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Sigmund Freud and Universal Neurosis

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SIGMUND FREUD and UNIVERSAL NEUROSIS

Sigmund Freud defined the goal of psychoanalysis to be to replace unconscious with conscious awareness, where the ‘id was ego shall be,’ and through this an individual would achieve self-control and reasonable satisfaction of instincts. His fundamental ideas include psychic determinism, the power and influence of the unconscious, as opposed to the pre-conscious mind, the tripartite division into id, ego and super-ego, and of course the ideas of universal illusion and universal effects of the Oedipal Complex. The examination of the Oedipal Complex is the most essential to the understanding of Freud’s theories since he claimed that due to the resistance, repression, and transference of early sexual energies the world had developed a universal complex which did not allow for the healthy development of individual’s but lead instead to the neurosis and mass illusion of religion. For his perceivably vicious attacks on religion and his logical and yet totally undermining examination of religion and other vital social issues, Freud has been slandered and his theories criticised simply because of the away he addressed these painful issues. Through the systematic development of the theories of psychoanalysis, all stemming from one another and all tied together into a universal Oedipal Complex and religious illusion, the ideas of the tripartite human psyche and wish-fulfilment that Freud developed came under fire from critics for their controversial messages and analysis.

Briefly stated, the Oedipus Complex is the preservation in the adult individual of the perceptions, strategies and scars of a conflict the individual underwent during his/her pre-school years. According to Freud, these perceptions, etc, later colour and shape the individual's future experiences. This psychological crisis results when a young child's sexual desire for the parent of the opposite sex collides with the competition, rivalry and overwhelming power of the parent of the same sex. According to Freudian theory, the ghosts of this Oedipal crisis haunt us our entire lives. Psychopathology, slips of the tongue, dreams, and religious experience all were understood to be functions whose origins and energy resulted from this repressed material. In his later work, Freud interpreted the reports of his clients (reports offered under hypnosis, under verbal encouragement and suggestion, and finally, in the later work, reports given through free-associations) as revealing a universal Oedipal drama. Freud found what he took to be evidence for the universal existence of the Oedipus Complex in the testimony of patients, in his analysis of the repressed in dreams, in slips, wit, and the transference phenomenon, as well as in art, philosophy and religion.

As the child develops, he/she identifies with the parent of the same sex and renounces incestual desire. This renunciation is achieved and strengthened by the formation of the super-ego, a section of the child's ego identified with the childhood image of the parents (the parental Imago) perceived in consciousness as conscience and as the ego ideal. The ego ideal is the self’s conception of how he/she wishes to be and is a substitute for the lost narcissism in childhood when ‘I’ was my own ideal. When projected onto or into the world, the Imago (a word used by Freud to describe unconscious object-representations) is taken by the experience to be a veridical perception of a divine being. Throughout life, these experiences of this childhood conflict are alive and present in the unconscious of the individual. This childish, magically thinking, ever desiring, instinctually driven self

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