Man’s passions are not banal psychological complexes that can be adequately explained as caused by childhood traumata. They can be understood only if one (…) recognizes them for what they are: man’s attempt to make sense out of life and to experience the optimum of intensity and strength he can (or believes he can) achieve under the given circumstances. They are his religion, his cult, his ritual, which he has to hide (even from himself) in so far as they are disapproved of by his group. (…) ― The truth is that all human passions, both the „good“ and the „evil,“ can be understood only as a person’s attempt to make sense of his life and transcend banal, merely life-sustaining existence. Change of personality is possible only if he is able to „convert himself“ to a new way of making sense of life by mobilizing his life-furthering passions and thus experiencing a superior sense of vitality and integration to the one he had before. ― (1973a: The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, New York (Holt, Rinehart and Winston) 1973, pp. 30f.)

(Important is) the difference between „organic drives“ (food, fight, flight, sexuality – formerly called „instincts“), whose function it is to guarantee the survival of the individual and the species, and „nonorganic drives“ (character-rooted passions), which are not phylogenetically programmed and are not common to all men: the desire for love and freedom; destructiveness, narcissism, sadism, masochism. („Nonorganic“ does not mean, of course, that they have no neurophysiological substrate, but that they are not initiated by, nor do they serve organic needs.) ― (1973a: The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, New York (Holt, Rinehart and Winston) 1973, p. 97.)