(BookAncestors pages: 41 – 55) Structures of the Animal Brain.
I. Genes and
The concept of
genotropism entails the fact that genes influence human choice behavior. Even
though they may be identified as entities, genes exist in groups because
evolution favors cooperation. Within gene groups it is possible to detect
specific needs that function as mechanisms of screening and selection. Needs
are the intermedialy principles between genes and behavior. Similarly, needs
are not single entities either; they too exist in groups. Needs co-exist with
one another in relationships. In fact, both needs and genes are relational.
system each need comprises a polarity of positive and negative tendencies.
Needs also group together in polarities to form larger wholes called
instinctual drives. The instinctual drive is a synthesis of conceptually
distinguishable needs. Altogether, tendencies, needs, and drives constellate
relatively independent, and they induce respective kinds of behavior. They are
virtually ahistorical in the sense that they have gained evolutionary
stability. Drives are like habits in the Darwinian tradition, namely, repeated
patterns that are constant but not rigidly fixed (Sheldrake 1988, 13). As is
clear in the German literature, instinctual drives (Trieb) are to be
distinguished from instincts (Instinkt). Instincts pertain to animals, drives
to humans. Instincts are ego-centric, stereotyped, and genetically programmed
patterns of behavior.
The idea of
instinctual drives is common to the older biolog ically-oriented theorists, and
it has been replaced by equivalent concepts in some contemporary schools of
thought. For example, psychologists who employ learning theory prefer such
terms as “primary reinforccrs” or “motivation,” and students of animal behavior
speak of “action-specific energies”. Whatever the term, however, the meaning
remains the same.
philosophical equivalent of the drive is the concept of the act, as developed
particularly in process thought (Langer 1967, 275, 291,300). The act is an
indivisible whole, the potentiality for which is the impulse. Relations between
acts are internal. Acts have a rhythmic build-up of energy, a consummation, and
a closing phase. Acts are relational, motivational, and rhythmic. The same
could be said of drives, whose potentialities are the needs and tendencies.
In accord with
evolutionaiy thinking nature is a field of change and is fundamentally and
inseparably whole at all levels. The difference between drive and instinct
presupposes the fact that nature consists of a hierarchy; these are structures
of activity at their respective levels in the interrelated and inseparable
universe. The lower the animal is nested on the hierarchy the more it is
controlled strictly and instinctually by genetic information. Humankind
occupies a higher niche and is influenced by drives, which are more malleable
by learning and by traumas, as well as less stereotyped. However, drives
correspond to instincts in the sense that they share similar mechanisms. When
humans and animals have the same genetic link, a homology is obtained.
Szondi has a
four-fold drive system. The shape of the drive theory came to him in a dream,
sometime between 1936 and 1938 in Budapest. Having worked with instinctual drive material for many years, the
dream clarified the harmonious and dialectical order of the system. By 1939 he
had worked out the drive theory systematically. It would be expounded in The
Analysis of Destiny (1944), Experimental Diagnosis of Drives (1960), The
Disintegrated Drive (1980) and others.
The drive is a
synthetic whole, comprising the respective needs and tendencies which are
inherited. A tendency is determined by a gene or genes received from either
mother or father, a need by genes from both parents. At a minimum, every drive
has at least four genes. It is more likely, however, that drives have polygenic
sources, because of the fact that drives have evolved as normal,
survival-oriented, balancing systems.
The four Szondian
drives are (1) contact, (2) sexual, (3) paroxysmal, and (4) the ego. They are
implicated in their corresponding psychiatric disorders and equivalents: (1)
manic-depression, (2) sexual abnormality, (3) epilepsy and hysteria, and (4)
mental disorders in biological drives, Szondi can show that illness is a
disharmony of basic needs. Each drive yields a continuum of
abnormal behavior. Each drive has its respective childhood manifestation and
conforms to a specific character typology. In times of crisis drives may split
and destabilize, provoking tension and conflict within the organism. The
general function of psychopathology is to resolve unconscious conflicts through
abnormal channels (Szondi 1952, 27).
IL. The Contact Drive
person who investigated animal behavior as a source of data for human conduct
was the Hungarian psychoanalyst Imre Hermann. He saw that ape children spend
the first few months of their extra-uterine lives clinging to their mothers’
bodies and grooming their own. These observed patterns of behavior had two
aspects. One was the erotogeneity of the hand, and the other was a mother-child
dual-union (Hermann 1936, 349).
saw a grasping reflex in the hands of human infants. This reflex enables babies
to grasp objects tightly. He hypothesized that humans inherit this grasping
reflex from their primate ancestors. At birth, both pre- and post-natally,
mother and child share a dual-union. When the infant feels a threat, he or she
grips the mother for security.
followed Freud by interpreting these data as sexual, but Szondi regarded them
differently and made a seminal conceptual contribu tion. Szondi conceived the
grasping patterns as an independent system called the contact drive. The
grasping reflex is the common genetic link between humans and animals which
makes contact homologous. The contact drive may be defined as the drive to make
and maintain relation ships.
behavior begins with the newborn seeking and finding the mother’s breast during
the first year of life. As the baby realizes the nature of the relationship
with the mother, usually after the first year, the grasping reflex in his or
her hands begins to diminish. Gradually, the child separates from the mother,
seeking and finding new objects and relation ships in the environment. This
rhythm unfolds throughout all life. Of the four drives contact is basic,
because we live in relationships.
drive comprises two needs. One is the need for attach ment, and in Szondi’s
diagnostic system it is designated as factor “m”. This need must be satisfied
originally with the mother, other family members, and then friends. The
attachment need contains two polar
toward bonding and the other toward separating. The attachment need is
satisfied by the rhythm of bonding and being alone. Contact-bonding is the
biological tendency behind the psychoanalytic oral phase and contact-separating
behind the impulse toward solitude.
The other need
is that of searching for and acquiring objects, and it is called the “d”
factor. In order to develop the child must go beyond the parents and acquire
new relationships. This need for acquisition comprises dual tendencies, one
toward seeking and one toward clinging. Con tact-seeking involves change and
openness to novelty, and contact-clinging indicates control or appreciation of
the past. The psychoanalytic phase of anality expresses the clinging tendency.
interpersonal experience has a rhythmic flow pattern of acquisition and
attachment. Relations are sought and established, renewed, expanded, or
surpassed. During infancy, the oral and anal phases do not discharge erotic
pleasure, as Freud emphasized, but they simply express the limitations of childhood
(Szondi 1960, 188). Contact-seeking and -bonding also underlie the smile, which
every baby does in response to the configuration of the mother’s forehead,
nose, and eyes in movement (Spitz 1965, 89-91). Since babies born blind and
deaf smile as well, then the impulse to smile is due to the contactual presence
of the mother rather than a purely sensory stimulus.
derived from animal studies, published mainly after World War Two, veri! the
existence of the contact drive, even though Szondi’s name is often omitted. For
example, Konrad Lorenz found that among animals, personality emerges when two
individuals participate in the life of the other, particularly in the parental
caring of the young (1966, 138). His student, Ircnaeus Eibl-Eibesfeldt,
confirmed the drive to make and maintain relationships, based upon neonatal
contact-seeking for security and parental caring (1974, 128). The contact drive
is also affirmed in the neo-Darwin argument that females select as mates those
males who will be good providers, that is, who will both procreate and raise
theory emphasizes the role of transitional objects and phenomena in early
childhood. The transitional object is a thing, such as a teddy bear, that
serves as an extension of the mother’s breast, during separating phases
(Winnicott 1951). The object creates an imaginary bridge between inside and
outside, so that the child can explore the environment and still feel bonded to
the mother. The transitional
phenomenon is a
ritual, such as a bedtime story, which bridges waking and sleeping or, in the
baby’s mind, living and dying.
objects and phenomena are certainly real, as any parent can attest, and the
concept of the contact drive grounds these in biological nature. They are
evolutionary stable mechanisms that facilitate the contact development of the
organism. Transitional phenomena illustrate the fact that symbolization is a
biological function, whereby ritual establishes an equilibrium between separate
the contact drive to be implicated in a major group of pathologies, namely,
depression, addiction, and related disorders. Whereas in American psychology
mania and depression are defined as disturbances of affect, Szondi treats them
as moods. The difference is that an affect has an object, a target. Affects are
organized as actions toward objects; they have intentionality. A mood is a
state of being with neither object nor intentionality. Since human experience
is relational, a mood expresses one’s relatedness, one’s being in the world.
The symptoms of
mania are well-known: restlessness, hyperactivism, sleep impairment, and so on.
The manic personality desires to bond but the seeking has become futile. The
hyperactivism conceals a search for a perfect relation, a maternal presence,
often accompanied by breathless phases of elation and yet a sense of failure,
which may result in death.
the depressive has found an object or relation, but it has been lost, perhaps
by disappointment or death. Unable to acquire a new one, the depressive hangs
on vainly to the lost object or relation. Depression is, essentially, futile
clinging, and it is this that brings about the characteristic ambivalence.
Depression is polar in the sense that it defends against mania; likewise, mania
defends against depression.
The two basic
aspects of the contact drive illumine some of the corresponding types of
marriage choice. Depressives may be attracted to one another, as well as to
manic and sadistic personalities (Szondi 1956, 239). The sadistic partners may
be alcoholic. Alcoholism is classified here as a contact disorder, whereby one
needs an unbroken dual-union with the mother. Ironically, an abstinent daughter
of an epileptic may choose a marriage partner who drinks; or the selected mate
may become an alcoholic while married to a tee-totaler (Szondi 1963a, 519-520).
Similarly, manic personalities marry one another, depressive, or hermaphroditic
types. These patterns are examples of genotropism, and they may be classified
psychological exogamy, that is, marrying a gene relative as an alternative to
notion of the contact drive bears upon the debate about incest. Although the
incest taboo is not strictly universal, there is no species in nature that
engages in inbreeding on a regular basis (Bischof 1972, 16-17). Incest
avoidance is commonly formed among animals that live in bonds and recognize one
another as individuals. Routine attach ment behavior evokes a fear of incest
and an inclination toward exogamy. Contact-bonding tends to generate
contact-seeking. In contrast, the desire for incest originates in the sexual
drive and involves an impulse toward fusion or identification.
III. The Sexual
Contact must be
distinguished from sexuality, even though psychoanal ysis disagrees. Szondi
assigns priority to contact and argues that a relationship must be established
before sexuality can be experienced. This parallels the fact that in the animal
kingdom sexuality supports but does not create bonds. The contact drive
establishes relationships, and these are reaffirmed from time to time by sexual
recognizes two needs in the sexual drive. One, called eros, is the need for
love, tenderness, femininity. It is designated factor “h”. The need is
satisfied positively in a loving relationship with another person and
negatively in a collective. The other need is that of aggression and it
involves dominance, muscular action, masculinity. Designated the “s” factor, it
is the impulse to control another person or to manipulate oneself.
emphasizes that normal sexual experience combines both the erotic and
aggressive needs. This psychological union presupposes the verifiable
biological link between sex and aggression in neurology (MacLean 1973, 17). The
same connection has been made in animal studies, except Lorenz (1966) tends to
confuse the meaning of aggression, sometimes calling it evil and sometimes good
or life-affirming (Szondi
sexual pathologies are well-known. Some disturbances of eros are homosexuality,
hermaphroditism, transvestitism, and erotomania. Acts of pleasure are performed
as substitutes for normal sexual intercourse,
often to a high
degree of narcissism. Marriage choices may reveal attraction between
hermophrodites, homosexual inverts, or sadists.
disturbances of aggression are mainly sadism and masochism. Sadism is cruelty
toward another person for one’s own pleasure, and masochism is sadism turned
against the self. The etiology of sadism may include a significant traumatic
aspect, such as parental abuse of children. Sadists and masochists may be
attracted to one another in marriage choice. The attraction may be conditioned
by familial pressure. In familial descent sadomasochists may co-exist with
homosexuals, affect killers, and paranoids (Szondi 1963a, 319).
LV. The Paroxysmal Pattern
with animals the capacity to be startled. Every human and every animal is
susceptible to a seizure in response to an epileptogenic stimulus or irritation
(Niedermeyer 1984, 112). This common genetic link is presupposed in the use of
electro-convulsive treatment. The seizure is a defense against danger. With
animals the threats are external, but with humans they are both external and internal.
animal defenses are (1) the feigning-death reflex (Torstell reflex), (2) motor
disturbances, and (3) change of color or mimicry. The corresponding human
defenses are (1) epilepsy as a substitute for death, (2) hysterical motor
movements, and (3) becoming pale or blushing (Szondi 1960, 102).
do not constitute an instinctual drive as such, but they are drive-like. The
seizure generates primitive emotions which are cyclical and intentional. The
emotions act to preserve the integrity of the organism and, therefore, have a
moral intent. Since the defenses serve survival, the morally intentional
affects have achieved evolutionary stability.
To account for
this drive-like defensive action Szondi uses the classical term paroxysmal. It
is linked with such medical conditions as fever and tachycardia. As a
hereditary pattern, the paroxysmal factor includes the following phases: (1)
accumulation of pent-up emotion, (2) explosive seizure, and (3) restitution.
The concept of
paroxysmality stands at the center of the theory of religion and is one of
Szondi’s most far-reaching contributions. The
pattern is presented in terms of the biblical figures of Cain and Abel, which
are used as metaphors. Metaphor is herein defined linguis tically. It derives
from the Greek preposition “meta” (with, after) and verb “phoreo” (image,
likeness). Thus, a metaphor is an image that enhances the meaning of an object.
pattern consists of two basic needs. One is that of vindication or restitution
and is called the “e” factor. The two tendencies are those of Cain and Abel.
The Cain tendency entails anger and rage, envy and jealousy, hatred and
vengeance. These become pent-up and are discharged in seizure states. Since the
Cain affects have intentionality, they may lead to killing.
tendency includes love and courage, joy and desire, passion and compassion. The
difference between the Cain and Abel emotions is quantitative, the former being
crude and the latter refined. The Abel emotions may be discharged in shock
states, but they aim to resolve the Cain tendency or to make atonement.
paroxysmal need is that of love, recognition, or self-esteem. It is designated
factor “hy”. The negative tendency is the impulse to hide one’s face amid shock
events. The hiding can be blushing or becoming pale or even feeling shame,
guilt, or anxiety. The positive tendency is a self-affirmation, a striving for
a legitimate self-worth. These tendencies co-act with the Cain and Abel in that
a killer may push the sense of self-worth to an extreme exhibitionism and then
become seized with anxiety or guilt. Out of remorse the Abel moves toward
pattern yields a wide range of seizure behavior. At one end of the scale stands
epilepsy and at the other hysteria. The epileptic suffers the need to vindicate
or, in extreme cases, to kill, but instead of killing he or she undergoes a
seizure as a substitute. The hysteric suffers the need to be loved and strives
to satis! this need by acting out animal defenses. Both epilepsy and hysteria
have several equivalents, which will be discussed more fully in chapters three
and six. One equivalent is that of epilepsy and paranoia in symptomatology and
marriage choice. Szondi finds that a mutual attraction exists between
epileptoid and paranoid persons and that marriage between the two is quite
frequent (1956, 239). His extensive pedigree studies document polygenic origins
of epilepsy through multiple alleles that follow a recessive pattern.
Szondi’s work on epilepsy began in the 1930s, it is currently being discovered
in American psychiatry (Blumer and Benson, 1982; Blumer, 1984). The current
status of epilepsy in neurology and psychiatry will be reviewed in chapter six.
Meanwhile, one of the neurological developments has to do with the reciprocal
inhibition between the sexual and startle functions in the brain (Szondi 1980,
88). This conforms to the clinical fact that persons who suffer epileptic
seizures are inclined to lose interest in sexuality and not to experience
sexuality, and contact co-exist as the energy structures of the animal brain.
Both humans and animals share these functions. The three drive structures may
be located in specific neural sites, according to the current tripartite model
of the brain, namely, the hierarchy of cerebral cortex, midbrain and limbic
system, and brain stem (MacLean 1973). Sexuality and paroxysmality belong to
the limbic system, each lying adjacent to the archaic olfactory zone. Both
comprise the co-active reptilian stem and the old mammalian midbrain.
in the limbic system, but in its evolution it has by-passed the reptilian stem.
The contact drive co-acts with the cerebral cortex, which is new mammalian. The
exclusively mammalian nature of the contact drive indicates that it bears
selection pressure toward caring, communication, and interiority in evolution.
Because contact manifests distinctly human functions of relating and
communicating, it receives priority in the Szondian drive system.
V. The Ego
culminates in the emergence of the ego. This is the fourth drive system, and it
is uniquely human unlike the animal-based sexuality, paroxysmality, and
contact. Essentially, the ego is a drive for participation, a drive for
oneness, likeness, and relatedness in social and metaphysical reality. Whereas
the animal structures have energies, the ego consists of power. The ego is
autonomous, but it cannot be located precisely as an entity or organ. The ego
comprises functional relations, which center the personality, make decisions,
and represent social and metaphysical reality. The ego arises out of the
neuro-instinctual hierarchy due to the evolution of feeling in the human mind
(Langer 1967, 4).
Like the other
drive systems, the ego contains two needs. One is the need for adaptation,
delimitation, material possession. It is the “k’ factor. Through the
satisfaction of this need the ego makes decisions, engages in reality-testing,
and takes possession of life in the power of having. The need conforms to what
is traditionally named the will. Its two tendencies are introjection and
negation, which will be defined and elaborated in chapter four.
The other need
is that for expansion and spirituality. Designated the “p” factor, it is the
need for self-transcendence and the power of being. It pertains to the
traditional notion of the imagination. The dual tendencies are inflation and
projection, which will also be explored more fully in chapter four.
At birth the
ego lies dormant as a non-differentiated whole, based upon the mother-child,
dual-union of the contact sphere. During the first year or two, the
participation drive unfolds projectively and contactually, for example,
feeding, smiling, and mirroring. The mutual mirroring of the faces of mother
and child is a projective means of participation. Similarly, the transitional
object is a projective-participation between inner and outer space, a bridge
between self and world, subject and object.
By means of
participation the ego develops in the human life-cycle, alternating in the
rhythm of expansion and contraction, imagination and will, abstraction and
realism. Disruption of this rhythm, as by heredity, precipitates schizophrenia.
Disturbances of the expansive phase or
to the paranoid type and those of the contractive or “k’ function to the
catatonic type. The “k” function pertains to catatonia, because of the German
spelling of katatonia.
studies in genetics find schizophrenia to follow the recessive pattern. His
research goes along with that of the pioneering geneticists (Kallmann 1953,
151-152; Dobzhansky 1962, 121). Persons heterozygous for schizophrenia develop
schizoform personalities and tend to be attracted to one another in concordant
marriages. Variations include reciprocal attraction between catatonics and
paranoids, catatonics and hysterics, and paranoids and epileptics, as noted
above (Szondi 1956, 239).
VI. Concepts of
considerable interest, currently, in Szondi’s drive system as a framework for
psychopathology (Melon 1981, 79). This interest is particularly prominent in
French and German-speaking areas of Europe. From the beginning of Szondi’s work the main criticism of it was
raised in the following questions: Why are there four drives, eight needs, and
sixteen tendencies? Why not others? The drive system was originally understood,
however, as a conceptual map like a paradigm in physics (Ellenberger 1970,
867). I believe the analogy with physics means that the drive system lacks
linear causality, absolute space-time location, and the ideal of objectivity.
The drive system entails probabilities of patterns, relativity of components,
and a mutual participation between observer and observed.
system contains a polar structure not as fundamental but as derivative of an
elemental wholeness. Polarity is present because chromosomes come from two
parents and are arranged in pairs (Szondi 1952, 84). Polarity belongs to the
DNA molecule, according to which there is an identical reduplication of
biochemical forms, as the DNA unzips, producing two strands which unzip again
The polar drive
system is useful in the psychiatric diagnosis of human behavior. Since life is
fundamentally whole, normal and abnormal behavior are analyzed in terms of
integration and disintegration of drives. The German term for integration,
which Szondi uses, is Vermischung, which comes from chemistry and refers to a
mixture or alloy. The mixing of opposite needs creates a drive as an alloy,
which is a new and distinct reality. The mixture is a dynamic equilibrium, in
which elements are balanced and bound together. Integration manifests
harmonious life and parallels the fact that life evolves with polygenic balancing
The idea of
disintegration accounts. for psychopathology. The German term for
disintegration is Entmischung, which also comes from chemistry, denoting the
breakdown of compound substances. The mixture falls apart and loses the
balance. The constituents split, becoming surcharged forces. Similarly, the
person who suffers illness falls apart, breaks down, and yields to the control
of split-off, autonomous, and animal-like forces.
In many works
Szondi expounds a complex theory of the kinds and degrees of integration and
disintegration. He normally reserves the idea
for neurotic behavior and disintegration for the more extreme abnormal states
like psychoses (Szondi 1980). When Szondi analyzes advanced phases of
disintegration, it becomes apparent that defense and splitting co-exist as
functions. For example, a paroxysmal-epileptoid personality suffers periodic
outbursts of pent-up emotion. After or between fits, he or she becomes passive,
calm, or remorseful. The passivity is a split-off Abel tendency which defends
against the Cain.
conception of pathology is grounded, further, in a dual perspective of
foreground and background relationships. Foreground and background comprise a
complementary whole. Each is logically entailed in the other with internal
relatedness. The foreground shows the manifest personality as an emergent, the
background the hidden or latent heredity and drive factors.
conditions foreground and background may rotate like a revolving stage,
exchanging positions. What has been hidden emerges into a manifest state, while
the formerly manifest content recedes to a position of latency. Neither
disappears totally in the exchange. These rotations are particularly prominent
in the turbulent paroxysmal per sonality, who may attain momentary unity and
then fall apart, becoming surcharged with coarse Cain impulses and alternating
seizures of fear and guilt.
perspectives are consistently expressed in specific German terms. The idea of
foreground is a rendering of Vorderganger, that of background Hinterganger. The
noun Ganger means “one who goes or walks,” and the adjectives vorder mean
“front” “forward”, or “anterior”, and hinter “behind”, “hind”, or “posterior”.
So the Vorderganger is the one who comes to the fore, to the foreground, and
the Hinterganger is the one who goes behind, in the background.
To a certain
extent, Szondi’s notion of the background self resembles Carl Jung’s concept of
the shadow. The shadow is the totality of personal and collective content which
is denied expression and, therefore, becomes an unconscious splinter
personality. The shadow embodies the so-called inferior aspect of the self that
compensates consciousness. In contrast, Szondi defines the background partly
psychologically, partly biologically. It is not confined to the same species as
is the shadow. The background self can deploy ego mechanisms and guide
existential choices, such as mate and
selection. The background complements the personality and
wholeness (Szondi 1952, 234).
VII. Concept of
One of Szondi’s
working concepts is that of sublimation. This is hardly anew idea, since it has
come from Freud. For Freud sublimation is one of the defenses of the drive. The
object and the goal of the drive are changed, so that the instinctual energy
may be satisfied through higher moral and social values. Specifically, the
energy of the sexual drive is intensified and expressed through non-sexual
forms. Meanwhile, the energy remains the same. Some examples of sublimated
sexuality are mythology, art, and culture.
Freud’s definition of sublimation but disagrees with it in two significant
respects. First, Szondi argues that sublimated energy is neither asocial nor
unethical (1952, 150). The implication of this point is that sublimation cannot
be confined to sexuality but operates in a broader range of experience.
Sublimation occurs in morality, culture, religious experience, and vocational
selection. For example, a surcharged Cain tendency may be sublimated easily in
extreme religious experiences. This often involves a fanatic or reformer who
imposes the law of God with considerable hostility. Savonarola is an
illustration of such a figure in the history of Christianity (Szondi 1956,
sublimation is hereditary. Both the pathologically-tainted need and the
corresponding form of sublimation are produced by the same gene group. This is
illustrated by the fact that heterozygous carriers of recessive genes produce
heterosis. Hereditary sublimation is also a version of genesmanship and the
function of multiple effects. The biological basis of sublimation is polarity,
specifically, the pairing of genes and chromosomes.
In order to
illustrate the idea of this chapter I cite one of Szondi’s great cases, which
deals with a fourteen year old boy who murders his mother (1968b; 1973,
135-136; 1978, 221-225). The boy was the son of a well-known professor of
chemistry in Budapest. The
father, an alcoholic, had been married twice. His first wife, the murder
victim, was paranoid and psychotic. Ever since childhood, she had stolen
various things and hoarded them at home. She exhibited herself sexually to
strangers, engaged in lesbian activities, and sometimes worked as a prostitute.
involved in financial speculation, litigation, and quarrels with her relatives.
She hated her mother, sister, husband, and son.
The woman bore
seven children, of whom only three survived. After her last child was born, the
murderer, she and her husband divorced. The two elder children were placed in
an institution, while the youngest stayed with his mother. Because of the
psychotic and promiscuous behavior of the mother, the boy was sent away to live
with his father, who meanwhile had remarried.
father threw his son Out of the house, believing he was still attached to the
mother. The son was then put into an institution, from which he escaped. He
returned to his mother’s house and, after quarreling with her, killed her with
repeated blows of a hatchet. The boy was sent to prison for four and one half
years. While in prison, his brother killed himself, and his sister went to Asia as a missionary. Before the murder,
the sister had become a nun, and while in Asia, she met her cousin, a Jesuit priest, who was also a missionary.
Later, another member of the family chose a religious vocation.
mother had a homosexual sister with bi-sexual ten dencies. The mother had a
male cousin, a teacher, who fatally shot his bride and then killed himself,
simply because he saw another man standing by the piano his bride was playing.
Further, two maternal uncles of the murdered mother committed suicide. One of
the uncles began a promising career in music but then turned to a life of
theft, loafing, and theosophy.
A third uncle
of the slain mother was an army officer, who became mentally ill and died of a
progressive paralysis. His life had been characterized by a sense of guilt and
worthlessness. During a hearing to determine his condition, he evaded questions
put to him. However, he whispered the word for disgrace (Schmach) and
confessed: “I have killed everybody.” When asked what he meant, he replied:
“Physically.” In reality he had killed no one.
murderer had gone to an adult prison. During the first year of confinement, he
suffered catatonic negativism and did a hunger strike. At age 19, he was
released from prison. He changed his name and got a job as a hair dresser, but
while shaving his customers, he would feel the urge to confess that he was the
famous mother-killer. The same compulsion to confess came over him when
courting girl friends.
married and fathered children but abruptly left his family to wander and
contemplate grandiose plans for world reform. He served in World War Two, after
which he spent time in penal and mental institu tions, suffering alcoholism and
paranoid schizophrenia with grandiose religious contents. In 1968 he began to
write a book entitled Man is God, Reflections of a Mother Killer, describing
his religious experience in a prison chapel.
On the surface
these people seem strange and pathetic, but when viewed in terms of the
analysis of destiny, they appear as players in an epic tragedy. The drama
begins with a schizoform concordant marriage between the professor and paranoid
woman. The family shows clinically established correlations between
homosexuality and paranoia, alcoholism and proto depressive hoarding. The
several murders and suicides indicate a trans-generational Cain tendency with
quantitative variations among the members. The choice of religious professions
correlates with criminal activity.
inherits his schizophrenia from his parents and goes through the paranoid
aspect in his gross delusions and the catatonic in his hunger strike. His
killing and wandering are of the Cain tendency, his compulsion to confess an
extreme disintegrated Abel. The confession of killing by the mentally ill uncle
is a deluded Abel phase. This fact goes beyond psychoanalysis, according to
which the compulsion to confess is a neurosis. In this case the compulsion
belongs to a psychosis, the content of which is familial and
trans-generational. Consequently, the same impulse may be manifest in
correlated choice behavior, both normal and abnormal, in the extended continuum
of the family. The multi-layered, multi-genera tional field of interacting
persons also demonstrates the working of genotropism. (finish page 55)