Moses and Monotheism by Sigmund Freud
The Great Man
How is it possible that one single man can develop such extraordinary effectiveness, that he can create out of indifferent individuals and families one people, can stamp this people with its definite character and determine its fate for millenia to come ? Is not such an assumption a retrogression to the manner of thinking that produced creation myths and hero worship, to times in which historical writing exhausted itself in narrating the dates and life histories of certain individuals—sovereigns or conquerors ?
The inclination of modern times tends rather to trace back the events of human history to more hidden, general and impersonal factors—the forcible influence of economic circumstances, changes in food supply, progress in the use of materials and tools, migrations caused by increase in population and change of climate. In these factors individuals play no other part than that of exponents or representatives of mass tendencies which must come to expression and which found that expression as it were by chance in such persons.
These are quite legitimate points of view, but they remind us of a significant discrepancy between the nature of our thinking apparatus and the organization of the world which we are trying to apprehend. Our imperative need for cause and effect is satisfied when each process has one demonstrable cause. In reality, outside us this is hardly so; each event seems to be overdetermined and turns out to be the effect of several converging causes. Intimidated by the countless complications of events research takes the part of one chain of events against another, stipulates contrasts that do not exist and which are created merely through tearing apart more comprehensive relations.
PART I: Moses an Egyptian
PART II: If Moses was an Egyptian
PART III: Moses, his People and Monotheistic Religion
1. The Historical Premisses
2. Latency Period and Tradition
3. The Analogy
2. The People of Israel –
3. The Great Man
4. The Progress in Spirituality
5. Renunciation versus Gratification
6. The Truth in Religion
7. The Return of the Repressed
8. The Historical Truth
9. The Historical Development
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Free download ebook Moses and Monotheism by SIGMUND FREUD Translated From The German Вy KATHERINE JONES (PUBLISHED BY THE HOGARTH PRESS AND THE INSTITUTE OF PSYCHO-ANALYSIS, 1939)