Seeking Pleasure And Agression Is Part Of


Seeking Pleasure And Agression Is Part Of Human Instinct Essay, Research Paper

Seeking Pleasure and Agression Is Part of Human Instinct

Name: Mohamed Fakhry A.Wahab

Based on Freud concepts of pleasure and aggression, discuses Hay Ibn

Yaqzan and The Island of Animals

It is said to be that seeking pleasure and aggression are a part of our

human Instinct. We seek pleasure to shorten the time of our unhappiness. We

live in a constant struggle to be always happy, and we use all the ways that

take us to happiness. Aggression, on the otherhand, is a part of our human

nature, which can be hidden deep down in our subconcousnes and explodes in

certain situations, or it can be on the surface of our behavior and inconstant

use. Sources of happiness may differ from one person to another, but the one

source of our human gratification that we all agree upon, is the happiness

derived from sexual pleasure. Our souls strive for sexual pleasure to be

elevated from one degree of human happiness to another. Freud said that ?what

we call happiness in the strictest sense comes from the … satisfaction of

needs which have been dammed up to a high degree, and it is from its nature only

possible as an episodic phenomenon.? (25). At the sametime, we explore those

human instincts in the presence of civilization which set some rules and

regulation that are surpassingly acting as guidelines for the survival of

humanity. Hay Ibn Yaqzan and The Island of animals, are two different human

experiences that discover our two core human instincts, pleasure and aggression.

In Hay, we will find that his journey with his own instincts is different from

our own human instincts, but it is the same when it comes to the roll of

civilization with dealing with them. On the otherhand, The Island of Animals

tends to dig in our human aggression, and shows how humanity uses civilization

as a curtain to hide behind it.

Freud concept of pleasure and happiness is related to Hay in only one

way. It is not in the kind of happiness itself , whether if is sexual or

spiritual, but it is similar in the procedure and the definitions of happiness

or pleasure. In other words, pleasure to Freud is basically in sexual terms, ?

Sexual gratification is the prototype of all forms of individual happiness…?.

On the otherhand, Hay Ibn Yaqzan’s happiness or his pleasure is found in totally

different kind of human instinct, which is the substitute gratification for

sexual pleasure, because religion and science are included in Freud’s lists for

intellectual replacements for the lost sexual happiness. So Hay, according to

Freud, is someone who favored the substitutes of sexual happiness. But, did not

experience sexual pleasure in the first place. Therefor, we cannot say that Hay

is someone who escaped the sexual pleasure to the intellectual replacements,

because of civilization. The concepts of Freud equation does not suit Hay’s

case. At the sametime, we can make the link between Hay and Freud’s concept

from the civilization point of view. According to Freud, our sexual instincts

are operates by civilization, and it does not serve the requirements of

civilization. In Hayy’s case civilization oppressed his spiritual happiness

where he found it on the island. In this sense civilization stood against his

human instinct, as civilization is standing against our human desires

represented in the sexual form. Opposite, Hay escaped from civilization in

search for his basic human desires. This escape was confirmed by his

reinhabiting the Island with Absal. Hayy found that civilization grab his

desires from him, actually from his fellow man. Hayy knew that ?what misery

moreburdeing than recounting all you do from the time you get up to the time you

go to bed without finding a singal action that did not amount to seeking one of

these vile, sensory aims:…pleasure seeking…venting rage…?(71) As we can

see pleasure for Salaman and his friends is totally different from Hay’s

pleasure. The difference between Freud’s concept and Hay, is that in reality we

do not fight or even escape to reach our basic human instinct, but rather we

create substitute gratification’s. According to Freud ?Civilization compensates

the individual by redirecting his libidinal energies into socially acceptable

forms of amusement and diversion.? But as we see those acceptable forms are

substitutes for the real thing, instinctual happiness. But, they are not a

substitute for Hayy, they are his core source of happiness. So he did not stay

with Salaman and create for himself substitute kind of pleasure, instead, he

left civilization for its seekers and he went back in search for his higher

degree of happiness. On the otherhand, civilization for us, becomes the

constant attempt to divert the individual from sexual gratification into

socially productive and acceptable activities. We on the contrary, do not have

any place to escape to, so we surrender to the quest of our civilization, and we

use the intellectual replacements for the lost sexual happiness.

On the otherhand of this discussion, comes the other concept of Freud

which is human aggression, and once more we will relate this core human instinct

to civilization and its impacts on human aggression. The Island of Animals

question the aggression that lies deep in human nature. It also impasses the

role of civilization in creating such violence within our behavior. As we know,

surpassingly, civilization came to modify our aggressive nature, but it failed

to do so because of too many restrictions, such as social pressure that govern

us and particularly governs our behavior (lecture). It is an irony to say that

the people who landed on the Island are civilized men, ?They were…men of every

sort of profession, trade and craft…..doctors and lawyers and builders…..?

(5), and according to Freud, social order is one of the requirements for

civilization, but the first thing that those civilized men did is something

completely against civilization. It is once you feel that no one is watching

you begin doing what brings you happiness. In other words, aggression is

another human instinct that brings us joy and happiness. But, because

civilization refuses any act of violence, it oppresses this need of aggression

deep in our consciousness, and thus the first thing we do when no body is

watching is anything that civilization refuses us to do. In this case,

civilization oppressed the aggression instinct in the men who landed on the

Island. This sense of aggression was clearly felt by the animals who protested

and asked for help, as any one who is being used aggressively. The point that

The Island of Animals emphasized is that aggression is purely a human instinct,

as there were men from all kinds of religion, ?These men came from different

parts of t world and were from different religions; they included Muslims,

Christians, jews and others.?(5). This means that where ever you came from,

whatever your culture is, you are aggressive by nature. From that sense

civilization steps in with a beneficial propose, as it tame the human nature.

But, civilization creates human source of worry and distress, and also oppresses

our basic human instinct. As we looked for substitute for our sexual desire, we

also sacrifice our aggressive nature for the benefit of civilization.

Finally, it is clear that civilization has its discontents, but how can

we solve such a problem. It is impossible to look back and say that the

permissive man was happier because he had no restrictions. We can never go back,

or even look to the permissive world. Once we reach a higher degree of

civilization we tend to look and analyze the next step. We ignore our human

desires for better standards of living, we sacrifice them with what we see

better. Or even because we know that what we want from sexual and aggressive

desires is impossible to happen, then we subconsciously live in the discontents

of the civilization and pretend to be happy with the substitutes we created for

ourselves. Hayy and The Island of Animals are two stories that question the

roll of civilization in our life, each looked at civilization from different

perspective. At the sametime, what we all see refutable is the solution that

Hayy choose for himself, because no one can escape the discontents that he

originally created. Hayy was a special case because he was raised away from

civilization, so he didn’t live in it. The question that we have to ask

ourselves is, what was Hayy going to do if he was exposed to a sexual experience

on the land of Absal and Salaman? was he going to escape from civilization like

he did, or was he going to live in civilization and accept its discontent.

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