The secular kabbalist

Did Kabbala provide a framework for Sigmund Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis?

By MORDECHAI BECK
November 29, 2016 18:46
Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

SIGMUND FREUD grew up in an antagonistic world. The founder of psychoanalysis suffered from the anti-Semitism, which embittered the lives of Jews in the Austro- Hungarian Empire, restricting their entry to the professions and exposing them to harassment and insult. At university, he was told by one of his professors that he should quit academic life since he would not be promoted because of his Jewishness.

However, he set against this hostile outer world a rich, inner world, which nurtured his developing theories of psychological disorder, and the ‘talking cure’ as part of the necessary healing process. This inner world, it has been claimed, also paradoxically kept his sense of Jewishness alive, which Freud denied in his outward role as a professionally ambitious member of the Viennese medical establishment.

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