Lipton’s Journal/December 17, 1954/45

From Project Mailer

There is no death-instinct, there is only anger, and we are not born with anger, not unless the mother is capable of communicating her anger to the embryo. What we think of as the death-instinct, which is applied almost always to the act which seems completely irrational and purposeless, is actually the anger of the soul at being forced to travel the tortured contradictory roads of the social world. The meaningless act is never meaningless—its meaning goes too deep. It is the cry of the soul against society, and it has a purpose—only the most irrational cries can appeal to the soul of others. It is the language allowed us. Only the soul can understand their meaning which is why we flee the impulse in ourselves and others, and call it the death-instinct. All words have their echoes, their deep contraries, and what we call the death-instinct is actually the life of the soul, its anger. But to admit it, to face up to it, is the most terrible revolution a human can undergo, for he loses not only all the vanities of his previous thought, his snobberies, his deceptions, but he is likely to lose his friends, his mate, his reputation, and even most probably his ambition.