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Spielrein, S. (1995). “Destruction as Cause of Becoming”. Psychoanal. Contemp. Thought, 18(1):85-118.

(1995). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought, 18(1):85-118

“Destruction as Cause of Becoming”

Sabina Spielrein, M.D.

Translated by:
Stuart K. Witt

[465] In my work with sexual problems one question has especially interested me: why this most powerful drive, the drive of reproduction [Fortpflanzungstrieb], houses within itself, next to the a priori expected positive feelings, negative ones like anxiety and disgust, the latter of which really has to be overcome so that one can get to the positive activity. The negative attitude of the individual toward sexual activity [Sexualbetätigung] is, of course, especially evident in neurotics. So far as I know, individual researchers have sought the explanation of this resistance [Widerstandes] in our mores, in the upbringing of our children which endeavors to keep the drive within limits, and therefore teaches every child to regard the realization of sexual desires as something bad, forbidden. Some find the frequency with which mental images [Vorstellungen] of death are combined with sexual desires striking, even as death becomes interpreted as a symbol of the moral fall (Stekel).

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