Neuroticism in abstraction
According to Freud the fear of father and the castration complex precede monotheism. Therefore patriarchic monotheism emerged from the cruelty of pagan fathers. According to this view monotheism is a psychosocial defence mechanism against the fear of castration. Therefore monotheism is a natural stage of polytheism and paganism. Approximately the same origin Freud attributed to circumcision. He considered that the traditional Jewish neonatal circumcision is a legacy of the ancient fathers’ brutality. Pedocircumcision hands down the castration complex and father-fearing from father to son. It is like a passive bearer of the castration complex from one generation to the next. Notice that this is only a step away from the logical conclusion that pedocircumcision directly induces the castration anxiety, i.e., that castration complex is circumcision complex in itself. This perspective, however, required a different perception including erogenous sensitivity than those he had.
In this train of logic polytheism evolved into monotheism whilst the alleged cruel ancient pagan habit of castration was mitigated to a fear of castration, father-fearing and circumcision. This paradoxically suggests that all castration, father-fearing, castration anxiety, sexual frustration and Judaism are useful in principle because they have led to religious and intellectual advance.
Consistent with psychoanalytic theory the abstractedness of the Judaic God may be sought in the desire to avoid the father’s figure. Thus the fear of castration has resulted in avoidance of the father’s figure by rendering it abstract and making castration symbolic. However, abstraction and symbolism tend to be all-embracing, dogmatic and universal. Avoiding the father’s figure unduly empowers it. Fear of castration has made the figure of the father omnipotent and ubiquitous. This sadly implies that the father’s figure automatically expands by virtue of its nature. And the same vicious circle is valid for abstract monotheism. Father-fearing finds its way through the ages resulting in a cascade of sexual frustrations, militant monotheism and religious extremism that lack self-control and can be only restrained from the outside.
Once fathers’ cruelty culminated in castration. Later it was diversified and refined but pervaded nearly everything. With the establishment of the abstract monotheism the intimidating father’s figure became invisible, penetrated the spiritual realm, organized religion, morality, patriarchy and pedocircumcision. Father-fearing became father-worshipping.
According to Freudian theory both the monotheistic religion and the abstract reasoning of Jews result from an irrational fear of castration. Jewish religion mitigated the fear of castration by depriving the father figure of concreteness. Therefore the Freudian concept describes Jews as a fearful people that became religious and clever due to their fear. This implies fearfulness of abstract reasoning.
But if circumcision is a pagan remnant from which believers are rescued by religion then why does Judaism stubbornly keep it? Maybe the circumcising monotheism is the last phase of paganism? Perhaps monotheism is the last stage of the ancient father’s cruelty? Or perhaps traditional pedocircumcision is a type of controlled paganism that uses convoluted theology in order to preserve the fathers’ dominance? Is this what Freud implied?
Lethargic labour of intellection
According to Freud Judaism is an “obsessional neurosis” cantered on the existence of a highly abstract God. Thinking about the possible characteristics of the nonfigurative deity has developed the abstract reasoning of Jews and provided for their mental advance. Freud associated the invisible abstract God of Judaism with the ability of abstract thinking and intellectual advance of Jews. Thus the abstract monotheism of Judaism has stimulated the abstract reasoning of Jews and helped them achieve distinction in law, mathematics, science and art.
In this way Freud linked sexual repression to religiousness and derived religiousness from the fear of the father and the castration complex. Thus the fear of the father imprinted in early childhood is transferred towards the higher authority of God. Father-fearing naturally became God-fearing. God is an anthropomorphic recreation of the father’s figure. Therefore, according to Freud religiousness stems from the habit of repressing the libidinal desire for the mother. Religion is “a universal obsessional neurosis of humanity” with the existence of a higher father’s authority. Religiousness as well as the abstract reasoning it stimulates are a result of the redirection of sexual impulse and an affection for the mother.
So according to Freud the collective obsessional neurosis has developed Jewish mentality and made Jews cleverer. An originally silly habit and an irrational superstition turned out to be valuable. An inadequate fear turned out to improve the adequateness of people. Initially Jews were silly to be religious but consequently this silliness made them cleverer. Silliness developed abstract reasoning and made Judaism and Jewish thought including psychoanalysiswiser.
Thus thanks to the unkindness of pagan fathers Jews now have an omnipresent invisible God and great intellect. Jews have utilized the positive aspects of their collective obsessional neurosis named Judaism. But what about the negative aspects of this collective obsession? Obviously Freud deemed abstract reasoning as a higher type of thinking. But is overly developed abstract reasoning and Jewish intellectuality healthy or adequate? Given his circumcision-facilitated liking for abstraction and his ethnicity Freud could not be objective on this issue.
Freud took for granted that abstract reasoning is progressive. This is not surprising at all because erogenous desensitization overvalues abstract reasoning. But is abstract reasoning advantageous in principle? Is abstract reasoning mental labour as Freud assumed or mental lethargy as religious conservatism attests?
We are on thin ice here because it is the reasoning that measures its own efficacy. The answer depends on the belief, religiousness and on the predilection for abstractions. A religious mind-set will consider metaphorical abstractions as intellectually advantageous while a rational thinker will consider them unsound, prejudicial, dogmatic and Retrograde.
So in agreement with Freud’s view abstract reasoning must have neurotic character like religion does. However, Freud did not arrive at this conclusion and avoided the uncomfortable view that intellectual advance in abstract thought is neurotic. Since both religion and nonfigurative intellectualism are obsessive neuroses such must be Freudianism too. Despite that Freud despised religion he attacked it surficially whilst he actually admired it because it facilitated the abstract, father-fearing and sexually reproaching reasoning on which Freudianism is based.