Having heard vague – and somethings strange – references and ideas relating to Freud throughout high school it was interesting to finally read his book. Although I expected a compilation of essays, or something else of the sort, I was surprised by his simple writing and a rather normal chapter form book. Freud raises some interesting points about religion, and the idea that it is there in order for humans to have something to rely on/give blame to/feel as if something else control their life. He looks at this as if it were a pitiful fault of humanity that they cannot rise above the idea of the “exalted father” who takes care, hears, prayers of, and is the person in charge of everything that happens to us. Freud also takes about the things which threaten to cause suffering in human lives: the internal, as in our own bodies inevitable decay; the external, our world around us, I suppose perhaps similar to Hobbes’ idea of humans beings afraid of being violently and suddenly killed; and the relations with other humans, the idea of this is how other people affect us and cause us suffering, this, according to Freud, is the kind of potential suffering which is ” more painful to us than any other” (44). Freud further talks about how intoxicating substances help alleviate suffering and increase happiness because they blank out suffering and it is interesting that while his ideas are not all right, or even good for us in some cases such as this, he writes so convincingly that it is important, in my opinion, not to get convinced by what he’s saying.
Freud paints an interesting picture of humanity and the things which affects it. While the most memorable things about Freud, from what people say, are his strange ideas this book shows otherwise. While the book is devoid of the usual disturbing Freudian ideas (the popular ideas, the ideas that everyone remembers) it shows another side to his theories and ideas and these are not as controversial seeming or as disturbing as the other ones. Its interesting to see how people choose one aspect of a persons ideology or theories and those become the only generally known, or ‘popular’, ideas from the individual. However when reading further and actually learning about the individual they are more than just one idea or one hypothesis.