(Work in progress)

 

                              The Problem of Human Wickedness or 'Evil': Where Does It Come From

                                                              and Why Does It Persist?

                   

theme: It is the socially unadaptive and destructive behaviour which constitutes human wickedness or 'evil'.  As a question of human wickedness the 'problem of evil' ...  where does it come from and why does it persist? ...can only be understood in terms of the psychology of human development.  Normal human psycholgical development leads to the construction of moral consciousness or  rational 'conscience', the source of empowerment which is required for adaptation to changing social conditions or  'adaptability'. Human adaptability is compromised when development of rational conscience is arrested at the level of ego-needs for security and self-esteem.  In neurotic development or 'neurosis', a pervasive sense of powerlessness becomes the source of negative emotions and internal conflicts which lead to the construction of immature irrational conscience. It is the failure to develop mature or rational conscience which constitutes the source of human wickedness or 'evil'. Human wickedness a result of failure of education which disempowers... authoritarian education.... problem of evil is therefore an issue of education.  Hence the importance of education for empowerment... for freedom as freedom as true freedom or 'inner freedom'... 'freedom to learn' and 'freedom to work'. We can fight evil with education for human empowerment  ... education based on the biological need for human solidarity, love without conditions or i.e. 'unconditional love'.

 'holistic education

 "If life's tendency to grow, to be lived, is thwarted, the energy thus blocked undergoes a process of change and is transformed into life-destructive energy. Destructiveness is the outcome of unlived life. Those individual and social conditions which make for the blocking of life-furtheriing energy produce destructiveness which in turn is the source from which the various manifestations of evil spring." (Fromm Man For Himself p. 216)

"...man is not necessarily evil but becomes evil only if the proper conditions for his growth and development are lacking. The evil has no independent existence of its own. It is the absence of good, the result of the failure to realize life." (Erich Fromm.  Man For Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics. p.218)   (International Erich Fromm Society  http://www.fromm-gesellschaft.de/index.php/en/)

                                                                                                                                                               

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Christian concept of evil as basic corruption of human nature...

what is evil?...   evil is not the corruption of human nature...  

human nature as social in nature...     the human organism as a social or 'moral' organism...  human growth is moral growth or 'spiritual growth'...

neurotic individual...   neurosis determined by social conditions...  neurosis as a deficiency disease...   neurotic needs...

neurosis as a moral failure...   source of neurosis: deprivation of spiritual values necessary for development of conscience..;

 conflicts of neurosis are based on conflicting forces in the environment which lead to inhibition of psychological development...  

human motivation: natural self-interest or 'egoism' versus egocentric motivation of 'egotism'...  evil as human wickedness..  source of evil..  why does it persist?

thwarted development produces irrational conscience...    authoritarian conscience...     

evil as result of immature neurotic behaviour...

development of rational conscience...

implications for education... .

traditional psychology provides evidence... 

"One of the most basic problems of theological and philosophical thought: is man basically evil and corrupt, or is he basically good and perfectable?" (Fromm The Heart of Man p.19)

 Christian concept of basic corruption of human nature or 'evil' as the fundamental corruption of the human personality or 'human nature'. Christianity teaches the sinfulness, guilt and corruption of human nature, however, not every one agrees on this interpretation of the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. According to philosopher/author Erich Fromm, "The Old Testament does not take the position of man's fundamental corruption. Adam and Eve's 'disobedience' to God are not called sin; nowhere is a hint that this disobedience has corrupted man. On the contrary, the disobedience is the condition for man's self-awareness, for his capacity to choose, and thus in the last analysis this first act of disobedience was man's first step toward freedom. It seems that their disobedience was even within God's plan; for according to prophetic thought, man is able to make his own history because he was expelled from paradise. He is able to develop his own human powers and to attain new harmony with man and nature as a fully developed individual instead of the former relationship with God in which he was not an individual. The Messianic concept of the prophets certainly implies that man is not fundamentally corrupt and that he can be saved without any special act of God's grace... the Old Testament view is that man has both capacities - that of good and that of evil - and he must choose between good and evil, blessing and curse, life and death. Even God does not interfere in his choice; he helps by sending messengers - the prophets, to teach the norms which lead to the realization of goodness, to identify evil, and to warn and to protest. But this being done, man is left alone with his two 'strivings' that for good and that for evil - and the decision is his alone. The Christian development was different. In the course of the development of the Christian Church, Adam's disobedience was conceived as sinful. In fact a sin so severe, that it corrupted his nature and with it that of all his descendents, and thus man by his own effort could never rid himself of this corruption. Only God's own act of grace, the appearance of Christ, who, died for man, could extinguish man's corruption and offer salvation for those who accepted Christ." (The Heart of Man p. 20)

Traditional psychology which emphasizes the pathologies, neuroses and psychoses provides abundant evidence that human acts of wickedness (evil behaviour) are symptoms of emotional disturbance and suffering resulting from the frustration of the natural development of the human conscience.

"The overemphasis of traditional psychology on the pathologies, neuroses, psychoses etc. has provided abundant evidence that men's bad and evil behavior results from frustration in his efforts toward self-actualization." Erich Fromm Values, Psychology, and Human Existence in Maslow A.H. (ed) New Knowledge in Human Values. New York: Harper, 1959) 

".... man by his very nature and of his own accord strives toward self-realisation, and his set of values derives from such striving." (Erich Fromm Man For Himself).

Human nature is intrinsically social...The human organism is a social organism which depends on morality for social adaptation i.e. 'adaptability'.  

The human organism is a social organism with a social brain.... its nature is naturally social i.e. 'human nature'.  The sociability of human nature is a function of the social brain. The human brain reacts to social change on the basis of biologically based motives for behaviour i.e. 'human needs'.

The proper development of the human brain depends on a social environment which provides for the psychological needs for growth, the 'social needs' or 'human needs'.

The human needs include the spiritual needs - the growth needs or 'metaneeds' as well as the basic psychological needs for security and self-esteem - the 'ego' needs, and the obvious physiological needs. Security and self-esteem needs are more urgent or 'prepotent' to the growth needs. (The child will give up growth to retain security). The human needs are instinctive 'values' by which the organism operates in its intrinsic striving for mature growth for self-realisation or 'self-actualisation'. Human needs are 'operative values' which make up the inner core of the human personality or 'human nature'. The metaneeds are 'metavalues' or 'being-values' - the moral or 'ethical' or spiritual values of truth, justice, beauty, 'unconditional love' and so on. Motivation by the metaneeds is 'metamotivation'. With  respect for the metaneeds for spiritual growth, the individual is motivated to remain truthful to themselves, to assume  responsibility for their own growth and to invest their constructive energies into the realisation of their human potential.

 Recognition of human needs is the basis for education for human growth and development towards the realisation of human potential...  personality integration and realisation of the self in a process of 'mature growth' i.e. self-realisation or 'self-actualisation'. Self-actualisation forms the basis for complete psychological development and natural self-esteem. The feelings of natural self-esteem are functional in the development of 'moral consciousness' or 'conscience'. Maturity of conscience is characteristic of the psychological integration of personality and the wholeness of complete human development i.e. intellectual, psychological, emotional, spiritual development or 'moral development' ...psychological health or 'wellness'. Wellness is psychological wholeness... the basis for the complete cognition of social reality i.e. 'holistic perception'. Holistic perception of social reality is a precondition for the human capacity to relate to others and forms the basis for socially adaptive behaviour or 'adaptability'. Adaptability is the ability to adapt to changing social conditions and leads to is beneficial, creative and amicable relations  between social groups. The failure to relate to others and to adapt successfully to changing social conditions results in behaviour which is socially 'unadaptive' - destructive or 'evil'... misunderstandings and unresolvable conflicts.

Human adaptability depends on construction of moral consciousness or 'conscience' Human adaptability depends on normal moral, intellectual, emotional and psychological development of rational moral consiousness i.e. 'rational conscience'. Conscience is awareness of human morals - the 'moral faculty' - an emergent property of the human brain. The human brain is a social brain. The conscience is a naturally flexible valuing system which allows for the protection of personal integrity during the process of adaptation to changing social conditions. The word 'conscience' is derived from Latin 'conscientia’ for moral awareness - from ‘con’ meaning 'with' and ‘scire’ meaning 'to know'. Conscience is awareness of the nature of the human personality or 'human nature'.  Knowledge of human nature is 'self-knowledge'. Self-knowledge is necessary for rational evaluation of the social environment. The conscience is the core of guiding values prescribed by the various religious and philosophical authorities and sought by theologians and philosophers throughout human history i.e. 'human values'. Human values are values of the highest consciousness state - goodness,  beauty, justice, spiritual love, joy, 'truth' and so on i.e. 'virtues'.  The virtues have evolved through natural selection as a result of their survival value to the human organism as a social organism. The virtues constitute the human 'spiritual equipment' with which the organism depends for adaptability to the complexities of changing social conditions i.e 'social intelligence'. Social intelligence is a function of 'intuition' or 'creative intelligence'. Creative intelligence is intelligence of the highest consciousness state and the most effective for social adaptation.

 Human growth is moral growth or 'spiritual growth' involving development of moral consciousness or 'conscience'. Complete development of the human conscience... the human 'spirit'... is a function of 'moral development'. The extent of moral development determines the extent to which the individual is able to adapt to changing social conditions i.e. 'adaptability'. Human adaptability is the most effective at the highest levels of personality and cultural development which a reality is perceived which is independent of distorted human perceptions. This is the 'ultimate reality' which can be described in terms of the being-Values or 'ultimate values' of self-transcendance. Being values are the guiding values for solving the problems of life i.e. 'natural ethics' of human morality. Morality is responsibility for growth and responsibility for growth is a function of responsibility for human needs or 'values' which derive from the instrinsic striving for self-actualisation. Morality is a product of  'spiritual richness' and positive attitudes which lead to creative strategies of problem-solving. All the person's energy is focused on what they want to achieve. Their creative accomplishments enhance their own welfare and happiness as well as that of others. 

Human motivation...motivation by natural self-interest or 'egoism' as opposed to motivation by over self-defensive domination or egocentrism or 'egotism'.... motivation by overvaluation of one's own importance and activities. Egotism is the anaesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity...

Naturally, with complete development, human behaviour is determined by wholistic perception of reality, understanding between social groups amd amicable relations.  Man's 'animal nature' or human nature - is not evil. An individual's responsibility to himself is to develop his humanness. With incomplete human development, incomplete cognition and dichotomous perception of reality leads to misunderstandings and conflict, destruction, wars etc... explained by individuals who have power and no understanding.

Much of human history involves power politics and power struggles of immature adults whose powers of influence are adult but whose motives and responses are infantile. "The most dangerous members of our society are those grownups whose powers of influence are adult but whose motives and responses are infantile." Disorder and violence are signs of emotional disturbance and suffering. They are not acts of the will. According to laws of nature, "will is a force which impels activities beneficial to life. The will can be broken in a moment. Its development is a slow process that evolves through a continuous activity in relationship with the environment."

  What is the source of evil? where does it come from? The source of evil as 'human wickedness' is irrational conscience  Wicked acts are willful acts of the irrational conscience.... a characteristic of frustrated growth... immature neurotic growth or 'neurosis'.  

Evil originates in the sense of disempowerment and powerlessness which results from authoritarian upbringing and education ... irrational conscience leads to willful acts of human wickedness derives from a sense of disempowerment arising from the inability to accept the responsibilities of freedom giving rise to uncontrollable negative emotions. Inability to control negative feelings (in the sense of 'balance' or 'master')  leads to unbalanced thought  and behaviour patterns which result in the failure to adapt to the complexities of the  changing social reality. This leads to unbalanced or wicked behaviour which is  nonadaptive and  destructive  ...  when the creative energy for growth is blocked that same energy is transformed to destructive ends.The individual remains  insecure with low self-esteem and attempts to compensate for this with compensatory feelings of sham dominance and the 'will to power' The domineering attitudes which result are the source of wicked behaviour or  'evil'.   Those we consider 'evil' are really just retarded to some degree and not fully humanised. Their development has been arrested and they are not healthy specimens of the species. Their influence can be deadly if it is combined with authoritarianism and dominance. They hold on to power because people don't think and those who think are considered to be dangerous.

What is evil? Evil is 'human wickedness'...

 Wicked human behaviour is the result of failure to achieve self-realization through proper growth and development ... through the 'right education' . 

Evil is real but it has no independent existence of its own.

Evil is the same as the destruction which results from socially non-adaptive behaviour..'Evil' is identified with human behaviour which is morally wrong or 'wicked' wickedness of human behavior.... socially non-adaptive behaviour such as greed, malice, sadism, cruelty, violence, destructiveness, war and so on. violent reactions against frustration of the organism's intrinsic needs, emotions and capacities... Evil is the same as the pain and destruction which results from human wickedneess.

 Evil is derived from the social disorder of disordered societies.

 Traditionally, psychologists and philosophers have defined 'good' as the absence of 'evil'...

Evil is the absence of good - the result of the failure to realize life, failure to achieve 'humanness', failure to become humanised....   human behavior becomes evil only if the proper conditions for growth and development are lacking... evil human behavior results from the crippling effect of insecurity and low self-esteem... evil results from the failure to realize life... failure to achieve self-realization... The 'evil' of human nature results from the failure of the human being to achieve realization of their human potential or 'self-actualisation'. The evil of human nature results from the failure to achieve 'humanness'... failure to become humanised... manifestations of 'evil'...  

There are people who respond with hatred in the presence of goodness and would destroy the good insofar as it is in their power to do so... not with conscious malice but blindly, lacking awareness of their own evil... and trying to avoid at all costs any awareness of their own evil... they hate the light and will do anything to extinguish it. They will destroy the light in their own children and in all other beings subject to their power. They hate the light because it reveals themselves to themselves. They hate goodness because it reveals their own badness... they will hate the light, the love, the goodness in order to avoid the pain of self-awareness ... evil people take any action in their power to preserve the integrity of their sick self ... The evil person will continue to be evil ... destroy others to preserve the integrity of their own bad conscience. They will kill to escape the pain of spiritual growth... the integrity of the sick self is threatened by the the spiritual health of the good and loving people around them..

authoritarian conscience...   

Evil is the result of denial or frustration of human needs, human capacities and human yearnings ...

failure to develop rational conscience... leads to formation of dysfunctional or 'irrational conscience'

characteristic of arrested psychological development which lead to unbalanced or wicked behaviour the source of human wickedness or 'evil'.  

The so-called 'evil' in human nature is the result of factors which stand in the way of growth - evasion, fixation, regression, defensiveness. destructiveness, sadism, cruelty, malice, etc. are violent reactions against frustration of the organism's intrinsic needs, emotions and capacities.

what is the cause of evil human behavior? ....'evil' is identified with the wickedness of human behavior..

Human behaviour becomes evil only if the proper conditions for growth and development are lacking... derived from the crippling effect of insecurity and low self-esteem.... evil results from the failure to realize life... Hatred and fear result from emotional immaturity and psychological ill health... incomplete psychological development results in incomplete development of the human conscience.. neurosis...neurotic behavior is immoral ...neurosis represents a moral problem. The failure to achieve maturity - integration of the whole personality is a moral failure. Frustration of human growth as source of human neurosis and human wickedness.

evil human behavior result of failed psychological development...   failure to realize human potentiality... human potential... failure to achieve self-realisation or 'self-actualisation'...  failed process of humanisation... failure to develop rational conscience... is a direct result of deprivation of unconditional love which communicates the sense of security necessary for normal human growth.

Developed conscience is source of empowerment required for adaptation to changing conditions i.e. 'adaptability'. Human adaptability is compromised with sense of powerlessness - the source of negative emotions leading to 'sham dominance'... 'will to power'... characteristics of neurotic growth or 'neurosis'.

'Evil' human behavior is a function of immature, neurotic behavior. The problems of immaturity and neurosis are directly related to undeveloped conscience and immorality. Evil behavior results from the failure to achieve maturity, integration of the whole personality, 'wholeness', self-actualization, realization of human potential, the failure to become 'human', to achieve 'humanness'.  Incomplete psychological development means incomplete development of the conscience. Instead of the natural wholistic perception of reality of complete cognition, the dichotomous perception of reality (perception of dichotomies) 'incomplete cognition' of immaturity and neurosis... results in evil behavior.

the individual who denies to awareness ...represses... large areas of his experience... then his creative formings become pathological... socially evil. .. 'Evil' behavior is the manifestation of psychopathology (psychological ill health, psychosis). Thwarted psychological development:

attractiveness of psychopathology ...power for the immature and insecure, the incompletely developed...The neurotic personality depends on political power of control over others...

 Disciplinary measures are injurious to growth ....result of discipline is the thwarting of natural human development which requires favorable conditions...

 "To the extent that the individual is denying to awareness (repressing) large areas of his experience, then his creative formings may be pathological, or socially evil or both. To the degree that the individual is open to all aspects of his experience, and has available to his awareness all the varied sensings and perceivings which are going on within his organism, then the novel products of his interaction with his environment will tend to be constructive both for himself and others.... Repressing an impulse means removing it from awareness but it does not mean removing it from existence. Freud has shown that the repressed impulse continues to operate and o exercise a profound influence upon the person although the person is not aware of it. The effect of the repressed impulse on the person is not even necessarily smaller than if it were conscious; the main difference is that it is not acted upon overtly but in disguise, so that the person acting is spared the knowledge of what he is doing." (Rogers, C. On Becoming a Person. Cambridge, MA:: Riverside Press 1961. 352)

 The actualisation of a potentiality depends on the presence of certain conditions...the concept of potentiality has no meaning except in connection with the specific conditions required for actualisation. If the proper conditions are present, the 'primary' potentiality is actualized ('good') and if the present conditions are in contrast to those required by the primary potentiality, then the 'secondary' potentiality is realized. The primary potentiality is manifested under normal conditions. The 'secondary' potentiality is manifested under abnormal, pathogenic conditions...

The human organism has a 'natural personality' which is not 'evil'...basically good... feelings of 'natural dominance' or 'self-esteem' lead to beneficial and creative behavior.

Feelings of 'compensatory dominance' become 'overcompensatory' when they are derived from the crippling effect of insecurity and low self-esteem.The feelings of 'sham dominance' lead to domineering attitudes which result in wicked human behavior... 

Wicked acts are willful acts of the irrational conscience.... a characteristic of frustrated growth... immature neurotic growth or 'neurosis'.  

TOLERATION noun, TO TOLERATE verb (from Latin 'toleratus' pp. of tolerare, to bear, sustain) To tolerate means 'to not interfere with'; allow; permit; recognize and resopect other people's beliefs without sharing them. According to Voltaire, "Toleration is the right of mankind. Since we are all of us weak and make mistakes we should forgive one another's foolish actions. This is the first law of nature. Anyone who persecutes someone else because he does not agree with him is a monster....we should forgive each other our errors. Quarreling is the greatest evil of mankind and toleration is the only remedy forit. Everyone agrees with this in theory. Why do they not practise toleration. The answer is because they make self-interest their god. They believe their power rests on the ignorance and stupidity of others."

 "The problem of psychic health and neurosis is inseparably linked up with that of ethics. It may be said that every neurosis represents a moral problem. The failure to achieve maturity and integration of the whole personality is a moral failure." (Fromm Man For Himself page 224)

Human behaviour which is evil is neurotic behaviour and as neurotic behaviour originates in the undeveloped and irrational human conscience.

The neurotic individual is unable to experience the complete or 'wholistic' cognition (intuition) for correct evaluation of the social reality and engages in ego-centered mental processing which creates a distortion in perception and dichotomizes reality... 'perception problem'. The dichotomous perception of reality leads to the perception of social problems in terms of good/bad, true/false judgements - the characteristic 'incomplete cognition' of social adaptation which depends on attitudes of over-defensiveness.

The neurotic individual avoids spiritual growth

For the immature and insecure neurotic mind spiritual growth is painful. The individual will attempt to avoid at all costs the pain of self-awareness and will take any action in their power to do so. In their efforts to preserve unawareness while enhancing their ability to adapt to changing social conditions, they will develop pathological defensive strategies of evasion, fixation and regression. Creative energies will be channelled into pathological attitudes of domination - 'compensatory dominance' - in order to compensate for the lack of self-esteem and to preserve the integrity of the undeveloped conscience. With the continued repression of experience, the feelings of compensatory dominance become exaggerated or 'overcompensatory'. Feelings of overcompensatory dominance lead to the pretentious and arrogant attitudes of a 'sham dominance'. It is the sham dominance of the ego-centered neurotic mind which is responsible for the wickedness of human behaviour or 'evil'. The overdefensive individual becomes obsessional, controlling and self-controlling, resorting to power politics of control which violate and destroy the rights of other human beings. The normal qualities of enthusiasm, impulsiveness, whimsicality, and unpredictability are perceived as the lack of control and attempts will be made to destroy these qualities whenever possible.

Evil is the corruption of development of the human personality ... of  personality growth or 'human development'.

When the the creative energy for growth is blocked that same energy can be transformed to destructive ends. The individual remains  insecure with low self-esteem and attempts to compensate for this with feelings of sham dominance. The domineering attitudes which result are the source of evil as wicked behaviour.

    the problem of what stands in the way of growth...problem of 'evil'. . what is the cause of evil human behavior? ..what is the source of evil? ...'evil' is identified with the wickedness of human behavior... evil results from the failure to realize life... Hatred and fear result from emotional immaturity and psychological ill health.... disciplinary measures are injurious to growth ....result of discipline is the thwarting of natural human development which requires favorable conditions... has provided abundant evidence that men's bad and evil behavior results from frustration in his efforts toward self-actualization. ...incomplete psychological development results in incomplete development of the human conscience.. neurosis...neurotic behavior is immoral ...neurosis represents a moral problem. The failure to achieve maturity - integration of the whole personality is a moral failure. Frustration of human growth as source of human neurosis and human wickedness.

 source of human wickedness or 'evil' is undeveloped or 'irrational' conscience ... 

Problem of evil: "The problem of evil is perhaps the greatest of all theological problems. Yet as with so many other 'religious' issues, the science of psychology has acted, with few minor exceptions, as if evil did not exist. Potentially however, psychology has much to contribute to the subject... four conclusions I have reached concerning the nature of evil. First... evil is real. It is not the figment of the imagination of  a primitive mind feebly attempting to explain the unknown. There really are people and institutions made up of people who respond with hatred in the presnce of goodness, and would destroy the good insofar as it is in their power to do so.They do this not with conscious malice but blindly, lacking awareness of their own evil, indeed seeking to avoid any such awareness. As has been described of the devil in religious literature, they hate the light and instinctively will do anything to avoid it, including attempting to extinguish it. They will destroy the light in their own children and in all other beings subject to their power. Evil people hate the light because it reveals themselves to themselves. They hate goodness because it reveals their badness; they hate love because it reveals their laziness.They willl destroy the light, the goodness, the love, in order to avoid the pain of such self-awareness. Second... evil is laziness carried to its ultimate extraordinary extreme. As I have defined it, love is the antithesis of laziness. Ordinary laziness is a passive failure to love. Some ordinarily lazy people may not lift a finger to extend themselves unless they are compelled to do so. Their being is a manifestation of nonlove; still they are not evil.Truly evil people, on the other hand, actively rather than passively avoid extending themselves.They will take any action within their power to protect their own laziness, to preserve the integrity of their sick self. Rather than nurturing others, they will actually destroy others in this cause. If necessary, they will even kill to escape the pain of their own spiritual growth. As the integrity of their sick self is threatened by the spiritual health of those around them they will seek by all manner of means to crush and demolish the spiritual health that may exist near them. I define evil then, as  the exercise of political power- that is the imposition of one's will upon others by overt or covert coercion - in order to avoid extending oneself for the purpose of nurturing spiritual growth. Ordinary laziness is nonlove; evil is antilove.Third... the existence of evil is inevitable, at least at this stage of human evolution. Given the force of entropy and the fact that humans possess free will, it is inevitable that laziness will be well contained in some and completely uncontained in others. As entropy on the one hand, and the evolutionary flow of love on the other, are opposing forces, it is ony natural that these forces will be relatively in balance in most people, while a few at one extreme will manifest pure love, and a few at the other extreme pure entropy or evil, they are conflicting forces, it is also inevitable that those at the extremes will be  locked in combat; it s as natural for evil to hate goodnees as it is for goodness to hate evil. Fourth... while entropy is an enormus force, in its most extreme form of human evil, it is strangely ineffective as a social force. I myself have witnessed evil in action, viciously attacking and effectively destroying the spirits and minds of dozens of children. But evil backfires in the big picture of human evolution. For every soul it destroys, it is instrumental in the salvation of others. Unwittingly evil serves as a beacon to warn others away from its shoals. Because most of us  have been graced by an almost instinctive sense of horror at the outrageousness of evil, when we recognize its presence our own personalities are honed by the awareness of its existence. Our consciousness of it is a signal to purify ourselves. It was evil for instance that raised Christ to the cross thereby enabling us to see him from afar. Our personal involvement in the fight against evil in the world is one of the ways we grow." Scott Peck The Road Less Travelled pp 265-268

Why does it persist? Traditional psychology which emphasizes the pathologies, neuroses and psychoses provides abundant evidence that human acts of wickedness are symptoms of emotional disturbance and suffering resulting from the frustration of the natural development of the human conscience.

"The overemphasis of traditional psychology on the pathologies, neuroses, psychoses etc. has provided abundant evidence that men's bad and evil behavior results from frustration in his efforts toward self-actualization." Erich Fromm Values, Psychology, and Human Existence in Maslow A.H. (ed) New Knowledge in Human Values. New York: Harper, 1959)

a characteristic of frustrated growth... immature neurotic growth or 'neurosis'.  

Wicked acts are willful acts of the irrational conscience....  results from the failure to develop rational conscience...  is a direct result of deprivation of unconditional love which communicates the sense of security necessary for normal human growth.                                  

Thwarted development produces irrational conscience. Development of the conscience is thwarted when harmful factors stand in the way of growth. In the absence of the security of unconditional love, the individual learns to dread the environment and perceives it be a threat to growth. They develop immature emotional reactions of insecurity - fear and hatred. These irrational feelings dominate the individual's behaviour while large areas of experience are repressed. The result is emotional immaturity and low self-esteem which has a crippling effect on further psychological growth. If psychological development is arrested the individual is motivated by the deficiency of basic psychological needs i.e. deficiency or 'deficit motivation'. Deficit motivation results in neurotic growth or 'neurosis'. The immaturity of neurosis is directly related to the immorality of undeveloped conscience and is thus inseparably linked with lack of ethics or 'evil'. The source of neurosis is the same as the source of evil. Both neurosis and evil are products of the immaturity and spiritual poverty which results from thwarted psychological development and the frustration of spiritual growth. The incomplete development of neurotic growth leads to unethical behaviour and human wickedness. For this reason, every neurosis represents a moral problem.

Human behaviour which is evil is neurotic behaviour and as neurotic behaviour originates in the undeveloped and irrational human conscience.

 The neurotic individual feels threatened by the love and the goodness in others around them... they will even try to destroy the light in their own children - not with conscious malice but blindly.  

 Development of rational conscience depends on a learning environment which favours its construction through concentration on creative productiveness or 'work'. Work has psychological value in the construction of conscience if it is functional in personal growth and development while involving the development of human potentiality for creative intelligence. The aim of education is to provide the right conditions for growth and development of rational conscience, to provide for 'human needs' which include spiritual needs or 'metaneeds'.

Development of the rational conscience  is a product of moral or 'spiritual' growth. The fully developed conscience or the 'free will' impels the organism towards attitudes and behaviours which are beneficial to life. Spiritual growth is a slow process of construction - according to laws of nature - which takes place during continuous concentrated activity in a close relationship with the environment. The development of the conscience and the spiritual values of human goodness requires favorable conditions of emotional security communicated through the affection and trust of unconditional love. Emotional security is the prerequisite for interest in the environment or 'curiosity', the natural drive for motivation of spiritual growth through learning. Spiritual growth depends on learning in a social environment of freedom - freedom to learn, freedom to concentrate on work and freedom of self-expression and inquiry.

 If these conditions are lacking and intrinsic psychological and spiritual needs are denied, then the will of the conscience is broken and development arrested.

 "The actualization of a potentiality depends on the presence of certain conditions... the concept of potentiality has no meaning except in connection with the specific conditions required for actualization. If the proper conditions are present, the 'primary' potentiality is actualized ('good') and if the present conditions are in contrast to those required by the primary potentiality, then the 'secondary' potentiality is realized. The primary potentiality is manifested under normal conditions. The 'secondary' potentiality is manifested under abnormal, pathogenic conditions... man is not necessarily evil but becomes evil only if the proper conditions for his growth and development are lacking. The human organism has a 'natural personality' which is not 'evil'...feelings of 'natural dominance' or 'self-esteem' lead to beneficial and creative behavior. Feelings of 'compensatory dominance' become 'overcompensatory'. The feelings of sham dominance lead to domineering attitudes which result in wicked human behavior...manifestations of 'evil'...

 problem of 'evil' is the problem of what stands in the way of growth... an issue of education

 "We must also face squarely the problem of what stands in the way of growth - evasion fixation, regression, defensiveness - the attractiveness of psychopathology i.e. and the so-called problem of 'evil'." (Erich Fromm)

Implications for education  Evil is a product of education which inhibits spiritual growth to maturity of conscience. 

Many neurotic conflicts are ultimately determined by educational policy of parenting and schooling within the context of social and cultural conditions. Disordered societies which deny an education providing the conditions which are favorable for spiritual growth create conditions for the neurotic growth of children into disordered adults. They become socially evil as a result of the frustration of their efforts for normal growth. Normal growth is hampered when the basis for the education which is offered is discipline and punishment. Punishment of children develops irrrational emotions of fear and hatred leading to neurotic growth and the prevention of learning from experience and so contributes to the failure of social development. The resulting inability for social adaptation leads to pathological reactions of frustration and destructiveness. Human acts of destruction and evil are the product of continued frustration of the intrinsic human need for spiritual growth.

 But development of the conscience and human goodness requires favorable conditions in the context of psychological security which is communicated through unconditional love.

Normal spiritual growth and the avoidance of evil depends on an education which provides for complete human development and the realization of human potential i.e. 'self-actualisation'

 Social evils are products of incomplete human development i.e. intellectual, psychological, emotional development and development of conscience. metaneeds... Basic human nature i.e. the 'intrinsic conscience' is made up of inborn capacities and preferences, psychological needs and yearnings of spiritual needs or 'metaneeds'. Needs based education is education of the whole person or 'holistic education     

The basic right of the human being is the right to be human...  to be responsible to themselves to develop their humanness. People who respect their own humanity can respect the humanity of others.

The mind's perception of itself determines the individual's thinking and perception of reality... necessary for creative or 'adaptive' behaviour i.e. 'human adaptability'. Importance of education for 'self-knowledge'... 'holistic education'...                                               

 For the neurotic individual one of the most difficult problems is deciding the extent of their responsibilities. Immaturity of conscience ca n result in behaviour for which the individual finds it too painful to decide on the extent of their responsibility and so will avoid it altogether. And they will perceive freedom  as painful since that implies responsibility as well. The inability to accept both freedom and responsibility leads to the incapacity for creative and adaptive decision-making and to the decline in self-reliance and a predominance of  negative  emotions such as fear and hatred. As a result the individual resorts to methods of power politics and control – methods which violate the rights of others. The controlling behaviour of the immature conscience results in the  destructiveness of human wickedness or ‘evil’.

thwarted growth and development: psychological ill health resulting from neurotic growth or 'neurosis'.

"The neurotic process is a special form of human development, and because of the waste of constructive energies which it involves - is a particularly unfortunate one. Under favorable conditions, man's energies are put into the realisation of his own potentialities." (Karen Horney M.D. Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Toward Self-Realization New York: W.W. Norton & Co. Inc. 1956. p.13) see New Ways in Psychoanalysis)      

 What is neurosis? Failure of Moral Development

Insights into normal psychological development can be produced from investigation into abnormal or 'pathological' processes. All behavioural reactions, whether normal or pathological, represent psychological solutions to problems of social adaptation and preservation of personal integrity. They are all expressions of the individual's attempt to deal with the demands of a changing social environment i.e. 'adaptability'. Adaptive behaviour is creative or 'moral' behaviour. Human morality is a function of the complete development of moral consciousness or 'conscience'. Rational conscience which allows for the accurate perception of the social reality is a function of correct perception of the self i.e. 'self-knowledge'. Self-knowledge depends on the provision of social conditions ('education') which integrates the moral or 'spiritual' dimension of 'ego-transcendance' with other dimensions of the human personality or 'human nature' i.e. integral education or 'holistic education'. Holistic education for development of the person as a whole is based on respect for human developmental needs including spiritual needs for 'moral development' i.e. 'metaneeds'. Motivation by the metaneeds is 'metamotivation'. Metamotivation is inhibited in a social environment which ignores the metaneeds. The  result is the obstruction of normal psychological development and the progression of a pathological process of neurotic development or 'neurosis'. Neurosis is a distorted variation of normal human development involving distorted perception or 'perception problem' which leads to incorrect evaluations of environmental conditions and subsequent inadaptive behavioural reactions leading to the destructive behaviour of human wickedness or 'evil'.

"The mind which is neurotic or psychotic is one that has linked itself to an environment not really there: its responses are to fantasies and illusions - to dangers that are the projections of its own fears; to slights that are the projections of its own self-doubtings. The life that is rich and happy is one that is fulfilling its possibilities through creative linkages with reality" (Overstreet The Mature Mind)

Subconscious failings of personality which persist in the adult life of the parents will be in opposition to the emergence of their children's true nature...  . 'human nature'.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

 

If psychic development is thwarted then spiritual growth is inhibited, the conscience is deformed and the individual is dehumanised. The result is mental imbalance of psychopathology of neurotic development or 'neurosis' . 

  Neurosis is  a deficiency disease. .. 'deficiency motivation' or 'deficit motivation'... The term 'neurosis' - from Greek 'neuron' for nerve and 'osis' for diseased or abnormal - was coined by Scottish doctor William Cullen in 1769. Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis, believed that the mental conflicts of neurosis were fundamental conflicts arising from biological foundations of the human personality or 'human nature'. Freud's understanding of neurosis was based on his pessimistic outlook on human nature which was in keeping with the general thinking of his time. He accepted the traditional belief in the individual's basic 'moral depravity'. He believed that each individual is naturally antisocial with antisocial instincts which had to be controlled. The so-called 'antisocial instincts' are in fact not instincts at all but symptoms of neurosis as a pathological process of human development... The neurotic process is a form of hampered human development and involves a waste of constructive energies.

Spiritual deprivation thwarts the free use of energies and warps the expansiveness of personality. In a state of inner stress, the individual becomes alienated from their real self, shifting their energies in an effort to mold their character into an ideal self image which they create for themselves. (This is evidence for the strong human striving for 'perfection'.) In the neurotic process, the environment is perceived as a menace to individuality, development, instinctive striving for growth, freedom and happiness. With fear grounded in reality, the basic anxiety develops. The individual attempts to avoid problems and the emotional suffering which they entail. The avoidance of the suffering which comes from dealing with the problem means avoidance of the opportunity for growth which comes from dealing with the problem.   Conditions of extreme emotional stress in children can lead to their alienation from themselves resulting in a shift of energies in an attempt to mold their character into an ideal self-image which they create for themselves. In this way they develop a conscience which is a distortion of the rational conscience of humanisation i.e. deformed conscience or 'authoritarian conscience'. The authoritarian conscience has an inhibitory effect on psychological development and the result is immature growth of neurosis and  spiritual poverty which produces immoral or 'unethical' behaviour. The individual potentially compromises whatever they may truly want for the sake of safety and security and illusory sense of peace. They focus their energies on what they don't want designing strategies to avoid immediate unwanted circumstances... 'defensive strategies'... as well as longer range strategies to prevent unwanted circumstances from happening in the first place... 'pre-emptive strike'. They are forced to take action only when external or internal stimuli deriving from overwhelming circumstances - 'circumstantial stimuli' - evoke spontaneous reactions or so-called 'appropriate' responses. This is the 'reactive-responsive character orientation' of failed moral development and the creation of neurotic conflicts.

"Under inner stress, a person may become alienated from his real self. He will then shift the major part of his energies to the task of molding himself, by a rigid system of inner dicates into a being of absolute perfection. He idealizes the image he has of himself. This neurotic development illustrates the strong human striving for 'perfection'. (Horney, Karen, M.D. Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Toward Self-Realization)

 So-called 'neurotic needs' are essentially exaggerated needs of security and self-esteem or 'ego needs'. °... the need to view life from an egocentric viewpoint, as if it is reasonable to assume that it should revolve around the person's own needs even though in reality this is impossible.... the desperate need for acceptance and affection originates from an impoverished emotional environment during childhood. ° ... the need to have control and power over others originating in the controlling environment of childhood. ° ... the need to manipulate others originating in the insensitivity to the person's feelings during childhood. This results in the fear of being manipulated and made to look stupid. ° ... the need to be recognized socially which leads to conscious attempts to be outgoing.° ... the need to be admired for their own inner qualities... resulting in their unrealistic striving for perfectionism and their fear of being considered unimportant to others.°  ... the need for personal accomplishment which becomes an obsession... and leads to desire to be in charge of all situations of which they are a part.°... the need for independence which excludes outside assistance to the extent of discarding those who might have been of use to them previously.° ... the need to avoid 'failure' originating in the disapproval of failures in childhood.

"The observation and analysis of pathological phenomena... yield greater insight into the processes of the organism than do those of the normal. As long as one regards the pathological simply as curiosa, created by disease, we cannot hope, in studying them, to advance our knowledge of normal phenomena... It has become increasingly evident that pathological phenomena can be recognized as an indication of lawful variations of the normal life process...." (Kurt Goldstein 1995. The Organism: A Holistic Approach to Biology Derived from Pathological Data in Man page 29-30)

Conflicts of neurosis are ultimately determined by conflicting motivational forces in the social environment. The inherent mental conflicts of neurosis are due to the conflicting forces of motivation... cultural attitudes... of the social environment within which the individual is functioning... the family and/or school environment... environmental factors... These  have the effect of inhibiting  psychological development.  Neurosis is basic anxiety which originates in childhood. The conflicts of neurosis are energised by childhood anxieties... anxiety feelings which arise in children whose parents fail to give them genuine warmth and affection... 'unconditional love'... which communicates security... usually because of their own neuroses. Under these conditions the child does not experience the 'blissful certainty of being wanted'. Deprived of unconditional love and instilled with fear through the isolation of overprotectiveness and intimidation of brutality the child does not experience the sense of security which is crucial to their self-esteem. When self-esteem is undermined, the basic anxiety develops undermining self-reliance that is essential for continued healthy psychological growth and development which depends on freedom from anxiety and fear - the pre-requisite to curiosity and exploration for growth through knowledge. Fear and anxiety inhibit curiosity and growth. In the neurotic process, the environment is perceived as a menace to individuality, development, instinctive striving for growth, freedom and happiness. With fear grounded in reality, the basic anxiety develops. The individual attempts to avoid problems and the emotional suffering which they entail. The avoidance of the suffering which comes from dealing with the problem means avoidance of the opportunity for growth which comes from dealing with the problem.

"Neurosis - manifest 'basic anxiety' - derives from environmental factors which obstruct a child's normal psychic growth and development". (Horney, Karen, M.D. Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Toward Self-Realization, 366)

 "Energized by childhood anxieties resulting from obstruction to inner freedom, security and healthy psychological growth, the neuroses of modern industrial man are therefore based on conflicts inherent in our own culture." (Horney, K. The Neurotic Personality of Our Time p.141)

Anxiety feelings result from the deprivation of spiritual values or 'value-starvation'. Spiritual deprivation thwarts the free use of energies in the expansiveness of personality and warps progress of  spiritual growth which is required for the creative ability to deal with life problems... the indivdual lacks the freedom to be independent from obligation to accept the beliefs of others i.e. 'inner freedom'. Inner freedom is a function of the complete development of personality integration characerised by critical consciousness or moral consciousness i.e. 'conscience'

In the chronic form of neurosis psychological growth stops as a result of the inhibition of constructive energies involved in metamotivation for normal growth. The chronically neurotic adult is  they cannot separate from the power that their parents have over them. Their continued growth is inhibited through internal repression, denial and negative reaction responses... and they remain children in adult life.

 Essential for normal human growth is love which communicates security i.e. 'unconditional love'.

 "Unconditional love is an essential for the child's normal development, and when this is refused, the environment comes to be dreaded... it is perceived as a menace to his individuality, his development, his instinctive strivings to grow, his freedom and his happiness... In an environment in which the basic anxiety develops, the child's free use of energies is thwarted, his self-esteem and self-relaince are undermined, fear is instilled by intimidation and isolation, his expansiveness is warped through brutality or overprotective 'love'... the fear is grounded in reality. " (Horney, Karen, M.D. Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Toward Self-Realization New York: W.W. Norton & Co. Inc. 1956.)  

 What constitutes 'normality' in moral behaviour is a question of the social environment within which the individual functions i.e. within the cultural context. Behaviour which is regarded as 'normal' in one culture may not be considered normal in another. Acquaintance with different cultures which in many ways is different from one's own teaches that many so-called 'neurotic' conflicts are ultimately determined by social and cultural conditions. In many cases the neuroses of the individual living in modern industrial societies can be attributed to conflicting forces inherent in the culture. The neuroses of modern industrial man are based on conflicts inherent in the culture.

  Neurosis represents failure of moral development and the 'moral failure' of 'adult immaturity'. Failure to achieve maturity and integration of the whole personality, self-actualisation, realisation of human potential or 'humanness' is a moral failure. Neurosis is the product of frustration of moral development... development of conscience... incomplete psychological development as incomplete integration of the personality. The result is incomplete development of critical consciousness or 'incomplete cognition' resulting in inefficent or 'inappropriate' reaction responses to environmental stimuli. The individual's deformed conscience represents a value system which is so distorted and unbalanced that subsequent behaviour patterns can contradict their own interests as well as the interests of others. They can inflict grave harm on themselves and others as well. Neurotic reactions which constitute attempts to safeguard personal integrity often tend towards destruction of others... the so-called 'death instinct' or 'death drive' of Freud and 'downward union' of Weber.

 The insecurity of neurosis results in tendency to avoid problems ... to avoid the emotional suffering which is inherent in tackling problems. Avoiding problems is avoiding reality, avoiding growth and building fantasies. As a result the neurosis becomes the problem. In avoiding the suffering which comes from dealing with the problem one avoids the oppportunity for growth which also comes from dealing with the problem.

 In failing to develop their potentialities, the neurotic individual fails to achieve maturity and personality integration and consequently critical consciousness and complete cognition of a developed conscience... They suffer from a 'perception problem'.

 Perception of dichotomies is the result of 'incomplete cognition' of the immature or 'neurotic' mind.. product of thwarted human development... incomplete personality integration... incomplete cognition is the ego-centered mental process which perceives dichotomies... distorted neurotic perception of reality  ultimately results from conflicting forces in the social environment... culture

"The problem of psychic health and neurosis is inseparably linked up with that of ethics. It may be said that every neurosis represents a moral problem. The failure to achieve maturity and integration of the whole personality is a moral failure." (Erich Fromm. Man For Himself  p.224)

'psychosis'  From the mystical perspective (high stage of psychological development), psychosis defined as being trapped or attached to, any one state of consciousness ... the individual is psychotic if... the psychotic individual ... is trapped in any one state of consciousness which by itself is necessarily limited and therefore only relatively 'real'. From this perspective, the individual in western cultures who is attached to the waking state of consciousness fits the criteria of psychosis. Such an individual's perception of reality is suboptimal and therefore distorted. Their perception of reality is 'suboptimal' and distorted. Such an individual is ... psychotic...if he does not recognize the distortion our usual state fits all the criteria of psychosis in that it is suboptimal, has a distorted view of reality, and does not recognize that distortion... the individual of western culture who is attached to the waking state of consciousness fits the criteria of psychosis. ... Fully developed mystics state unequivocally that our usual state of consciousness is not only suboptimal, it is dreamlike and illusory... whether we know it or not... are prisoners of our own minds, totally and unwittingly trapped by a continuous fantasy-dialogue that creates an all-consuming illusory distortion of perception of 'reality'. However, this condition goes unrecognized until we begin to subject our perceptual-cognitive processes to rigorous scrutiny such as meditation. The Western pathology of view is to equate 'reality' with the world as perceived in waking state awareness, so denying access or credibility to reality as perceived in other states of consciousness. The multipe-states-of-consciousness model of human psychology involves a wide range of modes of perception. The Western definition of 'psychosis' - having a perception of reality which is suboptimal (not wholistic) and therefore distorted and not recognizing the distortion - is itself psychotic. Based on the assumption that the most 'normal' state of consciousness is the waking state of the ego level, it is suboptimal and distorted and the distortion is not recognized. Psychotic perception produces illusion.

 transference…outdated map of realiity… Revising the map of reality is only possible if has the discipline to overcome the pain. And such discipline depends on total dedication to the truth. Truth is more important than comfort. Truth is avoided when it is painful. Mental health is an ongoing process of dedication to true reality or ‘truth’.based on his own life which was bound by rules… including your right to be yourself and lead the kind of authentic life that you to lead

 If children's instinctive strivings for growth are thwarted, this creates a basic anxiety which can be damaging to normal growth because it inhibits development and this can lead to psychological ill health... neurotic growth or 'neurosis'. Neurosis can be prevented with education which allows for growth to spiritual maturity i.e. holistic education.   

 Obstruction to normal psychological development leads to the inhibition of spiritual or moral development. The result is abnormal or 'neurotic' development i.e. 'neurosis'. Neurosis is a function of distorted perception which leads to incorrect evaluation of social conditions and subsequent destructive or 'inadaptive' behaviour i.e. 'evil'.

 "The neurotic process is a special form of human development, and because of  waste of constructive energies which it involves - is a particularly unfortunate one. Under favorable conditions, man's energies are put into the realization of his own potentialities."(Horney, Karen, M.D. Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Toward Self-Realization, New York: W.W. Norton & Co. Inc. 1956. p.13)

Neurosis results from thwarted psychological development  Pathological behaviours are variations of normal human behaviours. And investigation into abnormal developmental processes produces insights into normal human development. All behavioural reactions, whether normal or abnormal, are expressions of the individual's attempt to deal with demands of a changing social environment. They all represent psychological  solutions to problems of social adaptation and preservation of personal integrity. Reactions to social change are based on intrinsic human needs or 'operative values'. Operative values are the biologically based instinctive values which are inherent in the organism's instinctive striving towards spiritual maturity... 'self-actualisation'... and depends on fulfillment of value-needs - moral or 'ethical' values i.e. metavalues or 'metaneeds'. Metaneeds are spiritual needs which make up the inner core of human nature. In the presence of spiritual values, the individual invests their constructive energies in the realization of their human potential i.e. self-realisation or 'self-actualisation'. Growth depends on one's assuming of responsibility for oneself... truthfulness to oneself.

They must be met for the individual to avoid the psychopathology of dehumanisation which results from thwarted psychic development i.e. neurotic development or 'neurosis'.

Motivation by the metaneeds i.e. 'metamotivation'. Metamotivation is motivation for spiritual growth and moral consciousness.   

  The conflicts of neurosis are the manifestation of a basic anxiety which originates in childhood. Anxiety feelings arise in children whose parents fail to give them genuine warmth and affection - usually because of their own neuroses. Basic anxiety develops when fear is instilled through intimidation of brutality and isolation of overprotective 'love'. It is unconditional spiritual love that is essential for healthy psychological growth and development. Children who are deprived of unconditional love do not experience the sense of security which is crucial to their self-esteem. When self-esteem is undermined, so is self-reliance.

 "Neurosis - manifest 'basic anxiety' - derives from environmental factors which obstruct a child's normal psychic growth and development". (Horney, Karen, M.D. Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Toward Self-Realization, 366)

Neurosis results from deprivation of spiritual values necessary for development of human conscience Neurosis represents incomplete development of moral consciousness or 'conscience'.  The conscience is the source of guiding values for solving life's problems i.e. 'natural ethics'.  Natural ethics constitute human morality. Neurosis involves a waste of constructive energies hampering normal growth and producing a deformed conscience. Deformed conscience is the product of deprivation of spiritual values necessary for spiritual growth. Value-starvation is a product of unfavorable social conditions. If growth stops the spirit shrivels. The individual remains a child in adult life and doesn't separate from the power that parents had over them. Metamotivation for growth is inhibited through internal repression, denial and negative reaction responses. As a result of the obstruction to their security and growth, the indivdual lacks the freedom from obligation to accept the beliefs of others too be independent of dogma i.e. 'freedom'. Inner freedom involves the development of personality integration, critical consciousness and development of conscience.

     In failing to develop their potentialities, the neurotic individual fails to achieve maturity and personality integration and consequently critical consciousness and complete cognition of a developed conscience... They suffer from a 'perception problem'.

 Neurotic development involves incomplete psychological development, incomplete integration of the personality, incomplete development of critical consciousness and incomplete cognition of the deformed conscience. They acquire a value system which is so distorted and unbalanced that it contradicts their own interests and the interests of others. Their distorted thought and behaviour patterns can inflict grave harm on themselves and on others. The neurotic reaction tends towards destruction of others in an attempt to safeguard personal integrity. (Freud's 'death instinct' or 'death drive' and Weber's 'downward union').

 Incomplete psychological development means incomplete development of the human conscience.  "The problem of psychic health and neurosis is inseparably linked up with that of ethics. It may be said that every neurosis represents a moral problem. The failure to achieve maturity and integration of the whole personality is a moral failure." (Erich Fromm. Man For Himself 224

    Moral attitudes (responsibility)  foster growth. Responsibility for growth is a function of responsibility for human needs or 'values' which derive from the instrinsic striving for self-realization. The most urgent or 'prepotent' need is the need for safety and security. Security needs are prepotent to growth needs. A child will give up growth to retain security. Fear and anxiety inhibit curiosity and growth.

Freedom from anxiety and fear is the pre-requisite to curiosity and exploration for growth through knowledge. Denial or frustration of human needs leads to neurotic growth, incomplete psychological development, incomplete personality integration, incomplete development of the conscience and incomplete cognition. Failure to achieve maturity and integration of the whole personality, self-actualization, realization of human potential or 'humanness' is a moral failure which produces neurotic conflicts.

Conflicts of neurosis are based on... determined by social conditions... conflicting forces in the environment  The problem of neurosis is ultimately determined by social conditions. What constitutes 'normality' in moral behaviour is a question of the social environment within which the individual functions i.e. within the cultural context. Behaviour which is regarded as 'normal' in one culture may not be considered normal in another. Acquaintance with different cultures which in many ways is different from one's own teaches that many so-called 'neurotic' conflicts are ultimately determined by social and cultural conditions. In many cases the neuroses of the individual living in modern industrial societies can be attributed to conflicting forces inherent in the culture.

Neurosis is a tragedy because its inherent mental conflicts are based on the conflicting motivating forces and cultural attitudes of the social environment within which the individual is functioning - immoral attitudes (irresponsibiltiy) which obstruct growth.

Anxiety feelings arise in children whose parents fail to give them genuine warmth and affection (usually because of their own neuroses). These children do not experience the 'blissful certainty of being wanted'. "In an environment in which the basic anxiety develops, the child's free use of energies is thwarted, his self-esteem and self-relaince are undermined, fear is instilled by intimidation and isolation, his expansiveness is warped through brutality or overprotective 'love'." (Horney, Karen, M.D. Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Toward Self-Realization, New York: W.W. Norton & Co. Inc. 1956. p.?) The fear is grounded in reality - see New Ways in Psychoanalysis)

Avoiding problems is avoiding reality, avoiding growth and building fantasies. The neurosis becomes the problem.

 "There is no such thing as a universal normal psychology; behavior regarded as neurotic in one culture may be quite normal elsewhere, and vice versa. What constitutes normality or abnormality can only be decided when we consider the culture within which the individual is functioning. The mental conflicts of the neurotic are not fundamental conflicts of human nature arising from biological foundations (Freud's belief). They are based on the motivating forces and conflicts of the society and the culture within which the individual is functioning. Energized by childhood anxieties resulting from obstruction to inner freedom, security and healthy psychological growth, the neuroses of modern industrial man are therefore based on conflicts inherent in our own culture." (Horney, K. The Neurotic Personality of Our Time p.141)

     Neurosis is a product of failure of moral development and is manifest in the immorality of human wickedness or 'evil

Irrational conscience as 'authoritarian conscience' derived from fear of authority                                              

 The authoritarian conscience represents the irrational internalisation of authority and the authoritarian ethics of 'moralism'. It does not represent the individual's intrinsically rational conscience which is the source of natural human values and reflective ethical judgement or 'natural ethics'. The irrationality of authoritarian conscience is inadequate for effective adaptation to changes in the social environment i.e 'adaptability'.

"The authoritarian conscience is the voice of an internalized authority such as the parental authority, or state authority. The authoritarian 'conscience' is a fear for the authority rather than a representation of the individual's real conscience, the source of natural value judgements." (Erich Fromm. Man For Himself. 143)

Derivation of authoritarian conscience The authoritarian conscience is derived from the instinctive human need to admire, to have an ideal, to strive for some kind of perfection. Authoritarian conscience is the voice of unreflective ethical judgement resulting from the irrational projection of perfection onto an external authority which is then internalised. The internalised authority is the authoritarian conscience.

For the individual with authoritarian conscience, the "interaction of internalisation (of external authority) and projection results in an unshakable conviction in the ideal character of the authority, a conviction which is immune to all contradictory empirical evidence." (Fromm Man For Himself 146) .

Authoritarian conscience is equivalent to the 'superego' in Freud's  psychology.  "Freud had a pessimistic outlook on human nature....He had no clear vision of constructive forces in man...he denied their authenticity." (Karen Horney M.D. Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Toward Self-Realization p.377)

Construction of authoritarian conscience In the absence of the right conditions for psychological growth, development is thwarted leading to neurotic development and construction of irrational conscience i.e. 'neurosis'. The neurotic development of authoritarian conscience is characteristic of the immature adult fixated on the 'premoral level' of ethical judgement in child development (classification of Kohlberg).

In the first of the six moral stages or 'sociocognitive stages', moral value is defined in terms of obedience to authority and the avoidance of punishment (age 3). In the absence of the right conditions for continued moral development (security of unconditional love) and under conditions of intense emotional pressure (abuse, punishment, neglect etc.) the construction of conscience is determined by the friendly or unfriendly reactions of significant adults on whom the child depends for faith in their potential for growth. The fear of disapproval and the need for approval becomes the most powerful and almost exclusive source of motivation for ethical judgement and behaviour. The individual learns to differentiate between 'right' and 'wrong', 'good' and 'bad' even before learning to understand the difference by way of a process of reasoning or 'rationality'. Discouragement of rationality leads to mistrust in their own persistence for spiritual growth. The inherent potentialites are stifled and they fail to develop into manifest characteristics. The individual develops to adulthood with the deficiencies of 'immaturity'.

 Construction of the authoritarian conscience involves the interaction of two processes: first, the perfection of character is projected onto an external authority - parental, religious or state authority; second, the projected image of perfection or 'ideal' is internalised in the individual's consciousness. Internalisation of the projected image leads to the individual's unshakable conviction in the external authority as the personification of the perfect character. The conviction is so strong that it is immune to all empirical evidence which might prove to contradict it. The individual loses the capacity for rationality and reason and this leads to rigid thinking. The power of fear for the authority replaces the power of ethical reasoning and as a result the conscience which is constructed becomes increasingly authoritarian and irrational.

The authoritarian conscience is characteristic of adult immaturity. The immature adult continues to evaluate the environment in terms of threat to their security and self-esteem. Their sense of identity remains dependent on the approval of others.

 The irrational authoritarian conscience forms the basis for authoritarian codes of ethics i.e. irrational morality or 'moralism'. Moralism is a system of authoritarian ethics based on the irrational projection of the human need for perfection onto an external authority and the internalisation of the idealised authority. The authoritarian ethics of moralism does not represent the natural and rational ethics of the intrinsically rational human conscience.                                                  

The authoritarian conscience represents the irrational internalisation of authority and the authoritarian ethics of 'moralism'. It is not representative of the individual's intrinsically rational conscience or 'humanistic conscience'... the source of natural human values and reflective ethical judgement i.e. natural ethics or 'rational ethics'.

"The authoritarian conscience is the voice of an internalized authority such as the parental authority, or state authority. The authoritarian 'conscience' is a fear for the authority rather than a representation of the individual's real conscience, the source of natural value judgements." (Erich Fromm. Man For Himself. 143)

       construction of authoritarian conscience...

Development of rational conscience depends on actualisation of human potential The values found within the intrinsic conscience of the human organism are raised to the conscious level of brain functioning ('consciousness') during development of conscience i.e. 'moral development'. Moral development involved in the construction of rational conscience depends on realisation of human potentialities for growth, for happiness, for love and for reason and results in the manifestation of characteristically human traits - the natural human values of 'morality'. But the innate potentialities are like seeds. They become manifest in later life only if provided with the right enviromental for spiritual growth and development i.e. self-realisation or 'self-actualisation'. Self-actualisation is a function of growth in the context of freedom from external authoritarianism which breeds fear i.e. spiritual freedom or 'inner freedom'. Inner freedom depends on the security of productive 'unconditional love'. The authoritarian conscience is characteristic of adult immaturity.

Derivation of authoritarian conscience The authoritarian conscience is derived from the instinctive human need to admire, to have an ideal, to strive for some kind of perfection. Authoritarian conscience is the voice of unreflective ethical judgement resulting from the irrational projection of perfection onto an external authority which is then internalised. The internalised authority is the authoritarian conscience. Authoritarian conscience is equivalent to the 'superego' in the of Freud's psychology.

For the individual with authoritarian conscience, the "interaction of internalisation (of external authority) and projection results in an unshakable conviction in the ideal character of the authority, a conviction which is immune to all contradictory empirical evidence." (Fromm Man For Himself  p.146) .

Construction... development of authoritarian conscience  Construction of the authoritarian conscience involves the interaction of two processes: first, the perfection of character is projected onto an external authority - parental, religious or state authority; second, the projected image of perfection or 'ideal' is internalised in the individual's consciousness. Internalisation of the projected image leads to the individual's unshakable conviction in the external authority as the personification of the perfect character. The conviction is so strong that it is immune to all empirical evidence which might prove to contradict it. The individual loses the capacity for rationality and reason and this leads to rigid thinking. The power of fear for the authority replaces the power of ethical reasoning and as a result the conscience which is constructed becomes increasingly authoritarian and irrational. The irrationality of authoritarian conscience is inadequate for effective adaptation to changes in the social environment i.e 'adaptability'. In the absence of the right conditions for psychological growth, development is thwarted leading to neurotic development and construction of irrational conscience i.e. 'neurosis'. The neurotic development of authoritarian conscience is characteristic of the immature adult fixated on the 'premoral level' of ethical judgement in child development (classification of Kohlberg). In the first of the six moral stages or 'sociocognitive stages', moral value is defined in terms of obedience to authority and the avoidance of punishment (age 3). In the absence of the right conditions for continued moral development (security of unconditional love) and under conditions of intense emotional pressure (abuse, punishment, neglect etc.) the construction of conscience is determined by the friendly or unfriendly reactions of significant adults on whom the child depends for faith in their potential for growth. The fear of disapproval and the need for approval becomes the most powerful and almost exclusive source of motivation for ethical judgement and behaviour. The individual learns to differentiate between 'right' and 'wrong', 'good' and 'bad' even before learning to understand the difference by way of a process of reasoning or 'rationality'. Discouragement of rationality leads to mistrust in their own persistence for spiritual growth. The inherent potentialites are stifled and they fail to develop into manifest characteristics. The individual develops to adulthood with the deficiencies of 'immaturity'. The immature adult continues to evaluate the environment in terms of threat to their security and self-esteem. Their sense of identity remains dependent on the approval of others... neurotic development or neurosis'

Implications for education The irrational authoritarian conscience forms the basis for authoritarian codes of ethics i.e. irrational morality or 'moralism'. Moralism is a system of authoritarian ethics based on the irrational projection of the human need for perfection onto an external authority and the internalisation of the idealised authority. The authoritarian ethics of moralism does not represent the natural and rational ethics of the intrinsically rational human conscience. Development of rational conscience depends on a learning environment which favours its construction through concentration on creative productiveness or 'work'. Work has psychological value in the construction of conscience if it is functional in personal growth and development while involving the development of human potentiality for creative intelligence. The aim of education is to provide the right conditions for growth and development of rational conscience, to provide for 'human needs' which include spiritual needs or 'metaneeds' . Needs based education is education of the whole person or 'holistic education'.

 Immoral attitudes of parental irresponsibilty obstruct a child's normal psychic growth and development...  Education which does not respect psychological growth is irresponsible because it results in the neurotic process of immature development or 'neurosis'. Neurosis originates from the denial and frustration of human needs and leads to incomplete psychological development which is chacterised by incomplete personality integration, value distortion and incomplete cognition of undeveloped conscience. Irresponsible education contradicts the interests of humanity. Humanity is defined by the spiritual values of the 'humaness' of mature adulthood. Children become adults with the attributes of humanity only if they are offered an education which provides for the spiritual needs or 'metaneeds' and is therefore conducive to their proper psychological, emotional, intellectual, moral and spiritual development. Experiential richness in principle should be 'teachable.' Education for the person as a whole... personality integration of moral development or 'spiritual development is 'holistic education'. Holistic education is characterised by moral attitudes of responsibility which foster human growth and development... inner freedom as responsible freedom - a function of critical consciousness or moral consciousness i.e. 'conscience'. Developed conscience...  necessary for complete cognition of 'holistic perspective' as integral part of human intelligence...  social intelligence... creative intelligence required for adaptation to changing environmental conditions i.e. 'adaptability'.

 "Since the spiritual life is instinctoid, all the techniques of 'subjective biology' apply to its education... Obviously instinctive in nature, the basic physiological and psychological needs come under the rubric of 'subjective biology.' The similarly biologically based 'metaneeds' come under the same rubric although they are less urgent and weaker than the basic psychological needs. Consequently the education of the spiritual needs, the 'metaneeds,' can be fostered through the acknowledgement, encouragement and enforcement of the individual's instinctive yearning for truth, beauty etc., the individual's capacity for 'metamotivation'. The individual's capacities for experiential richness should be 'teachable.' It should be possible to design an educational curriculum around the instinctive needs of 'subjective biology', the 'metaneeds' as well as the physiological and psychological basic needs. The curriculum would be based on the effective acknowledgement of the instinctive capacities of children for motivation to satisfy the basic needs for self-respect and self-esteem in the attainment of self-actualisation. The curriculum would include possibilities and opportunities for experiential enrichment by way of recognition and enforcement of the instinctive capacities of children for 'metamotivation' to satisfy the spiritual needs or 'metaneeds.'"   (Maslow... no.l0 thesis)

      Neurosis is caused by parental indifference, lack of warmth and affection in childhood... a matter of the child's perceptions, not the parents intentions. 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions'. T he first reaction to parental indifference is anger. Basic hostility is the basic coping mechanism or strategy... "If I have power then no one can hurt me." The neurotic swings back and forth between self-hatred and desire for perfection (internal conflict) resulting in alienation from their true human core... the dehumanisation aspect of neurosis.

Anxiety disorders are usually accompanied by a variety of defense mechanisms which are used in the person's effort to overcome anxiety.

Pathological emotional dysfunction...  'psychosis'... 'psychopathology'...  Dr. Robert Hare  Without Conscience  published 1999

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Frustration of human growth is the source of human neurosis and human wickedness or 'evil'. When psychological development and spiritual growth are thwarted or frustrated the result is neurosis and neurotic growth. Deficiency motivation of immaturity and neurosis represents moral failure because it is the manifestation of thwarted development of moral consciousness or 'conscience'.    

  Social evils are products of incomplete human delopment i.e. intellectual, psychological, emotional development and development of moral consciousness or 'conscience'.                                                          

Basic human nature i.e. the 'intrinsic conscience' is made up of inborn capacities and preferences,psychological needs and yearnings or spiritual needs or 'metaneeds'.

But development of the conscience and human goodness requires favorable ditions in the context of psychological ecurity which is communicated by  unconditional love.

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                          The Problem of Human wickedness or ‘Evil’ as the Manifestation of Psychopathology

Theme: Frustration of human growth as source of human neurosis and human wickedness: The problem of 'evil'. Evil is real but it has no independent existence of its own. The so-called 'problem of evil' is concerned with the question “where does evil come from and why does it persist?”.  The so-called 'evil' in human nature is the result of factors which stand in the way of growth - evasion fixation, regression, defensiveness. The source of evil is the same as the source of human neurosis. The source of neurotic or 'evil' behaviour is the undeveloped conscience which results from the frustration of human psychological growth and development. Evil is unconscienable or wicked human behaviour. The apparent persistence of human wickedness is the product of the continuation of neurotic development or ‘neurosis’ which prevents the construction of human moral consciousness or ‘conscience’. The undeveloped conscience results from the frustration of normal psychological growth and development. ...since a measure of the soundness of psychological health is the degree to which people relate to others. "If life's tendency to grow, to be lived, is thwarted, the energy thus blocked undergoes a process of change and is transformed into life-destructive energy. Destructiveness is the outcome of unlived life. Those individual and social conditions which make for the blocking of life-furtheriing energy produce destructiveness which in turn is the source from which the various manifestations of evil spring." (Erich Fromm Man for Himself)      

     Basic human nature... 'intrinsic conscience' includes psychological needs ‘human needs’, inborn capacities, intrinsic yearnings, preferences, and spiritual needs or 'metaneeds'. In a process of natural growth to mature adulthood, these needs, capacities and yearnings are realized and the conscience is developed. Maturity of conscience represents realisation of human potential and the integration of the personality, actualization of the self or 'self - actualization'. Complete psychological development results in personality integration, the characteristic of psychological health, wholeness, humanness, humanisation or natural self-esteem or 'healthy ego’.

With the realization of human needs the individual experiences a complete or 'wholistic' cognition of social reality and feelings of self-esteem are naturally dominant in the process of adaptation to changing social conditions. Behavioural adaptation depends on the psychological integration of the personality. Personality integration leads to beneficial and creative and therefore adaptive social behaviour, to amicable relations and understanding between social groups. .. The healthy ego is characterised by feelings of empowerment, natural dominance or 'self-esteem'... feelings which are operational in the process of adaptation to changing social conditions...

      The human organism is a social organism and has a human nature or 'natural personality' which is naturally social and not 'evil'. There are no evil babies who grow into evil adults. Babies are born good and they continue to want to be good.   There are only disordered societies which turn good babies into disordered adults who become evil as a result of their frustrated attempts to grow into good human beings. The failure to relate to others and to adapt successfully to changing social conditions results in behaviour which is socially 'unadaptive'- - misunderstandings and unresolvable conflicts. It is the socially unadaptive behaviour which leads to wickedness of human behaviour or 'evil'.  Idtical with the destruction resulting from socially non-adaptive behaviour, evil derives from the social disorder of disordered societies. Evil is manifest in the forms of human behaviour which are morally wrong such as greed, malice, sadism, cruelty, violence, destructiveness, war and so on. Although evil is real it has no independent existence of its own.

So where does evil come from and why does it persist? As a question of human wickedness, the 'problem of evil' can only be understood in terms of human psychology.     Development of the conscience is a product of moral or 'spiritual' growth. The fully developed conscience or the 'free will' impels the organism towards attitudes and behaviours which are beneficial to life. Spiritual growth is a slow process of construction - according to laws of nature - which takes place during continuous concentrated activity in a close relationship with the environment. The development of the conscience and the spiritual values of human goodness requires favorable conditions of emotional security communicated through the affection and trust of unconditional love. Emotional security is the prerequisite for interest in the environment or 'curiosity', the natural drive for motivation of spiritual growth through learning. Spiritual growth depends on learning in a social environment of freedom - freedom to learn, freedom to concentrate on work and freedom of self-expression and inquiry. If these conditions are lacking and intrinsic psychological and spiritual needs are denied, then the will of the conscience is broken and development arrested.

 

 But development of the conscience and human goodness requires favorable conditions in the context of psychological security which is communicated by unconditional love.

But the intrinsically social nature of the human organism can only be properly developed in a social environment which provides for the psychological and spiritual needs of the organism. Recognition of human needs is the basis for an education for human growth and development towards the realization of human potential. Realization of human needs and capacities leads to personality integration and actualization of the 'self' i.e. 'self-actualization'. Also known as 'self-realization', self-actualization forms the basis of complete psychological development and natural self-esteem. The feelings of natural self-esteem are functional in the development of moral consciousness or 'conscience'. Maturity of conscience is characteristic of the psychological integration of personality and the wholeness of complete human development i.e. intellectual, psychological, emotional and moral or ‘spiritual’ development or 'psychological health'. Psychological health or wholeness is the basis for wholistic perception and the complete cognition of social reality. Wholistic cognition of social reality is a precondition for the human capacity ability to adapt to changing social conditions... to relate to others and thus forms the basis for socially adaptive behaviour or 'social adaptability'. Social adaptability is beneficial and creative and leads to amicable relations and understanding between social groups.

 

Behavioural adaptation depends on the psychological integration of the personality. With the realisation of human needs the individual experiences a complete or 'wholistic' cognition of social reality. 

When psychological development is thwarted the frustration of growth results in immaturity, neurosis and spiritual poverty. The product of thwarted human development is the immature and neurotic mind. When psychological development and spiritual growth or frustrated the result is neurosis and neurotic growth of immaturity. The immature mind is motivated by the basic psychological needs the so-called 'deficiency needs'. Deficiency motivation of immaturity and neurosis represents moral failure because it is the manifestation of thwarted development of moral consciousness or 'conscience'. Hence the problem of immaturity and neurosis is inseparably linked up with ethics. Every neurosis represents a moral problem. The failure to achieve maturity and integration of the whole personality is a moral failure. Problems of immaturity and neurosis are directly related to undeveloped conscience and the consequent immorality. Incomplete psychological development means incomplete development of the human conscience ... undeveloped conscience is manifest immaturity and neurosis...

     Human behaviour which is evil is neurotic behaviour and as neurotic behaviour originates in the undeveloped and irrational human conscience.

 The neurotic individual is unable to experience the complete or 'wholistic' cognition for correct evaluation of the social reality and engages in ego-centered mental processing which creates a distortion in perception and dichotomizes reality. The dichotomous perception of reality eads to the perception of social problems in terms of good/bad, true/false judgements - the characteristic 'incomplete cognition'of social adaptation which depends on attitudes of overdefensiveness. For the immature and insecure neurotic mind spiritual growth is painful. The individual will attempt to avoid at all costs the pain of self-awareness and will take any action in their power to do so. In their efforts to preserve unawareness while enhancing their ability to adapt to changing social conditions, they will develop pathological defensive strategies of evasion fixation and regression.

 Undeveloped conscience leads to immoral, unethical and evil human behaviour, the end result of deprivation of unconditional love which communicates security necessary for normal human growth and interest in the environment. The result is emotional immaturity, insecurity and low self-esteem which have a crippling effect on the future growth of the individual. the immature and neurotic mind experiences psychological ill health and neurotic growth. In the absence of security, the environment is dreaded and perceived as a threat to growth, producing immature emotional reactions of fear and hatred. Irrational fears of insecurity and feelings of hatred predominate while large areas of experience are repressed.

Creative energies are channeled into pathological attitudes to produce feelings of domination... 'compensatory dominance' in order to compensate for the lack of self-esteem and to preserve the integrity of the undeveloped conscience. With continued repression of experience, the feelings of compensatory dominance become exaggerated or 'overcompensatory' and lead to the haughty and domineering attitudes of pretentious or 'sham dominance'. It is the sham dominance of the ego-centered neurotic mind which is responsible for the wicked human behaviour described as 'evil'. Unable to experience the complete or 'wholistic' cognition for correct evaluation of the social reality, mental processing of the ego-centered mind creates a distortion in perception which dichotomizes reality perceiving social problems in terms of dichotomies such as good/bad, true/false and so on. The dichotomous perception of reality is the characteristic 'incomplete cognition' which leads to misunderstandings, unresolvable conflicts, destructiveness, wars and other manifestations of evil human behaviour.

Natural human development for goodness and love depends on favorable conditions for growth. The lack of proper conditions for growth and development produces human behaviour which is destructive. The human organism becomes destructive only if the proper conditions for growth and development are lacking. Disciplinary measures are injurious to growth and punishment of children contributes to the frustration of their psychological development and their inability to learn from mistakes. Unable to learn from their own errors, they are unable to change or to prepare for change. They become socially unadaptive. Many neurotic conflicts are ultimately determined by cultural conditions. In disordered societies as a result of their frustrated attempts for growth, children grow into disordered adults and they become socially 'evil'. Their disorder and violence are not acts of will. They are signs of emotional disturbance and suffering. The will of the human conscience is a force which impels the organism towards attitudes and behaviours beneficial to life according to laws of nature. But the will can be easily broken. Development of the conscience is a slow process of construction which takes place during continuous concentrated activity in a close relationship with the environment. This is spiritual or moral growth. For spiritual growth, children need to learn in an evironment of freedom to make mistakes and to learn from their mistakes. For normalized growth children must be allowed the freedom to concentrate on their own work and the freedom to learn from their own mistakes. The so-called 'evil' in human nature is the result of factors which stand in the way of growth - evasion fixation, regression, defensiveness.

 ...  a measure of the soundness of psychological health is the degree to which people relate to others.

     The failure to relate to others and to adapt successfully to changing social conditions results in ...misunderstandings and unresolvable conflicts...  behaviour which is socially unadaptive and which leads to wickedness of human behaviour or 'evil'. Evil is the socially unadaptive behaviour... the destruction resulting from socially non-adaptive behaviour. derives from the social disorder of disordered societies. Evil is manifest in the forms of human behaviour which are morally wrong such as greed, malice, sadism, cruelty, violence, destructiveness, war and so on. Although evil is real it has no independent existence of its own. So where does evil come from and why does it persist? 

A massive amount of information has been provided by traditional psychology and  and psychoanalysis. Their overemphasis on the pathologies, the neuroses and the psychoses provide abundant evidence for the explanation of human acts of wickedness as symptoms of emotional disturbance and suffering resulting from the frustration of natural growth and development... development of moral consciousness or ‘conscience’.  Wicked acts are willful acts of the immature and irrational conscience which stems from the denial of psychological and spiritual needs, capacities and yearnings which are intrinsic to the human organism and form part of the human growth process. Frustration of growth efforts leads to incomplete psychological development and the wickedness of human behaviour which is the product of arrested development and manifest in the psychopathology of evil. As the absence of good, evil is identical with the morally bad and wicked human behaviours or 'social evils' of destructiveness, sadism, cruelty, malice, greed and so on. Destructive behaviours are violent reactions against frustration of the intrinsic human needs for spiritual growth. They result from the failure to achieve self-actualization, maturity, realization of human potential, wholeness or 'humaness'. The social evils are products of incomplete human development i.e. intellectual, psychological, emotional and moral or ‘spiritual’ development.

     Development of the conscience is a product of moral or 'spiritual' growth. The fully developed conscience or 'free will' impels the organism towards attitudes and behaviours which are beneficial to life. Spiritual growth is a slow process of construction - according to laws of nature - which takes place during continuous concentrated activity in a close relationship with the environment. The development of the conscience and the spiritual values of human goodness depends on favorable conditions of emotional security communicated through the affection and trust of unconditional love. Emotional security is the prerequisite for interest in the environment or 'curiosity', the natural drive for motivation of spiritual growth through learning. Spiritual growth depends on learning in a social environment of freedom - freedom to learn, freedom to concentrate on work and freedom of self-expression and inquiry. If these conditions are lacking and intrinsic psychological and spiritual needs are denied, then the will of the conscience is broken and development is arrested .

      Development of the conscience is thwarted when harmful factors stand in the way of growth. In the absence of the security of unconditional love, the individual learns to dread the environment, perceiving it as a threat to growth. Immature emotional reactions of fear and hatred are developed. Feelings of hatred and irrational fears of insecurity predominate while large areas of experience are repressed. The result is emotional immaturity and insecurity of a low self-esteem which has a crippling effect on further psychological growth. With the arrest of psychological development, the individual is motivated by the deficiency of basic psychological needs - the so-called 'deficiency' needs'.

If these conditions are lacking and intrinsic psychological and spiritual needs are denied, then the will of the conscience is broken and development arrested. Development of the conscience is thwarted when harmful factors stand in the way of growth. In the absence of the security of unconditional love, the individual learns to dread the environment, perceiving it as a threat to growth. Immature emotional reactions of fear and hatred are developed. Feelings of hatred and irrational fears of insecurity predominate while large areas of experience are repressed. The result is emotional immaturity and insecurity of a low self-esteem which has a crippling effect on further psychological growth. With the arrest of psychological development, the individual is motivated by the deficiency of basic psychological needs - the so-called 'deficiency' needs'.

 As the absence of good, evil is identical with the morally bad and wicked human behaviours or 'social evils' of destructiveness, sadism, cruelty, malice, greed and so on. Destructive behaviours are violent reactions against frustration of the intrinsic human needs for spiritual growth. They result from the failure to achieve self-actualization, maturity, realization of human potential or 'wholeness' and 'humaness'. The social evils are products of incomplete human development i.e. intellectual, psychological, emotional and moral development. Evil human behaviour is a function of immaturity and neurosis. Thwarted psychological development and the frustration of growth results in immaturity, neurosis and spiritual poverty. The product of thwarted human development is the immature and neurotic mind. When psychological development and spiritual growth or frustrated the result is neurosis and neurotic growth of immaturity.

The immature mind is motivated by the basic psychological needs the so-called 'deficiency needs'. Deficiency motivation of immaturity and neurosis represents moral failure because it is the manifestation of thwarted development of moral consciousness or 'conscience'. Hence the problem of immaturity and neurosis is inseparably linked up with that of ethics.

 Motivation by the deficiency needs leads to neurotic growth or 'neurosis'. The immaturity of neurosis is directly related to the immorality of undeveloped conscience and is thus inseparably linked with ethics. The source of neurosis is the same as the source of evil. Both neurosis and evil are products of immaturity and spiritual poverty which result from thwarted psychological development and the frustration of spiritual growth. The incomplete development of neurotic growth leads to unethical behaviour and human wickedness. For this reason, every neurosis represents a moral problem.

Human behaviour which is evil is neurotic behaviour and as neurotic behaviour originates in the undeveloped and irrational human conscience. The neurotic individual is unable to experience the complete or 'wholistic' cognition for correct evaluation of the social reality and engages in ego-centered mental processing which creates a distortion in perception and dichotomizes reality. The dichotomous perception of reality leads to the perception of social problems in terms of good/bad, true/false judgements - the characteristic 'incomplete cognition' of social adaptation which depends on attitudes of over-defensiveness.

 Every neurosis represents a moral problem. The failure to achieve maturity and integration of the whole personality is a moral failure. Problems of immaturity and neurosis are directly related to undeveloped conscience and the consequent immorality. Incomplete psychological development means incomplete development of the human conscience ... undeveloped conscience is manifest immaturity and neurosis... human behaviour which is 'evil' is the result of undeveloped human conscience. Undeveloped conscience leads to immoral, unethical and evil human behaviour, the end result of deprivation of unconditional love which communicates security necessary for normal human growth and interest in the environment. The result is emotional immaturity, insecurity and low self-esteem which have a crippling effect on the future growth of the individual. the immature and neurotic mind experiences psychological ill health and neurotic growth. In the absence of security, the environment is dreaded and perceived as a threat to growth, producing immature emotional reactions of fear and hatred. Irrational fears of insecurity and feelings of hatred predominate while large areas of experience are repressed.

 Unable to experience the complete or 'wholistic' cognition for correct evaluation of the social reality, mental processing of the ego-centered mind creates a distortion in perception which dichotomizes reality perceiving social problems in terms of dichotomies such as good/bad, true/false and so on. The dichotamous perception of reality is the characteristic 'incomplete cognition' which leads to misunderstandings, unresolvable conflicts, destructiveness, wars and other manifestations of evil human behaviour. The attractiveness of psychopathology for the immature, insecure and neurotic mind... Since self-awareness is too painful, the individual tries toa avoid awareness at all costs. The neurotic mind depends on political power of control over others for adaptation to changing social conditions. As a social organism, the human individual with undeveloped conscience resorts to methods of defense strategies, power politics and control - methods which violate and destroy other human beings. The power of control over others is used to preserve the integrity of the conscience even though it is undeveloped. The individual becomes overdefensive, obsessional, controlling and self-controlling and tends to dislike what is perceived as lack of control in others. The normal human qualities of enthusiasm, impulsiveness, whimsicality, and unpredictability are disliked and attempts are made to destroy these qualities in others whenever it is in the individual's power to do so. To avoid the pain of spiritual growth and self-awareness, the light, the love, the goodness in others is hateful because it reveals the wickedness of their own undeveloped conscience.

For the immature and insecure neurotic mind spiritual growth is painful. The individual will attempt to avoid at all costs the pain of self-awareness and will take any action in their power to do so. In their efforts to preserve unawareness while enhancing their ability to adapt to changing social conditions, they will develop pathological defensive strategies of evasion fixation and regression. Creative energies will be channelled into pathological attitudes of domination or 'compensatory dominance' in order to compensate for the lack of self-esteem and to preserve the integrity of the undeveloped conscience.This is 'compensatory dominance'.  With the continued repression of experience, the feelings of compensatory dominance become exaggerated or 'overcompensatory'. Feelings of overcompensatory dominance lead to the pretentious and arrogant attitudes of a sham dominance. It is the sham dominance of the ego-centered neurotic mind which is responsible for the wickedness of human behaviour which is described as 'evil'. The overdefensive individual becomes obsessional, controlling and self-controlling, resorting to power politics of control which violate and destroy other human beings. The normal qualities of enthusiasm, impulsiveness, whimsicality, and unpredictability are perceived as the lack of control and attempts will be made to destroy these qualities whenever possible.

Feeling threatened by the love and the goodness in others around them they will even try to destroy the light in their own children - not with conscious malice but blindly. Many neurotic conflicts are ultimately determined by educational policy of parenting and schooling within the context of social and cultural conditions. Disordered societies which deny an education providing the conditions which are favorable for spiritual growth create conditions for the neurotic growth of children into disordered adults. They become socially evil as a result of the frustration of their efforts for normal growth. Normal growth is hampered when the basis for the education which is offered is discipline and punishment.

 

The attractiveness of psychopathology for the immature, insecure and neurotic mind... Since self-awareness is too painful, the individual tries to avoid awareness at all costs. The neurotic mind depends on political power of control over others for adaptation to changing social conditions. As a social organism, the human individual with undeveloped conscience resorts to methods of defense strategies, power politics and control - methods which violate and destroy other human beings. The power of control over others is used to preserve the integrity of the conscience even though it is undeveloped. The individual becomes overdefensive, obsessional, controlling and self-controlling and tends to dislike what is perceived as lack of control in others. The normal human qualities of enthusiasm, impulsiveness, whimsicality, and unpredictability are disliked and attempts are made to destroy these qualities in others whenever it is in the individual's power to do so. To avoid the pain of spiritual growth and self-awareness, the light, the love, the goodness in others is hateful because it reveals the wickedness of their own undeveloped conscience. They will even try to destroy the light in their own children ...not with conscious malice but blindly because they will do anything to deny awareness. They will take any action in their power to preserve their own integrity and to preserve their unawareness when they feel threatened by goodness and love around them.

 The problem of evil is the problem of what stands in the way of growth. For this reason, the problem of 'evil' is a problem for education. Many neurotic conflicts are ultimately determined by educational policy of parenting and schooling within the context of social and cultural conditions. Disordered societies which deny an education providing the conditions which are favorable for spiritual growth create conditions for the neurotic growth of children into disordered adults. They become socially evil as a result of the frustration of their efforts for normal growth. Normal growth is hampered when the basis for the education which is offered is discipline and punishment.  

 

   The overdefensive individual becomes obsessional, controlling and self-controlling, resorting to power politics of control which violate and destroy other human beings. The normal qualities of enthusiasm, impulsiveness, whimsicality, and unpredictability are perceived as the lack of control and attempts will be made to destroy these qualities whenever possible. Feeling threatened by the love and the goodness in others around them they will even try to destroy the light in their own children - not with conscious malice but blindly. any neurotic conflicts are ultimately determined by educational policy of parenting and schooling within the context of social and cultural conditions. Disordered societies which deny an education providing the conditions which are favorable for spiritual growth create conditions for the neurotic growth of children into disordered adults. They become socially evil as a result of the frustration of their efforts for normal growth. Normal growth is hampered when the basis for the education which is offered is discipline and punishment.

Punishment of children develops irrrational emotions of fear and hatred leading to neurotic growth and the prevention of learning from experience and so contributes to the failure of social development. The resulting inability for social adaptation leads to pathological reactions of frustration and destructiveness. Human acts of destruction are the product of continued frustration of the intrinsic human need for spiritual growth. Normal spiritual growth and the avoidance of evil depends on an education which provides for complete human development and the realisation of human potential... 'holistic education'.  

.................................................................................;

Disciplinary measures are injurious to growth and punishment of children contributes to the frustration of their psychological development and their inability to learn from mistakes. Unable to learn from their own errors, they are unable to change or to prepare for change. They become socially unadaptive. Many neurotic conflicts are ultimately determined by cultural conditions. In disordered societies as a result of their frustrated attempts for growth, children grow into disordered adults and they become socially 'evil'. Their disorder and violence are not acts of will. They are signs of emotional disturbance and suffering. The will of the human conscience is a force which impels the organism towards attitudes and behaviours beneficial to life according to laws of nature. But the will can be easily broken.

The development of the conscience and the spiritual values of human goodness requires favorable conditions of emotional security communicated through the affection and trust of unconditional love. Emotional security is the prerequisite for interest in the environment or 'curiosity', the natural drive for motivation of spiritual growth through learning. Spiritual growth depends on learning in a social environment of freedom - freedom to learn, freedom to concentrate on work and freedom of self-expression and inquiry.

 Development of the conscience ... spiritual growth... is a slow process of construction according to natural laws… which takes place during continuous concentrated activity in a close relationship with the environment. This is spiritual or moral growth. For spiritual growth, children need to learn in an evironment of freedom to make mistakes and to learn from their mistakes..

Implications for Education: The problem of evil is the problem of what stands in the way of growth. For this reason, the problem of 'evil' is a problem for education.

For normalized growth children must be allowed the freedom to concentrate on their own work and the freedom to learn from their own mistakes.........................................;

 

They will even try to destroy the light in their own children ...not with conscious malice but blindly because they will do anything to deny awareness. They will take any action in their power to preserve their own integrity and to preserve their unawareness when they feel threatened by goodness and love around them. Natural human development for goodness and love depends on favorable conditions for growth.

      The lack of proper conditions for growth and development produces human behaviour which is destructive. The human organism becomes destructive only if the proper conditions for growth and development are lacking. 

 external systems of values and ethics ...authoritarian ethics...based on the assumption the premise ...that human nature is bad, corrupt, evil etc. The problem of evil is the problem of what stands in the way of growth.

 Frustration of human growth is the source of human neurosis and human wickedness or 'evil'. When psychological development and spiritual growth are thwarted or frustrated the result is neurosis and neurotic growth. Deficiency motivation of immaturity and neurosis represents moral failure because it is the manifestation of thwarted development of moral conscieousness or 'conscience'. Punishment of children for making mistakes contributes to arrested pschological development.

 ... feelings of 'natural dominance' or 'self-esteem' lead to beneficial and creative behavior. ..

Social evils are products of incomplete human development i.e. intellectual, psychological, emotional development and development of moral consciousness or 'conscience'

Basic human nature i.e. the 'intrinsic conscience' is made up of inborn capacities and preferences, psychological needs and yearnings or spiritual needs or 'metaneeds'.

But development of the conscience and human goodness requires favorable conditions in the context of psychological security which is communicated by unconditional love.     

                 Social adaptability is the creative ability to adapt to changing social conditions… is beneficial because it leads to amicable relations and understanding between social groups. The failure to relate to others and to adapt successfully to changing social conditions results in behaviour which is socially 'unadaptive'- - misunderstandings and unresolvable conflicts. It is the socially unadaptive behaviour which leads to wickedness of human behaviour or 'evil'. Identical with the destruction resulting from socially non-adaptive behaviour, evil derives from the social disorder of disordered societies. Evil is manifest in the forms of human behaviour which are morally wrong such as greed, malice, sadism, cruelty, violence, destructiveness, war and so on.

to life.

 Social evils are products of incomplete human development i.e. intellectual, psychological, emotional development and development of moral consciousness or 'conscience'

 Basic human nature i.e. the 'intrinsic conscience' is made up of inborn capacities and preferences, psychological needs and yearnings or spiritual needs or 'metaneeds'.

 Quotations:

"Evil has no independent existence of its own. Evil is the absence of good - the result of the failure to realize life. Man becomes evil only if the proper conditions are lacking." (Fromm, E. Man For Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics. 218)

The so-called 'evil' in human nature is the result of factors which "stand in the way of growth - evasion fixation, regression, defensiveness - the attractiveness of psychopathology." (Science of Value' Robert Hartman in Maslow A.H. ed. 'New Knowledge in Human Values' Harper, 1959)

'Evil' behavior is the manifestation of psychopathology. "The inner core of human nature includes the basic physiological and psychological needs, the inborn capacities and talents, and the biologically based values inherent in the intrinsic yearnings and preferences. The denial or frustration of any of these needs, capacities or yearnings leads to psychopathology which can be manifested as 'evil.'" (Walsh Beyond Ego l77)

Thwarted psychological development: immature mind and neurosis; "Evil human behavior is a result of undeveloped human conscience or thwarted development of human conscience. Undeveloped conscience is result of deprivation of unconditional love which communicates security necessary for normal human growth and interest in the environment. In the absence of security, the envrironment is dreaded and perceived as a menace to growth. Emotions of fear and hatred predominate and destructive 'evil' behavior is the outcome. Fear and hatred are immature reactions resulting from thwarted human development."

"The inner core of human nature includes the basic physiological and psychological needs, the inborn capacities and talents, and the biologically based values inherent in the intrinsic yearnings and preferences. The denial or frustration of any of these needs, capacities or yearnings leads to psychopathology which can be manifested as 'evil'." (Walsh Beyond Ego l77)

 "There is abundant evidence from the findings of traditional psychology that 'evil' human behavior is a result of the frustration of natural human development.... The overemphasis of traditional psychology on the pathologies, neuroses, psychoses etc. has provided abundant evidence that men's bad and evil behavior results from frustration in his efforts toward self-actualization." (Maslow Psychology of Being, 177 or Erich Fromm "Values, Psychology, and Human Existence". In Maslow A.H. (ed) New Knowledge in Human Values. New York: Harper, 1959 Frustration of human growth as source of human wickedness.

Problem of 'evil'. "We must also face squarely the problem of what stands in the way of growth - evasion fixation, regression, defensiveness - the attractiveness of psychopathology i.e. the so-called problem of 'evil'." The 'evil' in human nature is the result of factors which "stand in the way of growth -evasion fixation, regression, defensiveness- the attractiveness of psychopathology." (Science of Value' Robert Hartman in Maslow A.H. ed. 'New Knowledge in Human Values' Harper, 1959)

 "Feelings of 'natural dominance' or 'self-esteem' lead to beneficial and creative behaviour. Feelings of 'compensatory dominance' become 'over-compensatory' - sham dominance - when they are derived from the crippling effect of insecurity and low self-esteem. Such feelings of sham dominance lead to domineering or haughty behaviour. Feelings of sham dominance can explain the wickedness of human behaviour. (Lowry, Richard J. A.H. Maslow: An Intellectual Portrait Brooks/Cole Publishing Co., Monterey, California, l973)

 "Human instincts are weak compared with instincts of other species of animal. The human is the only species with language".

"The power of language is in the impact on the mind which can result in psychopathology.manifest as wicked or 'evil' human behavior" (Robert Hartman)

"The overemphasis of traditional psychology on the pathologies, neuroses, psychoses etc. has provided abundant evidence that men's bad and evil behavior results from frustration in his efforts toward self-actualization." Erich Fromm "Values, Psychology, and Human Existence"In Maslow A.H. (ed) New Knowledge in Human Values. New York: Harper, 1959