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Lander, J. (1954). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 23:158-160.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:158-160

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

Joseph Lander

May 19, 1953. THE GENESIS OF MAN. Leonard R. Sillman, M.D.

Man shows a striking disparity between his awareness and control of the outer world, and his self-understanding and self-control. Only when man understands the reactions of his mind as well as he perceives the reactions of the world around him will he bring under control his powers of destruction. One significant missing link in man's knowledge of man is the unsolved problem of how he came into existence. As an animal, man displays aggressive destructive instincts which make him 'king of the tooth and claw kingdom'. As a mammal he has erotized body areas as has no other mammal, and has abandoned a merely cyclical sexual interest. As a primate, he has inherited fearfulness (flight to the trees, originally in escape from carnivores), manual dexterity and foveal vision. Early prehuman forms, dating back about a half million years, left the trees and became aggressive and omnivorous. The timid frightened herbivorous monkey became a stalking predatory killer and ultimately developed into 'that heroic coward known as man'.

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