28 | CR Book X, Chapter 1
boundary lines which aggressiveness defends. Further, when a beloved
object becomes introjected one kicks oneself to kick it. Or, when a man is
intimidated by a foe to whom he attributes some of the hatred he only
himself feels, he deflects the destructive attack to himself, instead.
Further, the ego (through the agency of the superego) receives exactly as
much aggressiveness as the external object. One falls out with oneself with
the same vigour with which one pounces on an apparently external object.
BOOK X - HOW TO DEAL WITH SELF-NEGATING ATTITUDES
Chapter 1 - Self-negating attitudes are a regular component of our
mental make-up. Mental health, and happiness, depend on how we
deal with them. When we let them proceed, and have their own way, or
when we follow them, we follow the deepest trend in our nature, and
realise in us that ultimate reality which is both one and nothing. When
we fight against them, or only half-heartedly acknowledge them, they
lead to trouble.
Trouble arises when we prevent ourselves from falling to pieces, when
we attempt to make the person one again, as a separate and individual
unit. In anxiety a large section of what we considered as our "selves"*
has become estranged. We lost hold of of it. Afraid to be carried away
completely, we frantically cling to the remainder of our selfhood. Self-
deception creates a deceptive self to be anxious about. Anxiety is the
inevitable consequence of its precarious isolation. It is always there. It
maintains the threefold isolation of the self, and it is maintained by it.
Seld-negating attitudes become a source of anxiety not only when
we offer resistance, but also when we are unable to socialise them, or are
untruthful about them. Anxiety and social isolation generate each other.
Egocentricity overcompensates for anxiety. By crippling the objective
counterpart of the self, egocentricity impoverishes the self itself, thus
increasing its anxiety. Self-negating attitudes may become socialised and
balanced when we lose ourselves to some social environment, serve some
person or community, and give ourselves up to them. As essentially a
part of social groups, the self acquired the habit of social behaviour,
which contains the seeds of love, sympathy, identification (being in and
of and around the other person), self-surrender to a greater whole, self-
sacrifice, submissiveness, renunciation, and other negative attitudes of
the self to itself. Such attitudes benefit us because they diminish isolation,
and raise us to a higher level of generality. Rarely, however, do they
socialise allround, and tribal isolation engenders a mass neurosis in
which the individual participates. Full socialisation of self-negating
attitudes seems to require a social cell.
Just as discontent is a symptom both of disease (being disunited),
and of impending cure (overcoming sloth), so anxiety is half a disease
and half a cure. It shows that the threat of dissolution has been realised.
It is on the way to reality. Therefore it is great at producing innumerable
faked, insincere, spurious unities which ape the genuine unity. Unre-
resolved anxiety may produce a fictitious non-existence. Some children
say: "I am not there; nothing can happen to me." Similarly, people
may try to make the self disappear by merely closing their eyes to it. Or,
overbred people, fed up with the world, become addicted to the "lyricism
of melancholy, and its voluptuous dissolution, abandoning themselves,
in sweet yielding, to spineless, invertebrate lassitudes. "Les fleurs du mal
*Book II, Chapter 1