Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “A mistake of this nature was made by Freud”


Rabbi Steinsaltz writes:

It is not difficult to show that man is a rational creature, in which reason determines much of the nature, behavior, and mind.

After accepting the accurate statement that reason is a factor in man’s being, it is very easy to come to the erroneous conclusion that reason is the whole man.

Indeed, in the first stage, the realization that this is not all of man is still remembered, and there are some details that are not included in this generalization.

But afterwards, the habit of thought and the building up of a complete system on one basis only causes one to forget the true nature of things.

After a time, such an artificial construction becomes the real man. 

This way of thinking is common because it is natural and easily understood, but it must be remembered that it is always untrue.

A mistake of this nature was made by Freud.

His method, which began with seeing the great importance of sex in our lives, brought him to the conclusion that man is in essence purely sexual, and all other parts are secondary and unimportant.

And so Freud built a system in which man, his deeds and thoughts, are merely results of the only basis of spirit: sex.

The same happened with Marxism as well.

From the acknowledgment of the importance of economic factors within society, there issued the inevitable mistake in ascribing these factors as the sole basis of all human actions—social life, culture, and thought. 

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz in “Human Holiness:

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