Seeking Pleasure and Agression Is Part of Human In

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Seeking Pleasure and Agression Is Part of Human In

stinctName: 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.


Category: Philosophy