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Ritvo, S. (1974). A Discussion of the Paper by Ernesto M. La Porta on 'Aggression, Error and Truth'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 55:383-384.

(1974). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 55:383-384

A Discussion of the Paper by Ernesto M. La Porta on 'Aggression, Error and Truth' Related Papers

Samuel Ritvo

In his study of the impact of external situations and the stimuli resulting from them Dr La Porta treats the religious ritual mainly as an external stimulus. A more balanced or complete view is the one formulated by Freud in relation to folklore and the formation of myths and legends, namely a projection on to the external world of internal fantasies, wishes and conflicts. In other words, they are a creation in the external world related to universal internal conflicts. This is a universal mechanism of the human psyche and the younger the individual or the more far-freaching the ego regression, the more it is used. It is related to the inability to flee or erect an adequate stimulus barrier against the internal environment. In other words, the instinctual drive is the motive force for the externalizations and projections. The reverse process also takes place, i.e. external elements achieve stable internal representations in the formation of the superego, although their power derives as much from the instinctual drive forces as they do from external forces.

As Dr La Porta indicates, the protection of the Father-God preserves the manifest order and the status of the father. The clandestine cult can be viewed as a behavioural manifestation of the need to repress and the return from repression of the hostility against the father. In this way the internal conflict is given an external form and expression and we can see the function for the individual and the group of this interrelation between the internal and external worlds because it has all the elements of the compromise formation which occurs in the formation of the neurosis.

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