By Arthur Guirdham
Originally released in 1959, this booklet is basically eager about the query of psychiatric components in faith, and, conversely, with that of spiritual components in psychiatry. It rejects the Freudian conception that faith is a kind of obsessional neurosis. even though this latter speculation may well clarify some of the phenomena of spiritual observance, it can't clarify the truth of non secular event. Dr Guirdham believes that orthodox Christianity is a perversion of the psychologically irrefutable educating of Christ and that its notion of God as a best being endowed with perfect energy, its instructing at the resurrection, and its infection with a feeling of guilt, are specially conducive to psychiatric sickness. He exhibits how theology may very well be inimical to non secular event and the way religion differs from trust and is a reaction of the full guy. The publication explains additionally the mental origins of clericalism and demonstrates the function performed by means of the latter in stifling non secular experience.
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Extra resources for Christ and Freud: A Study of Religious Experience and Observance
In addition, the God of the Roman Catholic is in these days relatively goodnaturedcomparedwith the God of the Noncomformist. He is more easy to placateby the atoning rituals provided. This is proved by the fact that the obsessionalneurosis, so specifically concerned with ritualistic acts and thoughts, is far less common among Roman Catholics than Protestants. This is true of the more puritanical Protestantfaiths. The more harsh and inhibiting the faith, the more its God is concernedwith retribution and hell fire, the more neurosisis to be expectedamong its adherents.
Against the small number of artists and thinkers with a history of psychosisthere is to be set the enormousmajority not similarly afflicted. This may be news to those who consider that geniusand insanity are closely allied. But if you start from the assumptionthat geniusis insanity then of courseyour argumentis irrefutable. Quite recentlyI havebeenstudying advertisements for a new variety of tranquillisers. Each is accompaniedby the picture of a great man and what is presumedto be an appropriatequotation from his works.
It has been well said that in our religious life we are leaving behind the age of Paul and entering that of John. The interest in the Easternreligions is increasinggreatly. I myself have observedthis in patients who could not be describedas of high culture or as being endowedwith philosophicinterests. What this meansis that in the West people are moving away from religions basedon immutabledogmato those founded on verifiable statesof mind and feeling. God is, after all, not felt so much in the brain as in the heart and solar plexus.
Christ and Freud: A Study of Religious Experience and Observance by Arthur Guirdham