Sigmund Freud, Father of the Sexual Revolution - Antithesis of Christian Morality







Sigmund Freud, living in fin de siècle Vienna was  well aware of the dark turn from traditional morality in European civilization since the 18th and 19th century Revolutions. This gave rise to his conceptualization of the "id," (Latin derivative for Freud's German "das Es," or  English "it") as the driving force of human action.


In brief, the id, according to Freud,  is the unorganized part of the personality structure that contains a human's basic, instinctual drives. The id is the only component of personality that is present from birth. The id is the source of our bodily needs, wants, desires, and impulses, particularly our sexual and aggressive drives. The id contains the psychic force that motivates the tendency to seek immediate gratification of any impulse. The id contains the libido, which is the primary source of instinctual force that is unresponsive to the demands of reality. The id acts solely  according to the "pleasure principle."


Freud, himself, describes it thus: "It is the dark, inaccessible part of our personality,... we call it a chaos, a cauldron full of seething excitations.... It is filled with energy reaching it from the instincts, but it has no organization, produces no collective will, but only a striving to bring about the satisfaction of the instinctual needs subject to the observance of the pleasure principle."[i]


Simply said, what Freud is referring to is what St. Paul called the "old man" or "old self,"  that the Christian must overcome:  "...with regard to your former way of life, to put off the old man (self) which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires." Ephesians 4: 22


  In contrast to the "id," Freud posited the "super ego" (das uber ich), to replace the Christian word "conscience" for religious and ethical formation, "The super-ego retains the character of the father, ...and the more rapidly it succumbed to repression (under the influence of [paternal] authority, religious teaching, schooling and reading), the stricter will be the domination of the super-ego over the "ego" (see below) later on—in the form of ... an unconscious sense of guilt."[ii]


For Freud the "Father figure" [God] must be destroyed to release the "id" from its bondage. To do this he invented a whole new myth, the  "Oedipus Complex" to replace the fall recounted in Genesis.


According to Freud, in his seminal 1913 work Totem and Taboo, perhaps as far back as the Ice Age, the primal horde of humans turned on the dominant male who jealously guarded all females including mothers and sisters as his own exclusive sexual partners, thus depriving the  other males fulfillment of  their libidinous desire.  This tyrannical father (Totem) was murdered and then eaten by the resentful young males, his sons, who then possessed all females, including mothers and sisters (Taboo).[iii]

Having removed God from the equation, it is the task of psychoanalysis to allay the inherited feelings of guilt of modern human beings attached to this primal act which is reflected in jealousy of the father figure and desire for incestuous sexual relations.  (Freud, himself was involved in an incestuous relationship with his sister in law, Minna Bernays.)


Freud in his overall theory, included, along with the id and the super ego, a third element called the ego  (das ich) or rational principle, that keeps a balance between the forces of desire and repression in order to maintain civil society. As stated in one of his final works Civilization and its Discontents written in 1929, the need for societal repression of the pleasure principle, especially of sexual desire produces overwhelming discontent.[iv]


This sentiment was shared by his then colleague Carl Jung who had written to Freud in 1910  "...and must we not love evil if we are to break away from the obsession with virtue which makes us sick and forbids the joys of life."[v] “ Jung went on later to state in his  Zur Psychologie der Trinitatslehre,: "In our diagram, Christ and the devil appear as equal and opposite[vi]


While the other two major destructive forces of the modern era, Charles Darwin with his theory of mechanistic evolution, and Karl Marx with his theory of class struggle and socialist revolution, denied Original Sin, it was Freud who turned the doctrine on its head and unleashed the sexual revolution and moral decay  that has overwhelmed Western Civilization today: premarital sex, rampant promiscuity, sodomy, pedophilia, pornography, contraception,  abortion, sex trafficking, homosexual marriage - all promoted as a healthy liberation from patriarchal  oppression i.e., God the Father, "...that Father from whom all fatherhood in heaven and on earth takes its name," Ephesians 3:15).


This sense of patriarchal repression even wormed its way into the bosom of Holy Mother Church. The aggiornnamento, or opening to the modern world, following the Second Vatican Council not only led to a more "democratic" rather than "hierarchical" structure, but to the introduction of psychoanalysis into priestly and religious formation.   The story of how Dr. William  Coulson and his work with the IHM  sisters in California and his  "self directional" psychology based on "sensitivity training" and "encounter group" therapy is well documented. [vii] 300 sisters, nation wide,  left the order within a year and many became active lesbians    Coulson, along with his mentor Carl Rogers and his team also worked with many other religious orders with the same devastating effect.  A devout conservative Jesuit, known for his brilliant writings including an oft quoted catechism, confided to this writer that he, and all the fellow Jesuits of his province were forced by their superiors in the 1970's to undergo psychological evaluation by a Jewish Freudian psychiatrist. He affirmed that it was clearly the worst day of his life. This awakening of the "pleasure principle" with its emphasis on  "libido" among many previously chaste religious is at the root of the mass exodus of both priests and religious sisters seeking secularization, as well as the root cause of present day priestly sexual abuse scandals.



[i]  Sigmund Freud, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis[1933] (Penguin Freud Library 2) p. 105-6


[ii] Freud, The Ego and the Id   (1923)


[iii] Freud, Totem and Taboo,  1913 pp. 141 - 143


[iv]  Sigmund Freud,  Civilization and its Discontents  (New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 1969)


[v]  C.G. Jung Letters, Ed. Gerhard Adler & Aniel Jaffé (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973) p.17


[vi] Carl Gustav Jung Zur Psychologie der Trinitatslehre, “translated in Vol. 11, 2nd ed. Of his Complete Works (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969). p. 174