Archive for the ‘Sigmund Freud’ Category

Religious doctrines are… illusions, fulfillments of the oldest, strongest and most insistent wishes of mankind

October 7, 2009

Religious doctrines are… illusions, fulfillments of the oldest, strongest and most insistent wishes of mankind. The secret of their strength is the strength of these wishes.

Sigmund Freud, Future of an Illusion, 1961, p.30

But if doctrines can be reduced to the strong wishes that lie behind them, can Freudianism be exempted from this critique. Does Freud have a strong wish that religious doctrines not be true? Is it not indeed plausible that there is a strong desire in man to run from the Holy One? Adam’s first act after the Fall was to hide…


I have no answer

September 10, 2009

When I ask myself why I have always behaved honourably, ready to spare others and to be kind whenever possible, and why I did not give up doing so when I observed that in that way one harms oneself and becomes an anvil because other people are brutal and untrustworthy, then, it is true, I have no answer.

Sigmund Freud, writing to James Putnam, neurologist

To say, ‘I have no answer’ to the question, ‘Why should I be good?’ is hardly a small matter. It leaves the sort of vacuum that coercion or anarchy (or both) will fill – as we see.

The decline of religious belief?

September 8, 2009

The more the fruits of knowledge become accessible to men, the more widespread is the decline of religious belief.

Freud, Sigmund, The Future of an Illusion.

Plainly wrong – unless one is a myopic, condescending, Western intellectual

Rumours of the death of God have been greatly exagerrated.

Myth of Objectivity – Jung on Freud

August 30, 2009

There was no mistaking the fact that Freud was emotionally involved in his sexual theory to an extraordinary degree. When he spoke of it, his tone became urgent, almost anxious, and all signs of his normally critical and skeptical manner vanished. A strange, deeply moved expression came over his face, the cause of which I was at a loss to understand. I had a strong intuition that for him sexuality was a sort of numinosum. This was confirmed by a conversation, which took place some three years later (in 1910), again in Vienna. I can still recall vividly how Freud said to me, ‘My dear Jung, promise me never to abandon the sexual theory. That is the most essential thing of all. You see, we must make a dogma of it, an unshakable bulwark.’ He said that to me with great emotion, in the tone of a father saying, ‘And promise me this one thing, my dear son, that you will go to church every Sunday.’ It is strange that Freud, who was basing his theories on and interpreting the dreams of others, including those of Jung, was curiously enough anxious to conceal his own and his private life. The motive for such concealment could hardly be academic or scientific. Jung writes, “Freud had a dream-I would not think it right to air the problem it involved. I interpreted it as best I could but added that a great deal more could be said about it if he would supply me with some additional details from his private life. Freud’s response to these words was a curious look – a look of the utmost suspicion. Then he said, ‘But I cannot risk my authority.’ At that moment he lost it altogether. That sentence burned itself into my memory; and in it the end of our relationship was already foreshadowed. Freud was placing personal authority above truth.

One thing was clear Freud, who had always made much of his irreligiosity, had now construc- ted a dogma; or rather, in the place of a jealous God, whom he had lost, he had substituted another compelling image, that of sexuality.

Jung, C.G., Memories, Dreams and Reflections, p. 150, 158