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 “incorporating 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 correctly, panpsychists).

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 neuroticís 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 entirely repudiated, 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 compulsive neurotic.