Freud: Love and Work

I have written in this blog several times about my agnosticism—my uncertainty about the existence of God—and my unquestioning belief in the reality of the noncorporeal, that which has no physical form.

One philosophical strain avers that only the somatic is real. Anything lacking physical substance is imaginary. It is obvious to me that that way of thinking is unquestionably wrong. The nonmaterial is not only real but more important by far than the material. Creativity and love, for example, motivate us and elevate us above and beyond that which is merely physical.

So I am caught in an apparent contradiction in my own thinking. If I accept the existence of the nonmaterial, what logical arguments do I have to question the existence of God? The answer is that I’m stuck with a lack of strong evidence of the existence of God. But here I sit with my inability to forswear belief.

In this context, I have struggled all my life with the writings of Sigmund Freud, whose name, ironically, means “joy” in German. Sex was at the center of his psychological construct, but he famously said, “Love and work (lieben und arbeiten) are the cornerstones of our humanness.” While both love and work have physical manifestations, both are mental concepts, lacking a material foundation. So my struggle with Freudian psychology as I matured was related to my assessment of the reality of the nonphysical. Modern-day psychologists nowadays largely reject Freud, as I always did. So I can put aside his thinking.

That’s only one example of the philosophies I’ve delved into trying to answer my own questions about the reality of the deity. So here I am baffled by my own inability to come to terms with my understanding of reality. It feels like a permanent dilemma.

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