Appendix: Quotations to the nexus of the fiction of sparing
"The idea of sacrifice is psychoanalytically interpreted as projection of the the human
aggressions onto the Gods" (Martin Bergmann "Im Schatten des Molochs" in: "Praxis der Psychotherapie und Psychosomatik" ; Vol. 35, copybook 2, March 1990, p.57).
"The thought to sacrifice children lives on in Judaism and Christianity" (l.c. p.58).
"Also the Gods of Greece have demanded the sacrifice of children. The fight against this
custom has before all Euripides taken up in his tragedies" (l.c. p.61).
"The Gods are the projection of the super-ego. They forbid murder, incest and demand moral
acts. The sin here is the central idea" (l.c. p.62).
"The prophets do not however demand the entire abandonment of sacrifice. Following their
wish the center of the religious life should however consist of moral acts and moral feelings. Within Judaism this last level has been attained, when after the destruction of the temple the sacrifice was generally
given up and replaced by prayer" (in the same place).
"Since we still feel helpless, in our imaginations we expect for ourselves of our father in
heaven everything, which our father could not accomplish" (l.c. p.64).
"Parents are much more frequently than we believe cruel to their children and facing them
have conscious or unconscious ideas of murder. Often is even the love shown by them, which we experience as fake and exaggerated, mainly a built reaction on such wishes for death" (l.c. p.69).
"Each generation has up to now felt it as necessary to struggle against the earlier and has
developed anew the fear to be threatened by the older generation. The war is an example for it. As it was often said or done, the older generation sends the younger into the battle-field to be slaughtered
there" (l.c. p.70).
"A person's beliefs about reality and morality are central to his conscious and
unconscious mental life. These beliefs are endowed with awesome authority. They guide the all-important tasks of adaptation and self-preservation. They organize perception; a person perceives himself and others
largely as he believes himself and others to be. In addition, such beliefs organize personality" (Weiss 1993, p.4).
"A person develops pathogenic beliefs in childhood by inferring them from traumatic
experiences with parents and siblings. These are experiences in which he finds that by attempting to attain a normal, desirable goal, he brings about a disruption in his ties to his parents. For example, he may
infer that he burdens his parents by being dependent on them, or that he causes them to feel hurt and rejected by being independent of them" (Weiss 1993, p.6).
"The power of pathogenic beliefs derives from the fact that they are acquired in infancy
and early childhood from parents and siblings, whom the child endows with absolute authority. His parents are critically important to him because he needs them in order to survive and flourish. His only good
strategy for adaptation is to develop and maintain a reliable relationship with them. Because his parents are so important to him, he is highly motivated to perceive them as all-powerful and wise. Moreover, he has
no prior knowledge of human relations by which to judge them. Therefore, when in conflict with his parents, he tends to perceive them as right and himself as wrong" (Weiss 1993, p.6).
"A child may develop pathogenic beliefs from either "strain" traumas or
"shock" traumas... The child is prone to take responsibility for such an event, and thus to develop pathogenic beliefs from it by retrospective inference. He assumes after the event that he brought it
about by attempting to seek certain goals, to maintain certain attitudes, or to exercise certain functions" (Weiss 1993, p.9).
"My thesis here is that interpretation is useful to the extent that it contributes to the
patient's working to disprove the unconscious beliefs that underlie his psychopathology. These beliefs are grim and maladaptive. They warn the patient that if he pursues certain normal, desirable goals he will
put himself in danger" (Joseph Weiss M.D.: "The Role of Interpretation" reprinted from Psychoanalytic Inquiry, Vol.12, No.2, 1992, p.296).
"Interpretation is not always necessary for the patient to make progress at disproving his
pathogenic beliefs. If the analyst passes his tests by noninterpretive means, the patient may be helped to disprove these beliefs. Moreover, as our research has demonstrated (...), a patient may develop insights on
his own, unassisted by interpretation. This is because if the analyst passes his tests by noninterpretive means, the patient may feel safe enough to bring certain previously repressed mental contents to
consciousness" (Joseph Weiss M.D.: "The Role of Interpretation" reprinted from Psychanalytic Inquiry, Vol.12, No.2, 1992. p.301).
"We know now that Freud's early view that infants have no primary, innate interest in
reality is incorrect and promotes misleading intuitions about human motivations. The findings of contemporary research on infant development (e.g. Stern, 1985) are incontrovertible on this issue. Infants are keenly
interested in their environment, and especially their (/) social environment, from birth. They are deeply engaged with social stimuli. Their interest in reality has all the characteristics of a drive. They seek
sensory stimulation, they seek novelty, and they will do work to make a novel stimulus appear in their visual field. They have astonishing capacities, from the beginnings of life, to make sensory discriminations and
to categorize their environment. They are, from birth on, theory builders: they form and test hypotheses about what is occurring in their world. They soon begin to develop representations of generalized
interpersonal patterns" (Harold Sampson Ph.D.: "The Role of ‘Real’ Experience in Psychopathology and Treatment" in Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 2(4): 509-528, 1992, p.511(/)512).
"But what has this to do with our clinical observations and with psychopathology? We
observe that people often manifest only limited interest in understanding their reality. They may actively distort it. They may behave unrealistically and irrationally; they may act peremptority on powerful urges of
which they are unaware; they may develop bizarre symptoms. They may destroy themselves. ...
My next thesis, based on Weiss’s theory, is that a person’s beliefs about his
reality are central, organizing factor in his mental life, and such beliefs underlie maladaptation and psychopathology" (Harold Sampson Ph.D.: "The Role of ‘Real’ Experience in Psychopathology
and Treatment" in Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 2(4): 509-528, 1992. p.512).
"These analysts also showed that denials of reality and distortions of reality may be based
not on primary instinctual wish-fulfillment or defenses against these wishes, but on motives serving adaptation, such as loyalty to parents, efforts to protect the parents, or efforts to continue to see the parents
as good" (Fairbairn, 1952; Sullivan, 1954, pp. 21-23)...
According to Weiss (1990), a person works, from infancy onward, to understand his reality and to
adapt to it. The child's first reality is that of himself and his parents. He acquires his first knowledge of himself and others in relation to them. This knowledge becomes organized intrapsychically as a system
of beliefs, unconscious and conscious, about his reality" (Harold Sampson Ph.D.: "The Role of ‘Real’ Experience in Psychopathology and Treatment" in Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 2(4):
509-528, 1992, p.514).
"Certain beliefs may be called pathogenic because they impair functioning. As we shall see,
a person, because of such beliefs, may develop crippling inhibitions, may torment himself, may persist in infantile behavior, may act self-destructively, may express powerful rage or bizarre sexuality, and may
develop disabling symptoms. Therefore, although pathogenic beliefs are theories about reality, they are by no means dry, lifeless, and academic to the person who holds them" (Harold Sampson Ph.D.: "The
Role of ‘Real’ Experience in Psychopathology and Treatment" in Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 2(4): 509-528, 1992. p.515).
"Because pathogenic beliefs are acquired by inference from experiences, they may, because
of differing experiences, link virtually any motive, / goal, or psychic state to a grim and constricting consequence. For example, depending on the child's interpersonal reality, a child may come to believe that
if she is sexual toward her father, he will be disgusted with her or that he may lose control or that he will perk up, become less depressed, or that she will make her mother envious and angry" (Harold Sampson
Ph.D.: "The Role of ‘Real’ Experience in Psychopathology and Treatment" in Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 2(4): 509-528, 1992, p.515/516).
"Criticism of parents is often a progressive step toward a patient's understanding
‘that he suffered parental mistreatment, complied with it, and as a consequence developed the pathogenic belief that he deserved it’ (Weiss, in press)" (Harold Sampson Ph.D.: "The Role of
‘Real’ Experience in Psychopathology and Treatment" in Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 2(4): 509-528, 1992, p.524).
"Patients may criticize parents repetitively as an attempt to fight back against the
unconscious belief that they themselves are at fault. The reason they do not make progress is that they continue to believe, in spite of blaming the parents, that they themselves are at fault. It is this problem
they need help with, as illustrated in a case described by Weiss (1990a)..." (Harold Sampson Ph.D.: "The Role of ‘Real’ Experience in Psychopathology and Treatment" in Psychoanalytic
Dialogues, 2(4): 509-528, 1992, p.525).
[WuL 1995, © Walter Alfred Siebel]
(Translations by software and corrected by Dr.Thomas Winkler and Christian Pfleiderer)