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A Review
Boris Sidis' Book
Nervous Ills
Chapter XXXII: Fear Suggestions
by Doug Renselle
Doug's Pre-review Commentary
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Chapters I-XXI





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Chapter XXXII......Fear Suggestions



(Most quotes verbatim Boris Sidis, some paraphrased.)

(Relevant to Pirsig, William James, William James Sidis, and
Quantonics Thinking Modes.)



In my psychopathological and clinical work of the various manifestations and symptoms of psychopathic and functional diseases I come to the conclusion that the principal cause of all those morbid affections is the fear instinct, rooted in the very impulse of life, the impulse of self preservation. Fears are not secondary effects, they are due to one of the most fundamental of all instincts, the instinct of fear which is primary and elemental. Boris' thelogos for this chapter is 7.9%! That is an relatively large number: 145 occurrences of the out of 1824 total words!
2 Anything which arouses the fear instinct in the inhibitory or paralyzing stages will necessarily give rise to psychopathic functional psychosis or neurosis [neurological type]. The fear instinct and the impulse of self-preservation, inherent in all life, are the alpha and omega of psychopathic maladies.

Students of Quantonics, this is our third Nervous Ills chapter reviewed. We started at Chapter XXX for reasons unrelated to a small study in psychology. So we will offer instructive material here which may need to be duplicated when we commence earlier chapter reviews.

We are using classically objective language to describe how classicists view 'mental illness.' (Our quantonic views and language offers omnifferent quantum perspectives.) Following is how classicists describe psychology as a discipline which objectively treats mental illness:

In psychology, there are two major groupings of 'mental' illnesses. Boris mentions them here: psychosis and neurosis. Former is more serious and disabling. It includes two subcategories: fundamental and organic. Latter is physical, e.g., brain damage, cancer, Alzheimer's, etc. Former has no apparent physical classical 'cause' and includes schizophrenia among several other fundamental categories.

Psychology offers several other objective schisms, including:

  • normal and abnormal psychology, which attend
  • psychology and psychopathology, and also attend
  • psychology and sociopathology,
  • etc.

At millennium three's commencement familiar names associate abnormal psychology:

  • Bundy,
  • Dahmer,
  • Manson,
  • bin Laden,
  • Lecter (~fictional),
  • etc.

From a quantum perspective psychotic/neurotic, normal/abnormal, psychologoy/sociopathology, and psychology/psychopathology categories are, in themselves, very likely problematic. Why? Psychology as a discipline, but indeed a softer science, still tries to be objective. But reality and especially biological systems are quantum and thus more subjective and qualitative.

For detail on foundations of classical psychology see any college baccalaureate level text and references such as a good encyclopedia.

One aspect of great interest to us in Quantonics is Boris' choice here to study neurosis.

Some say William was schizophrenic, which classically falls under category psychosis. Too, as far as we know, William James Sidis exhibited no neurotic fears. He appears to us as quite fearless.

One site visitor has asked us to fathom WJS as having Asperger's syndrome, which is more common than most folk know, and sometimes attends very high intellect with slight autist manifestations. An acquaintance has Asperger's. For us his uniqueness is more Valuable than any way we might imagine him as 'normal.' Simply, Asperger's is part of who this unique individual is.

We see this question akin, "Did Abraham Lincoln have Marfan's syndrome." But we have Lincoln's remains. No one knows, apparently, where William's remains are. Slight genetic 'abnormalities' attend Asperger's syndrome. It is our belief that Lincoln's keen intellect, plus his marfanesque physical stature and possibly his jutting silhouette may have contributed to his eventual (he failed repeatedly prior to achieving) success in politics and national leadership and his lasting acclaim.

3 The fear instinct is usually cultivated by a long history of events of a fearsome character so that fear instinct and the impulse of self-preservation become easily aroused on various occasions of external stimulation, producing general fear, mental or emotional, and often accompanied by sensory, motor, and intestinal derangements of various organs with their secretions and hormones, as well as with general morbid, functional changes of the central nervous system, sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. This in its turn gradually cultivates a disposition to formation of hypnoidal states, that is, the brief momentary formation of trance states, in which the subconscious becomes through dissociation exposed to fear suggestions or fear stimulations, which arouse in the morbidly cultivated subconscious morbid fear symptoms, motor, sensory, intestinal, emotional in their various combinations and associations.
325 4 The cultivated predisposition to lapses into hypnoidal states is a prerequisite of psychopathic disturbances. We may, therefore, say that the three factors, namely, Self-preservation, Fear instinct, Hypnoidal states form the triumvirate of psychopathic, functional neurosis.
5 Charcot [Jean-Martin, one of France's greatest physicians; Freud was a student of Charcot's] with his sharp eye for observation as well as his long clinical experience observed, in what he termed hystericals, a brooding period which precedes the manifestations of the hysterical attacks and symptom complex of the hysterical manifestations. These brooding periods are of the utmost consequence, although Charcot and his disciples as well as the psychopathologists generally, hardly paid any attention to this important phenomenon. (Our bold.)

We perceive WJS as somewhat a "brooder."
326 6 These brooding periods preceding the onset of the malady afterwards recur regularly before each attack of the malady, only the period is brief, and is hardly noticeable except by the one who looks searchingly. Psychopathologists pass this important stage without noticing its full significance. The period appears as a sort of a psychic aura, a sort of momentary attack of epileptic petit mal. This brooding state is a modification of the hypnoidal state.
7 It is during such hypnoidal states, when the conditions which I have shown to be requisite for the induction of trance or subconscious states, happen to be specially strong and the hypnoidal state is prolonged, that the unprotected subconscious becomes subject to fear suggestions or to stimuli arousing the fear instinct and the impulse of self-preservation.
8 "Many patients," says the famous physiologist and physician, Mosso, "die in the hospital from fear and depression who would probably have recovered had they been tended in their own homes. . . . In their morning round the physicians find that the serious cases have grown worse, while those who are better beg to be dismissed. . . . The physician, who has the night watch must walk up and down the whole night, and is kept busy preventing convulsive attacks, or fainting fits.
327 9 "Fear attacks nullify every effort of the will. . . . Even Alexander of Macedon had to count with fear in his courageous army of select Macedonians. In order to insure victory he offered sacrifices to Fear before he joined battle."
10 Physical maladies become worse during the night, and especially during the early morning hours when the energy of the body is at its lowest level,—conscious and subconscious fears reaching their highest intensity. This holds specially true of nervous cases, and particularly of psychopathic [this is also called 'abnormal psychology'] patients, who are dominated by the impulse of self-preservation and the fear instinct. The fears and worries keep the patient awake, and the subconscious fears become emphasized by concentration of attention, monotony, limitation of field of consciousness, limitation of voluntary movements, and other factors favorable to dissociation and the induction of the hypnoidal state, in which the patient becomes sensitive to the awakening of the fear instinct, with all its horrible fear suggestions. (Our bold.)
11 The symptoms of the disease which are more or less under his control during the day become often so intensified in the dark, that the patients become demoralized with fear, suffering as they do the anxiety and anguish induced by the terrors of the night. Even medical men, professors of medical colleges, who have come under my care, have confessed to me that, when in a state of insomnia, the terrors of the night are so intense that they had to resort to morphine to still the anguish of the fear instinct. (Our bold. "Physician, treat thyself!")
328 12 For years I lived in close relation with neurotic, psychopathic patients. I watched them day and night. I have been called by patients for medical aid in the late hours of the night, and more so during the vigil hours of the darkness of the night. I had to relieve and soothe the fears, the terrors of the night. It is in the night, when in a low state of neuron energy that patients feel the grip of horrors oppressing them with nightmares of the relentless and merciless instinct, the fear instinct. To be relieved of the night terrors many patients are willing to risk anything, even the consequence of deadly narcotics, the plagues of mental healers, and the sexual phantasms of Psychoanalysis. (Our bold.)
13 The hypnoidal state is induced artificially, often brought about by intoxication, as in the case of holy Soma drink among the Hindoos [Boris' spelling], or by fasting, as among the American Indians during the initiation periods, or by dancing, such as the corrobboree among the aborigines of Australia, or by singing, or by praying. All the conditions of disjunction of consciousness with the manifestations of subconscious activities are brought into play, in order to come in contact with demons, spirits, totems, and find among them guides and protectors.
329 14 In prolonged hypnoidal states, the fear instinct and the impulse of self-preservation are calmed under appropriate conditions. Illusions and hallucinations which easily appeared in the twilight states of hypnoidal subconscious states became manifested as beneficent spirits, as agents favorable to the life existence of the individual, the spirit appearing as the totem, the guardian of the individual. Prayer and singing, which are the most successful of all the methods of inducing subconscious subwaking, twilight states, have survived to our present day.
15 Of all the methods of utilization of subconscious subwaking, twilight states the most effective is prayer, especially, the individual form of prayer. Prayer admirably fulfills the conditions requisite for the induction of the hypnoidal state and for the getting access to the subconscious activities, the formation of subconscious personalities, subconscious illusions and hallucinations. Such subconscious states have been shown, on experimental evidence, to be not of a sensory, but of a purely delusional character, strong enough to affect the individual with an intense belief in its external reality. (Our bold.)
16 The deluded human mind in its craven fear of the unseen and the mysterious spirit-forces helps itself to any soporific or anaesthetic, narcotic stimulant, to bring about a scission of the conscious self from the subconscious activities. The induction of the hypnoidal state is brought about by all kinds of intoxicants, narcotics, fasting, dancing, self-mortification, sex excesses which exhaust the devotee, and leave him in a state of trance. All such practices and rites seek blindly for some trance-state to still the morbid fear instinct.
 330 17 The psychoanalysis of Freud, Jung, Adler, Stoekel, with their sexual love, belongs to this category of narcotic sexual religions which inhibit the critical self.1

1 ‘The popular novelists try to disclose "the secrets of the head" by means of Freudian sex phantasies, psychoanalytic mother complexes, and Jungian mystic sex libido. It is only in an era of philistinism and vulgarity with a literature of decadence and commonplace mediocrity that psychoanalysis can take root and flourish.

"Die Theorie bchauptet mit ausschliessender Sicherheit (?), das es nur sexuelle Wunschregungen aus dem Infantilen scm können, welehe in den Entwicklungsperioden der Kindheit die Verdrangung (Affectverwandlung) erfahren haben, in spateren Entwicklungsperioden dann einer Erneuerung fähig sind, sei es in folge der sexuelle Konstitution, die sich ja aus der urspriinglichen Bisexualitat her-ausbildet, sei es in folge ungunstiger Einflusse des sexuellen Lebens, und die somit die Triebkrafte für alle psychoneurotische Symptombildung ab geben." (S. Freud, ‘Die Traumdeuturig," p. 376, zweite Aufiage 1909.) In other words, slippery and mutable as Freud’s statements are, he clearly declares in his magnum opus the far-reaching generalization that neurosis is based on infantile sexual wishes, either due to bisexuality or to unfavorable influences of sexual life. Suppression of sexual experiences can be easily observed (by competent observers, of course), in infants a few months old. If you miss the process of suppression in the baby, you can easily trace it by means of psychoanalysis to the early recollections of tender infancy. It is certainly lack of comprehension that induces Ziehen to dub Freud’s speculations as Unsinn (nonsense). Freud’s admirers with a metaphysical proclivity delight over the theory of suppressed wishes. The wish is fundamental and prior to all mental states. This piece of metaphysical psychologism is supposed to be based on clinical experience. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. The Freudist manages to ride such horses.

(Our bold.)
 331 19

The following speculation of Jung’s well represents the metaphysico-religious character of psychoanalysis: "By entering again into the mother’s womb he (Christ) redeems in death the sin of life of the primitive man, Adam, in order symbolically through his deed to procure for the innermost and most hidden meaning of the religious libido its highest satisfaction and most pronounced expression . . . In the Christian mysteries the resurrected one becomes a supermundane spirit, and the invisible kingdom of God, with its mysterious gifts are obtained by his believers through the sacrifice of himself on his mother. In psychoanalysis the infantile personality is deprived of its libido fixations in a rational manner. The libido which is thus set free serves for the building up of a personality matured and adapted to reality, a personality that does willingly and without complaint everything required by necessity. (It is, so to speak, the chief endeavor of the infantile personality to struggle against all necessities, and to create coercions for itself where none exist in reality.)" Such metaphysico-religious lucubrations parade under the term psychoanalysis.

"Man," says James, "believes as much as he can," but the credulity of the psychoanalyst is limitless. The psychoanalyst with his allegories, symbolism, sublimation, incest phantasies, bi-sexuality, sexual suppression, mother complexes, Oedipus and Electra phantasms, and all the other complex psychoanalytic instrumentalities is an excellent example of sex obsessed, delusional dementia praecox. Psychoanalysis is a sort of sexual mysticism. All mental life is reduced by psychoanalysis to "creation" or "procreation."

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Doug Renselle
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©Quantonics, Inc., 2003-2009 Rev. 8Jan2008  PDR Created: 4Sep2003  PDR
(8Sep2003 rev - Repair top of page indices. Correct text title to match top of page title.)
(9Sep2003 rev - Repair page anchors from template values.)
(8Dec2003 rev - Correct p. 324, para. 2, comment typos.)
(15Jan2005 rev - Add 'Neurological Type' anchor to p. 324, para. 2. Add bold there also.)
(3Apr2005 rev - Repair spelling of 'Dahmer.')
(8Jan2008 rev - Minor reformating.)

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