Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Random Thought Thursday

Today's quote comes from Sigmund Freud.

First off let me say I'm no expert. I don't have a degree or anything. I haven't read any of Freud's work. Second, I respect his contribution in the area of psychology/psychiatry. Third, I know something of his approach because of many conversations I've had over the years with psychologists/psychiatrists who DO know about Freud. Fourth, I've read stuff by Carl Jung (with whom I do find a connection.)

There's always been something about Freud that kind of disturbed me. Something that didn't feel quite right. Now I don't know if it's the man himself and/or his take on the human mind, the why/how we behave the way we do, but he always just sort of gave me the shivers.

Then, not too long ago, I came across this quote and I understood why.

The principal task of civilization, its actual raison d'etre, (reason for existence) is to defend us against nature.
Now I also have to take into account the era, the time in which he lived. But still....
No WONDER I sometimes find myself at odds with civilization. I have always felt much more comfortable recognizing that I am a part of nature, not separate from it, not something that needs to be protected from it. By his reasoning am I to assume wars are defending us against nature? Am I to assume that our consumeristic, throw away civilization is defending us against nature? The atomic bomb is defending us against nature?

I say civilization has not defended us against nature but has, and is, slowly destroying nature and in the process civilization is destroying us.

If that quote truly reflects how Freud felt about nature, then I'd say he was a sick puppy.

What do you think the purpose of civilization is, how do you feel about nature and your place within it?


  1. I *totally* agree with your commenst about Freud. Carl Jung resonates deeply with me; Freud is, as you say, a sick puppy! He must have lived a tormented life, projecting those torments onto everything else. Perhaps the nature he's talking about is our own inner nature - either way, to have to *defend* ourselves against inner nature or external nature is not something I can believe in. This quote reminds me of why I *much* prefer the brilliance of Jung!

  2. What a great point Bish! And I completely agree about Jung making much more sense, even if he is a little out there too sometimes ...

  3. Civilization is our means to opt out of evolution, or at least change the rules that define "fittest."

    Many things about civilization suck, but without it - no science, no books, no internet. Not even any specialist storytellers, healers, farmers, or potters. Civilization is what happens when everybody stops doing everything necessary for a rewarding and fulfilling life and certain people develop one subset of skills at the expense of others.

  4. What's the purpose of civilization? Not much for heavy questions, huh? :) I think the purpose of civilization is to defend us against bedlam, to borrow F's phrasing. It's the "no man is an island" stuff. We're created to be social. If there are two people, they WILL form a society. The more people, the more of a behemoth it becomes.

    Freud always creeped me out, too. But they do say, and my daughter the psych major agrees, that psychologists are often slightly askew.

  5. I see what you are both saying. I feel more at home in nature, however, I also recognize that I'm not as in as much "danger" as those who have gone before me. There have been times when I've been in nature "alone" and I couldn't go very far because I was afraid of what might lie further in forest. I feel at home in nature, but when the protection of others and society are taken away . . . I've been petrified, happy to returen to safety. Freud freaks me out a little too, but at the same time, I can understand some of the "fear" of nature as well.

    However, that doesn't mean that Freud wasn't a sick puppy. ;0)

    Great post! I love how you make me think!!!

    You RaWk, gilr!


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!