Book III Chapter 4
Morality and Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is the psychological technique invented by Sigmund Freud
When Freud talks about how to cure neurotics he is talking as a pro
When he speaks as a philosopher he is an amateur
Two things involved in a choice
One of them is the act of choosing
The other is the psychological raw material that affects the choice.
The psychological raw material can be either normal or abnormal.
Psychoanalysis seeks to remove the abnormal feelings, to give people better raw material to help make choices
Someone may go to war with abnormal feelings and fears. If they are cured of their fears they may choose to be brave, or may choose to be cowardly
“When a neurotic who has a pathological fear of cats picks up a cat for some good reason, it is quite possible that in God’s eyes he has shown more courage than a healthy man may have in winning the V. C.”
Nice people may have done so little with their good upbringing that they are really worse than fiends. What would we have done if we had had the psychological makeup of, say, Himmler?
That is why we are told not to judge. God does not judge the raw material, God judges the choices made. And when he does so there may be surprises.
Every person is either slowly turning themselves into a heavenly thing or a hellish thing.
Christian writers seem very loose at one point (everything is forgivable) and at other times very strict (very severe even about thoughts). But the important thing is not the actions but the choices of the inner self. Some people just look funny when they give in to anger, others can get hundreds of people killed when they are angry. But every temptation given in to, regardless of its effects, will result in a person finding it harder to repent of the evil the next time and perform the right action.