Final Paper Cooksey - Maureen Muller English 5550 Cooksey...

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Maureen Muller English 5550 April 27, 2010 Cooksey The God Problem “I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this, but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.” -Albert Einstein The tendency of a creative or scientific genius to assess God in terms of the familiar methods of his own intellect creates a crisis of the conscious. Vincent VanGogh, Mozart, Virginia Woolfe, Einstein – all of these great minds pondered the existence of God. For some of them, it led to suicide, depression alcoholism. For the two others, it led to unanswered questions that plagued them mercilessly throughout their later lives and none would express a resolution. Still approaching the question of god seems to be a statistical certainty, as does the inherent confusion in the question. So why ask? Carl Jung believed that a need of God was a basic human instinct. Voltaire wrote “If God did not exist, we would have invented him.” The problem of God seems to lie inherently in the way an individual approaches the idea of God. Hence, the resolution – if there is one to be found – lies in the particular method of the approach. Terry Johnson and Yehuda Amichai, in their respective works Hysteria and The Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amaihai describe spiritual crisis’ surrounding the existence of God and how God’s
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existence relates to the contradicts foundations of morality and philosophy in the minds of scientists and artists. The humorous and light hearted tone of Johnson’s work poorly masks the deep undercurrents of the Freudian spiritual crisis that the playwright describes. Johnson’s symbolism within the work illustrates his awareness of Freud’s spiritual crisis and his interpretation of that crisis. Han Kung described this Freudian God Crisis in his nonfiction text Freud and the Problem of God. Kung asserts that Freud’s professional mind was one of science, and it conceived a Freudian approach to the idea of God that was inherently atheist in its nature. Thompson’s message in the metaphors he includes in the play follow Kung’s argument that, while Freud’s scientific mode of thought served him well in his professional life, this ideology proved problematic in the latter weeks before his death when he approached the question of God from a dying man’s perspective. The cancer had rotted through the skin on Freud’s cheeks and the interior of his mouth was exposed to the elements. He was under a constant stream of morphine to numb the searing pain. Freud was pensive and withdrawn. It was 1939, there was a war and Freudian philosophy seemed to fade out of the limelight of a culture that was in crisis. Under these conditions, even the most atheist and scientific human beings would logically
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Final Paper Cooksey - Maureen Muller English 5550 Cooksey...

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