27 | CR Book IX, Chapter 3

what it expects, and thus one runs away from oneself, or steadily
contracts one's selfhood in melancholia, depersonalisation, etc. The
attempts to complete the too narrow self by incorporating other things
into it and by ignoring the obstacles in one's way, lead to manias, etc*.

All this is made worse because the deceptive self is aggressive
against itself. Through aggressiveness we destroy ourselves, while, in
our anxiety, we try to prevent that destruction. Aggressiveness and
anxiety go together. In anxiety we cast a glimpse at our nothingness,
realise that we are nothing. The clouds of self-deception grow thinner,
but by immediately rushing into aggressiveness we nullify any progress
we were about to make. Aggressiveness fixes a boundary for the self,
isolates and thereby destroys it. Through ambivalence, aggressiveness
also annihilates a part of the self. Just as we create the very thing from
which we flee, so our self contributes largely to the hatefulness of what
we hate.

The self-destructive intention of aggressive reactions is usually
hidden because we differentiate between aggressiveness turned against
external objects, and aggressiveness turned against the self. There is,
however, no real distinction between "inside" and "outside" with
reference to a fictitious boundary line, which is created only by
aggressiveness itself. But there is a difference in direction and goal,
either "inwards", from "not mine" to mine, me, my self, or "out-
wards", from me and mine to "the other" and "not mine". The
boundary between "mine" and "not mine" is defined, defended and
maintained be aggressiveness. Aggressiveness is a reaction to any threat
or intrusion into a deceptive boundary. When it is displaced in rage
against an external object, or when we project it beyond the apparent
limits of the self, it nevertheless remains in our object-world, never
touches anything outside it, and never leaves our wider self. The whole
difference is one of relative emphasis on parts of the wider self.

     Myself Me Mine/the other, or not mine/things

Aggressiveness is the less inoffensive the nearer it come to the
centre of the self. It then is apt to charge with aggressive energy the
phantastic "ideal" self, thus leading to a sense of guilt, disapproval of
oneself, self-dissatisfaction, self-punishment, etc. A number of circum-
stances may drive aggressiveness in that direction. The egocentric
devalues other people, and things. Their relative unimportance takes the
kick out of smashing them. Also, when we turn away, in anxiety, from
the outer world, our aggressiveness is turned inwards. Aggressiveness
also rebounds inwards when it becomes excessive, when the infantile
omnipotence, or the refusal really to accept the fact of an outer limit to
oneself, has not been replaced by the development of two-sided social
relations, and thus every interference and frustration becomes an insult
to one's godlike majesty. Aggressiveness also rebounds as a sense of
guilt when it threatens beloved and tabooed objects. And it cannot help
doing so, because love threatens to break down those very artificial

*Book I