Here is a short definition of instinct in relation to fear by Roberto Assagioli:
There are five main forms of fear, and these underlie the five fundamental instincts:
– The first is the instinct of self-preservation, the root of which is the fear of death.
– The second is the sexual drive, arising from a sense of incompleteness and the fear of loneliness.
– The third is the herd instinct, again caused by the fear of being separated, weak, insecure. This fear causes us to seek support and security by associating with other people.
– The fourth is the tendency to affirm oneself. This might seem the total opposite of fear, but careful analysis shows that at least one of its roots is the fear of not being appreciated, recognized and respected as much as we deserve (or believe we deserve! ) and therefore not having the power we would like to have over others.
– The fifth is curiosity, the thirst for knowledge based on fear of the unknown or of mystery.
We have to acknowledge that these instincts or tendencies have spurred us on to useful, indeed necessary, activities, so even fear has had and can have a useful function. (Transpersonal Development, 2007, p. 164)
Sublimation of instincts
“The solution of psychosynthesis, but which was not invented by psychosynthesis, is something that so many times occurs spontaneously: and that is sublimation. Sublimation consists in rising from the level of the egoistic personality to — and in the extreme case up to — the origin, to the spiritual Self; therefore, neither the will to power nor the other drives, even instinctual drives, are to be condemned or repressed, but they are all to be brought back to their origin. And there man loses nothing, indeed he gains much; he does not lose his power, which indeed becomes more powerful, but he becomes so at a higher level and it is no longer antagonistic, but constructive.” (Assagioli in Spiritual Experience)« Back to Glossary Index