this condition is at fault in that
compulsive neurotics, people with a highly developed conscience, that is,
with well-"incorporated" parents, have become ill precisely over
the magic of life and death of parents.
Yet, it is a nearly insoluble problem that someone may be the destroyer
in relation to himself (or rather to a part of his self) or that he should
even so much as think of himself as the destroyer. (I will make some
additional comments about that in connection with melancholia).
According to the introgenic drive, the human being wants to consume
these old, disturbing, no longer useful roots, his parents, instead of
incorporating them introgenically as before. He wants to rule the arena
alone, if possive to appropriate even further the power of command over
the store-up assimilation force. But the "incorporated"
father - to address Anna Freud - cannot wish nor aim at his own destruction, the
destruction of the living father. From this schism both formulas result;
the thought of destruction and death, and the counterthought, to
annihilate the first one. But since a born thought exists as a force, a
physical quantity, then it must be attempted repeatedly and increasingly
more painfully to enfeeble it through another thought, or through another
action. Black magic must be followed by white magic, and in order to be
on an entirely sure footing, the formula of benediction is repeated over
and over again. Thus repetition compulsion, compulsion mania originates; and
whether or not that which is brought into the thinking process is really
elicited and enfeebled by the powers of benediction - this uncertainty
is the cause of the compulsive neurotic's doubt. Have I really
carried out the ceremony? And the formula is repeated.
Thus the ceremonial originates; inasmuch as prayer is also a formula
that brings a benediction, a white magic, it is a substitute for compulsive
neurotic transacting; more correctly stated, religion substitutes for
compulsion neurosis, a connection recognized by S. Freud. Thus compulsion
neurosis, like other "thought disorders" , is convinced by
the omnipotence of ideas" , and, moreover, nourished by it. Thinking can bring
cure or harm and, as a result of the defined condition, can affect ail sorts of
things, but most easily those nearest and dearest.
Is the "omnipotence of ideas" a totally diseased, an
fallacious concept? Whoever has read my work about "The Energetic
of the Psyche and the Physical Existence of the World of Thoughts"
attentively, will entertain no doubt as to the kernel of this idea.
Somewhere the compulsive neurotic is right. That is not to say by any
chance that white and black magic are scientific methods; nevertheless,
the good will of human beings is a beneficial power, envy a crippling one.
This is known by everyone who has to appear before a crowd, for instance,
an artist who plays for disapproving listeners. Does not a healing power
lie intuitively in the fervent prayer of many for a seriously ill person?
The world of consciousness of others streams into a human being in the
waking state or in dreams and acts destructively or nourishingly.
The ancient practices of magicians which are still customary even today
(such as in the Balkans and in Tibet) are transactions equivalent to
those we find among compulsive neurotics: one kind of transaction or idea
brings misfortune, another one benediction.
This belief is reflected over and over again in all religions, as it is
in superstition, in primitive thought and in the thinking process of the
The Dual Struggle within the Germ
The struggle for assimilation proceeds with violence as early as in the
fertilized germ. The plasma characteristics of the mother and the father
grapple with each other. It is a dual fight for the attributes, and
first of all for the victory of the masculine or the feminine in the embryo.
And when one of them has prevailed, then the other one does not stop
rebelling within the individual throughout the whole of his life.
Under conditions that approximate psychoses, the dual struggle will
again become apparent as a split of the personality.
Much can be regarded as a basis for the split belief and disbelief,
vacillation between love for the father and for the mother, between hate
and love. But we must expect the enormous split in the inner life of man
without preconception at a place where nature itself has intrinsically
drawn the great line of separation; in the division into the masculine
and the feminine.
This split touches all bases.
The split within neurotics is the continuation of the struggle which the
fighting powers have carried on in the embryonic bioplasm.
It is precisely for this reason that all alert analysts find a latent
homosexual tendency in the inner lives of their patients; except that it
is not right to regard this tendency as a concomitant phenomenon. The
split of man into his two original, inimical camps is the basis for the
uncertainty of his role, of sexual confusion, of doubt, and of compulsion.
The origins of the split are to be sought where the double principle of
the decisive fight was determined: in the embryonic overpowering of one
of the two by the other.
Sublimation and Abasement
We know about the concept of sublimation through Freudian theory. An
inner need can be compensated for (as seen ethically or esthetically) by a
loftier inclination or activity. A sadist can establish himself as a
surgeon; an infantile interest in feces can be sublimated by the
sculptor's occupation (Freud). Such cases imply no loss of
assimilation strength, and are, therefore, to be morally affirmed.
We must propose a differentiation through the introduction of the
concept of abasement, which we likewise understand to be the transformation of
an inclination but, from the standpoint of moral worth, not in the ennobling
sense (the word sublimation is indicative of positive moral worth), but
rather in the opposite direction: therefore; abasement. The conversion
of an impulse toward homogeneity into hate, anger, envy, brutality—that
is abasement. It means a loss of collective introgenic capacity.
The fact that the secret origin of exaggerated jealousy is a repressed
homosexual tendency was already recognized by Freud and Abraham. But
hate, and anger as well, and every sadistic emotion in general, is also a
repressed impulse for the homogeneous, one that has not reached
Compare with my work on the Tolstoy's Kreutzer Sonata, that will
appear this year in Imago.
The Hatred of Nations
In light of these presentations, I would like here to consider here one
of the most searing of ethical problems-the problem of the hatred of
nations. A nation as a whole rages, hates, becomes ferocious and frenzied. Group
hatred and group enmity, like individual hatred, are aspects of an
unconscious but active drive for the homogeneous.
This unconquered impulse for the homogeneous lives in very many. It
expresses itself within a single person through sadistic emotions against
man and animal in the environment, at times touched by sorrow, at times
tinged with glee. The hidden leaning toward the homogeneous seeks a
substitute for the forbidden object and strives for transformation. A
husband who has not overcome his impulse for the homogeneous is
inordinately jealous, torments his wife, and often hates the imaginary
rival; yet, fundamentally, he has just this very man in mind and thus
displaces the emotion and the object with another emotion and another object.
The same process of abasement also goes on in the unconscious of a
collective. A member of a nation appears to another nation as somewhat
heteromorphous. With great inner relief, the stifling feeling of the
secret but unobliterated penchant for the homogeneous, finds a substitute
object in the representative of a foreign nation. Hatred for that which
is of the same sex, yet heteromorphous, is a permuted, unsurmounted impulse
for the homogeneous; instead of the other sex, another nation; and in
place of the inclination, hatred. Thus the sadism of one nation against
another nation is an unsurmounted, accumulated and equi-directed leaning
toward the homogeneous among many individuals.
The metamorphosis of a homosexual tendency into a sadistic one is an
The sadism in the life of a nation-collective shows itself at its most
conspicuous in militarism. War games, exercises in stabbing, striking,
shooting, are legitimized satisfactions of the sadistic needs of the
Residence in barracks at an age of strong sexual desires, communal
living among juveniles, men who sleep in common, are confined together for
months and years - this is a tribute to the same passion. In barracks the
unconscious tendency also breaks out often into a conscious one and
leads to acts of pederasty.
From the symbolism of dreams we know that a saber, a revolver, a rifle,
a cannon are altogether obvious sexual symbols. Stabbing through, piercing
through, shooting through, are symbolic acts. directed against men,
however, they are symbolizations of homosexual activity. The sexual act
is replaced by a sadistic one, exactly as it is also replaced in the
private life of a single person in the case of an unconquered unconscious
Nations have their emblems, which are intrinsically symbols of conscious
and unconscious national characteristics. Collective sadism contains a
collective emblem. Most nations have beasts of prey as national emblems.
Lions with open jaws, eagles with spread-out claws, are the most beloved
Corresponding to man's unconscious bisexual nature, countless
both heterosexual and homosexual symbols. Many emblems have a double face.
The two-headed eagle, as well as the Janus-face are to be understood as
signs of dual sexuality, or as an expression of dual emotion.
In the interest of common nationhood, the homosexual drive becomes
displaced, being directed against the racially foreign, and in times of
peace this tendency is content, as stated with the barracks surrogate -
and not always just as surrogate.
The developmental process led to the transformation from "love
thy neighbour" to "hate the stranger" . But hate is the
same attraction as
love. When it is claimed that war and hostility between neighboring
nations are exclusively economic in origin, then such an origin should
be demonstrable in the reciprocal relationship between Turks and Armenians.
The Turk who attacks and stabs the effeminate Armenian, is reminiscent
of the jealous man who murders his victim.
Things do not differ very much in the century-old enmity between Germans
and the French. Here the wish to penetrate to the core of the foreign
land and to avenge oneself, appears to be the sole motive. An actual
contradiction of economic interests between Germany and France is hard
to prove, yet the enmity exists.
The inclination for the homogeneous within the unconscious of the single
individual, becomes a common channel and is directed toward the
"similar but foreign" .
All writing, reading, and lecturing in the cause of peace has been
fruitless up to now. Why? No matter how much the proclaimers for
reconciliation between nations may preach, they will accomplish no more
than the physician who advises a sufferer to leave his illness and get
well, without having solved the riddle of feeling and conduct.
Psychic Values and Introgenesis
A work of art must have the faculty to assimilate: it is a power of
assimilation, accumulated and transmitted to "lifeless"
nature ~ often only in token, symbolic form.
A work of art utilizes energies that come from the outside - light for
the sculpture, muscular energy for music), acts through them, and remains
The work of art has acquired the power of psychic assimilation from the
creative psyche, and remains unchanged itself.
The concept of the creative artist - that is, his psychic energy - was
brought to his work; the work retains this energy, acts upon thousands,
evokes an image and a mood within them, transfigures the mental realm of
the observer according to the idea of the artist. The artist himself may
no longer be alive - or, what is equivalent, live in another world of
ideas - but his work, without diminution, is continuously effective. It
is really like a miracle in which five thousand had enough bread, yet the
baskets are still full.
The law of the preservation of energy is correct only in the imaginarily
separate sphere of inorganic nature. The vital processes connote an
appreciation or a depreciation (at death) of assimilation value, that
is, of the quantity of energy in the world. And concerning this, the
introgenic energy of an idea has the possibility through stone, through
printer's ink or whatever else, by means of a one-time addition of
mechanical energy, to produce a result that disappears only as slowly as
the decomposition of the material in which it is preserved, and meanwhile
causes an extremely significant introgenic effect in someone receptive
On observation of this distinctive characteristic of introgenic activity
by the vital processes, and even more, of physical activity, as opposite
to other forms of energy we are compelled to apply moral value-judgements,
and to contend; whatever is lost in introgenic worth by dying, is
consequently all the more precious in life; whatever pos-sesses the
ability to procreate itself - and thereby parti-cipates in the
"immortality of the seed" - is of increasing value to the
introgenic wealth of the world.
Yet all this, as said earlier, is overshadowed by comparison with the introgenic ability of those endowed with the talent for spiritual
The Criterion for Ethical Values and Its Determination
What is evil? Evil means assimilation of the superior by the inferior.
Evil means a failure - Beethoven's nephew, who sponged at the
expense of genius.
Diseases are evil, as is the action of bacteria. Also death is evil.
Relative evil is the assimilation of something that could have been
replaced by the inferior - that which has a lesser capability for the
production of lasting values [these last being defined as] accumulated
powers of assimilation.
Thus the eating of meat is relatively evil. The assimilation drive, in
and of itself, is neither good nor evil: it becomes good when sublimation
takes place, but when abasement occurs, it becomes evil.
Mean is the embezzlement of life from something that is meant to serve
the assimilation only to a limited extent. It is mean, because the greater
portion is thus condemned to go the contrary way of useless devaluation.
Thus the consumption of bird tongues, for which birds are killed, is meant
mean, and relatively evil. Equally mean is the activity of bacteria who,
for want of a small portion of the human substance which they need,
destroy a whole organism—that is, diminish its assimilation capacity
The usurer who destroys the livelihood of a person for a few pennies, is
just as mean.
If it is possible to calculate the energetic values of an introgenic
event mathematically, also nothing stands in the way of determining ethical
values in mathematical quantities.
Moral Instinct as a Partial Introgenic Drive
It is the moral instinct in the human being which takes this evaluation
into consideration intuitively.
Is there such an instinct? According to the chapter on the inimical
powers of assimilation and paranoia, it could appear as though no place for
moral sensibility existed: as though the assimilation drive, the drive to
expand, the drive to embody, to destroy, left no room for compassion.
But consider the following illustration. A child climbs onto the railing
of a bridge, takes a few steps, and falls into the water. Fright and
horror grips those who see it.
If man is a thoroughly egotistical being, how does he get the feeling of
horror? Several of those present even make the attempt to rescue the
child, some of them at the risk of their own lives.
I stated: there is only one drive-the drive for assimilation. Thus
even the moral instinct is a partial component of this drive.
I would like to illustrate this fractional part in the form of a
triangle: sexual instinct-instinct for self-preservation-moral
One could determine graphically the place of any character among these
The morally defective character adjoins the line which connects the pole
of the sexual to that of the self-preservative instinct; we find the
autistic character on the line connecting the self-preservative instinct
and the moral instinct; the altruistic character is situated near the
line of the sexual instinct-moral instinct. A graphic character line
cuts diagonally across the triangle. Even the sexual instinct and the
instinct for self-preservation, rather than being independent instincts, are
partial components of the primal drive; one acts in the interest of
ontogenesis-self-preservative instinct, the second in the interest of the
collective-moral instinct, the third in the interest of phylogenesis-sexual instinct.
The Subjective and the Objective Criterion
There is no contradiction of the introgenic principle in the contention
that a partial drive acts in the interest of the collective.
Inherent in the drive for assimilation is an egotistical feature, but at
the same time also an altruistic one - because each assimilation demands
the consumption and the renunciation of one's own power, and
because introgenesis always connotes a reciprocal process.
Someone loves in another that which is similar to himself, that which
the introgenic power formed alike in both. It is of course natural that the
image he carries within himself - and which is consequently a part of
himself - resembles the beloved object.
A man loves his child because he has produced it from that which is his
own, because part of him is embodied in the child, and because the
permanent influence, his upbringing, has made of the child an offshoot
of himself. What he really loves is himself.
When someone mourns a deceased life's companion, he thus mourns
that part of himself that was embodied by him within the deceased through
introgenesis; and the psychic part of the deceased which he himself had
embodied, also mourns about itself its origin.
The subjective criterion of compassion and that of moral instincts
especially, is expressed by the affinity for that which is created alike
in proportion to the greater or lesser perfection of the similarity. The
persons on the bridge were terrified because it was a human being that
fell into the water; had it been an animal, the terror would have been
slighter. But had it been one's own child, the terror would have
been extraordinarily great.
The latter emotional increment would not be justified by the objective
criterion. The objective criterion is stipulated upon the quantity of
introgenic abundance; if this abundance increases, the cause for the
increment was objectively good, but if it decreases, it was evil.