Spielrein raised the question of why sexual desire gives rise to pleasure, but also to fear and disgust.
‘One feels the enemy inside oneself, in one's glowing love which forces one, with iron necessity, to do what one doesn't want to do: one feels the end, the fleetingness, from which one vainly tries to flee …’
In order to make sense of this contradiction, Spielrein proposed that every human being is fated to manage a conflict between two fundamental instincts.
1. On the one hand, there is a wish to survive and prosper as an individual: something that requires independence and homeostasis.
2. On the other hand, there is an evolutionary drive towards propagation, where the self is dissolved in another person, and death is foreseen. Having presented her thesis in terms of biology and psychology, Spielrein elaborated it with references to literature and mythology—including Tristan and Isolde, Adam and Eve, and tales from the Talmud, where sex and death are symbolically intertwined.
To put it in her own words, ‘the act of procreation consists in self-destruction’. As she speculated almost a hundred years ago, there is an irreconcilable tension in biology between the needs of the ego (the ‘I’) and the needs of our genes to replicate themselves. This may have profound implications for our happiness or unhappiness as human beings. In proposing such an idea, the ‘little girl’ may have been one of the most far-sighted thinkers of the early twentieth century.
Compare with Divine Principle, that roots the fear and disgust in the EMOTION
Eve receved from Lucifer at the illicit fallen sexual act between her and Lucifer,
and then passed on Eve > Adam.
The Human Fall