L. Szondi

Szondi Institut
New Developments
Szondi's Applications
Szondi Groups
Personality Developments
The Latin Section

I sin Der Berufsbilder-Test. Seine Anwendung in der Berufs- und Laufbahn-beratung-einde einführung (1987) ger achtnich en introduktion till en ganska osofisikerad användning av testet, som kan ge en hel del information i yrkes-valspreocessen. en mer avanc CHAPTER TWO (BookAncestors pages: 41 – 55) Structures of the Animal Brain


CHAPTER TWO     (BookAncestors pages: 41 – 55)  Structures of the Animal Brain.

I. Genes and Drives

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.

In Szondi’s 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 patterned wholes.

Drives are 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The idea of instinctual drives is common to the older biolog ically-oriented theorists, and it has been replaced by equivalent concepts in some contemporary schools of thought.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.



The 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) schizophrenia, respectively.

By locating mental disorders in biological drives, Szondi can show that illness is a disharmony of basic needs. Each drive yields a continuum of



normal and 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

The first 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).

Hermann also 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.

Hermann 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.

Contact 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.

The contact 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



tendencies, one 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.

Normal 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.

Conclusions 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 their children.

Neo-Freudian 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.

Transitional 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 domains.

Szondi finds 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.

In contrast, 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 as




forms of psychological exogamy, that is, marrying a gene relative as an alternative to incest.

Finally, the 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 Drive

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 union.

Szondi 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.

Szondi 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

1980, 117-121).

The various 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.

The 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

Humans share 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.

Some basic 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).

These defenses 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



paroxysmal 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.

The paroxysmal 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.

The Abel 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.

The other 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 restitution.

The paroxysmal 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.



Although 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 arousal.

Paroxysmality, 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.

Contact emerges 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

Human evolution 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

function lead 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.

Szondi’s 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 Pathology

There is 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.

Szondi’s drive 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 and 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 mechanisms.

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



of splitting 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.

Szondi’s 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.

Under traumatic 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.

These 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



vocational selection. The background complements the personality and

gives it wholeness (Szondi 1952, 234).

VII. Concept of Sublimation

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.

Szondi accepts 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, 365).

Second, 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. The woman



was constantly 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.

Eventually, the 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.

The murdered 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.

The young 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.



He later 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.

The boy 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)



c 1996-2000 Leo Berlips, JP Berlips & Jens Berlips, Slavick Shibayev