Maintain your old Siemens Hipath system

The Death of God, the Mission of Modern Psychology, and Me

The question, "Is God Dead?", first entered my consciousness when I was ten or eleven years old. I saw it on the cover of a Life magazine, and it's lingered in my mind ever since. At the time, though, I wasn't too concerned with His possible demise. I had pretty much determined that God lived inside each of us. No matter how hard I tried, I hadn't been able to find God in the lukewarm rituals of the Protestant faith. Instinctively, I knew God wasn't dead, He was just hiding within each of us, waiting to be discovered.

I became interested in Freud in high school and entered college as a psychology major. After several years studying psychology, I underwent an existential crisis: I couldn't bear the thought of my future career as a psychologist consisting of continuously instructing strangers about how to live their lives. It would be too boring to endure. So, I transferred to art school (a Nietzchian choice, I now see). For years, the question languished in the back of my brain: "Is God dead?" Or was the idea only yellow journalism or intellectual coffeehouse chatter? But all this background is bringing me ahead of myself.

It wasn't until last month that I finally learned God's death was first announced by and perhaps directly attributable to the philosopher Frederic Nietzsche. Only now am I beginning to understand the enormous impact of those three little words.

As a newly-renewed psychology major, I am fascinated by Nietzsche's bold declarative question, "Who among philosophers before me has been called a psychologist at all?" (Nietzsche, 16), and how his thoughts anticipate, influence, and in fact, define modern psychology. Therefore, in this essay, I am attempting to interweave the death of God with the mission of contemporary psychology, and to offer some of my own thoughts and experiences. If I have added a distinctly personal spin to the proceedings, forgive me; I believe Nietzsche would have accepted the voice of personal experience.

"Whither is God" he cried. "I shall tell you. We have killed him-you and I. All of us are his murderers" (Nietzsche, 95). Thus, in 1882, Nietzsche created a madman who announced the end of Christian tradition and in so doing, the beginning of modern life. In conclusion, the madman proclaims to the listening crowd: "This deed is still more distant from them than the most distant stars-and yet they have done it themselves" (Nietzsche, 96).

Nietzsche could be mistaken for an atheist, but no man can kill something he doesn't believe in. Even if man could kill God, God is a Supreme Being who possesses the power to resurrect Himself. Nietzsche's point, then, seems to be that mankind cannot destroy God for all eternity, but that men can banish God from their lives. The death of God, serious though it may be, is a metaphor.

The metaphors flooding my mind are these: Man has murdered God, been tried and found guilty, and is currently serving a life sentence without Him. God first threw us out of the Garden, now we're throwing him out of the asphalt jungle. We have replaced original sin for man-made guilt, anxiety, and despair. The reality of God's death may be too much for man, a mere mortal (and now, more mortal than ever), to bear, as also is the lack of meaning in life. But every metaphor and consequence arising from the original theme begs the question, "God is dead, long live . . . ?"

* * * * *

Nietzsche qualifies his metaphor and hints at some answers. First, he states that " . . . the belief in the Christian God has ceased to be believable" (Nietzsche, 447). Second, he describes man's life after God's death:

"Indeed, philosophers and 'free spirits' feel as if a new dawn were shining on us when we receive the tidings that 'the old god is dead'; our heart overflows with gratitude, amazement, anticipation, expectation. At last the horizon appears free again to us, even granted that it is not bright, at last our ships may venture out again, venture out to face any danger; all the daring of the lover of knowledge is permitted again; the sea, our sea, lies open again; perhaps there has never yet been such an 'open sea' (448).

The open sea is our psyche. But before I become too blithe in my interpretation, I must remind myself that the death of God tormented and tortured the philosopher. He sailed on through dark and into mostly uncharted waters to explore the human mind and human behavior-in a word, psychology. With prescient references to various Freudian concepts, Nietzsche discusses sublimation, instinct, repression, guilt, and ego. Still, we may worry that he's left us behind and half-jokingly wonder, "Is there nothing sacred anymore?" Nietzsche would answer, "No. God is dead, long live psychology."

Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi neatly summarizes the connection between Nietzsche, 'the first psychologist,' and modern psychology:

"After all, at least since Nietzsche concluded that God was dead, philosophers and social scientists have been busy demonstrating that existence has no purpose, that chance and impersonal forces rule our fate, and that all values are relative and hence arbitrary. It is true that life has no meaning, if by that we mean a supreme goal built into the fabric of nature and human experience, a goal that is valid for every individual. But it does not follow that life cannot be given meaning" (215).

Just as there was "no psychology before him," it is highly doubtful there could have been any without Nietzsche. Csikszentmihalyi not only accepts Nietzsche's premise that life is meaningless, he also offers this insight on the link between the "first psychologist" and the role of modern psychology:

"If values and institutions no longer provide as supportive a framework as they once did, each person must use whatever tools are available to carve out a meaningful, enjoyable life. One of the most important tools in this quest is psychology" (16).

The highest calling of modern psychology, then, is to recognize our instincts, repressions, guilt, and the like, and to ask, "How can mankind be improved?" Modern psychology accepts God's death, doesn't mourn His passing, and goes on to acknowledge Nietzsche's logical implication of personal responsibility ("All of us are his murderers") and the "superman" who seeks perfect personal transcendence. Modern man can depend on himself and only himself for rewards and satisfaction, and his inner quest requires great discipline. Suffering may still impart meaning to life, as Nietzsche postulated (453), but we are secular victims, not religious martyrs or Greek tragic heroes. Besides, we don't have the time; instant gratification is our goal, if it can be said to be a goal or if we have any goals at all.

* * * * *

The purpose for modern man is to find purpose in his life. He must re-create himself in his (small "h" intended) own image. Attractive and repellent, unprecedented and overwhelming, our task may be more than we can bear. We have our doubts about ourselves and are also suspicious of science; the science of psychology may be more an art than a science. Nietzsche might have predicted our misgivings. He might also have pointed out that, in the end, we are human, all too human, and perhaps we cannot transcend ourselves or science without God.

By looking at the death of God, the mission of modern psychology, and my thoughts about both, I had hoped to reach some definitive conclusions. I have not. I have, however, suggested a number of questions that will continue to interest me as a fledging environmental psychologist. In summary, I have only this to say: If God is truly dead, may He rest in peace.

Sources

Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Portable Nietzsche. Ed. and trans. Walter Kaufmann. 1954. New York: Penguin, 1982.

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York: Harper & Row, 1990.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

For more than two decades, P J Smith has been motivated to write and writing to motivate. Today, she's the motivational word spinner in residence at http://www.wordbrains.com. Her work has also been published in newspapers and magazines, and seen on public television. She's a student of psychology, Reconnective Therapy, Flower of Life -- and life. Let P J inspire and inform your audience. Find out more at http://www.wordbrains.com.

In The News:

'You sold your country out': Judge hits out at Trump's ex-adviser
Tue, 18 Dec 2018 15:58:00 +0000
A judge has delayed the sentencing of Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn after telling him: "You sold your country out."

Bump stocks banned after Las Vegas massacre
Wed, 19 Dec 2018 01:16:00 +0000
Donald Trump has banned a device which allows semi-automatic weapons to fire like machine guns, after they were used in the Las Vegas shooting.

Fighting in key Yemen city dies down after ceasefire
Tue, 18 Dec 2018 07:50:00 +0000
Yemen's key port city of Hodeida was calm on Tuesday, hours after a ceasefire came into effect between government-allied forces and the country's rebels.

Brit arrested over cannabis oil in Bali could face death penalty
Mon, 17 Dec 2018 21:56:00 +0000
A British man who could face the death penalty after he was arrested in Bali for allegedly smuggling cannabis oil has admitted he has been "very stupid".

Seven English-speakers killed by Cameroon military
Tue, 18 Dec 2018 17:12:00 +0000
Seven suspected English-speaking separatist rebels have been killed by the military in Cameroon.



tikatoshop.it

Erfahrungen mit Pallhuber Wein
Agen Bola SBOBET Terpercaya

Travel in comfort and at your leisure with CT Airlink Limousine & Car Service for top quality private transportation and exceptional customer service. We operate Sedans, SUVs & Vans for CT Car Services to covering all Connecticut airports including Car Service from CT to Newark Airport , Mohegan Casino Uncasville CT, Foxwoods Casino Mashantucket CT, Manhattan Cruise Terminal NYC, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal NYC and Bayonne Cruise Terminal NJ. CT Airlink hire licensed and friendly chauffeurs who have in-depth knowledge of the Areas.

9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit

As you will see I the Scripture verse I will... Read More

Relationship Advice: What Bewitched Can Teach Us About Successful Relationships

Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell recently starred in the movie... Read More

Home Improvement or New Construction?

Jesus said, "No one can see the Kingdom of Heaven... Read More

A New Beginning

Sometimes showing up for life can seem like a major... Read More

Change Your Outlook on Change

Make no mistake about it, change is challenging whether it... Read More

The Flow Of Money

The more we worry about money, and who's asking for... Read More

Good News from Mars (Part 1)

Those of us, who are familiar with Apostle Paul's sermon... Read More

5 Shortcuts to a Life of Charity

Charity isn't the easiest virtue to master. And with St.... Read More

Abundance As Spiritual Birthright

I am going to remind of some simple, yet important... Read More

Destroying Strongholds

Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, "Go, assemble... Read More

Significant Examples of the Mother Who Influenced My Life

As Mother's day is upon us, Iam moved to express... Read More

Life According to Green Principles: SoulBest

Green Principles: SoulBestABeing aware here now My path is progressive.... Read More

How Its Always Now

How do we feel the fullness of life itself?We have... Read More

When I Lived in a Haunted House

Now, I will recount in full what happened to me... Read More

Sing Psalms, Let Joy Resound: A Case For Exclusive Psalmody

Ephesians 4:4-6 indicates that Christians ought to practice one single... Read More

Afraid Of Reading The Bible? I Was!

A magnificent source of life insurance and it's FREE. You... Read More

Satan... Im Not Impressed!

One important factor in how we go through life is... Read More

How To Make Your Dreams Come True

You will become as great as your dominant aspiration...If you... Read More

Why Would You Want to be Enlightened?

Yesterday, a marketing guru asked me a question that left... Read More

Wealth Catchers: Discover Wealth and Prosperity with the Angels of Abundance

Did you ever know somebody who easily accumulates wealth? If... Read More

The A To Z I Beheld

I beheld the sky and its wonders and saw AstonishmentI... Read More

Soulstretch: Raising the Bar on Nobility and Nicety

In the make-believe world, too, fiction and films are filled... Read More

Unfinished Business (Part 2)

We know that David did much to stabilize the Kingdom... Read More

Using Psalm 23 as Spiritual Affirmation

INTRODUCTIONSpiritual affirmations are positive, statements of intention, that facilitate manifestation.... Read More

Authentic Spirituality: Pure and Undefiled Religion

Because of the bright lights behind me, the golf balls... Read More