Divine Psychotherapy

Sigmund Freud, Life MagazineThis is a whimsical little essay I once wrote back in 2001 and posted to the AntiBible Project forum on Delphi Forums. I managed to dig it up out of forum archives and am posting it here for everyone’s enjoyment. It contains some scriptural references that might seem obscure, I will add links to explain these, as time allows.

(With all due apologies to Sigmund Freud and the mental-health industry.)

It seems God’s been having a hard time of things, so he looked around for someone to help him out. He set up a little office in heaven, with a few plants, a chair and a couch, and summoned Sigmund Freud. Freud was astonished that God wanted his help, but happily agreed to give it his best effort.

So Freud sat down in his chair, with a pad and pencil. He waited for God to arrive and lay down on the couch. And waited. And waited.

“Are you ready yet?” a voice boomed down to Sigmund.

“Uh, yah, I am,” Sigmund said, looking around. “Vhere are you?”

“I am everywhere.”

“Vell, why dit you put zis couch here?”

“That was to make you comfortable. You usually have a couch, don’t you?”

“Yah, but … oh, very vell. Let’s begin. Tell me about your childhoot.”

“I didn’t have a childhood,” God boomed.

“Pleess tone it down a bit, I can hear you just fine,” Sigmund said.

“Sorry,” God said more softly. “I didn’t have a childhood.”

“Vhat? No childhoot? Surely you remember sometink from vhen you vas young.”

“I was never born, so I could not have a childhood.”

“Hmm. I vonder if you are in denial.”

“Denial?”

“Yah, you zee, ve all hafe a childhoot, a time vhen ve vere young und didn’t know everytink.”

“I have always known everything.”

“Oh? Really? Vhat dit I hafe for lunch, on my sirdieth birsday?”

“Wiener schnitzel.”

Sigmund’s eyebrows shot up. “Very vell, I zee you are vell informet. So, tell me about sinks … vell, when you vere younker.”

“Well, I was alone for a long time. Then I realized I was lonely.”

“How lonk dit it take you to realise dis?”

“Oh, I don’t know, maybe a dozen aeons, give or take a few.”

“How lonk are aeons?”

“An aeon is ten ages long.”

“Und how lonk iss an age?”

“About two thousand years. My years, not your years.”

“Dere is a difference?”

“Yeah. You see, what took billions of your years for me to do, took only a few days, for me.”

“Oh, so you are saying zhat time vas passink slowly for you?”

“Yes.”

“Sounds as if you vere dissociatink.”

“Dissociating?”

“Dat is vhen you are not avare of your surroundinks.”

“Well, I don’t know, I didn’t have any surroundings, back then. There wasn’t anything but me.”

“Now, you said you vere lonely. Go on.”

“Wait a minute. I can’t be lonely.”

“Vhy not?”

“Because being lonely implies being incomplete. But I am God, and therefore am complete.”

“But you sait you vere lonely —”

“All right, if you want to quibble. I was lonely, if by that, you mean that I was the only thing in existence. But not if you mean that I was lonely in that I needed something else. I do not need anything.”

“Yah,” Sigmund said. “Go on.”

“I got this neat idea. I wouldn’t be lonely, if I made things. I made a place to live in. That’s heaven, where we are right now. Pretty nice, eh?”

“Yah, very nice.”

“But I still didn’t have anyone to talk to. So I got another neat idea. I made angels to attend to me.”

“Vait. You sait you vere alone but not lonely. Yet you made zese ‘angels’ to attent you. Vhy?”

“Call it an experiment.”

“Very vell, und vhat dit zese angels do?”

“Oh, well, you know, they just stood around, praising and adoring me.”

“Und you like being praised?”

“Oh yes! And I deserve it, don’t you think?”

“Vhat I sink, does not matter, it’s vhat you sink dat matters.”

“Anyway, I had all of these angels praising and adoring me all the time. Praise praise praise. Adore adore adore. Yadayada. Then I realized something else.”

“Vhat vas dat?”

“They didn’t know any better! That’s all they could do.”

“Zis vas a problem?”

“Of course! Would you want to be swarmed under by a horde of ‘yes’ men all the time?”

“No, but it vas you who sait you vanted to be praised und adored.”

“Yeah, I did. Of course! I deserve it, don’t I?”

“Do you?”

“Sure! Who wouldn’t want to praise me?”

“Zen vhat vas da problem vis all zese angels praisink you?”

“I already told you! It’s so boring being surrounded by ‘yes’ men. They were everywhere. I couldn’t step one foot without running into some angel praising me.”

“But you said you are everyvhere, how could you ‘step’ any place.”

“I did? How silly! I’m God, of course, I can do whatever I want.”

“Zen how come you can’t sit on zis couch?”

“Because I’m God! I’m everywhere! I can’t just ‘put’ myself on a couch! Sheesh, you sure are a nitpicker, Sigmund! Stop splitting hairs over the words I use, and just listen to what I say.”

Sigmund made a note. God continued.

“So here I was, with all these angels praising me. Praising and adoring. I wondered what would happen, if one of them didn’t praise me. What if one of them decided that I was something less than the most perfect being in the universe. Kind of a novel idea, no? So, I picked out the best of them all, and he turned on me. But then, of course, I had to kick him out of heaven. A bunch of the angels saw that and went with him.”

“Vait. You just sait you vanted one of dem to oppose you. Zen one of zem dit just zat … und you kicked him out for it?”

“Absolutely! I can’t have anyone lurking around in heaven who won’t praise and adore me all the time!”

“But you just sait —”

“Never mind what I just said! There you go, splitting hairs again! Anyway, after that, I realized the whole angel thing just wasn’t working. I botched them up beyond repair. So I sat around and thought awhile. That’s when it came to me.”

“Vhat came to you?”

“Mankind! What if I made some more angel-like things, but gave them free will! Then they would praise me, of their own volition!”

“I sought you didn’t vant people praising you any more.”

“What? Are you kidding? Of course I do! I deserve it, don’t I?”

“Uh, yah you do. Of course you do. Now go on.”

“Anyway, I made these two people. Adam and Eve. They were perfect. So I put them on Earth, this big glob of dirt that I made, in a nice garden. They loved it. I spent time with them. We got along terrifically, the three of us.”

“Dit zey praise you, too?”

“Of course they did! I deserve it, don’t I?”

“Yah, yah, yah. Adoration und praise.”

“But I realized that they didn’t really have any choice. I mean, how could they know any better? They knew me, so of course they loved me and praised me. I deserve it, after all! So it occurred to me that they weren’t doing this out of choice. They couldn’t choose to do anything else.”

“But didn’t you say zey hat free vill?”

“Yup. They sure did.”

“Zen zey coult hafe chosen not to praise und adore you.”

“No, they couldn’t, because they didn’t know any better. They had free will, but couldn’t exercise it. You can see the problem, can’t you?”

“Yah,” Sigmund sighed, holding back a comment. “Und vhat dit you do about it?”

“Well, you see, I decided to test them. I planted this huge apple tree in their garden, and told them not to eat from it. Of course, I made the apples very tempting. They wanted to eat from it, believe me. Very badly!”

“Vhy vould you make it so zat zey vanted to eat from da tree, if you didn’t vant zem to eat from za tree?”

“Because, then they could decide.”

“Decide vhat?”

“Whether or not they would keep praising me.”

“So dit zey?”

“Keep praising me? Oh yes. Until this snake opened his big yap and told Eve to eat from the tree.”

“You mean one of your creatures told her to eat from za tree?”

“Yes.”

“How could it do zat, if everysink praised und loved you?”

“I’ve always wondered the same thing! I tell you, when I found out about it, I reamed that snake a new one. I plucked off all its legs! Hah! That’ll teach it to mess with me!”

“You plucked off a snake’s legs because it told Eve to eat from za tree?”

“Of course! I can’t tolerate that sort of thing! Why, it’s evil!”

Sigmund made another note on his clipboard. “Go on.”

“Wouldn’t you know it, Eve bought the snake’s line, hook line and sinker. She ate from the tree and Adam did, too.”

“Zey knew you had forbidden this?”

“Of course! So I immediately threw them out of the garden!”

“But you vere saying zat you vanted zem to be independent …”

“Independent, yes, but I didn’t want them to disobey! I just can’t have that! I deserve praise and adoration, not disobedience!”

“But you said you vere tired of adoration und praise.”

“Don’t be a imbecile, Sigmund! Of course I love adoration and praise! Don’t you?”

“Vhat I vant is not important. It’s vhat you vant, zat matters.”

“Well, anyway, I threw the vermin out of my garden and down to Earth.”

“But I sought za garden vas on Earth.”

“So it was. But it wasn’t really Earth. It was sort of half-Earth.”

“Zere is such a ting as a ‘half-Eart?'”

“Sure! I can make anything I want, any way I want. I am God, after all!”

“I assume zey tried to return.”

“Oh yes, but I removed the garden from Earth.”

“If it vas on Earth, vhy dit you move it?”

“I can’t have disobedient ingrates walking around in paradise! What kind of idiot do you think I am?”

“I don’t sink you are an idiot. I sink you are conflictet.”

“Conflicted? What does that mean? Is that more of your sexual-innuendo psychobabble?”

“No. It means you can’t make up your own mint.”

“I can make up my mind! I’m God after all.”

“Yah, you are. Go on.”

“I condemned Adam and Eve to lives of misery, which is all that their sinful nature entitles them to. The same goes for all their offspring, and their offspring, and so on, down the line. They sicken and die, and then those wicked people all go to Hell.”

“But vhy condemn zem all for one sink zey dit wronk?”

“It was terrible! I can’t have disobedient ingrates running around! Burn them all!!!!”

“Calm down, Lort, you’re getting vorked up.”

“All right. Anyway, those wretched ingrates had it coming. But then my son said —”

“Son? I sought you vere never born. How can you hafe a son?”

“Oh, didn’t I tell you? I begat him.”

“Vhat does zat mean? Und vhen vas dis?”

“Well, begetting is sort of like being born, but not being born. It’s coming into existence without really coming into existence. You follow?”

“No, but go on.”

“Yeah, I begat him sometime before I made the angels. I told you about the angels, didn’t I? Big mistake. Nothing but a bunch of ‘yes’ men all praising and adoring me.”

“Except for da ones dat you kicked out of heaven.”

“You’re darn right! I can’t have disobedient ingrates running around! I deserve praise and adoration, all the time!”

“Yah, praise und adoration.”

“Where was I?”

“Adam und Eve und their offsprink und somesink your son sait …”

“Oh, yes! Well, the wretched things were worse than slime. You wouldn’t believe the stunts they pulled. If I told you, it’d curl your hair. So I decided to wipe them all out.”

“All of zem?”

“Yes! Oh, except for 8. Noah, his wife, his sons, and their wives. They were pretty cool. I figured I should keep them.”

“But wipe out everyone else?”

“Absolutely! Wicked beyond description! Every last one of them!”

“Except for 8.”

“Yeah, that Noah guy was pretty cool. Did I say that?”

“Yah.”

“So I made it rain and everyone died of a flood. Except for Noah and his clan. I told him to build an Ark and fill it with two of every animal, a male and female.”

“I assume zis vas so the vorlt could be repopulatet?”

“Sure! Just because mankind was rotten doesn’t mean I should have to wipe out all the animals, too.”

“But you did vipe zem out. All but 2 of each.”

“Yeah, I did. They were all wicked and deserved it.”

“Yah, deserved.” Sigmund made another note. “Go on.”

“So I saved Noah, and he repopulated the world. It was going all right for a while, but people were still so wicked. Wretched things. They all deserved to burn in Hell.”

“So you viped zem out again?”

“Nah, couldn’t do that. Promised Noah I wouldn’t. Gotta keep my promises.”

“So you condemn zem to eternal torment insteat?”

“Darn straight! They got it coming, no-good rotten ingrates.”

“You mentioned your son. Vhat dit he say?”

“Well, he said that I should love them instead. So I tried that. I picked a few of them. I called them the ‘nation of Israel.’ I figured that if they could do all right, then things might work out. But they didn’t. They kept worshipping golden cows instead of me.”

“Zat vas a problem?”

“Of course! I need adoration and praise! After all, I deserve it.”

“Yah, deserve.” Sigmund made another notation.

“So I tricked the nation of Israel into going to Egypt, where they would be imprisoned. I had to. They were worshipping cows instead of me.”

“Yah, yah. You deserve adoration und praise.”

“Then my son told me that the nation of Israel thing wouldn’t work if I just left them as slaves in Egypt. So I set them free. But I had to torture the Egyptians with plagues.”

“Because they imprisoned the nation of Israel?”

“Absolutely! I couldn’t allow them to run roughshod over my chosen people! They deserved to be punished!”

“But you vanted za nation of Israel enslaved, didn’t you?”

“You bet! They were worshipping cows! Or didn’t I get to that?”

“Yah, cows. Go on.”

“So I led them to Canaan. I ordered them to slay everyone in sight. They were in the way, you see.”

“Who vas in da vay?”

“The Canaanites. Wretched vermin! How dare they set up their cities where my chosen people were supposed to be!”

“But your chosen people vere in Egypt, zen.”

“Darn straight! That’s what they get for worshipping cows!”

Sigmund sighed, and God continued.

“So I had them slaughter the Canaanites and everyone else who was in the way, and planted them in the Holy Land. Things went OK. I even let them have kings. But the first one was a mistake.”

“Who vas?”

“Saul. Wretched thing. It didn’t work out. I should never have annointed him. I had him canned, and gave his job to a kid. Nice kid, too, and deadly accurate with a sling. Took down a gigantic Philistine with it.”

“Vas dat Davit?”

“You got it! But then David took up with this Bathsheba woman. Women were always throwing themselves at him. They have this thing about kings.”

“Und you made him king.”

“Sure did! Great shot, that kid!”

“But zen he did za vild sink vis da Bathsheba voman?”

“Yeah, what a slime. Imagine that! Anyway, I let them have their kings for a while but they slipped. Stopped worshipping me correctly. So I sent the king of Babylon to cart them all away.”

“For not vorshipping you correctly?”

“Absolutely! I deserve nothing but adoration and praise, and only in the proper form. Otherwise it’s not adoration and praise and the vermin who do it wrong deserve what they get.”

“How did zey know to do it right?”

“I gave the instructions to Moses, on tablets. But he got pissed at them for worshipping a cow, and broke them. So I had to replace them. At least the guy had some sense to have righteous indignation! But then he did the thing with the rock [Num 20:8-12], and I couldn’t allow him into the Holy Land. Held up the entire migration, waiting for that sucker to die.”

“What sink vis da rock?”

“The idiot failed to obey my instructions! You see, they were in the desert and running out of water. I gave Moses the ability to get water from rocks. Pretty cool, huh? But one time, he did it the wrong way. Said he was distracted over his sister’s death. Huh! That’s no excuse! He should have just sucked it up and obeyed! Anyway, I had to teach the creep a lesson. What a loser.”

“Yah, Moses vas a loser. Go on.”

“Anyway, my son convinced me to get the nation of Israel released — again — this time from those pompous Babylonians. First I had the Persians pulverize the Babylonians for daring to mess with my chosen people.”

“But vhy voult you punish de Babylonians for doink vhat you vanted them to do?”

“All right, look, you see, the problem is, word was getting out about my chosen people being beaten. Other nations might have gotten the idea that they could mess with me. I had no choice but to decimate the Babylonians.”

“Yah, und zen vhat?”

“So the Persians were in charge. Then I picked this one Israeli kid to be tried by ordeal, and he survived. So the Persians let them all go.”

“Because of one chilt?”

“Yeah! It was great! That Daniel, what a kid.”

“You vork vis children often.”

“Yeah, gotta get to ’em before they get too old. But even then, they all go bad, eventually. Burn ’em all!”

“Yah, burn zem all. Go on.”

“So the Israelites went back to their land, but I let these other nations come through. The Macedonians, and the Romans. By this time my son was impatient. He didn’t like that I was burning all these people in Hell. He thought it should stop. So I let him go down to Earth.”

“Yah, und?”

“Well, he was born a child, and grew up in Galilee. Real remote. A backwater if there ever was one. No one even knew he was divine, until he was 30! Can you imagine? How stupid can you be! He arranged to get himself killed by crucifixion — the Romans were into that — and that fixed everything.”

“Fixed? How?”

“Well, his sacrifice saved everybody. You see, all you humans are so wretched, you all deserve to burn in Hell. But my son died and took care of all that. So no one has to burn in Hell any more.”

“So dere is no Hell any more?”

“Are you kidding? All the horrible ingrates go there! Burn every last one of ’em!”

“But you sait, zey didn’t hafe to burn any more?”

“Yeah, ain’t my son great? What a trouper. Got right up on that cross and let himself die.”

“But if he vas never born, how could he die?”

“What do you mean? Of course he died!”

“But if has no beginnink, how could he have an endink?”

“Well, of course he’s immortal! He’s my son! What’s wrong with you? Of course my son can’t die!”

“But you sait he died —”

“All right. Look. If you want to nitpick, I guess you could say he died. You could also say he didn’t.”

“So, vhich did he do?”

“Which did who do?”

“Your son! Dit he die, or not?”

“I already explained that to you! Are you dense?”

“Yah, go on.”

“So anyway, my son fixed everything. But I still have this problem. People are still going into Hellfire. I can’t seem to stop them.”

“But you could destroy Hell. Zat voult stop it.”

“Are you crazy? I can’t do that! They deserve it! Bunch of ingrates who won’t adore and praise me for fixing everything.”

“But nothink voult be broken, if you —”

“Listen, Sigmund, no lip from you! Are you looking for Hellfire, too?”

“No, but —”

“All right, then, you better just watch it!”

“Sorry, Lort. Hafe you talked to your son about zis?”

“My son? What do you mean?”

“Your son. He seems sensible, even if he’s suicidal.”

“Of course I can’t talk to my son! He’s me! How can I talk to me?”

“Sometimes ve all talk to ourselfs.”

“Not me! I could never do anything that inconsistent!”

“Yah, go on.” Sigmund scribbled a couple more notes.

“Anyway. I’m trying to figure out what I can do, but it just doesn’t make sense. Nothing I’ve tried, so far, has worked. What do you think? Is there something wrong with me?”

“I don’t know, is dere somesink wronk vis you?”

“Of course not! I’m God! There can’t be anything wrong with me. I’m perfect! I deserve nothing but adoration and praise!”

“Yah. Adoration und praise. Go on.”

“So what’s my diagnosis, do you think you can help me?”

Sigmund looked down at his notes, and thought a moment before saying anything else. They read: Strong inferiority complex, contrasted with megalomania. Neurotic psychosis, schizoid personality. He wondered what he should say. He was talking to God, after all, and couldn’t afford to appear impertinent.

“Lort,” Sigmund finally said, “you und your situation are beyond my abilities. Sorry, but I cannot help you.”

“What do you mean, you can’t help me?”

“You are in denial, Lort, und I can do nosink for you until you realise dere is somesink wronk.”

“Denial, eh?” God roared. “I’ll give you denial!”

Two Egyptian farmers were tilling the soil along the banks of the enormous river, when a man with a clipboard came screaming down from the sky, and splashed down in the water. The man eventually came up to the surface, sputtering, and swam over to the men.

“Pardon me, but can you tell me, vhere I am?” he asked.

Das Ende.

Photo credit: Life Magazine photo archive, via Wikimedia Commons.

Page created: April 17, 2010. Last modified: February 13, 2015