Spirituality and Freud


The unknown. Is the unknown also unknowable, or can we eventually reach it and learn it? Why was it unknown in the first place and how does it affect our known life?

It is said that three scientists have shifted our culture’s perspective, pushing us aside from being the rulers of the Universe to its mere denizens who do not have much of a control over its mighty powers. Galileo made us understand that we do not live in the center of the Universe, but rather we are circling around an insignificant star, one of millions in a galaxy, which is also one of thousands of galaxies. Darwin showed that we are not kings of the animal kingdom, but simply another branch, another extension of the ongoing evolution process.

And finally Sigmund Freud gave us our human pride the last blow. Not only are we not the rulers of the Cosmos or of life on this planet, we are not even rulers of ourselves, of our minds. Freud has introduced the concept of the unconscious, an unreachable and large part of our psyche, which pushes and pulls us in various directions, unbeknownst to us.

So you might say that it’s all in vain then? Are we simply pawns in the hands of some unknown forces, forces of Space, of Nature, of the unconscious mind? The answer is simple. NO.

If you are aware of the true nature of things, you can confidently proceed along the path of your spiritual progress. You can accept that, at this point, you do not understand yourself fully yet. And that is absolutely okay – nobody fully understands themselves immediately. This process takes time, for all of us.

Although Freud might sound like a dry and boring doctor from a Victorian novel, his discoveries are similar to those of many spiritual teachings. Although he speaks in psychological terminology of id, ego, superego, repression, Oedipal complex, etc., the introduction of his ideas caused a spiritual revolution in the Western civilization. Why? Because for the first time in hundreds of years, the Western world was finally given the knowledge of what truly makes us tick, and act, and think, and feel, and fall in love. Freud’s spiritual revolution (although the old Austrian doctor will probably deny it being “spiritual”) brought us AWARENESS.

We are a product of our childhood, of the first relationships of our life – with father and mother. We can now understand that there are certain patterns we keep repeating during our life – patterns of our relationships, patterns of our employment, patterns of our desires. When we are aware of these things, once these aspects of our nature reach our consciousness, we can view ourselves in a new light and makes change for the better, even if at first we will resist any changes.

In a manner of speaking, Freud was the Buddha of the Western world. The difference is, he was not a holy man. Like all of us, he had his vices, his complexes and addictions. And that is what we must realize about ourselves if we wish to advance. That we are people, after all – yet people with a potential of self-realization.

We are indeed in control of our own lives.

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