Excerpt About Instinct

Looking at the World in Terms of Objects of Gratification

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. We need food to survive. We need some kind of security. We need to have some pleasure; human beings can’t survive if all they are experiencing is pain and suffering. We need some kind of company, some kind of social contact, some kind of family. The question is not whether these things are needed, but whether the expression of these needs is more powerful than the love for the truth. When it is, we stay on the animal level. This doesn’t mean that anything bad is going to happen. It just means that we’re going to continue living as animal souls; we won’t take the next evolutionary step
toward becoming truly human souls.

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