Depotentiating of the Daimonic in People’s Souls Cripples the Cultural Development and Encourages Totalitarian Tendencies

The daimonic is the urge in every being to affirm itself, assert itself, perpetuate and increase itself. The daimonic becomes evil when it usurps the total self without regard to…the desires of others and their need for integration. It then appears as excessive aggression, hostility, cruelty… But these are the reverse side of the same assertion which empowers our creativity…
Rollo May

English term devil… as May explains, ‘comes from the Greek word diabolos [that] literally means to tear apart (dia-bollein)… this diabolic is the antonym of symbolic… There lie in these words tremendous implications with respect to ontology of good and evil. The symbolic is that which draws together, ties, integrates the individual in himself and with his group; the diabolic, in contrast, is that which disintegrates and tears apart. Both of these are present in the daimonic.’ There is, indeed, a tremendous difference between the demonic – connoting that which is purely negative and evil – and the daimonic, which contains the creative seeds of its own redemption. The daimonic… transcend the dualism of good and evil.
Stephen Diamond, “Anger, Madness, and the Daimonic (the Psychological Genesis of Violence, Evil, and Creativity)”, St. Univ. of New York Pr., 1996, P. 79)

The evil of violence stems not only from the individual and his or her personal history, but from the transpersonal, mass psyche also, i.e. our collective shadow… No comprehensive psychotherapeutic treatment of violence can ignore the need to address systemic causes. Until we confront and remedy the latent causes of violence in our culture, we will continue to see and treat only the symptomatic outbreaks instead of the systemic disease. Individual violence can be viewed, to some extent, as vicarious, isolated discharges – warning flares – of a festering collective rage. Judging from the burgeoning frequency and severity of violent eruptions in the U.S., it can be inferred that the American shadow is riddled with rage. We live in a society which unwittingly fosters and subtly supports violent behavior because it consistently denies and devaluates the daimonic, and offers scant sanctioned rites or rituals permitting and encouraging the constructive expression of anger or rage.
Stephen A. Diamond, “Violence as Secular Evil: Forensic Evaluation and Treatment of Violent Offenders from the Viewpoint of Existential depth Psychology”, – Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, Vol. 5, No.1, Jan. 2003, p. 43.

When the critical intelligence of the population, people’s capability for existential creativity and their participation in decision-making on the level of society are not welcomed by their society – the growing statistics of individual violence and general militarization of whole culture will be the result. If the daimonic’s positive orientation is not encouraged it will turn to the world with its negative, frustrated side. It will act out instead of producing sublimated reactions. “’Acting out’ is a potent defense mechanism almost always present in pathological violence. It is a way of utilizing violent action, behavior or even verbalization to avoid the direct, conscious experience of anger or rage, as well as that which underlies or is linked to these powerful passions. Were violent individuals to cease acting out their destructive impulses, they would be faced with the volcanic resentment, anger and rage which fuel such behavior, as well as that to which the anger is a response: narcissistic wounding, existential frustration, neglect, abandonment, fear, meaninglessness, previous verbal or physical abuse, sexual molestation, etc.” (Stephen A. Diamond, ibid., p. 40) It is to avoid concentration on problems and suffering that is connected with such concentration that people resort to acting out their frustration through committing violent crimes, through drug abuse, by inventing wars, creating financial meltdowns, indulging in rhetoric of hate and self- and group-glorification.

Positive creativity, invention of new life forms is impossible without the violent energies of transformational impulses. Creativity is sublime violence. Violent feelings and acts are result of reduction or destruction of people’s creative capability. The daimonic is the energy and violence of contradiction, the need to create something else instead of what is. “Some intimate connection to the daimonic is essential to satisfactory functioning in the world. Denial of the daimonic cuts us off from the incandescent source of vital energy needed to creatively contend with the never-ending challenges of life.” (Stephen A. Diamond, “Anger, Madness… Ibid) Psycho-socio-cultural development which is based on the people’s ability to constructively modify existing values and norms is utilization of daimonic’s rebelliousness in its sublimated form.

Militarism and consumer society are two forms of a de-potentiating of the Daimonic – the crippling of creative potential of culture (blocking and the destroying of culture’s ability to develop). But the rich decision-makers don’t want the population to have creative energy and need. They like people to be obedient – to be in a permanent mode of over-consumption – of their own glory (feeling that they are better than other people) or/and things and images, to be under-educated about human life and ready to cheerfully support the conservative call to more hate and for more arms.

Psycho-socio-cultural development (gradual, peaceful and creative modification of the present values and norms towards their further democratization) is utilization of human energies for this positive and sublime task.