QA151 QUESTION: I’d like to ask you about an experience I had recently in connection with a television show I saw about the Auschwitz trials and the hearing of witnesses. Why did this shake me up so particularly? How exactly is this related to my violent reactions to certain people and sometimes violent outbursts – physical violence – that I have?
ANSWER: I would roughly say the reaction of violence you have toward particular people can basically be divided into two kinds. There is the kind of people whom you fear because they are the stronger ones, and while you project the cruelty you fight against in yourself, you fear theirs.
And there are those whom you feel as the weaker ones; you fear your own cruelty, and you want to justify it by blaming them. Both of these have one common denominator, which is perhaps the missing link that you have to further find as the next step, and that is the connection with sex.
There is something – in a way you already know it, but you have not quite emotionally connected it – that the sexuality is somehow hooked up in both ways of cruelty: being a victim as well as being the perpetrator. When you can face the hookup between these two facets of cruelty with your sexuality, in that moment you can really free yourself of it; you can go beyond it. Do you understand?
QUESTION: Yes, I understand what you are saying and I think I can find this connection between sexuality and cruelty. Are saying that there is a desire in me to be the stronger one, and at the same time also a fear and another desire to be the weaker one?
ANSWER: Yes exactly, both.
QUESTION: These are actually making it impossible for me to unify my sexual feelings.
ANSWER: Yes, that is right, that is exactly right. It also makes it difficult to lose the cruelty as long as it is not experienced in conjunction with the sexuality. Because deep down you fear that by giving up the cruelty, you lose the pleasure, and there is therefore something that resists it.
Yet you do not dare to express the cruelty outwardly in that way, because guilt and inhibition and all sorts of reservations, naturally, come in.
QUESTION: But how can I express the cruelty without hurting anyone?
ANSWER: You can experience it in your own fantasy by being aware of it and by allowing it to reach your consciousness. That is the only way one can transcend a state one is arrested in, in one’s sexual development. It is taking it out of repression, consciously acknowledging it, and experiencing it, perhaps in your fantasies, in your thoughts.
Do not put any restrictions on your feeling and thinking in this regard. Let it flow. That does not mean you have to act it out. It is always so difficult for man to understand that there is no causal connection – no necessary connection – between acknowledgement in one’s thoughts and fantasies and acting out. It is exactly the same with hostility.
This is why people go through life denying and repressing their hostile feelings so that they only come out indirectly in a much more harmful way. They think that by acknowledging the hostility they have to act it out. It is not true.
You have learned ever since the beginning when I began to have the privilege to help you years ago, that it is very possible – and in fact the only feasible and realistic way to grow – to take these feelings, whatever they are, out of repression. Acknowledge them but do not necessarily act upon them.
You will then even find certain ways in which one can act upon them in a not-at-all-harmful way. That will afford you to grow beyond so that the hookup is no longer there. This is the only way you can grow out of where you are stuck now. Do you understand?
QUESTION: Yes. Certain desires that I have to a certain extent, I should try to talk about them with people?
ANSWER: Yes. Admit them freely.