Well, what are his ideas? He begins bynsaying that liberals “do not like psychoanalysis”n(his emphasis). Farther alongnin the article he seems to think it is conservativesnwho “do not like” psychoanalysis,nbecause they confuse the “warpednand politicized” views of R. D. Laing andnhis kind with psychoanalysis. He speaksnwith finality about the “reality principle”nas being at the core of psychoanalyticntreatment. Presumably the patients arensuffering from a failure to perceive thenreal nature of the world, and it is psychoanalysisnwhich will reveal it to them.nAnd it will do that by methods nowherenspecified or detailed except in the conclavesnof certain self-ordained authorities,nby the use of notions taken fromnGreek mythology, pure fortuitousnessnor opportunism, such as “transference,”nby nothing demonstrable zsfact, bynmystagogic techniques, by the formalizationnof purely speculative ideas. I usednto think of the “core” of psychoanalysis,nwhether Jungian or Freudian, as mythologynand, in my view, the whole phenomenonnof Freudianism is not sciencenat all, but a literary and imaginative matrixnfor the fancies of novelists and sociologistsnrather than a basis for the researchnof physical scientists. I like tonkeep in mind Shestov’s dictum that “thendesire to simplify what is complex nevernleads to anything good.” What is morencomplex than man?nThe much-discussed novel The WhitenHotel illustrates my idea. It is a blurrednmixture of Freudian intuition, metaphysicalnadventurism, questionable history,nand “poetic” imaginings. It no moren”explains” nazis and communists thannHannah Arendt’s “banality of evil” did.nWhy was the novel taken seriously bynthe reviewers? Maybe because of thengeneral vogue of Freud among variousnelevations of the brow in America, thenunseriousness of modem literati, andnthe confiision of the present generation,nwhich is so baflOing and frustrating thatnonly some kind of myth can providensurcease.nFreud once said that fiis theories shouldnnot be used for therapy. Dr. Peters, however,ntakes the curative value of psychoanalysisnas unquestionable. He knowsnwhat reality is. I speak only for myselfnwhen I say that psychoanalysis as ^eatmentnis as scientific as astrology. I havenpersonally known a number of peoplenwho have resorted to psychoanalysis.nThey are all from what passes for theneducated class. These “analysands” allnhave at least one thing in common: theynare hopelessly self-centered and quitenvocal about their experience on thencouch. Far from liberating thefr individuality,nas Dr. Peters claims, the sessionsnDr. Peters RepliesnMr. Clifton raises an interesting challengento my position by discussing thengnostic nature of Marxist ideology; unfortunately,nhe misinterprets the naturenof psychoanalysis in judging it also to bengnostic. The major argument made bynMr. Clifton rests upon my description ofnFreudian man as always struggling to expandnhis conscious ego and to come tonterms with his biological urges, whichnhe sees as proof of gnosis. Since gnosis isncentral to the argument, it is necessarynto briefly examine the concept, which Indo below, following Alain Besan^on’snschema.nThe central themes of gnostic sectsnare: 1) an acute sense of the fellen statenof the world and the self, and a revoltnagainst that condition; 2) a perceptionnthat good and evil exist as irreconcilablenelements, now mingled in a harmfulnway; 3) the very feet of our revoltnagainst evil proves our primal associationnwith good, which opposes evU. Thenelements of good, which are everywherenimprisoned in evil, can and will escapenand return to the primal good. The electncan perform the act of discriminationnand separation of good and evil withinnthemselves by the choice of personalnsalvation. The elect can then redeem thenrest of the imprisoned good in the world.nAccording to the gnostics, then, evil wasnexterior to man, and man could be re­nnntended to make the patients dependentnon a received set of notions. If manynsuch people are “creative,” it is only becausenthey were bom with such propensities.nThe difference between thosenwho have had psychoanalysis and thosenwho have only read about it is basic tonthis discussion. The former are very few;nthe latter include almost everyone whonis literate. How much of what these peoplenhave read in the psychoanalytic literaturenhas influenced tiie modem worldnis not known. I think, for most of thenmodem world, it has had not much influencenat all.ndeemed to the state of primal good. Anmodem example is that Marxists see allnhuman fellings as due to bourgeois cormption.nPsychoanalysis believes, on thenother hand, that both good and evil arenpart of man’s biological nature and thatnman must strive to know this nature asnfiiUy as possible. However, consciousnessnwill not conquer all; Freud believednthat the most complete analysis onlynscratches the surface.nGnostic certainties are not subject tonquestion or revision; the elect know. Innthe Marxist gnosis “revisionism” is thengreatest sin. Psychoanalysis is, however,nin constant theoretical ferment. Freudnmade three major theoretical revisions,nand many more have been made sincenhis death. Psychoanalysts know thatnthey do not know, and that, just as Newtoniannphysics were superseded, Freudianntheories will also be superseded. Farnfrom being simply reductionistic, psychoanalystsnstrongly believe that tmthnas well as contentment can be achievednthrough art, myth, and faith. Among thenmost important criteria for the successnof treatment is the individual’s ability tonfind pleasure and meaning in such areasnof life. To place psychoanalysis in thensame category as est or Maslow is wildlyninappropriate. The goal for psychoanalyticntreatment is “to love and to work,”nas Freud stated. To love means to sharenwith, and to sacrifice for, others. Tonwork means to delay gratification, tonJuly 1983n