E. Fromm of masochism - Psychoanalysis. T. 1. Freudianism and neo-Freudianism

E. Fromm on masochism

Erich Fromm connects masochism with a sense of loneliness and a lack of sense of significance: "The terrified individual looks for something or someone to whom he can become attached, he is no longer able to be his own individual I, desperately tries to get rid of him and again feel secure, throwing off the burden of your I. Masochism is one of the roads leading to this goal. Suicidal fantasies are the last reliable of those who have already been deceived by everything that should alleviate their loneliness. " The connection between some masochistic tendencies and the need for death is evidenced by examples of self-satisfaction, during which sexual pleasure is achieved with pathogens dangerous to life (electric current, self-suspension, etc.).

There is a feeling that the sadistic desire for unlimited power over another person is directly opposite to the masochistic aspiration, so it is difficult to understand how these two phenomena can be related.

There is only one passion that satisfies a person's need for union with another, while preserving his integrity and individuality is love. Love allows us to develop the inner activity of a person. Love in the full sense of the word can be considered only what seems to be its ideal incarnation, namely the connection with another person under the condition of preserving the integrity of its self. All other forms of love attraction are immature, they can be called a symbiotic relationship, i.e. relations of joint existence. The symbiotic relationship has a biological prototype in nature - it is the closeness between the mother and the embryo that is in her womb. They are two different beings, but at the same time they are a single whole. They live together and need each other. The embryo is a part of the mother; mother is his world, he gets from her everything he needs for life. The mother's life is also dependent on him. In a psychic symbiosis, two people are independent of each other, but psychologically they are inseparable. In other words, it is the union of one person with another, in which each of them loses its personal content and falls into complete dependence on the other. Passive form of symbiotic connection - masochism (submission). The masochistic person overcomes his psychological loneliness, inherent in everyone, becoming an integral part of another person. This other directs it, directs it, protects it; he becomes her life, her air. Resignedly obeying any person, the masochist incredibly exaggerates her strength and dignity, in every way belittling himself. He is everything, and I am nothing; I mean something only insofar as I am a part of it. As part of it, I become involved in his glory, his greatness.

The masochist never takes any decisions, avoids any independence; All independence is alien to him, and therefore he never remains alone. Such a person is not integral, she is not quite born yet.

Relationships based on masochistic love are inherently idolatry. This psychological feeling is manifested not only in erotic experiences. It can be expressed in masochistic attachment to the head of state, music, disease and, of course, to a specific person. In the latter case, a masochistic attitude can be combined with a physical attraction, and then a person submits not only to the soul, but also to the body. Be that as it may, in all cases a person renounces his integrity and individuality, becoming an instrument in the hands of others, ceases to solve life's problems independently.

The most frequent forms of masochistic manifestations are feelings of inferiority, helplessness, worthlessness. People who experience this kind of thing try to get rid of it, but in their subconsciousness some force is built that makes them feel inferior. Many people try to explain these feelings by realizing their really existing shortcomings and weaknesses. But the peculiarity of the masochistic personality is that it feels the need to intentionally belittle itself. Such people never do what they want, but obey the real or imaginary orders of their idol.

Sometimes they just are not able to experience the feeling of their I or "I want". In more severe cases, along with a constant need for subordination and self-repression, there is a passionate desire to inflict suffering, pain.

Such aspirations are expressed in different ways. There are people who are drunk with criticism of a man who is idolized; they themselves incur such accusations that their worst enemies would not have come up with. Others - show a tendency to physical illnesses, intentionally bringing their suffering to suc