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La Porta, E.M. (1975). Aggression, Error and Truth: A Reply to the Discussion by Samuel Ritvo. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 56:249-251.

(1975). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 56:249-251

Aggression, Error and Truth: A Reply to the Discussion by Samuel Ritvo Related Papers

Ernesto M. La Porta

Indeed, as Dr Ritvo (1974) says in his discussion of my paper (La Porta, 1974), I treat the religious ritual mainly as an external situation acting on religious people. I emphasize the word mainly because, as we know, there is a basic and internal need for religious feeling and for belief. We are also familiar with Freud's ideas about religion: firstly, the internal source of the father as a God, and secondly, his hypothesis of the origins of morality and religion as being derived from the sacrifice of the father in mankind's prehistory. Above all, the human mind was structured through contact between biological impulses and needs, and the external world.

Nowadays the human mind is a complete historical archive of this contact and its prehistory. Internal reality is a product of this encounter and the external world is in part also a product of internal necessity, principally through the projection of internal fantasies, wishes and conflicts.

Ritvo refers also to the fact that this latter situation is related to the impossibility of erecting an adequate stimulus barrier against the internal environment. He says, 'the instinctual drive is the motive force for externalizations and projections'. Although Ritvo refers to the classic notion of the formation of the superego as derived from external elements, I think that we must clarify the interplay and interaction between the internal and the external worlds. I think that primarily the principal events were external situations that were internalized and now make up the psychic.

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