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Depth Psychology, Interpretation, and the Bible

Depth Psychology, Interpretation, and the Bible: An Ontological Essay on Freud

Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 416
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  • Book Info
    Depth Psychology, Interpretation, and the Bible
    Book Description:

    Polka also raises the larger issue of the relationship between modernity, hermeneutics, and biblical ontology. He argues that the origins and structure of modern values can be understood only through a theory of hermeneutics whose ontology overcomes the dualism between the secular and the religious, between philosophy and religion. Polka shows this to be possible when biblical ontology is understood to be at once rational and faithful, secular and religious. He uses the work of Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, and Kierkegaard to articulate the ontological framework that makes clear how typically modern Freud is in being unable to account for the relationship of his thought to biblical religion.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6885-3
    Subjects: Psychology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-2)
  4. 1 Introduction: In the Beginning ... Is Interpretation
    (pp. 3-19)

    In the beginning, Freud and Jung hold, is the unconscious and only the unconscious. There is no consciousness of beginning unconsciously, no (conscious) beginning of the unconscious. Does this mean, then, that all beginnings are, in themselves, unconscious, unaware of beginning unconsciously? It is Freud and Jung who mark twentieth-century thought as beginning with the unconscious. They claim, as the founders of the psychology whose depths are unconscious in the beginning, to demonstrate that in the beginning there is no consciousness of beginning but only unconsciousness – of beginning. If, however, all beginnings are unconscious, if the beginning is unconscious, of...

  5. 2 The Pleasure Principle and the Unconscious
    (pp. 20-64)

    From the publication in 1900 ofThe Interpretation of Dreams,in which Freud, no longer a young man, launches the revolution of depth psychology and which he subsequently always views as his most significant work, to the last works of his old age, nearly forty years later, he holds to the pleasure principle and the unconscious as the fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis. The pleasure principle provides him, he maintains unwaveringly, with essential orientation in the psychoanalytic concept of mind, and he is steadfast in upholding the unconscious as constituting the very essence of mind. He initiates his third period of...

  6. 3 Love and Guilt
    (pp. 65-160)

    In light of the metapsychological commitments that Freud makes to the priority of the pleasure principle and the unconscious in the psychical life of human beings, as explored in chapter 2, we shall now examine his concept of libido and the cluster of ideas that it involves. Libido, as sexual instinct, would appear to be the vehicle for ensuring the primacy of the pleasure in human relations; and we have seen Freud identify libido with the pleasure principle and thus with Eros, in opposition to the death instinct as centered in the Nirvana principle (the inherent tendency to restore a...

  7. 4 The Myth of the Primal Father
    (pp. 161-232)

    In this chapter we shall see that Freud finds the lynchpin of his metapsychology in the myth of the primal father. He argues inTotem and Taboothat, in murdering the primal father, the primal sons initiate civilization by instituting the horror of incest. Thus he has what he considers to be the historical explanation of the origin of the impulses central to the Oedipus complex: the (male’s) desire for the mother and hostility to the father. Still, we may recall that we saw in chapter 3 that the Oedipus complex does not survive the original identification with the penis...

  8. 5 Moses and Monotheism
    (pp. 233-310)

    “If Moses was an Egyptian,” as Freud proposes inMoses and Monotheism.If, in other words, ancient Judaism, the Bible, Christianity, and the whole of modern (“western”) civilization were to be understood as the repressed, deferred, traumatic, compulsive, neurotic, illusory, and helpless result of the external imposition of patriarchal authority, in the name of the father complex, then Freud, it is clear, would be vindicated. Any claim on the part of Judaism and/or Christianity to unique, let alone universal, authority would be undercut. The myth of the primal father would receive definitive justification as the fictive construction that explains the...

  9. 6 Conclusion: Interpretation and the Ontology of Creation ex nihilo
    (pp. 311-346)

    My study has two main purposes. First, I want to show that the metapsychological principles that Freud formulates in order to explain the origin and the development of the human mind – the psychical apparatus – are contradictory and, in that precise sense, false. Not only is this metapsychology inherently contradictory but it also contradicts, it falsifies, the rich phenomenology that is the subject of Freud’s analysis. In the previous chapters we have seen that the fundamental concepts of Freudian metapsychology – the pleasure principle, the unconscious, and the father complex – fail to account for human phenomenology. The father complex unites the Oedipus...

  10. APPENDIX: Freud and the Upanishads
    (pp. 347-348)
  11. Notes
    (pp. 349-380)
  12. References
    (pp. 381-390)
  13. Index
    (pp. 391-398)