The Myth Of Psychotherapy
See also: History of Psychiatry homepage
The Myth Of Psychotherapy, Thomas Szasz, 1979 AD, p70
"In short, for Heinroth it is not loss of reason, which psychiatrists would now call loss of the ability to test reality, that characterizes madness or "true insanity"; it is instead loss of freedom. What Heinroth meant by loss of freedom is exactly the same as what psychiatrists, and others, now mean by lack of rationality, competence, or responsibility—namely, that the "sick" person is not behaving properly, that he is not acting of his own free will, and that his conduct should, accordingly, be constrained and controlled by those who know better and can therefore safeguard his "best interests." Still firmly planted in a religious conception of life, Heinroth understood more clearly than most contemporary psychiatrists that we call persons mad or mentally ill who behave badly—that is, whose conduct does not conform to social expectations but is, instead, "selfish" or under the sway of his "passions." The cause of all mental disease, according to Heinroth, is selfishness or sin, two terms he often uses synonymously." (The Myth Of Psychotherapy, Thomas Szasz, 1979 AD, p 70)
"When, in 1911, Bleuler renamed dementia praecox "schizophrenia," he identified the disease not by its characteristic histopathology, as was customary with diseases of the nervous system, but by its incurability!" That this is an utterly destructive way of describing a disease—a disease that, moreover, has no objective bodily manifestations and has never been known to be fatal —should be obvious." (The Myth Of Psychotherapy, Thomas Szasz, 1979 AD, p 165)
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considers to be true mental diseases: "Mechanical or chemical injuries as well as initially organic affectations, too, end in one of the two ways just described. We may consider a blow on the head as an example: the resulting delirium is either transient or lethal. For this reason, true dementia, melancholia, mania, etc., can never be the effect of such injuries. . . . We do not deny that weakness of memory or of reason are often the after effects of such injuries, but such states must not be reckoned to the soul disturbances since they do not display the essential character thereof, namely, loss of freedom."6
In short, for Heinroth it is not loss of reason, which psychiatrists would now call loss of the ability to test reality, that characterizes madness or "true insanity"; it is instead loss of freedom. What Heinroth meant by loss of freedom is exactly the same as what psychiatrists, and others, now mean by lack of rationality, competence, or responsibility—namely, that the "sick" person is not behaving properly, that he is not acting of his own free will, and that his conduct should, accordingly, be constrained and controlled by those who know better and can therefore safeguard his "best interests."
Still firmly planted in a religious conception of life, Heinroth understood more clearly than most contemporary psychiatrists that we call persons mad or mentally ill who behave badly—that is, whose conduct does not conform to social expectations but is, instead, "selfish" or under the sway of his "passions." The cause of all mental disease, according to Heinroth, is selfishness or sin, two terms he often uses synonymously.
"All passion," Heinroth asserts, "is truly a state of human disease. . . . Passions form a very complex tissue in the human soul. For they are as varied as the object of desire and fear and the forms of existence and possession can be. But all have in common that they rob the soul which panders to them of peace and freedom. . . . Anyone imprisoned by passion is unfree and unhappy."7 Edmund Burke also said this; he said it earlier and without metaphorizing moral unfreedom as medical disease.
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Heinroth and those who have followed him have insisted on such a medical metaphorization and on taking the metaphor literally. In Heinroth's writing, however, the metaphorical character of passion as tissue and of sin as disease is still undisguised enough to be easily visible. Henceforth, the smoke screen laid down by the dreadnoughts of medical metaphorization become thicker and more impenetrable, effectively concealing the true contours of "madness" from the eyes of modern man.
"The man who is fettered by passion deceives himself about external objects and about himself," declares Heinroth. "This illusion, and the consequent error, is called madness. Madness is a disease of the reason . .. [which] originated from the passions within the soul. . . . In madness the spirit is fettered and man, just as in passion (both being indissolubly linked), is unfree and unhappy." It is this rhetoric that ushers in and justifies the psychiatric holy wars for making men free by constraint and happy by torture.
Although Heinroth sometimes designates the passions as the ultimate causes of mental diseases, more often he rails against "selfishness" as the veritable devil that unhinges men and women. It is of course impossible to know to what extent he believed in a reified version of his own account. The following passage conveys his essential views on the "etiology" of "mental diseases":
It [the stimulus to evil] strides through countries, it clings to objects and mutual relationships in the form of ideas which, when honestly but blindly believed in, were called spirits or demons and were said to possess the power of mischief, which is perfectly true. It is no mere image, and even less hyperbole, to say that these spirits have usurped control over the earth and that all those who are mentally disturbed have become so through their power. They all have a common starting point, a main principle to which they are subordinated: selfishness. This most evil of all evil ideas is present in the most remote and in the closest human relations; it is absorbed with the mother's milk and finds a fertile soil in the human heart. Selfishness . . . appears in a variety of guises to merge with the nature of man. The ideas of
The Jewish Avenger
Because I regard psychotherapy as a moral rather than a medical enterprise, it is reasonable to inquire into the religious origin, development, and self-identification of the founder of psychoanalysis. Heretofore, such an inquiry was considered relevant, if at all, only as background material, a part of the cultural history of individuals and ideas. I consider it relevant as foreground material, a part of the ethical systems that psychotherapists and their works constitute, conceal, and convey_
Freud's great-grandfather was Rabbi Ephraim Freud, and his grandfather was Rabbi Schlomo Freud. It is not known whether these men were rabbis in the religious sense or whether their titles merely connoted respect. Freud himself was born a Jew, was given the Jewish name Schlomo after his grandfather, and remained a Jew.'
The inconsistency between Freud's passionate antireligious tirades and his profound commitment to Jewishness significantly highlights an important aspect of Freud's personality and produc-
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tions, namely his anti-Gentilism. The popular image of Freud as an enlightened, emancipated, irreligious person who, with the aid of psychoanalysis, "discovered" that religion is a mental illness is pure fiction. Freud was extremely fond of this image of himself, and he did all he could to cultivate it. Subsequently, Jones successfully merchandised it, with the result that, although the facts of Freud's personal sense of Jewishness and his anti-Gentilism are duly recorded, mainly in his letters, the significance of these facts somehow disappears in Jones's treatment of them.
Freud was, throughout his life, a proud, chauvinistic, even vengeful Jew. David Bakan offers the following evidence to support his contention regarding Freud's positive self-identification as a Jew:
Freud believed that anti-Semitism was practically ubiquitous in either latent or manifest form; the broad masses in England were anti-Semitic, "as everywhere"; he was of the opinion that the book on Moses would anger the Jews; he expressed a love of Hebrew and Yiddish, according to Freud's son; he refused to accept royalties on Hebrew and Yiddish translations of his works; he was sympathetic to Zionism from the first days of the movement and was acquainted with and respected Herzl; he had once sent Herzl a copy of one of his works with a personal dedication; Freud's son was a member of the Kadimah, a Zionist organization, and Freud himself was an honorary member of it.2
Bakan also notes that on "Freud's thirty-fifth birthday, his father gave him the Bible which he had read as a boy, inscribed in Hebrew,"2 and that when "he was in America he sent greetings by cablegram to his family on the High Holidays."4 In addition, Freud displayed his devotion to Judaism in the letters he wrote, in the friends and enemies he made, in the way he lived, and, last but not least, in his anti-Gentilism.
Intensely interested in religion and religious history, Freud indulged in countless speculations on these subjects. In many of
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these he simply followed his central formula—which was to become the trick of the psychoanalytic trade—namely, that everything is something other than what it seems to be or than what the authorities say it is. Oedipus was not a king but a complex; Leonardo was not a heroic painter but a homosexual pervert; Moses was not a Jew, but an Egyptian. It is significant, in this connection, that Freud was satisfied with transforming the founder of his own religion from a Jew into an Egyptian; he did not suggest that Moses was mad. That was an "interpretation" Freud reserved for patients, dissident colleagues, and Jesus. "Once in a conversation on the topic [of religion]," Jones relates, "Freud remarked to me that Jesus could even have been 'an ordinary deluded creature.' "5
One of Freud's many pronouncements on religion is recorded in his The Future of an Illusion:
We call a belief an illusion when a wish-fulfillment is a prominent factor in its motivation, and in doing so we disregard its relation to reality, just as the illusion itself sets no store by verification. Having thus taken our bearings, let us return once more to the question of religious doctrines. We can now repeat that all of them are illusions. . . . Some of them are so improbable, so incompatible with everything we have laboriously discovered about the reality of the world, that we may compare them . . . to delusions.°
Voltaire, Nietzsche, and many other thinkers since the Enlightenment have noted that religious doctrines are not empirically verifiable observations. What does Freud add to such positivistic antireligiosity? Only the assertion that religious belief and conduct belong in the same class as mental disorders; they are madnesses, medical disorders, matters on which Freud is, or claims to be, an expert.
There is, in short, nothing scientific about Freud's hostility to established religion, though he tries hard to pretend that there is. The same sort of antireligiosity that Freud preached was rampant in ancient Greece: its character was identified by Plato, and its
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significance for the modern age has been reidentified by Eric Voegelin. Plato's particular wrath, notes Voegelin,
is aroused by the type which combines agnosticism with rascality. .. . [Most] dangerous is the agnostic who is at the same time possessed by incontinent ambition, by a taste for luxuries, who is subtle, intelligent, and persuasive; for this is the class of men who furnish the prophets and fanatics, the men who are half sincere and half insincere, the dictators, demagogues, and ambitious generals, the founders of new associations of initiates and scheming sophists (908d—e). In order to designate these evils of the age appropriately and comprehensively, Plato now uses the category of nosos, a disease of the soul (888b).*r
The terms—diviner, fanatic for all kinds of imposture, and contriver of private Mysteries—fit Freud perfectly. Plato's foregoing observations are important because they provide some of the basis for Voegelin's, and Karl Popper's, classification of psychoanalysis as a modern gnostic movement and for their bracketing it, as such, with Communism and Nazism.°
It is ironic that Plato diagnoses as a "disease of the soul" precisely that mental state which Freud claims characterizes the ideally mature, psychoanalytically imbued person; and that Freud diagnoses as a "disease of the mind" precisely that mental state which Plato claims characterizes the ideally moral, ethically imbued person. In both cases, of course, mental health and mental
* Voegelin's reference here is to Plato's Laws, Book X:
But those in whom the conviction that the world has no place in it for gods is conjoined with incontinence of pleasure and pain and the possession of a vigorous memory and a keen intelligence share the malady of atheism with the other sort, but are sure to work more harm, where the former do less, in the way of mischief to their fellows. The first man may be free-spoken enough about gods, sacrifices, and oaths, and perhaps, if he does not meet with his deserts, his mockery may make converts of others. But the second, who holds the same creed as the other, but is what is popularly called a "man of parts," a fellow of plentiful subtlety and guile—that is the type which furnishes our swarms of diviners and fanatics for all kinds of imposture; on occasion also it produces dictators, demagogues, generals, contrivers of private Mysteries, and the arts and tricks of the so-called Sophists.8
142 The Paradigm of Psychotherapy Sigmund Freud: The Jewish Avenger 143
disease are defined in moral terms and reflect the ethical standards of the definer.*
One might think that a man who writes about religion as Freud did in The Future of an Illusion and elsewhere would declare himself an atheist or agnostic. Not so. In his Autobiographical Study, Freud declares: "My parents were Jews, and I have remained a Jew myself."ll It will repay us to look closely at what Freud himself meant by that affirmation. Obviously, he did not. mean that he abstained from eating pork or from working on Saturday. What he meant, he tells us, is this: "When, in 1873, I first joined the University, I experienced some appreciable disappointments. Above all, I found that I was expected to feel myself inferior and alien because I was a Jew. I refused absolutely to do the first of these things. I have never been able to see why I should feel ashamed of my descent or, as people were beginning to say, of my 'race.' "12 In short, Freud decided that "Jewish is beautiful!"
It is open to question whether Freud's assessment of the nature of anti-Semitism in Central Europe before the First World War was accurate. Karl Popper offers a quite different view of that cultural scene:
I believe that before the First World War Austria, and even Germany, treated the Jews quite well. They were given almost all rights, although there were some barriers established by tradition, especially in the army. In a perfect society, no doubt, they would have been treated in every respect as equals. . . . The proportion of Jews or men of Jewish origin among university professors, medical men, and lawyers was very high, and open resentment was aroused by this only after the First World War.. . . Admittedly, it is understandable that people who were
* The fundamental similarities between Plato's and Freud's concepts of mental functioning have been noted by others, for example by A. J. P. Kenny, who observes that "Both Freud and Plato regard mental health as harmony between the parts of the soul, and mental illness as unresolved conflict between them."10
despised for their racial origin should react by saying that they were proud of it. But racial pride is not only stupid but wrong, even if provoked by racial hatred.13
Popper's concluding remark, with which I agree, raises another question, namely: Does deciding that "Jewish is beautiful" imply that "Gentile is ugly?" As we shall see, it did indeed for Freud.
In 1882, when Freud is twenty-six, he reaffirms his religious ties. "And as for us," he writes to his fiancée, "this is what I believe: even if the form wherein the old Jews were happy no longer offers us any shelter, something of the core, of this meaningful and life-affirming Judaism will not be absent from our home."14 From his youth onward, Freud sought strength from his identification with Judaism. In it, he found not only strength but also solace from solitude and a historical-religious transcendence. For example, when in 1895 he felt increasingly isolated from his medical colleagues, he joined the B'nai B'rith Society, a Jewish fraternal organization, to which he belonged for the rest of his life. Every other week he attended social gatherings, and occasionally lectured there himself. "I gave a lecture on dreams to my Jewish society last Tuesday," he writes to Fliess on December 12, 1897, "and it had an enthusiastic reception. I shall continue it next Tuesday."16 On March 11, 1900, he writes: "I spend every other Tuesday evening among my Jewish brethren, to whom I recently gave another lecture."16
Freud's proud self-identification as a Jew is also well displayed in his letters, especially to Abraham and Ferenczi. For example, on December 26, 1908, Freud encourages Abraham with his appeal to their common faith: "Do not lose heart. Our ancient Jewish toughness will prove itself in the end."17 He ends the letter with this frank revelation: "Our Aryan comrades are really completely indispensable to us, otherwise psycho-analysis would succumb to anti-Semitism."18
On July 20, 1908, Freud writes to Abraham: "On the whole it is easier for us Jews, as we lack the mystical element."16 Three days later, he writes: "May I say that it is consanguineous Jewish traits that attract me to you? We understand each other. . .. I nurse a suspicion that the suppressed anti-Semitism of the Swiss
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that spares me is deflected in reinforced form upon you."2° On October 11, he picks up the same theme: "Just because I get on most easily with you (and also with our colleague Ferenczi of Budapest), I feel it incumbent upon me not to concede too much to racial preference and therefore neglect that more alien Aryan [Jung]."21
After sustaining a psychiatric attack on psychoanalysis in Germany, Freud writes to Ferenczi in a similar vein. In the midst of the First World War, a Professor Franz von Luschan declares that "Such absolute nonsense [as psychoanalysis] should be countered ruthlessly and with an iron broom. In the Great Times in which we live, such old wives' psychiatry is doubly repulsive."22 Freud's reaction to this, in a letter to Ferenczi, on April 4, 1916, is: "Now we know what we have to expect from the Great Times. No Matter! An old Jew is tougher than a Royal Prussian Teuton."23
Freud's references to Jewishness, his own or his interlocutor's, figure prominently in much of his correspondence. An often- quoted example of it is his famous letter to the Protestant pastor Oskar Pfister, in which Freud writes proudly, "Incidentally, why was it that none of all the pious ever discovered psychoanalysis? Why did it have to wait for a completely godless Jew?"24 To which Pfister offers the incredibly inane answer that Freud is not a bad Jew but a good Christian!
In a letter to Barbara Low, written in English in 1936, Freud remarks: "I know that you have not thought that the death of your brother-in-law David [Eder, a psychoanalyst] had left me untroubled, because I had not written at once. .. . Eder belonged to the people one loves without having to trouble about them. . . . We were both Jews and knew of each other that we carried that miraculous thing in common, which—inaccessible to any analysis so far—makes the Jew."25 As we saw earlier—in his letter to Abraham in 1908—when Freud wants to extol Jews as better fitted for science than Christians, he boasts that "we [Jews] lack the mystical element." In this letter to Barbara Low, however, he boasts that being a Jew is something "miraculous." The phrase "inaccessible to analysis" is also worth remarking on. It was one of Freud's favorite terminological inventions, dividing the world into two classes in terms of his own "science"—things
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accessible to analysis and things inaccessible to analysis. Into the latter category he placed not only his own and Eder's "miraculous" Jewishness, but also the "genius" of those he respected (the genius of those he didn't respect being reduced, by "analysis," to its psychopathological roots).
Freud's letter to Enrico Morselli, an Italian author who had sent him a book critical of psychoanalysis, is also of interest in this connection. "I noticed with regret," writes Freud, "that you cannot accept our youthful science without great reservations. . . . But your brief pro-Zionist pamphlet on the Zionist question I was able to read without any mixed feelings, with unreserved approval. .. . I am not sure that your opinion which looks upon psychoanalysis as a direct product of the Jewish mind is correct, but if it is, I wouldn't be ashamed. Although I have been alienated from the religion of my forebears for a long time, I have never lost the feeling of solidarity with my people and realize with satisfaction that you call yourself a pupil of a man of my race —the great Lombroso."26 There are at least two things in this letter that deserve special attention. In the first place, Freud's assertion that he was alienated from the Jewish religion was simply not true; as we saw, his alienation from it was limited simply to his not practicing most of its rituals—a very different thing. In the second place, why was Freud so proud of Lombroso's Jewishness? Was Lombroso a good man? Cesare Lombroso (1836-1909) was a pioneer forensic psychiatrist whose claim to fame rested on his supposedly scientific psychiatric-genetic "discovery" that criminals were "degenerates" who could be identified by certain physical stigmata of "atavism." His views thus presaged those of Nazi geneticists and Soviet psychiatrists, hardly something to be proud of.*
Besides testifying to Freud's pride in his Jewishness—and to his essential, however unformalistic, religiosity—these examples, of which many more could be cited, also illustrate his consistent
* Karl Kraus, another Viennese Jew—but one who was quite free of the venomous anti-Gentilism that suffused Freud—recognized the evil character of Lombroso's "genius." In 1903, at the height of Lombroso's fame, Kraus called him a "charlatan" and ridiculed him for having made "his own scientific stature impregnable by demonstrating that anti-Semitism is a mental illness."27
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duplicity with respect to the relations between psychoanalysis and Judaism. In print and in public, Freud insists, with the voice of the wounded savant, that psychoanalysis is a science like any other and has nothing to do with Jewishness. In person and in private, however, he identifies psychoanalysis, with the voice of the prophet militant, as a Jewish creation and possession.
One of Freud's most powerful motives in life was the desire to inflict vengeance on Christianity for its traditional anti-Semitism. This idea has been suggested by Freud himself, and has been alluded to by others. In The Interpretation of Dreams, where Freud tells us so much about himself, he relates one of his dreams in which he is in Rome. To explain it, he offers the following episode about his childhood:
I had actually been following in Hannibal's footsteps. Like him, I had been fated not to see Rome; and he too had moved into the Campagna when everyone had expected him in Rome. But Hannibal, whom I had come to resemble in these respects, had been the favourite hero of my later school days. Like so many boys of that age, I had sympathized in the Punic Wars not with the Romans but with the Carthaginians. And when in the higher classes I began to understand for the first time what it meant to belong to an alien race, and anti-Semitic feelings among the other boys warned me that I must take up a definite position, the figure of the Semitic general rose still higher in my esteem. To my youthful mind Hannibal and Rome symbolized the conflict between the tenacity of Jewry and the organization of the Catholic church. And the increasing importance of the effects of the anti-Semitic movement upon our emotional life helped to fix the thoughts and feelings of those early days. . . . At that point I was brought up against the event in my youth whose power was still being shown in all these emotions and dreams. I may have been ten or twelve years old, when my father began to take me with him on his walks and reveal to me in his talk his views
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upon things in the world we live in. Thus, it was on one such occasion that he told me a story to show me how much better things were now than they had been in his days. 'When I was a young man,' he said, 'I went for a walk one Saturday in the streets of your birthplace; I was well dressed, and had a new fur cap on my head. A Christian came up to me and with a single blow knocked off my cap into the mud and shouted: "Jew! get off the pavement!" "And what did you do?' I asked. 'I went into the roadway and picked up my cap,' was his quiet reply. This struck me as unheroic conduct on the part of the big, strong man who was holding the little boy by the hand. I contrasted this situation with another which fitted my feelings better: the scene in which Hannibal's father, Hamilcar Barca, made his boy swear before the household altar to take vengeance on the Romans. Ever since that time, Hannibal had had a place in my phantasies.28
Hannibal, the African—whom Freud calls a "Semite"—takes vengeance on the Romans who conquered and humiliated the Carthaginians. Freud, the Semite, takes vengeance on the Christians who conquered and humiliated the Jews. Hannibal was tenacious and had a secret weapon: elephants. Freud, too, was tenacious, and he, too, had a secret weapon: psychoanalysis. Hannibal's elephants terrorized his enemies whom the animals then trampled to death. Freud's psychoanalysis terrorized his enemies whom his "interpretations" then degraded into the carriers of despicable diseases. The story of Freud's life and the story of psychoanalysis in his lifetime are variations on the theme of justified vengeance in the pattern not only of the legendary Hannibal but also of the literary Count of Monte Cristo: the humiliated but morally superior victim escapes from dependence on his morally inferior victimizers; he hides, schemes, and grows powerful; he returns to the scene of his defeat, and there remorselessly humiliates and subjugates his erstwhile victimizers as they had humiliated and subjugated him.
Carl Schorske also finds the dream I have cited and the events surrounding it of the greatest significance for understanding Freud's work. However, he interprets Freud's desire "to take
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vengeance on the Romans" as a "project [that] was at once political and filial."29 In most other great creative Viennese who were Freud's contemporaries, observes Schorske, "the generational revolt against the fathers took the specific historical form of rejection of their fathers' liberal creed. Thus Gustav Mahler and Hugo von Hofmannsthal both turned back to the baroque Catholic tradition. Not so Freud, at least not consciously. He defined his oedipal stance in such a way as to overcome his father by realizing the liberal creed his father professed but failed to defend. Freud- Hannibal as 'Semitic general' would avenge his feeble father against Rome, a Rome that symbolized 'the organization of the Catholic Church' and the Habsburg regime that supported it."3° This is an extremely persuasive interpretation which, although it deflects some of Freud's animus against the Gentiles to his father, does not negate the pervasive anti-Christian animus behind much of the Freudian opus.
Stanley Rothman and Phillip Isenberg adopt and adumbrate Schorske's foregoing hypothesis. "It does not seem far-fetched to suggest," they write, "that with the publication of The Interpretation of Dreams Freud felt that he had weakened if not fully conquered the Catholic Church and had thus succeeded in doing what his father had feared to do."3' Rothman and Isenberg adduce much additional evidence to support their thesis concerning Freud's "Jewish marginality" as the reason for his disaffection with the Christian world in which he lived. "Is it possible, then," they ask, "that some of the motives associated with Freud's discovery of psychoanalysis had their sources in the same drives which led other Jews to Marxism, i.e., the desire to end marginality by undermining the bases of the dominant culture?"32 They answer this somewhat rhetorical question affirmatively, though cautiously: "There is at least some evidence that it is and that Freud was at least partially motivated by an animus towards the Catholic Church which informed and profoundly influenced his initial discoveries."33 I differ from this view only by holding that Freud was more than partially influenced by such an animus and that it influenced not only his earlier writings but all of his work.
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Rothman and Isenberg note that "Freud's successful (if symbolic) conquest of Rome"—in The Interpretation of Dreams—did not "lessen his dislike for the Catholic Church. . . . It was in Rome, too, that Freud, some years later, put the finishing touches on Totem and Taboo, which he always regarded as one of the most important and satisfying things he had written. The volume ostensibly deals with the origins of religion. Yet it is Christian practice and ritual that are examined in terms of primitive drives and defence mechanisms."34
Finally, Rothman and Isenberg cite another item from Freud's correspondence that supports quite decisively the view that Freud's anti-Gentilism was a leading motive in his life. "In 1938," they write, "while waiting to leave Austria for England to escape from the Nazis, he wrote to his son Ernst: 'It is high time that Ahasuerus came to rest somewhere.' He was, of course, identifying with Ahasuerus, the wandering Jew, who was compelled to wander, because he would not allow Christ to rest while the latter was carrying the cross to Calvary. It is difficult to believe that the choice of this allusion was purely accidental."35
That Freud had identified himself, and privately thought of himself, as a Jewish warrior, fighting against a hostile Christian world, has thus been amply documented.36 What has received less attention, however, is the way Freud always portrayed his Jewish militancy, his anti-Gentilism, as a self-defense, a necessary and legitimate protection against attacks on him, as a Jew and a psychoanalyst. While such self-defensive claims are sometimes factually justifiable, they must always be evaluated cautiously: most aggressors, especially most modern ones, have claimed merely to be defending or protecting what was rightly theirs. In the case of Freud qua psychoanalyst, the claim is patently fraudulent: after all, he had to invent psychoanalysis before he could defend it. Although he was proud to assert that he created psychoanalysis when it came to claiming priority for it, he acted as if psychoanalysis had somehow always existed, as if it were merely a collection of "facts," when it came to responding to those who regarded its very creation as an act of aggression against their own interests and values. Jung's impression of Freud's seemingly de-
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and polemic was often obscured in his work by a marked element of personal and social animosity. It has already been seen that one of the reasons for Kraus's attack on psychoanalysis was the analysis of his own personality that was performed by a member of Freud's circle. When the satirist expressed his fear that, in the hands of men less devoted to the integrity of their profession as Freud himself, psychoanalysis might become merely a lucrative source of income derived from the unhappiness of mankind, he was certainly maliciously underlining the fact that the overwhelming majority of the practitioners of psychoanalysis were Jewish. The incident might seem trivial if it were not part of a pattern. Kraus's position over the Dreyfus Affair has already been noted. [He allowed the publication of anti-Dreyfusard opinion in the Fackel.] So have his attacks on the Jewish press of Vienna. Now he is making remarks about Freud's circle which, if they came from a non-Jew, would be regarded as anti-Semitic."
This passage appears in a book about Kraus written by an author sympathetic to his subject. Yet, when it comes to Freud's Jewishness, Field acts as if Kraus had simply gone too far: one does not say such things about psychoanalysis, even if they are true! Actually, Field's attribution of Kraus's animosity toward psychoanalysis to his being "analyzed" by Fritz Wittels is, as I have shown in my book on Kraus, demonstrably false.4' And, while belaboring Kraus's "animosities" in this passage, Field quite forgets Freud's, and simply ends up dismissing Kraus's profound critique of pychoanalysis by tarring Kraus with the feather of anti-Semitism.
Field's remarks epitomize an intellectual-scientific attitude toward Freud and his work that developed in the early days of psychoanalysis, before the First World War, and one which Freud did everything he could to cultivate. I refer here to the view that it was in bad taste to point out that psychoanalysis was not a matter of science but of Jewishness, or that it was, especially in its actual use by Freud and his lackeys, an immoral and ugly enterprise. If such a charge was made by a Christian—so held the supporters of
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this position—it revealed the critic's anti-Semitism; and if it was made by a Jew, it revealed a lapse in his judgment, or grew out of his self-hatred as a Jew. Since there were few Mohammedans in Freud's Vienna, and fewer still who cared a whit about psychoanalysis, this attitude in effect exempted psychoanalysis from effective intellectual or scientific criticism. One more example of this phenomenon—from among countless similar accounts— should suffice here.
Remarking on the persons Freud hated the most, Kurt Eissler —secretary of the Freud Archives—identifies among them Theodor Lessing (1872-1933), a philosopher of history killed by the Nazis.42 Lessing had called psychoanalysis "a monstrosity of the Jewish spirit." Thinking that the author was a descendant of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1719-1781), the famous exponent of Central European enlightenment, Freud wrote him and reminded him of the memory of his great ancestor. When Lessing replied that he himself was a Jew, Freud "turned away from him in disgust."'" "It is significant," comments Eissler, "that Freud remained comparatively unruffled, as long as he thought that psychoanalysis was being reviled by a Christian because of the Jewishness of its founder and of most of its adherents (as was the case at that time), yet could not tolerate the same type of defamation coming from a Jew."44 Probably unwittingly, Eissler here highlights Freud's double standard in judging critics of psychoanalysis—a double standard that has become the stock-in-trade of the loyal analysts: if the critic was Jewish, he owed loyalty to the Freudian religion just as he did to the Mosaic one; if he was not Jewish, his opposition to psychoanalysis was just another manifestation of his anti-Semitism.
The result of such efforts to dismiss or repress criticisms of psychoanalysis as the symptom either of Christian anti-Semitism or of Jewish "self-hatred" is the stubborn persistence of a set of false images about Freud and his doctrine. I refer in particular to the tendency to see Freud as a humane and forgiving therapist, even when he uses psychoanalysis not to heal but to harm; and the refusal to see him as a vengeful enemy of non-Jews and nonbelievers in psychoanalysis, even when he uses psychoanalysis not to understand but to undermine.
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Vengeance and forgiveness are important themes in all religions, especially in Judaism and Christianity. Jahweh is a vengeful god, punishing remorselessly through the third generation. Jesus is a forgiving god, redeeming mankind through His own martyrdom. It would be foolish, however, to conclude simply that Jews are vengeful and Christians forgiving. In fact, one of the sad facts of history has been the remorseless vindictiveness of Christians toward Jews, avenging the death of the God of Forgiveness by never forgiving the Jews for His fate and by persecuting them as "Christ- killers," not through three generations but through two thousand years. Freud lived, of course, in a society imbued with the spirit of such Christian anti-Semitism. Hence, there was nothing particularly novel either about Freud's resolution to revenge himself on his enemies, religious or personal, or about his method of using words to accomplish this goal. In fact, both Christianity, the culture in which he lived, and psychoanalysis, the sphere of activity in which he prospered, made extensive use of the rhetoric of rejection for attacking and annihilating their enemies. As these two wars with words, and with the acts those words were used to justify, constitute an immense historical panorama, I shall confine myself here to a brief illustration of each.
No sooner did Christianity cease to be the despised religion of a minority, and become instead the dominant religion of the majority, than it decreed that non-Christians were insane, that their places of worship could not be called churches, and that they were fit subjects for the penalty of death. The Codex Theodosianus or Theodosian Code, issued in the fourth century A.D., contains these astonishing, but sobering, words:
Emperors Gratian, Valentinian, and Theodosius Augustuses: It is Our will that all the peoples who are ruled by the administration of Our Clemency shall practice that religion which the divine Peter The Apostle transmitted to the Romans. . . . We command that those persons who follow this rule shall embrace the name of Catholic Christians. The rest, however, whom We adjudge de-
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mented and insane, shall sustain the infamy of heretical dogmas, their meeting places shall not receive the name of churches, and they shall be smitten first by divine vengeance and secondly by the retribution of Our own initiative, which We shall assume in accordance with the divine judgment.45
Here, 1,300 years before the birth of institutional psychiatry, and 1,500 years before the birth of psychoanalysis (and only 400 years after the death of Christ), we encounter the theological version of the war with words which, after the decline of Christianity, became the stock-in-trade of the psychopathologist. The deviant is branded as "demented" and is deprived first of his language, then of his life.
Psychiatry—the specialty out of which psychoanalysis grew, which it never abandoned, and which, since Freud's death and especially in the United States, it has decisively reembraced—is, of course, largely an ideology and rhetoric of rejection, albeit one disguised, in the vocabulary of medicine, as diagnosis and treatment. This pseudomedical ideology and rhetoric is closely related to the theological ideology and rhetoric it displaced.46 Thus, as words of execration were implemented by acts of execution in the Church, demeaning diagnoses were implemented, in psychiatry, by acts of imprisonment and torture called "certification," "hospitalization," and "treatment."
Revealingly, no sooner did psychoanalysis become a source of psychiatric influence to be reckoned with, and hence a threat to the hegemony of established psychiatric power, than it too became a target for diagnostic derogation by establishment psychiatry. Illustrative of this sort of attack is a paper delivered by a German psychiatrist in Baden-Baden on May 28, 1910. At the Congress of South-West German psychiatrists held in that resort, Alfred E. Hoche (1865-1943), a professor of psychiatry in Freiburg, read a paper with the dramatic title, "An Epidemic of Insanity Among Doctors." In a letter to Freud dated June 2, 1910, Jung gives the following account of that occasion: "Hoche did indeed declare us ripe for the madhouse. Stockmayer was there and has told me about it. The lecture fell into the well- known pattern: charges of mysticism, sectarianism, arcane jargon,
Sigmund Freud: The Jewish Avenger 155
epidemic of hysteria, dangerousness, etc. Isolated clapping. Nobody protested. Stockmayer was quite alone and hadn't the gumption."47 According to Jones's account of it, Hoche declared that "Psychoanalysts were ripe for certification in a lunatic asylum."48 Ironically, many of the criticisms that Hoche leveled against psychoanalysts were well founded, but he overplayed his hand: he was not content to dispute with psychoanalysts in the free marketplace of ideas, but wanted to dispose of them by demeaning them as mad and locking them up in madhouses. Clearly, the idea that disagreement is a disease, and that he who defies authority is deranged and should be disposed of by the methods of social repression then in vogue, is very old indeed.
Thus, when Freud developed his own lexicon of loathing, called it psychoanalysis, and used it to smite his enemies, he did nothing new, either historically or morally. It would, therefore, be as inaccurate and unfair to blame Freud for inventing a wholly novel method of assassinating characters as it would be to praise him for inventing a wholly novel method of curing souls. Psychoanalysis has been credited with, and discredited for, far too many virtues and sins—when, for the most part, these are simply the virtues and sins inherent in being human and in using language as rhetoric, noble or base, as the case might be." In short, Freud was neither worse nor better than other religious and political leaders who rose to "greatness" over the bodies and souls of executed or execrated enemies.
That Freud was an angry avenger and a domineering founder of a religion (or cult), rather than a dispassionate scientist or compassionate therapist, is, I believe, epitomized by his lifelong fascination with Moses. Righteous indignation is the mood, more than any other, that characterizes both Moses and Freud. Moses liberated the Jews from Egyptian slavery; Freud sought to liberate the ego from enslavement to the id. Moses took revenge against the Egyptians; Freud, against the Christians. Moses founded Judaism; Freud, psychoanalysis.
Moses and Monotheism, published in 1939, was Freud's last
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creative effort.5° Written when he was over eighty, it supplements his earlier remarks about Moses." Why was Freud, especially at the end of his life, so obsessed with the Moses legend and the origin of Judaism? Jones supplies the evidence for the answer: Freud began his intellectual quest with indignation about anti-Semitism and a resolve to avenge it; he ended it with the same preoccupation and passion. "We cannot refrain from wondering," writes Jones, "how, when nearing his end, Freud came to be so engrossed in the topics described above [i.e., Moses and the origin of Judaism], and to devote to them all his intellectual interest during the last five years of his life."52 Alluding to Freud's "bitter experiences of anti-Semitism," Jones suggests, I believe correctly, that Freud's interest in these matters derived partly from his unceasing obsession with the "Jewish problem" and partly from the rising tide of Nazism. Jones notes that "Freud's deep conviction of his Jewishness, and his wholehearted acceptance of that fact,"53 compelled him to concern himself with the origin and nature of Judaism. "We know," adds Jones, "how greatly he admired the great Semitic leaders of the past, from Hannibal onward, and how gladly in his early years he would have been willing to sacrifice his life to emulate their heroic deeds."54 This, then, was the primary motive for Freud's identification with Moses: "The leader who kindled his imagination above all others was inevitably Moses, the great man who did more than anyone to build the Jewish nation, to create the religion that has ever since borne his name."55
Replacing the Mosaic with the Freudian religion satisfied Freud's craving for fame and power. Identifying himself with an avenging Jewish hero gratified his urge to oppose, in his own— rhetorical rather than ethical or political—style, the fresh flood of anti-Semitism issuing from Nazism. "The reason," writes Jones, "that just then narrowed Freud's interest in mankind in general and its religions to the more specific question of the Jews and their religion could only have been the unparalleled persecution of his people getting under way in Nazi Germany."58
That, no doubt, was true. However, it is one thing to avenge Medieval Christian or modern National-Socialist anti-Semitism as moral and political evils; it is quite another to call the linguistic justification or literary result of such a revenge a science or treat-
Sigmund Freud: The Jewish Avenger 157
ment. After all, the view that avenging great wrongs, especially against the Jews, is reserved to God has always stood at the center of the Jewish religion. It is articulated repeatedly in the Bible: in Deuteronomy, "To me belongeth vengeance" (32:35); in Psalms, "0 Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth, chew thyself" (94:1); and even Paul, the Jew-become-apostle, writes in Romans, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, said the Lord" (12:19). Clearly, Freud felt that vengeance was his, too. That, perhaps, is what made him the great religious leader he was.
Carl Gustav Jung:
Pastor Without a Pulpit
Although Carl Gustav Jung's ideas—especially on religion and psychotherapy—have always had an important following and are now again becoming more influential, his pivotal place in the history of psychotherapy has been slighted. Familiarity with Jung's writings is, however, indispensable for understanding the development of the pseudoreligion we now call "psychotherapy."
Jung was born in the village of Kesswil, Switzerland, in 1875, and died in Kiissnacht on the shores of Lake Ziirich, in 1961. His paternal grandfather was supposedly an illegitimate son of Goethe and was a legendary figure in Basel. Rector of the University of Basel and a successful and sought-after physician, he married three times, had thirteen children, wrote scientific works as well as plays, and was a man of uncommon charm and vitality. Although Jung never knew that grandfather, after whom he had been named, his image of him had a profound influence on his life. Jung's maternal grandfather, almost equally distinguished and important for Jung's life, was Samuel Preiswerk, a respected theologian and Hebraist who not only wrote a Hebrew gram-
Carl Gustav Jung: Pastor Without a Pulpit 159
mar but was also convinced that Palestine should be given back to the Jews.'
In his autobiography, Jung related a childhood episode that, I believe, was very significant both as a motive for his interest in psychiatry and psychotherapy and as a source of his intuitive understanding that so-called mental illness is in reality an imitation of illness. Having been poor in mathematics and inept in gymnastics, the little Jung quickly learned to hate school. Moreover, like most children, he also learned how to play the illness game. When, at the age of twelve, a suitable occasion for playing that game in earnest presented itself, he made the following fateful use of his skills:
One day in the early summer of 1887 I was standing in the cathedral square, waiting for a classmate who went home by the same route as myself. It was twelve o'clock, and the morning classes were over. Suddenly another boy gave me a shove that knocked me off my feet. I fell, striking my head against the curbstone so hard that I almost lost consciousness. For about half an hour afterward I was a little dazed. At the moment I felt the blow the thought flashed through my mind. "Now you won't have to go to school anymore." I was only half unconscious, but I remained lying there a few moments longer than was strictly necessary, chiefly in order to avenge myself on the assailant. Then people picked me up and took me to a house nearby, where two elderly spinster aunts lived. From then on I began to have fainting spells whenever I had to return to school, and whenever my parents set me to doing my homework. For more than six months I stayed away from school, and for me that was a picnic.2
Although the youngster was free to loaf and play, he still was not happy. "I had the obscure feeling," he writes, "that I was fleeing from myself."3
His worried parents consulted various doctors. One thought he had epilepsy, which made them worry even more. His sense of achievement at having fooled the doctors, as well as his parents, grew: "I knew what epileptic fits were like and I inwardly laughed
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at such nonsense."4 The denouement of that episode became a turning point in Jung's life, twice-over: first, as a child, as he himself notes; and later, as an adult, as the first modern psychotherapist who knew, deep down, that so-called mental patients were not really sick. Here is Jung's description of his realization that he had better stop his pretense:
Then one day a friend called on my father. They were sitting in the garden and I hid behind a shrub, for I was possessed of an insatiable curiosity. I heard the visitor saying to my father, "And how is your son?" "Ah, that's a sad business," my father replied. "The doctors no longer know what is wrong with him. They think it may be epilepsy. It would be dreadful if he were incurable. I have lost what little I had, and what will become of the boy if he cannot earn his own living?"
I was thunderstruck. This was the collision with reality. "Why, then, I must get to work!" I thought suddenly.5
By that time, however, fainting had become a habit with little Jung. So he immediately set himself to breaking the habit:
From that moment on I became a serious child. I crept away, went to my father's study, took out my Latin grammar, and began to cram with intense concentration. After ten minutes of this I had the finest of fainting fits. I almost fell off the chair, but after a few minutes I felt better and went on working. "Devil take it, I'm not going to faint," I told myself, and persisted in my purpose. This time it took about fifteen minutes before the second attack came. That, too, passed like the first. "And now you must really get to work!" I stuck it out, and after an hour came the third attack. Still I did not give up, and worked for another hour, until I had the feeling that I had overcome the attacks. Suddenly I felt better than I had in all the months before. And in fact the attacks did not recur. From that day on I worked over my grammar and other schoolbooks every day. A few weeks later I returned to school, and never suffered another attack, even
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there. The whole bag of tricks was over and done with! That was when I learned what a neurosis is.5
Here it is, clearly and plainly: neurosis is illness-imitative behavior and the habituation of such faking! That simple idea applies, of course—with the slight modification that the behavior adopted need not be the imitation of bodily illness—to the so- called psychoses as well.
A few years later, Jung underwent another profound experience, which he does not connect with his later psychiatric ideas and practices; but I do. It is a test that countless young persons in Christian countries face, but which few meet with the courage and honesty that Jung exhibited when he was fifteen. The matter concerned Jung's understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity and the ritual of Holy Communion. As the time for his confirmation approached—his father was personally preparing him for it— Jung felt that the mystery had to be resolved. "I waited longingly for the moment when we would reach this question," he related. "But when we got that far, my father said, 'We now come to the Trinity, but we'll skip that, for I really understand nothing of it myself.' "7
Jung says that though he appreciated his father's honesty, he was "profoundly disappointed" in this answer. That confrontation —so undramatic in its staging and with so mild-mannered a protagonist as his father—shook Jung's faith in dogmatic authority forever. How could Jung as a grown man believe in the psychoanalytic trinity of the id, ego, and superego, when even as a child he could not believe in the Christian Trinity?
The religious problem that faced the adolescent Jung could not be put off. He sought clarification among his fellow pupils in school, to no avail. Then came his confirmation and the "Communion, on which I had set my last hopes."
This was, I thought, merely a memorial meal, a kind of anniversary celebration for Lord Jesus who had died 1890-30=1860 years ago. But still, he had let fall certain
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hints such as, "Take, eat, this is my body," meaning that we should eat the Communion bread as if it were his body, which after all had originally been flesh. Likewise we were to drink the wine which had originally been blood. It was clear to me that in this fashion we were to incorporate him into ourselves. This seemed to me so preposterous an impossibility that I was sure some great mystery must lie behind it, and that I would participate in this mystery in the course of Communion, on which my father seemed to place so high a value.8
Jung duly participated in the ceremony, but felt that it was empty. The more he thought about it, the more repelled he felt by what seemed to him a sham. People pretended to "become one" with Jesus, but in fact they did not. Apparently, neither Jung nor any of the biographers or students of his life and work have noted the striking similarities between Jung's childhood malingering, his subsequent reactions to the mythology of the Holy Communion, and his later rejection of the mythologies of psychiatry and psychoanalysis—parallels of the greatest importance. Although he was still only fifteen, Jung did not flinch from facing the conflict within himself: "Slowly I came to understand that this communion had been a fatal experience for me. It had proved hollow; more than that, it had proved to be a total loss. I knew that I would never again be able to participate in this ceremony. 'Why, that is not religion at all,' I thought. 'It is an absence of God; the church is a place I should not go to. It is not life which is there, but death.' "9
Jung's struggles with the problem of transubstantiation were, obviously, not just struggles with an intellectual or religious problem; they were also his struggles with trying to understand his father and his father's life. As his earlier experience with malingering succeeded in diminishing his dependence on parental authority, so his experience with the literalization of the Christian metaphor of the Communion destroyed his dependence on all authorities. "I was seized," he writes, "with the most vehement pity for my father. All at once I understood the tragedy of his profession and his life. He was struggling with a death whose existence he could not admit. An abyss had opened between him and me,
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and I saw no possibility of ever bridging it, for it was infinite in extent."1°
Jung, the Christian, had thus fully emancipated himself from the Christian religion and devoted the better part of his life to helping himself and others find their own faiths as befits intelligent adults in the twentieth-century West. However, Freud, the Jew, had never emancipated himself from the Mosaic religion and devoted the better part of his life to an effort to destroy traditional Western faiths and to replace them with one of his own creation.
These, then, are some of the crucial events and experiences that lay behind the man who became Freud's great collaborator, competitor, and critic. Through them, and perhaps through others like them, Jung became just as fearless a thinker as Freud. Moreover, Jung did not need a Breuer, a Fliess, and a "Committee" for the development of his thought and work. To be sure, Jung learned from Freud, which he always generously acknowledged. But he neither leaned on friends and colleagues, nor did he systematically exploit, vilify, and persecute them, as Freud had.
After completing his medical studies, Jung, aged twenty-five, turned immediately to the study of psychiatry: he obtained an assistantship at the Burghiilzli Mental Hospital in Zurich, then one of the most prestigious psychiatric institutions in the world. Why Jung chose psychiatry, and chose it so clearly and decisively, is important. In those days, psychiatry was by no means a glamorous field, as Jung's following remarks remind us:
In the medical world at that time psychiatry was quite generally held in contempt. No one really knew anything about it, and there was no psychology which regarded man as a whole and included his pathological variations in the total picture. The director was locked up in the same institution with his patients, and the institution was equally cut off, isolated on the outskirts of the city like an ancient lazaret with its lepers. No one liked looking in that direction. The doctors knew almost as little as the layman and therefore shared his feelings. Mental disease
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was a hopeless and fatal affair which cast its shadow over psychiatry as well. The psychiatrist was a strange figure in those days, as I was soon to learn from personal experience."
What, then, was there about psychiatry in 1900 that appealed to Jung? He had already sensed, on the basis of his own experiences, that mental patients were somehow "not really sick"; in other words, that mental diseases were not like regular diseases—that they were spiritual in nature, or had a large spiritual component. Jung recollects his own feelings about his occupational choice: "For me the only possible goal was psychiatry. Here alone the two currents of my interest could flow together and in a united stream dig their own bed. Here was the empirical field common to biological and spiritual facts, which I had everywhere sought and nowhere found. Here at last was the place where the collision of nature and spirit became a reality."12
From the beginning of his work at the Burghblzli, Jung's interest centered on the mental patient's personal or private experience. He soon concluded that that experience was a well-kept secret from the psychiatrist, partly because the patient wanted to keep it that way, but mainly because the mental hospital physician showed not the least interest in it. He thus discovered that the patient's personal life is literally a secret, in the sense that it hides a powerfully disturbing piece of truth, often the truth of an actual criminal, or at least sinful, act; that the secreting away of such guilty and painful truths can make people "mentally ill"; and that confessing the secret and confronting its implications can cure the patient, even if he or she suffers from schizophrenia! It is obvious —and it was obvious to Jung—that here was no ordinary illness and no ordinary treatment.
One of Jung's first psychiatric patients at the BurghOlzli whom he mentions was a young woman who had been diagnosed as suffering from dementia praecox. Through word-association tests, Jung learned the patient's secret story which she had never confided to anyone. In an effort to rid herself of the burden that her two small children were to her, she had let them drink nonpotable water; as a result, one of them contracted typhoid fever and died. The woman immediately broke down with her mental illness,
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was institutionalized, and was considered incurably insane when she came under Jung's care. Jung elicited this story from her, confronted her with the crime, and discussed it with her. In two weeks she was discharged, cured, and was never hospitalized ag ain. 1 a
Jung's experiences at the BurghOlzli must, again, be set in their precise psychiatric-historical context. By 1900, the year Freud published The Interpretation of Dreams and Jung began his work as a hospital psychiatrist, the efficacy of electrotherapy in mental disorders was no longer taken seriously in progressive psychiatric circles. Not that any other treatment had taken its place. What replaced it was the idea, an old one resurrected for the occasion, that mental diseases, at least the "severe" ones, were incurable. When, in 1911, Bleuler renamed dementia praecox "schizophrenia," he identified the disease not by its characteristic histopathology, as was customary with diseases of the nervous system, but by its incurability!" That this is an utterly destructive way of describing a disease—a disease that, moreover, has no objective bodily manifestations and has never been known to be fatal —should be obvious. It was indeed obvious to many people, Jung among them.
Even as a beginning student of psychiatry, Jung was repelled by the absurdity of classifying obscure behavioral symptoms as schizophrenia and schizophrenia as incurable. "While I was still at the clinic [BurghOlzli]," he reminisces in his autobiography, "I had to be most circumspect about treating my schizophrenic patients, or I would have been accused of woolgathering. Schizophrenia was considered incurable. If one did achieve some improvement with a case of schizophrenia, the answer was that it had not been a real schizophrenia."15
What, then, was the professional role of a prestigious psychiatrist practicing his profession "correctly" around 1900? It consisted of the following acts: 1) He examined mental patients and identified the disease from which they suffered; that is, he was a diagnostician. 2) He studied mental diseases and identified their characteristic features; that is, he was a nosographer. 3) He taught psychiatry to medical students and physicians; that is, he was a teacher. 4) He incarcerated mental patients in psychiatric
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institutions and called it mental hospitalization; that is, he was a judge, a jailer, and a justifier. 5) He counseled the "healthy" members of the families of mental patients on the prognosis of the patient's illness and on the proper ways of dealing with the patient during his lucid intervals; that is, in the wars between the generations and the sexes, he was an agent and ally of the patient's adversaries.
Here is Jung's own account of what respectable psychiatry and psychiatrists were like in the early 1900s: "Psychiatry teachers were not interested in what the patient had to say, but rather in how to make a diagnosis or how to describe symptoms and to compile statistics. From the clinical point of view which then prevailed, the human personality of the patient, his individuality, did not matter at all. . .. Patients were labeled, rubber-stamped with a diagnosis, and, for the most part, that settled the matter."16
Not quite. Even psychiatrists as sensitive to the human personalities of their patients as Jung and Freud never referred explicitly, in just so many words, to the fact that psychiatrists did something else: namely, they locked up innocent people in institutions that were in effect jails and kept them confined there, often for life. Clearly, identifying that dimension of psychiatric practice would have been quite out of bounds with what was then considered acceptable behavior on the part of physicians—as, indeed, it still is!
The real and revolutionary innovation that Freud and his followers brought to this scene was therefore not scientific or technical, but human or moral: they introduced the physician into the world of the madman as an agent and ally of the so-called patient. This was the first time in the history of psychiatry that physicians had tried systematically to assume such a role.17
Jung never ceased to credit Freud for this achievement, the significance of which he appreciated better than did Freud himself. Perhaps because he had actually served an apprenticeship in a mental hospital, which Freud never did, Jung was deeply impressed with the destructive atmosphere of the insane asylum— harmful to both patient and doctor. He fled from it as soon as he could.
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In 1906, Jung sends Freud a complimentary copy of his Diagnostic Association Studies. In their subsequent exchange of letters, each man makes numerous informal but highly revealing remarks about mental illness, psychiatric diagnosis, and psychotherapy. Many of Jung's comments on these subjects support and amplify my previous interpretations of his views. For example, on January 8, 1907, he writes: "Megalomania and affectation are practically synonymous."19 And in those days, megalomania was practically synonymous with dementia praecox or schizophrenia. Hence, Jung is saying here that this most serious of all mental diseases is simply an affectation or play-acting.
In the same letter, Jung refers to hospitalized mental patients as "habitual hysterics," "uneducated hysterics," and "hospital parasites"—suggesting that he viewed these patients not as sick in the ordinary sense, but as malingering. That idea is articulated more explicitly in his letter of January 2, 1908: "The patient plays to perfection and with positively thrilling dramatic beauty the personality that is her dream ideal."19
At the same time, when he is frustrated with, and angry at, a patient—especially when the patient is a colleague—Jung, like Freud, calls the patient by a bad psychiatric name. "I am afraid you will already have read from my words the diagnosis I long refused to believe and which I now see before me with terrifying clarity: Dem. praec.,"2° writes Jung on June 19, 1908, apparently forgetting that only a year earlier he wrote: "There are, however, numerous fluid transitions to what we call D. pr. D. pr. is a most unfortunate term!"21
By 1909, Jung's grasp of the nonmedical character of what he and Freud were doing is firm and secure: "It has become quite clear to me that we shall not solve the ultimate secrets of neurosis and psychosis without mythology and the history of civilization. . . . Hence my attacks on 'clinical terminology., 5,22 At this point, however—perhaps partly because of Jung's insistence that psychotherapy is, in effect, just conversation--the two men are beginning to grow apart.
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On February 11, 1910, in one of his most revealing letters to Freud, Jung declares: "Religion can be replaced only by religion."23 Two days later Freud replies: "But you mustn't regard me as the founder of a religion. My intentions are not so far- re ach ing. "24
The division between the two men now quickly deepens. Freud is incapable of understanding that "religion," which is a bad word and a bad thing for him, is a good word and a good thing for Jung. In August, 1910, Jung writes: "All these mutterings about sectarianism, mysticism, arcane jargon, initiation, etc. mean something. Even the deep-rooted outrage, the moral indignation can only be aimed at something gripping, that has all the trappings of a religion. . . . Might this become a phase, however unexpected, in the development of psychoanalysis?"25 In December of the same year, he is even more explicit: "I lectured at the Psychoanalytic Society on my forthcoming opus. The theologians were deeply impressed, especially Pfister. The spiritual trend in psychoanalysis now taking shape in Zurich seems to me much more promising than the Bleuler-Adler attempts to squeeze everything into biology (biophysics)."26
Here, then, was the issue that lay at the bottom of the inevitable break and subsequent bad feelings between Freud and Jung: Was psychotherapy (psychoanalysis) to be defined, practiced, and merchandised as a medical, scientific enterprise, or as a religious, spiritual one? Freud, as we know, opted for the former answer— preferring a Platonic lie to a plain truth—and is considered a great scientist. Jung, predictably, opted for the latter—preferring a simple truth to a convenient obfuscation—and is considered a great mystic. Victor von Weizsaecker makes a similar point when he observes:
C. G. Jung was the first to understand that psychoanalysis belonged in the sphere of religion, more accurately, to the dissolution of religion in our time. To him, neurosis was a symptom of the man who loses his support in religion. Publicly he spoke about that only later, but once he said to me in conversation: 'All neurotics seek the religious.' At first, he may have been under the sway of scientific psychology and the curiosity of the
Carl Gustav Jung: Pastor Without a Pulpit 169
researcher in the history of religion. Later he was prevented from speaking more openly about it by an old resentment against Christianity (he was the son of a pastor) and probably by tactical considerations—he was afraid of being identified with a superficial pastoral attitude.27
After 1913, Jung begins to refer to psychoanalysis explicitly as a religion. "Our moves," he writes to Poul Bjerre in a letter on July 17, 1914, "are merely reactions to the papal policies of the Viennese."28 At the same time, Freud begins his campaign to discredit Jung because he no longer practices the new, scientific (that is, good) psychoanalysis, but merely the old, religious (that is, bad) cure of souls. In his "On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement," Freud resorts to an extremely revealing tactic in trying to destroy Jung as a modern psychotherapist by identifying him as just another old-fashioned pastor: he quotes the confidential communications of a patient who had been a former patient of Jung's. The method Freud used for this attack—in particular his explicit justification for using a patient's confidential communications for such a purpose—has been overlooked by historians of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. After denouncing Jung's rejection of the new "scientific" discoveries of psychoanalysis and his "relapse" into mouthing old religious platitudes, Freud cites the patient's following criticism of Jung: "Instead of freeing me by analysis, every day brought fresh tremendous demands on me, which had to be fulfilled if the neurosis was to be conquered—for instance, inward concentration by means of introversion, religious meditation, resuming life with my wife in loving devotion, etc. . .. I left analysis as a poor sinner with intense feelings of contrition and the best resolutions, but at the same time in utter discouragement. Any clergyman would have advised me what he recommended, but where was I to find the strength?"29
There is, of course, no way of knowing whether the patient said these things or whether Freud had put the words into his mouth. All we know is that the patient's alleged argument was exactly the same as Freud's and hence suited his polemical purposes perfectly. After quoting the anonymous patient's condemnation of the Jungian "treatment," Freud drives home his point as the franchiser of
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psychoanalysis: he asserts that Jung's method "no longer has any claim to be called psychoanalysis."3°
Still, there remained the highly questionable practice of Freud's using a patient's confidential communications to him to defame his most famous colleague. The moral problem this raised evidently troubled Freud enough to prevent his passing over it in silence. But his efforts to justify it caused Freud inadvertently to deliver a profoundly serious ethical blow against psychoanalysis. "I know," he writes, "the objections there are to making use of a patient's reports, and I will therefore expressly state that my informant is a trustworthy person, very well capable of forming a judgment. . . . I make use of his communication without asking his consent, since I cannot allow that a psychoanalytic technique has any right to claim the protection of medical discretion."31
At every significant juncture in the intellectual and social history of psychoanalysis, Freud thus acted as a politician—in the worst sense of the word. That is to say, he identified psychoanalysis with science, with medicine, and with religious healing as the occasion demanded, and repudiated such identification when such rejection suited his purposes.
With the passing years, Jung identified himself and his work ever more clearly with the cure of souls. Revealingly, that identification remains somewhat disguised in his formal writings and emerges most unambiguously in his private correspondence, especially during the last two decades of his life.
Although Jung seemingly rejected the idea that a neurosis (or a psychosis, for that matter) is a bona fide illness, in his professional publications he continued to use the term illness in an expanded or metaphorical sense. For example, in an essay in 1932, he criticizes Freud for maintaining a medical perspective on mental diseases: "Freud always remained a physician. For all his interest in other fields, he constantly had the clinical picture of neurosis before his mind's eye—the very attitude that makes people ill and effectively prevents them from being healthy."32
In his paper on "What Is Psychotherapy?" published in 1935,
Carl Gustav Jung: Pastor Without a Pulpit 171
Jung speaks of neurosis as a metaphorical sickness rather than as no sickness at all: "The clinical standpoint by itself is not and cannot be fair to the nature of a neurosis, because a neurosis is more a psychosocial phenomenon than an illness in the strict sense. It forces us to extend the term 'illness' beyond the idea of an individual body whose functions are disturbed, and to look upon the neurotic as a sick system of social relationships." (What Is Psychotherapy?, C. G. Jung, 1935 AD, Vol. XVI, p. 24)
33 However, in his Tavistock Lectures, delivered in the same year, he indicates— in everyday language rather than in psychiatric jargon—that in his view mental illnesses are not illnesses at all: "To be 'crazy' is a social concept; we use social relationships and definitions in order to distinguish mental disturbances. You can say that a man is peculiar, that he behaves in an unexpected way and has funny ideas, and if he happens to live in a little town in France or Switzerland you would say, 'He is an original fellow, one of the most original inhabitants of that little place'; but if you bring that man into the midst of Harley Street, well, he is plumb crazy." (Analytical Psychology: Its Theory and Practice, C. G. Jung, Tavistock Lectures, 1935; p 37)
The extent to which Jung often rejected both the medical model of mental illnesses and mental treatments is revealed further by his following statements concerning suicide and psychotherapy. "You should not cheat people even for their own good," he writes in the Tavistock Lectures. "I do not want to cheat people out of their mistaken faith. . . . I never hinder people. When somebody says, `I am going to commit suicide if . . . I say, If that is your intention, I have no objection.'" (Analytical Psychology: Its Theory and Practice, C. G. Jung, Tavistock Lectures, 1935; p 107)
In the same lecture, he explains his method of working as follows: "I reject the idea of putting the patient upon a sofa and sitting behind him. 1 put my patients in front of me and I talk to them as one natural human being to another. "36
Clearly, Jung understood perfectly well the metaphorical nature of mental illnesses and mental treatments. He subsequently amplified his rejection of the medical-technical approach to psychotherapy. For example, in an important but rarely quoted paper written in 1953, he says: "I am afraid psychotherapy is a very responsible business and anything but an impersonal application of a convenient medical method. . .. For this reason I object to any kind of prejudice in the psychotherapeutic approach. In Freud's case, I disagree with his materialism, his credulity
172 The Paradigm of Psychotherapy
(trauma theory), his fanciful assumptions (totem and taboo theory), and his asocial, merely biological point of view (theory of neurosis)."37 However, in some of his later remarks Jung contradicts his here seemingly complete rejection of the medical character of psychotherapy.
During this period of the early 1950s, Jung comes down firmly in his correspondence in favor of the view that psychotherapy is merely a new name for the cure of souls, and that its practice is therefore religious rather than medical. For example, in a letter to Dorothee Hoch, dated September 23, 1952, he writes: "The cura animarum has reached its nadir. Instead, one goes in for missions to the heathen. . . . A good example is Albert Schweitzer, who is urgently needed in Europe but prefers to be a touching saviour of savages and to hang his theology on the wall. We have a justification of missionizing only when we have straightened ourselves out here, otherwise we are merely spreading our own disease."38
Jung returns to the example of Schweitzer in some subsequent letters, repeating his sharp distinction between the religious cure of souls and the medical cure of bodies. On December 11, 1953, he writes to Pastor Willi Bremi: "Faced with the truly appalling afflictio animae [affliction of the soul] of the European man, Schweitzer abdicated from the task incumbent on the theologian, the cura animarum, and studied medicine in order to treat the sick bodies of natives. . . . Should we all, following Schweitzer's banner, emigrate to Africa and cure native diseases when our own sickness of soul cries to heaven?"39 In this important letter, Jung also rearticulates the individualistic, personal character of genuine psychotherapy: "The sermon is utterly inept as a cura animarum since the sickness is an individual affair and cannot be cured in a lecture hall.. . . In even higher degree the cura animarum is an individual affair that cannot be dealt with from the pulpit.""
In a letter to Hans A. Illing dated January 26, 1955, Jung explicitly extends this caveat to group therapy: "I have no practical objections to group therapy any more than I have to Christian Science, the Oxford Movement, and other therapeutically effective sects. .. . However, in view of the foregoing critical remarks about group therapy, I do not believe that it can replace individual analysis, i.e., the dialectical process between two individuals."'
Carl Gustav Jung: Pastor Without a Pulpit 173
Jung's next letter to Illing, dated February 10, 1955, reaffirms his unconditional commitment to an individualistic ethic: "I still stand up for the inalienable rights of the individual since he alone is the carrier of life and is gravely threatened by the social levelling process today. Even in the smallest group he is acceptable only if he appears acceptable to the majority of its members."42 It would have been unthinkable for a man who wrote like this to have remained a part of the psychoanalytic movement, even if that movement had been less autocratically controlled by Freud and even if Freud had not mythologized sex as he had. However, it was also inconsistent for such a man to authorize and participate in the activities of a Jungian school and movement.
Although Jung's attitude toward religion was positive, that did not mean that he believed in any particular religion. Jung's detached and yet respectful attitude toward religion is expressed beautifully in the following passage from his letter to Pastor Walter Bernet, dated June 13, 1955: "I stick to my proposal that we take all talk of God as mythological and discuss these mythologems honestly. . . . Let the Protestant theologian therefore abandon his hieratic word-magic and his alleged knowledge of God through faith and admit to the layman that he is mythologizing."43
There is an interesting parallel between Jung's and Freud's respective attitudes toward religions and neuroses. Jung regarded both respectfully—religions as collective mythologies and neuroses as individual ones; Freud regarded both contemptuously —religions as neuroses and neuroses as defenses against reality. Thus, in Jung's view religions are indispensable spiritual supports, whereas in Freud's they are illusory crutches. Jung accepted his patients as persons and did not feel compelled to use them; Freud used them either as cases or as recruits to his cause. p175
The distinctions Jung himself makes between psychoanalysis and his own views, and between Freud and himself, suggest that he was aware of such a dichotomy and that he did not want to make a religion
Carl Gustav Jung: Pastor Without a Pulpit 175
However, the purity, if not the force, of Jung's foregoing declaration about psychotherapy and the nature of the "conditions" it seeks to ameliorate is diminished by some of his utterances which back away from acknowledging that these "conditions" are manmade (however unwittingly) and that the "therapy" is nonmedical. For example, in a letter dated April 7, 1958, after noting that in French one does not have a dream but rather makes one, he writes: "The summit of European hybris is the French phrase: `fake un live.' But in reality we seem rather to be the dream of somebody or something independent of our conscious ego, at least in all fateful moments."48 Unfortunately, Jung is here repudiating the fundamental Freudian insight embodied in the grammar of the French language. Freud himself had remarked that we are responsible for our own dreams;49 and many modern psychotherapists have toyed with the view—perhaps Jung more seriously than most others—that dreams, neuroses, and psychoses are all mental products of the same sort.
Jung consistently held the view that psychotherapy was a dialogue between patient and doctor. In his autobiography, he sums up his position on the subject as follows: "I am often asked about my psychotherapeutic or analytic method. I cannot reply unequivocally to the question. Therapy is different in every case. . . . The cure ought to grow naturally out of the patient himself. Psychotherapy and analysis are as varied as are human individuals. . .. The crucial point is that I confront the patient as one human being to another. Analysis is a dialogue demanding two partners. Analyst and patient sit facing one another, eye to eye; the doctor has something to say, but so has the patient."5°
Freud believed that, at bottom, both the neuroses and the psychoses were diseases.51 Jung believed that the neuroses were not diseases, though the psychoses probably were. "I am in favor," he writes, "of non-medical men studying psychotherapy and practicing it; but in dealing with latent psychoses there is the risk of their making dangerous mistakes. Therefore I favor laymen working as analysts, but under the guidance of a professional physician."52
174 The Paradigm of Psychotherapy
of Jungianism as Freud had made of Freudianism: "Analytical psychology," he writes in a letter dated June 15, 1955, "only helps us to find the way to the religious experience that makes us whole. It is not this experience itself, nor does it bring it about."44 In a similar vein, on March 13, 1956, he writes to Jolande Jacobi: "Freud has a 'theory.' I have no 'theory' but I describe facts. I do not theorize about how neuroses originate, I describe what you find in neuroses. . . . I must emphasize this because people always fail to see that I am talking about and naming facts, and that my concepts are mere names and not philosophical terms."45
In the last years of his life, Jung reiterated, more forcefully than ever, the essentially nonmedical and religious character of psychotherapy as he saw it; at the same time, he revealed that he could not go the whole way with his own realization that so-called mental diseases are dramas rather than diseases and made obeisances to medicine quite inconsistent with his psychotherapeutic orientation. For example, in a letter to J. A. F. Swoboda, dated January 23, 1960, Jung asserts that there is no such thing, that indeed there can be no such thing, as a systematized theory of psychotherapy. Like marriage or one's relationships to one's children or friends, psychotherapy is a personal matter. "In medicine," writes Jung, "every conceivable method can be employed without one's being affected by it in any way. This is not possible in psychology, where everything depends on the dialectical process between two personalities. .. . Under these circumstances any organization that proposes collective methods seems to me unsuitable, because it would be sawing off the branch on which the psychotherapist sits."46 That is an excellent statement of the essence of true psychotherapy by whatever name it might be called. It describes a form of healing repudiated equally, for however different reasons, by the modern psychoanalysts, behaviorists, and organicists.
Jung expresses the same sort of opinion in one of his last letters, written in English on February 11, 1961: "As a neurosis starts from a fragmentary state of human consciousness, it can only be cured by an approximative totality of the human being. Religious ideas and convictions from the beginning of history had the aspect of the mental pharmakon. They represent the world of wholeness in which fragments can be gathered and put together again. Such a cure cannot be effected by pills and injections." (Jung Letters, Adler, Vol. II, p 625)
176 The Paradigm of Psychotherapy
In one of his last letters, Jung offers a rather strange argument for why the psychotherapist ought to have a medical degree. On August 13, 1960, he writes to Pastor Werner Niederer: "But lay psychologists, too, are necessarily obliged to work together with doctors because the neuroses are frequently and unavoidably complicated by dangerous psychotic phenomena to which only a man who is protected by a medical diploma can and should expose himself."53 How does a "medical diploma" protect a psychotherapist from "psychotic phenomena"? The question poses something of a riddle. The most likely interpretation is that Jung was more successful in emancipating himself from the mythologies and rituals of Christian theology than he was in emancipating himself from the mythologies and rituals of psychiatric theology. Confronted with certain horrors of life, he thus fell back on calling them "psychoses" rather than "possessions," and on seeking protection from them by medical rather than theological means—that is, by displaying a caduceus rather than a cross.
Jung thus exhibits some of the same failings as Freud. The sufferer who comes to the psychotherapist brings with him the moral problems of life; the psychotherapist is a secular pastor engaged in the cure of souls. Nevertheless, when the going gets difficult, Jung too falls back on regarding the mental patient as medically sick and the physician-psychotherapist as a medical healer. And, like Freud, Jung succumbs to the temptation of franchising conversation: he, too, becomes the founder of his own school of psychology and psychotherapy—contradicting, in a way even more sharply than did Freud, his most significant insights into the nature of the human predicament and our options for coming to terms with it.
220 Notes Notes 221
48. Ibid., p. 680.
PSYCHOANALYSIS AS BASE RHETORIC
25. P. Roazen, Freud and His Followers (New York: Knopf, 1975),
p. 243. S. Freud, Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (1915-16), SE, Vol. XV, p. 207.
17. H. C. Abraham, and E. L. Freud (eds.), A Psycho-Analytic Dialogue: The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Karl Abraham,
222 Notes Notes 223
1907-1926, trans. by Bernard Marsh and Hilda C. Abraham (New York: Basic Books, 1965), p. 63.
York: Basic Books, 1974).
tution, trans., with commentary, glossary, and bibliography, by Clyde Pharr (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1952), p. 440.
46. See especially Szasz, The Manufacture of Madness.
Ralph Manheim and R. F. C. Hull (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974), p. 325.
CARL GUSTAV JUNG
19. Ibid., p. 108.
224 Notes Notes 225
50. Jung, Memories, p. 131.
53. Adler (ed.), Jung Letters, Vol. II, p. 582.
PSYCHOTHERAPY: MEDICINE, RELIGION, AND
15. P. Janet, Psychological Healing: A Historical and Clinical Study, trans. by Eden and Cedar Paul (2 vols.; New York: Macmillan, 1925), Vol. II, p. 338.
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