Seeking Pleasure and Agression Is Part of Human Instinct


Name: 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,