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작성자  simonshin 작성일  2017.11.01 22:13 조회수 819 추천 0
 The Summary Notes from "The God Question in Psychoanalysis" (영문 요약본)  

제목: The Summary Notes from "The God Question in Psychoanalysis" (영문 요약본)

자료: 신현근 교수의 학술대회 발표 내용에 대한 참고 자료 1

참조 논문:

Meissner, W.W. (2009). The God Question in Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal.

Psychol., 26(2):210-233

발표 주제: 정신분석적 태도와 관상적 태도


학술대회: 2014 PIP정신분석연구소 (한국임상정신분석연구소 ICP의 이전 이름) 5 연례  학술대회

총 주제: 영혼 현상과 정신질환에 대한 정신분석적 이해

일시 : 2014823()

장소 : 서울대학교 멀티미디어 강의동 83(사회대 뒤) 204

참여 강사진 : 서상봉, 신현근, 김성호 교수

주최 : PIP 정신분석연구소/ 후원 : 현대심리상담연구소



참고자료 1



The Summary Notes from The God Question in Psychoanalysis


1 The God of Religion and the God of Philosophy


1.1 From the perspective of religious belief and theological reflection, we know about God from revelation through faith. God as revealed in scriptures and as encountered in the Incarnation.

1.2 The philosopher asks, “Relying only on the unaided and independent human mind, what can I know about the existence and nature of God? In contrast to theologians, philosophers deal with what can be known and understood about reality using only the natural capacities of the human mind for knowing and understanding. The abstract, infinite God of pure essence or existence.

2 Freud on God The God of the First Psychoanalyst


2.1 Freud viewed religious belief systems as comparable to obsessional neurotic organization constituted of defensively motivated constructions erected by the human mind to compensate and sustain the believer in the face of the threats posed by the uncertainties of life, the perils of existence, and the ultimate certainty of death.

2.2 The image of God in this picture was fabricated out of projections of images of the parents, primarily the father, raised to an exalted, infinite, and all-powerful figure who could guarantee the promise of salvation and transcend the limits imposed by the travails of life and death.

2.3 The image of the believer in this portrait is one of childlike dependence and immaturity.

2.4 The religious belief was a form for mass delusion for Freud.

2.5 Freud said, “Man created God in his (image).”

2.6 The response from theological side was put clearly enough by the eminent theologian Hans KÜng(1986):

The influence of psychodynamic unconscious factors and particularly the parent-child relationship on religion and image of God can indeed be analyzed psychologically, but - contrary to Freud’s assumption this does not allow any conclusion about the existence of God. Because the wish for a God (“projection”) certainly is not an argument for the existence of God, but neither is it an argument against it; the desire for God can find correspondence in a real God. (p. 28)


3 God after Freud The God of the Other Psychoanalysts


3.1 The major division lies between those who hold strongly to the Freudian persuasion and reject any notion of God as real and existing and those who find room for the reality of the Godhead, some within the framework of psychoanalytic conceptualization and some beyond it.

3.2 This in effect speaks to another variation on the theme of the distinction between the God of philosophers and the God of theologians this time, however, the theme is cast in terms of the distinction between a God as known psychoanalytically and God as known theologically through the medium of revelation and faith.

3.3 The testimony of an analytic believer in the reality of a divinity beyond the scope of analytic reflection was voiced by Stanley Leavy (1988).

3.4 But for the most part, Freud’s agnosticism prevails in analytic circles. Freud at one point called attention to the familiar saying, in his words, “’God created man in His own image’ and the same idea in reverse: ‘Man created God in his’”.

3.5 Winnicott (1965) expanded this Freud’ saying as follows:

The saying that man made God in his own image is usually treated as an amusing example of the perverse, but the truth in this saying could be more evident by a restatement such as: man continues to create and re-create God as a place to put that which is good in himself, and which he might spoil if he kept it in himself along with all the hate and destructiveness which is also to be found there. (p. 94)

3.6 Without doubt, an agnostic view of knowing God pervades in analytic thinking. The ambiguity of many, if not most, analysts was well expressed by Casement (1999):

It was already dawning on me, as others (such as Feuerbach) had said before, that it is by no means certain whether we are made in the image of God, as Christians proclaim, or whether it is out of our need to believe that we may have created God in our own image. In my opinion, the dilemma cannot be resolved either adhering to some position of religious certainty or by adopting that other kind of certainty which some atheists proclaim. (p. 20)

3.7 Lacan apparently made it clear that he saw religion and psychoanalysis as diametrically opposed If religion triumphs, psychoanalysis would have failed, and if analysis triumphs, religion becomes emptied of any transcendent significance.

3.8 Other analysts, following the model of Kohutian selfpsychology, have transcribed the image of God into selfobject terms. The appeal to a selfobject model is meant to replace the more traditional Freudian model, but the question remains whether they are not in the end simply variants on the same theme. Whether cast in terms of the great protective father or security enhancing selfobject, the God-representation remains essentially derivative from human needs and motives.

3.9 Another theme that found its way into analytic thinking about God is the alignment of God with the unconscious.

3.9.1 The prospective parallels between the characteristics of God as traditionally conceived and Freud’s five characters of the unconscious were addressed by Bomford (1990).

3.9.2 Grotstein (2000) suggested that humans may have thought up the concept of God to come to terms with their unconscious mentation. By his own admission, this way of thinking has a gnostic quality that allowed Grotstein to postulate a concept of God abiding within our creative unconscious as though in another level of subjectivity. This amount to another version of remaking God in the image of man. Grotstein seems to disregard and prescind from any knowledge of God either through reason or faith in favor of an approach to God through the unconscious for him God only be known by way of projection or projective identification. In this sense, his approach is congruent and consistent with Freud, whose concept of the deity was totally projective and beyond that totally agnostic.

3.10 The Freudian analysis of the belief of God as regressive has been rejected or at least qualified by a number of authors.

3.10.1 If we call the phenomenon of mystical merger and union “regressive,” we cannot mean so in the usual sense of psychological regression as we know it in clinical terms.

3.10.2 Insofar as such mystical states preserve the mental integrity, individuality, and identity of the person, they present a very different phenomenon than pathological regression.

3.11 More recently, criticisms of the Freudian analysis from the perspective of feminist rejection of classical phallic dominance has complained that the image of mother seems to play no part in the analytic thinking about the image of God.

3.11.1 Rizzuto points out based on her own research that research on the formation of the God representation demonstrates the great significance of the maternal object for the small child’s conception of God.

3.11.2 This complaint applies to most of the psychoanalytic approaches to God following the Freudian lead discussions of the maternal aspect of God are few and far between.

4 Religious Concepts as Transitional


4.1 Winnicott’s contribution was an important watershed on in the analytic conceptualization of religion, shifting the ground away from the Freudian emphasis on illusion as opposed to or differentiated from the real to an emphasis on illusion as nourishing psychic life and development and as opening the way to encompassing realms of human experience beyond material reality.

4.2 Winnicott started with the idea of the “transitional object” in the developmental experience of infants the doll, toy, or blanket that becomes the child’s first “not-me” possession.

4.3 In Winnicott’s view, the transitional object represents the infant’s first attempt to begin to separate from the mother and relate to the world outside of the mother.

4.4 It is the replacement of the mother and indicates the child’s emerging capacity to separate from the mother and to make substitutions for her as the child grows into an individual in his or her own right.

4.5 The transitional phenomenon is both created and found It is both created by the child’s imagination and simultaneously found in reality. The interaction of the subjective and objective creates a psychologically intermediate area of illusion within which the child can play out the drama of separation and attachment.

4.6 Within this area of illusion, Winnicott locates man’s capacity for culture, creativity, and particularly for religion and religious experience.

4.7 Rizzuto (1979) concluded that in psychoanalytic terms God is a special kind of object representation created by the child in the intermediate psychic space in which transitional objects achieve powerful and illusory existence.

4.8 In psychological terms, each person creates his or her own image of God, even though that individualized image is shaped in contact with a shared set of communal beliefs that delineate a concept of God to which the group of believers adheres.

5 The God-Representation Within the Analytic Process


5.1 Although most religiously oriented analysts have settled pragmatically for the division between the God of psychoanalysis and the God of religious belief, others have tried to bridge or at least narrow the gap.

5.2 Spero (1992) has attempted to recast the analysis of God-representation, as found in the mind of religious believers, to extend beyond a merely intrapsychic representation to include the existing and real extramental God.

5.3 Both Spero and Rizzuto (1996) and my own [Meissner’s] approach to transitional conceptualization respond to the Freudian view negatively, namely by asserting that the concept of God in religious terms is not merely an illusion in any sense that would exclude the possible reference to reality, but it represents the reality of religious belief.

5.4 If it can be said that psychoanalysis is inherently iconoclastic, it also seems true that in this post-Freudian era that psychoanalysis no longer feels to destroy humankind’s illusions on the ground that they express their inmost desires and wishes. Rather, psychoanalysis has moved to the position of staking a claim for illusion as the repository of human creativity and the realm in which people’s potentiality may find its greatest expression (Winnicott, 1971a).

5.5 Spero’s (1992) resolution, attributing objective reference to the God-representation, closes the gap between the God of psychoanalysis and the God of religious belief, but it also amalgamates the theological belief with analytic understanding in a way that might be methodologically suspect.

5.6 In contrast, the view of the God-representation as transitional (Rizzuto, 1979) and analytic thinking about God and religious topics as forms of transitional conceptualization (Meissner, 1990, 1992) maintain the distinction and respect for methodological differences, but open the analytic perspective in the direction of further dialogue and potential accommodation and mutual understanding with religious belief and theological doctrines.

6 Clinical Implication


6.1 The objective of the analytic process is to explore and understand the developmental, dynamic, defensive, and compromise processes that have contributed to the formation of the God-representation.

6.2 The God-representation in these terms can be regarded as a form of transference that is open to the psychoanalytic exploration and interpretation.

6.3 This may open the way to reformulation and renewed understanding, enabling the patient to find the new and more creative ways of reconciling his or her revised God-representation with his or her religious beliefs.

6.4 This remodeling and reconstruction of the God-representation, however, would lie beyond the scope of analytic concern and would be left to the initiative and desire of patients.

6.5 The analytic process is only interested and concerned with whatever neurotic distortions or excess may have found their way into the patient’s religious beliefs, including his or her attitudes towards and beliefs about God as reflected in his or her God-representation.

6.6 In contrast to the classical approach, although the analyst is indifferent to the form of the patient’s resolution of the problem of religious belief, the analyst does not take a stand for or against the validity or utility of religious belief but leaves this open to the patient’s initiative and decision as would be required by optimal analytic neutrality.

7 Conclusion


7.1 The multiplicity of viewpoints remain divergent and oppositional and formulate the problem in varying terms.

I [Meissner] would urge consideration of any approach that offers the possibility of facilitating the continuing dialogue between psychoanalysis and religion.


The Summary Notes from Meissner’s Article (2009)

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