chapter  2
What Makes People III
Pages 11

Fear of people, of certain circumstances or places, certain words or intonations, fear of being ridiculous or conspicuous, or fear of being a failure—these are just a few of the many forms such an inhibition may take; not to mention fear of opinion, of accidents, of ghosts, or of cats, or of death itself. The chief means that human beings have used in the past to knock themselves into the shape they thought desirable or proper has been that of "taboo", a fear-invention well known among all primitive people and existing still in even more trenchant forms in the most highly cultured societies. The taboo or "forbidding" was psychic weapon used to prevent people from doing whatever the herd objected to, by means of threat. Most people are virtuous not because they wish to be but because they are afraid not to be. There are certain people who can never "get over" the hard or unhappy things of their lives.