What do the theories of Freud and Einstein have in common?
The unconscious in Freudian psychology resembles the devoid of properties space in the theory of the special relativity. Both the unconscious and the relativistic vacuum are abstract containers of invisible convertible material. Just like the psychic material in Freudian psychology comes in and out of repression, matter flicks in and out of existence in Einstein’s relativity.
The relativity’s concepts of wave-particle duality and mass-energy equivalence led to the formulation of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty principle that underlies quantum mechanics. The principle postulates that the exact parameters of an elementary particle cannot be known. It allows physicists to ascribe whatever characteristics they want to quantum systems, to project and protect their views and to falsify the idea of reality. A quite similar projection takes place in psychoanalytic interpretations due to the uncertain limits of the unconscious. The libidinal desires are indefinite until they are exposed by psychoanalysis. The hidden state of the subconscious libidinal desires in Freudian psychology resembles the uncertain parameters of particles in quantum mechanics.
Delocalization of matter in quantum mechanics resembles the exclusion of psychic material from consciousness in Freudian psychology. The psychological defence mechanisms including psychological repression in psychoanalysis operate like the mass-energy conversion in relativity. Likewise, the talent of the unconscious defence mechanisms to deform the perception of reality in Freudian psychology is similar to the ability of the immaterial space-time continuum in general relativity to distort everything.[i] The wave-particle duality in quantum mechanics bears a close analogy to the dual psychological motivation of actions by both pleasure and reality principles in Freudian psychology.
The matter-energy equivalence popularized by the famous formula E=m.c2 fused the basic categories of space and matter. This resulted in wave-particle duality and probabilistic quantum mechanics. General relativity went even further as it fused space and time. Similarly, Freudian psychology amalgamated desire and frustration which resulted in an instinct-reason duality of psychological motivation. The two doctrines combined incompatible notions and went too cerebral. Their all-inclusive generalizations seem to be able to explain everything in their spheres but in an ambiguous manner. The all-embracing simplifications are dogmatic as they suppress alternative theories. The all-purpose ideas offer universal truths. They may be logically lucid but their physical correspondence is uncertain. Actually these scientific philosophes have made even more unconceivable what stands behind desire and matter.
The id-superego conflict seems to generally explain all psychological states in the way matter-energy equivalence comprises all physical phenomena. Similarly religion explains everything with the struggle between good and evil. None of these doctrines helps us come closer to an objective understanding of reality.
The highly abstract concepts give great freedom of wishful interpretation at the expense of concrete knowledge and cognoscibility of nature. The grandiose generalisations that both Freudian psychology and Einstein’s relativities employ bestow theological character on them. Despite their authors were sceptics these doctrines are among the modern reincarnations of the ancient abstract monotheism’s abstract deity that resorted to circumcision a long time ago.