Saturday, March 7, 2009

Freud as an example of the average intellectual

Freud is held up as an example of the blows to his ego man has received in western science.  The thinking I assume is that the (so-called) discovery of the unconscious made man's rationality suspect. Freud's contributions have had the reverse effect.  I am not the first person to wonder if something was unconscious how Freud could have specified it at all.  The import of Freud's ideas is that the rational mind can specify and deal with everything in the world----there is nothing that cannot be labeled in words.  Words will cover everything and so actually the rational mind is triumphant in a complete way --a claim which would have puzzled the serious thinkers of an earlier era.  The picture that comes to mind from Freud's writing is of a closet, packed to the ceiling, and so overfull it spills out whenever the closet is opened. Interesting but hardly the unconscious.  Words are the solution to a man of Freud's ambitions.

As it is, the empirical mystics of the modern, men like Georges Gurdjieff and Jan Cox, don't find Freud even worth mentioning. They notice that the silence of the hormones is a relevant arena for the sober quester to turn to.  This attention though, is speechless comprehension which is beyond the purview of the average intellectual.

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