« on: April 12, 2012, 06:22:13 PM »
Here it is a related post on this TMT thing:QuoteQuoteQuote
May it be that "aggression" and "Thanatos" are not necessarily essential elements of human nature, but instead it is the human being that, afraid of the inevitability of one's death and destruction, adopts an aggressive attitude trying to find some "relief" in killing other people -- that is to say, try to reduce one's existential angst by taking an active role instead of waiting passively to die?
something, I guess you're thinking along the lines of the above poster; I'd like to point out though that, as far as Freud is concerned, the "aggressiveness" and "Thanatos" are innate in humans -- that is to say, instinctive -- and humans can not help but "display" them, just like the rest of the universe, after all. You, on the other hand, tend to attribute a great deal of importance to the human consciousness, rendering aggression and the waging of war a "choice" that the humans make consciously.
But after all, that's the whole point, isn't it?
To be sure, Marcuse worked with Freud's Eros only, disregarding Thanatos - as far as engaging in war and being aggressive "consciously," there's nothing strange or unusual about it (think soldiers in war) - what was being discussed here, I believe, was whether Thanatos is to be called an "instinct" or not ..
So if I get this right, this means killing others (murder) in order not to kill ourselves (suicide) in order to keep up with lack of life meaning and the conscious awareness of our deaths? And that the deaths of the "other" serves to establish a symbolic immortality buffer for one of the parties?
Kind of like the child that is forced to concede its physicality and "trade it in" for a symbolic sense of self (i.e., self-esteem)?
we fly - I'm confused - how does the parallel you draw between the "symbolic immortality" buffer and the "trading-in" of physicality for a symbolic sense of self on the part of the child?
eli - in regard to the "symbolic sense of self" on the part of child - after s'he trades-in "physicality," as Becker puts it in his words - you mention, you've quoted yourself within another of your own posts something interesting. Here it is:
In the depressive position, the infant is able to experience others as whole, which radically alters object relationships from the earlier phase. Before the depressive position, a good object is not in any way the same thing as a bad object. It is only in the depressive position that polar qualities can be seen as different aspects of the same object. Increasing nearness of good and bad brings a corresponding integration of ego. [...] In a development termed the "primal split," the infant becomes aware of separateness from the mother. This awareness allows guilt to arise in response to the infant's previous aggressive phantasies when bad was split from good. The mother's temporary absences allow for continuous restoration of her "as an image of representation" in the infant mind. Symbolic thought may now arise, and can only emerge once access to the depressive position has been obtained. With the awareness of the primal split, a space is created in which the symbol, the symbolized, and the experiencing subject co-exist. History, subjectivity, interiority, and empathy all become possible. [...]
In working through depressive anxiety, projections are withdrawn, allowing the other more autonomy, reality, and a separate existence. The infant, whose destructive phantasies were directed towards the bad mother who frustrated, now begins to realize that bad and good, frustrating and satiating, it is always the same mother [...]
From this developmental milestone come a capacity for sympathy, responsibility to and concern for others, and an ability to identify with the subjective experience of people one cares about. With the withdrawal of the destructive projections, repression of the aggressive impulses takes place. The child allows caretakers a more separate existence, which facilitates increasing differentiation of inner and outer reality [...] When all goes well, the developing child is able to comprehend that external others are autonomous people with their own needs and subjectivity.
Now, as to the "symbolic immortality" buffer - as I understand it - and I would prefer to borrow the example one of our fellow posters (copain, I believe) gave in relation to the subject some days ago - with it basically meaning, killing other people who may only be marginally "connected," "associated," "responsible" for what tragedy happened to the others (to put it bluntly, "When You Can't Beat the Donkey, You Beat the Saddle.")
GYalo - while it's true that wanting to be "God on Earth" is crazy, as Caesonia tells him, that's we do on a societal level, when dealing with the mortality issue - with the "artist on the top" orchestrating the whole thing (I think Bion says the leader is usually a man with marked paranoid trends, and if per chance, the presence of an enemy is not immediately obvious to the group, the next best thing is for the group is to choose a leader to whom it is!)
So, all the wars started and carried on for years on end, wars fought over and beyond what that financial rationale would guarantee/justify, with blood being shed 'in vain'. I can actually see here that there's a theory (called TMT) that maintains that all human behavior is mostly motivated by the fear of mortality [...]
[...] George W. Bush's approval rating jumped almost 50% following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US. The tragedy made US citizens aware of their mortality, and Bush provided an antidote to these existential concerns by promising to bring justice to the terrorist group responsible for the attacks (albeit he waged war against Iraq too, not having much to do with the attacks, or actually having any of those WMDs)
With Caligula, Hitler (between-you-and-me, this TMT I told you about, would have never been spelled out were it not for Hitler), and Stalin, of course, things got too far ... with their absolute and unbridled power that corrupted these people to the point of killing literally millions of other people (remember Stalin with that quote?)