EUNACOM_005E -- Article 5 (19981004-A1) English

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Anton Szanya ©

"IT IS THE OPIATE OF THE PEOPLE"

The Depth-Psychological Aspects of Religiosity

THE FAILURE OF THE RATIONALISTIC CRITIQUE OF RELIGION

 

Religion is the general theory of this world, her encyclopedic manual, her logic in popular form, her spiritual honorable points, her enthusiasm, her moral sanctions, her ceremonial complement, her general justifications for solace. She is the fantastical materialization of the human character, since the human character does not possess reality. ... The wretchedness of religion is an expression of the real [human] wretchedness and, at the same time, a protestation against real misery. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the sensibility of a heartless world, just as she is the spirit of banal conditions. She is the opiate of the people."1

These words, written 150 years ago, have had the most lasting impressions in the history European thought, and to this day they can ignite the most passionate controversies. Particularly, in the last sentence, "Opiate of the people," has since then proved to be an excellent verbal cudgel in any debate. As handy as this formulation has turned out to be, it has done a disservice to Marx’s concerns because it stirred up emotions that obstructed a clear view of the total meaning.

What did Karl Marx actually say? With keen observation of the circumstance, he recognized the main functions of religion:

She offers a conception of the world in the sense that it portrays its creation and historical development as meaningful and targeted.

She reinforces the rules of conduct by legitimizing the existing societal relations by equating them with God’s will.

She bestows solace in the face of existing misery. Particularly this latter function raises religion, in the face of want, and items beyond reach, to a narcotic for which the people reach in order to forget what cannot be changed.

Thereby Karl Marx anticipated what, in the 1920s, the sociologist Max Weber, certainly free of any suspicion of Marxist thought, described as the functions of religion.2

Establishment of norms

Legitimization of rulership

Offering of a theodicy, and also an explanation for a supposedly benevolent God who allows evil to exist in the world.

This ken of religion as a function of society moved Marx to add the following therapy to his above introduced diagnosis; namely, his fundamental critique of religion. The promise that this holds for him he explains as follows: "The critique of religion also contains the germ of the critique of the vale of woe, whose halo religion is. The critique has picked apart the imaginary flower chain not that the human being should wear this unimaginative chain, but so that he can discard the chain and pick the living flower. The critique of religion is meant to disappoint the human being so that he can think, act, and create his reality as a disappointed human, coming to his senses, would...."3

With this confidence in the power of the intellect Marx proves to be a real child of the enlightenment, whose great German champion was Immanuel Kant, who, 60 years earlier, issued the challenge: Sapere aude! Have the courage to make use of your own reasoning powers!"4

Dialectics of the Enlightenment

The history of the 150 years that have passed since the critique of religion by Marx has shown that the confidence in the intellect was not justified.  The liberal and Marxist critiques of religion have managed to repress the influence and power of the institutionalized churches only in small measure; we cannot speak of an overcoming of religion in view of the present rush toward the creation of sects and esotericism, in view of fundamentalism of all stripes and the various streams of contemporary spirituality.

One of the reasons for that can be seen in the fact that Marxist oriented thinkers have not observed the historical Dialectics of the Enlightenment.  Three examples shall demonstrate these historical dialectics:

The dialectics of the enlightenment mean for the general public that it offers those, who are self-reliant enough to make use of the opportunities, latitude, and room for development; but for those who are looking for support, security, orientation, and comfort there remains in the end only the recommitment to ones own self.  In other terms: The enlightenment presupposes a strength of the ego, and a sense of direction whose broad effects are, albeit unintentionally, continuously undermined through their relativism.

The Mythos

In this situation, the Mythos, now as ever, offers some help with its promise of certainty and security.  With this the Mythos satisfies needs that cannot be fulfilled through the reason and intellect of the enlightenment.  They are:5

The Roots of the Mythos

With closer observation, the three needs mentioned above are simply three formations of man's attempt to escape from fear.  Again, this fear is threefold, namely:

Together, these three dreads, or fears, accumulate into a general dread of the indifference of the world vis-à-vis the human being, such as formed the foundation of the philosophy of existentialism, developed by Jean-Paul Sartre6 in the fifties and sixties of the 20th century.  However, existentialism is a philosophy of intellectual heroism that is unlikely to win a wide following.  The majority of people escape this fear either by withdrawing into the trivialities of daily life, or into the Mythos, as posed by Leszek Kolakowski who offered: "Indeed, the experience of the indifference of the world presents us with an alternative; either we succeed to overcome the estrangement from the world by mythical constructs, or we suppress these experiences with a complicated system of facilities that grind down our lives through the realities of factual workday routines."7

Where originated this fear, or primitive fear, with which humanity finds itself confronted by the world?  It is grounded in two personality development processes that humans experience in early childhood and that exert a lasting influences because of the inability to appropriately assimilate these experiences at that immature stage.

The Narcissistic Offense

The primal vital consciousness of the human being is narcissism,8 a feeling of harmonious unity with the world and omnipotence.9  This is why every human being wants to find "a world where there are no significant disturbances, but where well-being, repose, harmony, and stresslessness predominate."10

However, even in babyhood the child already experiences that it and the world differ from each other, and that it cannot subjugate the world to its endeavors.  The baby may cry all it wants when it is hungry, but if its mother or another person is not around it cannot accomplish anything by crying.  Yet, the baby has no other means to still its hunger at this stage of development.

These and similar experiences show the little human being his limitations, tear him away from his sense of being one with the world, and make the world appear boundless, strange, and frightening to him.  This causes a grievous offense to the narcissism of the little child that engenders furor and and fright.  The little child is not conscious of its feelings and the reasons for them due to its immaturity; so they remain in the subconscious, and reveal themselves only in difficult to conceive undercurrents of emotional life, in the so-called oceanic feelings11 of being lost like a "tear in the ocean."12

The Oedipus Conflict

The small child can perhaps maintain the illusion of its oneness with the mother longer than the illusion of its oneness with the world.  But even with that the moment arises where the child realizes that it does not even have oneness with the mother, even worse, that it is not even the sole object of the love of its mother.  There usually is the father, or another man, who is an object of love for the mother, and, finally, there possibly might be siblings with whom it has to share the mother's love.  Again, the little child's narcissism is heavily offended.  As the child had boundless adoration for its mother; as it had idealized its mother without prejudice, so it now wishes to be idealized by its mother, and so it wants to be unconditionally accepted by its mother.  And now that!

This situation of the child is aggravated by being reprimanded or even punished by the mother for expressing its narcissistic furor against the father or the siblings, when it wishes them away, or even dead.  Since the child in its early age still considers its parents as omnipotent and omniscient, the narcissistic furor also raises in it the emotions of fear of punishment and the withdrawal of love; it does so on an increasing scale with the increase in fear, and the fierceness of the feelings of hatred against those who rival with it for the favor of the mother.  This psychic conflict in the child is painfully deepened since its feelings of rejection against the others stands in contrasts at the same time with the feelings of love, admiration, and longing that it also has towards mother, father, and siblings.

The child finally unwinds this unsolvable tangle of emotions with, what Sigmund Freud called the Oedipus Complex,13 relegating it to the subconscious14 or by more or less lastingly identifying itself with its objects, mother, father, and siblings.15

The Superego

At the end of this Oedipus phase, at about age 10, there is the result of an identification and internalization or interiorization of the superego as a third stage of the psyche alongside of the Id and the I.  The superego is the permanent representation of all the moral rules, societal rules, and ideological views internalized (i.e., absorbed by one's own personality) during the cause of the educational processes.  At this early age, the learning of these essential contents of the superego is complete, even though in the further progression of life some transformations are still possible.  Due to this early point in time of the completed formation of the superego, it has some qualities that are of determining importance for the earlier described roots of the mythos in human beings, and for its further evolution:

It should be pointed out again that, as a rule, human beings remain unaware of all the mentioned functions and peculiarities of the superego.  Only a few, such as Bertrand Russell for example, realize that "it is made up of vague memories of rules that one has learned in early childhood, so that it can never be more clever than the nanny or the mother of its owner."19   Most people, however, see the superego's form of expression as a healthy, positive deportment towards common national attitudes; esteem for the parents or respect for higher positioned individuals are considered signs of a thoroughly honorable character.

Forms of the Mythos

The suppressed contents and carnal impulses of the narcissistic offense and the Oedipal conflicts are the material myths are made of.  Since this material is formed already at the development stage of the child, during which the I or the self  is not fully developed, the formation takes place by the rules of primary thought processes,20 that are characterized by

Through this primary process thinking the fantastic and symbolic myths of the beginning of the world, the beginning of humankind, and the end of the world are formed from suppressed early childhood experiences. In many myths one can recognize the correspondence between the noted world-epochs and the phases of development from childhood to adulthood. The following tabulation of comparisons serve as examples for clarification:

            Mythical World-Epoch        Human Phases of Development
Formless chaos at the beginning of the world Narcissistic unity of the self with the world
Separation of heaven and earth, land and water Recognition of the difference between the I (self) and the world
Struggle of the titans, fall of the angels and their banning to the underworld; expulsion from paradise, and the event of sin with penalties threatened, but uncertainty as to when penalties will be executed Surges of emotions of the Oedipal conflict with the event of suppression into the subconscious, and the fear of penalization
Our currently existing world that, however, is threatened by catastrophes, twilight of the gods or judgement day, when the powers of the underworld will rise again Termination of character formation; the I is in constant defense against unconscious instincts and feels threatened by the return of that what was pushed into the subconscious

As viewed from this observation point, myths are not only attempts to explain the world, but also–and this is where Marx, in his characterization of religion, shows an astounding premonition of depth-psychological insight–"the fantastic realization of the human being." This contains part of the effect of the Mythos that diminishes the feeling of fear because it presents the world as a likeness of the human being who, in many respects, does not understand himself but has learned to live with this kind of ignorance.

It was mentioned above that the roots of the Mythos are to be found in the narcissistic offense and the Oedipal conflict. Depending on the vehemence with which these two emotional crises were experienced, the mythical world view is formed. By and large, two such viewpoints21 can be distinguished:

Both viewpoints can overlap within the same Mythos so that, for example, the end of the world could be interpreted as either a punishment from heaven or the start of a new age.

The Force of Attraction of the Mythos

From the earlier discourse we can now deduce with some confidence why the rationalistic critique of religion remained unsuccessful, even had to remain so:

Therefore, a world fashioned through mythical presentations offers, in spite of all undeniable insecurities,–the counsel of the gods remain inscrutable after all–a measure of security and safeness that cannot be found in a rationally ordered world.

Religion — The Utilization of the Mythos

Perhaps in the unconscious premonition that the mythical world is created in their likeness, and emanating from their own life-experiences in childhood, human beings are convinced that have the means at hand with which they can influence this world. That means is Magic.

Magic

Magic is based on the belief that thoughts and words might be able to influence other human beings, ghosts, but also inanimate matter in their environment in a desired sense. This belief in the omnipotence of thoughts harks back to early childhood events that are based on real experiences. As a child learns to speak, it discovers that it has now obtained some means of control, or even a domination over its environment, that is literally magical. Through language the child can express its wishes towards its mother and father, and they do or bring to it what it wants. These events and experiences accommodate the narcissism of the child. Moreover, after the repeated offenses it was subjected to, as mentioned earlier, it embraces the conviction of the omnipotence of thoughts so that it requires a lengthy succession of experiences before the child learns that even the most urgent wishes can be shattered by the harsh facts of reality. Nevertheless, the belief in the omnipotence of thoughts, in the magical power of words, more or less strongly remain with most people throughout their whole lives.24

The most significant and widespread manifestations of this unwavering faith in the omnipotence of thoughts is the prayer. Prayer, from the beginning, is actually a conjuration, a magic that is meant to guide the will of daemons, similar to the way in which the child is able to guide the will of its parents in order to satisfy its wishes. With the prayer, the communication of the human person with supernatural powers, magic is raised from ordinary sorcery to a religion. With the aid of religion, the person tries to influence the supernatural powers. One can recognize that the practical application of the Mythos in religion25 is similar to the way in which engineering is the practical application of the sciences.

Analogous to the observation of the currently still existing forms of religion in primitive societies one can assume that prayer was originally a communal matter. The family, the clan, the tribe presented itself in prayer before the higher powers under the guidance of an intermediary such as an elder, a chief, or a sorcerer. This group prayer, consequently, had only the concerns and purpose of the praying community as its content. That could be for a good hunt, a good harvest, the success of a community project, fortunes of war, entering of youths in the adults’ world, and similar things.26

Because the number of these kinds of occasions is limited, and they repeat themselves with some regularity, these group-prayers froze into traditions with strictly regulated forms that were maintained unchanged for generations. Rites emerge. In no small measure are such cult actions based on former group prayers and liturgies that derive their solemness and elevation from ancient, sometimes also unintelligible because of the use of a foreign language27, rituals, and the accompanying ritual activities that, through long time traditions, have largely lost their meanings.

Next to the group-prayer stands the free personal prayer.28 The personal prayer appears in two varieties. One still shows a great similarity with the formalized group-prayer. It consists of a string of repetitive formulas and turns that have no immediate relation to the condition of the praying individual or the prayers.29 This kind of personal prayer often bears the character of a sacrifice. In that way the praying sacrifice a part of their time and burden themselves with the pains and boredom of reciting long litanies.30

The other variety is the personal prayer in the true sense. The person presents in it his requests and wishes, for the fulfillment of which he lacks the power, to his deity, saint, or protecting spirit. However, such prayers never lead to the fulfillment of the desires. The prayer requests remain unanswered. Nevertheless the people continue to pray, even though they are fully aware of the futility of their prayers. The explanation for this seemingly nonsensical behavior lies in the fact that the pious, fervent prayer does not remain without emotional effect on the praying person. They can be episodes of solace, spiritual invigoration, and internal comfort.31 These subjective experiences, the genuineness of which cannot be doubted, are interpreted as a sign or answer from the addressed respective higher powers in the view of those people, and this serves as proof of the effectiveness of this magical practice in their eyes.

The priesthood

Let us return to the group-prayer. The trend of the prayer-formula and cult activities to ossify, in conjunction with the magical belief in the omnipotence of the word that, properly spoken, can compel even the gods, was the cause for the development of the priesthood. In the area of magic, the proper application of formulas is most important. If one word is missing, or a holy gesture is carried out improperly, the magical effect will not be achieved.. The invisible powers are obligated only to certain formulas.32 This only correct, and therefore only effective formula is kept secret by those in the know. The acquisition of their knowledge is reached only through the rise over different steps of ordination during which the worthy are separated from the unworthy. In this manner a class is established that monopolizes the execution of religious exercises. No matter how varied the external appearances of the priesthood are in history and today, their common core characteristic lies in their claim that they alone are in possession of the magical secrets, and only they have deep insights and comprehensive knowledge of the revelations and the will of their respective gods.

Wherever in the development of human culture the priesthood appears, it is not only a power, but it strives for power and seeks to maintain and expand such power with all means at its disposal. So, where there is a priesthood, there exists also–more or less veiled–a rule of priests and a priestly will to power.

The lever of this priestly will to power for the achievement of its aims is the superego whose earlier described attributes and functions are most suitable for that:

This profound occupation with the location of a penal court in the afterlife springs from the repeatedly observable disciplinary punishment wishes of the priests. The emanation of these wishes are not only observable in the penal codes of countries under Islamic law, and death verdicts by fundamentalist Mullahs, but also Christian Cardinals would like to indulge in such pretensions but are, to their barely concealed chagrin, forced to abstain from similar actions due to the influence of a humanistically enlightened culture.34

So there is a peculiar reciprocal relationship between priests and the laity. The priest want to rule over the laity and meed out punishment; die Laity wants to subject itself to the priests and shows a great willingness to suffer. In terms of depth-psychology, there exists a sadomasochistic symbiosis between the priests and the laity. This has its foundation in the narcissistic offense in early childhood, and in the resulting narcissistic rage that could not be played out under pressure of the pedagogical method. This rage then appears in the adult in a kind of reactionary form35 as a special kindness of heart and humanitarianism, or a lack of aggression. The unsatisfied narcissistic rage can also play itself out in the various forms of sadomasochism. So it is possible that a religious personality can present itself with various masochistic imprints that reveal themselves either in bearing the "cross" of an unbearable life-situation, or in actions of penance that can range from penance exercises through to flagellantism, penitential belts, and so, on. There is, however, also the sadistic form of the religious personality that is driven by the insatiable desire to convert others, the force ones own beliefs upon them, to the point of turning into witch-hunters and inquisitors. Since religion also has to cope with unsatisfied basic desires in early childhood, she will also always have sadomasochism in its train.36

The Dogma — The Degeneration of the Mythos

The means and expression of the priestly claim to power is the dogma. The dogma–used either for the designation of one or also the total of a whole system of theological doctrines–flows from the priest-appropriated close relationship with the higher powers. Therefrom necessarily follows that they can only say good things about those supernatural beings, their designs and plans. That, in turn, means that the priests cannot allow the freedom of a personal knowledge of God in order to avoid sawing off the branch on which they are sitting.

Therein also lies the grounding of the problematic nature of any dogma:

This points the way to all dogmas. Since their acceptance cannot be achieved with arguments and reasoning, force is used rather earlier than later as the last resort when permeation is the goal. This is why the priesthood cannot do without coercion from governments if it wants to maintain its position of power. Consequently a tight symbiosis has developed between the secular and the spiritual powers. The secular power supports the spiritual one by using their religious rules as a guide in their legislation, while the spiritual power supports the worldly power through legitimizing all authority by deriving it from the supremacy of God.45

"The Mythos started to degenerate when it was transformed into a doctrine; i.,e., an entity that required proof and searched for proof," wrote Leszek Kolakowski46 in view of the above described developments. The Mythos is, as mentioned, the attempt of humanity to make sense of the world; i.e., to look at it as if–analogous to his own creation–it made sense. That is why the Mythos is not very much concerned about being correct in the sense of science. The Mythos explains the world, but it does not analyze it.

Differently, the dogma, that attempts to categorize and catalogue, in short, attempts–particularly in competition with the emancipating philosophies and sciences–to paint itself as a science. With the dogma gripping the Mythos, the latter was robbed of its power to capture the people or to make them deeply moved. Thereby it was entrusted to human reasoning and critique that got a hold of its contradictions and incongruities, and subjected it to ridicule. It was the dogma that damaged the Mythos.47 Therein lies the significance of Friedrich Nietzsche’s (1844-1900) dictum. God is dead–viewed by light, the priests were the ones who killed him.

God and Devil

"Our breast is filled with terrible pity–it is the old Jehova himself, who prepares for his death. We have known him so well, from his cradle, in Egypt, where he was raised among godly calves, crocodiles, holy onions, ibises, and cats. We have seen him as he said good bye to these playmates of his childhood, and to the obelisks and sphinxes of his native Nile valley, and became a God-King for a poor pastoral tribe and lived in his own temple-palace. We saw him later on, when he made contact with the Assyrian-Babylonian civilization and shed his all to human passions, no longer spit out rage and vengeance, at least not thundered about every little shabby trick. We saw him emigrate to Rome, the capital, where he renounced all national prejudices, and proclaimed the equality of all peoples, and with such nice phrases formed an opposition against the old Jupiter and schemed until he came to power, and from the Capitol reigned over city and world, urbem et orbem. We saw how he became more spiritualized, how he gently-blessed whimpered, how he became a loving father, a general friend of the world, a world-benefactor, a philanthropist–nothing could help him. Do you hear the little bell chime? Genuflect. The last rites are presented to a dying God."48

With these words Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) described God’s death. It seems to have remained unnoticed because the priests continue to speak magic words, still they execute holy rites, and still they claim power over the people. The people may no longer be as compliant as in earlier centuries and recalcitrantly confront the priests–that, perhaps, is the only success the rationalistic critique of religion can claim–, they nevertheless still somehow believe that "there must be something," whichever way this "something" is constituted.

The Nature of God

The God of monotheistic religions is plainly recognizable as the exaggerated presentation of a worldly King. His royal power is superelevated to omnipotence, he is surrounded by a hierarchically structured court and an army of angels, cherubim, and seraphim, headed, similarly in structure to the ministers of a worldly king, by archangels. But not only is the magnificence of Kings superelevated in God, but also their dark sides are. God’s rage is horrible and can lead to the extinction of all humankind. Similar to the subjects of a King, humankind is exposed to His moods, and for every good deed He shows them, the people are aware of their undeservedness. As before a worldly King, the people humble themselves before their God by genuflecting or throwing themselves onto the ground before him in order to demonstrate their unworthiness in comparison with him. And they flatter him by continually praising his greatness, his mercy, his kindness and his love.

That is the image of God, as prepared by the founders of religion: Moses, Paulus, and Muhammad (570-632), and continually developed further by prophets and priests. The grandiosity of the such depicted God is meant, on the one hand, is to impress the laity while, on the other hand, it is designed to enhance the reputation of the priests: what esteemed, majestic personages they have to be if they can contact such a mighty King in Heaven, act in His name such that he feels bound by it.

Aside from this official stand, God also has a more private, albeit exalted superior father position that satisfies the human need for support. There are primarily three functions that humanity has bestowed upon Him:49

It is precisely this private image of God that steadfastly escapes any critique of religion. While the King of the Heavens with his thrones and celestial hosts, the Cherubim and Seraphim, no longer impress most of the people, the Father in Heaven nevertheless remains indispensable for them.

God is an Ego-Object

At this point the question that presents itself is: why does the human being need the idea of God at all? As obvious as the preceding expositions may be, they do not refute the circumstance that human beings in their growth from childhood appear to need each other more than they need a God.

The usual way how it came about nevertheless is that, at a time when the child’s self still unfolds and much is still in flux and would require development in exchange with the object of the self (or ego-object) 52, the mother introduces God as an ego-object. She teaches the child to pray or tells it about God. It is for the child, which for the mother is an inner reality, a reality itself, and it notices that the mother speaks with a special feeling of importance and exaltation, and an internal certainty, radiating repose and affection that informs the child. The child knows these feelings well; they are the feelings that it just needs for the development of the ego. So what is more reasonable than to accept this offer from the mother, and thereby establish a second ego-object, that can satisfy the function of the first one just as well?

Now the child has two ego-objects: a real one, the mother, and an internalized fantasy one, God. The relation with the imagined ego-object, God, will be put to use in further developments when the relations with the real ego-object are not satisfying. Because the development of the self, and the assimilation of the functions of the ego-object into the own personality structure take place gradually, in progress with the bearable failures of the real ego-object, certain areas of the personality remain frozen during the child’s development stage, because the fantasy ego-object never fails. That means that detachment from the fantasy ego-object (i.e., God) never happens because the human being concerned does not emancipate from the state of childhood.

Consequently, God is an ego-object from which one can learn nothing. Because it is either the God as painted by the priests–eternal, omnipotent, and unchangeable–or it is the God of the fantasy world who is then just as the narcissistic demands of each individual want him to be. In both cases he satisfies the needs for acceptance–even in case of penalties–after idealization and acknowledgment. Whichever God it might be, he never disappoints the basic narcissistic needs, so that the human rather trusts his fantasy opposite than a real, human one who offers no guarantee against disappointments.

The Manner of the Devil

As all feelings are ambivalent, likewise are the feelings of humility, piety, and love towards God.53 Since in all religions adults become children again who look upon their gods and priests as parents, the ambivalence of their feelings towards them are particularly vehement, and the fear of punishment for such "wicked" emotions are strong. Theses emotions, therefore, are split away from the godly ego-ideal, and projected onto another figure–onto the spirit of the wicked. This imagery of the wicked is consequently, in the so-called monotheistic religions, inseparably, like a shadow, connected with God. One can observe in the history of religions that the embodiment of the principle of the evil rises equally in size and power as a Father-God rises from the host of gods, and either pushes aside all others or relegates them to minor positions while he grows into an almighty king of the heavens. Already in the religion of Zarathustra, who lived between the sixth and tenth century of our calendar, the good and wise god Ahura Mazda found his antagonist in his twin brother, the evil spirit Ahra Mainyu. The Jewish God Jahweh has his antagonist in Satan, the smartest and most handsome angel. The same antagonism is found in Christianity where God and the devil oppose each other, and in Islam, where Allah finds Iblis as counterpart whom he cannot overpower.54 Seen from this viewpoint, all monotheistic religions are in effect two-god religions.

As counterpart of a good God and as incarnation of those human mannerisms that religions disapprove of, one can recognize the following characteristics in the form of the devil:55

The spirit of evil takes the place of all human mannerisms that are subject to suppression by the ruling morality. He serves, therefore, as an object onto which all evil can be projected which ameliorates somewhat the pressures of the guilt complexes, because the [prohibited notions, wishes, and deeds can be traced back to the suggestions of an overpowering tempter (...the devil made me do it...).

However, the devil is also an expression of paranoia into which the people with a monotheistic religion are driven. This paranoia, this persecution complex is the moving force that drives adherents to try and root out anything where they suspect the works of Satan, and to gain thereby the love of their strict King in heaven. Fired up by the extermination-fantasies against the enemies of Yahweh in the old Testament, that have also found their way into the New Testament and the Koran, Christians, Muslims, and fundamentalists of all stripes have engaged, and continue to engage in pogroms, crusade, holy wars, terrorist acts, and death threats.

The Death of the Devil

As mentioned earlier, near the beginning, the enlightenment with its critique of religious dogmas had a significant part in the demise of God; this also applies to the devil. He also dies, but in a different manner. Since the start of the previous century the devil has won increasingly more pleasing features in literature. He is transformed into a presenter of light, a representative of the enlightenment, whose rebellion against God is based on justified doubts about his goodness and justice,57 until, in the end, the roles are even exchanged.58 Finally, it is the devil who lifts the paranoid dualism between good and evil, and shapes it into a dialectic whole, when he slings at God’s representative: "Would you not be fair enough to think about what good it would do if there were no evil, and all the earth would look like if all shadows had disappeared from it? All shadows come from things and the people. Here is the shadow of my dagger. But there is also the shadow of the trees and the living things. You would not want to shave the earth surface bald, remove all trees and all living things and delight your fantasies with the naked light? You are stupid."59

Only the religions hold on to the outdated picture of the devil,60 and confirm thereby what Theodor Reik already captured in 1922: "Who actually abolishes the devil can no longer believe in God, because both figures are only two complementary parts of an earlier homogenous whole."61

The Ideology

It was said earlier that the dogma had damaged the Mythos. At least among those people who were influenced by the basic idea of the enlightenment has the variety of the Mythos, that grows from the consciousness of guilt, lost much of its significance. The informed, self-conscious human being could not agree to see himself guilty from the outset. Quite to the contrary, the enlightenment contains the instruction for man to redress the defects of society with the aid of reason and the intellect. So the variety of the Myth that springs from the consciousness of the privileged who picture in it the promise of the future gained strength. Therefrom developed the Mythos of the Modernity, which are as follows:

What all these myths have in common is, that they do not revolve around supernatural things but contain the hopes of humanity for the future.

The Forms of the Ideology

From the Mythos the ideology was formed that promises humanity the removal of obstacles on the path to the envisaged destinations. The attainment of these objectives can happen in two ways:

In collectives, the individual delegates his ego-ideal to a leader figure. He loses his independence but gains a group identity that procures membership and the orientation towards a common goal and, thereby, pushes back his fears of solitude and gains protection and security for himself. It is also a function of ideology to project perfection of a future world which is the world that they promise to create. "The distinction from religious faith is negligible," writes Sigrun Rossmanith in her Betrachtungen zur Ideologie [Reflections on Ideology].62

How an Ideology Emerges

A textbook case of how we come to the origination and development of an ideology presents itself in fate of the research and teachings of Karl Marx. As recorded at the beginning, Marx stood in the mental tradition of the enlightenment, just as his comrade in arms Friedrich Engels (1820-1895). From this enlightened stand Engels emphasized, opposite Paul Lafargue (1842-1911): "The Marxist theory is a living theory, not a collection of dogmas that have to be memorized and regurgitated."63 It was Vladimir I. Lenin (actual name Uljanow, [1870-1924] who gave the first impetus for making Marx’s mental construction into an ideology when he characterized it in 1908 with the following words: "The teaching of Marx is all-powerful because it is true. It is complete in itself and harmonious, it gives people a unified world-view that is not compatible with any superstitions, any reaction, any defense of the enslavement of the citizenry."64 The assertion of a teaching to be all-powerful, and its ability to convey a unified world-view signified the first attempt to fashion an ideology from a scientific theory that rested on the Mythos of the salvation of humanity, here specifically focused on the liberation through battle from the suffering to the final victory of the proletariat. This ideology was well received. For one example amongst many let us pick out Angelica Balabanoff’s, who, in the twenties, wrote in Lenin’s vein: "Thanks to Marx ... the greatest of all materialists ... the materialistic philosophy developed into a unified, harmonious, and consequent world-view."65 Similar to Lenin, this sentence shows the glimmer of a wish for an all-rounded thought-scheme, a system that explains everything, and is devoid of any unpleasant surprises or contradictory facts. This philosophy was valued by Balabanoff as a mental weapon in the class-struggle, about the unequivocal result of which she was convinced. "In this struggle," she opined therefore, "the ruling classes must lose out, because the rising classes have social development on their side."66 Therewith teleology was also introduced into Marxist philosophy. Teleology, the perception of the purposefulness of historical processes, is a typical element of a religious or ideological mind-set that is, however, incompatible with the scientific world-view. The likewise canonized formula of the dogmas "from the world-historical role of the proletariat as the undertaker of capitalism and creator of the communist society, from the dictatorship of the proletariat as a decisive means to realize the historic mission of the workers’ class,"67 eventually happened in the fifties. When Günther Grass (born 1927) mocked that as "many fancy the proletariat like an apparition of the Holy Mary,"68 he criticized the development of the Marxist philosophy to, what Irakli Dschordschadse, the President of the Stalin-society publicly announced when he praised Josef W. Stalin (whose actual name was Dschugaschwili, 1879-1953) as the man who "created Leninism, the Leninist religion."69 With that, the circle was completed. The last imitative followers admit candidly, albeit unwittingly, that they made Marxism into that, which its founder set out to eliminate–to an opiate. What Sigrun Rossmanith said about the distinctions between religion and ideology is now confirmed: they are dispensable.

Forever a Child?

The time has arrived to look back once more at the so far unrolled chain of thoughts, and synthesize.

The search for the reasons that the rationalistic critique of religion has failed lead to the Mythos, that is based on the primary needs of human beings to search for meaning and security of their existence, and of the world that surrounds them.

The roots of these needs were found in the earliest childhood experiences of the narcissistic offense, and the Oedipal conflict. These two experiences cannot be properly processed due to the lacking maturity of the mental and spiritual state of the child and, consequently, are being displaced into the subconscious and retained there. From there, however, they continually act on the consciousness by always re-energizing the just described basic needs.

Simply stated, they are the narcissistic fantasies of omnipotence that deludes humankind into thinking that they have a means at hand, through magic and religion, to influence the unexplainable. Both prove to be very doubtful means because they doubly push the human being into a childlike dependence. For one, the priests, as authorities in dealings with higher powers, impose themselves as rulers upon humanity, and for the other, humanity subjugates itself to a bundle of projections that condense into a comprehension of God and Devil.

Under pressure from the competition with ancient philosophy, the priests developed a pseudo-science–dogmatism. However, with the arguments arising from the enlightenment it lost its credibility. This weakened the power of religions and churches, but the basic spiritual needs of the people continue to remain unsatisfied.

Religions that point to an afterlife are being replaced by secular oriented ideologies that do, however, arise from the unsatisfied needs for security and meaning. Therefore ideologies take on the mantle of religions70 and have, for many people, the same order of place in their value system.

From the viewpoint of psychoanalysis, religions and ideologies are seen as infantile regression; i.e., as a relapse into thought and behavior patterns, enforced through unrecognized and unresolved early childhood traumas. The evangelist Matthew, with flair, gives an expression of this circularity when he attributes to Christ the demand: "If you do not turn back and become like little children again, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."71

As current happenings plainly show, religions and ideologies harbor, because of their neurotic nature, an always dangerous potential for irrationality and readiness for the use of violence. It must be our task to develop an educational system and a cultural form that will not allow the crises of the narcissistic offense and the Oedipal conflict to become traumas, but to fashion them into an impetus for a further development of the mind. This is meant, when the pedagogue and psychologist Gustav Wyneken (1875-1964) demands, when he paraphrases the quoted evangelists demand upon the people: "If you will not stop to behave like little children, you will never build the kingdom of humanity."72

Vienna, May 21, 1994.


 End Notes and Commentaries:

1 Karl Marx: Kritik der Hegelschen Rechtsphilosophie; Einleitung (1844). In: Iring Fetscher (Hg.): Karl Marx - Friedrich Engels; Studienausgabe in 4 Bänden. Bd 1: Philosophie. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer 1971. S. 17

2 Peter L. Berger, Brigitte Berger: Wir und die Gesellschaft; Eine Einführung in die Soziologie - entwickelt an der Alltagserfahrung. Reinbek: Rowohlt 1977. S. 258/259.

3 Karl Marx: Kritik, a.a.O. S. 18.

4 Immanuel Kant: Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist Aufklärung? In: Karl Vorländer: Philosophie der Neuzeit; Die Aufklärung. Reinbek: Rowohlt 1969. S. 246. (=Geschichte der Philosophie V. Hervorhebungen im Original).

5 The following three points are a condensed account of the relevant elaborations in: Leszek Kolakowski: Die Gegenwärtigkeit des Mythos (Obecnosc mitu, 1972). München, Zürich: Piper 1984. S. 14-16.

6 „Sartre calls himself the representative of 'atheistic existentialism.' If there is no God, his argument goes, then man is also not created by God, but he exists, without his manner being predetermined ... Since there is no higher being above man, man is free and, consequently, alone responsible for his actions. Since God does not exist, there are no absolute values upon which man can fall back. Man stands alone, he finds no support outside his world, no justification, no excuse. ... Sartre’s atheistic and value-free philosophy had necessarily come to the conclusion that this, our world, and human life itself are without meaning, and totally superfluous." (Josef Theisen: Geschichte der französischen Literatur. Stuttgart u.a.: Kohlhammer 31971. S. 363/364. Hervorhebungen im Original.)

7 Leszek Kolakowski: Die Gegenwärtigkeit des Mythos, a.a.O. S. 104. Hervorhebungen im Original.

8 Sigmund Freud derived this definition from the youth Narkissos from Greek mythology. Narkissos so much fell in love with his own reflection, that he no longer recognized the world around him, and particularly the loving sighs of the nymph Echo who desired him.

9 „...every human being carries from his past experiences as a child, when he was still one with the mother in the womb, and postpartum, when still in spiritual experience unseparated from the first related person, this feeling of narcissistic harmony and omnipotence." (Sigrun Roßmanith: Religion als Forschungsgegenstand der Tiefenpsychologie, in: der freidenker 3/91. S. 7.)

10 Sigrun Roßmanith: Religion als Forschungsgegenstand, ibid. The notions of a paradise or golden age in a distant past, and the utopia of a harmonious society and state-order originate with narcissism.

11 Sigmund Freud reported in 1930, that this designation originated with his friend Romain Rolland. "I sent him a small paper in which I treated religion as an illusion, and he ... regretted that I had not respected the actual source of religion. This is a special feeling that never really left him himself, and which he found confirmed by many others and might assume in millions of people. A feeling that he would like to call a sensation of eternity, a feeling as of something unlimited, without barriers, ‘oceanic’ so to speak." (Sigmund Freud: Das Unbehagen in der Kultur. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer 1972. S. 65, auch Anm. 1 dortselbst.)

12 So the title of a trilogy novel from Manés Sperber (1905 - 1984) from the years 1949 to 1951.

13 The legendary King Oidipous, Latinized Oedipus, of Thebes killed his father Laios und married his mother Iokaste. To be sure, these deeds of Oedipus were not such deeds after which the complex was named because he, as an abandoned child, did not even know his parents. Since Freud saw the core of the so-called Oedipus conflict in that the son unwittingly wishes to eliminate the father so that the son can take the father’s place with the mother, he chose, on account of the superficial analogy of the deeds of Oedipus with the presumed subconscious wishes of the son, the designation "Oedipus complex" or "Oedipal conflict."

14 With repression psychoanalysis designates a process in which the ego; i.e., an instance of the psyche, that is responsible for directing human impulses and adjusting them to the conditions of the natural and societal surroundings, and separating those drives and contents of the conscious that seem to endanger the success of such adjustments and relegating them to the unconscious, the id. The ego, of course, is subsequently forced to resist the continuing attempts of the id to return these impulses to the conscious in order to try and satisfy them. The ego relieves this pressure by converting the repressed drives into wish-fulfilling fantasies that may appear in the form of day-dreams up to poetic and mythological constructions, making a partial and benign satisfaction possible.

15 The nature of identification consists in that the ego approaches a semblance of a loved and honored or a hated and feared person to the extent, that it not longer senses it as a foreign object, residing outside the ego. In the process of identification, the ego experiences a broadening in the good as well as in the bad. This identification expresses itself when a human being adopts mannerisms, movements, habits of language and other items from a person that serves as an identification object for him.

16 A well observed example of the effect of the superego on the spiritual sensitivity is presented in the following scene from the New Testament: „Two men walked up to the temple to pray; one a pharisee, the other a publican. Der pharisee stood and began to pray the following: 'Oh God, I thank you that I am not as the other people, extortionists, unjust, adulterers, or even like this publican. I fast twice the week, and I give tithes from all I earn.’ The publican, however, who stood some distance apart, would not even raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast repeatedly and spoke: ‘Oh God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’" (Luke 18, 10-13.)

17 In polytheistic religions, the projection of the superego towards heaven takes on the shapes of the Erinnyes or Furies. In monotheistic religions the superego takes on the qualities of the omnipresence and omniscience of God.

18 „Indeed, the analytic experience ... has shown quite clearly that anybody who is looked upon as an elder, as one in a position of superior wisdom, authority or abilities, unconsciously represents a parent-figure. ... The president of a republic is unconsciously seen as a father, just as God or a dictator or a God-anointed King or an empirical demigod is seen as a father figure." (Charles Brenner: Grundzüge der Psychoanalyse [An Elementary Textbook of Psychoanalysis, 1955]. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer 1976. S. 196.) The designation "father of the people" for a top-politician does not come out of nowhere.

19 Bertrand Russell: Warum ich kein Christ bin (Why I am not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects, 1957). Reinbek: Rowohlt 1968. S. 81.

20 Charles Brenner: Grundzüge der Psychoanalyse, a.a.O. S. 55.

21 „The function of the mythical consciousness is first and foremost to raise a feeling of commitment, the consciousness of indebtedness towards being. ... The word ‘Mythos’ is usually also used as a designation of a totally contrary consciousness, the consciousness of the creditor. These are myths, that are directed predominantly towards a future utopia, that are to satisfy unfulfilled demands, myths that predominantly codify claims, but not obligations ..." (Leszek Kolakowski: Die Gegenwärtigkeit des Mythos, a.a.O. S. 121. Hervorhebungen im Original.)

22 How strong is the attraction of mythical thinking even in profane areas can be seen in the successes of the mass media that attribute complicated and multi-layered developments in politics and the economy to the enmity of leading personalities in their battle for power and influence, and thereby offer explanatory analogies that are, while comprehensible, only peripherally connected to reality.

23 So it remains easier to win a majority for the reinstatement of the death penalty as for an increase in state funding for the expansion of rehabilitation programs for the fringe groups of society.

24 Who, for example, has not tried to coax his car or his computer into doing what one wants it to do? Also, the custom to wish someone luck, success, and good health is a product of magical thinking.

25 „The Mythos, similar to science, makes the demand to explain the world, to make phenomena understandable. Similar to science, human beings wish to have a means at hand with which they can influence the universe." (Pierre Grimal: Mythen der Völker (Mythologies, 1963). Bd 1. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer 1977. S. 12.)

26 Still into the present time, occasions of this kind, as for example Corpus Christy processions or inaugural ceremonies for public buildings, present an opportunity for the public to practice religion, and offer the connected show-character. Also regular worship are forms of group-prayer.

27 Ridiculing of the often unintelligible prayer formulas clearly show their magical character in popular belief. So was the consecration formula of the Catholic Mass-celebration "hoc es corpus Christi" (this is the body of Christ) changed into the magic formula "hocus-pocus."

28 In Europe, personal prayer only spread generally with the event of Protestantism, a religion of individual relationships between man and God, that developed from the breakup of the strict societal bonds at the end of the middle age and in the early new age.

29 Examples for this are the well known prayers of the Catholic religion such as the creed, the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, and the rosary, that are said on various occasions.

30 The repeating of a number of formal prayers is used indeed in the Catholic religion as a penance. In Indian religions and religions under Indian influence the steady repetition of "Mantras" is accorded a similar significance. (Peter Stiegnitz: Sekten und Freikirchen; Religiöse Antworten auf psychologische Fragen und Bedürfnisse? Wien: hpt-Verlag 1989. S. 43.)

31 The so-called psycho-boom has popularized a large number of techniques of autosuggestion and physical exercises that can show the same effects even in religiously unattached people, as long as they belief in their effectiveness. Seen under this angle of view, prayers can also be grouped into this category of psych-physical techniques.

32 In many fairy-tales and sagas forgotten magic formulas, and the dangers that can arise from that form the story-center. One is reminded of the tale of the sorcerers apprentice who was unable to control the spirits he had conjured up.

33 Time and again we find that the tenet of Hell in Catholicism is not deadwood. Here are two examples: In the sixties George Panneton authored a two-volume work about heaven and hell, in which he emphasized, with print-permission by the Bishop: "There is a Hell, and she is eternal. Demons and the damned dwell there for eternity." (Georges Panneton: Himmel oder Hölle. Innsbruck u.a.: Tyrolia Verlag 2 Bde 1961-1963. Bd 2: Die Hölle. S. 49.) The new Catechism also emphasizes: "The church’s teaching says that there is a hell, and that it lasts for eternity. The souls of those who die in mortal sin go to the underworld immediately after death, where they suffer the tortures of Hell, the ‘eternal fire’." (Katechismus der katholischen Kirche. München, Wien: Oldenbourg u.a. 1993. Art. 1035.) Also Islam is no stranger to the image of the hell-fires. The Koran has many sections where reference is made to it, for example: "On that day the infidels are placed before the hell-fire and they will be told: ‘has it now not come to pass?’ and they will answer: ‘by our Lord! Yes.’ And Allah will say: ‘So now taste the penalty for having been infidels.’" (46. Sure, Al Ahkaf, 35.)

34 The Austria-born Cardinal Alfons Stickler found clear words, about a year ago, as he voiced during an interview: "I have learned that, in civil as well as church penal law, the purpose of the penalty is threefold: atonement for what one has done against the law, reform, and deterrence. Today the sense of atonement is completely forgotten, and that is also one of the reasons why now so often capital punishment is strictly rejected. ... Further proof for the God-given power of the temporal state authorities to inflict capital punishment originate from Paul in his Roman letters, and from Peter in his first letter. ... The church authorities do not have these discretionary powers–she recoils from the blood; yes, she has to beg for mercy for those convicted to die. But this does not negate the God-given powers of the temporal authorities." [Alfred Worm: „... soll mit dem Schwert getötet werden ..."; Kurienkardinal Alfons M. Stickler über die Todesstrafe, den Gehorsam, Pater Udo Fischer und Bischof Kurt Krenn, in: profil 19/93 (10.5.1993) S. 24.]

35 „This is a mechanism through which, from a pair of ambivalent positions, one for example hatred, is relegated to the unconscious and is kept there through an over-emphasis of the other–in our example through over-emphasis of love. ... If the ego for one reason or another fears the impulse to hate, or more precisely, if it fears the impulses connected with hatred, then the defense mechanism of forming a reaction takes over and puts on the brakes and keeps holding it back so that the position of love is emphasized and enforced. If it is about fear of the impulse to love, the opposite will happen." (Charles Brenner: Grundzüge der Psychoanalyse, a.a.O. S. 85.)

36 Erwin Bartosch: Der Inquisitor und sein Ketzer; Die Verschränkung von Religion und Sadomasochismus. In: Anton Szanya (Hg.): Religion auf der Couch; Von den unbewußten Wurzeln himmlischer Mächte. Wien. Picus Verlag 1993. S. 41.

37 1 Ko 15, 12-20.

38 Christian Morgenstern: Die unmögliche Tatsache. In: Das Buch der Gedichte; Deutsche Lyrik von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart. Gütersloh: Bertelsmann 1963. S. 198.

39 2 Ko 10, 5-6.

40 Karl Heussi: Kompendium der Kirchengeschichte. Tübingen: Mohr 131971. § 17e. The alated words: "credo quia absurdum est"–I believe it because it is nonsensical–originated in this form not from Tertullian but from an uncertain source. However, it fits the circumstances.

41 Gal 1, 9.

42 2 Pe 2, 12.

43 The most significant of these critics were the philosophers Kelsos in the second, and Porphyrios in the third century.

44 Karl Heussi: Kompendium der Kirchengeschichte, a.a.O. § 25k.

45 In the framework of this symbiosis, the spiritual powers remains the stronger for as long as their grip on the conscience of human beings is not weakened. Because it is then in the priesthood’s hands to remove the legitimization of the temporal powers in the eyes of the people, should those powers proof to become obstinate.

46 Leszek Kolakowski: Die Gegenwärtigkeit des Mythos, a.a.O. S. 15.

47 An example of the demeaning relations of science with the Mythos as viewed through the distorted focus of the critique of dogmatism is offered by Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate for physics, in his introduction to his book about the origin of the universe. There he writes: "We find an explanation for the origin of the universe in the ‘younger Edda’ ... In the beginning, it says there, there was nothing. 'There was no earth below, no sky above, bottomless void, no grass anywhere.’ North and south of the nothingness there spread icy and fiery worlds, the homes of Nebelheim [ice-nebula] and Muspellsheim [hot mash]. The heat radiating from Muspellheim caused the ice of Nebelheim to melt, and from the falling drops the giant Ymir emerged. From what did Ymir feed? Aside from him , apparently, there was a cow named Audhumla. An from what did she feed? Now, there were also stones of salt. The Mythos progresses in this manner. I do not wish to hurt anybody’s religious sentiments, not even that of the Vikings, but I surmise that we are not presented with a particularly satisfactory picture of the origin of the universe here." (Steven Weinberg: Die ersten drei Minuten; Der Ursprung des Universums. München, Zürich: Piper 1977. S. 17.)

48 Heinrich Heine: Zur Geschichte der Religion und Philosophie in Deutschland. In: Heinrich Heine: Sämtliche Schriften in 12 Bänden. Bd 5: Schriften 1831 - 1837. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp 1981. S. 590/591.

49 Relevant details are from: Josef Rattner: Tiefenpsychologie und Religion. Ismaning: Hueber 1987. S. 194-196.

50 the Greek word "k o s m o V " signifies as much as "order."

51 An expression of this is the hymn: „Wohin soll ich mich wenden, wenn Gram und Schmerz mich drücken? Wem künd' ich mein Entzücken, wenn freudig pocht mein Herz? Zu Dir, zu Dir, o Vater, komm' ich in Freud' und Leiden. Du sendest ja die Freuden, Du heilest jeden Schmerz." [...where shall I turn when grief and pain oppress me? To whom do I tell my delight when my heart beats with joy? To you, to you o father, do I come in joy and sorrow. You send the pleasures, you heal the pain] (Cantate - orate; Lieder- und Gebetbuch für katholische Mittelschüler. Linz: Veritas Verlag 1952. S. 51/52.)

52 „When we speak of the ego-object, we mean by that, that a person later will experience something other than a part of the own self. It will be exactly that part, the development and consolidation of which is presently pending. For the child in this state, there are not two persons but only one, and that is ‘it itself.’ The part the mother contributes is included in its psychic experiences. That part we call the ego-object." (Erwin Bartosch: Der Inquisitor und sein Ketzer, a.a.O. S. 33/34.)

53 „That means that, depending on the circumstances, feelings of love and just as intensive feelings of hatred alternate with each other. ... This ... ambivalence is usually, to some extent, present throughout the whole of life, but usually it is considerably less strongly developed in later childhood ..., and in adolescence and in adult life it is still weaker. It must be admitted, however, that the decline of the ambivalence is often more apparent than real. The conscious feelings opposite the object often only mirror one half of the ambivalence, while the other half remains captive within the subconscious, although it exercises a strong influence on the psychic life of the individual. (Charles Brenner: Grundzüge der Psychoanalyse, a.a.O. S. 99.)

54 Although all these religions may claim that God’s antagonist likewise lives only through His grace and, at the end of time, will be cast down, it is nevertheless an undeniable fact that the evil and pain in the world is manifest and needs constant explanations as to why it exists under a benevolent God, while the final victory of God is presented only as a hope for the distant future.

55 Die diesbezüglichen Ausführungen folgen [for further details see]: Josef Rattner: Tiefenpsychologie und Religion, a.a.O. S. 202-204.

56 It is significant to note that the name of the devil in the Christian religion is Lucifer which is derived from the Latin "lucifer" or "Lichtträger."

57Einzelheiten dazu in [details to that are given in]: Elisabeth Frenzel: Stoffe der Weltliteratur; Ein Lexikon dichtungsgeschichtlicher Längsschnitte. Stuttgart: Kröner 31970. S. 657-661. (Stichwort „Satan")

58 In the novel "Der Meister und Margarita [the Master and Margarita]" by Michail Bulgakow (1891 - 1940) the devil appears in the shape of Professors Voland in Moscow of the thirties, where he humbles the proud, punishes the bad, and rewards the meek.

59 Michail Bulgakow: Der Meister und Margarita. München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag 21980. S. 353/354.

60 Katechismus der katholischen Kirche [Catechism of the Catholic Church], a.a.O. Art. 391-395.

61 Zitiert bei [quoted by]: Patrizia Giampieri-Deutsch: Die Psychoanalyse des Teufels. In: Anton Szanya (Hg.): Religion auf der Couch, a.a.O. S. 91.

62 Sigrun Roßmanith: Religion als Forschungsgegenstand, a.a.O. S. 8. About these differences, Rossmanith elaborates as follows: „Concerning narcissism, that functions somewhat as a battery of the natural drives and is responsible for human beings constantly expanding their horizons and heading for higher goals, one can say that this God can be projected as a leader-figure. If man attributes to God even higher qualities; i.e., qualities above man, then this falls away with an ideological orientation because there man creates a system for perfection and for a solution of problems, and does not then recognize a higher quality, above himself, be it fate or God, as existing. ... Ideologies insist on the greatness of the self in humans and try to awaken it, whereas in monotheistic religions the individual is urged to subordinate himself under God as the idealized parent-image."

63 Friedrich Engels an Paul Lafargue. In: Marx - Engels Gesamtausgabe. Berlin: Dietz 1958 ff. Bd 38. S. 101.

64 Vladimir I. Lenin: Drei Quellen und drei Bestandteile des Marxismus. In: Vladimir I. Lenin: Ausgewählte Werke in drei Bänden. Bd 1. Berlin: Dietz 1976. S. 77.

65 Angelica Balabanoff: Sozialismus als Weltanschauung. In: Sozialismus und persönliche Lebensgestaltung; Texte aus der Zwischenkriegszeit. Wien: Junius Verlag 1981. S. 45.

66 Angelica Balabanoff: Sozialismus als Weltanschauung, ebenda.

67 Marx–Engels Gesamtausgabe. Berlin: Dietz 1958 ff. Bd 4. S V (Vorwort). That even critical minds succumb to mythical thinking is seen in the example of Herbert Marcuse (1898 - 1979), who, even in the sixties, wrote about the proletariat: „When they band together and take to the streets, without arms, without protection, to demand the most basic citizens’ rights, they know that they face dogs, stones and bombs, prison, concentration camps, and even death. Their strength stands behind each political demonstration for the victims of law and order. The fact they start to refuse to participate in that game can be the fact that are marking the beginning of the end of an era." [Herbert Marcuse: Der eindimensionale Mensch; Studien zur Ideologie der fortgeschrittenen Industriegesellschaft (The One-Dimensional Man; Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society, 1967). Darmstadt, Neuwied: Luchterhand 201985. S. 267.]

68 Günter Grass: Aus dem Tagebuch einer Schnecke [from the diary of a snail]. Darmstadt, Neuwied: Luchterhand 1972. S. 52.

69 Der Standard, 19.1.1990.

70 If processions with pictures of gods or holy people or icons from Marx to Mao march through the streets makes just as little difference from the viewpoint of depth-psychology, as the fact that people raise books to a fetish, be they the Bible, Koran, or the thoughts of a great chairman, and believe to find truth in these books alone.

71 Mat 18,3

72 Gustav Wyneken: Abschied vom Christentum [a farewell to Christendom]; Ein Nichtchrist befragt die Religionswissenschaft. Reinbek: Rowohlt 1970. S. 259

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