SOME INDISPENSABLE CONCEPTS
Three principal heterogeneous items coincided in order to form our European
civilization: Greek philosophy, Roman imperial and legal civilization, and
Christianity, consolidated by time and effort of later generations. The
culture of cognitive/spiritual heritage thus born was internally fuzzy
wherever the language of concepts, being overly attached to matter and law,
turned out to be too stiff to comprehend aspects of psychological and
Such a state of affairs had negative repercussions upon our ability to
comprehend reality, especially that reality which concerns humanity and
society. Europeans became unwilling to study reality (subordinating
intellect to facts), but rather tended to impose upon nature their
subjective ideational schemes, which are extrinsic and not completely
coherent. Not until modern times, thanks to great developments in the hard
sciences, which study facts by their very nature, as well as the
apperception of the philosophical heritage of other cultures, could we help
clarify our world of concepts and permit its own homogenization.
It is surprising to observe what an autonomous tribe the culture of the
ancient Greeks represented. Even in those days, a civilization could hardly
develop in isolation, without being affected by older cultures in
particular. However, even with that consideration, it seems that Greece was
relatively isolated, culturally speaking. This was probably due to the era
of decay the archaeologist refer to as the “dark age”, which occurred in
those Mediterranean areas between 1200 and 800 B.C., and also to the Achaean
Among the Greeks, a rich mythological imagination, developed in direct
contact with nature and the experiences of life and war, furnished an image
of this link with the nature of the country and peoples. These conditions
saw the birth of a literary tradition, and later of philosophical
reflections searching for generalities, essential contents, and criteria of
values. The Greek heritage is fascinating due to its richness and
individuality, but above all due to its primeval nature. Our civilization,
however, would have been better served if the Greeks had made more ample use
of the achievements of other civilizations.
Rome was too vital and practical to reflect profoundly upon the Greek
thoughts it had appropriated. In this imperial civilization, administrative
needs and juridical developments imposed practical priorities. For the
Romans, the role of philosophy was more didactic, useful for helping to
develop the thinking process which would later be utilized for the discharge
of administrative functions and the exercise of political options. The Greek
reflective influence softened Roman customs, which had a salutary effect on
the development of the empire.
However, in any imperial civilization, the complex problems of human nature
are troublesome factors complicating the legal regulations of public affairs
and administrative functions. This begets a tendency to dismiss such matters
and develop a concept of human personality simplified enough to serve the
purposes of law.
Roman citizens could achieve their goals and
develop their personal attitudes within the framework set by fate and legal
principles, which characterized an individual’s situation based on premises
having little to do with actual psychological properties. The spiritual life
of people lacking the rights of citizenship was not an appropriate subject
of deeper studies. Thus, cognitive psychology remained barren, a condition
which always produces moral recession at both the individual and public
Christianity had stronger ties with the ancient cultures of the Asiatic
continent, including their philosophical and psychological reflections. This
was of course a dynamic factor rendering it more attractive, but it was not
the most important one. Observing and understanding the apparent
transformations faith caused in human personalities created a psychological
school of thought and art on the part of the early believers. This new
relationship to another person, i.e. one’s neighbor, characterized by
understanding, forgiveness, and love, opened the door to a psychological
cognition which, often supported by charismatic phenomena, bore abundant
fruit during the first three centuries after Christ.
An observer at the time might have expected Christianity to help develop the
art of human understanding to a higher level than the older cultures and
religions, and to hope that such knowledge would protect future generations
from the dangers of speculative thought divorced from that profound
psychological reality which can only be comprehended through sincere respect
for another human being.
History, however, has not confirmed such an expectation.
The symptoms of
decay in sensitivity and psychological comprehension, as well as the Roman
Imperial tendency to impose extrinsic patterns upon human beings, can be
observed as early as 350 A.D. During later eras, Christianity passed through
all those difficulties which result from insufficient psychological
cognition of reality. Exhaustive studies on the historical reasons for
suppressing the development of human cognition in our civilization would be
an extremely useful endeavor.
First of all, Christianity adapted the Greek heritage of philosophical
thought and language to its purposes. This made it possible to develop its
own philosophy, but the primeval and materialistic traits of that language
imposed certain limits which hampered communication between Christianity and
other religious cultures for many centuries.
Christ’s message expanded along the seacoast and beaten paths of the Roman
empire’s transportation lines, within the imperial civilization, but only
through bloody persecutions and ultimate compromises with Rome’s power and
law. Rome finally dealt with the threat by appropriating Christianity to its
own purposes and, as a result,
the Christian Church appropriated Roman
organizational forms and adapted to existing social institutions. As a
result of this unavoidable process of adaptation, Christianity inherited
Roman habits of legal thinking, including its indifference to human nature
and its variety.
Two heterogeneous systems were thus linked together so permanently that
later centuries forgot just how strange they actually were to each other.
However, time and compromise did not eliminate the internal inconsistencies,
and Roman influence divested Christianity of some of its profound primeval
psychological knowledge. Christian tribes developing under different
cultural conditions created forms so variegated that maintaining unity
turned out to be an historical impossibility.
A “Western civilization” thus arose hampered by a serious deficiency in an
area which both can and does play a creative role, and which is supposed to
protect societies from various kinds of evil. This civilization developed
formulations in the area of law, whether national, civil, or finally canon,
which were conceived for invented and simplified beings.
These formulations gave short shrift to the
total contents of the human personality and the great psychological
differences between individual members of the species Homo sapiens. For many
centuries any understanding of certain psychological anomalies found among
some individuals was out of the question, even though these anomalies
repeatedly caused disasters.
This civilization was insufficiently resistant to evil, which originates
beyond the easily accessible areas of human consciousness and takes
advantage of the enormous gap between formal or legal thought and
psychological reality. In a civilization deficient in psychological
cognition, hyperactive individuals driven by their internal doubts caused by
a feelings of being different easily find a ready echo in other people’s
insufficiently developed consciousness. Such individuals dream of imposing
their power and their different experiential manner upon their environment
and their society.
Unfortunately, in a psychologically ignorant
society, their dreams have a good chance of becoming reality for them and a
nightmare for others.
In the 1870s, a tempestuous event occurred: a search for the hidden truth
about human nature was initiated as a secular movement based on biological
and medical progress, thus its cognition originated in the material sphere.
From the very outset, many researchers had a vision of the great future role
of this science for the good of peace and order. However, since it relegated
prior knowledge to the spiritual sphere, any such approach to the human
personality was necessarily one-sided.
People like Ivan Pavlov, C.G. Jung,
and others soon noticed this one-sidedness and attempted to reach a
synthesis. Pavlov, however, was not allowed to state his convictions in
Psychology is the only science wherein the observer and the observed belong
to the same species, even to the same person in an act of introspection. It
is thus easy for subjective error to steal into the reasoning process of the
thinking person’s commonly used imaginings and individual habits. Error then
often bites its own tail in a vicious circle, thus giving rise to problems
due to the lack of distance between observer and observed, a difficulty
unknown in other disciplines.
Some people, such as the behaviorists, attempted
to avoid the above error at all costs. In the process, they impoverished the
cognitive contents to such an extent that there was very little matter left.
However, they produced a very profitable discipline of thought. Progress was
very often elaborated by persons simultaneously driven by internal anxieties
and searching for a method of ordering their own personalities via the road
of knowledge and self-knowledge. If these anxieties were caused by a
defective upbringing, then overcoming these difficulties gave rise to
However, if the cause for such anxieties rested
within human nature, it resulted in a permanent tendency to deform the
understanding of psychological phenomena. Within this science, progress is
unfortunately very contingent upon the individual values and nature of its
practitioners. It is also dependent upon the social climate. Wherever a
society has become enslaved to others or to the rule of an overly-privileged
native class, psychology is the first discipline to suffer from censorship
and incursions on the part of an administrative body which starts claiming
the last word as to what represents scientific truth.
Thanks to the work of outstanding pathfinders, however, the scientific
discipline exists and continues to develop in spite of all these
difficulties; it is useful for the life of society. Many researchers fill in
the gaps of this science with detailed data which function as a corrective
to the subjectivity and vagueness of famous pioneers. The childhood ailments
of any new discipline persist, including a lack of general order and
synthesis, as does the tendency to splinter into individual schools,
expounding upon certain theoretical and practical achievements, at the cost
of limiting themselves in other areas.
At the same time, however, findings of a practical nature are gleaned for
the good of people who need help. The direct observations furnished by
everyday work of therapists in the field are more instrumental in forming
scientific comprehension and developing the language of contemporary
psychology than any academic experiments or deliberations undertaken in a
laboratory. After all, life itself provides variegated conditions, whether
comfortable or tragic, which subject human individuals to experiments no
scientist in any laboratory would ever undertake. This very volume exists
because of studies, in the field, of inhuman experimentation upon entire
Experience teaches a psychologist’s mind how to track another person’s life
quickly and effectively, discovering the causes that conditioned the
development of his personality and behavior. Our minds can thus also
reconstruct those factors which influenced him, although he himself may be
unaware of them. In doing this, we do not, as a rule, use the natural
structure of concepts, often referred to as “common sense” relied upon by
public opinion and many individuals.
Rather, we use categories which are as objective
as we can possibly achieve. Psychologists utilize conceptual language with
descriptions of phenomena that are independent of any common imaginings, and
this is an indispensable tool of practical activity. In practice, however,
it usually turns into clinical slang rather than the distinguished
scientific language it would behoove us to foster. An analogy can be drawn
between this conceptual language of psychology and mathematical symbols.
Very often, a single Greek letter stands for
many pages of mathematical operations which is instantly recognized by the
In the categories of psychological objectivity, cognition and thought are
based on the same logical and methodological principles shown to be the best
tool in many other areas of naturalistic studies. Exceptions to these rules
have become a tradition for ourselves and for creatures similar to us, but
they turn out to engender more error than usefulness.
At the same time, however, consistent adherence
to these principles, and rejection of additional scientific limitations,
lead us toward the wide horizon from which it is possible to glimpse
supernatural causality. Accepting the existence of such phenomena within the
human personality becomes a necessity if our language of psychological
concepts is to remain an objective structure.
In affirming his own personality, man has the tendency to repress from the
field of his consciousness any associations indicating an external causative
conditioning of his world view and behavior. Young people in particular want
to believe they freely chose their intentions and decisions; at the same
time, however, an experienced psychological analyst can track the causative
conditions of these choices without much difficulty. Much of this
conditioning is hidden within our childhood; the memories may be receding
into the distance, but we carry the results of our early experiences around
with us throughout our lives.
The better our understanding of the causality of
the human personality, the stronger the impression that humanity is a part
of nature and society, subject to dependencies we are ever better able to
understand. Overcome by human nostalgia, we then wonder if there is really
no room for a scope of freedom, for a Purusha9?
Sanskrit. A word literally meaning “man”; but bearing the mystical
significance of the “Ideal Man”, the Higher Self within. The term Purusha is
often used in the Esoteric philosophy to express the Spirit or the
everlasting entitative individual of a Universe, a Solar System, or of a
man. Purusha comes from the verb-root pri – to fill, to make complete, to
bestow. One of the two ultimate realities of Sankhya philosophy. The divine
Self, the absolute Reality, pure Consciousness. [Editor’s note.]
The more progress we make in our art of understanding human causation, the
better we are able to liberate the person who trusts us from the toxic
effects of conditioning, which has unnecessarily constricted his freedom of
proper comprehension and decision making. We are thus in a position to close
ranks with our patient in a search for the best way out of his problems. If
we succumb to the temptation of using the natural structure of psychological
concepts for this purpose, our advice to him would sound similar to the many
non-productive pronouncements he has already heard and that never quite
manage to really help him to become free of his problem.
The everyday, ordinary, psychological, societal, and moral world view is a
product of man’s developmental process within a society, under the constant
influence of innate traits. Among these innate traits are mankind’s
phylogenetically determined instinctive foundation, and the upbringing
furnished by the family and the environment.
No person can develop without being influenced
by other people and their personalities, or by the values imbued by his
civilization and his moral and religious traditions. That is why his natural
world view of humans can be neither sufficiently universal nor completely
true. Differences among individuals and nations are the product of both
inherited dispositions and the ontogenesis10
Ontogeny (also ontogenesis or morphogenesis) describes the origin and the
development of an organism from the fertilized egg to its mature form.
Ontogeny is studied in developmental biology. [Editor’s note.]
It is thus significant that the main values of this human world view of
nature indicate basic similarities in spite of great divergences in time,
race, and civilization. This world view quite obviously derives from the
nature of our species and the natural experience of human societies which
have achieved a certain necessary level of civilization.
Refinements based on literary values or
philosophical and moral reflections do show differences, but, generally
speaking, they tend to bring together the natural conceptual languages of
various civilizations and eras. People with a humanistic education may
therefore get the impression that they have achieved wisdom.
We shall also continue to respect the wisdom of that “common sense” derived
from life experience and reflections thereon.
However, a conscientious psychologist must ask the following questions:
if the natural world view has been refined, does it mirror reality with
Or does it only mirror our species’ perception?
what extent can we depend upon it as a basis for decision making in the
individual, societal and political spheres of life?
Experience teaches us, first of all, that this natural world view has
permanent and characteristic tendencies toward deformation dictated by our
instinctive and emotional features. Secondly, our work exposes us to many
phenomena which cannot be understood nor described by natural language
alone. An objective scientific language able to analyze the essence of a
phenomenon thus becomes an indispensable tool. It has also shown itself to
be similarly indispensable for an understanding of the questions presented
within this book.
Now, having laid the groundwork, let us attempt a listing of the most
important reality-deforming tendencies and other insufficiencies of the
natural human world view.
Those emotional features which are a natural component of the human
personality are never completely appropriate to the reality being
experienced. This results both from our instinct and from our common errors
of upbringing. That is why the best tradition of philosophical and religious
thought have counseled subduing the emotions in order to achieve a more
accurate view of reality.
The natural world view is also characterized by a similar, emotional,
tendency to endow our opinions with moral judgment, often so negative as to
represent outrage. This appeals to tendencies which are deeply rooted in
human nature and societal customs. We easily extrapolate this method of
comprehension onto manifestations of improper human behavior, which are, in
fact, caused by minor psychological deficiencies.
When another individual behaves in a way that we
deem to be “bad”, we tend to make a judgment of negative intent rather than
seeking to understand the psychological conditions that might be driving
them, and convincing them that they are, in fact, behaving very properly.
Thus, any moralizing interpretation of minor psychopathological phenomena is
erroneous and merely leads to an exceptional number of unfortunate
consequences, which is why we shall repeatedly refer to it.
Another defect of the natural world view is its lack of universality. In
every society, a certain percentage of the people has developed a world view
a good deal different from that used by the majority. The causes of the
aberrations are by no means qualitatively monolithic; we will be discussing
them in greater detail in the fourth chapter.
Another essential deficiency of the natural world view is its limited scope
of applicability. Euclidean geometry would suffice for a technical
reconstruction of our world and for a trip to the moon and the closest
planets. We only need a geometry whose axioms are less natural if we reach
inside of an atom or outside of our solar system. The average person does
not encounter phenomena for which Euclidean geometry would be insufficient.
Sometime during his lifetime, virtually every person is faced with problems
he must deal with.
Since a comprehension of the truly operational
factors is beyond the ken of his natural world view, he generally relies on
emotion: intuition and the pursuit of happiness. Whenever we meet a person
whose individual world view developed under the influence of non-typical
conditions, we tend to pass moral judgment upon him in the name of our more
typical world view. In short, whenever some unidentified psychopathological
factor comes into play, the natural human world view ceases to be
Moving further, we often meet with sensible people endowed with a
well-developed natural world view as regards psychological, societal, and
moral aspects, frequently refined via literary influences, religious
deliberations, and philosophical reflections. Such persons have a pronounced
tendency to overrate the values of their world view, behaving as though it
were an objective basis for judging other people.
They do not take into account the fact that such
a system of apprehending human matters can also be erroneous, since it is
insufficiently objective. Let us call such an attitude the “egotism of the
natural world view”. To date, it has been the least pernicious type of
egotism, being merely an overestimation of that method of comprehension
containing the eternal values of human experience.
Today, however, the world is being jeopardized by a phenomenon which cannot
be understood nor described by means of such a natural conceptual language;
this kind of egotism thus becomes a dangerous factor stifling the
possibility of objective counteractive measures. Developing and popularizing
the objective psychological world view could thus significantly expand the
scope of dealing with evil, via sensible action and pinpointed
The objective psychological language, based on mature philosophical
criteria, must meet the requirements derived from its theoretical
foundations, and meet the needs of individual and macrosocial practice. It
should be evaluated fully on the basis of biological realities and
constitute an extension of the analogous conceptual language elaborated by
the older naturalistic sciences, particularly medicine. Its range of
applicability should cover all those facts and phenomena conditioned upon
cognizable biological factors for which this natural language has proved
inadequate. It should, within this framework, allow sufficient understanding
of the contents, and varied causes, for the genesis of the above-mentioned
deviant world views.
Elaborating such a conceptual language, being far beyond the individual
scope of any scientist, is a step-by-step affair; by means of the
contribution of many researchers, it matures to the point when it could be
organized under philosophical supervision in the light of above-mentioned
foundations. Such a task would greatly contribute to the development of all
bio-humanistic and social sciences by liberating them from the limitations
and erroneous tendencies imposed by the overly great influence of the
natural language of psychological imagination, especially when combined with
an excessive component of egotism.
Most of the questions dealt with in this book are beyond the scope of
applicability of the natural language.
The fifth chapter shall deal with a macrosocial phenomenon which has rendered our traditional scientific
language completely deceptive. Understanding these phenomena thus requires
consistent separation from the habits of that method of thinking and the use
of the most objective system of concepts possible. For this purpose, it
proves necessary to develop the contents, organize them, and familiarize the
readers with them as well.
At the same time, an examination of the phenomena whose nature forced the
use of such a system will render a great contribution to enriching and
perfecting the objective system of concepts.
While working on these matters, the author gradually accustomed himself to
comprehending reality by means of this very method, a way of thinking which
turned out to be both the most appropriate and the most economical in terms
of time and effort. It also protects the mind from its own natural egotism
and any excessive emotionalism.
In the course of the above-mentioned inquiries, each researcher went through
his own period of crisis and frustration when it became evident that the
concepts he had trusted thus far proved to be inapplicable. Ostensibly,
correct hypotheses formulated in the scientifically improved natural
conceptual language turned out to be completely unfounded in the light of
facts, and of preliminary statistical calculations. At the same time, the
elaboration of concepts better suited for investigated reality became
extremely complex: after all, the key to the question lies in a scientific
area still in the process of development.
Surviving this period thus required an acceptance of and a respect for a
feeling of nescience11 truly
worthy of a philosopher. Every science is born in an area uninhabited by
popular imaginings that must be overcome and left behind. In this case,
however, the procedure had to be exceptionally radical; we had to venture
into any area indicated by systematic analysis of the facts we observed and
experienced from within a full-blown condition of macrosocial evil, guided
by the light of the requirements of scientific methodology. This had to be
upheld in spite of the difficulties caused by extraordinary outside
conditions and by our own human personalities.
Very few of the many people who started out on this road were able to arrive
at the end, since they withdrew for various reasons connected to this period
Literally, the absence of knowledge. [Editor’s note.]
Some of them concentrated on a single question; succumbing to a kind of
fascination regarding its scientific value; they delved into detailed
inquiries. Their achievements may be present in this work, since they
understood the general mining of their work. Others gave up in the face of
scientific problems, personal difficulties, or the fear of being discovered
by the authorities, who are highly vigilant in such matters.
Perusing this book will therefore confront the reader with similar problems,
albeit on a much smaller scale. A certain impression of injustice may be
conveyed due to the need to leave behind a significant portion of our prior
conceptualizations, the feeling that our natural world view is inapplicable,
and the expendability of some emotional entanglements. I therefore ask my
readers to accept these disturbing feelings in the spirit of the love of
knowledge and its redeeming values.
The above explanations were crucial in order to render the language of this
work more easily comprehensible to the readers.
The author has attempted to approach the matters
described herein in such a way as to avoid both losing touch with the world
of objective concepts and becoming incomprehensible to anyone outside a
narrow circle of specialists. We must thus beg the reader to pardon any
slips along the tightrope between the two methods of thought.
However, the author would not be an experienced
psychologist if he could not predict that some readers will reject the
scientific data adduced within this work, feeling that they constitute an
attack upon the natural wisdom of their life-experience.
The Human Individual
When Auguste Comte12
attempted to found the new science of sociology during the early nineteenth
century, i.e. well before modern psychology was born, he was immediately
confronted with the problem of man, a mystery he could not solve. If he
rejected the Catholic Church’s oversimplifications of human nature, then
nothing remained except traditional schemes for comprehending the
personality, derived from well known social conditions.
He thus had to avoid
this problem, among others, if he wanted to create his new scientific branch
under such conditions.
Comte (1798 - 1857) was a French positivist thinker who invented the term
“sociology” to name the new science made by Saint-Simon. Comte saw a
“universal law” at work in all sciences which he called the “law of three
phases”. It is for this law that he is best known in the English-speaking
world; namely, that society has gone through three phases: Theological,
Metaphysical, and Scientific. He also gave the name “Positive” to the last
of these. The other universal law he called the “encyclopedic law”. By
combining these laws, Comte developed a systematic and hierarchical
classification of all sciences, including inorganic physics (astronomy,
earth science and chemistry) and organic physics (biology and for the first
time, physique sociale, later renamed sociologie). Comte saw this new
science, sociology, as the last and greatest of all sciences, one that would
include all other sciences, and which would integrate and relate their
findings into a cohesive whole. (Wikipedia)
Therefore, he accepted that the basic cell of society is the family,
something much easier to characterize and treat like an elementary model of
societal relations. This could also be effected by means of a language of
comprehensible concepts, without confronting problems which could truly not
have been overcome at the time.
Slightly later, J. S. Mill13
pointed out the resulting deficiencies of psychological cognition and the
role of the individuals.
13 John Stuart
Mill (1806 – 1873), an English philosopher and political economist, was an
influential liberal thinker of the 19th century. He was an advocate of
utilitarianism, the ethical theory first proposed by his godfather Jeremy
Bentham. During his time as an MP, Mill advocated easing the burdens on
Ireland, and became the first person in parliament to call for women to be
given the right to vote. In “Considerations on Representative Government”,
Mill called for various reforms of Parliament and voting, especially
proportional representation, the Single Transferable Vote, and the extension
of suffrage. He was godfather to Bertrand Russell. Mill argued that it is
Government’s role only to remove the barriers, such as laws, to behaviors
that do not harm others.
Crucially, he felt that offense did not
constitute harm, and therefore supported almost total freedom of speech;
only in cases where free speech would lead to direct harm did Mill wish to
limit it. For example, whipping up an angry mob to go and attack people
would not be defended in Mill’s system. Mill argued that free discourse was
vital to ensure progress. He argued that we could never be sure if a
silenced opinion did not hold some portion of the truth. Ingeniously, he
also argued that even false opinions have worth, in that in refuting false
opinions the holders of true opinions have their beliefs reaffirmed. Without
having to defend one’s beliefs, Mill argued, the beliefs would become dead
and we would forget why we held them at all. [Editor’s note.]
Only now is sociology successfully dealing with the difficulties which
resulted, laboriously reinforcing the existing foundations of science by the
achievements of psychology, a science which by its very nature treats the
individual as the basic object of observation.
This restructuring and acceptance of an
objective psychological language will in time permit sociology to become a
scientific discipline which can mirror the social reality with sufficient
objectivity and attention to detail in order to render it a basis for
practical action. After all, it is man who is the basic unit of society,
including the entire complexity of his human personality.
In order to understand the functioning of an organism, medicine begins with
cytology, which studies the variegated structures and functions of cells. If
we want to understand the laws governing social life, we must similarly
first understand the individual human being, his physiological and
psychological nature, and fully accept the quality and scope of differences
(particularly psychological ones) among the individuals who constitute two
sexes, different families, associations, and social groups, as well as the
complex structure of society itself.
The doctrinaire and propaganda-based Soviet system contains a characteristic
built-in contradiction whose causes will be readily understandable toward
the end of this book. Man’s descent from the animals, bereft of any
extraordinary occurrences, is accepted there as the obvious basis for the
materialistic world view.
At the same time, however, they suppress the
fact that man has an instinctive endowment, i.e. something in common with
the rest of the animal world. If faced with especially troublesome
questions, they sometimes admit that man contains an insignificant survival
of such phylogenetic heritage, however, they prevent the publication of any
work studying this basic phenomenon of psychology.14
14 See: “A
Mess in Psychiatry”, an interview with Robert van Voren, General Secretary
of Geneva Initiative on Psychiatry, published in the Dutch newspaper De
Volkskrant on August 9, 1997 where he says: “Since 1950 Soviet psychiatry
has not just been standing still, but has gone downhill. Absolutely nothing
has changed. The bulk of the [Russian] psychiatrists could never find a job
as a psychiatrist in the West. There, methods of treatment are customary
about which you cannot even talk anymore in the West. ” [Editor’s note.]
In order to understand humanity, however, we must gain a primary
understanding of mankind’s instinctive substratum and appreciate its salient
role in the life of individuals and societies. This role easily escapes our
notice, since our human species’ instinctive responses seem so self-evident
and are so much taken for granted that it arouses insufficient interest. A
psychologist, schooled in the observation of human beings, does not fully
appreciate the role of this eternal phenomenon of nature until he has years
of professional experience.
Man’s instinctive substratum has a slightly different biological structure
than that of animals. Energetically speaking, it has become less dynamic and
become more plastic, thereby giving up its job as the main dictator of
behavior. It has become more receptive to the controls of reasoning,
without, however, losing much of the rich specific contents of the human
It is precisely this phylogenetically developed basis for our experience,
and its emotional dynamism, that allow individuals to develop their feelings
and social bounds, enabling us to intuit other people’s psychological state
and individual or social psychological reality. It is thus possible to
perceive and understand human customs and moral values. From infancy, this
substratum stimulates various activities aiming at the development of the
mind’s higher functions.
In other words, our instinct is our first tutor,
whom we carry inside all our lives. Proper child-rearing is thus not limited
to teaching a young person to control the overly violent reactions of his
instinctual emotionalism; it also ought to teach him to appreciate the
wisdom of nature contained and speaking through his instinctive endowment
This substratum contains millions of years’ worth of bio-psychological
development that was the product of species’ life conditions, so it neither
is nor can be a perfect creation. Our well known weaknesses of human nature
and errors in the natural perception and comprehension of reality have thus
been conditioned on that phylogenetic level for millennia.15
Lorenz: Evolution and Modification of Behavior (1965); On Aggression (1966);
Studies in Animal and Human Behavior, Volume I (1970); Studies in Animal and
Human Behavior, Volume II (1971); Behind the Mirror (1973); The Natural
Science of the Human Species: An Introduction to Comparative Behavioral
Research - The Russian Manuscript (1944-1948)(1995). Lorenz joined the Nazi
Party in 1938 and accepted a university chair under the Nazi regime. His
publications during that time led in later years to allegations that his
scientific work had been contaminated by Nazi sympathies.
When accepting the Nobel Prize, he apologized
for a 1940 publication that included Nazi views of science, saying that
“many highly decent scientists hoped, like I did, for a short time for good
from National Socialism, and many quickly turned away from it with the same
horror as I.” It seems highly likely that Lorenz’s ideas about an inherited
basis for behavior patterns were congenial to the Nazi authorities, but
there is no evidence to suggest that his experimental work was either
inspired or distorted by Nazi ideas. [Editor’s note.]
The common substratum of psychology has made it possible for peoples
throughout the centuries and civilizations to create concepts regarding
human, social, and moral matters which share significant similarities.
Inter-epochal and interracial variations in this area are less striking than
those differentiating persons whose instinctual human substratum is normal
from those who are carriers of an instinctual bio-psychological defect,
though they are members of the same race and civilization. It shall behoove
us to return to this latter question repeatedly, since it has taken on a
crucial importance for the problems dealt with in this book.
Man has lived in groups throughout his prehistory, so our species’
instinctual substratum was shaped in this tie, thus conditioning our
emotions as regards the mining of existence. The need for an appropriate
internal structure of commonality, and a striving to achieve a worthy role
within that structure, are encoded at this very level. In the final
analysis, our self-preservation instinct is rivaled by another feeling: the
good of society demands that we make sacrifices, sometimes even the supreme
sacrifice. At the same time, however, it is worth pointing out that if we
love a man, we love his human instinct above all.
Our zeal to control anyone harmful to ourselves or our group is so primal in
its near-reflex necessity as to leave no doubt that it is also encoded at
the instinctual level. Our instinct, however, does not differentiate between
behavior motivated by simple human failure and behavior performed by
individuals with pathological aberrations. Quite the contrary: we
instinctively tend to judge the latter more severely, harkening to nature’s
striving to eliminate biologically or psychologically defective individuals.
Our tendency to such evil generating error is thus conditioned at the
It is also at this level that differences begin to occur between normal
individuals, influencing the formation of their characters, world views, and
attitudes. The primary differences are in the bio-psychical dynamism of this
substratum; differences of content are secondary. For some people the
sthenic16 instinct supersedes
psychology; for others, it easily relinquishes control to reason. It also
appears that some people have a somewhat richer and more subtle instinctual
endowment than others.
16 Relating to or
marked by sthenia; strong, vigorous, or active. [Editor’s note.]
Significant deficiencies in this heritage
nevertheless occur in only a tiny percentage of the human population; and we
perceive this to be qualitatively pathological. We shall have to pay closer
attention to such anomalies, since they participate in that pathogenesis of
evil which we would like to understand more fully.
A more subtle structure of effect is built upon our instinctual substratum,
thanks to constant cooperation from the latter as well as familial and
societal child-rearing practices. With time, this structure becomes a more
easily observable component of our personality, within which it plays an
integrative role. This higher effect is instrumental in linking us to
society, which is why its correct development is a proper duty of pedagogues
and constitutes one of the objects of a psychotherapist’s efforts, if
perceived to be abnormally formed. Both pedagogues and psychotherapists
sometimes feel helpless, if this process of formation was influenced by a
defective instinctual substratum.
Thanks to memory, that phenomenon ever better described by psychology, but
whose nature remains partly mysterious, man stores life-experiences and
purposely acquired knowledge. There are extensive individual variations in
regard to this capacity, its quality, and its contents. A young person also
looks at the world differently from an old man endowed with a good memory.
People with a good memory and a great deal of knowledge have a greater
tendency to reach for the written data of collective memory in order to
supplement their own.
This collected material constitutes the subject matter of the second
psychological process, namely association; our understanding of its
characteristics is constantly improving, although we have not yet been able
to shed sufficient light upon its nurturance. In spite of, or maybe thanks
to, the value judgments contributed to this question by psychologists and
psychoanalysts, it appears that achieving a satisfactory synthetic
understanding of the associative processes will not be possible unless and
until we humbly decide to cross the boundaries of purely scientific
Our reasoning faculties continue to develop throughout our entire active
lives, thus, accurate judgmental abilities do not peak until our hair starts
greying and the drive of instinct, emotion, and habit begins to abate. It is
a collective product derived from an interaction between man and his
environment, and from many generations’ worth of creation and transmission.
The environment may also have a destructive
influence upon the development of our reasoning faculties. In its
environment in particular, the human mind is contaminated by conversive
thinking17, which is the most
common anomaly in this process. It is for this reason that the proper
development of mind requires periods of solitary reflection on occasion.
Man has also developed a psychological function not found among animals.
Only man can apprehend a certain quantity of material or abstract imaginings
within his field of attention, inspecting them internally in order to effect
further operations of the mind upon this material. This enables us to
confront facts, affect constructive and technical operations, and predict
Conversive thinking: using terms but giving them opposing or twisted
meanings. Examples: peacefulness = appeasement; freedom = license;
initiative = arbitrariness; traditional = backward; rally = mob; efficiency
= small-mindedness. Example: the words “peacefulness” and “appeasement”
denote the same thing: a striving to establish peace, but have entirely
different connotations which indicate the speaker’s attitude toward this
striving toward peace. [Editor’s note.]
If the facts subjected to internal projection and inspection deal with man’s
own personality, man performs an act of introspection essential for
monitoring the state of a human personality and the meaning of his own
behavior. This act of internal projection and inspection complements our
consciousness; it characterizes no species other than the human. However,
there is exceptionally wide divergence among individuals regarding the
capacity for such mental acts. The efficiency of this mental function shows
a somewhat low statistical correlation with general intelligence.
Thus, if we speak of man’s general intelligence, we must take into account
both its internal structure and the individual differences occurring at
every level of this structure. The substratum of our intelligence, after
all, contains nature’s instinctual heritage of wisdom and error, giving rise
to the basic intelligence of life experience. Superimposed upon this
construct, thanks to memory and the associative capacity, is our ability to
effect complex operations of thought, crowned by the act of internal
projection, and to constantly improve their correctness. We are variously
endowed with these capabilities, which makes for a mosaic of individually
Basic intelligence grows from this instinctual substratum under the
influence of an amicable environment and a readily accessible compendium of
human experience; it is intertwined with higher effect, enabling us to
understand others and to intuit their psychological state by means of some
naive realism. This conditions the development of moral reason.
This layer of our intelligence is widely distributed within society; the
overwhelming majority of people have it, which is why we can so often admire
the tact, the intuition, of social relationships, and sensible morality of
people whose intellectual gifts are only average. We also see people with an
outstanding intellect who lack these very natural values. As is the case
with deficiencies in the instinctual substratum, the deficits of this basic
structure of our intelligence frequently take on features we perceive as
The distribution of human intellectual capacity within societies is
completely different, and its amplitude has the greatest scope. Highly
gifted people constitute a tiny percentage of each population, and those
with the highest quotient of intelligence constitute only a few per
thousand. In spite of this, however, the latter play such a significant role
in collective life that any society attempting to prevent them from
fulfilling their duty does so at its own peril. At the same time,
individuals barely able to master simple arithmetic and the art of writing
are, in the majority, normal people whose basic intelligence is often
It is a universal law of nature that the higher
a given species’ psychological organization, the greater the psychological
differences among individual units. Man is the most highly organized
species; hence, these variations are the greatest. Both qualitatively and
quantitatively, psychological differences occur in all structures of the
human personality dealt with here, albeit in terms of necessary
oversimplification. Profound psychological variegations may strike some as
an injustice of nature, but they are her right and have meaning.
Nature’s seeming injustice, alluded to above, is, in fact, a great gift to
humanity, enabling human societies to develop their complex structures and
to be highly creative at both the individual and collective level. Thanks to
psychological variety, the creative potential of any society is many times
higher than it could possibly be if our species were psychologically more
homogeneous. Thanks to these variations, the societal structure implicit
within can also develop. The fate of human societies depends upon the proper
adjustment of individuals within this structure and upon the manner in which
innate variations of talents are utilized.
Our experience teaches us that psychological
differences among people are the cause of misunderstandings and problems. We
can overcome these problems only if we accept psychological differences as a
law of nature and appreciate their creative value. This would also enable us
to gain an objective comprehension of man and human societies;
unfortunately, it would also teach us that equality under the law is
inequality under the law of nature.
If we observe our human personality by consistently tracking psychological
causation within, if we are able to exhaust the question to a sufficient
degree, we shall come ever closer to phenomena whose biopsychological energy
is very low, which begin to manifest themselves to us with certain
characteristic subtlety. Discovering this phenomenon, we then attempt to
track our associations particularly because we have exhausted the available
analytical platform. Finally, we must admit to noticing something within us
which is a result of supra-sensory causation.
This path may be the most laborious of all, but
it will nevertheless lead to the most material certainty regarding the
existence of what all the major religious systems talk about. Attaining some
small piece of truth via this path brings us to respect for some of the
teachings of the ancients regarding the existence of something beyond the
If we thus wish to understand mankind, man as whole, without abandoning the
laws of thought required by the objective language, we are finally forced to
accept this reality, which is within each of us, whether normal or not,
whether we have accepted it because we have been brought up that way, or
have achieved such gnosis on our own, or whether we have rejected it for
reasons of materialism or science. After all, invariably, when we analyze
negative psychological attitudes, we always discern an affirmation which has
been repressed from the field of consciousness. As a consequence, the
constant subconscious effort of denying concepts about existing things
engenders a zeal to eliminate them in other people.
Trustfully opening our mind to perception of this reality is thus
indispensable for someone whose duty is to understand other people, and is
advisable for everyone else as well. Thanks to this, our mind is rendered
free of internal tensions and stresses and can be liberated from its
tendency to select and substitute information, including those areas which
are more easily accessible to naturalistic comprehension.
The human personality is unstable by its very nature, and a lifelong
evolutionary process is the normal state of affairs. Some political and
religious systems advocate slowing down this process or achieving excessive
stability in our personalities, but these are unhealthy states from the
point of view of psychology. If the evolution of a human personality or
world view becomes frozen long and deeply enough, the condition enters the
realm of psychopathology. The process of personality transformation reveals
its meaning thanks to its own creative nature which is based on the
conscious acceptance of this creative changing as the natural course of
Our personalities also pass through temporary destructive periods as a
result of various life events, especially if we undergo suffering or meet
with situations or circumstances which are at variance with our prior
experiences and imaginings. These so-called disintegrative stages are often
unpleasant, although not necessarily so. A good dramatic work, for instance,
enables us to experience a disintegrative state, simultaneously calming down
the unpleasant components and furnishing creative ideas for a renewed
reintegration of our own personalities. True theater therefore causes the
condition known as catharsis.
A disintegrative state provokes us to mental efforts in attempts to overcome
it in order to regain active homeostasis. Overcoming such states, in effect,
correcting our errors and enriching our personalities, is a proper and
creative process of reintegration, leading to a higher level of
understanding and acceptance of the laws of life, to a better comprehension
of self and others, and to a more highly developed sensitivity in
interpersonal relationships. Our feelings also validate the successful
achievement of a reintegrative state: the unpleasant conditions we have
survived are endowed with meaning. Thus, the experience renders us better
prepared to confront the next disintegrative situation.
If, however, we have proved unable to master the problems which occurred
because our reflexes were too quick to repress and substitute the
uncomfortable material from our consciousness, or for some similar reason,
our personality undergoes retroactive egotization,18
but it is not free of the sensation of failure.
The results are devolutionary; the person
becomes more difficult to get along with. If we cannot overcome such a
disintegrative state because the causative circumstances were overpowering
or because we lacked the information essential for constructive use, our
organism reacts with a neurotic condition.
to narcissistic withdrawal. [Editor’s note.]
The diagram of the human personality presented herein, summarized and
simplified for reasons of necessity, makes us aware of how complex human
beings are in their structure, their changes, and their mental and spiritual
lives. If we wish to create social sciences whose descriptions of our
reality would be capable of enabling us to rely on them in practice, we must
accept this complexity and make certain that it is sufficiently respected.
Any attempt to substitute this basic knowledge with the help of
oversimplifying schemes leads to loss of that indispensable convergence
between our reasoning and the reality we are observing. It behooves us to
reemphasize that using our natural language of psychological imaginations
for this purpose cannot be a substitute for objective premises.
Similarly, it is extremely difficult for a psychologist to believe in the
value of any social ideology based on simplified or even naive psychological
premises. This applies to any ideology which attempts to over-simplify
psychological reality, whether it be one utilized by a totalitarian system
or, unfortunately, by democracy as well. People are different. Whatever is
qualitatively different and remains in a state of permanent evolution cannot
The above-mentioned statements about human nature apply to normal people,
with a few exceptions. However, each society on earth contains a certain
percentage of individuals, a relatively small but active minority, who
cannot be considered normal.
We emphasize that here we are dealing with qualitative, not statistical,
abnormality. Outstandingly intelligent persons are statistically abnormal,
but they can be quite normal members of society from the qualitative point
of view. We are going to be looking at individuals that are statistically
small in number, but whose quality of difference is such that it can affect
hundreds, thousands, even millions of other human beings in negative ways.
The individuals we wish to consider are people who reveal morbid19
phenomena, and in whom mental deviations and anomalies of various qualities
and intensities can be observed. Many such people are driven by internal
anxieties: they search for unconventional paths of action and adjustment to
life with a certain characteristic hyperactivity. In some cases, such
activity can be pioneering and creative, which ensures societal tolerance
for some of these individuals.
Diseased; caused by or altered by or manifesting disease or pathology.
Some psychiatrists, especially Germans, have praised such people as
embodying the principal inspiration for the development of civilization;
this is a damagingly unilateral view of reality. Laymen in the field of
psychopathology frequently gain the impression that such persons represent
some extraordinary talents. This very science, however, then goes on to
explain that these individuals’ hyper-activity and sense of being
exceptional are derived from their drive to overcompensate for a feeling of
some deficiency. This aberrant attitude results in the obscuration of the
truth: that normal people are the richest of all.
The fourth chapter of the book contains a concise description of some of
these anomalies, their causes, and the biological reality, selected in such
a way as to facilitate comprehension of this work as a whole. Other data are
distributed throughout many specialized works that will not be included
here. However, we must consider the overall shape of our knowledge in this
area, which is so basic to our understanding of, and practical solutions to,
many difficult problems of social life, is unsatisfactory.
Many scientists treat this area of science as
being peripheral; others consider it “thankless” because it easily leads to
misunderstandings with other specialists. As a consequence, various concepts
and various semantic conventions emerge, and the totality of knowledge in
this science is still characterized by an excessively descriptive nature.
This book therefore encompasses efforts whose purpose was to bring to light
the causative aspects of the descriptively known phenomena.
The pathological phenomena in question, usually of a sufficiently low
intensity which can be more easily concealed from environmental opinion,
merge without much difficulty into the eternal process of the genesis of
evil, which later affects people, families, and entire societies. Later in
this book, we shall learn that these pathological factors become
indispensable components in a synthesis which results in wide scale human
suffering, and also that tracking their activities by means of scientific
control and social consciousness may prove to be an effective weapon against
For the above reasons, this scope of psychopathological science represents
an indispensable part of that objective language we have dealt with before.
Ever-increasing accuracy in biological and psychological facts in this area
is an essential precondition for an objective comprehension of many
phenomena which become extremely onerous for societies, as well as for a
modern solution to age-old problems.
Biologists, physicians, and psychologists who
have been struggling with these elusive and convoluted problems deserve
assistance and encouragement from society, since their work will enable the
future protection of people and nations from an evil whose causes we do not
as yet sufficiently understand.
Nature has designed man to be social, a state of affairs encoded early, on
the instinctual level of our species as described above. Our minds and
personalities could not possibly develop without contact and interaction
with an ever-widening circle of people. Our mind receives input from others,
whether consciously or unconsciously, in regard to matters of emotional and
mental life, tradition and thought, by means of resonant sensitivity,
identification, imitation, and by exchange of ideas, and permanent rules.
The material we obtain in these ways is then
transformed by our psyche in order to create a new human personality, one we
call “our own”. However, our existence is contingent upon necessary links
with those who lived before, those who presently make up our society, and
those who shall exist in the future. Our existence only assumes meaning as a
function of societal bonds; hedonistic isolation causes us to lose our
It is man’s fate to actively cooperate in giving
shape to the fate of society by two principal means: forming his individual
and family life within it, and becoming active in the sum total of social
affairs based on his – hopefully sufficient - comprehension of what needs to
be done, what ought to be done, and whether or not he can do it. This
requires an individual to develop two somewhat overlapping areas of
knowledge about things; his life depends on the quality of this development,
as does his nation and humanity as a whole.
If, say, we observe a beehive with a painter’s eye, we see what looks like a
crowding throng of insects linked by their species-similarity. A beekeeper,
however, tracks complicated laws encoded in every insect’s instinct and in
the collective instinct of the hive as well; that helps him understand how
to cooperate with the laws of nature governing apiary society. The beehive
is a higher-order organism; no individual bee can exist without it, and thus
it submits to the absolute nature of its laws.
If we observe the throngs of people crowding the streets of some great human
metropolis, we see what looks like individuals driven by their business and
problems, pursuing some crumb of happiness. However, such an
oversimplification of reality causes us to disregard the laws of social life
which existed long before the metropolis ever did, and which will continue
to exist long after huge cities are emptied of people and purpose. Loners in
a crowd have a difficult time accepting that reality, which – for them -
exists in only potential form, although they cannot perceive it directly.
In reality, accepting the laws of social life in all their complexity, even
if we find initial difficulties in comprehending them, helps us to come,
finally, to a certain level of understanding that we acquire by something
akin to osmosis. Thanks to this comprehension, or even just an instinctive
intuition of such laws, an individual is able to reach his goals and mature
his personality in action. Thanks to sufficient intuition and comprehension
of these conditions, a society is able to progress culturally and
economically and to achieve political maturity.
The more we progress in this understanding, the more social doctrines strike
us as primitive and psychologically naive, especially those based on the
thoughts of thinkers living during the 18th and 19th centuries which were
characterized by a dearth of psychological perception. The suggestive nature
of these doctrines derives from their oversimplification of reality,
something easily adapted and used in political propaganda.
These doctrines and ideologies show their basic
faults, in regard to the understanding of human personalities and
differences among people, all rather clearly if viewed in the light of our
natural language of psychological concepts, and even more so in the light of
A psychologist’s view of society, even if based only on professional
experience, always places the human individual in the foreground; it then
widens the perspective to include small groups, such as families, and
finally societies and humanity as whole. We must then accept from the outset
that an individual’s fate is significantly dependent upon circumstance. When
we gradually increase the scope of our observations, we also gain a greater
pictorial specificity of causative links, and statistical data assume ever
In order to describe the interdependence between someone’s fate and
personality, and the state of development of society, we must study the
entire body of information collected in this area to date, adding a new work
written in objective language. Herein I shall adduce only a few examples of
such reasoning in order to open the door to questions presented in later
Throughout the ages and in various cultures, the best pedagogues have
understood the importance, regarding the formation of a culture and a
person’s character, of the scope of concepts describing psychological
phenomena. The quality and richness of concepts and terminology20
mastered by an individual and society, as well as the degree to which they
approximate an objective world view, condition the development of our moral
and social attitudes.
Lobaczewski’s emphasis on language is very important. Semiotics is the study
of language or any other symbol system that conveys meaning. One of the
great philosophical discussions that has continued for centuries relates to
that of the alphabet giver and “namer” of things. In the monotheistic world,
Adam is, of course, the one we think of when we think of the “giving of
names” to things. In terms of the study of Semiotics, the question is: did
he name things based on what they were, in essence, or did he simply create
a convention, and arbitrarily name them whatever appealed to him?
The theories of Semiotics propose that there
are two levels, or “planes of articulation”. At the level of any given
language, such as Greek, English, Chinese, or whatever, there is what they
call the “Expression plane” that consists of a lexicon, a phonology and
syntax. In other words, the Expression Plane is the selection of words that
belong to that language, the sounds that the selection of words produce, and
the way they are arranged to convey meaning. That is the first plane. The
second plane is called the Content Plane. This is the array of concepts that
the language is capable of expressing. This last is rather important
because, as we have all heard at least once in our lives, Eskimos have many
words for snow while people who do not live in an environment where snow and
ice are the dominant features may only have one or two words for these
So it is that the “Content Plane” of a language becomes crucial to what can
be discussed in that language. In order for the sounds of speech to be
meaningful, the words formed out of these sounds must have a meaning
associated with them. In other words, the sounds relate to the Content. The
Content Continuum represents the Universe or reality to which our words
relate as we are capable of conceiving it.
Lobaczewski is rightly pointing out that the normal person (not to mention
psychology as a whole, though to a lesser extent) has an extremely
psychological vocabulary of limited understanding because the content
continuum of understanding has been artificially truncated, repressed, or
otherwise diminished. [Editor’s note.]
The correctness of our understanding of self and others characterizes the
components conditioning our decisions and choices, be they mundane or
important, in our private lives and social activities.
The level and quality of a given society’s psychological worldview is also a
condition of realization of the full socio-psychological structure present
as a potential in the psychological variety within our species. Only when we
can understand a person in relation to his actual internal contents, not
some substituted external label, can we help him along his path to proper
adjustment to social life, which would be to his advantage and would also
assist in the creation of a stable and creative structure of society.
Supported by a proper feel for, and understanding of, psychological
qualities, such a structure would impart high social office to individuals
possessing both full psychological normality, sufficient talent and specific
preparation. The basic collective intelligence of the masses of people would
then respect and support them.
And so, in such a society, the only pending problems to be resolved would be
those matters so difficult as to overwhelm the natural language of concepts,
however enriched and qualitatively ennobled.
However, there have always been “society pedagogues”, less outstanding but
more numerous, who have become fascinated by their own great ideas, which
might, sometimes, even be true, but are more often constricted or contain
the taint of some hidden pathological thought processes. Such people have
always striven to impose pedagogical methods which would impoverish and
deform the development of individuals’ and societies’ psychological world
view; they inflict permanent harm upon societies, depriving them of
universally useful values. By claiming to act in the name of a more valuable
idea, such pedagogues actually undermine the values they claim and open the
door for destructive ideologies.
At the same time, as we have already mentioned, each society contains a
small but active minority of persons with various deviant worldviews,
especially in the areas treated above, which are caused either by
psychological anomalies, to be discussed below, or by the long-term
influence of such anomalies upon their psyches, especially during childhood.
Such people later exert a pernicious influence upon the formative process of
the psychological world view in society, whether by direct activity or by
means of written or other transmission, especially if they engage in the
service of some ideology or other.
Many causes which easily escape the notice of sociologists and political
scientists can thus be broken down into either the development or involution
of this factor, whose meaning for the life of society is as decisive as the
quality of their language of psychological concepts.
Let us imagine that we want to analyze these processes: we would construct a
sufficiently credible inventory method which would examine the contents and
correctness of the area of world view in question. After subjecting the
appropriate representative groups to such testing, we would then obtain
indicators of that particular society’s ability to understand psychological
phenomena and dependencies within their country and other nations.
This would simultaneously constitute the basic
indicators of said society’s talent for self-government and progress, as
well as its ability to carry on a reasonable international policy. Such
tests could provide an early warning system if such abilities were to
deteriorate, in which case, it would be proper to make the appropriate
efforts in the realm of social pedagogy. In extreme cases, it might be
proper for those countries evaluating the problem to take more direct
corrective action, even to isolating the deteriorating country until the
appropriate corrections are well under way.
Let as adduce another example of a congenial nature: the development of an
adult human’s gifts, skills, realistic thought, and natural psychological
world view will be optimal where the level and quality of his education and
the demands of his professional practice correspond to his individual
talents. Achieving such a position provides personal, material, and moral
advantages to him; society as whole also reaps benefits at the same time.
Such a person would then perceive it as social justice in relation to
If various circumstances combine, including a given society’s deficient
psychological world view, individual’s are forced to exercise functions
which do not make full use of his or her talents. When this happens, said
person’s productivity is no better, and often even worse, than that of a
worker with satisfactory talents. Such an individual then feels cheated and
inundated by duties which prevent him from achieving self-realization. His
thoughts wander from his duties into a world of fantasy, or into matters
which are of greater interest to him; in his daydream world, he is what he
should and deserves to be.
Such a person always knows if his social and
professional adjustment has taken a downward direction; at the same time,
however, if he fails to develop a healthy critical faculty concerning the
upper limits of his own talents, his daydreams may “fix on” an unfair world
where “all you need is power”. Revolutionary and radical ideas find fertile
soil among such people in downward social adaptations. It is in society’s
best interests to correct such conditions not only for better productivity,
but to avoid tragedies.
Another type of individual, on the other hand, may achieve an important post
because they belong to privileged social groups or organizations in power
while their talents and skills are not sufficient for their duties,
especially the more difficult problems. Such persons then avoid the
problematic and dedicate themselves to minor matters quite ostentatiously. A
component of histrionics appears in their conduct and tests indicate that
their correctness of reasoning progressively deteriorates after only a few
years’ worth of such activities.
In the face of increasing pressures to perform
at a level unattainable for them, and in fear of being discovered as
incompetent, they begin to direct attacks against anyone with greater talent
or skill, removing them from appropriate posts and playing an active role in
degrading their social and professional adjustment. This, of course,
engenders a feeling of injustice and can lead to the problems of the
downwardly adapted individual as described above. Upwardly-adjusted people
thus favor whip-cracking, totalitarian governments which would protect their
Upward and downward social adjustments, as well the qualitatively improper
ones, result in a waste of any society’s basic capital, namely the talent
pool of its members. This simultaneously leads to increasing dissatisfaction
and tensions among individuals and social groups; any attempt to approach
human talent and its productivity problematics as a purely private matter
must therefore be considered dangerously naive. Development or involution in
all areas of cultural, economic and political life depend on the extent to
which this talent pool is properly utilized. In the final analysis, it also
determines whether there will be evolution or revolution.
Technically speaking, it would be easier to construct appropriate methods
that enable us to evaluate the correlations between individual talents and
social adjustment in a given country, than to deal with the prior
proposition of the development of psychological concepts. Conducting the
proper tests would furnish us a valuable index that we might call “the
social order indicator.”
The closer the figure to +1.0, the more likely
the country in question would be to fulfill that basic precondition for
social order and take the proper path in the direction of dynamic
development. A low correlation would be an indication that social reform is
needed. A near-zero or even negative correlation should be interpreted as a
danger-sign that revolution is imminent. Revolutions in one country often
cause manifold problems for other countries, so it is in the best interests
of all countries to monitor such conditions.
The examples adduced above do not exhaust the question of causative factors
influencing the creation of a social structure which would adequately
correspond to the laws of nature. Our species-instinct level has already
encoded the intuition that the existence of society’s internal structure,
based on psychological variations, is necessary; it continues to develop
alongside our basic intelligence, inspiring our healthy common sense. This
explains why the most numerous part of populations, whose talents are near
average, generally accepts its modest social position in any country as long
as the position fulfills the indispensable requirements of proper social
adjustment and guarantees an equitable way of life no matter at what level
of society the individual finds their proper fit.
This average majority accepts and respects the social role of people whose
talents and education are superior, as long as they occupy appropriate
positions within the social structure. The same people, however, will react
with criticism, disrespect, and even contempt, whenever someone as average
as themselves compensates for his deficiencies by flaunting an
upwardly-adjusted position. The judgments pronounced by this sphere of
average but sensible people can often be highly accurate, which can and
should be all the more remarkable if we take into account that said people
could not possibly have had sufficient knowledge of many of the actual
problems, be they scientific, technical, or economic.21
An experienced politician can rarely assume that the difficulties in the
areas of economics, defense, or international policy will be fully
understand by his constituency. However, he can and should assume that his
own comprehension of human matters, and anything having to do with
interpersonal relations within said structure, will find an echo in this
same majority of his society’s members.
These facts partially justify the idea of
democracy, especially if a particular country has historically had such a
tradition, the social structure is well developed, and the level of
education is adequate. Nevertheless, they do not represent psychological
data sufficient to raise democracy to the level of a moral criterion in
politics. A democracy composed of individuals of inadequate psychological
knowledge can only devolve.
often false opinion polls are used to attempt to manipulate a society’s
perception of its officials. This never works for very long as, eventually,
incompetence is revealed to all. [Editor’s note.]
The same politician should be conscious of the fact that society contains
people who already carry the psychological results of social maladjustment.
Some of these individuals attempt to protect positions for which their
skills are not commensurate, while others fight to be allowed to use their
talents. Governing a country becomes increasingly difficult when such
battles begin to eclipse other important needs. That is why the creation of
a fair social structure continues to be a basic precondition for social
order and the liberation of creative values. It also explains why the
propriety and productivity of a structure-creation process constitute a
criterion for a good political system.
Politicians should also be aware that in each society there are people whose
basic intelligence, natural psychological world view, and moral reasoning
have developed improperly. Some of these persons contain the cause within
themselves, others were subjected to psychologically abnormal people as
children. Such individuals’ comprehension of social and moral questions is
different, both from the natural and from the objective viewpoint; they
constitute a destructive factor for the development of society’s
psychological concepts, social structure, and internal bonds.
At the same time, such people easily interpenetrate the social structure
with a ramified22 network of
mutual pathological conspiracies poorly connected to the main social
structure. These people and their networks participate in the genesis of
that evil which spares no nation.
22 Showing one or
more branches. In mathematics, ramification is a geometric term used for
“branching out”. It is also used from the opposite perspective (branches
coming together). [Editor’s note.]
This substructure gives birth to dreams of
obtaining power and imposing one’s will upon society, and is quite often
actually brought about in various countries, and during historical times as
well. It is for this reason that a significant portion of our consideration
shall be devoted to an understanding of this age-old and dangerous source of
Some countries with a non-homogeneous population manifest further factors
which operate destructively upon the formation of social structure and the
permanent developmental processes of a society’s psychological world view.
Primarily among these are the racial, ethnic, and cultural differences
existing in virtually every conquest-engendered nation. Memories of former
sufferings and contempt for the vanquished continue to divide the population
for centuries. It is possible to overcome these difficulties if
understanding and goodwill prevail throughout several generations.
Differences in religious beliefs and the moral convictions related thereto
continue to cause problems, albeit less dangerous than the above, unless
aggravated by some doctrine of intolerance or superiority of one faith above
others. The creation of a social structure whose links are patriotic and
supra-religious has, after all, been demonstrated as possible.
All these difficulties become extremely destructive if a social or religious
group, in keeping with its doctrine, demands that its members be accorded
positions which are in fact upward-adjusted with relation to these people’s
A just social structure woven of individually adjusted persons, i.e.
creative and dynamic as a whole, can only take shape if this process is
subjected to its natural laws rather than some conceptual doctrines. It
benefits society as a whole for each individual to be able to find his own
way to self-realization with assistance from a society which understands
these laws, individual interests and the common good.
One obstacle to the development of a society’s psychological world view, the
building of a healthy societal structure, and the institution of proper
forms for governing the nation, would appear to be the enormous populations
and vast distances of giant countries. It is just precisely these nations
which give rise to the greatest ethnic and cultural variations. In a vast
spreading land containing hundreds of millions of people, individuals lack
the support of a familiar homeland and feel powerless to exert an effect
upon matters of high politics. The structure of society becomes lost in
wide-open spaces. What remains is narrow, generally familial, links.
At the same time, governing such a country creates its own unavoidable
problems: giants suffer from what could be called permanent macropathy
(giant sickness), since the principal authorities are far away from any
individual or local matters.
The main symptom is the proliferation of regulations required for
administration; they may appear proper in the capital but are often
meaningless in outlying districts or when applied to individual matters.
Officials are forced to follow regulations blindly; the scope of using their
human reason and differentiating real situations becomes very narrow indeed.
Such behavioral procedures have an impact upon the society, which also
starts to think regulations instead of practical and psychological reality.
The psychological world view, which constitutes the basic factor in cultural
development and activates social life, thus becomes involuted.
It thus behooves us to ask: Is good government possible? Are giant countries
capable of sustaining social and cultural evolution?
It would appear,
rather, that the best candidates for development are those countries whose
populations number between ten and twenty million, and where personal bonds
among citizens, and between citizens and their authorities, still safeguard
correct psychological differentiation and natural relationships. Overly
large countries should be divided into smaller organisms enjoying
considerable autonomy, especially as regards cultural and economic matters;
they could afford their citizens a feeling of homeland within which their
personalities could develop and mature.
If someone asked me what should be done to heal the United States of
America, a country which manifests symptoms of macropathy, inter alia, I
would advise subdividing that vast nation into thirteen states—just like the
original ones, except correspondingly larger and with more natural
boundaries. Such states should then be given considerable autonomy. That
would afford citizens a feeling of homeland, albeit a smaller one, and
liberate the motivations of local patriotism and rivalry among such states.
This would, in turn, facilitate solutions to other problems with a different
Society is not an organism subordinating every cell to the good of the
whole; neither is it a colony of insects, where the collective instinct acts
like a dictator. However, it should also avoid being a compendium of
egocentric individuals linked purely by economic interests and legal and
Any society is a socio-psychological structure woven of individuals whose
psychological organization is the highest, and thus the most variegated. A
significant scope of man’s individual freedom derives from this state of
affairs and subsists in an extremely complicated relationship to his
manifold psychological dependencies and duties, with regard to this
Isolating an individual’s personal interest as if it were at war with
collective interests is pure speculation which radically oversimplifies real
conditions instead of tracking their complex nature. Asking questions based
on such schemes is logically defective, since it contains erroneous
In reality, many ostensibly contradictory interests, such as individual vs.
collective or those of various social groups and substructures, could be
reconciled if we could be guided by a sufficiently penetrating understanding
of the good of man and society, and if we could overcome the operations of
emotions as well as some more or less primitive doctrines. Such
reconciliation, however, requires transferring the human and social problems
in question to a higher level of understanding and acceptance of the natural
laws of life. At this level, even the most difficult problems turn out to
have a solution, since they invariably derive from the same insidious
operations of psychopathological phenomena.
We shall deal with this
question toward the end of this book.
A colony of insects, no matter how well-organized socially, is doomed to
extinction whenever its collective instinct continues to operate according
to the psychogenetic code, although the biological meaning has disappeared.
If, for instance, a queen bee does not affect her nuptial flight in time
because the weather has been particularly bad, she begins laying
unfertilized eggs which will hatch nothing but drones. The bees continue to
defend their queen, as required by their instinct; of course, and when the
worker bees die out the hive becomes extinct.
At that point, only a “higher authority” in the shape of a beekeeper can
save such a hive. He must find and destroy the drone queen and insinuate a
healthy fertilized queen into the hive along with a few of her young
workers. A net is required for a few days to protect such a queen and her
providers from being stung by those bees loyal to the old queen. Then the
hive instinct accepts the new one. The apiarist generally suffers a few
painful stings in the process.
The following question derives from the above comparison: Can the human hive
inhabiting our globe achieve sufficient comprehension of macrosocial
pathological phenomenon which is so dangerous, abhorrent, and fascinating at
the same time, before it is too late? At present, our individual and
collective instincts and our natural psychological and moral world view
cannot furnish all the answers upon which to base skillful counteractive
Those fair-minded people who preach that all we have left is to trust in the
“Great Apiarist in the sky” and a return to His commandments are glimpsing a
general truth, but they also tend to trivialize particular truths,
especially the naturalistic ones. It is the latter which constitute a basis
for comprehending phenomena and targeting practical action. The laws of
nature have made us very different from one another. Thanks to his
individual characteristics, exceptional life-circumstances, and scientific
effort, man may have achieved some mastery of the art of objectively
comprehending the phenomena of the above-mentioned type, but we must
underscore that this could only occur because it was in accordance with the
laws of nature.
If societies and their wise people are able to accept an objective
understanding of social and sociopathological phenomena, overcoming the
emotionalism and egotism of the natural world view for this purpose, they
shall find a means of action based on an understanding of the essence of the
phenomena. It will then become evident that a proper vaccine or treatment
can be found for each of the diseases scourging the earth in the form of
major or minor social epidemics.
Just as a sailor possessing an accurate nautical
map enjoys greater freedom of course-selection and maneuvering amid islands
and bays, a person endowed with a better comprehension of self, other
people, and the complex interdependencies of social life becomes more
independent of the various circumstances of life and better able to overcome
situations which are difficult to understand.
At the same time, such improved knowledge makes
an individual more liable to accept his duties toward society and to
subordinate himself to the discipline which arises as a corollary. Better
informed societies also achieve internal order and criteria for collective
efforts. This book is dedicated to reinforcing this knowledge by means of a
naturalistic understanding of phenomena, something heretofore comprehended
only by means of excessively moralistic categories of the natural world
In a wider perspective, a constantly improving grasp of the laws governing
social life, and its atypical secluded recesses, must lead us to reflect
upon the failings and deficiencies of those social doctrines expounded to
date, which were based on an extremely primitive understanding of these laws
and phenomena. The distance is not far between such considerations and a
better understanding of the operations of these dependencies in former and
existing social systems; the same applies to substantive critiques thereof.
A new idea is about to be born based upon this ever-deepening comprehension
of natural laws, namely the building of a new social system for nations.
Such a system would be better than any of its predecessors. Building it is
possible and necessary, not just some vague futuristic vision. After all, a
whole series of countries is now dominated by conditions which have
destroyed the structural forms worked out by history and replaced them with
social systems inimical to creative functioning, systems which can only
survive by means of force. We are thus confronted with a great construction
project demanding wide-ranging and well-organized work.
The earlier we undertake the job, the more time
we will have to carry it out.
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