chapter  8
16 Pages

See How It Grows

WithHelen Walker Puner, Erich Fromm, Paul Roazen, S. P. Puner

For the job of spiritual head of his new religion, Freud borrowed some of the characteristics of the God of the Jews—the angry, vengeful Jehovah under whose dominion he had been born. Like Jehovah, Freud created a climate of uneasy reverence among his psychoanalytic acolytes. He became, for all of them who could stand his zealotry, the father, the hope and the hero. They, too, came, through the spiritual atmosphere Freud generated, to regard psychoanalysis as a new religion. The new religion, under Freud’s leadership, was to grow at the beginning in much the same way as other religions have. It, too, was based on an act of faith—only this time the faith was called “scientific rationalism.” “Sigmund,” as his disciple Wittels, who was both attracted and repelled by this atmosphere, had so aptly put it, had indeed grown “to full stature and become Freud.”.