Miserable sinner and the false god – 3

The embodiment of the false god happens in all sorts of institutions – not just the church and that includes in psychoanalysis itself. This is where one becomes merged with the embodied god and so there is no space for creative capacity. Bion called this state of mind the living relic of a primitive catastrophe – it stems from a traumatic event that has become fossilized, and the trauma was a wound to the narcissistic system probably early in life.

What happens is that the thinking process has taken a back seat and the embodied thoughts of the god have been substituted.  The person then operates in submissive identification with the god. This, incidentally is why ‘following the will of God’ can be problematic – is it the true God or a false god. Through this identification the thoughts and thinking processes of the god are understood and yet there is always distortion.

For example Wilfred Bion was once at a group relations conference, and he kept hearing speakers saying ‘Bion said …’ and ‘Bion did not think …’ etc. He turned to a colleague and said ‘This chap Bion sounds as though he was an interesting person.’ He had become ‘a god’.

The main point is that our creativity becomes crushed through such an embodiment – though submission is usually followed by rebellion, usually at the point when we try to break free from the narcissistic bondage. You can find this often in people who perhaps through a convent or monastic education have been submissive, but grow to hate the submissive act. While it is being submissive that is hated, this, too, gets projected out onto the object – sometimes the church or Jesus or god. But here again the trying to break free has been distorted. The liberation is in the insight of what has happened in one’s own psyche. Why did I so readily submit to this, and how can I understand it enough to dig deep and really free myself. We know if there is submission when we attach words like ‘ought’, ‘driven’ ‘compelled’ and so on. The false god ‘demands’ and says ‘do it this way’ and so on.

The true disciple pursues their creativity and recognizes how they are in themselves in relationship with the true God; this is about respect and acceptance of the self or as Jung would spell it the Self with a capital. Here we follow our conscience respecting the Absolute which we share with each other, and the whole of creation. Following our conscience then benefits not just me (as in the closed miserable sinner syndrome), but the other person too and indeed the world.