Read another response by Sean Greenberg
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When I see myself through Freudian glasses, my behaviors, fears, and understanding suddenly make sense. I can see how I might have repressed certain feelings which, as an adult, have led me to behave neurotically; and I can see how cultures, in order to deal with social anxieties, create political institutions and cultivate their own forms of art. When I think of the world from a Freudian perspective, everything makes sense. When I read theorists like Adorno and Horkheimer, Freud makes even more sense. But we're told that modern neuroscience has largely done away with Freud's ideas, or at least revised them so drastically that we wouldn't recognize them as belonging to Freud. What do we then do with the body of literature that seemed to clarify so much of our behavior, now that scientists are telling us that it's based on a pseudoscience? In particular, I'm reading Hermann Hesse's novel Demian right now. It mirrors my own experiences of growing up, searching for meaning, and trying to overcome the tether which keeps me bound to a simplistic purity represented by childhood. But the story it tells is based on a Freudian interpretation of growing up. If I'm trying to understand myself better, should I dismiss the relationship between the symbols in the book and my own experiences? Are these relationships a trick of my mind, since I'm hardwired to find meaning anyway? I'd hate to dismiss what seems like a perfect model of my mind, but I really don't want to put stock in a pseudoscience that promises to give me understanding but really just gives me a set of complexes to deal with. Thoughts?