3. The egoistic movement: the Angular sign

In the Morettian system the Angular sign, substantial sign of sentiment, indicates a particular form of egoism understood as the inner drive aimed at highlighting and enhancing uniqueness. It is exactly the contrary of the Curved sign which favours the relationship movement based on taking account of everything and everyone, the Angular sign aims to protect the properties associated with the individual. It is not, however, a movement associated only with defending the most material part of ourselves, because everything that encourages the closure of the system in order to protect what we might call the creative spark linked to the One is generally included in the concept of egoism. Angularity, in this sense, is an indication of the introversion of sentiment since it aims to favour the identification movement.

Moretti emphasises that, in principle, egoism (understood as the psychic pole opposite to altruism) is not necessarily against morality but rather a necessary condition for its fulfilment. This is because «if it is true that we each have a personality that is distinct from any other personality, we are obliged to keep it distinct in its material, intellectual and moral part. Now this keeping distinct is a requirement of our individuality, in other words of egoism properly considered». (16)

Starting from this formulation of the problem it is easy to understand that everything that favours altruism – understood as the opening movement that leads the personality to relate with the larger system it belongs to – in some way overshadows the development of individuality, that is to say the finer shades of intelligence and sentiment linked to the uniqueness of every human being; while each personality not only has the right but also the duty not to give them up, or else the individual and the community face a loss of wealth. So when Moretti refers to the concept of egoism he does not mean the individual who thinks only of herself and that is why she grabs as much as she can, completely disassociating herself from the material conditions of her neighbour. Egoism can also certainly find expression in this form, but it is one of the possible degenerations of the Angular sign, just as debauchery is the degeneration of the altruistic tendency, but it does not in any way represent the entirety of the altruistic movement.

The premise is important in order to understand why egoism, in principle, responds to the neutral definition of «care of the Self» (17); «that this care of the Self passes or does not pass the limits of rightness, this will involve the measure of egoism, a measure that is also set by graphology, but it will not affect the thing itself». (18)

Based on the analogical principle already stated about the altruistic movement, the egoistic movement revolves around the concept of the graphic action’s arrest followed by its resumption, because every snag – psychologically speaking – allows the Self to centre on itself, listen to its own needs at the same time as obscuring the needs of others. And the angle is the most direct of all the possible forms of arrest, since it is based on an abrupt interruption of the movement; the more evident it is, the more pronounced the angle.

Some important implications come from this first interpretation of the angular movement. As it is a breaking movement, the angle makes the personality capable of withstanding contrast and isolation, since it has initially placed social sentiment in a subordinate position. So while the Curved personality runs the risk of entering into conformism or the quiet life, it being nourished by the support of feelings of others, the Angular personality, by taking root in itself, is able to tolerate the social exclusion resulting from the breaking of socially approved behavioural or ideological patterns. We are also dealing with a different kind of knowledge which comes from the fact that the more angular the writing is, the greater the pleasure derived from confrontation, since it is thanks to this contrast that the personality focuses on itself and its talents.

In addition to these general considerations, Moretti goes more deeply into the analysis of the egoistic movement by highlighting two specific components within it.

The first is given by reactivity, understood as that drive to attack obstacles, which can be measured by the A Angle sign. It corresponds to the system’s level of sensitivity aimed at identifying invasions, which triggers the drive to repel them: the higher the reactivity, the more immediate and violent the reaction becomes. The other component is represented by tenacity, understood as the capacity not to surrender when faced with obstacles so that the personality keeps its goals unchanged over time, without them losing strength, even in the face of considerable material difficulties. This specific tendency is measured using B Angles.

When combined together, the actions of personal defence described above provide the means for the personality to develop itself so that it remains distinct from any other personality.

Fig. 7 –  Writing with A and B Angles

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Measuring the two signs in both cases is quite easy, because they are two very visible movements on the graphic level that leave no doubt as to their presence, and they have only one meaning, which does not undergo substantial changes depending on the context it belongs to, unlike the Curved sign.

Now let us examine in detail these two instinctive forms of defence of the Self, that are automatically put into play by sentiment when it feels its boundaries are being infringed, exercising a defensive action based on aggression (A Angles) and heightening resistance so as not to be deprived of what it wants (B Angles). In this context, it is clear that angles are necessary for any work requiring a long and constant struggle; but if they exceed a certain threshold, they impede lucidity of consciousness and result in a constant struggle for the triumph of the Self, even against all reason.