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The Religious Affiliation of Influential Psychoanalyst
Sigmund Freud


Sigmund Freud: Freud was always proud of Jewishness, despite the fact that neither he nor his family were religious in the practicing sense. His nursemaid was a devout Catholic which helped as well. Later Freud maintained a deep interest in biblical history and religion, again quite possibly motivated by these childhood experiences. [Source: http://www.ufomind.com/catalog/f/freud/].

Eisenstein met Stefan Zweig, who described how Sigmund Freud's Wednesday Psychological Society was actually a peculiar religious sect, with essentially fanatical devotion demanded by Freud of his acolytes. From: Ronald Bergan, Sergei Eisenstein: A Life in Conflict, The Overlook Press/Peter Mayer Publishers, Inc.: Woodstock, New York (1999), pages 142-143:

In connection with this project, Eisenstein wrote on a postcard of the Aga Khan: 'On deity. Aga Khan -- irreplaceable material -- cynicism of shamanism carried to the extreme. God -- a graduate of Oxford University. Playing rugby and ping-pong and accepting the prayers of the faithful. And in the background, adding machines click away in "divine" bookkeeping, entering sacrifices and donations. Best exposure of the theme of clergy and cult.'

...In the meantime, Eisenstein was interested in making any international contacts he coulud. During a conference celebrating the centenary of Leo Tolstoy's birth in 1928 [sic: the author meant 1828], eh met and became friendly with the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig... Eisenstein knowing that Zweig was close to Sigmund Freud, asked him about 'the great man from Vienna'. Eisenstein, an avid reader of Freud, listened as Zweig described the meetings of the Wednesday Psychological Society, which grouped Freud around a table with his followers, among them Adler and Jung.

'There was mutual suspicion and jealousy between the disciples . . . And there was Freud's even greater suspicion of them. The suspicion and jealousy of a tyrant. Merciless to anyone who tried to follow his own deviations, in the context of his own ideas which did not coincide with those of the teacher in ever respect. The surge of rebellion against the Patriarch-Father . . . The Oedipus Complex . . . is discernible in the strife within the school itself: the sons who encroach their father.'

...Zweig offered to introduce Eisenstein to Freud if he came to Vienna, 'an almost unthinkable meeting with this tragic Wotan who stood in the gloaming of bourgeois psychology.' Eisenstein never met Freud, but Zweig later sent him a small volume signed by 'the great Doctor of Vienna . . . It had his characteristic signature -- the capital F of his surname.'

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Webpage created 12 July 2005. Last modified 14 September 2005.
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