Prayer after Freud
Praying has always been a risky business. Long before A. Freud and psychoanalysis, the great masters of spiritual life spent much time warning about the numerous ways could become entrapped. The path of psychoanalytical experience takes a direction that looks just the opposite to the taken by the path of spiritual life. Psychoanalysis supposes a ruthless departure from the focus on oneself, a merciless ascetic exercise that drives the subject from the phantasy of a lost paradise to the reality of helplessness in the world. The suspicion, which might have been absolute during psychoanalysis, can afterwards find its fair place. After having left the parents’ home, what matters is living rather than analysing, going out into the world, avoiding the danger of remaining trapped in permanent efforts of inner purification, taking on the harshness of reality and, more importantly, engaging in its transformation.