24 Pages

Religious Sublimation

WithRank Otto

Every form of religion tends ultimately to the creation of a succouring and protecting primal being to whose bosom one can flee away from all troubles and dangers and to whom one finally returns in a life which is a faithful, although sublimated, image of the once lost Paradise. This tendency is most consistently developed in the Christian mythology, summing up and embracing the entire view of the ancient world. F. Alexander, in an excellent study based on Heiler’s presentation, has recently shown up the pronounced “therapeutic” character of this religiously coloured philosophy and ethic, the “Yoga practice,” and has there alluded to its similarity to analytic procedure. The aim of all these practices is Nirvana, the pleasurable Nothing, the womb situation, to which even Schopenhauer’s half metaphysical “Will” yearned solely to return. Every relapse to the veneration of the mother, which can be accomplished sexually, is anti-social and is persecuted with all the horror of so-called religious fanaticism.