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DeRosis, H. (1975). Editorial. Am. J. Psychoanal., 35(4):295-295.

(1975). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 35(4):295-295


H. DeRosis

In a sense, human beings are “overqualified” for existence on this earth. As technology seems to have advanced beyond man's capacity to have it serve him only as a constructive force, man's intellectual achievements have, in too many instances, outdistanced his ability to derive joy and fulfillment from its fruits. A modicum of intelligence is required for survival. Unless man harnesses his capacities to some form of useful and/or satisfying occupation, in compatible concert with his fellows, he is sooner or later driven to contemplate the sterility of so many man-made importances. The experiencing of existence may be one of profound joy with an infinite capacity for reaching out, or one of tethered groping in a world of “little boxes.”

Insistent tottering on the edge of a void drives one to seek facsimile lifelines through a variety of stimulants — overwork, overindulgence in drugs, sex, food, travel, sports, education, art, etc. Those farthest from the abyss content themselves without resorting to extremes. The mark of wholeness is the ability to join in and to enjoy fully or to withdraw for solitude and contemplation, when desire or occasion warrants.

Man's wisdom permits him to sense the infinite variety inherent in his existence. Feeling that he is unable to take into stride such riches, he may become anxiety ridden. He must then elaborate defenses to protect himself from maddening uncertainty and corrosive self-hate. To deprive him of those defenses is the ultimate unkindness — whatever its intent.

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