In contrast, my own personal belief system has been rooted in fifty years of life’s many trials and tribulations, careers, love and loss, academic achievement and spiritual awareness. I intend to use this paradigm, my beliefs in contrast to Freud’s, as a point of entry to discuss briefly my views on the Freudian construct of spirituality/religion, and mourning.
Just as it is impossible for us to know conclusively, whether God exists and what He is like unless He takes the initiative and reveals Himself, which He has not. It is preciously in view of that fact or my analysis of that fact; that Freud’s claims on death, and mourning vis-à-vis, his understanding of spirituality/religion seem to create particular chaos in my mind. Specifically, I will use my work as a spiritual practitioner to help to juxtapose my position. I will address the example of Freud’s theory on mourning and death using his work Mourning and Melancholia. (Strachey, 1915)
Certainly, the early work of Freud was exploratory and much of Freud’s work was developing hypotheses that sought some validation in evidence. Given that, what exactly were Freud’s concepts or hypotheses about mourning and death? Freud’s hypothesis of mourning is in response to loss. Mourning he concludes is a process which must be conducted over time, along with processes involving the gradual transformation and development or recovery of the individual. (Strachey, 1916) Freud’s hypothesis of death carried with it a great dualistic component that he interpreted though out his life as being an eternal conflict of two distinct and completely opposing forces, one seeking to preserve and extend life, the other seeking to reduce life to the inorganic state out of which it arose. (Brown, 1959)
"Whistling of Birds" by David Herbert Lawrence is a depiction of the vividness of his writings and his own artistic vision and thought. In this essay he has elucidated the change of seasons- change from winter to spring- in an impressive way by the use of images, similes and metaphors... Winter, as he narrates, brings woe and causes wreck. The intense frost that sustained for several weeks caused ...
His hypothesis was really a conceptual belief that one must work through powerful feelings in order to detach from the deceased, reinvest in life, and recover from and resolve the loss. (Strachey, 1914) At a conceptual level, I think Freud’s theory that we become emotionally attached to our loved ones by investing in them is true. At a scientific level, Freud theorized that nerve cells gain or lose this energy, accounting for changes in their sensitivity. In Dr. Watson’s writing from his book The Appreciation Theory of Grieving he suggest Freud’s notion of attaching and detaching is similar to chemical bonding, in which atoms attach to one another by energetic bonds, and become detached by reactions such as in burning. (Watson, 1994)
Under Freud’s hypothesis, mourning consists of severing emotional attachments by withdrawing our energetic investments. (Strachey, 1915) Even though Freud has laid out some concrete, scientific steps for mourning – forming attachments “cathexis,” or the detaching process “decathexis,” are the completion of these steps direct proof? I believe this hypothesis of Freud’s leads to the impression that he did not interpret humans as being capable of making meaning for themselves without any direct proof. In disagreement, with Freud’s hypothesis of needing direct proof, one could argue that persons with whom spiritual and religious beliefs are constant and viable do not need any direct or immediate awareness of proof. There seems to be no room for religious or spiritual realities within Freud’s perspective. A quote from Totem and Taboo gives light to the perspective of religion Freud saw “Religious beliefs are untrustworthy and not to be accepted” (Freud, 1950).
There are several elements within Freud’s work which combined reveal, his personal limitations. First, let us consider Freud’s hypothesis of transference, and use his strong emotions of projection and call him Buddha. Next, let us connect the resistance of change with Freud’s belief system about “religion was primitive and outdated.” (Strachey, 1915) As a final point, let us bring into play Freud’s manifestation of loss as his expression of longing to return to the womb. My conclusion is that Freud’s spiritual and emotional stability are narrow. In my judgment Freud was not willing to embrace spirituality because he lacked the true capacity to understand it. What I mean is that the understanding, which comes from one’s own spiritual sense enables one to know that in all of us what will survive of us is love. Freud in contrast was busy trying to make life harder then it had to be by creating concepts that were unquantifiable and creating his own language that many could not understand. Understanding love cannot be measured in a success checklist. In Freud theories, I see rigid divides that exists between the spiritual and Freud’s practices of psychology vis-à-vis body and soul.
Sigmund Freud developed psychodynamic theories on personality. He believed that there are three elements to our personality. The first is the ID, the second is the ego, and the third is the superego. He believed that each element keeps the others in check; therefore if all elements are well balanced the person had a healthy personality. Freud also developed a theory in which he believed our ...
Within the last decade my work as a spiritual practitioner both in and out of institutionalized religious circles has allowed me to have insights into a spiritual belief system that moves beyond materialism, rational beliefs, and scientific theory. I have witnessed countless human beings learn there is no need for exact measurements to embrace ideas such as faith, the soul, the mind, feelings of love and other internal phenomenon. Perhaps it was the period that Freud lived in or his training in medicine or his interest in Darwinism or his fondness for Goethe that made his views so remarkably in contrast to mine. I actually think it was none of those. What I truly perceive it to be, frankly, was his narcissism. Freud’s self absorbed, idolism of self, both motivated his assessment and drove his treatments to have room only for exact psychological and precise medical points of view, reducing his treatment in every aspect to a biological, cellular, experiment.
Brown, N. O.,. (1959).
Life against death; the psychoanalytical meaning of history. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press.
Frankland, G. (2000).
Freud’s literary culture. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press.
Freud, S.,. (1952).
Totem and taboo; some points of agreement between the mental lives of savages and neurotics. New York: Norton.
Freud, S., Strachey, J., Freud, A., Rothgeb, C. L., Richards, A., & Scientific Literature Corporation. (1900).
... the Making of Psychoanalysis. New Haven: Yale University Press. Gay, P. (1988). Freud: A Life for Our Time. New York: ... Health, RCPRTU. London and Philadelphia. Storr, A. (1989). Freud. Oxford: Oxford university press. Strachey, J. (1905). Three Essays on the ... paley. Chicago: The university of Chicago press. Crews, F. (1996). The verdict on Freud. Psychological Science, 7, 63-67. Erikson, E.H. ...
The standard edition of the complete psychological works of sigmund freud. London: Hogarth Press.
Mourning and Melancholia V XIV (1914-1916).
Beyond the pleasure principle V XI (1914-1916).
Watson, D. E.,. (1994).
Surviving your crises, reviving your dreams. Bedford, MA: Mills & Sanderson.