Adler & the Will to Power
By Atom Bergstrom
According to some people …
Pavlov represents the First Wheel.
Freud represents the Second Wheel.
Adler represents the Third Wheel.
Jung represents the Fourth Wheel.
Merrell-Wolff represents the Fifth Wheel.
The Third Wheel has a lot to do with the “will to power.”
Sometimes the Third Wheel tries to be a Big Wheel.
(Chakra means “wheel, circle,” and I prefer gassing away in the good old American language.)
Alfred Adler (The Neurotic Constitution, 1916) wrote …
“One of my patients who came under my observation on account of stammering and depressive states, permitted to appear in his environment a detection only of his generosity. One day he made a voluntary bequest to a certain institute, and told me this story with an apparently directly associated statement that he felt unusually depressed that day. Along with this his stammering likewise became more pronounced. The exaggerated state of his neurosis showed itself to be a result of his generosity as result of which he feels himself degraded and one is justified in expecting a revelation of the real working of this individual in further acts, thoughts and dreams as running with the developing neurotic symptoms — not because he has repressed his avariciousness or a corresponding sexual impulse — but because he has deviated too much from his goal — namely, to increase his possessions. He must therefore do something which will bring him back to it. He tells me further, ‘ It was already far after the dinner hour. I felt very hungry, and besides a friend awaited me in a restaurant where we were to dine together. I had to walk therefore the (long) distance to that place. My friend still waited. After dinner I felt somewhat better.’ This means that he began at once to save again and made the journey on foot, notwithstanding hunger, depression and rendezvous. Incidentally, he was able to let the friend wait, which is with many neurotics the concealed mode of asserting their desire for dominancy.
“The very first manifestation, actions and communications of the patient in the presence of the physician, frequently contain the most important of the disease mechanism and character development. This is so because the patient is as yet not in possession of cautiousness in the presence of the physician. As the above quoted patient introduced himself to me, he told me casually, that his father was not well to do, and that he was unable to make great sacrifices for the treatment. After a certain time, there came of necessity to light that he deceived me in this respect in order to obtain a smaller charge. He showed himself to be avaricious also in many other respects, but at the same time he endeavored to deceive both himself and others in this respect. Both of these traits were also possessed by his father, and our patient was taught stinginess by the latter with special stress. He was often told ‘money is might, for money everything can be had.’ Thus it could not be avoided that our patient, who was already in childhood very ambitious and tyrannical, having later fallen into an uncertain situation and believing that he could not reach the paternal standard, through direct means, took refuge under the pressure of his ambitiousness, in the device to convince the father of his utter helplessness and of the other failures of his educational plans, by retaining this childhood defect, stammering. Through his stammering, he spoiled his father’s play — because he was not able to be the first one, because he was not able to surpass the latter.
“Our culture, however, agrees with those children who see in the amassing of fortune the road to power. Similarly led on, this ‘will to power’ assumed the external form of stinginess and avarice in so far as he further developed these tendencies. It was only the contradiction between a vulgar avariciousness and the ego-ideal which forced him to a concealment of the impulse to avarice by means of which he wished to dominate his father, and forced him to the substitution of the stammering. In the further course of the analysis the origin of his desire for possession became evident. He suffered practically constantly in his infancy from stomach and intestinal disorders, which were the expression of a hereditary inferiority of the gastro-intestinal tract. In the family, stomach and intestinal disorders played an important role. The patient recalled very distinctly how he frequently had to deny himself appetizing food in spite of hunger and desire, whereas his parents and brothers and sisters consumed them with pleasure. Whenever he could he gathered foods, bonbons and fruits to be feasted upon later. In this tendency to gather, we already see the influence of the developing craving for security, which is constantly endeavoring to adjust in some way or other the feeling of degradation.”
According to Adano Ley (Swami Nitty-Gritty) …
“What makes you feel prosperous? A full belly, filled with food. That’s why you rub the belly of the Buddha at a Chinese restaurant.”