Raskolnikov's Rebirth: Psychology and the Understanding of Good and Evil

By İlham Dİlman | Go to book overview

8
Love and Hate:
Are They Opposites?

8.1 MATURE AND IMMATURE LOVE
Michael Balint describes a woman, a patient of his, whose 'whole life', as he puts it, had been 'an endless repetition of the same pattern' (Balint 1952).She had always been terribly in need of love and affection. In her relationships with men, she had repeatedly 'thrown herself away at the first signs of some slight attention'. The person in question became an angel in her mind and for a short while she lived in blissful expectation. Then, because the other person had a separate existence from her, he could not satisfy her absolute demands. She interpreted this as heartlessness and cruel neglect and the result was a painful disappointment. This then turned into hatred and the person was discarded as bad, heartless, rotten, and cruel. She was then overcome with anxiety.Was the love for the person she came to hate genuine? Balint argues that it was, but that it was a primitive, immature sort of love. In contrast, he says, his patient's hate cannot be called either mature or infantile, or primitive; but then immediately after having said this he adds: 'anxiety, and to some extent hate, exist only in primitive forms'. At first he concentrates on love: what is the difference between a primitive and an adult love? He gives seven characteristics of immature, primitive love which distinguish it from mature love.
i. The person has a weak sense of self and feels insecure in herself. As a result she needs the reassurance of love, affection, and attention. When, in the separateness of his existence the other cannot meet the absolute demands she makes on him the

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Raskolnikov's Rebirth: Psychology and the Understanding of Good and Evil
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Brief Contents vii
  • Detailed Contents ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • Summary of the Book's Argument xvii
  • 1: Science and Psychology 1
  • 2: 'the Psychology of Moral Behaviour' 23
  • 3: Psychology and Morality 45
  • 4: Self-Knowledge and Change in Psycho-Analytic Therapy 65
  • 5: Happiness 79
  • 6: Psycho-Analysis and Ethics 93
  • 7: Good and Evil 121
  • 8: Love and Hate 151
  • 9: Must Psycho-Analysis Explain Religion Away? 163
  • 10: Dostoyevsky's Raskolnikov 187
  • Bibliography 207
  • Index 211
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