Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To sort articles by author…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

While performing a search, you can sort the articles by Author in the Search section. This will rearrange the results of your search alphabetically according to the author’s surname. This feature is useful to quickly locate the work of a specific author.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Spielrein, S. (1994). Destruction as the Cause of Coming Into Being. J. Anal. Psychol., 39(2):155-186.

(1994). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 39(2):155-186

Destruction as the Cause of Coming Into Being

Sabina Spielrein

Throughout my involvement with sexual problems, one question has especially interested me: Why does this most powerful drive, the reproductive instinct, harbour negative feelings in addition to the inherently anticipated positive feelings? These negative feelings, such as anxiety and disgust, must be overcome in order to use the drive appropriately. Naturally, an individual's negative attitude towards sexual activity strikes especially to the core of the neurotic. Several investigators have sought to explain this opposition as a result of our manner of child-rearing: We attempt to keep the drive within bounds and teach each child to consider the fulfilment of sexual wishes as something dirty and forbidden. The frequency with which sexual wishes are associated with images of death is noteworthy because death is a symbol of moral failure (Stekel).1 Gross relates the feeling of disgust in the presence of sexual products to their anatomical proximity to lifeless excreta. Freud traces the opposition back to anxiety and repression of the initial positively feeling-toned wish. Bleuler considers the inevitable negativity present in the positively feeling-toned idea to be a defence. In Jung, I found the following passage:

Passionate longing, i.e., the libido, has two aspects: it is the power that beautifies everything and, in certain cases, destroys everything. Often, one cannot recognize the source of this creative power's destructive quality. A woman who, in today's society, abandons herself to passion soon leads herself to ruin. One need only contemplate the current bourgeois state of affairs to understand how a feeling of unbounded insecurity occurs in those who unconditionally surrender to Fate. To be fruitful provokes one's downfall; at the rise of the next generation, the previous one has exceeded its peak. Our descendants become our most dangerous enemies for whom we are unprepared. They will survive and take power from our enfeebled hands.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.