The Human Birth Theory: from the delusional perception to the face recognition in the mirror


The work of Massimo Fagioli is based on the medical-scientific method: it is necessary to start from the biological reality to arrive at understanding the formation of the original dynamics of the internal reality of human beings. Some fundamental stages in the development of the Human Birth Theory are summarized below:

− Publication in 1962 of a work on Delusional perception and subsequent developments of the thought of Fagioli.

− Padua period (1960 – 1963) and introduction of an absolute novelty on the methodological level: psychotherapy for the treatment of mental illness and not in support for biological interventions.

− From the study of Delusional perception, Fagioli lays the foundations for the subsequent theorization, that is, the discovery of the “Annulment Pulsion”.These elaborations lead to the publication, in 1972, of the first edition of “Death instinct and knowledge”.

− From the pathological symptom “Annulment pulsion” to the healthy physiological correlate. Massimo Fagioli elaborates that the “pulsion” begins at birth when the newborn, passing from the intrauterine environment to the life of birth, has a reaction that makes the inanimate environment non-existent: Fagioli calls this reaction “Disappearance fantasy”.

− In the summer of 2006, the word consisting of two verbal terms appears:”Capability to imagine” deriving from the German language “Vorstellungsvermögen”. The capability to imagine, after having ‘imagined’ the non-existence of the non-human world, simultaneously realizes the “Memory-fantasy” of the experience had with the skin in contact with amniotic fluid, and the “Intuition-hope that the breast exists”.

The eyes -mouth triangle: a foreword about the breastfeeding

Fagioli theorizes that newborns who take and suckle at the breast, find their first object-relation and the first satisfaction of their desire: if it is fulfilled, newborns will develop an ever greater relationship with their own and other’s human qualities.

If their desire is not fulfield, a dinamic of anger/introjection of the breast may arise: “the disappearence fantasy becomes annulment pulsion against the other who has been introjected and projected”.The newborn’s life experience is “a continuous alternation between seeing-loving and introjecting-projecting- making the object disappear”.

The eyes -mouth triangle

The eyes-mouth triangle is fundamental “to be able to follow the psychic development of a person from a part object into a whole object and to be able to sense the simultaneous transformation of the libido from a greedy and avid libido into a libido that is receptive and invests the object”.

The eyes-mouth integration is necessary “to achieve perseption of reality(principle of reality)”.

The dynamics to be considered in relation to the eyes-mouth triangle are as follows:

– introjection of the object;

– introjection of the image of the object;

– absorption of the qualities, the energy, the libido of the object.

From the triangle to the pyramid

M.F. deepens the study of the triangle conceptualizing the piramid: on its bedrock(that consists of the eyes-mouth integration) “the object genital libido and verbal thought develop”.

From the triangle to the face recognition in the mirror

The infant around 8 months old recognizes himself/herself in the mirror without ever having seen himself/herself before and realizes his/her own internal image of birth. Such a dynamic “is the movement whereby knowledge, which is sensation of his/her own human reality, which is thought as the capability to imagine that becomes memory, takes on a definite image in having seen his/her own face.”In-depth study of G. Samsa and Narciso.

21 Words… “Conscious Perception, Fantasy, Line, Sense, Face

”In the recognition of the face there is the drawing of the line around it and the knowledge of self as the certainty of the self different from all others. “It is recreation of birth because it is separation from the first year of life, but it is creation of the ability to make the line, which at birth was only possibility…ability that was not there.”



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