Excerpt About Aggression

Instinctual Manifestation of Aggression

One way that the instincts manifest themselves is in aggression. When getting what we want is blocked or frustrated, we often feel anger, hatred, and revenge. These feelings and our desire to express them can become powerful forces against our love of truth. We're more interested in getting angry than in recognizing the truth, more interested in making somebody suffer than in inquiring into what's going on. These tendencies are driven by an instinctual force. Of course, fears are also involved because we are anxious about survival and anticipated losses. So the level of the instincts, the animal level, looks at the world in terms of objects of gratification—going after things that will make us feel good, gratify us, and help us survive. These are real needs for human beings; they are not made up.

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