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 such an extent that they really become victims of disease or accidents. Some restore themselves against those they love and depend on, although in fact they feel the best feelings for them. They seem to do everything to hurt themselves as much as possible.

Often masochistic tendencies look pathological and meaningless, but they justify their justification if they act under the guise of love. This form of pseudo-love is quite common and is often perceived as "great love". The description can be found in novels and movies.

When a person ceases to be aware of his own individuality, he begins to "worship" beloved, to create from him an idol. He directs all his forces to the one he loves, to whom he worships as the bearer of his bliss. As a rule, the object of love of a masochist behaves in the opposite way. But this not only does not reduce the worship of the latter, but, on the contrary, attracts it.

Such a phenomenon can be called a masochistic perversion, it proves that suffering can be the goal of human aspirations, the limit of his desires. People quite consciously want to suffer and enjoy their torment.

With masochistic perversion, a person is capable of experiencing sexual arousal when his partner hurts him. But this is not the only form of masochistic perversion. Often, excitement and satisfaction is achieved by the state of one's own physical weakness. It happens that a masochist is content only with moral weakness: he needs the object of his love to treat him as a small child or to humiliate him and insult him.

Moral masochism and masochism as a sexual perversion are extremely close. In fact, they represent the same phenomenon, based on the initial desire of a person to get rid of an unbearable sense of loneliness.

A frightened person is looking for someone with whom to bind life, he can not be himself and tries to gain confidence by getting rid of his own I. On the other hand, he is motivated by the desire to turn into a part more powerful whole, dissolve in another. Renouncing his individuality, from freedom, he finds confidence in his involvement in the power and greatness of the one he worships. Unsure in himself, overwhelmed by anxiety and a sense of his own impotence, a person tries to seek protection in masochistic attachments. But these attempts always fail, because the manifestation of their I is irreversible, and man, no matter how he wants it, can not completely merge into one with the one to whom he has stuck. Between them there always exist and will continue to be irreconcilable contradictions.

Almost the same reasons lie at the base of the active form of the symbiotic relationship, which is called sadism (domination).

The sadistic personality seeks to free itself from painful loneliness, turning another person into a part of itself. The sadist self-affirms that he subjects himself completely to the person he loves.

There are three types of sadistic attachment.

1. The first type is the desire to put another person in dependence on himself, gain unlimited power over him, make him "obedient clay" in their hands.

2. The second type is expressed in the desire not only to rule over another person, but also to exploit it, to use for its own purposes, to master everything that is valuable in it. This applies not so much to material things as to, first of all, to the moral and intellectual qualities of a person who is dependent on a sadistic person.

3. The third type is the desire to cause suffering to another person or to see how he suffers. The purpose of such a desire can be an active infliction of suffering (most humiliate, intimidate, cause pain) and passive observation of suffering.

Obviously, sadistic inclinations are harder to understand and explain than masochistic ones. In addition, they are not so harmless socially. The sadist's wishes are often expressed in a veiled form of super-goodness and super-care about another person. Often the sadist justifies his feelings and behavior, guided by considerations such as: "I rule you because I know you better that you are better", "I am so extraordinary and unique that I have the right to subordinate others to myself"; or: "I have done so much for you that I now have the right to take from you whatever I want"; and again: "I have suffered resentment from others and now I want revenge - this is my legal right", "Striking first, I protect myself from hitting myself and my loved ones".

With respect to the sadist to the object of his inclinations, there is a factor that brings his actions together with masochistic manifestations - this is an absolute dependence on the object.

But if the dependence of the masochist does not cause surprise, then the sadist, on the contrary, seems so strong and powerful that it is impossible to imagine him depending on the weaker person over whom he rules. However, this is so. The sadist desperately needs a man who is mocked, because his own sense of power and power is based only on the fact that he owns someone undivided. This dependence, often even unconscious, is most clearly manifested in love.

So, for example, a man sadistically mocks a woman who loves him. When her patience comes to an end, and she leaves him, he completely unexpectedly for herself and herself, falls into extreme despair, begs her to stay, assures her of love and says that she can not live without her. As a rule, a loving woman believes in him and remains. Then everything starts from the beginning, and so on without end. The woman is sure that he deceived her when he claimed that he loved and could not live without her. As for love, it all depends on what is meant by this word. But the sadist's claim that he can not live without her is the truth. He really can not live without the object of his sadistic aspirations and suffers as a child who was torn from his hands by his favorite toy.

Therefore, it is not surprising that the feeling of love is manifested in a sadist only when his relationship with a loved one is about to burst. But in other cases, the sadist, of course, "loves" His victim, as he loves everyone, over whom he exercises his power. And, as a rule, justifies this authority in relation to another person by the fact that he loves him very much. In fact, the opposite is true. He loves another person precisely because he is in his power.

The sadist's love can manifest itself in the most remarkable forms. He gives gifts to his beloved, assures him of eternal devotion, bribes wit in conversations and delicates, demonstrates care and attention in every possible way. A sadist can give a man whom he loves, everything except freedom and independence. Very often, such examples are found in the relationship of parents and children.

This type of loving The sadist found a classical incarnation in O. Balzac's novel "The Lost Illusions". The hero of the novel is a runaway convict Vautrin, posing as an abbot, so expresses his attitude to the young Lucien du Rubenpre:

I pulled you out of the river, I brought you back to life, you belong to me, how the creation belongs to the creator, as the body to the soul! I will support you with a mighty hand on the way to power, I will give you a lifetime of pleasure and honor ... Never feel you lack the money ... you will shine as long as I'm digging in the dirt, I will lay the foundation of the magnificent building your happiness . I love you for the sake of power! I will enjoy your enjoyment, forbidden to me. I will reincarnate in you. I want to love in you my creation, to create you in the image and likeness of mine, I will love you as a father loves a son. My boy, I will rejoice at your successes as your own, and say: "This young handsome man is me! The Marquis du Riubampre was created by me; his greatness is the creation of my hands, he is silent and says, following my will, he consults with me in everything. "

What is the essence of sadistic motives? The desire to inflict pain and suffering is not an end in itself. All forms of sadism are reduced to a single aspiration - to completely master another person, to become his absolute master, to penetrate into his very essence, to become for him a God.

By gaining such unlimited power over another person, forcing him to think and act as he wishes, turning him into his property, the sadist tries desperately to dig down the mystery of human nature, human existence.

Thus, sadism can be called the extreme manifestation of the knowledge of another person. In this passionate desire to penetrate into the mystery of man, and therefore, into the mystery of his self, one of the main causes of cruelty and craving for destruction is laid down.

Such a desire can often be observed in children. A child breaks a toy to find out what is inside; with surprising cruelty, he tears off the butterfly's wings, trying to guess the secret of this creature. Hence it is clear that the main, deepest reason for cruelty is the desire to know the secret of life.

There is a feeling that sadistic aspiration for unlimited power over another person is directly opposite to masochistic aspiration, so it is difficult to understand how these two phenomena can be related. In fact, for all their dissimilarity, both of these tendencies have one and the same psychological reason: the inability of a person to endure his own loneliness and the weakness of his personality.

As mentioned earlier, both of these phenomena are symbiotic in nature and are therefore closely related to each other. Man is not only a sadist or just a masochist. There is a close interaction between the active and passive manifestation of the symbiotic relationship, and therefore it is sometimes difficult to determine which of the two passions a person takes at a certain moment. But in both cases, the personality loses its individuality and freedom.

The victims of these two destructive passions live in constant dependence on the other person and at his expense. Both the sadist and the masochist in their own way satisfy the need for affinity with the beloved being, but both suffer from their own impotence and self-belief in themselves as a person, for this requires freedom and independence.

Passion based on submission or domination never leads to satisfaction, because no subordination or domination, no matter how large, can give a person a feeling of complete union with a beloved being. The sadist and the masochist never feel full of happiness, as they try to achieve more and more.

The result of such a passion is a complete collapse. Otherwise it can not be. Focused on achieving a sense of oneness with the other, sadism and masochism, at the same time, destroy the sense of the integrity of the person himself. Those who are possessed by these passions are not capable of self-development, they become dependent on whom they obey or whom they enslave.

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.

The experiences of love make all illusions useless. A person no longer needs to exaggerate the dignity of another or the idea of ​​himself, because the reality of love allows him to overcome his loneliness, feeling himself a part of those mighty forces that are contained in the act of love.

In love, a person is one with the whole universe, he discovers the whole world, remaining nonetheless himself: a special, unique and at the same time limited and mortal being. It is from this polarity of unity and separateness that love is born.

Love experiences lead to a paradoxical situation, when two people become a single entity, but remain two equal personalities.

True love is never confined to one person. If I love only one and only one, and no one else, if the love of one person alienates me from other people and moves away from them, then I am definitely attached to this person, but I do not like him. If I can say: "I love you", then I say: "In you I love all of humanity, the whole world, I love in you yourself." Love is the opposite of selfishness, it makes a man, paradoxically, more powerful and happy, and therefore more independent.

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