Sunday, January 23, 2011

Freud and Columbus

There are a lot of similarities between Freud and Columbus. Both were great and bold explorers who discovered new worlds; Freud the unconscious and Columbus the “New World.” Neither man understood what he had found, both were mistaken about most of the details (Freud’s unconscious was mostly a figment of his fertile imagination, Columbus thought he’d landed in India). Both discovered realms which had actually been discovered by others previously, but of which they and their European cultures were ignorant. Both left their epochal discoveries to posterity, which has had to sort out what’s really there from what was incorrectly imagined to be there. Both are worshiped as heros and reviled as evildoers, perhaps more than they are understood as brilliant, bold and limited men in the context of their times.