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"The Question of God": Freud Bore His Own Burdens

The Question of God: Sigmund Freud and C. S. Lewis explores the most basic and meaningful questions about life by contrasting the views of Freud and Lewis.

In this clip, a photograph shows Freud standing between his two adult sons. The narrator says, "But there was another category of human misery not created by people, and against which there was no defense." Freud is shown in another photo with his 23-year-old daughter. "In the great flu epidemic that followed in the wake of the First World War, Freud lost his daughter Sophie. She was 23 years old and pregnant with her third child."

An actor playing Freud tells the camera: "It was a senseless, brutal act of fate which has brought this to our Sophie. Tomorrow she will be cremated—our Sunday child. I do not know whether cheerfulness will ever call on us again. My poor wife has been hit too hard." Two more photos appear: one of Sophie and one of Freud's wife. "Indeed, a mother is not to be consoled. And, as I am now discovering, nor a father."

Next, we see a photo of Freud with two of his grandchildren. The narrator says, "Three years later, Sophie's 4-year-old son, Heimle, also died."

The actor playing Freud speaks to the camera again: "He was an enchanting fellow. And I know that I have hardly ever loved a human being, certainly never a child, as much as him. I find this loss very hard to bear. (A short coffin is lowered into the ground). I don't think I have ever experienced such grief. He meant the future to me, and thus, has taken the future away with him. As the deepest of unbelievers, I have no one to accuse, and I know there is no place where one can lodge an accusation."

Psychoanalyst and author Dr. Ana-Maria Rizzuto comments: "He said that there are other people that can be consoled by religion, but he doesn't have that available to him. And, once more, he resorts to the same stance in relation to himself. He is going to hold himself up, going to tolerate the pain. He's going to tolerate the suffering without consolation. And that is what he has accepted. Life is hard. And he will take it."

Elapsed Time: DVD chapter 2, "Civilization and Its Discontents"; 00:40:51 – 00:43:26

Content: Not Rated

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