Author: Torsten Oettinger
2023-03-02, 8th Edition

Table of Contents



Psychotherapy Metapsychotherapy Psychiatry Psychology Philosophy Linguistics Religion


In this part METAPSYCHOTHERAPY, basic assumptions (such as philosophies resp. worldviews and religions), which are the foundations of current psychological and psychiatric theories, are critically examined as to their psychological and psychotherapeutic relevance and functionality. In addition, I develop a specific theory and psychotherapy which also include subjective and spiritual factors. Thus, the theory and therapy of mental disorders are substantially expanded, for although different ideologies and worldviews are of great importance to the psyche and psychological theory formation, this is hardly reflected from the academic side.

A somewhat mocking remark
One might ask the polemical question whether our psychology and psychiatry themselves do not suffer from poor health. They seem to be affected by disorders which could be called “scientitis” or “dogmatitis”, since they are too focused on science. In scientific writings, reference is made very rarely to philosophical or even religious insights. According to the ‘malicious’ words of Karl Kraus: “Psychoanalysis is that mental illness for which it regards itself as therapy”  we psychiatrists should ask ourselves in which way our theories might be wrong or even ‘in ill health’ – resp. we have reduced “the diseases of the mind to mindless diseases” (Basaglia).

What is Metapsychotherapy?

                                                            The spirit is stronger than matter.
                                                            Belief is stronger than knowledge.
                                                            The Self is stronger than the Ego alone.
                                                             God is stronger than human and death.1My ideas of what God is do not necessarily correspond to those of the mainstream churches, so I write often God¹

Metapsychotherapy means a level above psychotherapy, a level from where psychotherapy can be reflected upon and defined.2For reasons of simplicity, I will at times speak of meta-therapy rather than meta-psychotherapy. See later also about `Primary Psychotherapy´.
All the insights of humans that are helpful to the psyche, and which are communicated by diverse worldviews (Weltanschauungen)3`Worldview (Weltanschauung)´ is the general term here which includes mindset, religion, ideology, conception of the world, philosophy, attitude, outlook on life, etc. These concepts may be either defined or are private and undefined. By way of variation, at times, I use the one term, and, at other times, a different name.
 – As described in the section Metapsychology, worldviews are a matter of faith.
 and sciences, are relevant to meta-psychotherapy. One may also say that all generally-valid  Solutions (`meta-solutions´) for the fundamental (psychical) problems of humanity (`meta-problems´) are also relevant to meta-psychotherapy. Very short: Metapsychotherapy is a therapy of everything sick psychical Relevant. Meta-psychotherapy not only offers meta-solutions themselves but also facilitates the development of optimal solutions within psychotherapy as a whole.
This chapter is based on the following hypotheses:
     1. The worldviews essentially determine the human´s psyche and behavior.
     2. The different worldviews also determine the different psychotherapeutic directions and the respective therapists significantly. That is, behind every psychotherapy is a determining worldview, and the worldview of each psychotherapist will substantially determine his therapy.

This raises the question of the advantages and disadvantages of the worldviews on which the various psychotherapies are based. That I will discuss, too. 4How is it possible for a psychotherapist, who is trained in rational thinking, to understand irrational ways of thinking as are so frequently found amongst those suffering from psychological illnesses? By the example of Freud, Balthasar Staehelin wrote the following: “It was perhaps Freud’s apparent compulsion to be a servant of such scientific bias and exclusivity which drove him to make possible his greatest mistake: He was no longer able to listen to a patient impartially but only heard that which was spoken as a confirmation of his philosophical convictions concerning the nature of humankind.“ (p. 22)
In this study, I limit myself to describing the most important worldviews from those I believe are relevant to our theme. 5This is not, of course, to diminish the significance of the other subjects mentioned above; however, to discuss even a majority of them would be to go beyond the scope of this study.

Billions of people around the world have one faith or another and, for this reason, I believe that a reflection upon the potential benefits, or possible damage, to our psyche, caused by these worldviews, will be helpful. Within the framework of this study, and taking into consideration the magnitude of these topics, as well as my own limited knowledge, my explanations are only brief and subjective but they shall inspire the reader to a constructive discussion. Surprisingly, one finds in the literature only a small number of publications on this topic. The reason for this may well be the current dominance of so-called evidence-based therapies, since they correspond with the zeitgeist of science. They are, however, not undisputed. 6See also the criticism voiced by G. Vinnai: “The Exile of Criticism from Science: Psychology in the Universities”, 2013.  J. Wiltschko is one of those who delivers harsh criticism. Under the headline “What is evidence-based psychotherapy?“ he explains: 7Johannes Wiltschko: “Eine Metapsychotherapie als Kontrapunkt zum gegenwärtigen Trend.” (Meta-psychotherapy as a counterpoint to the current trend) In: . However, I can only agree with some of the conclusions which J. Wiltschko draws from this criticism.  “Very important components of psychotherapy are lost in RCTs [randomized controlled trials] and considered to be mere accumulations of confounding variables which need to be controlled, ideally, by manualization …” And further: “The demand for evidence-based methods is the contemporary end-product of a process which is inspired by developments within the whole of society.“8ebd. This, however, is predominately caused by a materialistic view, which is little suited to psychological issues, as has previously been emphasized. As therapists, we find ourselves in danger of placing the “letter” above the spirit – as did the Pharisees in the Old Testament – although the letter alone kills and the spirit sets us free. 9 2 Cor 3:6. Jesus had many critical words to say about such a Pharisaic spirit. I hope that, in a few years, we psychotherapists will not need to comply with hundreds of regulations, as the Pharisees did in their day. 101.) In my opinion, the legal system in Germany is undergoing a similar development, in which, for reasons of the absolutization of random paragraphs, some victims seem to receive less protection than the offenders.
2.) The controlled economy in socialist states is a good example of the consistent implementation of regulations based upon ideologies , which have driven out a great deal of good will.

There is a danger that therapies will predominately concerned with the observation of the relevant regulations, which would have similar consequences as a ‘work-to-rule’.
Under the headline “Evidenzbasiert trösten?” (Evidence-based Emotional Support?), Dunja Voos wrote: “Many patients suffering from mental illnesses are looking for consolation, support, meaning in life, a trusting relationship and a feeling of emotional security … A child who cries and feels sad, is comforted by mother and father … The parents comfort the child – not because they are following evidence-based methods but because they follow their feelings.“ 11Dunja Voos 2013. One could also say, parents do this out of love (but love cannot be “evidence-based”.) A therapy that does not fulfill these needs seems to be, in my opinion, comfortless in the true sense of the word.
This also applies to S. Freud, when he declares: ”… and I bow to their reproach that I can offer them [ the patients] no consolation: for at bottom that is what they are all demanding – the wildest revolutionaries no less passionately than the most virtuous believers.” 12Freud, Sigmund, in: Das Unbehagen in der Kultur (Civilization And Its Discontents), 1930.
I believe that the guidelines of evidence-based medicine are very valuable, provided that they are only applied to subject matters which are appropriate for scientific analysis. 13By itself, the term `Evidenz´ in German means `unmittelbare Einsichtigkeit’ (immediate intelligibility (Duden). However, the term Evidenz is often used erroneously to represent the English word `evidence´, which stands for proof or attestation. “Therefore, the German translation ‘evidenzbasierte Medizin” is not a correct rendition of the English expression ‘evidence-based medicine’ ….”. (emphasis added). 11/2013. This is only partially applicable to psychiatry. Officially, the recommendations of evidence-based medicine are only meant to serve as guidance. However, the question arises as to who would dare diverge from the opinions of experts, especially as in the case of failure, legal consequences might ensue should the guidelines not be observed. My main criticism is that these guidelines do not include other perspectives and are therefore biased.
Since imbalances do not remain without consequences and every extreme promotes its opposite, it is to be expected that a type of psychotherapy that has a one-sided focus on scientific aspects will advance the current, uncontrolled psycho-boom. Thus, according to the magazine `Focus´, about 10,000 healers and about 500,000 Reiki-masters are, at present, offering their spiritual assistance to the German public .14Focus-Magazin No. 30/2011 p. 73.

But what are the hallmarks of good meta-psychotherapy?

The absolute Perspective

A good meta-psychotherapy should facilitate a free choice amongst the diverse psychotherapies, dependent upon the respective person and problem, and allow – or even promote – new, alternative methods.
Arguably, every school of psychotherapy will pronounce important truths; however, without considering meta-therapeutic insights, it will soon reach its respective limits. Good meta-therapy however, will yet provide support where concrete psycho-therapeutic measures fail. The larger perspective of meta-therapy is able to establish correct connections and relations, and to avoid superficial therapies that are not sustainable. If the conceptual framework is kept rather small and limited in scope, then good solutions may be impeded. This is also true if the solution is solely framed around that which one can scientifically verify. In such a case, we are merely installing a closed box, in which we are trapped and cannot find Solutions because the system is not open to a wider perspective .15One can also speak of a fundamental perspective. (→ fundamental)
In this respect, I refer again to the theorem on undecidability by K. Gödel.
| Thus, for example, some therapy strategies appear to resemble illness-extermination-programs promoted by the pharmaceutical industry.
For me, meta-therapy is the following: Treating people from a higher point/ from above/ from the highest meta-level with respect for the dignity of man. The absolute perspective encompasses and understands all relative perspectives and situations.
According to Spinoza and others, 16See L. Wittgenstein, Viktor Frankl and C.G. Jung, who refer to this expression, albeit with different emphases. Quote taken from: Similar F. Nietzsche: The philosopher should stand “on the widely spread wings of all time”. (About the pathos of the truth). it is a perspective  with relation to the eternal (“sub specie aeternitatis”). 
I am convinced that, from this perspective, decisions are often made differently; moreover, that decision-making is at its best, wherever the absolute ”point of reference” chosen is the right one. First, I would like to term it, in a rather general sense: +A, or “love”. But a discussion of different potential points of reference will be undertaken in the following paragraphs.

    In meta-therapy, the most relevant questions are the following:
What is the strongest definition of a person? What is our ultimate concern? Which worldview communicates most of love? What absolute point of reference/(system of reference)17Is this an analogy to the inertial frame of reference in physics? communicates this the best? In other words: What is the positive Absolute (+A)? Which points of reference make our lives too difficult or make us ill? Which points of reference lead to either no solution or merely a second-rate one?
    In the following chapters, we will investigate these questions. Once more, I would like to emphasize that the answers to these inquiries are credible at best but not provable. 18As explained above, even the provable needs to be believed.

Fundamental Problems

Fundamental problems within meta-psychology can be sketched out in the following words:19See also parallels within existential philosophy. Regarding the latter, it is important to generate an ‘interpretation of mankind as existence in the sense of an ultimate, irreducible being ….´ (Brockhaus, keyword `Existenzphilosophie´).
Though we want the Absolute – we can, however, remain caught up in that which is Relative. We desire a state in which we, and our world, are entirely positive; however, we witness both: wonderfulness and faults. We long for our salvation and yet we are unredeemed; we wish for immortality and yet we are mortal; we yearn for unlimited lust and yet – we only experience it in part and only at certain times; we pine for the sense that we are loved for our own sake but, very often, we are only loved for our achievements; we crave for freedom and omnipotence and yet, we often feel trapped and powerless; we are eager for companionship and peace but ultimately, we remain alone or ill at ease, etc.  From a Christian perspective, one might say: We have lost paradise and now live in this conflicting world. But I believe, all of these problems mentioned, which are deeply, existentially felt by the individual, are already, in principle (rather than in totality) solved in relation to the  +Absolute  (which is God¹/ love). But the positive strange Absolutes (+sA) are more attractive and they seemingly satisfy our desires more easily than the +A. On the other side, their price is too high because the actual I-Self is to be sacrificed for them. It is paradoxical, therefore, that a person considers that which is adverse to be advantageous, and that which is advantageous to be adverse.
Question: can all relative problems be traced back to fundamental problems – that is, to inversion sequences? I think so. [See also term fundamental].

Basic problems systematically presented:
    • Problems of dimensions:
– The person between the actual +A and ‒A (the absolute, existential essence of a problem).
– The problems between these actual A and the sA/It.
– The problems between diverse sA/It.
– The problems within diverse sA/It.
Here, one can – following the concept of the `7 synonyms of the Absolute´ – make further distinctions:
Existential problems relating to: identity (a2); reality (a3); unity; integrity (a4); unconditionality (a5); priorities (a6); and autonomy (a7).
    • Problems within the fields of differentiation:
The 4 main aspects of differentiation entail the following fundamental problems:
1. Existential problems relating to being (being or non-being or `contra´-being ).
2. Existential problems relating to life (life or death or `living contra´, such as `destrudo´).
3. Existential qualitative problems (good /bad, evil/ false; or positive/ negative/ 0).
4. Existential problems relating to being either a subject or an object (e.g. offender/ victim; person/ thing).
With regard to the `23 individual aspects´, there are problems corresponding to the respective subject matter. The question which is perpetually at the fore relates to whether the problem has relative or absolute significance for the affected person (or whether it has the same significance as one of the 7 synonymous conceptual pairs).

In the following, I will reflect general upon the theory of solutions. Subsequently, I will discuss the various potential solutions put forward by the most common worldviews, as well as the consequences which follow from these that are relevant for psychotherapy.


                                     “Every change begins with the spirit by which it is borne.” Jochen Pohl

• I ultimately (!) assume, the positive Absolute ( A) can solve (redeem) everything (except −A).
• This absolute solution comprehends all Relative solutions but is not implicitly in need of them.
• Relative solutions are first-rate solutions if they are embedded in  A. Solutions proceeding from a strange Absolute are second-rate solutions.
• Problems which are taken to be relative can, at times, be solved within the same (relative) system, whilst problems which are taken to be absolute, can only be solved by  A. 
In other words: relative problems can be solved relatively well using relative means, whilst problems of the absolute sphere cannot be solved using relative means.

Example of a problem in society: All of us would like to receive the best medical care. However, our health care is embedded within a greater issue: What can the state afford without neglecting other important fields of action? The problems of the individual state, in turn, are embedded within those of the international community; and these, in turn, are embedded within the problems of humankind in general. This means that, in order to avoid implementing overly-expensive solutions or solutions which are established at the expense of other spheres of action, the most important solution of the first order will be to gain an overview of the big picture, a meta-position, and then to find relative solutions. Thus, it becomes also clear that it is not simply the healing of one or another illness that is at stake.

It is surprising to note that, on the one side most experts, from Friedrich Nietzsche to Paul Watzlawick, amongst others, appreciate the importance of meta-positions resp. premises for solutions, but on the side of the psychiatric and psycho-therapeutic investigation, such premises have been attributed little importance.

Friedrich Nietzsche: said, “He who has a why to life can bear almost any how.”
Paul Watzlawick claimed that, psychologically speaking, a person could not survive in a world that was not meaningful to him or her. In addition, he said that the “loss or absence of a meaning in life was perhaps the most common denominator in all forms of emotional distress….” 20Own translation of: Menschliche Kommunikation Bern 2000, cit. by Beatrix Gotthold and Christian Thies in: “Denn jeder sucht ein All” Reclam, Leipzig, 2003 p.85 ff.

In a systematized form, I present the following differentiation:


First-Rate Solutions

 Redemption is free of cost,
 Solutions must be acquired.
 Redeemed you will find the best solutions.

Synonym: Solutions of the first order.

I differentiate between:

One first-rate, absolute solution = unconditional, absolute solution = redemption. It is a spiritual/ love solution. It is not a total solution, but a fundamental one. (→ fundamental.)

It has two parts:
a) Redemption by +A (God¹).
This solution comprehends and integrates all other solutions, even those which are second-rate. It also resolves all dilemmas and paradoxes.
b) A person´s +A choice = in principle, P wants the good (`fundamental virtue´)
21See also: `The absolute attitude´ ,`Absolute and relative will´   
Otherwise, people only can find relative solutions. I.e. no one can redeem himself or others. (But he does not have to do it, too).

Many first-rate, relative solutions = relative solutions that are integrated into  A .
First-rate, relative solutions can also have physical ways of implementation; they, nevertheless, build upon  A.
Relative problems can be solved with  A or in a superordinate, relative system.

Hallmarks of first-rate solutions (solutions of the first order) include the following:
– Freedom: I do not have to solve the problem – just as I do not have to do necessarily anything else!
– The solution is not achieved at the expense of others.
– First-rate solutions are better and more effective than second-rate solutions.
Why is this so? It is because they do not require as much effort in their implementation; they are more harmonious, more sustainable and credible. Although these solutions, coming from an absolute level, fail to not automatically generate a total solution but rather generate a basic one, they will still serve to thwart the development of mental illnesses that concern the absolute sphere of a person, the Self. This, in turn, suggests that only in due to faith in a positive Absolute – which I, personally, call God¹, all earthly problems get mere relative meaning; and furthermore, a person in their existential (spiritual) foundation can not be destroyed. Also, the + A not only provides redemption but simultaneously offers an optimal basis for special, relative solutions.
Second-rate solutions by strange, positive Absolutes, however, are, at best, suboptimal, and at worst, predominately negative; either way, they are less advantageous than the +A.
Relative solutions are often inadequate since they lack a superordinate meta-level.
Analogically, Bertrand Russel and Alfred Whitehead, in their theory of types, claim: ‘That which affects the entirety of a class (set), cannot itself be part of this class.’ K. Gödel’s incompleteness theorem makes similar assertions: 1. There are always unprovable statements in nearly contradiction-free systems; 2. Nearly contradiction-free systems can not prove their own freedom from contradiction. 22E.g. N.I. Kondakow: Wörterbuch der Logik; deb Verlag, Westberlin, 1978. Keyword `Gödel´.

In addition, some keywords:
Redemption is more important than solutions. Redeemed one finds the best solutions. If no solution is possible, the more important and simpler redemption is still possible: earthly lack of freedom is compensated by spiritual freedom, earthly contradictions are dissolved by spiritual redemption, etc. Paul Watzlawick argues similarly, “He locates many disturbances of everyday human communication (especially as regards couples) on the relationship level and sees meta-communication as a solution to dissolve them.” 23[ , 4/2014.]
Or Socrates: Keep in mind that this earthly life is not the last one and that it does not matter how much you achieve here, then you will not be manic in happiness and will not be depressed in misery. [In reference to Socrates: “Always keep in mind that everything is transient, then you will not be too happy in happy times and not too sad in sad times.”]
For what else reason could people experience liberation despite existential threat-situations?

Later, when I juxtapose Causal and symptomatic Therapies, it will become clear that this constitutes a somewhat different perspective; and one which corresponds with the previous. Already at this point, I would like to say that a symptomatic therapy can clearly also be a first-rate therapy – in this case however, it would only be a relative one.


Second-Rate Solutions

The foundation of second-rate solutions is a strange Absolute (sA).These second-rate solutions are in no way poor solutions; however, by comparison with first-rate solutions, they are, as their name says, second-rate. The more that the strange Absolute, from which the second-rate solution comes, corresponds with the actual Absolute, the better the secondary solution will be and vice versa. Thus, second-rate solutions range from the suboptimal to nearly unresolved. One might also say that second-rate solutions are neither entirely correct nor entirely wrong. However, in terms of their positive effects, even the best +sA remains a long way behind those of the +A since the above-mentioned existential, fundamental problems persist.
Second-rate solutions (answers) are either “absolutistic”, relativistic or negativistic.
If the solution is absolutistic, predominately hyper-effects emerge;
through relativistic solutions, mainly strange or false effects arise and
through nihilistic solutions, primarily a loss of first-rate reality occurs.
Thus, second-rate solutions have hyper/ strange/ or deficient effects; e.g., they have hyper/strange /deficient effects concerning absoluteness, identity, actuality, unity, safety, freedom, and the other aspects. Advantages and Disadvantages

One advantage of second-rate solutions is the possibility of developing hyper-effects, e.g. `ecstasy´, euphoria, high, etc.
A “disadvantage” of first-rate solutions is the lack of development of those hyper-effects.

More on Solutions

If we once more proceed on the assumption of an inversion, the situation can be described as follows:
Relative entities invade the absolute sphere to become strange-Absolute and strange Self.
As mentioned above, the +Absolute is the redeeming – however, the Relative as a dependent entity is, in itself, relatively unsolved. If relative entities now invade the absolute sphere of a person and substitute the Absolute, at this central point, an unresolved complex (= `It´) will develop. This will affect those involved until it is resolved or at least relativized. If the person depends upon a +Absolute position, from an actual Self, then the complex is resolved or at least relativized, and thus defused. In this way, the +Absolute is not a total solution but certainly a solver and liberator in principle. Should a relative problem, in this case, remain unresolved, it may have some negative effects but it does not determine our being. We stand above it. If a problem remains in the absolute sphere as sA however, it cannot be conclusively solved without the aid of the +Absolute. It can only be ostensibly or relative well solved; for instance, it can be repressed. The effects of these unresolved complexes depend upon their nature. These are discussed in the chapter concerning the effects of the strange-Selves/ It.
As indicated above, mental illnesses are considered to be an essential consequence of the effects of these unresolved problems.
Meta-solution = redemption; this is the state of already being redeemed, now and forever, in principle (not totally), should one so desire – not only when one has fulfilled this or that precondition but quite simply, by allowing oneself to be loved “from above”. Thereby, the person is relieved from burdens in an optimal way, since potential demands made upon the individual can no longer take center stage.
Redemption is more important than solution and through redemption, solutions are much more likely to occur.
[Example: Solution of the `tragedy commons´ problem. See unabbreviated German version.]

Further Keywords Relating to Solutions- Life is more important than the functional.
– Material/ organic disorders are most easily remedied by material means which rest upon +A; mental or emotional disturbances are most easily remedied by spiritual, mental or emotional means which rest upon +A.
– Do not adjust the patient to the method of therapy but rather adjust the method of therapy to suit the patient – this notwithstanding, the desires of the patient should not be the supreme authority.
– The existential question: “Am I already or do I still need to become?” Answer: “You are, now also try to become!”
– The key to open closed doors of the second-rate worlds, is seldom a key of the second order, which thus originates from WPI² itself but is rather a key of the first order; quasi a meta-key, a spiritual key, which, ultimately, cannot be found in knowledge (for knowledge is relative) but found instead in faith, which has access to that which is the Absolute. This is not a devaluation of knowledge but a question of priorities. 24Albeit only in a limited way, the “W²-methods” can indeed serve to solve W²-problems if the solution is found in the W²-hierarchy above the W²-problem.
Hierarchies of problems and hierarchies of solutions: see unabridged German version.

There is more on Causal and symptomatic Therapies in the section relating to psychotherapy.

Comparison with Solutions of Other Authors

• P. Watzlawick et al. distinguish between the following solutions:25Watzlawick, P., J.H. Weakland, R. Fisch: Lösungen. Verlag Hans Huber Bern-Stuttgart-Wien, 1974.
– Solutions of the first order:
“Here the non-functioning system is left to itself; For solving the problem, only system-internal means are taken into consideration … Thus, in first-order solutions, only individual problematic elements are `repaired ‘or postponed … But from the outside, it has not led to a solution of the actual problem, but only one problem shift or deterioration of the initial situation brought about. Thus, first-order solutions are only applicable for a short time … “.
Commentary: These solutions of the first order resemble, in essence, those which I have termed second-rate solutions.
– Solutions of the second order:
“… to durably eradicate a problem, it is therefore advisable to seek a second-order solution. In this case, the ‘sick system´ is no longer left to its own devices but, from the outside, one can also intervene … in the functioning of the system. Contrary to first-order solutions, relations between the elements can thus be assessed and analyzed more objectively. The remedying of the problem requires the re-organization of the entire system …”.
Commentary: I have termed the solutions of the second order, as they are referred to here, first-rate solutions. The authors also point out that they attempt to resolve unresolved problems from the vantage point of a meta-level, however, they do not refer to a (positive) Absolute.
• Parallels to Psychoanalysis:  I believe that the essential therapeutic effects of psycho-analysis lie in the fact that the individual is made aware of “complexes” which, whilst embarrassing to the affected person and which have therefore been repressed, are now be respected as a part of human existence – in this way, the affected person feels accepted, with all their faults. In his practice, the psychoanalyst thus assumes a loving meta-position; although, in theory, S. Freud advocates a different position. He claims that “the intention that man should be happy is not in the plan of Creation.” Amongst the options to protect a person from suffering, he lists, deadening of drives, drive-controlling sublimation (which is only achievable for a few). The aims into which a drive may be converted through sublimation are: art (as “mild narcosis”); religion (as “collective delusion”) and finally, in its “weakest” form, love: “We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love…”.261. S. Freud 1930: Das Unbehagen in der Kultur; GW XIV, p. 441. 2. The previous recital of Freud´s defense mechanisms originates from a citation which I cannot locate at present. In my opinion, this is only true in regards to second-rate love, the `libido´; and not in regards to first-rate love, which, by way of contrast, is the strongest force that there is to counter suffering. The possibility of protection through a superordinate positive entity, through a `positive meta-position´, as Freud himself practiced, remains unmentioned.

What is Best for the Psyche?

“What love and spirit give cannot be extorted.”
  F. Hölderlin

I believe that we, as human, require both – scientifically-sound help and the support which comes from faith. Even if this were to be granted however, the challenges of the therapeutic situation would yet remain. Even if one assumes that all those who help only want what is best for their clients, the question arises as to what precisely is “the best“.
     • Is that which is subjectively felt to be best also that which is objectively the best?
Is the best thing the satisfaction of the patients’ subjective needs? This will be wrong in such cases as when: the satisfaction of the patient’s needs causes them harm; or when their needs and the satisfaction of their needs are artificial, manipulated or ones which are not actual needs, the satisfaction of which will not benefit the patient in the long-term. However, the achievement of satisfaction for actual needs is sometimes connected with negative emotions or even suffering, and therefore frequently causes Resistance.
     • It is similar to the frequently given advice, that the affected should be good to themselves. However, the good in the long-term may be an attempt to meet the challenges of reasonable conflicts and crises, even though they are often connected with suffering.
     • It is similar to the frequently given advice, that the affected should be good to themselves. However, the good in the long-term may be an attempt to meet the challenges of reasonable conflicts and crises, even though they are often connected with suffering.
     • Also, the therapeutic aim to remedy the symptoms or even to get health, as described in detail in a different section, is not unequivocally positive: The elimination of a symptom, albeit helpful in an acute situation, might conceal its causes and thus induce more permanent disorders, which may not find expression as an illness, and might not even manifest exclusively in the affected if the alleviation of symptoms come at the expense of other people or of other spheres of life. (I am thinking of a 39-year old patient with Ca, who was told by those who were following the guidelines that she needed to attend biannual check-ups for 10 years, since statistically, this offered the greatest chances for recovery. My question is this: Even if she lives for a few more years, will the lady truly benefit from this treatment, when she has to undergo 20 follow-up examinations, which, for her, are usually accompanied by weeks of immense fear?).
     • Prolongation of life at any cost? Is a long life truly the very best thing? In some instances, it can be terrible. It seems particularly questionable to force terminally ill people to live on against their repeatedly stated will.

For example: Tony Nicklinson lived for 7 years with Locked-in-Syndrome. He felt condemned to a life which he perceived to be “uncomfortable, undignified and degrading”. In vain, he filed lawsuits at all official channels to be given the right to commit assisted suicide. Similarly, the British Diane Pretty, the Italian Eluana Englaro, who had been in a vigilant coma in a care home for 17 years following an accident etc.. I am well aware of the difficulties associated with such decisions, particularly in view of the background of euthanasia, however, I believe that the dogmatization of an orientation which, in itself, is correct and humane, that: `Every earthly life must be maintained and prolonged at any cost´ may become inhumane at a certain point. In this way, it seems also absurd to hear in the news that “doctors are fighting for the life of the erstwhile prime minister of Israel, Scharon, who has been in a coma for seven years (!)“, given that his condition has now (2014) deteriorated.

     • Is reason the very best thing? Is it not tedious, and even impossible, to remain nothing other than reasonable?
     • Serenity? Would it not be better for us were we allowed to, at times, not be serene, and would these instances not occur time and time again? Are we not serene to a higher degree if we are allowed also to not be serene?
     • Authenticity? Are we not authentic to a higher degree if we remain true to ourselves, even when we are not authentic?
     • Success? Are we not condemned to be successful if we are not allowed to be unsuccessful?
     • Mindfulness? Is it not to be taken into consideration that excessive mindfulness can lead to carelessness?
     • Objectivity? Is not our objectivity at its highest level when it encompasses subjectivity?

This list is by no means exhausted and could be continued indefinitely. In the best-case scenario, these aims are only suboptimal, since they are all associated with preconditions which we can only ever fulfill occasionally and partially.
The question remains as to what is the best thing for a person, for their soul. One might also ask:

What is the Positive Absolute, the +A?

How should the best spirit, the best attitude of mind (in philosophy, religion etc.) be developed? In short: What should a positive Absolute (+A) look like? This is a matter of belief. I personally believe:
First, the +A should be absolutely positive: almighty, eternal, absolutely good, so that you can entrust yourself to it completely.
The +A should be affectionate and should not make love dependent on any preconditions.
The +A should love each person for their own sake, (whilst not necessarily loving all their actions).
The + A should be free – and not ask a price like ideologies and some worldviews.
The +A should grant every person implicit dignity, value and the right to self-determination.
The +A should be, at the same time, both optimistic and realistic.
The +A should elevate people and not dominate them.
The + A should be always self-consistent.
The +A should be accessible to all without any preconditions – this means that it should not only be accessible to the intelligent, the strong and the good but also to the simple, the weak and the evil; perhaps even more so since they are more in need of it.
The +A should allow every person the option to deselect every Absolute, therefore even the deselection of God himself, and thus, in this free attitude toward Absolutes, allow the respective person himself to occupy an absolute position.
The +A should be stronger than the people themselves.
The +A should assist people in their hour of need, without depriving them of the right to make a decision, nor taking away their responsibility.
The +A should forgive everything if the relevant person so wishes.
The +A should give people orientation but not direct them.
The +A should provide people with meaning which cannot be lost.
The +A should not be manipulable but sovereign.
The +A should relativize all earthly problems and thereby facilitate their solution.
The +A should give people hope in every circumstance, thus also beyond death, without referring to the fulfillment of their hopes solely to the afterlife.
The +A should be able to empathize with people and comfort them, just as an ideal mother comforts her child.
The +A should give people, first and foremost, freedom and joy, relieving the pressures which weigh upon them, without taking every burden away, in case such an action causes them to weaken.
The +A should make the core of every person, the Self, unassailable and indestructible, by making this Self independent of anything that is destructible in itself.
The nature of the +A should be such that anyone, at any time, is able to find themselves again within the Absolute.
The +A should be good for all people.
The +A is “what holds the world together at the core” (Goethe, Dr. Faust, chapter 4). the +A should be affectionate and should not make love dependent on any preconditions.
The +A should love each person for their own sake, (whilst not necessarily loving all their actions).
The +A should grant every person implicit dignity, value and the right to self-determination.
The +A should be, at the same time, both optimistic and realistic.
The +A should elevate people and not dominate them.
The + A should be always self-consistent.
The +A should be accessible to all without any preconditions – this means that it should not only be accessible to the intelligent, the strong and the good but also to the simple, the weak and the evil; perhaps even more so since they are more in need of it.
The +A should allow every person the option to deselect every Absolute, therefore even the deselection of God himself, and thus, in this free attitude toward Absolutes, allow the respective person himself to occupy an absolute position .
The +A should be stronger than people themselves.
The +A should assist people in their hour of need, without depriving them of the right to make a decision, nor taking away their responsibility.
The +A should forgive everything if the relevant person so wishes.
The +A should give people orientation but not direct them.
The +A should provide people with meaning which cannot be lost.
The +A should not be manipulable but sovereign.
The +A should relativize all earthly problems and thereby facilitate their solution.
The +A should be able to turn all distress, so that we did not need anything else.
The +A should give people hope in every circumstance, thus also beyond death, without referring to the fulfillment of their hopes solely to the afterlife.
The +A should be able to empathize with people and comfort them, just as an ideal mother comforts her child.
The +A should give people, first and foremost, freedom and joy, relieving the pressures which weigh upon them, without taking every burden away, in case such an action causes them to weaken.
The +A should make the core of every person, the Self, unassailable and indestructible, by making this Self independent of anything that is destructible in itself.
The nature of the +A should be such that anyone, at any time, is able to find themselves again within the Absolute.
The +A should be good for all people.
The +A is “what holds the world together at the core” (Goethe, Dr. Faust, chapter 4).
The best thing for our psyche, the +A, is, I believe, love (or else if one is religious: God¹).27This is my personal view of the positive Absolute, of God, which does not necessarily agree with some other Christian conceptions. See `Christian one-sidednesses and misinterpretations28´. See also the passage on love in 1 Cor 13. [Hint: I partly write God¹ to indicate my own conceptions of God, which do not necessarily agree with definitions of official theology.] I am deeply convinced that the strongest healing force is love/ God¹- even if it seems “watered down” or hidden behind other names such as respect, sympathy, unconditional acceptance and appreciation, etc. or within various religions, ideologies or therapeutic methods.
Since love/ God¹ possesses the most diverse aspects, every one of these aspects will have a positive effect; on the other hand, its power is lessened if only one of its aspects or attributes is made absolute.

In the following, I sketchily try to examine the most important worldviews (weltanschauungen) to see how far they correspond to this ideal of a + A. I will only investigate mainstream worldviews of humanity, with which the belief systems of individuals will agree more or less. In addition, it is to be noted that any assessment of them is, of course, subjective and, at best, credible.


    Critical Survey


Definition: “The word worldview means the entirety of all views of an individual or a group of individuals concerning the world; the latter’s inherent condition and qualities, its origin, its destination, meaning, value etc. and the position of humanity within it. Different to insights, worldviews do not contain reasonable elements such as interpretations, ideals and categorical beliefs about a way of life; perhaps even metaphysical and religious views.” 29Peter Möller in: 3/2014.
Why should we not analyze the most diverse belief systems concerning their effects on the psyche -particularly in this chapter, and discuss the ways in which if at all, they might qualify as a foundation for psychotherapies?30The unfavorable ideologies, I discussed in the part `Metapsychiatry‘.
In the following review, I will address some of the essentially humane concepts that are the foundations for various types of psychotherapies; although they are rarely considered as such.
An exception is John R. Peteet; Quote: “Therapists’ virtues are vitally important in psychotherapy … Among the individual and cultural factors that shape a therapist’s virtues are spiritual traditions … Arguably these include for Jews, communal responsibility and critical thought; for Christians, love and grace; for Muslims, reverence and obedience; for Buddhists, equanimity and compassion; for Hindus, appreciation of Dharma and Karma; and for secularists, respect for scientific evidence and intelligibility. These have differing implications for treatment …”. These should be discussed here. 31J.R. Peteet: `What is the Place of Clinicians’ Religious or Spiritual Commitments in Psychotherapy? A Virtues-Based Perspective´ New York 2013., Underlined by me. Similarly, Fritz Mauthner claims that “the worldview of a person depends on the general and temporary condition of their soul.“ Quoted in Peter Möller, in: -3/2014, – whereby the reverse is also true.

Here, I will address only the most well-known, quasi-official worldviews which are representative of countless individual worldviews. For me, the most important criterion for this analysis is the question regarding the degree to which these correspond to the positive Absolute named above; in other words, how much love they convey. As a therapist, it is also important however, to understand the patient from the perspective of his worldview.
The worldviews compete with one another; The various world religions claim to have the right answers to the existential questions of humankind.
Of course, it is possible to say: Let everyone seek heaven in their own fashion; why should I question the faith of another person? Surely, it would be wrong to challenge the freedom of belief. On the other hand, one could answer: Why should I not respect the faith of my fellows while, at the same time, advocate a different standpoint? Why should I not seek out, together with my fellows, believable answers to the questions relating to what is best for people?

The following assessments of the diverse worldviews have been undertaken, first and foremost, about their effect on the psyche. These are only statements in note form which represent my personal opinion and do not claim to present a complete picture.

As sources for the subsequent statements, I predominately refer to the following literature (unless otherwise stated):
Brockhaus Enzyklopädie; Schischkoff: Philosophisches Wörterbuch; Lexikon der Evangelischen Zentralstelle für Weltanschauungsfragen;32 2/2016.
Evangelischer Erwachsenen Katechismus; E. Kellerhals: Der Islam; K. Jaspers: Die großen Philosophen; Wikipedia; Koran; Bible.331. Precise bibliographical references: see bibliography.
          2. Literal quotations are denoted by quotation marks and the source is cited separately.

Anthropocentric/ Theocentric Worldviews

In this respect, I distinguish between anthropocentric, theocentric and christocentric worldviews.

Materialism, Idealism, Esoterism and most of the other Ideologies, in part BuddhismIslam
in part Judaism
AdvantagesDisadvantages/ RisksAdvantagesDisadvantages/ Risks
The person is at the center.Lack of spirituality
abs. love/ God is missing.
Conception of the world is too narrow.
God is in the center.  Man becomes too unimportant.
  Too little right of self-determination
The person is free and mature.A person is considered to be either too big (“superman”) or too small.The individual feels safe.  Man becomes too dependent, too small.
The person has ultimate responsibility.
The person strives, struggles and performs. Belief in progress.
Excessive demands!
A person has to perform well / redeem himself.  Their deeds decide on their fate.
→ Pressure to progress, to be successful.
God has ultimate responsibility.
God does what is most important.
  God is too arbitrary, man at his mercy.
  Man leaves God the existential but he has to believe in God.
A person is not loved for their own sake. Only in one’s own religion would there be salvation and other views would be excluded (exclusivism).
Disadvantages both: Person has to fulfill certain conditions

”In connection with religion, anthropocentrism can be defined as the standpoint that it is neither God, nor gods, who are the spiritual center of the world (as in theocentrism) but the human person.”34 3/2014.

   Criticism of Anthropocentrism

Man is the measure of all things (Protagoras)
– and with this yardstick he raises himself and and beats himself and others to death. (freely based on F. Perls)

 Main criticisms:
A person needs to meet certain requirements.
A person carries sole responsibility and is, as such, overwhelmed.
One encounters an overemphasis on the adult-l or on certain achievements of humanity.
Immanent faith in the progress of humanity (progressivism).

 “The term theocentrism … denotes a worldview that is marked by religion; that regards God, or one or several gods, to be the center of our existence in the world … a person’s way of living and thinking is guided by religion. The opposite of theocentrism is anthropo-centrism … “. 35ttps:// 3/2014.
Criticism: See table above and the section entitled ‘religions’.

Christianity is christocentric and thereby theocentric and anthropocentric, since Jesus Christ, who is simultaneously divine and human, is at its center. Thus, anthropocentrism and theocentrism are not opposites within Christianity; rather, they are inextricably linked with one another.” 36 3/2014.


Philosophies have the same problem as religions: They deal with that which cannot be proven.
Similar to religions, they also look at the big picture. “While scientific insights focus on the relevant subject matters for investigation … philosophy addresses the whole of our being concerning the human person as a human person; it addresses the truth, which, wherever it shines forth, touches us more deeply than any scientific insight … It is not this or that causal relationship which is investigated but rather, it is the meaning which is attributed to the entirety of the matter.” In contrast to theology, the “wisdom of God”, one could consider philosophy as being the “wisdom of the world”.37Schischkoff, keyword: Philosophie.|

[For an outline of ideologies in the history of thought, and relationships between philosophy, religion and the sciences, see the unabridged German version.]


Materialism is “a philosophic system which – in contrast to idealism – assumes matter to be the ultimate reality, determining all other phenomena.“ 38 ,2014.
I shall only comment on some of the main aspects of philosophical materialism. 
 Generally speaking, materialism is atheistic. Naturalism, empiricism and positivism are closely related to materialism. 39Following Schischkoff KW Materialismus.
These are the philosophical foundations for the most common psychotherapies of today.

Criticism of Materialism

               “Behold! I show you the last man. What is love? What is creation? What is longing? …
                thus asks the last man … The earth has become small, and on it hops the last man,
                who makes everything small.” F. Nietzsche (`Thus spoke Zarathustra´).

See also superordinate Criticism of Anthropocentrism.

It seems, to me, that the basic assumptions underlying today’s psychology and psychiatry are still the same atheistic-materialistic premises of Marx and Lenin.
Quotation of Lenin: “You cannot argue about the soul without having explained psychical processes in particular: here, progress must consist precisely in abandoning general theories and philosophical discourses about the nature of the soul, and in being able to put the study of the facts about particular psychical processes on a scientific footing … materialistic dialectics … reflects the most general laws of the development of the objective world and human thought.“ 40 , 2019
Regardless of whether Lenin, Marx or their successors admit this or not, they themselves only assume basic assumptions that can only be believed. Even if they make these theses absolute, they rarely let their own apriori be criticized. Regarding this point, H. Hempelmann writes: “The position of naturalistic reductionism is itself metaphysical, that is, contradictory, that is,  self-annulling.”41 2013.
To that Peter Möller: “The primacy of the spirit convinces me more than the primacy of matter. Creative intelligence, creativity and imagination cannot be explained with the primacy of matter and consciousness as a mere mirror image”42Peter Möller in: 2/2015.
I think, God is not in opposition to matter but to its primacy. Even Jesus used saliva and sand (thus matter) to heal a blind person. [Hint: I partly write God¹ to indicate my own conceptions of God, which do not necessarily agree with definitions of official theology.]

See also the problem of the `Qualia´ – the subjective content of the experience of a mental state.

Materialists leave the people in this world completely alone. A loving, overriding force, like God¹, is missing. The sky is empty or a mirror in which man only sees himself. But what happens if we do not know how to proceed? Then the man is left to himself and overtaxed after a certain point. Life as a materialist or atheist seems to me too exhausting,43This statement expresses what happens in general; in individual cases, there are those who make their  life all too easy for themselves, at the expense of others. with too little credibility, neither sufficiently meaningful nor satisfying. It seems to be too one-sided, short-sighted, hyperrealistic/ unrealistic, sterile and soul-less.44Matthias Krieg: “The materialist is short-sighted by nature.” (Verbal message).
For a materialist, dreams, love, hope, solace, grace, salvation, spirituality, eternity, paradise, soul, God etc., in themselves, are of little consequence, since they appear to be immaterial and cannot be proven.45Predominately, materialism overall has the characteristics of a second-rate reality with its advantages and disadvantages. (See also the Summary table) The materialist resembles F. Nietzsche’s ‘last man’ mentioned above. Psychotherapy, on this basis, has then similar tendencies.
Even if materialists do not intend it to be so, their frame of mind, as it is with all ideologues, is susceptible to totalitarian views and systems. They themselves then become, to varying degrees, more totalitarian, more marginalizing, etc., according to the case in hand.
The material endowment of a person, their functionality, their usefulness and their efficiency quickly become the main criteria for their evaluation. This is a phenomenon that affects not only psychology but the whole of society, to which we are all exposed. Performance is to be even more enhanced, the economy is to grow even further. Growth for the sake of growth is, however, “the ideology of a cancer cell” (Edward Abbey). Is this not similar to the attitude of `knowledge at any cost´?

Criticism of Science and Psychology

“By that, I know the learned lord you are!
What you don’t touch, is lying leagues afar,
What you don’t grasp, is wholly lost to you,
What you don’t reckon, think you, can’t be true,
What you don’t weigh, it has no weight, alas!
What you don’t mint yourself is counterfeit.“
 Goethe, Faust46Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Faust II, Vers 4917 ff.

See also superordinate Criticism of Anthropocentrism. and Criticism of Materialism

There has always been criticism of understanding psychology as science.47A good overview can be found at Mark Galliker (DOI 10.1007/978-3-658-09927-5, 2016) This is especially true with regard to their low relevance for everyday life.48E.g., Ludwig Wittgenstein (in Philosophische Untersuchungen) Georges Politzer (s. Ref.), Recently, Eva Jaeggi (s. Ref.) etc.
M.Galliker: “Should psychology be understood more clearly as a natural science than before, there is a risk that … psychosocial practice will become even more medicalized and the prospect of a specifically psychological practical relevance in this area will be further reduced.” In addition, there is a fear that psychology will dissolve into pure neuroscience.49Ibid p 189 ff.

A pure materialistic academic psychology reduces the person to that which can be proven, to that which is, ultimately, matter, and thereby overlooks that which is life in its truest sense. 50Whilst idealists sit, rather, in ivory towers and might thus also allow life to pass by.
This type of psychology not only de-spiritualize, de-soul and reify man, but it also robs him of his right to unconditional dignity, unconditional right to self-determination and freedom. 51From my viewpoint, this is ludicrous, since, contrary to all experience, such a “scientist” will consider himself to have proven that a person has no free will. (It is, of course, clear that a person’s actions are not exclusively independent). Benjamin Libet: Haben wir einen freien Willen? in: Geyer: Hirnforschung und Willensfreiheit, 2004, p. 268-290.
If psychology regards all that is human as a mere reaction or product etc, then it also denies our primary responsibility and the uniqueness of every individual.
Such scientists will, I believe, have little understanding of the subjective and even the chaotic traits of mental illnesses. Rather, they will tend to think in dualistic or digital ways and, as a result, fail to recognize the shades of meaning in the words uttered – or if they do, will aim to further digitize these shades of meaning. As I understand S. Freud’s utterance (which I believe to be correct) that: The laws of logic … do not hold for processes in the Id,52like: it means that, with science, one will struggle to gain access to the unconscious.
Another weak point of materialistic science is its closed system of thinking. It is incomprehensible how academic psychology overlooks the importance of spirituality and religiosity, even though these are of existential importance to billions of people. Man is seen in the limits of input-output and not as one, at least in the Absolute, free. Thus, “pure science” will not be able to transgress a limitation that distinguishes the provable and predictable from the unprovable and unpredictable, which is the unique, too. However, these are the innermost beliefs and feelings of a person, that distinguish them from machines and things. One might otherwise think: It is not me, as a person, who is ill, nor is it my soul which is suffering but rather, my synapses are affected or my metabolism is suffering – but thus, only half of the truth is grasped and options for therapy are lost- the latter coming predominately in the form of psychotropic drugs, which correct the relevant dysfunction.
In other words: Materialism and science, per se, when applied exclusively, neither include comfort nor love, and are, by themselves, weak foundations for psychotherapy. Whether science can be undertaken in an unbiased, presuppositionless way, is also questionable. Of course, such issues are already visible when, for example, building the nuclear bomb. What good will all our knowledge, all our growth, the best inventions and the greatest progress do if they are not embedded within a +A (+meta-level); considered in isolation, these could all be used for evil too.

Here, I cite some further quotations to this topic:

      • Erwin Schrödinger: In the world of science “there are no sensory qualities …” Of particular poignance in Schrödinger’s view is “the utter silence of our entire scientific research regarding our questions about the meaning and purpose of the undertakings … The personal God cannot be found in an image of the world which has only become accessible at the cost of all personal references being excluded. We know: Whenever God is experienced, this is a moment which is just as real as an unmediated sensory perception or as one’s own personality.”53 Erwin Schrödinger: Auszüge aus „Das arithmetische Paradoxon – Die Einheit des Bewusstseins”. Quotations from Einstein and Schrödinger took from:, 2015.
      •  Bernd Senf sharply judges: “Science, which originally opposed ecclesiastical dogmatism, has long since developed into a new system of belief preached by new scribes and readjusted by the public.” 54( Similar to Wolfgang Pauli: “Today we are at a point where the rationalistic attitude has passed its peak and is perceived as too narrow.” 55Wolfgang Pauli:  Physik und Transzendenz, Hans-Peter Dürr (Hrsg.), Bern u. a.: Scherz, 1986, p.  205.
      • ”Science offers access to matter; religion and philosophy, however, offer access to the mind and spirit.” “The movers and shakers (of today) not only bitumize their external environment but also the souls around them.”56 Evangelischer Erwachsenenkatechismus, Gütersloher Verlagshaus 6. edition 2000, p 60 und p. 13 (no further reference source).
      • Richard Lewontin: The self-limitation of science to empiricism, which is predominant today, shows that there is “a prior commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world. On the contrary, it is that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.“ 57, 2019.
      • Arthur Eddington: “Almost all the great classical philosophers – certainly Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, Locke and Berkeley – they all argued that the ultimate reality, often hidden under the appearances of the material world or time and space, is mind or spirit.” Concerning the inherent bias of scientificity, he told a parable of a fisher who would only accept the fish he caught in his net as being fish. 58Quotating Arthur Eddington, from John Lennox: Hat die Wissenschaft Gott begraben? R. Brockhaus; 2. ed. Wuppertal 2002, p. 44.
      • Gerhard Grössing: One is often “confronted with Albert Einstein’s statement that the setting of principles (axioms), which are intended to link up the elements of experience in a meaningful way, will not be accomplished through a logical method but only through an ‘intuitive (psychological) connection’, whereby he meant that the `free creation of the human mind´ is an indispensable part of theory construction.”59 Gerhard Grössing: Die Information der Physik: Subjektal und objektal. In: p 6, 10/2013.
      • Heinzpeter Hempelmann: “The acquisition of scientific knowledge is based upon the reduction of a comprehensive desire for knowledge to a simple, limited question … However, the success of the same will be purchased at the price of relinquishing the quest for knowledge of the whole.“ 60Heinzpeter Hempelmann: Eine kritische Analyse der Reichweite und grenzenwissenschaftlicher Aussagen am Beispiel der Neurowissenschaften. In:
      • Noam Chomsky: “It is quite possible … that we will always learn more about human life and personality from novels than from scientific psychology.“61 Chomsky, Noam: Language and Problems of Knowledge: The Managua Lectures, Lecture 5, 1988, p. 159.
      • The Noncognitivism argued against the absolutization of knowledge: e.g. F. Bacon (“knowledge is power”), as did Lenin,  S. Freud (“Our God, Logos”), Maturana (“to live is to know”) and through Cognitivism, (albeit, in my opinion, too one-sidedly), according to which the sphere of the subjective is not accessible to any scientific knowledge, since that which is subjective, the psyche, is beyond the two criteria of truth accepted by empirical science: logical and mathematical proof and testing through observation or experiment.62 Aus: 2/ 2014. (Emphasis mine).
More precisely, one might need to say: The field of the subjective, such as the psyche, can only be ascertained through the methods of empirical science, and only relatively well.
• F. Nietzsche: “`Reason´ is the cause of our falsification of the testimony of the senses.“ 63“Twilight of the Idols”, Part 2, Section 36.
• More recent discussions are presented by R. Sheldrake in ‘The Science Delusion”.
In this respect, I would like to briefly touch upon realism and functionalism, since they have quite important roles to play in materialistic philosophy and respective psychotherapies.


“The mental action or process of acquiring knowledge or understanding through thought, experience and the senses, of a reality which exists independent of consciousness.” 64Taken from:
As explained in detail in the section `Metapsychiatry´, I believe that our world supports itself as first and second-rate realities; as do we as people. Only a first-rate reality can be unambiguous; the second-rate, however, can only exist as relatively unambiguous realities or even ambiguous realities. The term `realism´ however, cannot distinguish between these two spheres of reality; and misunderstandings ensue if this is attempted. So what does the phrase: “I am a realist” mean? Most likely, it means that “For me, the reality is the defining authority.” The reality, however, is not unambiguous. Similarly questionable is the statement: “I am realistic.” Would it not have been realistic for those in the Third Reich to greet people with `Heil Hitler´? A “realist” will tend to portray reality either hyper-realistically by ignoring its fuzziness and contradictions, or by presenting it all too vaguely.
Materialistic psychotherapies generally define the `adaptation to reality´ as the objective of the therapy. For a criticism of this, see the chapter: Psychotherapy.


Definitions: “Function: Variable factor which is dependent upon another for its value.” 65Großes Fremdwörterbuch KW `Funktion´.
Functionalism considers in particular the conscious mind to be a function of the sense organs.66According to Schischkoff, KW `Funktion´. `Functionalism states that mental states are functional states; A functional state is defined by responding to a specific input with a specific output.´67  12/ 2013. Generally speaking, materialists are also functionalists. Therefore, similar to psychotherapists of this provenance, materialists tend to form an opinion of a person according to their functionality, or even to make this the primary aim of their therapy. However, a person is not primarily a functionary. According to Schischkoff, a functionary is a person “whose occupation consists of performing functions, i.e. of `functioning´.” “As a personality type, a functionary is considered to be excessively compliant and risk-averse with a propensity for routine.“ 68Meyers Großes Taschenlexikon. Schischkoff quotes Alfred Weber, who refers to the functionary as the “fourth man”; a specialist, whose ambition drives him to “identify with his functions, even if he has been forced upon by foreign will. As a consequence, the personality is split into a functionary’s character and a … residual person, with the functionary’s character being capable of performing extremely inhumane actions. Thus, Weber explains the potential for totalitarian governance.”69  Schischkoff, KW: Funktionär; s. Bibliography . I believe that if we do not consider life, with its dysfunctionalities, to be more important than functionality, we will not only hinder our lives but functionality itself, since the functionalist will react in either hyper-functional or, more frequently, non-functional and dysfunctional ways.
Entire societies may perish as a result of the prioritization of functionality and efficiency. In the same way, we will harm our patients in the long term if we believe that it is necessary to urge them towards embracing functionality as a priority. It is with dread that I think of the possibility of a future in which we merely function but no longer live our lives; merely adapting to reality rather than shaping it.


Academic Language and Academic Activities

“... I believe that everything, even the best, becomes one-sided if the opposition is lacking.
Eugen Bleuler to S. Freud

The ordinary people will hardly understand theology, psychology and psychiatry. This can be compared to the sentiments of a participant of a psychological or theological discussion about the human being, who has the sense that “These people are speaking also about me as a human being and yet I cannot understand them.” But in matters of theology, psychology and psychiatry, we do not discuss specific issues such as in debates about astrophysics but matters which affect us all. However, these kinds of discussions are often held in attitudes that are closed to the general public, in particular to those affected.
Certainly, certain technical terms are necessary, but many are avoidable, and the connection to the grassroots, to the people, would not be lost if one “looked the people in the mouth” more often, as Luther did, or followed Einstein’s advice: “Wise is he who says hard things simply.”  Or as Manfred Bleuler aptly said to students: “Psychiatry is simple and human in its essence. With a healthy mind, a little experience of life, and a warm heart, its fundamentals are easy to grasp. Everything that seems complicated to you in psychiatry is not so important, and often it is merely expressed in an exaggeratedly complicated way.”
Many of the published papers in this field are biased, as evidenced by the following statistic: Though 99% of all studies with positive results for antidepressants are published, this is only the case for studies with a negative result in 26%.
The important issue here, however, is not only to establish one’s independence of the industry or other interest groups; what is at stake, rather, is the internal independence of the individual doctor or psychotherapist. Whoever wishes to have a career in today’s world needs to publish a large number of papers. Thus, at one time, innumerable articles describing the effects of psychotropic drugs were published but, a few years later, it is amazing to read that a team of researchers could not tell the difference between the effects of placebos and antidepressants in terms of mild to moderate depression.”70Both bibliographical references in H. Schauenburg, Deutsches Ärzteblatt, 2009.

Concerning the academic activities undertaken within psychological departments, see G. Vinnai’s criticism in: “Die Austreibung der Kritik aus der Wissenschaft: Psychologie im Universitätsbetrieb” (The Expulsion of Criticism from Science: Psychology in University Departments) – also for `Fragen an die Neuropsychologie´(Questions for Neuropsychology), see the unabridged German version, and in section Neuroscience in psychotherapy. 


There is not one philosophy of idealism but many diverse trends that have this in common: the “perspective that considers objective reality as being determined by idea, spirit and reason, and even regards matter as an outward form of the spirit.“ 71According to Schischkoff, KW Idealismus (Idealism) .
At present, idealist positions only feature marginally within the sciences. Therefore, idealism as an opposite standpoint to materialism shall only be mentioned briefly here. Esotericism and spiritualist currents settle here. Idealist and humanist trends are commonly (→) anthropocentric and imply (→) Belief in progress. (For more details, see the relevant section.)

Materialism and Idealism

• Juxtaposition in key words

Materialism versus idealism
          positive: more concrete, `real´, provable and demonstrable, clearer, more down to earth
           negative: too nearsighted, flat, sterile, too-heavy resp. lack of advantages of idealism.
Idealism versus materialism
          positive: more far-sighted, more imaginative, more soulful, more intuitive
          negative: more abstract, world-fugitive, aloof 72E.g. → Concrete Examples (Hölderlin, Nietzsche…  or lack of advantages of materialism.

While the human being in the “flatland of materialism” (Franz Werfel) has no height,
the idealist tends to lose his grip on the ground.

• Materialism ↔ Idealism
They are in opposition. But they are only opponents at first glance, they are also conditional on each other. In the history of ideas one often finds how both worldviews alternate.
See also → Interplay of opposing sA as ideologies in part II Metapsychiatry.


I will examine two overlapping definitions as a basis for this section 73This section discusses the so-called idealist humanism. With regard to `materialistic humanism‘, the points made in the section on `Materialism’ are also valid here.
• Humanism “points to … an ideal image of a person, who can freely develop their personality based on an all-rounded theoretical and moral education.” 74, 2013. (2016 editon is no longer available).
“Humanism … is a well-reflected anthropocentrism‎, which starts from our human consciousness and focuses on the appreciation of the human person …” 75According to Schischkoff, KW ` Humanismus‘ (Humanism). 
Anthropocentric Worldview can be considered to be a connecting element of old and new approaches [of humanism].“ 76Wikipedia KW Humanismus, 1/2016. See also `Humanismus´

Forms of Humanism

Goethe´s Humanism
A. Keyserling characterizes Goethe’s humanism as follows: “It is not the work nor the fruit but rather, the process of bringing fruit that is how the entelechy develops … The development of the personality through objectification and shaping of the original disposition was Goethe’s way of life … The famous novel, Faust, comes to an end with the words `Whoever strives with all his might, that man we can redeem´.” 77Taken from: Arnold Keyserling, in: 3/2016.
Goethe has, according to W. Leppmann, the “educational ideal of an autonomous person who completes himself or herself.”78 Wolfgang Leppmann: Goethe und die Deutschen – Vom Nachruhm eines Dichters. W. Kohlhammer Verlag, 1962, p 193. C.G. Jung expressed a similar viewpoint with regard to `individuation´.79 See also my criticism of the absolutization of individuation and maturation, loc. cit. → Individuation 

Immanuel Kant explains the categorical imperative as an ethical behavior that one must “act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law.” Is Kant’s categorical imperative a misguided absolutization of duty and reason? Indeed, I think so.
Here are several typical quotes. Kant: “Duty! Thou sublime and great name which … demands submission …” 80Friedrich Kirchner in: 3/2016.
Kant calls for “a religion of reason, the principles of which are based purely upon reason …” For Kant, God himself is a necessary `postulate´ of practical reason, however, this statement does not involve belief in the ‘objective reality’ of the same … `The true, sole religion contains nothing but laws … on whose unconditional necessity we can become conscious and which we therefore recognize as revealed through pure reason (not empirically).“ 81Wikipedia 2/2014.

Present-Day Example Rudolf Kuhr: “Humanism … is a means and an end in itself, and urges a person to work upon themselves like no other orientation. Therefore, since this is arduous, most people, thus far, have chosen a religion that promises them salvation through an external agent, as does Christianity … (It) misleads a person to deal with their inner conflicts outside of their own person. Thus, they ask God for help (God is with us!), rather than solving their own conflicts with the aid of psychology … The human person is the problem of other human persons and the world – and also the solution.”82 Rudolf Kuhr: Warum ich kein Christ bin; In: 2/2014. Critical question: If Mr Kuhr had a daughter who was terminally ill – would he say the same thing to her? I sincerely hope not.

Criticism of Humanism

What is meant is the criticism of anthropocentric, secular humanism, which is an important basis of humanistic psychotherapies.
Such humanists have substituted God¹ with a super-ego (+sA “Humanum”), which is less loving than the +A (God¹); indeed, one which will even, on certain occasions, deal mercilessly with people.
If humanity is the final instance, what is with my inhumanity, which also exists?
If human reason is the final instance, what shall I say about my irrationalities? Could they be integrated, or do they need to be repressed, dissociated or even opposed? Secular humanism demands too much of a person, since it must label that which is inhumane and evil as taboo, must dissociate from it and oppose it. Since the inhumane and evil is inherent in human beings, however, and can only be partially but not principally “conquered”, an unsolvable conflict arises within us, which may have potentially bad effects if we take humanism too seriously.
The philosopher John Gray criticizes this form of humanism, believing the fundamental conviction of humanists, the history of humankind as a history of progress, to be a superstitious belief. “Humanists say: Whilst the goal might be presently unattainable, we can nevertheless head towards it. These are siren songs … Every perceived progress is ambivalent. One can accumulate knowledge but not ethical improvements … The increase in knowledge increases a person’s power, for better or for worse … Self-determined life is a modern fetish. Whoever means to change the world through will-power, comes dangerously close to terrorism in the name of reason or of the common good, as shown by the Jacobites during the French Revolution or the Bolsheviks under Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin …“83 The magazine “Der Spiegel” in conversation with John Gray: DER SPIEGEL, taken from 9/2010
In my opinion, we are not to `bid farewell to humanism´, as recommended by John Gray’s book of the similar title but to take our leave of its absolutization, which is however only possible if that which is inhumane, aggressive, evil, egotistical or any other negative aspect of a person (of which we all bear within ourselves) is not made out to be a mortal sin, nor considered to be unpardonable, and thus made into the fundamental cause of an illness. This is only possible however if one embeds the humanist ideology into a larger, more comprehensive structure, which is able to integrate and compensate for these negative qualities of humankind, without applauding them as being good. This more comprehensive structure could most readily be called love. Then, however, one now encounters the problem that human love will be absolutized and overextends the human being and may then harm people. If we had previously postulated the necessity to be humane and progressive, we are now condemned to be full of love and forgiveness. In my opinion, without an authority which transcends the human person, thus without a transcendent, loving authority, which I have also termed +A (God¹), every other mindset becomes an absolutized ideology and therefore, at best, suboptimal.

Humanism and Christianity

Relevant for both are the following values: Human dignity and the fundamental rights of all humans; equality before the law, protection from despotism, freedom of religion and conscience – these are values that are anchored in the Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations.
However: “For many centuries, the Christian churches were guided less by the belief in human dignity but more by sin … Only the baptized, dogmatically orthodox Christian was deemed to be worthy to be granted dignity. But heresy, unbelief or heathenism was deemed to invite any kind of persecution, torture and inhumane treatment. It was only the Renaissance, humanism and the Reformation which brought human dignity back to the fore … This fostered the modern idea of the human rights: Every person is worth more than their achievements. Whilst he may himself violate his dignity, no state or church power may deny him of this. It must always be understood that there is a difference between a person and their actions.”84 Evangelischer Erwachsenenkatechismus s. Bibliography p  368/ 371.
So what is the difference between humanism and Christianity? Humanism is anthropocentric. The Christian message is, at the same time, anthropocentric and theocentric. Whilst love and humanism are very important amongst us humans, they are yet imperfect and require the love of God¹ in our midst. According to humanism as an ideology, the divine humanism is irrelevant. Humanism must make do with the human humanism, for which the humane becomes the last authority, although it is problematic in itself. “The Christian message not only contains the divine challenge to love our neighbour, … but, above all, the assurance of unconditional divine love and forgiveness … The Christian faith relativizes moral conduct. This means that God¹, the gospel, is stronger than the law; grace is stronger than our sin; and we are liberated from the compulsion to be good. And yet, though the radical commandment of love will still ensure that one can never be satisfied with one’s achievements, it does not signify that the value of a person is dependent upon that which they have accomplished for society [dependent upon a person’s humane attitude].”85 Evangelischer Erwachsenen Katechismus, Gütersloh, 6. edition 2000. p. 381 [Addition by the author].
“Karl Barth said that, first and foremost, one would have to speak of God’s humanism: of God’s love for people … Secular humanisms are, effectively, dispensable. They are merely `abstract programs´ in the face of the assurance that all human beings are children of God, as it is proclaimed in the Gospels.”86 Wikipedia:  2/ 2014. However, I in no way believe secular humanisms to be dispensable. Nor I do consider them to be as dangerous as the following quotation expresses “Humanity without divinity turns into bestiality“. 87Quotation by F. Schleiermacher or Grillparzer. (This means that being human without dependence upon God, will lead to the human person becoming an animal). The French Revolution may serve as an example of this. This would seem to mean that an absolutized humanism, which permanently suppresses all that is brutal and evil in a person, may degenerate into `bestiality‘, since it is precisely such a humanism which enslaves us and makes us aggressive. Expressed more generally: This absolutization of humanism leads to “hyper-humanism” (pro-position), anti-humanism (contra-position) or indifference (0-position). In each of these cases, a person is living against their human nature, since the latter is neither purely humane nor exclusively evil.

About the Anthropocentric Belief in Progress

Here, I will present just a few hypotheses:
• Belief in progress in the sense of progressivism can be found in materialism as well as in idealism.
• Humankind is not in a position to implement such an (absolutized) belief in progress.
Such ideologies of progress give rise, first of all, to utopian dreams, and then, they generate suffering.
• I believe that we, as people, can only achieve relative progress. Put more precisely: Progress is a positive Relative and bears the characteristics of the same: it is neither absolute nor negligible but diverse, incomplete, conditional, secondary and dependent (Asp. a1-a7). This also means that all these relative advances also have disadvantages. Therefore, an important question is whether the advantages or disadvantages outweigh.
• With every progress, there is the potential for its misuse – all the more so if the progress is considered to be absolute (dynamics of the pro- and anti-positions). Examples: today, one kills “better” and faster; the digital world has great advantages but also disadvantages. Medication in general, and psychotropic drugs in particular, can alleviate much suffering; however, they are also greatly abused etc.
• Therefore, belief in progress in an appropriate form would neither be progressivism, nor not any faith in progress but it would depend upon the type of progress made and the sacrifices made for the sake of progress, etc.
• Medical progress, the objective of which is merely the prolongation of life or recovery at any price, would be as questionable as analog technical progress at any cost.
• Anthropocentric attitudes feature a form of belief in progress which necessitates the possession of a humane and sensible mind. However, we are not always humane and sensible, as mentioned before (nor do we always wish to be so). They appeal one-sidedly to the ego strength of a person but we are often weak and, at times, powerless. We should emancipate ourselves, individuate, and finally grow up and take on responsibility. However, we are and often remain dependent, immature and afraid of certain responsibilities and commitments; and, at times, this may well be the most appropriate option.

Religions and Spiritual Movements


Religions are the strongest spiritual powers since they focus on that which is unconditional, absolute. This is why they can have exceedingly positive but else, in the case of their abuse in particular, extremely negative effects. All world religions have a basic tendency to favor that which is humane. (KW “world ethos”, H. Küng).
I have compiled the points which seem to be important to me, concerning the three world religions, in the following table: 88The following description of the most important religions necessarily only includes that which seems to me personally most essential for our topic. In addition, there are diverse directions in all religions, which for reasons of space I will disregard at this point.

Religions and Spiritual Movements


Religions are the strongest spiritual powers since they focus on that which is unconditional, absolute. This is why they can have exceedingly positive but else, in the case of their abuse in particular, extremely negative effects. All world religions have a basic tendency to favor that which is humane. (KW “world ethos”, H. Küng).
I have compiled the points which seem to be important to me, concerning the three world religions, in the following table:


Revelation /
Holy Scriptures
   Quran is to be taken literally
   since it came directly from Allah.
 The speeches of Buddha   New Testament, which is not in itself holy but depicts God/ Jesus .
Declared byMuhammadBuddhaJesus

Salvation through:

Allah / one’s own actions

One’s own actions, self-salvation

Jesus and one’s own request
Must /
“Five pillars”: declaration of faith
(5x /day) prayer, alms-giving, Hajj.
Every action generates karma, bad karma needs to be worked off.Free will
Accession through:1x saying the declaration of faithArguably freeVoluntary, unconditional.
Officially: Through baptism. *
Quit by:Barely possible,
at times the threat of death penalty.
Arguably freeFree
Life after deathVery worldly ideas,
not very attractive for women.
(for me, too stressful) Finally Nirvana (for me, too deindividualizing)
Eternal and good.
AdvantagesIn principle, humanistic and caring.In principle, humanistic and caring.Jesus as the one who redeems and provides orientation. There is no coercion and the guidance is good. All people have the same and greatest value; God loves all people. Free “attitude toward Absolute”. Whatever is regretted can be forgiven.
DisadvantagesAllah is too far away, too arbitrary.
A person’s right actions are too important, this is too demanding. There are some aggressive statements in the Quran.
Not enough equality.
There is no God, little support,
a person’s right actions are too important; this is too stressful.
Seemingly, a disadvantage: one’s own good works have only relative significance.
* I myself do not consider this to be compulsory. See e.g. Jesus’ assurance given to the criminal, who was crucified with him and who was probably not baptized, that he would “be with me in paradise today”.
    A Story

Three brothers [representing the three monotheistic religions] set forth to seek their fortune. After a few years, they meet up again.
The first one reports: “I am the king of a kingdom full of order, with 700 rules and God is with me.” The second one says: ”I am the king of a kingdom with a world-spanning idea of social justice and the sovereignty of God on this earth.” The third brother says: “I live in the kingdom of love.” 89One could also apply this story to behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis or metatherapy.
It is good that the choice is free. None of the three can prove that life is best in his land. I would personally move to the land of the third brother.
Suggestion: Read the Old Testament, the Quran and the biography of Muhammad, and the New Testament and the biography of Jesus – and then assess.

About Islam

 Islam means submission to the will of God. At the center of the process of salvation is the Quran. The Quran is regarded as the literal revelation of Allah to Muhammad mediated by the Archangel Gabriel (“Dictation Understanding” of the Quran). In addition to the Quran, the Sunnah (see below) plays an important role. 90According to and, 2017.
Islam specifies five fundamental duties that all Muslims have to adhere to and which constitute the `pillars´ of their faith =
the “Five Pillars” of Islam: 91© 2004 Islamisches Zentrum München.

      1. Belief in Allah and the profession of this faith.
      2. The five daily prayers.92The 1st and 2nd are to be spoken in Arabic.
      3. Charitable giving to one’s fellows.
      4. Fasting during Ramadan.
      5. The pilgrimage to Mecca.

Polygamy is permitted. Muhammad had nine wives. He consummated his marriage with his third and favorite wife, Aisha, when he was himself over 50 years old, and she was 9 years old.93Aus:, 2014. In his lifetime, he has executed many of his opponents. “Family law (marriage, divorce, custodianship) is strictly regulated in favor of the man.”94 Großer Brockhaus, KW Islam. “On Judgement Day, he (Allah) will judge people: Unbelievers will face hellfire and believers will be promised the umbrageous paradise with its virgins (Huris) … The Quran attempts to cover all spheres of life by way of legal regulations.“ 95Meyers Großes Taschenlexikon, KW Islam. “The jihad constitutes an important Islamic principle of faith, as it is one of the fundamental commandments of the Islamic faith and a duty imposed upon all Muslims. Some Sunnite scholars add the jihad to the five pillars of Islam as a sixth.”96 Wikipedia:  1/ 2016. In different, relevant writings, “jihad” has different meanings: armed struggle (primarily against `unbelievers´ and apostates) or merely peaceful effort. Those termed “unbelieving” are all those who do not believe in Allah and Muhammad.


• That which I perceive to be positive in Islam is as follows:
The strong social aspect; in particular, caring for the poor and weak.
The depiction of a God who is, overall, benevolent towards people.
The fact that Allah is often portrayed as the “merciful”.
There is an idea of a good life after death (though admittedly, it does not correspond with mine).
• The following points are somewhat more elusive or even negative, from my perspective:
It´s difficult for me to imagine that I can regard myself as a likeness of Allah, or that Allah descends from heaven and serves me or that Allah on the cross dies for me.
In Islam, those who profess another faith, as well as those who live with no faith or according to an alternative lifestyle, such as atheists and homosexuals, are excluded. I cannot imagine that I would be loved by Allah if I believed in other gods, or that he would forgive me if I converted from Islam to Christianity. Neither I can imagine that Allah would wish that I shall love my enemies.
In my view, the role of women in Islam seems to be overly negative.
Often, believers are called to join the “jihad” (which might mean holy war after all?).
For me, Allah is a God who is too remote and arbitrary.
In Islam, people die for Allah; in Christianity, it is the opposite – Jesus dies for people.
I feel that there are too many demands, too little freedom and too little right to self-determination in this religion. Leaving the religion carries, at times, the threat of death.
Whenever I read the Quran, I find comforting verses – as I do when reading the Old Testament – but I also find a great deal that frightens me, since, from the viewpoint of the Quran, I would have to be regarded as an “infidel”. (See e.g. Sure 2: 24, 89, 190-193; Sure 8: 12, 55; Sure 47: 4, 10 and other verses targeting “infidels”.) 97See Abdel-Samad, Hamed: Der Koran – Botschaft der Liebe, Botschaft des Hasses. Droemer, München, 2016. Jesus however, does not frighten me, nor does he frighten people of other faiths and no faith. 98This is true, excluding some sayings that I believe were not originally uttered by Jesus, owing to the fact that several decades have passed between Jesus’ utterances and their recording in writing. Those who spread his message were, I believe, ordinary people who, at times, also misunderstand what was being said. (More on this later). Muslims cannot have certainty of faith because of the teaching of the Quran, as opposed to Christians.
I also see Jesus as a role model example, whereas I can barely identify with Muhammad’s lifestyle, which is as “Sunnah”, the second foundation of Islam, alongside the Quran.
Ch. Schirrmacher’s opinion is expressed in the following statement: “As long as Muhammad and the caliphs’ exhortation to do battle is not declared to be invalid for all times, Islam will not be able to slough off its problems with violence.” 9/1/2015 I would like to add the following: “As long as Christian theology does not nullify appeals to fight as they are in part attributed to the Old Testament´s God and (rarely) the New Testament (Lk 19:27), Christianity will face similar reproaches.”

About Buddhism

There is no God in Buddhism. By anthropocentric means, Buddhism attempts to overcome anthropocentrism. “Buddhism teaches: Life is an endless chain of rebirths, in which good and bad deeds are worked through. The main commandments of Buddhism are: do not kill, do not steal, do not lie, do not commit adultery.”100 Michael Hamerla: 12/2011. “From a Buddhist perspective, the self is not a constant entity but rather a process which is marked by a continuous becoming, changing and passing away … Mindfulness (also consciousness, realization) is the practice of remaining entirely in the here and now, and to perceive all that is present, both clearly and consciously but non-judgmentally.” 101Wikipedia: 10/2013. “Karma means action, work or deed; it also refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect). Good intent and good deeds contribute to good karma and future happiness, whereas  bad intent and bad deeds contribute to bad karma and future suffering. The philosophy of karma is closely associated with the idea of rebirth … karma in the present affects one’s future in the current life, as well as the nature and quality of future lives – one’s saṃsāra.”102 2019. “Buddhism’s highest aim is to escape from this cycle, by not producing karma – so that our actions no longer leave a trace in the world. In Buddhism, this is termed as the entry to Nirvana.” 103Wikipedia: 10/2013.
In recent decades, Buddhist beliefs and techniques have gained greater significance in some psychotherapist schools of thought.

    “The journey is the destination”

The motto: ‘The journey is the destination‘, which plays a special role in Buddhism, could be a motto for many other worldviews; where personal fulfillment, Individuation (C. G. Jung) and also, for society: where progress, growth etc. become the prevailing maxims. In my view, these are programs of self-redemption which will not grant peace of mind to an individual. Do not most worldviews come down to a compulsion to reach a certain goal?
What happens if the person cannot progress further, or even retreats when he is pushed back, whilst the maxim that he must proceed along a certain path remains in his heart? Does he not fall into despair? Now, one could say that even if he retreats, he will remain on the path. Whilst this is true, he must, at the very least, attempt to proceed. At times, however, this is not possible, since there are occasions when one is utterly powerless and cannot see the way forward.  → Chr. Morgenstern: “He who does not know the destination cannot have the way”.
Perhaps, this problem becomes particularly prominent at an advanced age, when one finds, as I am now discovering, that one has not grown any wiser, even though one may have developed intelligence and gained experience. Keyword: Here too, whenever the path has been followed to its conclusion, we encounter the problem of the so-called `pilgrims’ death´.

    Harmony and the equilibrium of the soul as a goal in Buddhism, and also in Chinese philosophy, these goals play an important role. Of greatest importance here, is the equilibrium and harmony between two forces which are juxtaposed as polar opposites and yet dependent upon one another in the commonly used symbol: Yin-Yang ☯. 104(For details, see M. Lurker, Wörterbuch der Symbolik). 


   • The positive aspects of Buddhism, in my opinion, are as follows:
It appears to be undogmatic and peaceable.
It advocates the overcoming of greed, hatred and delusion (three “mind poisons”).
It highly rates the inner life of a person (practice of meditation).
It does not shy away from calling people’s suffering by name.
It speaks of a perspective beyond death; earthly life is not all that there is. 105The Christian standpoint not to attribute absolute significance to earthly things, seems to be quite similar to the main objective in Buddhism to reach Nirvana. In contrast, in the Christian religion, however, it is about giving the earthly only a relative meaning and thus not dependent on it.
I see a parallel between the character of that which is second-rate (WPI²), as described above, and the Buddhist teaching regarding the Ego-illusion and the illusion of reality.
   • The following points, in my opinion, are elusive, or even negative:
There is no loving God (anthropocentrism).
As a philosophy, which is what Buddhism really is, it is too pessimistic.
Ultimately, a person must redeem themselves. Their way of life determines their karma in the next life, which, depending upon the respective school of thought, might occur – as in the case of bad karma – by way of rebirth as an animal, demon or another being.
The number of reincarnations and the permanent requirement to exert great effort, would overexert myself entirely. The prospect that the essence of a person is dissolved in the Nirvana is negative, in my opinion. 106This is contrary to the Christian faith, which promises a liberation and confirmation of one’s individuality. The continuous striving for equilibrium would, for me, be tantamount to walking the tightrope; in terms of dealing with my aggression, the permanent pursuit of harmony would suppress my aggressions too much.


“In its nature, Hinduism is polytheistic and knows many gods … In the `one godhead in three forms´ (Trimurti), the three main gods are united: Brahma represents the creative principle within the universe, Vishnu the maintaining and preserving, and Shiva the destructive principle. Alongside the main gods, there are innumerable other gods associated with Hinduism, of which many are only venerated locally … The belief in reincarnation is common to the Indian religions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The type of reincarnation depends upon the nature of the karma, i. e. the moral qualities of the actions undertaken in the past. It was from this belief in reincarnation that the Indian idea of an individual’s salvation from the cycle of existence arose (samsâra), whereby one achieves salvation from the endless return of death and rebirth. 107
Serie – Weltreligionen (2): Die vielen Gesichter des Hinduismus; and
Michael Hicke: (no date provided).

In my opinion, this religion, like other religions discussed above, also contains too many preconditions for my essential selfhood. The caste system in India, which has not yet been overcome, was promoted by Hinduism.

Esoterism and Similar Ideologies

Here, esoterism represents various spiritual, non-Christian movements. M. Poehlmann formulates the reasons for their increase: “Numerous ideological movements are making an effort to restore the unity of worldview and religion, of reason and faith, which had been lost in the context of cultural secularisation. In their aspiration to provide a relevant interpretation of the meaning and universal validity, they resemble the religions.” He further regarding esoterism: ”The person is perceived to be a potentially spiritual being, whose inner core is divine, which is the motor and impulse for the spiritual evolution. Esoterism searches for methods and practices which enable higher knowledge, expansion of consciousness and spiritual growth.”108 M. Pöhlmann in: Evangelische Zentralstelle für Weltanschauungsfragen (EZW); 2011. Esoteric ideas and practices are very important, first and foremost, to spiritual healers but also to some psychotherapists. For me, as mentioned above, they constitute an antithesis to the scientific orientation of official psychotherapy and make up for its deficiencies, albeit with many superstitious concepts. One could view them as fulfilling a similar function to the retreat into imaginary worlds of fantasy and media.

About Christianity

In this religion, I feel best. If we imagine people who – ideally – trust that they are deeply protected, that they are unconditionally lovable and everlasting and that everything Relative has only a relative meaning – what can destroy these people? How much easier they will overcome their emotional crises! How many expensive defense and fulfillment mechanisms will become superfluous? If we believe we are redeemed, we are beloved for our own sake; If we trust that we have permission to be who we are, we would no longer need +sA and not be afraid of ‒sA. 109There is a danger however, that those affected might believe that one’s health only depends on one’s strength of belief and, vice versa, that one’s illness is indicative of one’s lack of faith.

D. Claessens and Erik Erikson have described the importance of a `basic trust´.110Dieter Claessens: Familie und Wertsystem, [1962], 4th edition, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1979.
Erik H. Erikson, Der vollständige Lebenszyklus, Frankfurt am Main 1992.

Basic trust develops through love (in religious terms: God). Almost all famous psychotherapists, including S. Freud, Eugen and Manfred Bleuler, G. Benedetti, A. Gruen, as well as others, consider love (towards the patient), or the person’s unprejudiced acceptance by others, to be the essential therapeutic attitude; resp. the lack of such love in childhood to be the determining pathogenic deficit of the patient and every good psychotherapist accepts the dignity and freedom of their patient without reservation – that is, in spite of every failure and flaw of the affected.
It is all the more surprising that, in all the literature of which I am aware, there is neither a discussion about diverse psychotherapeutic schools of thought, nor an investigation concerning the ideologies or religions behind such ideas, to see whether or not they postulate a number of preconditions, which if fulfilled, enable access to such unconditional love, such implicit self-being, and which if not fulfilled, might evoke a similar pathogenic deficit as that which is induced in childhood. As long as pure science alone is practiced, and only that which can be evidenced is valid, such a discussion cannot take place, since such basic premises as love, basic trust and God cannot be proven. They are then deemed to be irrelevant, even if they are obviously not so in practice.
But it is also important to question critically what one calls ‘Christian’.

“Christian” One-Sidednesses and Misinterpretations

Perhaps the greatest danger to Christianity is a false church.

In note form, I will present my opinions about some of these points: 111In so doing, I will abstain from voicing some surely much needed criticisms of churches and their practices, for reasons of space. Nevertheless, I believe that churches are currently playing a relatively positive role.

• Like all people, Christians sometimes also prefer to dismiss bitter truths or to absolutize or distort a particular issue. The underlying motives may range from fear to arrogance, and are very human. The Church itself has always had a tendency to absolutize overadaptation, morality and even itself. Protestants overemphasize achievements, free church members overemphasize a literal understanding of the Bible and conversion and, in general, Christians tend to devote themselves entirely to the service of others and disregard self-love. Self-denial is preached instead of self-love. After decades in the Church, I have only heard one sermon about the meaning of self-love but several hundred others that we should do more for our fellow human beings. The ideal Christian – so the message seems to go – must be pious, diligent, altruistic, moral, virtuous and somewhat asexual; and he must not, no matter what the issue, be aggressive or angry. Fortunately, the list of requirements, as far as I can ascertain, has been reduced; possibly because people were leaving the Church, sensing that the proclaimed message was burdensome and no longer liberating.
• Often, this erroneous attitude exists amongst Christians: Many sins can be forgiven except those which have been deliberately committed. In other words, evil actions which were committed unwittingly can be forgiven but not that which was committed in full consciousness.
• Some believe that every evil person will go to hell, since the Church has taught this doctrine at times. Jesus however, died for sinners and the first person to whom he promised entry into heaven was not a good person but a criminal – the very one who was hanging on the cross next to Jesus. (A similar message can be found in the parable of the prodigal son.)
• Church is either equated with God¹ or else, confused with religion.
• Christianity is equated with humanism and pacifism. Whilst Christianity is humanistic and peaceable, it does not absolutize these values. This is why even the “evil” and aggressive parts of humankind can be incorporated into a person.
• Misunderstandings occur when terms are mentioned such as: `humility´, `selflessness´, `giving up the self´ (see also the section concerning the Self).
• Discipleship is regarded as being imperative.
• Faith in God is absolutized. (Even by Luther?) Or else, belief in God becomes a performance. I believe that the basic will to do good, already constitutes that which is absolute from humankind’s perspective. (See also: `The absolute attitude´,`Absolute and relative will´)
• The attempt to prove God, since his credibility, by itself, does not seem sufficient.
• The belief that if we were to only believe and pray enough, all hopes for good would be fulfilled (health, peace instead of war etc.), purporting that: “A person who is ill has not enough faith.”
• The opinion: “God has died for us” or “God has sacrificed his son for us so that we might live.” These are concepts which are prone to be misunderstood since God has neither committed suicide nor killed Jesus. I believe that both are still alive.
• The belief that God regulates everything.
• The belief that Jesus can only be understood under certain conditions, for instance, when one has the right kind of faith, or when one knows the Old Testament etc.
• Overuse of the term `holy´: Many Christians call things to be holy such as: the Holy Land, a holy people, holy men and women, holy father (the Pope), holy Scriptures etc. – but they have been only sanctified of God, they are not holy in themselves. I believe, only God is holy.
• The opinion that the Bible is (as is the Quran) to be taken literally (biblicism). In connection with this is the following point:
• All Bible verses are considered to be of the same importance: The Old and New Testament, the gospels and the epistles, etc. I have little doubt that Paul would “rend his garments“ if one places equal value on his statements, as on those made by Jesus. The sequence of credibility is for me the following: the Holy Spirit or Love > the New Testament (statements made about, and by, Jesus in the gospels) > experience > reason > Paul and other epistles > the Old Testament.  Similarly, there is no clear distancing from other, similarly-toned, and much more frequently occurring passages in the Old Testament.

When prioritizing criteria of importance, the reasons why I placed Jesus’ utterances, as they have been handed down, beneath the criterion of Holy spirit or love, are the following:
By no means were Jesus’ disciples always guided by the Holy Spirit but rather, they did things which blatantly contravened the directions given in other verses (e.g. Peter dealt with Ananias and his wife Sapphira in such a hard-hearted way that both died, simply because they had kept a little of the money which they were to give to the fellowship, Acts 5:1–11). It is instances such as these which give us an insight as to why the disciples and their successors have handed down some of the teachings of Jesus in an other spirit. Therefore, one should be somewhat skeptical towards the Bible verses which do not seem to correspond to this spirit of love. However the “spirit of love” is, in no way, always a comfortable one!

• Church does not dare to correct some questionable Bible verses attributed to Jesus, despite the fact that they clearly contradict his messages found in other verses, and that they have always been a bone of contention. In particular, there are four passages in Matthew’s gospel (Mt 8:12; 18:8ff; 22:13; 25:41) and in Luke’s gospel 19:27, which appear to be threats rather than statements that are in accordance with love.

Scholars have been hesitant to remove or mark as questionable some derogatory remarks made by Paul about women, such as “women should remain silent in the churches”, or verses discussing the “works of the flesh”, of which we are told that those who practice such things will not enter the kingdom of heaven (Gal 5:19ff; Rom 1:28ff; Tit 1:10ff). These statements are not in keeping with the spirit of Jesus and have caused a lot of damage. (KW: verbal inspiration, the inerrancy of the Bible).

• Some people consider themselves to be Christians and misuse the name of Christ. In the name of God, wars are fought, people are oppressed etc. (Keyword: `Christianism’). Sadly, it is not often taken into consideration that the wolf in sheep’s clothing is a wolf and not a sheep, and that not everyone who calls himself Christian is actually a Christian. How often do we hear the argument that it was the “Christians“ who were responsible for the crusades, the inquisition etc. However, such “Christians“ cannot claim that they were acting on the authority of Jesus, who even challenged his listeners to love their enemies; whilst in some religions, using force against one’s enemies and against `infidels´ is not at all excluded.
• Some claims sole representation, in the sense that experiencing God and finding the truth can be found only in Christianity; or else that salvation comes solely through faith in Jesus Christ. By way of contrast, others believe that all religions have the same value (theological pluralism). I have personally found the greatest amount of love within Christianity (this corresponds, roughly, to the attitude of `inclusivistic theology´).

Christian Fundamentalism, Religionism

Christian fundamentalists demand Christians have to be  Bible-believing and practicing, have to be born-again and converted.112According to a cartoon found at the Convention of the Evangelical Church: Kirchentag München.
They think that one has to pray in a particular way, with a particular frequency; one has to take the Bible literally and to adhere to other imperatives – which ultimately amount to self-redemption. “It is only we who are chosen and redeemed – the others are not so!”, is their belief. Here, Christian fundamentalism approximates other fundamentalisms.

Criticism of Religion

In the following, the main focus will be a criticism of the Christian religion (for the main sources, please see footnote) 113; and Weinrich, Michael: Religion und Religionskritik; Göttingen, 2. edition 2012.

Brief remarks made by myself are denoted by the use of a cursive font and placed in square brackets: [ ].

Well-Known Critics of Religion

Ludwig Feuerbach (1804 – 1872)
– God is a projection of the human mind. Feuerbach calls for us to remove the projection and to re-appropriate the energy which has thereby become available for the humanization of humanity.
[One cannot prove that God or love is a projection. However, one can also not prove that the opposite is the case. If in doubt, I prefer to believe in the better.]
– Religion is consolation in the beyond, (escapism). [Comments, see below.]
Development of the projection of ​​God according to Feuerbach: the suffering of the individual → the wishes of the individual (happiness, fulfillment) as well as the instinct of self-preservation and imagination → Projection: God.
 __________________________________________________ ____________

Karl Marx (1818 – 1883)
– Refers to Feuerbach’s theories, religion is a creation by people, religion is simultaneously an expression of the hardship of people and a protest against this hardship.
– Religion causes people to be passive and therefore to suffer misery = “opium for people”
– This passivity serves to benefit those who possess, as well as the powerful.
[However, Jesus stirred people up and found harsh words to use against those who have and the powerful.]
– Marx calls for a better distribution of possession within society (communism), which would obviate the need for religion and it would automatically disappear.
[This ideology has already failed.]
__________________________________________________ ____________

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900)
– The natural and historical sciences have rendered religion implausible.
– Christianity calls for a “slave morality”.
[Human being however, was made in the image of God and Jesus condemned the absolutization of morals, the “law”.]
– The will of humankind should replace God. 
[See the section concerning `The absolute attitude´’.]
– The “death of God” – is a lengthy process, in which God dies out in the conscious mind of humankind. I do not believe that this will happen.]
– Nietzsche believes that by overcoming religion man has the chance to become a “Beyond-Man” (“Übermensch”), with new creative abilities.
[Inmy opinion, this is a utopian Belief in progress; it is also prone to misunderstanding and open to abuse → NS-ideology.
In part, this criticism of Nietzsche is valid: Where are the redeemed Christians?] 

__________________________________________________ __________

Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939):114In Original: S. Freud: Gesammelte Werke, Band 7, p  129­, 139; Band 14, p 323, ­380; Band 15, p  170­,197
– Religion is similar to a childhood neurosis: the relationship between the child and its parents is like the relationship between the individual and God.
I think the comparison is correct but not in a pathological sense because even as an adult I am sometimes like a child and I am glad to hope that God will comfort me like a mother.]
– Man suffers from blows of fate over which he has no control. He personifies these as “God.” → Emotional Relief. [That seems to make sense to me.]
– Religion hinders an individual’s development into an adult, since he or she can always blame the supernatural for everything that happens to him or her.
[In my opinion, this only applies to misunderstood religiosity. Christian religion accepts childlike aspects of us. We would be overstrained if we always had to act as adults.]
– He calls for the growing maturation of personality of the individuals, so that they can take responsibility for their own lives.
[See also my criticism concerning ` Individuation .]
– Education to reality is necessary, to assessing the reality of the external world and acting upon it accordingly
See sections concerning `realism´ and functionalism, within the chapter about `Criticism of Materialism´.]


Dawkins et al.
• In his book “The God Delusion”, R. Dawkins suggests that many ills in the world are caused by religion. “Imagine … a world with no religion. Imagine no suicide bombers, no 9/11, no 7/7, no Crusades, no witch-hunts, no Gunpowder Plot, no Indian partition, no Israeli/Palestinian wars, no Serb/Croat/Muslim massacres, no persecution of Jews as ‘Christ killers‘, no Northern Ireland ‘troubles’ …“.115 See bibliographical references.
1. There are, no doubt, religions that promote aggression and refuse to renounce violence. Dawkins would need to differentiate more clearly. 2. Not everyone who calls himself a Christian is a Christian. 3. Even a peace-loving religion can be misused.]
• Even some of the statements contained in a new textbook about psychotherapy and psychosomatic medicine, published in 2008, are entirely undifferentiated and theologically insupportable, from which the following extract is taken: “In the tradition of the Christian and … Jewish religion, ever since their expulsion from paradise, humankind has been bent on doing evil since his youth. Following the pattern of original sin, he does evil, even though he knows to do good, as Paul indicates, and must expect God’s punishment in return. He or she can only confess that they are sinners, attempt to do good and hope that God will redeem them. Topics such as sin, the expectation of punishment, the fear of punishment, the hope of forgiveness and salvation are implanted within occidental people groups and play a particularly decisive role in the case of mental disorders. Also, Christianity demands that we deny ourselves the satisfaction of our drives, and, in particular, to endure the actions of others as followers of Jesus, instead of being aggressive; Christianity demands not to take revenge upon attackers but rather, to love our enemies. Human virtues such as poverty, humility and chastity comprehensively describe the renunciation of instincts.” 116G. Rudolf and P. Henningsen, taken from: Psychotherapeutische Medizin und Psychosomatik. Gerd Rudolf and Peter Henningsen 6th edition. Thieme Verlag 2008, p.76. What a misinterpretation! When God says we should not “sin”, it is not a threat but orientation. He also loves us when we are angry, aggressive, etc. Paul says, “Everything is allowed but not everything is beneficial” (1Cor 6:12). [Hint: I partly write God¹ to indicate my own conceptions of God, which do not necessarily agree with definitions of official theology.]
• H. Schnädelbach even speaks of the “Curse of Christianity” and laments a devaluation of this life, a devaluation of the physical and its consequences including repressive sexual morals, celibacy and self-harm. 117Herbert Schnädelbach In: »Die Zeit«, No. 20, 11.5. 2000.

Concerning the Criticism of the Christian Religion

    1. Surely, the critics are right when they point out “Christian” or ecclesial one-sidednesses and misinterpretations including those mentioned above, as well as others.
    2. However, many critics mean a particular ecclesial doctrine and practice, or passages of the Old Testament, yet rarely discuss the person of Jesus himself. I suspect that most critics have not read the New Testament. 118Friedrich Nietzsche was probably an exception, who presented a rather contradictory and at times very positive image.
    3. a lot of people resent God or refuse to believe in him because he allows so much suffering in the world (the `theodicy problem´). However:
    a. As parents, we allow our children to cause evil and suffering, and this only goes to show the level of suffering that is caused by humankind himself.
    b. Regarding the remaining kinds of suffering (environmental catastrophes, etc.), I believe that we are all meant by `Adam´ and `Eve´,  and have decided to leave God’s paradise to do our own matter (without God), which means that we  have to live now in a world which is not perfect and full of suffering (the so-called expulsion from paradise and its consequences). 119If one followed this interpretation, the term `expulsion´ would not be accurate. Rather, one would have to speak of leaving paradise.
See also Plato’s idea that we must have been at home in a higher world before . (Quoted after Nietzsche and criticized by him).

(See: God and Evil – a New Theodicy)
    c. God is omnipotent but not active everywhere. For the reasons mentioned above, he also lets other forces act. For similar reasons, not all of our prayers are fulfilled.
    4. Some accuse Christianity of being opposed to pleasures of the body and senses (or such interpretations as are often presented by the Church).
Whilst such utterances are frequently attributed to Jesus, I cannot find them recorded in the Bible. On the contrary, the first miracle of Jesus consisted of the transformation of water into wine.
    5. Some accuse Christianity of neglecting earthly things, and instead, of consoling people with thoughts concerning the afterlife. Jesus however, was very much concerned with the improvement of our earthly lives, and, above and beyond this, opened up valuable new perspectives.
    6. Since the Church (and also Paul) often fought against reason, some believe that Jesus did the same. However, it was only the idolization of the reason that he opposed.
    7. I assume that God¹ can neither be proved nor disproved but find that this open question is not let open by most critics; rather, their own opinion is expressed in a fundamentalist fashion, similar to religious fundamentalist opinions. What is lacking is the attitude that says: “This is my belief or my experience but I could be wrong.” Rather, the beliefs of dissenting voices are discredited as “neurotic” (Freud), “delusional” (Dawkins) or “illusionary” etc. A discussion is not sought out; and the same can be said of fundamentalist religious circles.
    8. Misidentification: The ideas which people hold about God do not concur with the person of Jesus. As with everything else, the name of God can be misused for the most varied reasons.
However, in such discussions, it is rarely said that “this or that crime was committed abusively in the name of God.” As said, one should not name  the wolf in sheep’s clothing as a wolf, even if he represents himself as a sheep.
    9. Often, critics do not differentiate between the statements found in the Old and New Testament. For Christians however, it is the statements made in the New Testament that are decisive. 120Thus, when compared with other religions, the most important scripture of Christianity is identified as being the “Bible”; not the “New Testament”.
    10. Often, critics do not differentiate between the recorded utterances made by Jesus and those which are attributed to Paul. Paul however, is merely an interpreter and not Jesus himself. His assertions, therefore, are subordinate to those made by Jesus.
    11. That the individual is described one-sidedly as a sinner, is often criticized, and, on the side of the Church, there are times that this does occur. However, the saying, “we all make mistakes,” is a platitude. Nevertheless, I greatly appreciate it when someone tells me that all my mistakes will be forgiven and that they, in no way, affect my personal value. I, likewise, tell my children the same.
    12. It is often criticized that Christians believed in original sin (similar to the karma law). From Jesus, such statements are not known. 121Amongst Paul’s writings in particular, it is Rom 5:12 that is prone to misunderstanding.
    13. Some criticize Christianity for making people underage and passive.
But others give the opposite criticism: that a person is completely overwhelmed by the demands of Jesus (the Sermon on the Mount, love of the enemy, etc.).
    14. Some criticize the belief – and in my opinion rightly so – that the New Testament or even the Bible as a whole is the (direct) Word of God. Muslims also believe that this is true for the Koran, but not the Christians of the Bible. I believe that the Bible bears witness to God, but also contains statements of a very human spirit.
    15. Some criticize  – and in my opinion rightly so – the false interpretation that the death of Jesus was a necessary sacrifice to reconcile God to humankind – as if God had to be placated through the death of a person. I believe that Jesus voluntarily sacrificed his earthly life but not his heavenly life, just as I would, hopefully, sacrifice something, that I value, for people whom I love, without giving myself up entirely.
    16. Many confuse the Christian message with the Church. The Church has made many mistakes and is not identical to the Christian message. There was nothing that Jesus criticized harsher than the established Church of the time – and perhaps also the Church of today? With justification, one may pose the same question as R. Reich: Whether Christianity survived “not only because of but despite the Church”? 122Reich, Ruedi. In: Zur Ökumene verpflichtet´. Ed. by Eva-Maria Faber, Schriftenreihe der Theologischen Hochschule Chur, Vol. 3, Academic Press Fribourg, p. 41, 2003.
    17. Many believe that a Christian has to be extremely spiritual and go to church every Sunday. However, the freedom to be oneself, whoever one is – which, to me, also includes attitudes and actions that run contrary to the commandments – is over the commandments.
    18. Many believe that as a Christian one has to love one’s neighbor and sacrifices himself. But it says, “Love the neighbor as yourself.
    19. One question for the critics: If you were God yourself, what would you do differently?
Here is a general answer: I would not tolerate suffering (which would mean maintaining paradisical conditions at all costs). But what if we did not want to live in the paradise, that you, the hypothetical god, has created – even if it would be the best of all possible worlds? In such a case, would it not be good to grant us the freedom of choice, even if hardship and suffering were linked to this choice?

Criteria of suboptimal Worldviews


A worldview seems to be suboptimal (or even bad) if the following criteria can be detected:

    • it is purely anthropocentric, theocentric or atheistic;
    • it harms or sidelines people;
    • it only considers people of the same worldview to be good, and all others to be evil;
    • it represents any form of ideology;
    • it absolutizes parts of earthly life, or even earthly life as a whole, and neglects to point beyond the earthly sphere,
    • it imposes strange Absolutes upon people, thus depriving them of their freedom;
    • it baits with a reward for obedient behavior – or it taboos relative Negative and threatens with it;
    • it does not correspond with the spirit of love; and
    • it places objects above people and healing above salvation and redemption.

Comprehensively: A worldview appears less than optimal whenever it is based upon something other than the +A or when it denies or relativizes it. In such cases, the individual either has no Absolute, or a strange positive Absolute, which will give them either insufficient love or none whatsoever and sometimes may seem to be a `stressful strategy of self-redemption´. A suboptimal worldview possesses the same characteristics as second-rate realities, such as listed in columns I and K of the Summary table .


Compulsions in Worldviews
Many worldviews include preconditions that need to be fulfilled before a person is allowed to be themselves. In such cases, they do not speak of unconditional love for people but rather about an (or many) imperative(s). 123 1. Similar to the meaning commonly attributed to the word, the term compulsion mentioned above describes categorical imperatives without any alternative.
2. Ultimately, all the worldviews that I know of, except for the Christian one, impose categorical demands upon people.

    More precisely, these are worldviews or concepts that include pre-requirements, with the result that they only correspond in a limited way to the idea of unconditional acceptance and love for people – or even oppose it. Thereby, they represent only sub-optimal or even adverse foundations for life and also for psychotherapeutic measures which build upon them. In particular, these include, first and foremost, all ideologies or ideologically-founded attitudes, as well as several religions. 124See Summary table column E. As has been previously mentioned, I do not consider them to be bad or even evil in themselves but rather, to be less than helpful or even relatively unfavorable.
In such a way, a hierarchy that is advantageous for us, as people, is distorted by Inversions:
We are no longer free but rather, we have to accomplish something in order to become free. We become `must-people’. We have to do something or the big void threatens us. Referring to this issue, Georg Büchner wrote: “The MUST is one of the damning words with which humankind has been baptized.” 125It was in a letter to his fiancée, Wilhelmine Jaeglé, in January 1834, that Georg Büchner wrote this. That means even the best things in life, like love, become dubious or even bad when enforced. From a Christian perspective, one might add to Büchner’s statement: “One of the redemptive words, with which we have been baptized for all intents and purposes, is: `You do not need to do anything – God will always love you!´, `You may try the good but you do not have to do´.”

The Self-Definition of the Person is Disturbed
Materialism defines a person based on the matter. In idealism, a person is defined based on ideals that need to be accomplished. In humanism, a person’s core identity must necessarily be humane. Also, most religions have fixed and constrictive definitions regarding what is necessary to be human: In Islam, a proper person is defined as being a person who submits to Allah,126“The Arab term: Islām … means `submission (to God)´, `complete surrender (to God)´.”, 12/ 2016.
In Christianity, God devotes himself (without surrendering) to us, and a person is “defined” as having been made in the image of God – an identity which he does not lose, even when he identifies with the “sinner” that he usually is. [Hint: I partly write God¹ to indicate my own conceptions of God, which do not necessarily agree with definitions of official theology.]
amongst other attributes; and in Buddhism, the Self as an absolute personal identity dissolves into Nirvana.
Further possible disadvantages correspond to the disorders listed in column I of the Summary table

Concepts of Self-Redemption 127See, for example, relevant concepts and programs for self-optimization, self-staging, etc.

By `self-redemption’ I mean salvation that depends exclusively on the human being – thus demands more than a basic goodwill (→ The absolute attitude´) from him.
Many ideologies and worldviews link the main Solutions (absolute sphere) only to the person.
The person thus becomes the sole redeemer of himself and his problems. Thereby, the person has ultimate responsibility, above and beyond the Absolute.
The person demands too much of themselves but has the deceptive feeling that he would be able to gain control of it all if only he could apply sufficient effort: Depending upon the method, we would merely need to be sufficiently analyzed, think sufficiently positively, meditate and believe etc., in order to gain health and happiness. Though a person might hope to gain control of it all one day,  he is effectively demanding too much of himself in principle. No childlike or playful aspects remain; effort, competition and struggle determine his life, and this is only interrupted by occasional highlights.
The last metaphysical support of a person thereby lies within himself. In my opinion, it would be best – and easiest – to leave the main responsibility to God; our responsibility, which is nevertheless important (!), only comes after that. 128Notwithstanding, the responsibilities connected with the so-called absolute choice do not conform to this pattern.
However, all psychotherapies which operate without a superordinate, loving authority (God¹), must necessarily place the Ego-strength (one’s own or that of another) at the center of their efforts. Up until a certain point, this is acceptable. However, what is if this Ego-strength is not sufficient to master our problems, which is often the case in existential and traumatizing situations? The affected has, in a general sense, too much responsibility concerning the Relative but which has been absolutized. Concerning other Relativa, he occasionally has too little responsibility and yet, at the same time, has no recourse to +A, which would facilitate the assumption of an appropriate level of responsibility, without demanding too much of the respective person.

• A person who achieves that which is demanded of him will have many “advantages”, primarily in the short term. Thus, as he compares himself to others, he may feel chosen, uplifted, particularly secure etc. (= “+hyper-effects”). 129Individual, potential advantages are expressed in particular in the so-called hyper-forms and can be found in the Summary table in column N under . In the long term however, the disadvantages of the sA will dominate.
• The advantages of the different worldviews correspond with the (seeming) disadvantages of a first-rate reality, or even of the +A.
• It is interesting to note that almost all of the ideologies refer to the advantages, rather than reminding us of negative `final things´ (transience and death); it is however, the religions that point to these aspects.


Optimal Worldview

        “It is entirely conceivable that life’s splendor forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness but veiled
         from our view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though …
         if you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come.” Franz Kafka 130The Diaries of Franz Kafka, 1921)

Revision of the Inversions

When I have described, in the section entitled `Metapsychiatry´, Inversions as being one of the main causes of mental illnesses, and understood these to be the confusion of the Absolute and Relative, then an optimal worldview would need to revise these inversions by establishing an actual positive Absolute (+A), which regards all that is Relative as relative and integrates it – and which, however, will not dominate P and can be freely chosen.

Is God the Positive Absolute?

                                       `God, that is the great, the crazy one, who still loves people.´
                                                    (Adapted from Kurt Marti.) 131In original , Kurt Marti writes: “God, that is the great, the crazy one, who still believes in people.” (Gott, das ist jener Große, Verrückte, der immer noch an Menschen glaubt.”

In the section `Metapsychology‘, I discussed the correlation between the Absolute and the Relative (A and R). One hypothesis asserted that the Absolute determines the Relatives. Depending upon the respective Absolute in question, that which is relative will either fare better or worse. This also means that people will either fare better or worse, depending upon the spirit that determines the earthly; and will fare best if this spirit fulfills the criteria of a positive Absolute, such as I have listed in the section`What is the positive Absolute´.
In my opinion, God¹ is the only one who satisfies all of the criteria that I apply to the +A. In this, Jesus is, for me, the most credible representative of God¹, as well as of unconditional love.
(This is my personal view of the positive Absolute, of God¹, which does not necessarily agree with some other Christian conceptions. See `Christian one-sidednesses and misinterpretations´).
In this, Jesus is, for me, the most credible representative of God1, as well as of unconditional love. This love is revealed, first and foremost, within freedom and orientation; freedom is being placed above orientation. In other words, freedom and orientation are two descendants of love, whereas freedom is the larger, and guidance the smaller child. In religious terms, God¹, who is himself love, will also permit us the freedom to reject his orientation, even to reject himself; since love without freedom, without the freedom to choose, is not love. Therefore, examining the French proverb L’amour est l’enfant de la liberté, I believe that freedom is a child of love, and not vice versa, as the proverb claims.

God and the Individual; The Paradise and the World

God and the individual; The paradise and the world
As mentioned above, I see God¹ as being absolutely positive. It is only the absolutely negative (−A) that is entirely contrary to him. That which is earthly, our world, and therefore also ourselves, are situated between +A and −A. The individual has, as frequently mentioned, an `optional Absolute´, the  `The absolute attitude´ but is, in all other respects, in a relative or second-rate position. What does this mean?
Originally, in paradise, God and ourselves were connected in harmony. We were his creation, as now; At the time however, we were more authentically, and not quite so – as we are now – estranged and mortal. We were a part of that which belonged to God, we were one with him – and yet, we were still absolutely free to oppose him or to vote him out. After we had done so, in the symbolic figures of Adam and Eve, and decided to be our own gods, we left the original first-rate reality and stepped into the present, a second-rate reality: the “world”. This means that we humans who were originally, directly connected with God and who thus lived in “paradise” – now live in a world in which we are controlled by strange Absolutes that we chose. We will thereby adopt a predominately second-rate position in the world, even though we have retained absolute freedom to choose, just as before. This, fortunately, means that we have not lost our connection with God but that we have entered in all other spheres a second-rate situation with its respective characteristics, as has the rest of the world and that all needs redemption. For characteristics of that which is second-rate, see also columns L and M of the Summary table . God does not exclude our world nor ourselves. The only thing that God excludes is the −A. It is only us who have excluded God, either in part or completely. Is God, therefore, still present in the world and in us, too? I believe it but we suppress him by our sA. The sA however, do not love the world and ourselves for our own sake! God, though, loves us for the sake of ourselves and, Jesus enables the return (`revision´) of the first-rate reality. Sören Kierkegaard seems to have been of a similar opinion if he means, that the kind of despair that is not-wanting-to-be-oneself, which constitutes a `sickness unto death´, can be overcome by becoming oneself in true faith. Großer Brockhaus, KW `Existenzphilosophie‘. Unlike Kierkegaard however, I do not identify the problem of not-wanting-to-be-oneself as the ultimate sickness unto death but rather, I would define it as being the absolutely negative attitude of a person, as mentioned; that is their will to embrace the −A, as a matter of principle.

No Fear of False Gods and Devils

                                             “Sin boldly but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly.” (M. Luther)132Note: Luther’s statement addresses those who are too conscientious and too afraid to sin. His words are not meant for those who neither believe in God nor know responsibility.]
We should have no fear of false gods and devil

We should have no fear of false gods and devils, since, as mentioned, there is only one single absolute Negative: the unconditional –A, and it is up to us whether we want to embrace it or not. All other negativity is, ultimately, solved by God. One can only believe this, without being able to prove it, and yet one can experience it. From this perspective, there is no deadly sins, no emotional trauma, no severe illness, no misfortune, no rape, nor any death that is definitive, unforgivable or irremediable.
Does Metapsychotherapy mean that we have to avoid the sA, since they are too dangerous and might make us ill? Almost the very opposite is true: We should not consider them to be overly important, since it is when we consider them to be too important that they become a domineering factor. One might then say that it would be of the greatest importance to relativize the sA. But also the relativizing of misabsolutizations is not the most important thing. On the part of the individual, the most important Solution to the problem is already accomplished when one adopts an attitude which seeks out that which is good, as a matter of principle. (→ `The absolute attitude´). It would be wise then, but not obligatory, to repeatedly remind oneself of God’s absolute assurances. The sA would then occupy their true position: a position in which they are relativized (automatically by God) and no longer carry the importance which they were given. We no longer need to draw from our depleted reserves to achieve this or that, at any cost. Rather, we would then be less stressed, more relaxed and less fearful; and from this position, we would be more likely to solve the as yet unresolved, relative problems, leaving others unresolved, without being plunged into a crisis. Christians also often forget this “meta-solution”. Then they think: “I have to pray more!”; or else “I have to think of others more!”; or “I have to be more grateful!” or “I need more faith in God!“ or “I have to improve myself!” or other imperatives. These opinions are sometimes good but when taken absolutely, they can have the opposite effect – and can end up dominating us and even making us ill.

Resistance to the “Revision”

• Resistance can occur in the form of fear, induced by the freedom to choose:133I mention only keywords here. For a more elaborate discussion, see chapter `Resistance´ in the section `Psychotherapy
That which often hinders a solution is the fear of a decision and its consequences. Also after the teachings of Kierkegaard, freedom makes fear into people. Freedom is, simultaneously, the greatest gift to people and the greatest burden. Dostojewski’s grand inquisitor intended to take this fear away from people and eliminate freedom. He wished to eliminate the burden of personal responsibility, the agony of choice. 134See also: Eugen Drewermann `Sünde und Neurose´.
• Given that our power is relativized, admitting one’s limitations, weaknesses and powerlessness to oneself cause people to be frightened and develop resistance. 
• There is resistance in the fact that people often feel frightened whenever they are to rely upon something which is invisible, even if it appears credible.
• Given that changes and therapies may hurt, then resistance can develop. The birth of the Self causes pain, but, as with all other births, it is a necessary part of the process.
• There is also resistance in the form of misunderstandings, abuse and misinterpretations (as listed above).
• Although the inversions provide short-term benefits, it would be good to forego them but this creates resistance. For more on the topic in psychotherapy, see Resistance there.

Who is a Christian?

                                 `Love your neighbor and love yourself´ or `Love your neighbor and hate yourself´?

It is common to think of a Christian as being someone who is always good and virtuous, who is rather asexual, who does not like to drink alcohol and who submits to the Pope and the Bible; someone who is self-sacrificing, and who is not only constantly required to work off and make up for their own sins but also for `original sin´; someone who has to suffer and who if they are entirely consistent, will be struck dead at the end of their life and, in return for their efforts, will be allowed to enter heaven.
    “People who believe in Jesus are no better than anyone else. However, they are in a better situation. They do not need to justify themselves, they are already justified due to Jesus’ love. They do not need to prove themselves, they have already been proven: … they do not have to make themselves bigger than they are. They are already the greatest thing that a person can become, they are children and heirs to the living God. They do not need to feel sorry for themselves, they have someone who is suffering with them. They do not need to comfort themselves, nor to encourage each other and make one another strong, they have someone who will build them up. They do not need to be the one who explains, redeems or loves their lives. They now have the best redeemer and lover of life. … They are not perfect but perfectly loved!” (Axel Kühner) 135Axel Kühner taken from Neukirchener Kalender, 18.5.2010.

Christians are people who act on the authority of Jesus Christ. They are able to experience freedom and what it is to be truly loved. Nothing can separate them from God’s unconditional love, be they alcoholics, thieves, prostitutes, tax collectors or failures. They can be aggressive, evil and egotistical; however, for their own sake, they are told that they should look after themselves and others, since, even though everything is permissible, not everything is beneficial.
Questions: Should we not, first of all, strive for heaven rather than for the next good deed?”
If I redeem myself, would I then not have too much stress? Does not the loving relationship between God and ourselves have a great similarity to the relationship between parents and their children? Are not children primarily loved for being themselves, and only after that comes the morality? 136Neither: ‘Food comes first and then morality´ (B. Brecht).


Keywords: Psychotherapy Metapsychotherapy Psychology Psychiatry Schizophrenia Philosophy Linguistics Religion


“Be convinced that these strange characters have no power over you;
only the believe of them being hostile towards you can make them hostile towards you.”
              E.T.A Hoffmann: Der Sandmann.

In this part `PSYCHOTHERAPY’, I examine the most well-known psychotherapeutic schools of thought. In chapter `Primary Psychotherapy´, I introduce a theory that is free of ideology and which I believe to be the best against mental disorders.

Notes / Introduction

Owing to the nature of this work, in this chapter I only comment upon specific psychotherapeutic topics that overlap with “metapsychotherapeutic” topics. In terms of concrete therapeutic references, please see section “Remarks for Patients

“, in this section and also respective matters in the section “Psychiatry”. I propagate a “primary” form of psychotherapy, the goal of which is to strengthen and unburden the Self of patients. I, therefore, focus, in particular, on patients who, in themselves, do not possess enough self-strength to solve their own problems.

Definitions of Psychotherapy

Usual Definition:

         • “Psychotherapy is the use of psychological methods, particularly when based on regular personal interaction, to help a person change and overcome problems in desired ways. Psychotherapy aims to improve an individual’s well-being and mental health, to resolve or mitigate troublesome behaviors, beliefs, compulsions, thoughts, or emotions, and to improve relationships and social skills. Certain psychotherapies are considered evidence-based for treating some diagnosed mental disorders.” 137 12/2016 
• I consider the term “psychotherapy” in a broad sense, the way it was originally intended: psychḗ = `soul´ and therapeúein = `taking care of someone´. Therefore I  connect everything that is beneficial for our soul with psychotherapy – unconcerned as to whether or not it is scientifically approved. I consider this older understanding of psychotherapy appropriate and comprehensive. However, the increasing influence of science has compelled psychiatry and psychology to become increasingly one-sided. Why? The constraint of psychotherapy to use only “scientifically approved methods”, is in contrast to the nature of the psyche itself, which can only be partly scientifically explored and can, therefore, only be treated to some extent with scientific methods. It is for this reason that psychotherapy should also deal with existential problems and issues that are not provable. As has already been mentioned: the disadvantageous separation of the `scientific´ psychotherapy on the one hand and, on the other, the pastoral care practiced by the Church, creates a situation that supports the rising of the esoteric and leaves many patients without help.

Difficulties in Psychotherapy

How should the optimal therapy be? Simple, trustworthy, free of charge and lasting – like love and the deliverance/ salvation that love offers. But as simple as it may seem, there are two difficulties to which I would like to draw attention:
         1. “Persistence of the strange Absolutes” (sA) and
         2. “Resistance”.
The problem of ”Morbid gain” that is connected to it, I discussed  within the chapter `Metapsychiatry´.

Persistence of the Strange Absolutes (sA)

                                                              The spirits that I’ve conjured, I could not banish them again.
                                                                      (Goethe, `The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’)

The earlier mentioned “redemption” is, in the first place, spiritual, and is, in actual fact, very simple, as has already been mentioned. However, the mental disorders underlying It/sA-complexes are materialized and manifest themselves in the material world. The  behaviors that patients had become accustomed to for months and years had become automatic. They have gained life and momentum of their own which, in the majority of cases, is lost only very gradually. The situation in which we find people with such complexes is comparable to that of a prisoner who has left his cell after several years and yet is still bound by old forces and habits. 138This mechanism is both individual and commonly to be understood. In classic literature, there are examples too. E.g.,  of the serfs who, after their release by Tolstoy, returned to servitude, since this was the way of life which was familiar to them. Or the sorcerer’s apprentice in the like-named ballad by Goethe, who cried out: “The ghosts I called I cannot get rid of  now.” (own translation) Although a spiritual “revision” robs the sA/ It- complexes of their power only in principle but not totally. As said, it does not do so immediately because of their materialization it takes, similar to the drug withdrawal, sometimes months or years until they have lost their influence. 139It is not difficult to choose the +A (God), however it is a challenge to escape the effects of the complexes. Comparison: An ice block does not disappear immediately as soon as the water has become warm – not even in our soul. (See also section above). [Hint: I partly write God¹ to indicate my own conceptions of God, which do not necessarily agree with definitions of official theology.]


                                                     “I fear I might die if I dare to be who I really am.” (a patient)

View of the Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis has done much to shed light on this phenomenon. 140The following information is taken from U.H. Peters and W. Loch, page 164 ff. (see bibliography).
• According to S. Freud, `resistance´ is defined as an `aversion to `reveal any repressed information from within the unconscious mind´ and, in consequence, to a patient’s recovery and healing´.
• Another definition claims that resistance is manifested “in the patient’s unconscious opposition to an improvement of their own situation, which is caused by a secondary gain from their illness, as well as by worries and fears of a subconsciously perceived threat.“ 141Quoted (and freely translated) from the Brockhaus Enzyklopädie, keyword `Widerstand´.

Own Definition

In my understanding – mainly from a meta-therapeutical point of view – resistance is a phenomenon that applies not only to psychoanalysis. I am not only referring to the patient’s resistance against his recovery/ therapy but also to the resistance against all which is reasonable and sensible in general, whereby this type of resistance mentioned last include the first. Regarding resistance in a strict sense, I see a great degree of consensus with psychoanalysis, however, I relate the emergence of this resistance to the role of the sA (and A). Thereby it is possible to understand that resistance emanates from the side of the patient as well as from the side of the therapist. 142This understanding is up to date. For example, see Wöller, Wolfgang; Kruse, Johannes: Tiefenspychologisch fundierte Psychotherapie. Key word `Widerstand´.
Resistance may arise wherever strange Absolutes (sA) or strange Selves (sS) are to be relativized. 143As described above, sA represents general and sS (strange-Self) internalized, strange Absolute. Since it is irrelevant for this topic whether the problem is considered to be a general or a personal one, I shall at times refer to them as sA, or as sS.
More precisely: Resistance may arise wherever one feels threatened by a possible loss of the advantages of the +sA/sS or has to accept a ‒sA/sS. This is important for a better understanding of resistance. If one attempts to relativize the sA and sS,  it wouldn’t be hard – but for the earlier stated reasons, we consider the one or other sS/sA to be vitally important. This means that this resistance should not only be understood to be the threat of a possible loss of an object’s positive aspects but rather, one needs to take into account the fact, that this object was absolutized. If it is something negative that has been absolutized, it will seem vital to the person concerned to avoid or combat it but not to relativize. In both cases, the affected will resist the relativization of the strange Selves (sS ) and the strengthening of the actual Self since their strange Selves have to them, paradoxically, become more important than their actual Self. For this reason, the patient will fight that which would restore his health and will foster that which makes him ill. The concerned is due to relativize what he mistakenly believes is his life (“let go” = withdrawal) and accept what he considers to be death. But both are difficult.

The following image elucidates the locations of the resistance.

The relevant person (P) needs to perpetuate the resistance as long as he is unable to balance his sense of loss with a growing strength of Self. In other words: The person P will resist the therapy (and the consequential changes) as long as he has not found a better Absolute than the previous one. 144There is a saying : “Even a dog will bite you if you take his bone and do not offer a piece of meat in its stead.”
If the pressure becomes too forceful to give up the resistance, the patient may resort to a Contra-sA or a different sA. If the external or internal pressure grows to surrender, the patient increasingly feels cornered. He will employ ever more costly defense mechanisms (see loc. cit.) to perpetuate his sA. Nevertheless, both, resistance and costly defenses are important/ reasonable temporary solutions as long as there is no effective solution. They should thus be accepted by the therapist and the patient. At the same time, the therapist needs to point out solutions that are more profound and will prove more efficacious. 
In the section ‘Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia’, I´ll come back to this topic.

Resistance against what?

    1. Resistance is directed against the perceived loss of advantages offered by the sA/sS.
Resistance is directed against the perceived loss of an, albeit unstable, equilibrium.
Resistance is directed against the perceived loss of a substitute-Self that is considered to be vital, including substitute-identity, substitute-securities, substitute-integrity, substitute-reality, substitute-autonomy, etc.
In summary: resistance is directed against the perceived loss of all +* aspects (and therefore also the + sides of counterparts of ‒sA and 0). 
    2. Resistance is directed against `disadvantages´ of the +A or Self! 145One and two are very close to each other.
= Resistance against love, God¹, the Self, right therapy, truth, and so on.
If I’m well, maybe I’ll get less attention, I may feel guilty, I may get more responsible, the “free-fall height” may become too great, etc. The patient gets withdrawal, catharsis, 146In a philosophical sense. pain and responsibility instead of drugs or thrill. There are parallels regarding the resistance against God¹, resp. the Self and resistance against therapy. Jörg Müller „a lot of people are searching God but many also fear to find him.“ Or a prayer: „God take away my illnesses but don’t touch their causes.“
    3. Resistance against the relativization of a ‒sA.
Resistance also occurs if a ‒sA, an absolutely negative experience, which one has avoided at all cost, shall be taken only relative negative and therefore acceptable. 147Resistance also against – of +sA? Yes but its not called resistance because its a healthy fear. (If you want more details look at the unabridged German version.)
With a view to the fact that there are different realities, the following statement seems consequential: Attempting to shift from a second-rate reality to a first-rate reality, a person (P) needs often to go through a zero point (a point of powerlessness and uncertainty) which will frighten him.

Resistance and Defense

Defense is directed against that which is experienced as being negative. Resistance is directed against that which is subjectively negative but objectively positive. Thus, one could define resistance as a special defensive mechanism (DM) – that is, resistance as a defense against that which is experienced as negative, in spite of it, in fact, being positive. However, this would lead to misunderstandings.
Using the example of debt, the defense would be a repression of the fact that one is in debt. Resistance would be directed against saving money. 148E.g., see the appropriate section of Wöller, Wolfgang und Johannes Kruse: Tiefenpsychologisch fundierte Psychotherapie. Schattauer, Stuttgart, 2005.

Desire and Resistance

    The double-character of `Inversions´ causes ambivalent tendencies within us because we are putting resistance against things that are objectively better for us and are wishing for things that are objectively disadvantageous for us. But fortunately,  the original “healthy” aspirations and desires don´t perish because of that.
In certain phases conflicting tendencies are in a costly balance:
We wish the objective positive and at the same time the objective negative. Or we want and fear the good and the bad equally. We wish to recover our health and yet, we do not. We desire to be free and remain captive. We become fearful whenever we attempt to change an expensive balance. We lack the courage to “die and become”. However, we should not be afraid. We fear to die but we will merely die a lesser death and then come into our real life.
Desire and resistance may coincide whenever we fail to love ourselves for the sake of ourselves. Why? It is because we love ourselves primarily for the sake of our achievements. If we fulfill our expectations and accomplish our aims, we feel exuberant and have a strong desire to experience more success. At the same time, however, the fulfillment of our new expectations will become rather too exhausting, causing us to resist the challenge to accomplish our aims. In this way, we fluctuate between the desire to be loved for the sake of ourselves or our accomplishments, and our resistance against the one or the other. Thus, we may oscillate between the most diverse inner conflicts or find that something is superb and at the same time it threatens to tear us apart. But from a second-rate perspective, this problem cannot be solved. P would have to adopt the first-rate perspective in order to find a solution; however, the patient would then need to relinquish the benefits of a P²-position.

Difficulties and Resistance on the Side of the Therapists

          “What is the difference between a neurotic, a psychotic, and a psychiatrist: The neurotic builds castles in the sky,
            the psychotic lives in them and the  psychiatrist collects the rent.” (Anonymous)  
           Question: Could it be, that some psychiatrists do not want to give up this `rent´?

As recounted previously, difficult situations and resistance against optimal therapy may be caused by therapists as well as by patients. One hypothesis is: Like the patient, the therapist is essentially determined by his worldview.
It is important to note the difficult, competitive situation in which psychotherapy finds itself due to current esoteric trends, as well as due to the successes of psychotropic drugs, which I will address later. Further, the therapist will generally feel obliged to follow a particular psychotherapeutic school of thought, which may effect difficulties in the course of the therapy. 149[Keyword: Disturbed Countertransference]

Balthasar Staehelin, using Freud as an example: “This … compulsion of Freud to be only a servant of such scientific one-sidedness and exclusiveness drove him into what was probably his greatest mistake: he could no longer listen to the patient in an unbiased way, and from what he heard he only heard what he brought to the patient himself as his philosophical conviction about the nature of man.” 150[Staehelin, Balthasar: Haben und Sein. Siebenstern TB, Hamburg, 1972, p 22.]
Current psychotherapeutic schools of thought are heavily influenced by rationalism and empiricism, which has corresponding advantages and disadvantages. 151While people used to have to be moral – especially and under the influence of misunderstood religiosity – we must now above all be rational and adult.
For us therapists it is often common to absolutize quick-win solutions, our role as a helper, health and functionality – and for some of us male therapists, it is too important that our female counterpart is pretty, intelligent, young and privately insured.
Regarding the situation of `psychology, psychotherapy and psychiatry today´ with prevalent fears and resistances to change, please see the relevant chapter below.

In the following, I will in keywords outline current schools of psychotherapy and illustrate their potential advantages and disadvantages.

Psychotherapeutic Schools of Thought (Critical Overview)

In the following paragraphs, I will consider only with keywords the most important psychotherapeutic schools of thought (PT) since I view the most of them to be good or suboptimal, and none of them bad or harmful. For me, this is primarily a theoretical debate, since, in practice, many therapists will ignore norms and restrictions of the conventional medicine and rather follow the promptings of their hearts.


Anthropocentric Foundation

Anthropocentric Secular




depth psychology

Psychoanalysis (PsyA)
Analytical psychology
Psychoanalytic self-psychology
Attachment theory
Structural psychology
Intersubjective psychoanalysis
Katathym-imaginative Psychotherapy
or Guided imagery
Transactional Analysis

Sigmund Freud
Alfred Adler
C. G. Jung
Heinz Kohut
Melanie Klein, S. Ferenczi, M. Balint
John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth
Jaques Lacan
R. D. Stolorow and others
M. Solms, M. Mancia et al. L. Binswanger, M. Boss
Milton Erickson
Hanscarl Leuner et al.

Eric Berne

behavior therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

Thorndike, Watson, Skinner et al.
A. Ellis, Beck, Kanfer, Lazarus et al.


Systemic Therapy

Satir, Haley, Jackson and others


Rational emotive behavior therapy
Logotherapy and Existential Analysis
Person-centered therapy (PCT)
Integrative and Embodyment Psychotherapy

A. Ellis
Viktor Frankl
F.S. Perls, P. Goodman
Carl R. Rogers
Jakob L. Moreno
See corresponding text.

Anthropocentric spiritual

humanistic spiritual

Analytic psychotherapy

C.G. Jung, Viktor Frankl
S. Grof, F. Vaughan, A. Maslow,
R. Walsh, R.D. Laing, Ch. Tart,
R. Assagioli, K. Wilber

  Christocentric foundation


Pastoral care

Wilfried Daim
Eugen Drewermann
Michael Dieterich
Pastoral Psychologist
Pastoral Psychologist

Anthropocentric, Secular Psychotherapies  

“You can’t, if you can’t feel it, if it never
Rises from the soul, and sways
The heart of every single hearer,
With deepest power, in simple ways.” Goethe, Faust

These are psychotherapeutic schools of thought, the basis of which is commonly an anthropocentric view of man and, in terms of philosophy, materialism. With regard to their epistemological foundation, they are frequently rationalistic and empiricist. Therefore, one might term them ‘secular psychotherapies’ or, more precisely, ‘secularistic psychotherapies’.

Discussion and Hypotheses

See also superordinate Criticism of Anthropocentrism. and Criticism of Materialism

    • The deliberate self-limitation of psychology to accept only an anthropocentric, scientifically founded image of mankind necessarily restricts the potential of a respective therapy. According to Karl Jaspers, philosophy looks at the whole, whereas  science attends to the particular and the detail. 152From Schischkoff keyword: Jaspers. Thus, secular psychotherapies are, in a certain sense, unrealistic since they merely appreciate the part of reality that is verifiable. All other matters are of little or no relevance. However, there is a further problem: A person cannot redeem himself, he can only solve problems within the limits of his resources. It seems to me that all earthly beings, including us humans, can only help, save, redeem and love one another in rather limited ways: ultimately, we are all alone. This bitter truth is, however, covered up by most ideologues. Who is it that gives opium to people? Surely, it is not Christ, nor a type of Christianity that truly follows his teachings but rather, most ideologies, even those which propagate materialism, by proclaiming the illusory message that man or progress itself might, at some point, solve humanity’s problems. In truth, a stark, bleak, cold and sterile worldview is put forward, in the light of which a human is reduced to mere matter and that, which makes him man, is taken from him.
    • The one-sided aspiration to pursue scientificity makes the scientist blind to the meta-level, that is to say, that the scientist is unable to perceive potential solutions for which there are no proofs. These psychotherapies will not go beyond pure rationalism and objectivism.
    • Treated with secular psychotherapies, patients struggling with existential and spiritual problems will feel less well understood. 153In 2009, Marion Sonnenmoser investigated complaints about psychotherapists. The most common complaint (43%) was that the therapist did not show enough empathy so the patient could not develop confidence in him.  10/2009.
• Anthropocentric psychotherapies believe that the solution to all psychological problems can be found in the individuals themselves (self-optimization and self-redemption). This means that secular psychotherapies ultimately rely on the individual’s I-strength, which is, in my view, inferior to Self-strength. This places the therapist and patient under too much pressure since both are required to meet specific demands under all circumstances. 
    • Secular psychotherapies rarely disclose the philosophical foundations on which they are based. 154Example: Klaus Lieb, Bernd Heßlinger, Gitta Jacob: Psychiatry and Psychotherapy. München-Jena. 2. Edition, 2006. In the otherwise excellent book, similar to the psychotherapy guides, there are no philosophical or metaphysical explanations.
    • The interplay of guidance (“law”) and love (grace) is not solved. In other words: An absolutization of love (in religious terms: God¹) is missing, which would provide an optimum of guidance but subordinate this guidance to love – this is an attitude that we try to adopt in relationships with our children. But, if the guidance which is given then becomes one-sided or a priority, this might overwhelm the patient. However, if, by way of an emergency solution, this guidance is avoided or denied, the patient remains unchallenged.
    • Secular psychotherapies contain or create paradoxes whenever they attempt to use science in order to give patients rationality against that which is irrational and metaphysical, or else whenever they attempt to use objectivity to treat that which is mostly subjective in man – his psyche. Wherever such paradoxes arise, they will promote disease.
    • Secular psychotherapies promote  their opposites: spiritualism and Esoterism.
    • Secular psychotherapies struggle too much against that which is merely relatively negative or for that which is merely relatively positive; on the other hand, they give up too quickly when faced with existential issues or repress them.
    • Secular psychotherapies tend to absolutize mental health and functionality.
    • Secular psychotherapies are based on a relative or second-rate image of man, which will not provide an optimal basis for therapy. 155Characteristics of this human image can be read in column L in the Summary table.
    • Secular psychotherapies tend to avoid suffering and crises. Too little attention is given to the work of mourning.
    • The unconscious is to become conscious, unfavorable behavior is to be replaced by favorable etc., however, a meta-level which might relativize the issues at hand is not offered. This is a disadvantage, since, firstly, the unconscious should well at times be preferable to the conscious, and unfavorable behavior should at times be preferable to favorable; and secondly: Even if the conscious and favorable behavior is objectively the best, the affected may be unable and overtaxed to achieve these goals.
    • Since, in materialism, the existence of a free will is negated, this will have a paralyzing effect on psychotherapies: In this way, culprits rapidly become victims, too.
    • Secular psychotherapies have a tendency to standardize complex issues. Even a mundane question such as: “How can I best get to the next city?” cannot be answered mechanically, let alone life’s questions. Concrete answers/ solutions always depend on the individual person and the specific situation, in spite of all experiences.
    • Secular psychotherapies are always in danger of manipulating others. The patient becomes a case and the psychiatrist becomes a technician.
    • Secular psychotherapies themselves display similar defense mechanisms that they mean to reduce for their patients: the repression of existential questions, rationalization, regression toward a claim of sole legitimate representation, projections, exclusion (co-operation only with other sciences), etc.

However, I think it is wrong to devalue secular and atheistic views from the outset. A type of atheism which is guided by humanism is often better than a misunderstood belief in God¹. In addition, most therapists have a large amount of empathy which might, at times, make up for weaknesses in their theories. Nonetheless, secular psychotherapy, when rigorously applied, can only be sub-optimal at best, since it overtaxes (rarely sub-challenges) both the patient and the therapist. The existence of an absolute, positive spiritual power is rejected. Thus, a basic trust that would point the patient to a being beyond himself is ignored, and ultimate responsibility for his well-being is imposed on the patient himself. This will only succeed if he is strong enough to deal with the problems.  But if the problems are greater than the powers available, the system will be in crisis. This applies both to relevant intrapersonal as well as interpersonal and thus also to therapeutic situations.
Whilst atheistic conceptions despiritualize the image of man as well as the corresponding therapy and mechanize both, one may well find also misunderstood spirituality in those concepts. Whilst atheistic therapists will tend to avoid questions that expose to us our helplessness, for example in the face of incurable disease or death, some spiritual therapies or beliefs give those affected false hopes.

Materialistic or Idealistic Psychotherapy?

Further differentiation of psychotherapies that are guided by anthropocentrism into materialistic or else idealistic therapies is somewhat arbitrary, according to some psychotherapeutic schools of thought. However, the relevance of such an undertaking lies in the fact that psychotherapies with an idealistic basis are able to consider matters that cannot be proved (ideas, mind, etc.). Whilst analytically oriented psychotherapies (psychoanalysis, depth psychology) and behavioral therapies start out from a materialistic basis, the psychotherapies that I have listed under the headline “spiritual-integrative” tend to rather idealistic and/ or relate, in part, to religious positions.

Psychoanalysis and Depth Psychology

I will briefly deal with individual topics that are necessary for the understanding of this work.
In the process I comment on some points in square brackets and explain other things in a separate section.]


Psychoanalysis assumes that psychical conflicts, which are not solved, can make sick. The unresolved psychical conflict or the unprocessed trauma goes into the unconscious, changes itself and appears in a different form (ciphered, symbolized) – as a dream or a symptom for example. The symptom thus becomes the symbol of the unresolved/ unprocessed unconscious conflict/ trauma. In early psychoanalysis, it was recognized that the suppression of important drives (esp. sex drive) can lead to psychical disturbances, 156Georg Groddeck understood the symptoms above all as a symbolic expression of the life impulses (of the It, as he understood it) suppressed by morality. and conversely a making conscious and repealing of this prohibition also removes its negative consequences.
[According to my terminology, the latter corresponds to a relativization of a negative strange Absolute (‒sA). I believe, however, that the crucial ‘therapeutic’ mean of psychoanalysis is less to discover unconscious complexes and to make them aware but to attribute the worst to every human being – such as killing the father or to have sex with mother, and those desires to understand as human and normal and accept the patient in this way. Because even if it is not these wishes, there are similar abysses in each of us (so the theory). Thus, Sigmund Freud fully agrees with Jesus, even if Freud did not intend.]
According to Th. Auchter and L. V. Strauss: Freud is concerned primarily with the goal of saving mental energy and maintaining mental balance. According to Freud, the balance between the pleasure principle and the reality principle is central. The psychoanalysis “sensitizes humans to trace the meaning of their action and life by an `infinite analysis´ by a continuous questioning and reflection. To this extent, psychoanalysis is a form of the incessant search for truth, as Freud put it.” 157From: Thomas Auchter and Laura Viviana Strauss: “Kleines Wörterbuch der Psychoanalyse” Göttingen (Vandenhoeck & Rupprecht) 1999.
[“This never-ending quest for truth”, this never-finally-to-a-goal-coming, which corresponds to the Confucian and Buddhist motto: “The route is the goal”, seems to me – and probably also to most people who take it seriously – too exhausting and frustrating.]
S. Freud saw, following his three-instances-model, these fundamental conflicts:
    a) Ego against the Id
    b) Super-Ego against the Id
    c) Ego against Super-Ego and Id. 158Freud called the I = Ego and after latin the It = Id.
According to Mentzos, all psychical conflicts are variations of the basic conflict between autonomy and dependency. 159Mentzos p. 120 and pp. 131ff.
I distinguish an absolute basic conflict between +A and ‒A and relative conflicts, especially between +A and the sA, the sA among each other and conflicts within each sA or It.]

Critics of Psychoanalysis

Selection of Literature

I will only mention the reviews, which I also acknowledge.

    • The ‘New Viennese School’ sees the person as a physical, spiritual and mental unity. It accuses Freud’s psychoanalysis of neglecting the spiritual dimension of the person since without this the person could not constitute a human whole. “The whole of the human soul is viewed atomistically within the psychoanalysis by being thought of as composed of individual parts, the various impulses, and these in turn from partial drives … In this way, however, the soul, the human person, is somehow destroyed (its entirety). The psychoanalysis virtually depersonalizes human beings but not without personalizing …  the individual parts (namely to make independent, self-sufficient, pseudo-personal entities).” … Furthermore: “Human nature is therefore interpreted by psychoanalysis as being driven from the outset … Next, Freud would have betrayed the Ego to Id, so to speak because he made the Ego to a mere epiphenomenon of the Id. Freud would assert: ‘The Ego is pulling itself out of the swamp of the Id by Super-Ego´s tuft of hair.´” 160Viktor Frankl: Der unbewusste Gott, quoted by Dieter Wyss , p. 276-278.
    • H. Wahl: Freud propagated a “reality-education“. Freud “would not go beyond the bravely resigned adherence to the reality principle …”. 161H. Wahl p. 290-291.
    • Ernst Bloch: The psychoanalysis is too backward looking.
    • “Good story but bad science” (Zimbardo). 162Shortened especially according to Zimbardo, p. 413 ff.
    • “Psychoanalysis is confession without absolution.” (G.K. Chesterton)
    • Otherwise see e.g., E. Wiesenhütter: “Freud and his Critics”. 164See bibliography.

Other Criticisms 165The other criticisms are also partly found in the literature.

See also the discussion about the Discussion about secular psychotherapies and  Criticism of materialism)
    • The psychoanalysis knows no transcendence, so also no +Absolute. Freud: “Whoever asks  after the sense of life is sick because the sense of life does not exist in the objective way. “166 S. Freud cit. from: Thomas Auchter and Laura Viviana Strauss:  „Kleines Wörterbuch der Psychoanalyse“ Göttingen (Vandenhoeck & Rupprecht) 1999, p. 154.
    • Love is presented as libido. God does not exist, he is an illusion.
    • The psychoanalysis basically describes only the second-rate processes.
That, what I name first-rate, I cannot find.
    • The further developments of Freudian psychoanalysis also represent anthropocentric self-solution concepts, which, in my opinion, overstrain people. People have to deal alone with their problems. Especially with regard to severe mental disorders, such as the psychoses, these therapeutic concepts seem to be too weak as they build on Ego-strength and less on Self-strength. S. Freud may have had therefore a reason to be skeptical about psychotherapy of psychoses. (To this more at another place).
    • Psychoanalysis characterizes the person based on pathology. The three main instances are ultimately instances of a strange or ill person. They are therefore defined accordingly. According to psychoanalysis, the Ego has the task of establishing the mental balance between the instances (to get the Id and Super-Ego in the “grip”). Freud: “An action of the Ego is then correct if the requirements of the Id, the Super-Ego and the reality are fulfilled at the same time, in other words, if the action reconciles their demands with each other.” 167S. Freud: Abriss der Psychoanalyse. Fischer Verlag (Paperback), 1983, p. 8.
(Remind: For Freud is I = Ego and Id = It)

[What an effort and tightrope walk (!) if the Ego has to mediate between the Super-Ego, It and reality. It is more favorable when Ego/resp. I, Id and Super-Ego are subordinated to the Self of the person. This is only possible when they have no absolute meaning. Then the person does not get panicked if the Id crosses the line and cannot be made guilty by the Super-Ego, nor does the person demand the Ego to bring everything under control or balance. In this way Id, Super-Ego and Ego/ I are accents but not dominants.]
    • The enmity between father and son as described by Freud in the Oedipus complex is only one possibility of an unresolved problem between father and son, a kind of anti-complex. Another possibility is the symbiosis between father and son. The third possibility is the indifference between the two. Especially the latter two are now more common than the Oedipus complex. These possibilities apply to all the relationships and not just the ones between father and son.
    • Dilemmas of the theory: It is a contradiction when Freud wants to illuminate with his “God Logos” the unconscious, from which he says on the other hand, that the unconscious is not subjected to the laws of logic.
    • Before Freud, the drives were suppressed by morality, after Freud, they are suppressed by rationality.
    • S. Freud has also expressed different views on the phenomenon of freedom and marked it generally as unscientific.
[QuestionWhy should P be treated with an ultimately pessimistic therapy?]

Summary in Keywords

Positive: Positive: Old gods at Freud´s time, such morality and parents, were rightly unmasked and dethroned by psychoanalysis and thus people were freed from them. [But for this the “God Logos” has been established.]
Psychoanalysis propagates the unconditional acceptance of all the drawbacks of the patient; It is very differentiated with many new insights and, in spite of the claim to scientificity, goes beyond this. 168The philosopher Slavoj Žižek complains in parts rightly in Geo 5/2006, that only the psychoanalysis compared to the other psychotherapies has a philosophical background. It is against false taboos and does not know any subjection to the zeitgeist.

Negative: Partly pseudo-religious, too pessimistic, too demanding, never ending as analysis, missing spirituality, missing +A, too much looking back. Psychology is explained negatively. Positive and healthy aspects get too little attention; To one-sided consideration of sexuality and aggression (Freud), neglection of the subject. Language too materialistic, mechanistic, and so on – so people are partly denoted as objects (for example psychical  ‘apparatus’, ‘objects’) and things are personalized.

For the comparison of anticathexis in psychoanalysis and in this work see anticathexis in `Remedies of defense´ or in the unabridged German version.

Later Psychoanalysts

Here are some keywords: Sources: Dieter Wyss `Die tiefenpsychologischen Schulen…’ and Wikipedia, 2014.169Sources: Dieter Wyss `Die tiefenpsychologischen Schulen…’ and Wikipedia, 2014. 

Freud’s main focus was on the drive theory. Sandor Ferenczi, Michael Balint and Melanie Klein placed the early-child relationships to reference persons at the center of their theories = object-relations theories. According to Melanie Klein, the former reference persons (“objects”) can either be loved or hated, which shows parallels to Freud’s libido and destrudo [and a parallel to +sA and ‒sA.]
Heinz Kohut developed a self-psychology. He studied how many objects a person needs to build and maintain the psychical functioning of his Self. Kohut assumed that “the goal of the self is to achieve cohesion of self-life”. The Self needs the empirical knowledge of satisfying self-object experiences. A lack of sympathetic resonance of the parental self-objects can cause a disturbance of the Self. 170According to Mertens.
Erich Fromm: Neurosis originates where human avoids his freedom.
Franz G. Alexander: “… proceeded from the observation that neurotics are generally not only overly morally in some way but and on the other hand are just as hardly morally. He recognized that both the immorality and the neurotic pseudo-morality are two sides of one and the same coin and that they are in a functional dependency relationship. 171Wyss p. 473
[This corresponds to the pro- and contra- position of the Its of the asp.12.]
C. G. Jung emphasizes the archetypes in his teaching. Criticism to it from W. Schmidt* – `the archetypes are the new gods of C. G. Jung. Only the reference to them gives life its meaning. The last metaphysical hold of a human being lies within himself. Psychology becomes a worldview. The idea of the archetype is a mentally hypostatized product of abstraction.’
(*I cannot find the source again but the quote corresponds to my opinion.)
Jung made two main statements: “Become who you are,” “Recognize yourself” (→`individuation´). 172Wyss p. 399 
Criticism by Trüb: Jung looks for `the essential determination of man ultimately in the process of psychical self-reference´.
(See also my criticism concerning Individuation )

Primary Therapy of A. Janov

I particularly mention this therapy by Arthur Janov because I refer to some of his thoughts, although his theories have never been recognized by official psychotherapy and have become less and less important in the last 20 years, at least in Germany. In the early 1970s, his book “The Urschrei” appeared, to which I refer. 173Janov, Arthur: Der Urschrei. Ein neuer Weg der Psychotherapie. Frankfurt: S. Fischer, 1982/1993. (The Primal Scream. 1970) There he describes his ‘primal therapy’, which, similar to the Psychoanalysis of S. Freud, assumes that neuroses arise by repressed memories of traumatic experiences from childhood. However, Janov did not only talk about early traumatization but also about peri- and prenatal traumas, here in particular, a rejection of the fetus by the mother and / or the father. The primary needs of the unborn or infant of unconditional acceptance and love were not satisfied, and so a “primal pain” arose in it – the cause of later neurotic disorders. This primal pain must be made conscious and lived through once more (“cathartic experience”) – usually linked with the so-called `primal scream´ to release the ‘true self’. Later it would be entirely easy to live. Janov: `It is a herculean task to be what one is not. To be yourself is the simplest thing to do.´

Janov developed his theory after he had initiated a regression in a patient by making him scream for mama and papa. After the patient screamed for them, he collapsed with a “penetrating death cry” but afterward he felt like a new-born baby.
Some Christians experience their spiritual rebirth similarly. They cry for God, who is stronger than mama or papa.

    – I also believe that you have the easiest life with your true or original Self, which you do not have to earn but you have it already.
    – Janov connects the ‘true self’, just like me, with being a child. But on the other hand, I think that this being a child in itself is problematic, if this is the primary therapeutic goal and this `child´ is not protected in a larger whole (for me `God¹ ‘). Otherwise, it is alone and vulnerable and the therapist is not always present and overall for this role too weak.
    – Janov tries to reduce the defense mechanisms or make them superfluous but generally, he sees them too negatively. I see their role as second-rate and try to strengthen them so that they are available in an emergency.
    – Janov transfers the causes of neuroses, the primal pain, into the prenatal or perinatal area not foremost into early childhood. This is somewhat similar to my theory, according to which, as described in the part `Metapsychiatry´, I see the primal pain as the pain because we have lost paradise.
    – Unconditional love and recognition are central to Janov, but without religious affiliation. For those affected too weak because no one can love completely unconditionally.
    – Relativization of authorities: Old gods, as they can be represented by morality, parents and so on are rightly dethroned. The concerned learns that nothing will happen to him and that he does not die if he has overthrown the morality, the parents or other things – on the contrary, he feels liberated and good.
    Do we not all have the longing to be allowed to be free and absolutely loved: without responsibilities, without necessary achievements, without fear? Are not the most beautiful moment in our lives these, in which we simply let go, like in an orgasm, nothing more to control, no defense mechanisms needed and we sometimes scream out like with primal scream?
In my opinion, primal therapy has insights that should not simply be dismissed as unscientific – perhaps because it sheds light on the sphere that science alone cannot illuminate? We also try to create in our psychotherapies a similar atmosphere for our patients in which they can feel free, safe and understood like beloved children. Have not therapists repeatedly rightly said we should love the “inner child in us”, and called this “rebirth” like the “reincarnation therapy” following the Buddhist religion? Even the Christian religion speaks of being (spiritual) newborn when we dare to be God’s children (not the child of our parents!).
But how might establish psychotherapy, which understands itself as science and therefore favors above all measurements, examines and controls, can agree with such an uncontrollable method as the “primal-scream-therapy”? Dear reader, imagine how it would have been if the “primal-scream-therapy” would have entered our practices and clinics. Who would have accepted the whole moaning, talking and shouting of rebirth? We, psychotherapists, hardly dare to hug a patient or cry with him.

Other opinions: Bert Hellinger about his own therapy with Janov: “It affected me. But on the other hand, you will have incredible freedom at such a moment.” But see also at the very negative criticism by Hansjörg Hemminger. 174Hansjörg Hemminger: Flucht in die Innenwelt – Primärtherapie als Meditation der Kindheit. Ullstein 1980.

More Recent Literature

W. Wöller and J. Kruse distinguish four paradigms of psychoanalysis: 175Wöller, Wolfgang und Johannes Kruse: Tiefenpsychologisch fundierte Psychotherapie. Schattauer, Stuttgart, 2005.
1. The drive-psychological paradigm: aggression and sex drive are regarded as motivating forces.
2. The ego-psychological paradigm, which mainly concentrates on the defense mechanisms and other Ego functions.
3. The self-psychological paradigm: According to Kohut changes in therapy are not primarily the result of interpretations or insight but of empathy.
4. The object-relationship theory paradigm: This assumes that all mental structures are results of past object experiences: external object relations become internalized object relations. “These internalized object relations form a world of representations. In this context, the term `representation´ means that real inner images, that are created by interactions with important other persons (objects) no matter if real or imagined interactions. Those representations have an object aspect (object-representation) and a self-aspect (self-representation). … Intrapsychic and interpersonal aspects are closely intertwined.”(p. 26) According to Kernberg’s object-relations-theory, the representatives are organized into good and bad depending on how these satisfy needs. In the beginning, they are undifferentiated good or bad self-object units which later on only gradually differ from each other. (p. 17)
As mentioned in `Metapsychiatry´ we owe to Winnicott the concept of the true and false Self. According to Kohut, a lifelong need exists for reflection through so-called empathic self-objects. The authors emphasize the importance of the next reference person, such as a mother or a therapist and so on, who reacts to the infant (patient). 176Wöller, Wolfgang und Johannes Kruse ibid. Also in D.W. Winnicott: Reifungsprozesse und fördernde Umwelt, Fischer-V., Frankfurt a.M. 1985.
In short, we all need love. Where, however, should get the affected receive love if the important attachment figures have love deficits too or the society is loveless?]
Wöller and Kruse recommend a variety of perspectives in therapy: the perspective of conflict-orientation, the strengthening of the Ego-functions, the perspective of a possible traumatization, the perspective of the transference relationship, the problem perspective and resource perspective, as well as a perspective that has solutions instead of problems in its center. (p. 29)
[In the present work I try to present even more varied perspectives that can be integrated into a “meta-dimension”, the + A but that is missing in the above-mentioned concepts.]

Behavioral Therapies

In this chapter I limit myself to a few aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
[As before, I comment positions, which deviating of me, in square brackets.]

Keywords on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) 177From: 2014;  2014.

CBT is based on cognitivism. Cognitivism is a branch of psychology, which is primarily concerned with information processing and higher cognitive functions of man. Cognitivism has a materialistic basis. The cognitive therapy methods, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT), assume that the way we think determines how we feel and behave. The aim of the therapy is to communicate to the client, that thought-errors and irrational assumptions have negative consequences. Therefore, it is important to identify and correct negative thoughts. This shall lead to the development of more precise and more adapted thinking and behavior. 
Concerning the discussion with CBT here, I refer to the superordinate Criticism of Anthropocentrism, Criticism of Materialism, Criticism of Science and Psychology and ‘Discussion about secular psychotherapies‘.
Since these criticisms essentially apply to the CBT, I will not repeat everything here again.
The discussion between cognitive and non-cognitive standpoints can be followed in corresponding publications. 178Seeing e.g. In Wikipedia under these keywords.

I add additional criticism of the known cognitive therapy of depressions by A.T. Beck. 179From:  and  2014. The 11 thinking distortions from (here shortened) .
Due to the schemata learned during childhood – according to Beck – information-processings of depressive persons are flawed. This leads to the following 11 thinking distortions:

1. ALL-OR-NOTHING THINKING: You see things in black-and-white categories.
2. OVERGENERALIZATION: You see a single negative event as a never- ending pattern of defeat.
3. MENTAL FILTER: You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively .
4. DISQUALIFYING THE POSITIVE: You reject positive experiences by insisting they “don’t count” for some reason or other.
5. JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS: You make a negative interpretation though there are no definite facts that convincingly support conclusion.
6. MAGNIFICATION (CATASTROPHIZlNG) OR MINIMIZATION: You exaggerate the importance of things …  or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny.
7. EMOTIONAL REASONING: You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: “I feel it, therefore it must be true.”
8. SHOULD STATEMENTS: You try to motivate yourself with shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if you had to be whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything. “Musts” and “oughts” are also offenders.
9. LABELING AND MISLABELING: This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself.
10. PERSONALIZATION: You see yourself as the cause of some negative external events which in fact you were not primarily responsible for.
11. SELF-WORTH: You make an arbitrary decision that in order to accept yourself as worthy, okay, or to simply, feel good about your- self, you have to perform in a certain way.

Like Beck and others, I also assume that such ‘thinking distortions’ can cause diseases.
They are similar to the sA/ It complexes in this script.
There are, however, the following differences in the concepts:
I regard these unfavorable schemes as only relatively unfavorable, even if they have an absolute character for the person concerned. Even if they are generally rather unfavorable they can also be relatively favorable since they can have an important function or a meaning for the person concerned. This view means that it should not be a primary therapeutic goal to identify ‘negative thoughts’ and to correct them to develop more accurate and adapted ideas.

More in detail:
(1) As said, these `false thoughts´ might be favorable and meaningful for the person concerned.
(2) Even if they would be objectively unfavorable to the person, it may be the case that he is not capable of correcting these “deficiencies in thought” and then faces a therapeutic claim that overburdens him and thus possibly intensifies his symptoms.
This is often the case when the affected (especially as a child) is confronted with overstraining ideologies against which he has no chance. For that reason, in a particular case, I would not only rate some relatively unfavorable schemes and mental deficits as positive, but even advise to exacerbate or exaggerate them – especially if they are taboo by the person or the environment (and also by his therapists). This type of procedure is also the basis of paradoxical interventions. They have the goal to break open fixed attitudes, even of us therapists, and to show alternatives. But as much as they go in the right direction, even they do not produce a real independent meta-level because these paradoxical interventions are ultimately used now with the aim to achieve the therapeutic goal. What in both cases is missing is a, of all therapy-targets independent, meta-position, a +A, which states that all therapy goals have a value but ultimately are only of relative importance. Should we not embrace and console someone who is not doing well and we like him and only after that consider what one could do but not have to do? Behavioral therapy does not embrace, it lacks love.
The approach of the CBT resembles some “Christian” advices, e.g.: “If you only live properly, believe or pray enough, then you will become healthy.” In the sense of this work, one could also formulate, that the CBT and similar secular therapies try to expel a sA by a new sA. These new sA are here first of all Ego-strength, correct cognition, health, functionality, correct behavior, ratio, reality and objectivity. 
(See also: Absolutizing of Life, Health, Functioning etc. in `metapsychiatry’.)                
    When certain symptoms occur, such as phobias, very good results can be achieved with the aid of cognitive behavioral therapy. Some symptoms, however, will be difficult to eliminate through reason. Every psychiatrist knows how ineffective rational arguments are against the delusions of a psychotic. On the contrary, the more one appeals to reason and logic of the patient all the more the latter retreats into his insanity because he does not feel understood in his irrationality – he cannot feel understood! Likewise, quite reasonable and objectively correct corrections of the negative views of a severely depressed one will hardly succeed, instead even make him more depressed from a certain point onward. 180One also knows this mechanism from everyday life when one is sad but a well intending fellow man wants to prove how beautiful the world is.

Positive Thinking (Mental or Psychological Positivism) 

To be distinguished from philosophical positivism.


It is only reasonable if this method has only a relative meaning (in the sense of a healthy optimism), which also allows its opposite and is used in the right situations.  (It may be just as meaningful to practice negative thinking, especially when one thinks that a negative have to be suppressed or combated.)
Otherwise, I see the following disadvantages of the method of “positive thinking”: too anthropocentric, too self-redemptive, too demanding, too unrealistic, too manipulative, too one-sided and narrowing (negative thoughts are undesired or forbidden).
After a certain time, it becomes disadvantageous. 

According to Scheich, it is also apparent that “many people who want to think consciously positively have never thought so strongly negatively. It is a paradox of the ‘opposite effect’ … ” 181From  2/ 2014 .
Günter Scheich: “Positive thinking makes you sick. About the dizziness of dangerous success promises.” with the collaboration of Klaus Waller. Eichborn, Frankfurt, 1997.

The loss of reality and disappointments that lead to self-accusation and depression are preprogrammed according to the motto: “If you do not succeed, then you have to blame yourself … The trainer [therapist] remains infallible” (O. Neuberger). Similarly, my criticism of “The Work” by Katie Byron and similar programs for self-optimization. In opposite to “The Work,” I would call my approach “The Relief”.
The 2007 award-winning Norwegian film “The Art of Negative Thinking” shows impressively what overstretched positive thinking looks like.


• CBT is a very differentiated therapy with good success in phobias and other mild mental illnesses.
• CBT is anthropocentric with all its advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantage: man is left to rely on himself (self-redemption concept).
• CBT appears like a too symptomatic therapy.
• Learning and functioning are absolutized. Man, however, is more than this and can achieve more than only with knowledge and logic. Man is also irrational by nature. In this concept, his irrationality receives a too negative evaluation and must be countered or negated/repressed by CBT (unconsciously). “Rational arguments often prove to be ineffective despite the client’s insight.” (J. Teasdale) 182  2/2014
• CBT is too psychologistical, too operationalized.
• The by Beck mentioned errors in reasoning (see above) are too one-sided (negatively) evaluated.
• In Beck’s concept, among other things, the opposite to depression (mania) as well as their common background are too little considered.

Rational-Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT)

Created in 1955 by Albert Ellis. It sees itself as humanistic psychotherapy, as “comprehensive, integrative, active-directive, philosophically and empirically founded psychotherapy“. It has, according to its own data, an explicitly formulated philosophical background (stoicism, epicureanism, skepticism, existential philosophy, constructivism and linguistic philosophy). It builds on the so-called “abc model”:
a triggering external or internal event (a = activating event), such as the death of a family member, is evaluated by certain conscious or unconscious beliefs, assessment patterns, attitudes or habits (b = beliefs) which are activated in the triggering situation. This assessment of the events as a consequence (c = consequences) then evokes emotional reactions and behaviors (for example grief, worries, anxiety). This means that the evaluation of an event (b) determines the emotional responses and behaviors.
According to Ellis, mental disorders are caused by “irrational” beliefs and evaluations. He calls convictions “irrational” if they are subjectively burdensome and if they hinder the realization of one’s own life goals.
The aim of the procedure is to recognize the irrational … evaluations and to change them. This is supposed to help the patient to a more ‘rational’ life-style … “. 183Source of the citations: 1.  2/ 2014. 2. Becker, Vera; 1989 s.Lit.
My review:
• Overall like the criticism of cognitive behavioral therapy. (See above).
• Although the REBT covers philosophical perspectives, it is too anthropocentric and has the disadvantages as I described in Discussion about secular psychotherapies.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

By Marsha M. Linehan184 

Dialectical behavior therapy is especially for the treatment of borderline personality disorders (BPD). The therapist should find a balance between understanding and change (dialectical strategy). Apparent contrasts in the patient’s world are to be resolved and integrated. The manual includes therapeutic elements of cognitive behavioral therapy, social psychology, neurobiology and aspects of far-eastern meditation and spirituality. The skill training takes place regularly and consists of the five `modules’: internal mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance and self-acceptance.
My review:
• Overall very differentiated and partly also philosophically based therapy offering good successes in treating borderline disturbances.
• The Buddhist elements of the therapy are too anthropocentric.
• Similar disadvantages as CBT.
Otherwise see also criticism of Discussion about secular psychotherapies and Buddhism.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy has been evaluated by methodologically demanding studies. They show that MBCT as a relapse prevention is more effective than the usual treatment and at least as effective as antidepressant maintenance therapy. It may also be an effective method for chronic depression and insomnia. 185  6/2012.
• See criticism CBT, Criticism of Anthropocentrism and Buddhism.

Metacognition Therapy (MCT)

MCT refers to the human capacity to be aware of and control one’s own thoughts and internal mental processes.
“Metacognitions are beliefs about cognitions, cognitive processes and processes of attention-management. They determine which strategies a person takes as a reaction to internal events and control and monitor their adequate use … In the metacognitive theory, positive and negative metacognitions are distinguished. Positive metacognitions describe the usefulness of a particular strategy and are responsible for the selection of the same. Negative metacognitions, on the other hand, are beliefs about the uncontrollability of certain processes … or their dangerousness … These problematic strategies are summarized under the term `cognitive attention syndrome (CAS) ‘.The purpose of the MCT is to abolish the CAS and to change the associated metacognitive beliefs. Patients gain flexible control over their cognitive and attention processes.” 186  2/ 2014.
Discussion: Despite its claim, metacognition remains in a similarly closed system as the BT (behavioral therapies), a slightly larger box instead of the smaller one.
Instead of eliminating irrational patterns of thought, the goal is to change unfavorable beliefs to gain control of the thinking processes.
Otherwise criticism like CBT.

Behavior Therapies in the Future?

Our computers may soon have more optimized counseling and behavioral programs than the best behavioral therapist. The computer is already superior to humans in playing chess.
Like a chess computer, this `BT-PC’ will always know the best answers for millions of problems.
The patients are then treated and reprogrammed like machines – there are programs to increase self-esteem, against depression, against stress etc. This means, after receiving a large number of data the computer will give a more scientific based and functionally better advice than the therapist. Not that such programs are bad but the best computer will have no answer to the crucial and existential questions: Who am I? What is happiness? Is there God? Is there a life after death? Does my wife love me? Does life have a meaning?
This means that from a certain point onward, the most optimal but sterile, bloodless responses of a computer or an equally acting psychocrat are no longer useful.They miss the mark or have opposite effects.

Humanistic Psychotherapies 

Also here only keywords187from: / 2 /2014.

The humanistic psychotherapies are often referred to as a ‘third force’ besides depth psychology and behavioral therapy. They are based on a holistic view of the human being who strives for meaning, self-realization and personal growth in his life.
Among others the following methods can be named:
    • Logotherapy (V. Frankl)
    • Systemic psychotherapies
    • Conversational psychotherapy
    • Integrative psychotherapy and Gestalt therapy
    • Psychodrama.

Frankl’s Logotherapy

Logotherapy “aims at activating the noetic layers of personality to enable the patient to find the meaning of his existence and thereby free himself from the neurotic life reactions.” “Logotherapy is founded upon the belief that it is the striving to find a meaning in one’s life that is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force in humans.” 188 Brockhaus Enzyklopädie, `Logotherapie´ and, 2, 2018..

Systemic Psychotherapies

I personally consider a systemic viewpoint in analysis and psychotherapy as essential.
A ‘weak point’: System members are seen as too context-dependent. Then, they have no own Absolute after the concept of this theory. 
I dealt with this topic in the chapter `Personal system- and relationship disorders´ more closely.

Integrative Psychotherapy and Gestalt Therapy

It intends to integrate analytical, humanistic, behavioral and systemic approaches. It is differential, eclectic, integrative, inter-methodological and various schools incorporating.
“Gestalt therapy is an existential/experiential form of psychotherapy that emphasizes personal responsibility, and that focuses upon the individual’s experience in the present moment, the therapist-client relationship, the environmental and social contexts of a person’s life, and the self-regulating adjustments.” 189Deutschen Gesellschaft für Integrative Therapie, Gestalttherapie und Kreativitätsförderung,  2/2014. And:, 2018 The core of the Gestalt Therapy process is enhanced awareness of sensation, perception, bodily feelings, emotion, and behavior, in the present moment. Relationship is emphasized, along with contact between the self, its environment, and the other.190Cit. Fritz Perls in Wikipedia.
Discussion see: ‘Criticism of Humanism‘ and Buddhism.


Antonovsky, the founder of salutogenesis,  puts a so-called “coherence feeling” at the center of his answer to the question “How does health arise?”.
Antonovsky defined the `Sense of Coherence´ as: “a global orientation that expresses the extent to which one has a pervasive, enduring though dynamic feeling of confidence, that (1) the stimuli deriving from one’s internal and external environments in the course of living are structured, predictable and explicable; (2) that the resources are available to one to meet the demands posed by these stimuli; and (3) these demands are challenges, worthy of investment and engagement.
The sense of coherence has three components: Comprehensibility, manageability, meaningfulness.
According to Antonovsky, the third element is the most important. If a person believes there is no reason to persist and survive and confront challenges if they have no sense of meaning, then they will have no motivation to comprehend and manage events.
(Lit. source 1). These characteristics of a salutogenetic orientation are to strengthen people with appropriate methods.
“For example, a headache becomes a hint which offers a chance to return to the flexible center (of the human).” If, however, the headache is suppressed by a drug, no signal (indicator/ indication) is given to cure. Figuratively, instead of fighting the fire, the fire detector was switched off.” (Lit.source 2) 191Source: (1): , 2, 2018. (2): 2/2014.

    + : No fixation on pathology, resource-oriented.
    ‒ : As described elsewhere, the creation of a basic trust has to find within the person himself.
    Otherwise as described in the secular psychotherapies.

Resilience Research 

Resilience research (resistance-ability)192  2/2014. took its starting point in the investigation of trauma victims and their vulnerability. Thereby the following factors were identified that allow adults to process traumas:

    – They deal with stress effectively.
    – They have good problem-solving skills.
    – Having problems they ask for help.
    – They believe there are ways to deal with life problems.
    – Their relationships with friends and family members are tight.
    – They talk about the trauma and their feelings with friends and family .
    – They are spiritual/ religious.
    – They see themselves as survivors instead of as a “victim”.
    – They help others.
    – They are trying to get something from the trauma.
    – They are supported by friends and family.

 Discussion: No fixation on pathology, resource-oriented, spiritual-religious resources are taken into account.

Body Psychotherapy and Embodiment

Regarding the move away from pure cognitive behavioral therapy towards integrative and body psychotherapy, I would like to quote W. Tschacher and M. Storch:
“For years… it has been observed how the cognitively oriented therapy approaches are reforming with the inclusion of non-cognitive aspects… (Dialectical-behavioral therapy: Linehan, 1993, schema therapy: Young et al., 2005). There are also approaches to a ‘general psychotherapy’ that seeks to integrate all proven mechanisms of action … (Grawe, 1998). In the “third-wave approach” of behavioral therapy (Hayes et al., 2004), attitudes and views are adopted that had been developed in the field of humanistic psychotherapy schools in a non-academic and research-free manner since the middle of the 20th century (Kriz, 2007). In addition, there are elements of the systemic approaches (von Schlippe & Schweitzer, 1996), which … led to the contextual or constructivist perspective in cognitive behavioral therapy (Mahoney, 2006).” And elsewhere:“The first body psychotherapeutic schools emerged as a kind of spin-offs within psychoanalysis from the 1930s onwards by Wilhelm Reich (vegetotherapy) and later Fritz Perls (gestalt therapy), Jakob Moreno (psychodrama) and their numerous students and successors.”
193{Tschacher, W. & Storch, M. (2010) Embodiment und Körperpsychotherapie.
In A. Künzler, C. Böttcher, R. Hartmann & M.-H. Nussbaum (Ed.), Körperzentrierte Psychotherapie im Dialog. Heidelberg: Springer.]

In many publications on the theory of embodiment this information is seldom given.
Instead, one speaks of a new wave of cognitive therapy.
I can’t help saying that this is probably neither the last nor a new “wave”. (See quote above).
When Tschacher and Storch go on to say that embodiment is meant
“That the psyche is always embedded in a body …” and only against this background
“a complete theory of psychology becomes possible” – then the question remains open, in which again the psyche and body are embedded, before one can speak of a (somewhat) complete psychology. I suspect that by then there will still be some paradigm shifts in psychology and I predict that with the next “wave” one will discover that psychology and psychotherapy also have to consider spiritual and religious issues.

`Table´: Advantages and disadvantages of anthropocentric psychotherapies (Keywords)

BT (Behavior Therapies)
(on symptom level)
more targeted, more detectable and more predictable
Less causal, too superficial and short-term effective, too manipulative, too normative, too other-directed.
Some problems are only postponed.
Healing more time consuming or overstraining.
Danger: Like cortisone: straw fire. Symptom away but disease remains.
covering method,
suitable for mild cases and as a supplementary therapy for severe diseases.

Analytical methods

   more causal as BT
Too pessimistic; it lacks spiritual dimension; the ego is overtaxed, self-salvation; therapist difficult to question; more complicated, more elitist.
Zimbardo: too unscientific, too speculative; vague concepts, central hypotheses not provable, thus irrefutable; too back-looking.
The illness is explained from a negative point of view and positive, healthy aspects too little considered; to one-sided consideration of sexuality and aggression; the male model as norm.

suitable for moderatecases.

All secular, purely natural scientific psychotherapies

        see above
Only a second-rate human image, demanding ego-strength, danger of overburdening. ↓ sources of faith/ spirituality;
Thoughts and feelings are seen too much as objects (reification). The objective, measurable, calculable, functional, feasible and the symptom elimination is emphasized; Too one-sidedly, mechanistic perspectives and words. As materialism sterile, cold. ↓ feelings, faith, love, inner world, humanity. Behavior, function more important than life. 194See also H. E. Richter: `Der Gotteskomplex´, p. 75ff.


“One thing I have learned in a long life:
that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike.” Albert Einstein 195, 2022

Critical remarks: Today, psychiatry tries to explain mental processes or diseases with brain functions.
For example, I read something about the consequences of a mental trauma:
PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) can be developed by someone who was confronted with an extreme degree of anxiety, dying and pain … The sensory perceptions … can lead to stimulus overload. The almond nuclei, …  are then overburdened.196From Zeit online  10/2011. 
Does this take us any further? Yes, a bit! But should a primary psychic process, how I assume it, not be primarily explained and cured in the psychological field? I fear that most mental processes and conditions in the future will only be explained neurobiologically, which, on the one hand, creates illusionary security but, on the other hand, ignores the main therapeutic options.
I follow the criticism of Felix Hasler: “Explanation models from brain research penetrate former territories of the humanities and the cultural and social sciences far beyond the boundaries of natural sciences. The brain research of our days is very confident in proving the non-existence of free will, in discovering biological markers for criminal behavior or in finding neuro-molecular causes of anxiety, compulsive disorder and depression. Not today but in the foreseeable future, such big-caliber problems are to be solved. … The fundamentally false impression is made that brain research is well aware of the biological processes underlying our experience, thinking and action. And therefore medicine should be able to intervene in the brain in an `evidence-based´ and goal-oriented way if something goes wrong. For example in the case of a mental disorder. A dramatic shift towards biology has long taken place in the classical `bio-psycho-social model of mental illnesses´. The most striking feature of this scientific-ideological orientation is the increasingly out-of-control practice of prescribing psycho-pharmaceuticals.197Felix Hasler: Neuromythologie. Transcpript, Bielefeld. 3. Ed. 2013, p. 7-8.
Heinzpeter Hempelmann argues similarly: “Neurosciences allow – finally – precise statements about human thinking. They must, however, not forget or even withhold that their – hopefully lasting – success is based on a decisive reduction of their thirst for knowledge. Obviously, they do not ask philosophically. … This perspective is very limited. It looks at the human as a brain, more precisely: as a nervous system. And it examines this nervous system from the point of view, what can be chemically and electrophysiologically represented by different potentials. It does not ask about the essence of thought, the essence of man as a thinking being, the essence of mind, the sensations, the consciousness. It does not even claim to be able to answer these questions as science – I speak ideal-typically here! – for this is the task of philosophy … This limited perspective leads – while paying the price of a reduction of the initial question – to very precise and quantitative results with claims to high scientific validity. Neuroscientists can give us very precise information about, which electrical potentials are shown in certain regions of the brain due to certain signal stimuli but they cannot tell us what the man´s essence/nature is”. 198Heinzpeter Hempelmann
Since the access to a spiritual-psychical influence is much easier and probably ultimately even more effective and incidentally also cheaper, I think that corresponding psychotherapy should be prioritized.
I believe that most of the causes of mental illnesses, which are found in the neurobiological field, are second-rate causes – which, in turn, are results of primary (in my opinion psycho-spiritual) causes. This opinion is also supported by the possibility of brain- and even gene changes due to stress and traumatization! 199, 9/2018; , 8/2015. This means that what has been inherited by genes can be based primarily on psychological and mental damage. Also, the recent recognition of epigenetics stating, that different genes can be activated or deactivated by certain circumstances, 200In short you could say that genes can be closed with a snap or opened. relativizes a one-sided emphasis on organic-biological influences. 201Perhaps former psychiatrists were right when calling psychoses mental diseases and not brain diseases.
See corresponding literature to the criticism of the `Human Brain Project’ which aims to capture neural networks of the brain by computers and is supported by the EU with 1 billion €  ! (similar in the USA).202 , 2016.

Spiritual / Religious Based Psychotherapy

Spirituality in Psychotherapy?

I quote M. Richard and H. Freund, who present this topic from today’s point of view: 203äge_Veröffentlichungen_MIRP/Artikel_Richard_Freund  3/2012.
Academic psychology … has always been understood as a secular science. In its rapid development in the twentieth century, it increasingly occupied interpretations and fields of action, which until then had been reserved for theology and ecclesiastical institutions. Up until the 1980s the clinical psychology primarily investigated the negative effects of religion and it was only later when it highlighted health-promoting aspects, too … A few years later C. G. Jung (1940) argued that almost all psychical problems have a religious dimension and that religion should therefore be constructively integrated into psychotherapy. Other pioneers of psychotherapy such as Viktor Frankl and Carl Rogers also recognized the existential value of religion in the field of crisis management (Demling, 2004). Newer psychoanalytic authors discuss that it is significant for mental health to be able to believe something (Britton, 1998). The renaissance of religious/ spiritual concepts from the context of buddhism and Far Eastern religions has recently been observed in behavioral therapy … In summary, it can be seen that the image of the psychotherapist initially drawn as religious-critical or indifferent does not coincide with the empirical findings in Germany … It is time to overcome the previous shadow existence of this topic in the scientific-therapy-discussion and turn to it more and more … 204Emphasised by me. Existing approaches such as the buddhist psychotherapy (Ennenbach, 2010), the transpersonal behavioral therapy (Piron, 2007) or the concept of the ‘IGNIS Academy for Christian Psychology’ (Halder, 2011) are leading a shadow-existence …” 205Institutions such as the Klinik Hohe Mark (Oberursel), de’ignis Fachklinik (Egenhausen), Magdalenen Klinik (Georgsmarienhütte), Klinik Sonnenhalde (Riehen/ Switzerland) or Klinik SGM Langenthal (Switzerland) have introduced christian content to their treatment programs in the German-speaking world since a couple of years. Although many psychotherapists protested against the existing directives in the ‘Bonn Declaration’ already in 2006, little has changed in Germany. However, there are more and more authors like M. Seitlinger, D. Heil, P. Schellenbaum, E. Frick, J. Kornfield, H. Jellouschek, J. Armbruster, M. Utsch, E. Frick and others in recent German literature who recommend the consideration of spirituality in psychotherapy. 206Seitlinger, Michael (Hg.): Was heilt uns? Zwischen Spiritualität und Therapie. see. Lit. references.

“Third Viennese School” of Psychotherapy

I have already mentioned Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy. Frankl, Caruso and Daim form the so-called third Viennese school of psychotherapy. Of these, Wilfried Daim has a religiously based approach. 207 See: Daim, Wilfried: Tiefenpsychologie und Erlösung; Herold publishing company, Wien, 1951 Theoretically, he is very close to me because, like me, he places the Absolute, which he identifies as God, at the center of his considerations. However, there are some differences in our concepts but it is not the place to address them here. Daim sees himself as a psychoanalyst who, in a certain sense, belongs to S. Freud but also, in contrast to him, on crucial points. Dieter Wyss describes this contrast. He means, according to Daim and Caruso, the spirit is displaced by the drives, whereas  according to Freud the drives are displaced by the spirit and thereby the neurosis develops. With this reversal of the original approach of psychoanalysis, however, according to Wyss, the problem of the relation between spirit and drive is not resolved. Wyss continues: Both is possible – drive can be displaced by spirit and spirit can be displaced by drive. 208Wyss, Dieter: Die tiefenpsychologischen Schulen …“ p. 409.
To stay with this choice of words: I see the emergence of the “neurosis” above all in the suppression of the absolutely positive spirit by absolutized Relatives who act as “strange Absolutes” (sA), which can be of more spiritual or impulsive or otherwise nature.
Ps. Wyss misinterprets Daim’s religious perspective as a moral position.

Transpersonal Psychology

An overview is given by the following quotations: “The transpersonal psychology and the transpersonal psychotherapy, which is based on the first, expand the classical psychology and psychotherapy by philosophical, religious and spiritual aspects … Transpersonal psychology examines consciousness states ‘beyond’ (trans) of personal experience … The main founders and theorists of transpersonal psychology were Stanislav Grof, Anthony Sutich, Frances Vaughan, Roger Walsh, Abraham Maslow, Ronald D. Laing, Charles Tart, Roberto Assagioli and Ken Wilber.” (Lit. source 1). “Issues considered in transpersonal psychology include spiritual self-development, self beyond the ego, peak experiences, mystical experiences, systemic trance, spiritual crises, spiritual evolution, religious conversion, altered states of consciousness, spiritual practices, and other sublime and/or unusually expanded experiences of living. The discipline attempts to describe and integrate spiritual experience within modern psychological theory and to formulate new theory to encompass such experience.” (Lit. source 2) 209(1) and 2/2014. (2) 2/2018.
Discussion: Transpersonal psychology’s essential criticism about university psychology: Western science does not recognize the transrational and transpersonal areas as real, existential, spiritual levels of consciousness, and therefore must press all the spiritual experiences through the bottleneck of monistic materialism. 210
The “transpersonal” theories expand the theories of university psychology around spiritual-religious aspects, which, however, mainly have buddhist and Hindu backgrounds.
See discussion about Buddhism in the part `Metapsychotherapy’.

Pastoral Psychology

The word ‘pastoral’ is difficult for a layman. It means (Catholic) pastoral care. “Pastoral psychology reflects religious and ecclesiastical practices from a psychological point of view in order to gain new perspectives and extended possibilities for action. It examines human and social sciences theory and practice from the theological perspective as concerns their anthropological premises. It promotes dialogue between theology and human or social sciences.” 211
It works interdisciplinarily and multi-perspectively. Insights from theology, psychology and sociology are interlinked and made fruitful for church practice.” 212
Pastoral psychology is meant to be theology and psychology.
Criticism: It is certainly fruitful when theology and psychology work together. In reality, however, theology rather subordinates itself to the university psychology as regards psychological questions and does not discuss pathological phenomena, whereas  on the other hand, religious questions are largely negated by the mainstream of today’s psychology.

Pastoral Psychiatry

“Pastoral psychiatry is concerned with pastoral care in the context of psychiatry. Many things between ‘spiritual healing’ and ‘psychiatry for theologians’ have already been referred to by the term ‘pastoral psychiatry’. In 1973 a professorship for the subject was established at the Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany, which was occupied by the theologian Thomas Bonhoeffer until 1996.” 213
• I am not aware of any study about the backgrounds and therapy of mental illnesses having been published here.

Pastoral Care

Pastoral action is not to be confused with psychotherapeutic action. However, psychotherapeutic methods are also used in pastoral care. In particular the pastoral psychology influenced by Carl Rogers and the Dutch pastoral care movement in Germany lays emphasis on a close exchange between pastoral care and psychology … In the middle of the 1960s the pastoral movement came from the Netherlands to Germany and led to the development of pastoral psychology … In the 1980s Eugen Drewermann … developed his depth psychological interpretation of the bible, especially in the three-volume work `Psychoanalyse und Moraltheologie´. At the same time, Michael Dieterich developed biblical therapeutic pastoral care, which spread rapidly particularly in the pietistic and free church groups … All fields of activity [of pastoral care] have the task to accompany people in matters of life and faith. This happens in a personal conversation, depending on the situation, as well as through prayer, consoling and encouraging words from the bible, through blessings (e.g. laying on hands) but also through social support … In biblical therapeutic pastoral care (BTPC), for example, biblical and psychological or psychotherapeutic approaches are complementary or permeate each other.” 214 Extracts from 3/2014.
Samuel Pfeifer and his Academy for Psychotherapy and Pastoral Care also work on pastoral care and psychotherapy/ psychiatry. Helmut Jaschke’s “Christian oriented psychotherapy” and “Hagiotherapie” by Tomislav Ivancic have similar intentions.
• Short remarks:
– The concept of biblical therapeutic pastoral care seems to be too dogmatic to me in some points.
– Samuel Pfeifer separates the modern psychiatry too strictly from biblical pastoral care in his book “Die Schwachen tragen”.


It assumes, like me, that man owns somatic, psychological, and spiritual areas that are connected and thus offer different possibilities of therapeutic approaches.
• Regarding the pathogenesis of mental disorders, I see great differences but only a few as concerns their healing.

Self-Help Groups with Spirituality

[The citations are  here from, 2022 and sorry, 2022 no longer available]

Our patients also find spirituality, away from the official psychotherapeutic mainstream, in the following non-professional and very successful anonymous self-help groups such as:
Anonymous Alcoholics (AA), Workaholics Anonymous (WA), Relatives and friends of alcoholics (AL-Anon), Children of alcoholics (Alateen), Drugs / Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Anonymous Messis (AM), Sexaholics Anonymous (SA), Borderline Anonymous (BA), Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA), Emotions Anonymous (EA), Anonymous eating disorders (sA and OA), Gamblers Anonymous (GA), family members (Gam-Anon), and  Internet and Technology Addicts Anonymous (ITAA).  2151. There were over 100,000 AA groups worldwide in 2008. 2. Meanwhile, the AA program also adopted by groups without reference to the problem of addiction (EA groups). The anonymous groups are not a religious organization and do not recommend a specific belief system. At the center, however, is the trust in a ‘loving, higher power’, the attempt to “trust our God’s care as we understand it.” They teach fundamental spiritual principles such as faith, trust, honesty, openness, willingness and humility.

The following are the original twelve steps as published by Alcoholics Anonymous and adopted by the other anonymous groups:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

In parallel, there are `12 promises’ for a new, better, more relaxed life (without addiction).
It also says: We realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.


– These “anonymouses” do not care for the ideological border between official psychotherapy and pastoral care but simply take what they need.
– In contrast to academic psychotherapies, the last instance in these people’s life is not man but “a higher, loving power/ God¹ as everyone understands him”, so a serenity can grow that knows “that with us in the world and in the hereafter everything will go well when we turn to him.”
– The concepts of these self-help groups are very close to me and are very similar to what I mean by ‘primary psychotherapy’.
– The concept is particularly suitable for people who are psychically ‘at the very bottom’
 and cannot get on with their own strength or with the assistance of others. Therefore, I also believe that it is well suited for people with (not acute) psychoses.

Psychology, Psychotherapy and Psychiatry Today 

Note: I am referring here to the situation in Germany.

Psychology, psychotherapy and psychiatry should, in my view, be both scientifically and spiritually religiously based. It is a questionable science if it is to replace religion, when it transforms the lively into a thing only to measure and reproduce it. Religion is questionable when it believes in having to replace or even to fight good science, or when it does not serve man. Psychologists and psychiatrists are now almost exclusively regarded as scientists. The published literature must be brand new, knowledge of past years or even centuries seem to be obsolete.
The knowledge of philosophers or even theologians (people who are very intensely concerned with our soul life) is hard to find.
Hardly any wise man of past ages gets his or her say. The fact that for billions of people religion is of existential importance is largely ignored. The great human issues such as being and non-existence, life and death, good and evil, love and hatred, meaning and meaninglessness, guilt and innocence, trust and distrust, life-worthy or not, self-worth and unworthiness, power and powerlessness and so on are hardly taken into account – issues, which are experienced in all mental crises and particularly intensely in delusion. 
Technocrats threaten to drive out our free and therefore holy spirit from various positions. They come with a large device, measuring instruments, nuclear spin and computer tomographs like to a battle from one side: They measure, register, evaluate, operationalize, verify and amplify single- and double blindly – and so evidently they are particularly clairvoyant or particularly blind?
All of them want to subdue the spirit and create a new, perfect and transparent human being: reproducible by cloning, streamlined, functional and usable everywhere. Ultimately, a blood-empty monster emerges but that the more you want to get hold of it the less spirit it will have. Giant computers are at the end of the development of such purely scientifically oriented psychotherapies, which record the patient’s thousands of data and then present the most objectively and best solution, where perhaps a simple hug or a loving conversation would have been the better and simpler solution. In particular, behavioral therapists sometimes appear to me as technicians with very sophisticated, by all means, humane and loving programs. They then resemble a lover who has studied everything that science has found out about love and precisely but for this reason does not know what love really is. We are thus in danger of forcing the lively into scientific theories and programs. These attempts have already failed elsewhere. For example with planned economies. And they will continue to fail – whenever one tries to adapt life, so also the human, to certain theories and not vice versa.The moment our souls transformed for psychologists and psychiatrists to subjects of scientific research they lost their innocence, their gloss, their wonder and their depths. We poke around in the self and hope to find a treasure, in doing so we destroy the whole thing, as we destroy a blossom if we believe that we would unriddle its miracle by putting it under a microscope.
    But some others take equally one-sided opposite positions in trying to fill the spirit with pure speculations (esotericism, in parts also the ‘antipsychiatry’). But it, the free, holy spirit, will blow where it wants and not where they will try to compel it. It will remain free and divine – not measurable, not to be grasped, not to be taken in – and yet loving and stronger experienceable than anything else, just like real life and love.

New Approaches?

I quote B. Grom exemplarily. 216Bernhard Grom: „Religiosität/Spiritualität – eine Ressource für Menschen mit psychischen Problemen?“ from:$file/ptj_3_2012.pdf.  3/2012 .
… according to English-language studies, it can be proved that convinced religiosity and positive religious coping can exert a buffering effect, particularly in the case of heavy stress, and can somewhat reduce depression, anxiety and life-dissatisfaction … According to an Allensbach survey (2006), a remarkable 42 percent of the Germans say that they ‘personally derive consolation and strength from their faith’ … more than a dozen relevant investigations … prove that religious belief… maintain life satisfaction and reduce depression and anxiety … “. 217Summing up: Klein & Lehr, 2011, literature reference by B. Grom.
Discussion: There is obviously a current tendency of traditional psychotherapy to open up for spiritual and religious questions and to give them at least a “limited influence”.
On the other hand, spiritual and religious worldviews differ from each other partly considerably, so that one should assess them more differentiated in terms of their psychotherapeutic potency than it has been done so far. Moreover, the question remains to what extent traditional psychotherapies are prepared to scrutinize their own materialistic views with their possible “side effects”.

Fears and Resistances against Change

On the Part of the Psychotherapists

As the previous sections have shown, religiosity has been an integral part of psychotherapy in the original sense until modern times. It was only with the enlightenment and the successes of the natural sciences that the predominantly materialistic psychologies and psychotherapies emerged, which because of their predominantly materialistic basis, regarded spiritual and religious issues as irrelevant. As mentioned several times, this has led to a one-sidedness and weakening of psychotherapy. It is only in recent decades that a shift towards a paradigm that encompasses both secular and religious views seems to be emerging. This path will be difficult since both sides have entrenched themselves in their spheres about the last 100 years. On the one hand, official pastoral statements warn of psychiatric activity, on the other hand, the psychotherapists have great reservations about spiritual-religious influences and both sides are rightly careful because the knowledge of the other sphere is usually missing. In addition, there are still organizational and human reasons, both in the field of science and in the ecclesiastical sphere, which make a rethinking or even a renouncement of this or that advantage more difficult. 218One will probably (still?) have to renounce a university career if one abandons this small-mindedness. The fear of becoming unscientific has also meant that in psychology and psychiatry, anything that is unprovable and unimaginable is usually masked out. Thus U. Sachse states for example in his otherwise excellent book “Traumazentrierte Psychotherapie” that on the one hand our inner world of values is important when dealing with psychical  trauma: 219See the bibliography (p. 55). “If we have a philosophical, spiritual and/ or religious system in which injustice, fate, bad luck, arbitrariness occur … then it is much easier for us to integrate a trauma … .” (p. 55)  But, on the other hand, this matter hardly plays a role in his book when discussing therapy strategies. After all, in a psychotherapist journal, one reads the cautious words: “Should psychotherapists make their patients’ religious beliefs the starting point for interventions? Can a psychotherapist incorporate his/ her own religiosity into therapy? … We hope our daring (!) to take up this topic will be rewarded.” 220Psychotherapeutenjournal 3/2012, p. 191-298. I added the !.
1. Established psychotherapy is based on philosophical foundations, which ultimately can only be believed like religions.
2. It is characteristic that “daring” is necessary to ask basic questions to established psychotherapy today.
3. Just as theologians are trained in psychology, psychologists and psychiatrists should also be made aware of the most important religions and spiritual currents during their training.

On the Part of the Theologians


– Pastors/ theologians usually have too little knowledge of psychology and psychiatry.
– Then there is a justified fear of acting incompetently and being sued.
– Some pastors/ theologians are institutionally and theoretically too firmly established to dare to innovate.
– Some pastors/ theologians have difficulties in understanding the role of God¹ in relation to diseases. Some, rather members of free churches, overestimate God’s direct intervention, others, the majority, may still believe in God’s helping with diseases in some way but do not act like it.
– Church has long presented illnesses as a direct result of the patient’s sins. 221“For the reward of sin is death“ (Rom 6:23). On the other hand Jesus: The blind’s disease was not because of his sin or because of his father’s or mother’s sin.“ (Jn 9: 1-41) both quotes from Although theology has a more differentiated point of view on that matter nowadays, many people still regard the Gospel primarily as a moral doctrine and therefore refrain from such pastoral teachings. 222Warum heute kaum noch Seelsorge? See also H. Thielicke, in Läpple among others p. lit. 126 following.
See also `Christian one-sidednesses… !


My personal experience: I like to hear the good news that I am absolutely lovable, unique and godlike when I am down. But if I did a great job, I don´t like the Gospel, since, without it,  I feel more valuable and better than any bum, who evidently only loiters about all day. Then I want to be more lovable than the bum and also feel better. But man’s magical hours are those when he gives up his resistance to +A/ God¹, who gives the bum the same worth like me. These are the situations where we are in tears in real life or in the cinema.
I believe that every person has religious or spiritual basic needs. We all have the longing for absoluteness, redemption, eternity and immortality. But we satisfy them in different ways – that is human nature. I understand when a football team is assured immortality at a world championship or millions of people find joy and fellowship with those games. But how quickly this “immortality” disappears and yesterday’s heroes are forgotten. I am only able to remember a few international footballers from about 20 years ago, although I admired them then. We should preserve ourselves this joy of human success but why should not we extend our longings and anchor them more sustainable and more deeply? We encounter resistance here in us, whose deeper cause will be probably that we get an existential fear when we cannot hold the reins and are to hand them over to someone else, even if this someone is God¹. (S. chapter Resistance).
Also: The good news often seems ambiguous. Its positive part is that we are always entitled to freedom, dignity and well-being, regardless of whether having done something right or wrong. Its negative part is: no matter how much we do right, our right to freedom, dignity and well-being is not thereby increased. But by trying to increase our Self by means of achievements, we establish an invisible strange Absolute, which we are also fixed to in the event of our failure and which makes us than small. Thus false pride and destructive inferiority complexes appear as two sides of one thing.


            “Love grants in one moment what effort hardly achieved in a long time.”   Goethe (Torquato Tasso)
             Love is stronger than death! (~ Solomon 8,6)

Dedicated to my granddaughter Teresa.


Concerning the Name

This psychotherapy, which I present here, is ultimately Christian-oriented (Eugen Biser rightly speaks of a therapeutic religion) but I intentionally did not call it ‘Christian psychotherapy’. Why?
1. I believe that the desirable therapeutic optimum, which I define as +A, is best to be called God¹ or Holy Spirit. However, this good spirit of love can be found in other religions and worldviews, too, albeit weaker. As the bible already says the Holy Spirit blows wherever it pleases – not only in the Christian religion and not only in churches or mosques.
2. Many people identify the Christian message with church institutions or have questionable interpretations (as I sketched them in `Christian one-sidednesses… ) Unfortunately, the concept of “Christian” will then create false ideas.
3. The term “Christian-oriented psychotherapy” could also be misunderstood as if one were to neglect or negate all scientific knowledge. I use similarly the term ‘metapsychotherapy’ because  ‘primary psychotherapy’ has its main focal point in the metapsychotherapeutic field. Other synonyms for `primary psychotherapy ‘could be: metatherapy, fundamental psychotherapy, redemption oriented psychotherapy, psychotherapy of love, Christian-based psychotherapy and alternative psychotherapy.

 [Hint: I partly write God¹ to indicate my own conceptions of God, which do not necessarily agree with definitions of official theology.]

Content and Goals

`Primary psychotherapy´ is supposed to be a therapy without preconditions because it should be usable and implementable by even the simplest and most sick persons. It is undogmatical and free from ideology. Such therapy requires no analysis, no behavioral training, no special knowledge.
It is not a total therapy, but a fundamental psychotherapy. (→ fundamental.)
Problems can be on different levels. Only one fundamental level covers all problems. Superficial levels, on the other hand, exclude deeper problems and their solutions from the outset. This is especially true of current materialistically based psychotherapies. Just as I have described the very first and deepest causes of mental illness primarily in the confusions of fundamental meanings, I now see the strongest therapeutic and most comprehensive power in a psychotherapy that starts in the absolute realm. It takes into account not only man’s need for an absolute, but also the fact that every man has access to this source / to this Absolute.
The main thing would be that the most important things are to be given by God¹. It first establishes the most important thing: an unassailable, positive Self – the absolute and existential basis of the person, on which then further therapeutic procedures can take place as required. The main thing would be that the most important things are given by God¹.  It first establishes the most important thing: an unassailable, positive Self – the absolute and existential basis of the person, on which then further therapeutic procedures can take place as required. “Primary Psychotherapy” integrates all positive psychotherapies.
It does not replace other psychotherapeutic procedures. However, it is a basis for further psychotherapeutic interventions. It can be compared to an unconditional love of parents for their children, which is an optimal basis for any concrete behavior of parents. In other words, even the best pedagogy without love is worth less than love without pedagogy.
Only God’s promise to love people always and unconditionally completely coincides with our desire to be loved for our own sake.
Belief in God¹ and his love, however, does not guarantee a carefree and healthy life as the love of parents for their child this guarantees. However, the likelihood that the believer, as well as the beloved child, leads a fuller and healthier life seems much greater than that of a life without love. Because the best, most sustainable and yet free therapy (by the way, also power means) is love. This is an old experience that is always rediscovered and formulated.              
    Psychoanalysts also dealt with this issue albeit using other terms. So they investigated whether and how a child tolerates the withdrawal of a love object which corresponds to a +sA. The dearest mother will have to withdraw the infant of her breast (being referred to by Melanie Klein as the most important object of love) from time to time. There is no disturbance, despite the withdrawal of the mother’s breast or similar frustrations, if the child feels the mother’s attitude of unconditional love, i.e. that this love works as an Absolute and relativizes the above-mentioned frustrations.
This also applies to the +A-effects on all other love or hate objects. The child (or any other person) can cushion the frustrations not only by subordinating them to this love but also by supposing that – seen in a broader perspective – it will benefit from these failures, though they are connected with negative feelings at first. Basically, the person starts early not to understand pleasure or displeasure in an absolute meaning and will be much more prepared for later life.
Similar Kohut: “There is a lifelong need to be mirrored by so-called empathic self-objects. The failure of this empathic reflection process is due to numerous pathological phenomena.223Quote (and freely translated) from Wolfgang Wöller and Johannes Kruse: Tiefenpsychologisch fundierte Psychotherapie. Schattauer, Stuttgart, 2005, p. 21 following.
In short, we all need love. But where from should the person (P) get love when the environment is unloving and the person doesn’t love himself? From God¹? But even with God not all problems are gone – but they are at least relativized. After all, if the absolute felt problem is solved by choosing +A/God, then all the others are only of relative importance and then they can be solved much more easily or if not solved, better tolerated.
Primary psychotherapy does not begin with “You should” or even “You must” but with firm promises: “You are loved and unique,” “You may be, whatever you are!” And then you can try to set these or other goals or solve problems. Through the assumption of the +A, every strange Absolute becomes a Relative, the strange Self becomes real Self and the unredeemed becomes principally (no total) redeemed – for “God’s reconciliation with the world also allows man’s reconciliation with himself, so that, as a `Christian, he has no longer to be a man of eternal conflict’ (Bonhoeffer), of indissoluble ethical turmoil.” 224H. Wahl, p. 252 The religious mediated redemption can be understood, according to Tillich, “as an overcoming of the existential rule of the negative (fear, guilt, meaninglessness), as a ‘salvation of the person’s center’ to its existential being.” 225H. Wahl, p. 301 Alike Hans Küng writes: “He who has not known religion will never know the great spiritual resources that can be decisive for a patient’s well-being.” 226Pfeifer, Samuel: Die Schwachen tragen; Brunnen, 2005. Likewise Hans Küng „Verdrängung der Religion in der Psychiatrie“. When even Freud stated in a letter to a priest…you are in the fortunate position of being able to lead them to God¹ and bringing about what in this one respect was the happy state of earlier times when religious faith stifled the neuroses. For us this way of disposing of the matter does not exist. Thus our patients have to find in humanity what we are unable to promise them from above and are unable to supply them with ourselves. Things are therefore much more difficult for us, and in the resolution of the transference some of our successes come to grief.” 227The letters of Sigmund Freud and Oskar Pfister – then the obvious question comes to mind: Why not also offer this possibility?
    It is rather stressful if you have to serve several or even many gods – as in some religions. This also applies to the many ideologies or nameless “gods” we carry within ourselves. It is freedom, having a God¹ who does not demand for anything. If we let God¹ liberate us from the wrong demands, many mental illnesses will disappear. You do not always have to solve the earthly problems necessarily and certainly not always in an optimal way. The person has now no longer to revolve around himself alone existentially – he rests in God¹. I believe that people who are mentally very ill, like psychotics, therefore have the greatest chance of getting well with God¹. Where from they should have got the fulfillment of the basic need of unconditional love, security and so on from, while having experienced their environment as existentially unreliable or destructive and thus having lost faith in humanity and in themselves? It is primarily a matter of strengthening the personality core, which gives us the image of God (imago Dei) beyond of good and evil (in the usual meaning of the word), beyond of right and wrong, beyond of other people’s opinions, one’s own deeds and health or illness.
Primary psychotherapy does not fight but leaves free choice. It primarily supports living. It can allow and integrate the relative negative and the relative positive, but tries to influence the Relative. It allows to override and stand above all the earthly things.
What are the conclusions?
If we take the  Absolute into account, we will recognize:
– Health and disease are not everything, so we can remain calm and not have an existential anxiety if we get sick.
-The  Absolute (personal: the Self) has priority and is already there and does not have to be acquired or elaborated – that means also that the strongest solution is gratuitous and easy. Relative problems can be solved only relatively well, thus not completely. This would also be a more realistic view and unnecessary disappointments would be avoided.
– Sometimes suffering and disease are unavoidable companions of positive developments – which should encourage us not to give up. Instead, we tend to look at ourselves as a failure and at disease as an enemy.
– From an absolute standpoint “healthy” and “normal” people can be more sick, abnormal, and more insane than those which are labeled so from a medical standpoint.  228This is not about being against unavoidable technical terms but against its abuse as a label.

Differences to Other Psychotherapies

I think, a therapy concept developed from what has been said so far, will set different accents than conventional ones. Most of concepts will be similar as regards questions that lie in the relative range. A great difference is, however, the consideration of an absolute area of the person to which all other areas are subordinated. Decisive therapeutic consequences are the results of it. The main point is not the person’s periphery, such as his behavior or character, his guilt or innocence, his successes or failures and so on but his center: his Self, his Absolute.  Just like – from a negative point of view – a person is most likely to be spiritually destroyed when one destroys his center, so, from a positive point of view, he is most likely to be healed if one heals this center. Once the person’s Self is healed (and thus also the aspects of the Self such as the self-esteem, self-determination, identity), the most resolves itself.
The point is, however, that this “central healing” is not an elaborate process but ultimately a simple act of faith (better: “act of will”), which gives back the Self its original role, namely that of life and existence without any preconditions.
Why coming to terms with the past so painstakingly if I have the right to live freely and without any burden anyway? Why so much effort to become a better human, more mature, wiser, cleverer, calmer, more analyzed, more knowledgeable, more respected, more loved, more successful and so on if I am already good enough for God¹, and my blessedness does not depend on these attributes? There must be no +sA to be reached, no –sA to be repelled and no lack to be “filled”, necessarily – what a relief!
Of course, such therapy is not against analyzes, improvements, becoming more mature, revisions, successes etc. but against setting these attributes absolute and against making the person’s center independent from having to achieve them. As liberating as it is, on the one hand, not to have to be defined by the above mentioned attributes, it can be difficult to renounce the ‘advantages’ of the strange Selves because they also give us ‘hyper-security’, ‘hyper-stability’, ‘hyper-self-confidence’ and ‘hyper-happiness’, even if only temporarily and only for a price, which can also be a disease.

 I see the following main differences to the usual psychotherapies:
    1. In the first place stands with these the ‘Ego-strength’ and second place the ‘Self-strength’.
In ‘primary psychotherapy’ it is the other way round: first comes the ‘Self-strength’ (religious: the strength of God¹) and secondly the ‘ego-strength’ / the human power.
    2. Another important difference to many other psychotherapies is the fact that health and disease are of relative importance and that their absolutization leads to undesirable disadvantages and is even disease promoting in the long run.
While psychotherapies often have the problem of setting certain therapeutic goals absolute and thereby simultaneously excluding their opposites, primary psychotherapy also integrates opposing therapeutic goals. It integrates and promotes both the Absolute as well as the Relative, both unity and diversity, both the person’s protection and his sensitivity, the security and at the same time the openness. It simultaneously promotes life and functioning, the person and the things, the subjects and the objects. It lets man grow wings and roots at the same time. Moreover, it strengthens his ego but also the you. It does not unilaterally promote a therapeutic goal at the expense of opposing or other goals. It does not promote the first-rate reality at the expense of second-rate realities – or in other words, it does not promote heaven in us at the expense of the world.
Some readers have concluded from my explanations that it is absolutely necessary to recognize and remove one’s own mis-absolutizations. Whereas in the past illness or parents or one’s own guilt or something else was the thing to be eliminated, now mis-absolutizations or the strange Selves are the ones. This is a misunderstanding. I do not mean that the mis-absolutizations are the evil that has to be eradicated. They are only Relatives, even if they are absolutely felt and lived. They are rather unfavorable but, as I said, not the negative. Yes, as described, they can function as emergency, substitute solutions if the person concerned does not dare to live out of a true Self. They can be the “minor happiness,” as B. Hellinger once called it, albeit in a different context. The ‘It’ becomes a small ‘it’ all by itself by God¹ – it does not have to be combated and liquidated. As a small ‘it’ it gets back into the position it belongs to.
    3. Psychotherapy should be able to use all psychically relevant aspects (→ Summary table).
I.e. The pPT may (!) Include physical closeness (→ Body Psychotherapy and Embodiment) or – where appropriate – spiritual or religious practices (see examples below). Just as love does not exclude anything that helps, neither does primary psychotherapy exclude any kind of help.
    But: 4. Every patient should receive a very individual therapy – regardless of all psychotherapy guidelines.


• I would like to mention the treatment of therapist Sergeant Choi with mentally ill soldiers in South Korea. In short: she embraces the soldiers, caresses their faces, washes their feet, and so on. She also says: “I share your pain, take care of yourself, I will not forget you, I will visit you from time to time. If you need me, call me, keep doing good work, etc.”  Most of mothers will behave towards her sick child as well. Ms. Choi does not explicitly refer to a particular religion but similar behavior is also reported by Jesus.
    • Therapeutic touch (TT). 229(More in, 2019).
    • Professional “cuddle therapies”, which fortunately are increasingly being offered.
    • Art therapy, sport and everything else that makes sense – this also includes what is normally / on average nonsensical, because that which makes sense is also a relative category.
    • Meditations 230For every day meditation is very good Sarah Young: “Jesus Calling” See Lit. Or see German long version, if applicable, blessing, praying for the patient (with or without him). This also includes the problem of so-called exorcism, which I do not completely reject. This can not be discussed further in this work.

  Example case: A 60-year-old patient reports that she has suffered from the death of her little brother all her life. She had to look after her little brother as a ten-year-old girl because her mother had little time. At that time, she and her girlfriend were playing with the little brother “doll”. They bathed him in a cold bath, and her brother got a lung inflammation due to which he died. She knew not only from previous psychotherapies that her brother’s death was not to blame on her because it was her mother’s responsibility and not hers. On the other hand she was also aware that she made a mistake. That is why she is still tormented by feelings of guilt.  
I told her that it was not important before God¹ whether someone was guilty of 100% or only 1% and that it was also second-rate, whether it was an actual or a supposed guilt. (Because who is able to judge this?) Only God¹ knows in the end. The size of the guilt being a fact at all or not is not decisive for him but that the person only thinks `I´m sorry´. And thereby all guilt is lifted/ eradicated for him. His grace is always greater than our guilt. His grace is the real greatness, and our guilt is “small and low” in comparison (G. von le Fort). Besides, I believe her brother is now in heaven and there he is doing well. And when he sees his sister from there with her feelings of guilt, I am sure he would advise her to go on living freely and untroubled.

Accordances  with other Psychotherapies

In primary fundamental psychotherapy, as well as in the message of Jesus, all important psychotherapeutic therapeutic schools can be found (but relativized !).
For example:
Behavioral therapy: many things are similar to the commandments in the Bible which call for correct behavior.
Systemic therapies: See the corresponding notes in the Bible. Like, for example, Jesus’ statements about dealing with the closest relatives, with the enemies and friends, the equality of all men before God¹, the support of the weak and sick and so on.
Analytical Therapies:  The psychoanalyst creates a framework of emotional security in the transmission situation,  in which the patient can solve his problems fearlessly. This framework is similar to the one we get, even more strongly, by the +A.
The most important humanistic psychotherapies can be found in the table `Psychotherapeutic Schools’. One could also mention: body therapies, meditations, blessings and similar ‘methods’ as Jesus has practiced. It’s about a ‘+ A-based’ variety of methods that do justice to the diversity of individuals – just as a mother, at best, does not educate her child by a particular method.
General: The importance of empathy is generally recognized by all psychotherapies. A good therapist does not necessarily have to believe in God¹. God¹forbid! The Spirit of God¹blows where he wants and is not bound to a particular denomination. It would rather be that a good therapist should have a basic love for the patient and also for himself. I think many therapists have such love. In my opinion, such an attitude is crucial and will be transferred to the patient, even if the therapist is pursuing strategies that do not directly imply such an attitude. On the other hand, it is astonishing, though typical, that the term `love ‘ seldom appears in the current psychotherapeutic literature.231For example, you cannot even once find the keyword `love´ in the „Wörterbuch der Psychotherapie“ by Gerhard Stumm!

Practical Implementation

  • Initial step: The ‘primary psychotherapy’ integrates the usual psychotherapies from a Christian or love point of view. But this partly leads also to other therapeutic priorities.
First: ‘+ A-based’ variety of methods and the patient’s disburdening and supporting by appropriate attitudes such as the unconditional pledges from God¹/ love.232(To meditations, see unabridged German version.)
The treatment method should correspond to the respective patient, which means that one does not give priority to one or another method independently of the respective patient.
• Further steps:
     a) Examples of ‘primary-based behavioral therapy’.
For example, depression: exercises directly against depression (against depressive thoughts, feelings, behaviors) – as they are described in detail in the literature. (That’s why I’m not going to elaborate on that here.) However, I consider ‘paradoxical’ exercises and meditations even more important, which can be described as ‘pro-depression’ (better: pro-sadness). For example: “Do not only practice to be strong and more groovy but practice even more to allow yourself to be weak and practice to cry more often!” For example stutterer: Do not only practice to speak correctly but even more to stutter (motto: ‘I am allowed to.’)
For example, psychosis: Do not just practice to be less crazy but play sometimes deliberately the madman, etc.
     b) A “primary-based psychoanalysis” focuses on the recognition of strange Absolutes (sA) – which can be less favorable but sometimes more favorable – but not on their general elimination because they are already relativized when we the positive Absolute brought into play. In addition, the sA should also be available as emergency solutions. 
(See also the example in ‘Psychiatry’ section ‘Obsessive-compulsive disorders‘.)

Therapeutic Goals / Value Hierarchies

Hint: A superior, higher-valuated Relative is only comparatively higher!233Compare: It is more important to follow the traffic rules than to transgress them. Sometimes, however, the opposite is more appropriate.
Positive Absolutes are +A / God¹/ (love) and people with their `absolute attitude’.
The value hierarchies listed in the table correspond to primary and second-rate therapy targets.

The Top Therapeutic Goal

In my opinion a person has already reached the highest goal of therapy or life if he has a positive basic attitude to the positive Absolute (or whatever he believes it to be). This could also be called “primary virtue” or “Positive primary will” or positive `The absolute attitude´. (I have already mentioned it several times.)
Very simply said: If he is one with principle goodwill, he has already arrived at the most important thing (for me), which I call +A /God¹/his Self. He does not have to go anywhere else, he has already reached the goal. He does not have to become another person, he does not have to do anything etc. – he can be however he is.
I consider all other goals to be relatively significant (by no means insignificant!). They are normally relatively good (“secondary virtues”). But because of their relativity, the relative good can sometimes be relatively bad. It can be useful to advise the patient in some individual cases (!) that he should keep his dependency or even reinforce it, rather regress than making progress, rather evil than good, rather aggressive than peaceful, etc. for if he has to be peaceful, for example, he will, according to the “law of emergence of the contrary”, produce in himself or other people aggressiveness, which, I believe, is even stronger than the normal, “relative” aggression.

On the Role of Therapists and Patients

Here only keywords in reference to meditation ‘orientation and freedom’. 234See unabridged German version of chapter ‘Meditations’. 

Therapist and patient should try
– to be authentic but they may also play a role.
– to accept and love each other but they may also hate themselves and the others.
– not to demand anything of themselves or the others (not a must) but they may also demand.
– to understand the other but they may also misunderstand him,
– to recognize and respect their limits and of other people, but they can also exceed them.
– to be open but they may also close down.
– to solve the problems but they may leave them unresolved or even enlarge them.
– to have success in therapy but they may also fail.
– to tell the truth but they may also lie.
– to be strong, clever and wise but they may also be weak, stupid and immature.
– to be grown up but they may also be a child, even childlike.
– involve God¹or spirituality but they may also exclude them etc.

Note: The first is usually the most favorable but rarely the unfavorable, too. But even if it is the most favorable, it becomes more unfavorable when it becomes a must.

Causal Therapies

                    “Everything is allowed but not everything is beneficial” (1Cor 6:12). 

Hypotheses: Optimal are causal therapies that integrate symptomatic therapies.
The causal therapy is mostly better than the symptomatic.
For general solutions see → Solutions.
The same applies to causal therapies and to first-rate solutions.
The causal therapies have the +A / love as foundation.
• They have a +absolute core that redeems.
It is a gift of God¹that man can accept (can – not must!) and has no conditions.
• Relative to this are causal therapies that depend in effort of man.
They will, I believe, most likely succeed if they have the base of the positive Absolute.235However the actual +Absolute is not man just by himself. He is too weak for that. As mentioned above, he is only absolute in choosing the Absolute.

Is the actual solution easy or difficult to achieve?
If C.G. Jung says: “Every real solution is only reached by intense suffering” 236(Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 233-235.) then that is only true for solutions based on strange Absolutes (sA) because the actual ‘absolute solution’ (redemption) is already done when the person wants it. (S. the `The absolute attitude´)Although the absolute solution is simple, it is very difficult for the Ego to forego the advantages of the strange Absolutes and relativize something that has absolute significance for us. (S. chapter Resistance). We can forego the advantages (mostly with withdrawal symptoms) 237Quote from Bodelschwing: “If you meet a saved addict, you meet a hero.” – but then best and easiest when we give God¹the absolute solution. Then the Self becomes absolute and everything else only a relative meaning. 

Symptomatic Therapies and Emergency Solutions

Emergency solutions are usually second rate solutions based on strange Absolutes.
They are less favorable and more expensive than the actual solutions. Synonyms for emergency solutions: replacement-, compromise-, pretense-, partial solution – frequently a solution at your own expense.
Any defense-mechanism and any second-rate behavior may serve as an emergency solution.
I will cover only a few important ones in the following due to lack of space. 

Contra Symptomatic Therapy

The lazy people are slaughtered – the world becomes diligent.
The ugly people are slaughtered – the world becomes beautiful.
The fools are slaughtered – the world becomes wise.
The sick are slaughtered, the world becomes healthy.
The old people are slaughtered – the world becomes young.
The saddened are slaughtered – the world becomes fun.
The enemies are slaughtered – the world becomes friendly.
The bad guys are slaughtered – the world becomes good. (Erich Fried: `Die Maßnahmen´) 238From: Erich Fried: Gesammelte Werke. Bd. 1. Wagenbach. München 1993, p. 565. © Claassen.
(See also Emergency solution with psychiatric drugs)

Symptoms are nowadays too quickly suppressed and fought. Psychical symptoms, however, often have a function. If one removes the symptom then its function, too!  However, if the person needs the symptom or its function for mental stabilization or the like, another problem arises that would not have to occur.
The symptom is gone – everything seems fine but the underlying problem remains unresolved. Its solution will be moved. A superficial treatment, however, has its price: Once taken drugs are then given permanently. A drug normalizes the blood pressure, another eliminates anxiety or restores the mood, etc. – everyone is satisfied: the patient, the doctor, and the pharmaceutical companies.
R. D. Laing clearly expressed this danger: “Psychiatry can so easily be a technique of brainwashing, of inducing behavior that is adjusted by (preferably) non-injurious torture. In the best places, where straitjackets are abolished, doors are unlocked, leucotomies largely forgone, these can be replaced by more subtle lobotomies and tranquilizers that place the bars of Bedlam and locked doors inside the patient.” 239R. D. Laing: `The Divided Self´ p. 12.- S. bibliography. Similarly, a patient expressed: “The doctor has given his job to the drugs, which earn him the money. And because it’s a lot of money, more than you can imagine, it also has the doctor under control. The medical system as an offshoot of a drug industry grows inexorably. Then the doctor just thinks the drugs are doing the work for him. Seen in larger contexts, he then only makes the work for an industry that wants nothing more to do with the sick – on the contrary, the sicker, the more turnover …240 I remember a drug industry sponsored course on “How to keep my patients coming back constantly?” –
 not: “How to cure and let my patients go?”!
 Fighting the symptoms has the same basic idea as drug addiction has … The pills help the patient to get over his sorrow. The patient becomes relaxed, so he can regulate himself. The consumer is not able to realize that the pill is superfluous but it does not strengthen the personal center where this happens, it weakens it!”
241Maria Erlenberger: ‘Der Hunger nach Wahnsinn’, Rowohlt, Reinbek/Hamburg, 1977, p. 64
This does not exclude the attempt to mitigate the consequences or “repair” them if necessary. Emergency solutions are however for emergency cases and not for usual ones. They are almost always more expensive than proper solutions. The struggle against the negative is typically symptomatic. It is common practice to fight against illness and suffering. Now, diseases are consequences of causes and you should “fight” against the causes and not against the symptoms. Therefore I advise to try to accept the symptom, to go with it, possibly even to exaggerate or to create it deliberately. 242Mt 5:41: “And whoever makes you go one mile, go with him two.”

Keywords and comparisons:

There is little sense complaining about one’s sore feet if one does not remove the too tight shoes.
There is little sense complaining about one’s impotence if one does not solve one’s conflicts with one’s wife.
There is little sense complaining about one’s overweight when one is not willing to eat less.
There is little sense complaining about one’s depression when one keeps submitting.
There is little sense asking God¹ to remove the symptoms if one does not remove the causes. 243Is it not good that God does not answer our superficial prayers for the healing of our bumps on our head in order to point to a causal solution? [Hint: I partly write God¹ to indicate my own conceptions of God, which do not necessarily agree with definitions of official theology.]
One kills the bearer of bad news but not their offenders.
You keep a crutch, although you do not need it anymore.
You run against the wall but instead of taking a break, we wear helmets and go on, etc.

Pro Symptomatic Therapy

Consider: First, you shall delete the fire and then capture the arsonist.
(Which does not preclude the attempt to capture the arsonist before he even sets fire.)
This means symptomatic therapy is often the focus of attention as an immediate measure – but the causal one is the most important in the long run. (See also Jesus, who first heals and then says, “Sin no more!”).
Similar: The relative (matter) comes first. (For example, Jesus also healed with the aid of matter – when he treated a blind person with sand and saliva – and not by prayer.)
Can symptomatic therapy also be of first-rate importance? Symptomatic therapy is of first-rate importance if it is integrated into the positive Absolute (+A). Therefore: “Do not despise relative, symptomatic aids. God¹does not do everything himself. He also helps by fellow human beings.”  Symptomatic therapy is also important if causal therapy is directly impossible.                                                                                                                  

A) Emergency Solution at the Expense of Other People

People preferring this emergency solution pass their problems on to others and thus do not become ill. That is why they do not need a psychiatrist. They tend to selfishness and to push through their interests aggressively. They usually also pay a high price for it (f. e. solitude, lack of love, dull or substitute feelings, etc.) – but that does not interest us at the moment. The real, “healthy” Self does not need to take anything away from others. It has enough.
Dynamics and behavior essentially correspond to what I wrote in “Personal Dynamic as It”.

B) Emergency Solution at One´s Own Expense by Disease

                                                                          “I play dead to survive.” (A patient)

This is the most important emergency solution for our questions. It is solving the problem by disease at own expense. Normally, the person (P) in question has already lived from the “substance”, for a long time without being aware of it because the affected is stimulated by a hyper-wellness condition produced by +sA and does not notice when living from the substance! If this behavior is not sufficient to remain stable, the concerned becomes manifestly ill. The further mechanism of the emergency solution via illness is the following:
Since the person concerned has no other solution, the unconscious helps itself – it “makes” the man ill.
How does this happen? The initial situation was that the person concerned is no longer able to meet the requirements, which in most cases come from the parents, and does not see or dare another way at the same time. He is overburdened and gets sick in his need. Although not removing the requirements, he protects himself from further excessive demands and alienations and creates an unconscious (!) alibi, which saves his ego from the ruin. He “sacrifices” a part of his ego (health) in order to maintain this protection. (See also `Sacrificial dynamic´).
Note the double character of this solution: On the one hand, the above-mentioned fundamental conflict between the dominant strange Absolutes and the Self is partially solved or at least weakened; but on the other hand, the person pays a high price (illness) for it. Thus psychogenic diseases have important functions (!), without which their penetrance and persistence cannot be understood. 244See also: Morbid gain and Resistance.
The ill can thereby mitigate the indispensable demands and gain certain stability, security and protection. He thus weakens the tyrannizing ideals* and taboos* but also himself. It is a hard and self-destructive solution but it works. The (partial) sacrifice of the Self is the logical consequence of putting a strange above the actual Self. The inner formula is: “I really absolutely would have to meet the requirements but because I’m sick, I can’t do it.” The person in question does not dare to say: “I don’t want this! I want what I want!” (In my opinion even better and easier: “I want what God¹wants because God¹wants the best for me and has a better overall view of my life.”)

The person concerned makes also indirectly via the illness what he does not dare to make directly.
It can also be said: The person concerned has faced a life, mostly in his childhood, that seemed to be too dangerous, hostile or overstraining. In order to escape this, a kind of instinctual playing-dead-mechanism occurs, which can look differently and ranges from mild to severe mental illnesses, such as autism and psychosis. In order not to die the `big death´, the death of that what one considers to be the Self one dies the `small death´ – one becomes ill. The psychical illness seems thus the lesser of the two evils because the loss of the strange Self, which he regards as his own Self, appears to be the bigger one. From his subjective point of view he is not wrong. He has never known his own Self, how can he then believe that it is indestructible. So he rather dies a bit to survive at all. Since one cannot live (or dares not to), one only survives, vegetates or only functions. “Better ill than … (useless, unsuccessful, evil, etc.)” is the unconscious, deeply internalized motto. The very thing which one does not want to sacrifice differs from person to person. It can be every absolutized relative (earthly) thing. Thanks to the disease the person remains in mental balance: If the punishment by the strange Absolute is followed by the patient’s atonement (here in the form of illness), then everything seems to be well again and the person feels better. However, if the person dares to defy the sA demands, P feels out of balance, guilty and bad or may become even sicker. We are thus faced with the paradoxical situation to feel safe and “well” in the old family processes, even if they make us sick, whereas  the liberating way can initially trigger negative emotions and symptoms (!)245Prisoners often feel this way when being released after many years. The patient is in a similar situation: He does not “want” to be healthy although really quite wanting to. The patient may think: „Now I have paid the price, now I have peace.“ Error! The problem remains unresolved and this or another price needs to be paid further on (e.g., to continue to take medications which are not really necessary, etc.). Certainly daring our own life and our own identity is a common problem but many people are fortunate enough to face less resistance than others in their lives. Therefore it is neither an award to be healthy nor it is a failure when becoming ill. It is wise to try the actual solution again and again – in my opinion, it provides the best basis for mental health but this is not an absolute guarantee.
    If one tries to summarize the role of psychical illnesses, one could formulate:
Psychical illnesses express compromises between absolute internalized foreign demands and vital personal interests, that is between the strange Self and the Self. They are the result of unconsciously solving conflicts at one’s own expense (at the expense of health). They are expensive emergency solutions to protect the ego from its downfall; alibis, so the ego will not loose its self respect. They sacrifice the ego partly and protect it partly, they self-destruct partly and strange-destruct partly others, they bend partly to the “idols” and rebel partly against these, they give partly into these and take revenge partly on these, they adapt partly to these and defy partly these. They are weapons with which man inflicts wounds onto himself as well as defends himself; the expression of a struggle being a little won but still majorly lost – a stalemate, where no one is checkmate but everyone half checkmate, and where no new, decisive moves are seen or dared; They are expression of gilded cages, crutches, of inner conflict situations in which one does not dare to renounce the corresponding advantages despite the huge disadvantages because  one is afraid to perish otherwise. They express a lack of self-love and misunderstood or false foreign-love; a, even if usually only unconscious, neglect of one’s own ego and of the permanent attempts to give value and meaning to the ego via some achievements. They express a relative life. The disease, as well as the underlying strange absolutenesses, became partly friends but mostly enemies. The patient is partly free but more a prisoner and an enemy of himself. The person is in a kind of permanent crisis in which he is under pressure to seek a new Absolute.

Mental illnesses have different forms and courses. These are essentially determined by the underlying complexes. I have discussed elsewhere, why this or that disease arises in certain situations or constellations. However, the disease always has a little bit of a life and laws of its own and fulfills certain functions (defense, balance, balancing out blame, even meaning etc.). Therefore, the disease does not disappear immediately when the underlying conflicts are resolved and therefore it is also problematic to want to get rid of it as soon as possible.
Thus there is always something which we can fear more than the loss of our self or the disease.
That is why we are always faced with attitudes like:
“Better to live on the substance and get sick than to disappoint others, better to become sick than to live on welfare, better to become sick than to be a burden to others/ than to endure the emptiness that might arise if I do less/ than to hurt someone” etc.. The list goes on and on.
Thus, many times potentially easy solutions are omitted and very unfavorable and expensive ones are preferred instead.
(See also chapter: Sacrificial dynamic and Resistance).

The Emergency Solution through Foreclosure

This illustration shows another emergency solution at your own expense.

The left icon image shows a protected Self that is sensitive to the outside world, too.
The right icon image shows a weak, vulnerable self that protects itself by having to seal itself off to the outside world, thereby paying a high price (e.g., autism).

C) Emergency Solution with More Old or New Absolutizations

                                            I’m scared to live my life. I am even more afraid of dying my death.
                                                   So I live another life and die a foreign death.

• We have assumed that an inhibited, unfree Self can go several ways to save itself from total destruction. In addition to the two previously mentioned emergency solutions, the possibility of defining one’s Self by other persons, things or ideas, like one did in one’s childhood by one’s parents, represents a third one. Again the person identifies himself not with his very own Self/ Absolute – usually unconsciously, the old strange Self/ Absolute is replaced by one or more new strange Selves/ Absolutes.
• But like with drug addicts, the person can also take to the old sA again – but then he must usually increase the `dose’.

Which are these absolutizations?

1. Human as Ideals*

Here, I repeat parts of `Metapsychiatry´, section `Personal system and relationship disorders´.
The typical course is as follows: A child identifies with his parents and their ideals* or fights against them later. In both cases it remains dependent on them (mentally). If it does not solve this basic problem in one of the above ways, another way is to let other people into their own center and become dependent on them. These other persons are usually partners or idols who are admired and identified with. Affected are often people who leave home as early as possible or stay in the “Hotel Mama” for as long as possible. They hardly can be alone. Their own Self gives them too little support. Therefore, unconsciously a partner is favored, who gives what one does not have and believes to must have or a fellow sufferer who does not question oneself. The dependence on such partners can be one-sided but it is more often two-sided.
  Logically, there are a number of parallels between the dependencies on the parents and the later partner – you can say that almost the same (or mirror-image-like) basic patterns have to occur unless the person concerned was able to solve the problems. This means that if he allowed his parents to dictate a particular rule of life (against his own inner Self), he will let his partner do the same because he has no position of his own. It is easy to see that such a partnership looks like salvation at first (and often both partners are really into each other) – but the crisis is already predestined. From now on usually the same crisis is repeated, the same disaster as in childhood, only played with other persons – instead of mother now wife or daughter, instead of father now man or boss or son, instead of sister now friend or however the role distribution may be or whatever it is called on which we now depend, just to not have to look at our own still weak Self. Again and again, we are thrown back on ourselves until we understand the solution. 
In brief: This tragedy ends like the earlier one. What used to be a support now becomes a burden, what used to be a home now becomes a prison, what used to be a tie becomes a chain, which one previously gladly gave to the other because he desperately needed it, now one denies it, turns it into a weapon and blackmails with it. The previously beloved becomes an enemy, what seemed to be love becomes hatred. But now it is easier to break up, to part, to divorce. One believes, just like the title of a book reads, “Everything is going to be completely different with the next man (woman).” Tragically: Many (not all!) of these separations, as well as many of these mental illnesses,  would not have been necessary if – yes if…. The persons on whom one makes oneself dependent may vary and one can try to lose oneself in the mass of people. But again and again, our very own Self stands up wounded, humiliated, denied like a neglected relative, of which one is ashamed.
But maybe the concerned persons choose to detour over a last variant of self-alienation and self-denial by now submitting not to people but to things or ideas.

2. Emergency Solutions with Absolutization of Things or Ideas

The unredeemed Self continues to wander restlessly. It has not found an inner home, inner peace, sufficient support, affirmation and freedom neither in its parents nor in its partners or other persons – that is it has not found itself.
The Self, which interests us above all at this point and which became ill, does not tend to solve its problems egoistically. It may, however, temporarily stabilize in other ways, perhaps the most common of all emergency situations, namely to seek the meaning of life in relative things or ideas. Again, there are many combinations with other solutions. We have all been there: binding our heart to all sorts of things of this world, hoping this time we would finally be happy now and forever.  And everyone probably knows the disappointment when the finally achieved neither satisfies nor brings inner peace and happiness. We depend on whether we get or achieve one or another. Then owning or success determines our being. We should not be surprised of lacking self-esteem when humiliating ourselves this way and regarding possessions, success, work or anything higher than our Self. But we were not given any other means and do not see any other way. So we pile our money or something else up instead of living. I have never met a millionaire who kept his word, that as soon as he had a million he would just enjoy his life. No, he got even more hungry for the next million and then the one after that. He and we “expand” and we expand the more the emptier our Selves are. An invention of the devil, as they said – a vicious circle because the more one stuffs things into the Self, the poorer it gets.
That is particularly the case when people believe that some ideology could replace their Self. It is just under a different name and in some ways the most sophisticated of all. I admit, dear reader, now I am having some difficulties to prove the dubiousness of different ideologies is more difficult than the millions just mentioned. I do not think that money or certain worldviews are bad in general. But all things and all ideas should serve man, not the other way around. That means that man should not be dependent on them. This violates his true dignity, diminishes his freedom and makes him sick.
All worldviews, as well as all psychotherapies, should, before being internalized, be checked to see if they uphold and promote freedom, worth and dignity, uniqueness and self-determination of the human beings, which means nothing else than, whether the Self can be itself or not. One key criterion for me would be the answer to the question whether man is accept and feel comfortable without preconditions in these ideologies or whether such preconditions exist, even if hidden (!). The motto underlying these cases is: “Only when you have done or become this or that, you have got worth and dignity.” Quasi in parentheses, one may add: “and as you do not fulfill that, then you cannot claim that for you.”
Unfortunately, there are some snags incorporated in most of the worldviews and some religions. They are not altogether bad, no – but they often give in the most important, existential question, no, a wrong or only an ambiguous answer: e.g., “First you have to … then you are.” But man wants to be loved just for himself. He wants to be himself first and then do something. But we have been trained by different ideologies. We are unsure: “May we actually feel well and worthwhile without having achieved anything?” “May we be first? Always? In any case? Just like that? Only through our mere existence? But do we not at least have to …?” Even if we have said yes with hesitation so far, will we not change sides when they say: “Well, well, you may have the right to exist by not having accomplished anything yet but not by having done bad or even evil.
Just as the great humanist Goethe lets his hero Faust say at one crucial point: “He deserves only his freedom and existence, who has to win it every day anew!” Even the language of humanism, as certainly one of the best worldviews, does not seem to confirm us enough in the depths of our existence. In humanism, I must ultimately be human and useful, in materialism I must believe in the primacy of matter, in idealism in that of ideas, in socialism I must be social, in capitalism effectively, and so on.
{It would also be a misunderstanding to interpret this work as if it were the primary goal to relativize the strange Absolutes (as I understand the ‘The Work’ method), without at the same time giving something better (+A). Even a dog will bite you if you take a bone away without giving it a piece of meat.]
Sometimes I can identify myself everywhere but nowhere. All these “isms” lack the most important. It may seem little if only this one thing is missing. As the most important, absolute, central element, however, it influences the last corner of a person and their everyday life. As a strange Absolute, it can – like an occupying power – determine all the essential rules of life, and of course fanatical ideologies are a hundred times worse than the examples above.But where can I rest my Self without immediately encountering signs with big, black letters: AT FIRST, YOU MUST?
And do I search in my own person? My conscience? Is this the final instance? Instance yes – but for me personally this is not the last liberating and satisfying thing. My conscience always plagued and tormented me more than it lifted me. Sure, it gave me some good advice also and I do not want to live without it, too. But as my god? As my meaning of life? No! As my servant or adviser? Yes!
Is there not this special spirit, that many of us seek? Is it not exactly that spirit that we try, as already repeatedly emphasized, to give our children or other loved ones with, where we first say: “I love you the way you are. You are already good enough without doing anything. Only your mere existence is cause enough. And even if you did wrong and bad things, you are the most important of all. And if you become a millionaire or federal chancellor or mother Theresa, please enjoy it – but you are not more endearing by doing so. And even if you have stolen, whored and drunk, you are still my beloved son or daughter. And if I advise you to stop whoring and drinking, it is not because you would be more valuable and lovable but because then you would get more of their life.” Would not that be a good spirit? Personally, I found him most perfectly in the person of Jesus, who in my opinion spoke to people in this way. But that is a very personal statement. And the so-called Holy Spirit, does not just blow in the Bible but there probably strongest and liveliest.

D) Emergency Solution by Anticathexis or Fewer Absolutizations

1. By anticathexis see above `Defense and Anticathexis´.
2. By fewer absolutizations: This emergency solution consists of trying to reduce the number of strange Absolutes (sA) (the “I-absolutely-must-do”) without questioning the strange Absolutes themselves.
This usually means: You reduce the requirements according to the motto: “I organize things differently. I do less, reduce hours of work.” This is not wrong but often brings only temporary relief when the “things” get less but the underlying compulsions of the things remain. The person in question generally overlooks the still existing hazard if he does not want to be liberated from his unconditional must in principle. Why? Even a single sA can ruin our lives if we cannot fulfill it but have to fulfill it.
And even if we do fulfill it again, soon we will get another “must-do” because something has become the meaning of our lives, the inner drug that we cannot do without.
3. A similar remedy is to adopt a relativistic or nihilistic attitude.

E) Emergency Solution with Psychiatric Drugs

“A psychotropic drug [ is a ] … drug that affects the psyche of humans symptomatically … This often leads to the shortening of a phase but not to the cure of chronic mental illnesses.”246From,10/ 2011. (bold written from me).

Guiding principle: “Use them like crutches etc. When your own strength is insufficient, ‘take’ them, then they will help you, but if you take them although you can walk on your own, they will harm you.”


The psychotropic drugs have the same advantages as other Symptomatic Therapies and Emergency Solutions, as I have already described.
They are primarily symptom remover. They play a very important role as emergency solutions. They can promote causal therapies to a certain point. They are very suitable for risk control and the security needs of all involved. Currently, there is a tendency to one-sidedly use their advantages: diseases should be eliminated as quickly as possible, without suffering and without costs, and finally with the aim of adaptation to superficial normality and functionality.
But on the other hand. there are also exaggerated tendencies to refrain from psychotropic drugs in principle by the ‘anti-psychiatry’ community.


               “Some psychiatric theory is often not much more than a collection of justifications
                 for the widespread use of psychotropic drugs.” (According to S. Gelmam)

Consumption, as well as abuse of psychotropic drugs, are huge. At the present time, millions of people take psychotropic drugs for their overworked or broken souls. But: The side effects are underestimated and the positive ones overrated and the treatment may be more disadvantageous than the disease itself. Drug-induced well-being often replaces the cure.
The pharmaceutical industry advertises, for example, with the idea that people only become who they really are through psychotropic drugs. However, one problem is that these people only seem ok but they are not. You cannot tell that they suffer. They are in a good mood on the outside and (maybe still) coping with everything but in reality, they are already half broken, overloaded and burnt out. Moreover, fellow humans are irritated. They see, for example, on the one hand, that the person concerned is overwhelmed or leads an unfavorable life and on the other hand, he seems to be fine.
The pharmaceutical industry spends almost twice as much on advertising as it does on research!
[For example, in 2004 American medicine companies spent $ 57.5 billion on advertising, whereas  spending a total of $ 31.5 billion on research and development.]247From: › on 14.3.2014.
I suspect that the budget available for psychotherapy research is only a fraction of that. In addition, it lacks the lobby. It´s about profits or losses of billions of dollars for the pharmaceutical industry when it comes to the forming of theories as to whether mental illness is rather psychogenic or somatic. Therefore, it influences the researcher in favor of the theory of primarily somatically caused mental illnesses in order to justify a psycho-pharmacological treatment. Taking psychotropic drugs is similar to taking painkillers. Both do not heal, they only have a symptomatic effect. The problem of using painkillers over a long period of time is well known and is rightly regarded only as a stopgap solution. The pharmaceutical industry suggests it to be different from psycho-pharmacon therapy. I believe this to be wrong because it disturbs the actual solution, the self-healing powers, the natural defense and finally the healing at a certain point. Are psychotropic drugs not for the soul what cortisone is for the body? Do they not have the tendency: Once medical drugs, always medical drugs? Are we not often like those slaves who were content to occasionally be given a treat (such as medicines) by their master but to be denied freedom? Are we not important players in this game by joining the health-madness of the zeitgeist?
[As early as 1932, A. Huxley designed a bleak future in ‘Brave New World’ where all people are made ‘happy’ by psychotropic drugs.]
Many benefit from this: pharmaceutical companies, doctors, insurance companies and so on. It is a billion dollar business. Under the heading “Unheilige Allianzen” (unholy alliances), P. Sawicki, head of the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, points out that “the professional societies and the scientists involved are financially dependent on the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceutical manufacturers bear the costs of congresses, research or pay excessive fees to doctors and scientific opinion leaders.” “Several thousand euros for a half-hour lecture” are not uncommon according to Sawicki. Where to draw the line between bribery and reasonable fee is then difficult to access. Stefan Weinmann (ibid.) has dealt extensively with this difficult topic under the title “Erfolgsmythos Psychopharmaka” (“The myth of the success of psychotropic drugs”) recently. He questions the general prescription of antipsychotic drugs and its excessive increase. “A variety of studies shows the unexplained large increase or at least the lack of decrease of psychological diseases despite the availability of effective therapeutic methods.” (p. 12). Moreover, he also points to outdated dogmas in psychiatry and criticizes the current psychiatric establishment. He calls for an alternative approach to psychoses, a holistic and systemic view that looks at the subject psychoses not only one-dimensionally biologically (for the benefit of the pharmaceutical industry) but also psychosocially, and the involvement of psychiatric-experienced patients in the professional system.

    Stop Taking Psychotropic Drugs?

Due to lack of space, I can only give rough guidance in this work because a decision about whether and when to stop taking psychotropic drugs must be made individually.
In general, it can be said that there is a tendency to make being-free-of-any-symptom the most important criterion currently and that therefore psychotropic drugs are often prescribed for too long or too high dosed. Generally one can recommend – as mentioned at the beginning – : “Deal with psychotropic drugs like a crutch! Do not be too proud to use them, do not fight them wrongly, for example, ‘Chemistry just harms’ or something like that, take them, especially in case of an emergency, before you collapse – but keep in mind that they will not heal you, that these crutches can weaken you from a certain point onward and that there are other, very strong, healing powers inside and outside of you that I try to illustrate in this work.” Recommended, more recent literature: Stefan Weinmann (s.a.); Peter Lehmann: “Psychopharmaka absetzen”; John Virapen and Leo Koehof; P. R. Breggin, F. Frese, L. Mosher et al. 248(See bibliography).

“Paradoxical” Therapy

Paradoxical is what is contrary to the mind.249That is why they are hard to be treated with logic. Paradoxical, crazy situations belong to our world. They play particularly a leading role in mental illnesses. They are difficult to understand and to treat. I started from the hypothesis that paradoxes result from Inversions.
I explained this in the section ‘About the emergence of paradoxes‘ in ‘Metapsychiatry’.
Paradoxical situations (apparently!) require “paradoxical” solutions/ therapies.250I deliberately put the term “paradox” in quotation marks, since it is not really a paradoxical therapy but one that the person concerned experiences as paradoxical but which in reality is only a seemingly paradoxical one. Therefore, I also avoid the term “counter-paradox” as used by the school of Mara Selvini Palazzoli. Why?
If, for example, something that is only relatively negative is taken absolutely negative, or something that is only relatively positive, is taken absolutely positively, then we face the seemingly paradoxical task to correct the too negative in a positive direction and the too positive to correct in a negative direction.  Exaggerated said: We are to learn to hate, what we love too much, we should love, what we hate too much. This seems paradoxical, of course. But thus the inversions can be corrected. If we see, as therapists,  illness, disturbance or misconduct too one-sidedly negative, paradoxical situations will arise which cannot be solved if we do not conceive them as Relatives. If one considers this attitude, it has far-reaching and surprising consequences.
If we take, for example, the bulimic’s binge eating, the depressive’s complaining or the psychotic patient’s insanity, then our chief goal is to remove the unwanted behavior. This goal is certainly not bad. However, the goal that the patient accepts himself in spite of these disorders is more important. His person has priority. The question of health or illness should be dealt secondarily. According to the terminology of this work, a problem in the self-domain (absolute range) is more important than that in the ego-sphere (relative range). But we take questions such as being healthy or ill, disturbed or undisturbed, right or wrong behavior or the like very personally – as if it were our own failure, degradation, etc. That is the symptoms, the abnormal behavior etc. become something unacceptable and hostile for the person concerned. Their occurrence leads to (further) disturbance of the patient´s Self, especially his self-esteem. Normally the patient tries to suppress or fight the symptoms. However, the more he does this, the more his Self is disturbed and the symptoms intensify. Thus, a much bigger (absolute) problem occurs in addition to the actual relative problem, namely the violation of the person’s integrity. This is important for the therapy because  therapeutic interventions are completely different, depending on whether the problem is relative or absolute. In this situation, it is wrong to see improvement of the symptoms or of the behavior to be the most important goal instead of a subordinate therapeutic one. Otherwise, the therapist tragically adopts the same basic attitude as this patient does – to reduce it to a formula for example: “Change yourself, then you are good!”. If, however, I regard restoring his Self to be primary and eliminating of the symptom to be second-rate, then a `paradoxical ‘strategy can be helpful, which could be formulated like this:” Dear patient if you do not accept yourself because of your symptoms but thereby you limit your freedom, dignity and integrity – then you should practice doing that, what you really do not like about yourself, intentionally and repeatedly.” I advise, for example, bulimia patients if they are ashamed of their binge eating, to gorge themselves deliberately sometimes. Or, as already mentioned, I advise psychotic patients to be deliberately crazy or depressives, to deliberately lament and be a burden to others if this is what they forbid themselves, or people that stutter to do it on purpose, etc.
One of the most difficult problems arises from absolutizing the moral evil resp. the good.
The real Self should also be beyond the (relative) good or evil. If it is not, then it can be an important exercise to do the relative evil from time to time and to let go of the relative good from time to time. It is better to lose the relative positive than the absolute positive. It is often more important to do the unacceptable (relative) negatives intentionally than to practice positive behavior. It is more important to be able to be weak, incompetent, helpless, immoral … than to torment yourself, to be everywhere and always only positive and to get everything under control. Then we live against our nature.
Such and similar “paradoxical” intentions or interventions have long been known.
Some Examples:
• Jesus
– Against the absolutization of people: “Love your enemies!”/ “Hate your relatives!”
– Against the absolutization of earthly life: “If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.”
  “When the wheat grain dies, it produces many seeds.” “Let the dead bury their dead.”
– Against hubris: “Whoever wants to be the greatest, be the servant of all.” “The first will be the last, and the last the first.” “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled.”
– Against work-ideologies and rationalism: “Blessed are the spiritually simple (poor) people.” “Those who must (only) be grown up (and cannot be like children) are locked out of the kingdom of heaven.”
– Against coercion: “And whosoever shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him twain .” 251I name this the “Cassandra Therapy”.
– Jesus’ crucifixion itself seems paradoxical from the perspective of the intellect.
• Paul
– Against absolutizing property: “~Own as if you do not possess!”
– Against idealizing the partner: “~Be married, as if you were not married!”
– Against over-adaption: “Do not lose yourself to this world, even if you live in it.”
– Against absolutization power: “When I am weak, I am strong.”
– Against rationalism: “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God¹.”
– Against absolutizing earthly life: “To live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
– Against dogmatism: “~The letter of the (in principle good) law kills.”
• Old Testament: Against achievement-ideologies: “The Lord provides for those he loves while they sleep.” (Psalm 127:2) 252Partly analogous translations (in this order) from: Lk 23:34; Lk 14:26; Mt 5:44; Jn 12:20 ff; Jn 12:24; Mt 8:22; Mt 23:11;
Mt 19:30; Mt 7:21. To Paulus: 1.Kor 7:30 ff, 2 Kor 12:9, 1 Kor 1:27, Phil. 1:21.
• Luther: Against moralism: “Sin bravely and believe all the more bravely in God’s forgiveness!”.
• H. Hesse: Against holding on: “Well, my heart, say goodbye and get healthy!”
• Goethe: Against clinging onto the earthly: “This die and be!”

Paradoxical intentions or interventions were rediscovered for psychotherapy especially by Viktor Frankl and Selvini Palazzoli.
Selvini Palazzoli formulated the treatment of paradoxes by counter-paradoxia. 253Selvini Palazzoli, Mara, l. Boscolo, G. Cecchin, G. Prata: Paradoxon und Gegenparadoxon, 9th Ed., Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart, 1996.
In systemic therapy, paradoxical interventions have been used mostly by P. Watzlawick, J.H. Beavin and D. Jackson as a means to  treat paradoxical communications.254Paul Watzlawick, Janet H. Beawin, Don D. Jackson: Menschliche Kommunikation. Formen, Störungen, Paradoxien. 6th edition, Huber Verlag, Bern – Stuttgart – Wien, 1982. Their methods: symptom-prescription, the positive reinterpretation of the symptom (reframing), relapse prediction, the indication of the usefulness of a symptom. One can also consider the first step of Alcoholics Anonymous, which involves a capitulation of one’s own will to the power of alcohol, as a paradoxical step that opens up a new, stronger perspective. But even the most correct paradoxical interventions should only be suggestions of relative importance because at a certain point it does not matter if and what you do: In front of God¹you are always free.
In other words: From a certain point, paradoxes, incompatible opposites and dilemmas can only be solved from a + meta-level (+ spirituality, + A, God¹). This is important for the healing of schizophrenia, since these sufferers are particularly involved in contradictions, paradoxes and dilemmas. (Further more in the unabridged German version.)

Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia

             “A man who no longer loves and no longer errs should have himself buried straight away.” Goethe

I also refer to the chapter “Psychoses” in the section ‘Metapsychiatry’.
Knowing this chapter is useful in order to understand the following sections.

Current State of Therapy of Psychoses

My assessment – a brief outline.

1. The symptomatic treatment of psychosis has made tremendous progress in recent decades. However, it has developed unilaterally: the therapies are too symptom-oriented, too little causal.
2. The somatically oriented research and therapy dominates largely. The psychotherapy of psychoses plays a subordinate role if looking at the rapid success by psychotropic drugs. Psychotherapy is usually seen to be only complementary to drug therapy. However, conversely, drug therapy should be seen as complementary to psychotherapy.

[With regard to literature on the psychotherapy of psychoses, I recommend the work of S. Arieti, G. Benedetti, C. Scharfetter, M. Siirala, W. Daim, Peter Breggin, Ann-Louise Silver, Bertram Karon, Daniel Dorman, Robert Whitaker, or as a documentary movie; Daniel Mackler: „Take These Broken Wings — Recovery from Schizophrenia without Medication.“255  ]

3. The disadvantages of this situation are reflected too little.
a) In particular, the disadvantages and side effects of long-term therapies with antipsychotics.
b) The fact that the antipsychotics do not cure but only cause symptom elimination or improvement.
4. The theory of a primary metabolic disorder causing psychoses, which is favored mainly by the pharmaceutical industry, is widely accepted.
5. The pharmaceutical industry plays a too large role in this area.
6. Like somatic therapy, the psychotherapy of psychoses is essentially based on a materialistic, positivistic ideology and is therefore limited in its therapeutic power.
See Criticism of Materialism and to ‘Discussion about secular psychotherapies‘.

More details on some points

Problem Antipsychotics

I had also presented pros and cons in “Emergency solution with psychiatric drugs” Here are just some additional keywords regarding the antipsychotics, which are the psychotropic drugs used for schizophrenia treatment.
Especially their short-term use is beneficial, considering the torments which people suffered in acute or severe phases without medication in the past. In the long term, however, there is the question of how much a preventive long-term therapy precludes a cure from a certain point on. It is the same as having a crutch, which promotes healing to a certain point when sensibly used but then prevents it. 256(See below `Criterion relapse?´] After having worked as a psychiatrist for 20 years, I have the impression that some taking antipsychotics (as well as psychotropic drugs in general) over many years or decades inhibited people’s personality development and thus made real healings impossible. On the other hand, overestimating one’s own powers is also disadvantageous. Again: “It is not weakness but wisdom if you take antipsychotics, like a crutch, before you collapse completely.” I suspect that the positive effects of antipsychotics – as well as of Ritalin – have no lasting effect. G. Hüther says that the positive experiences with Ritalin cannot obviously be anchored in the brain. “If you paralyze the dopamine system in the midst of this ripening process with drugs (Ritalin), you deprive the children of the possibility to … develop complex abilities.”257[Gerald Hüther, neurobiologist from Göttingen, in Geo 11/2009, p. 154 about Ritalin.]
Even with anxiety therapies, the fearlessness produced by anxiolytics scarcely takes advantage of my experience in coping with new anxiety. Own experience: In order to fight my height fears, I jumped three times with the parachute from 600m height – however with plenty of anxiolytics. My height fears became worse afterward.

Assessment of a Former Patient:

D. Buck, herself a psychosis patient in the Third Reich, criticizes one-sided psychiatry in the past and now, like for example the “psychiatry’s claim of omnipotence with its definition … that the psychoses are primarily caused by a cerebral metabolism disorder, according to the then psychiatric teaching of ‘hereditary and physically induced and therefore incurable endogenous psychoses’ that we had to pay for with our forced sterilizations and the ‘euthanasia’ victims with their lives. Today’s psychoses experienced people must pay for this ‘medical disease model’ by taking psychotropic drugs possibly all their life and by experiencing their side effects … The psychiatrists know as well as we do that this drug repression of symptoms cannot cure. So what could be more natural than asking those who healed themselves, what helped them … Psychiatrists should actually also be interested in this activation of self-help resourcefulness. But then the ‘disturbed brain metabolism’ as the primary cause of psychoses would no longer be correct. These psychiatrists do not realize which burden a brain defect only regulable by medication can be for people affected.” One should “take the missing psychiatric research of the mental causes of our psychoses and depressions into one’s own hands. Because so far 98% of the research funds go into the somatic psychiatry research.” 258[Dorothea Buck in:  3/2014.]

Criterion Relapse?

The so-called relapse-prophylaxis plays a prominent role in the therapeutic recommendations of schizophrenia. The term ‘relapse’ must be questioned critically. Obviously, it means that a patient has schizophrenic symptoms again. From the point of view of a therapy focused primarily on the freedom from symptoms, a relapse is a negative finding from the outset and is believed to have to be avoided by higher or longer antipsychotic medications.
Of course, this complies with the primary wishes of all persons involved. However, you would see it a little differently from a perspective that seeks healing.
I have already reflected repeatedly on the relativity of illness or disease symptoms. The hypotheses made there state that all disease symptoms, including ‘relapses’, should also be viewed positively in some cases and must be treated non-medically. For example, this will be the case, when an otherwise adequately stabilized patient has been subjected to a temporary mental strain or exposed himself to it – for example, when he tried to avoid expensive defense mechanisms! The occurrence of symptoms in such situations would be comparable to the recurrence of fears, for example in the context of anxiety therapy. Just as it would be downright wrong to advise a patient to avoid any anxiety-provoking situations or to take anxiolytic medication before them, so an attitude that seeks to avoid the recurrence of schizophrenic symptoms at all costs would seem wrong to me, too. This would not only be too cautious and would not only burden the patient with avoidable drug side effects but above all, this would suppress healing tendencies or prevent his healing completely.
It should be added here: ” Stop taking antipsychotics very slowly and flexible, usually in consultation with your psychiatrist. Keep in mind that eliminating the drug will eliminate also some side effects and may make you feel “too good” and you think now, you have to make up for all that you have missed, instead of slowly building your life up as you would without a crutch.”
For the question of the discontinuation of antipsychotics see also the section Emergency solution with psychiatric drugs‘ and `Problem antipsychotics´.

Criterion: Incomprehensibility of the Symptoms

If symptoms are not understood or cannot be explained, one will tend to interpret them as biologically conditioned and treat them with medicine. This does not only reflect past psychiatric views.
For many psychiatrists, however, schizophrenic symptoms were or are in principle understandable, explainable, psychotherapeutically treatable and curable.

I think above all of S. Arieti, G. Benedetti, E. Bleuler, W. Daim, J. Foudraine, R. D. Laing, Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, Marguerite A. Sechehaye, C. Scharfetter, M. Siirala, A. Finzen and others. When attempting to explain “schizophrenia”, I take these authors’ insights into account, too.

I consider the schizophrenic symptoms to be principally explainable and curable. 
I see the difficulty in achieving a comprehensive theory of “schizophrenia” less in the lack of appropriate explanations but more in the fact that schizophrenogenic factors are so ubiquitous that a common denominator, which I tried to describe with “inversion”, is difficult to delineate. I would like to note the following concerning the questionability of incomprehensibility and inexplicability of behavior as a decisive criterion for their pathology:
      • Separating healthy from sick as well as understandable from incomprehensible is seen too absolute.
I believe that there are smooth transitions or a relativity of these concepts.
Without wanting to caricature: How often do I not understand my wife even after more than 40 years of marriage and how often do I not understand myself? Or: Are not schizophrenic symptoms just as difficult to explain as an adult’s fear of a spider, a stutterer’s fear of speaking or an anorexia’s fear of gaining weight? Is the love of the almost 72-year-old Goethe for the 17-year-old Ulrike von Levetzow not as crazy as “schizophrenic” behavior?  And why do we see one thing as understandable and the other as not? And why do we smile indulgently about the one (or even find their behavior admirable because against the norm) and give the other pills according to a norm? Or is it the suffering that we want to prevent? But for many, as with Goethe, it was also foreseeable that their behavior would rather bring suffering.
      • The incomprehensibility and inexplicability scare us and we will tend to react fearfully and overlook that fear is a questionable counselor. Therefore as long as we declare schizophrenic behavior to be incomprehensible and inexplicable, we will consequently deal with it questionable. Certainly, some schizophrenic symptoms seem weird. But if we explain them, they will lose their uncanny and terrifying effect.

Healing from Schizophrenia without Antipsychotic Drugs?

In principle, yes! See reports of cured patients 259Reports of persons concerned: Renate Klöppel, Arnild Lauveng, J. Greenberg, ‘Stories – Successful Schizophrenia’ at:, 2009. and of the psychiatrists mentioned above and in the footnote. 260Psychiatrists: Marguerite Sechehaye, Silvano Arieti, P.R. Breggin, M. Eigen, Margaret Little, John G. Gunderson, Loren R. Mosher, Harold F. Searles, Murray Jackson, Bertram P. Karon, Daniel Mackler, Edward M. Podvoll, Robert Whitaker (→ reference list).
Good overview of the most important points: F. Frese et. al. at:, 2009.]
See also the section Emergency solution with psychiatric drugs‘ and `Problem antipsychotics´ and the following section `Primary psychotherapy of schizophrenia´. `

However, the path to healing can be very tough. This stems in particular from the described identification of the person concerned with the strange Absolutes (sA). These have become strange-Selves and the attempt to live with the actual Self is normally coupled with an existential crisis. This withdrawal from what had established itself as a strange Self is quite comparable to the arduous and severe withdrawal of hard drugs.


Primary Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia

Guiding Principles and Hypotheses
  1. Primary psychotherapy is also for patients with chronic course as well as for severe psychotic symptoms.
  2. After years of experience I think  that schizophrenia and other non-organic psychoses are explainable and curable.
  3. I believe that healing schizophrenia is theoretically relatively simple but in practice often difficult and exhausting (→ Resistance).
  4. I think to participate in a self-help group is very useful. I would prefer a group that has a concept similar to the Alcoholics Anonymous.
  5. Parallel consultation / treatment of the most important reference persons significantly increases the chance of recovery.

To the emergence of schizophrenic symptoms see the corresponding statements in the section ‘Psychiatry. An overview of what is meant can also be found in the `Summary table´.

Primary Psychotherapy is +A (love/ God¹) based. That is, the strongest +meta-level is the positive Absolute (+A) corresponding to unconditional love or, religiously, the unconditionally loving God¹. This love is simple, free and unconditional. I can be in it no matter how I am.
This spirit integrates all positive forces and relativizes all negative influences – of both the patients and the therapists with their different psychotherapeutic approaches.
The primary psychotherapy assumes that every person, even the sickest, owns an indestructible, unassailable, quasi-divine Self in their core – in addition to also existing strange personality parts. This Self is the strongest force against pathogenic influences.
By contrast, secular-based psychotherapies are based on a relative or secondary image of humanity that I call the second-rate personal (p²). Its essential characteristics can be found in the `Summary table´ in column L.

The strange Self of P² is not experienced as unbreakable, unassailable, etc. And if both the sufferer and the therapist have this second-rate image of man, then it is likely that such therapy will only be able to achieve partial success.
If love/ God¹is the strongest and simplest therapeutic power against schizophrenia, then why is healing normally so difficult and takes so long? As mentioned above, I assume that certain strange Absolutes are transmitted unconsciously mostly during childhood (or prenatal).

I think the corresponding effects on the embryo are very likely. For example, recent research suggests that predispositions for autism are created before birth.261(FOCUS online 30.3.2014) It may be the same for schizophrenia or other psychoses. However, I would not interpret these changes generally as genuine changes in the embryonic brain cells but rather as a result of  ‘inversions’, which have already produced ‘secondary realities’ in the embryo, which are characteristic for autism and other psychoses. But even if they were predominantly organic, I think they are reversible.

These strange Absolutes are materialized / somatized sooner or later and gain an existential meaning for those concerned. Even if they have certain disadvantages and future risks are thereby pre-programmed, they represent decisive living foundations for the child.

In primary psychotherapy these vital basics are now questioned in their absoluteness. This is accompanied by a deep shock that is difficult to bear. Since the old attitudes mean life and being for the person concerned, their questioning is experienced as a questioning of his existence and life altogether, that feels like dying. This harsh way of healing is made even more difficult by the fact that the person concerned usually has to walk alone because the surrounding persons or groups have similar philosophies of life and are not able or willing to give them up, too. For they too, like all of us, are dependent on them to a greater or lesser extent.
Why only some members of such groups become ill and others do not, I discussed in → Emergency solution A.


Remarks for Patients

Note: I wrote the following sections of this chapter for patients some time ago. Therefore they contain sometimes repetitions or overlap with what has been said so far.

Basic Attitudes

This section is about certain basic attitudes towards life, which can be rather favorable or unfavorable for us. But the question whether we behave favorably or unfavorably has only a relative importance because the fact that God¹ loves us is far more relevant, even if we behave unfavorably – and that will always be the case every now and then.
Note: The unfavorable attitude can even be more sensible temporarily than the favorable one.

Relatively unfavorable BASIC ATTITUDES

Relatively favorable BASIC ATTITUDES
It is unfavorable if you are eaten up by problems. The affected then lives of the substance. It is unfavorable if one has no personal center or this is occupied by something or dependent on something. It is unfavorable to absolutize Relatives. This unfavorable basic constellation could be symbolized as follows:

 Here the personal center, the core, is occupied by various problem areas. (black: negative, white: positive strange Absolute). These form new centers besides the actual person’s core and cover up the original core. Relative things have now become absolute and existential. The person concerned can no longer take them easy. Mis-absolutizations or mis-centerings took place. Signs for this are: I-really-have to-settings/ -actions. For example: I need to be perfect, be a good person, have to do this or that, etc. In the beginning, the absolutized often gives pleasure (!) (addiction). It is only later when suffering comes . No-way-I-may- attitude.
Either-or-attitudes. Black-and-white-attitude. Everything-or-nothing-attitudes.
Friend-or-enemy-classifications (see below).
To be other-directed, for the core is occupied by something foreign.
He is externally-driven but also externally-based!
Feeling: “I function” or even “I am externally controlled”.
Being into something without being able to stop or, more frequently, being blocked. False absolutizations, for example frequent and misplaced: “never”, “always”, “absolutely”, “at any price”, “impossible”, “unforgivable”, an imperative “must”! I play a role, instead of being myself. I believe, many mental illnesses can be easily or at least partly explained by this model presented here. For example feeling glum (→ depression), splitting (culminating in schizophrenia), lack of freedom and narrowness (anxiety disorders), must (obsessive-compulsive disorders), sucking in relative content by the starving center (addiction), getting devoured (ranging from burnout to the contributing cause of cancer?) and so on are clearly recognizable by the occupation of the core as shown above. The person concerned can also try to suppress, negate, or demonize the problem altogether, kind of counter-reacting. Often, at first, something is idolized (often unconsciously !) later if one suffers from it, demonized. Motto: The spirits that I’ve cited my commands ignore. There have been mis-absolutations which determine and alienate man. Man is in the dichotomy of enmity and hubris towards himself. He has often become the “best friend” for others (more rarely also for himself, compare narcissism) – but the worst enemy for himself.
It is favorable if you do not get eaten up by problems. If you have a center that is independent and unassailable that is strong and free. If you do not subsist on the substance but preserve it. This basic constellation can be symbolized as follows: free, protected Self (the words in the symbol)   
A core and an exterior area can be distinguished: The Absolute is in the core ; “Outside” are all other mental important areas but these are only relatively important. This could be for example, relationships with people, the environment, also performance, success, morality, conscience, security, health, appearance, possessions, etc. The outside area thus includes the relative. However, the most important thing, the real, the existential, the Absolute, the core Self with the following characteristics are in the core area: Just as I am, I am good enough. I am free. I am allowed to be as I am, whatever it looks like. I am allowed to be ill, imperfect, weak, immoral, selfish, distressing, useless, abnormal or anything, I always remain good enough. There is also written in the core: The existential, the most important runs best all by itself (!), so you can rely on God¹ and have not to rely on yourself or other people. The person concerned has something like an inner island of freedom, basic well-being, esteem, joy and serenity of heaven. He has inner peace. He has inherent substance, a strong, free Self. He has identity. (Motto: I am who I am.) He has a high degree of free will. The focus is on self-determination and faith in God¹. This center exists independently of what happens outside. It is indestructible. The attitude in the “outdoor area” is:
“I want to try to do the right thing voluntarily but I do not have to – I can also relax in the center. But because it is unwise and mostly disadvantageous to only rest, I want to try to do the respective meaningful.” Then this is an additional enrichment of life for me and others but not a compulsion because you can always retire to the base and rest there. This is very useful, especially in emergencies. Keep in mind that you can never give/get completely safe, constantly valid advice in the relative area (outside area) because everything in the relative area has two or more sides to it and this area only contains rules that also include exceptions. Favorable: thinking in fluent transitions, ‘both this and that’-thinking in the relative area. Being-here, being-present feeling: “I am living.” not: “I am functioning.”
It is unfavorable if there is no difference and no distinction between what is most important and what is secondary. There is no or a weak core (base) and secondary matters determine the person concerned. Man becomes thus more or less like a plaything of the secondary area. One’s own ego or Self is stunted, torn, perhaps also compensatory inflated (false pride). One is no longer (or no longer completely) one’s own Self.It is important that the core (the Self) is protected. I do not have to protect the core. God¹ protects it. Therefore, it is indestructible. I do not have to defend this inner being. It is enough if I defend my I. Its right to self-determination, freedom, dignity, integrity, its being loved by God¹ and its being the image of God¹ are inviolable.
The resulting attitudes are unfavorable:
First achieve, then be.
First perform, then live.
First function, then live.
First performance, then well-being.
First change, then self-acceptance.
First the earthly, then the heavenly.
Favorable is:
First be, then achieve. [3] First life, then performance.
First live, then work.
First well-being, then performance.
First self-acceptance, then attempts to change.
First the heavenly, then the earthly.
Disadvantage is: First I have to be in a certain way, then I am OK.Favorable: I am, regardless of my deeds, good enough.
A compulsion as well as a pleasure-and-mood principle is unfavorable.The voluntary principle is most favorable. (Pay attention it is unlike the pleasure-mood principle!)
First I have to earn my right to live, then I can feel comfortable.I can already feel good, always. Only then I want to see whether this or that meaningful thing is to be done.
I must prove and defend myself. Putting demands on oneself and on the world. Standpoint: I have to!I do not have to prove or justify myself. To wish oneself or the world to do something. Attitude: I am, I may – I want to try.

 These people are like swimmers who always have to struggle to survive. They carry an inner yardstick with which they beat themselves to death finally (F. PERLS). Or they kill others with it. Their condition is strongly linked to their respective performance. We undermine our Self, the foundation of our personality, using imperative demands.

These people stand firmly on a rock. They can stay where and as they are. They can go backward, too. They do not drown whatever they do. The basis is named: “I am good enough.”, religious: “God¹ always loves me.”.
It is unfavorable to have the wrong life strategy. This is mainly the case if putting secondary and less important things first. So, if I live according to the scheme: first B, then A, it is as if I took the second step before the first one in order to stumble through life. The compulsory principle B ranks before love principle A. It is advantageous to set priorities in life correctly: “First A, then B” could be the motto. More precisely: “First and always A – then try B”. A = freedom, self-determination, inner peace and well-being (sunbathing in the love of God¹.) B = endeavor for meaningful achievement, etc. This means that more important than the question of whether I am right or wrong, is, I can act wrongly and live with it while not making this question the basis of my life.
It is unfavorable to focus on the optima in life, which is to live perfectionist. Traveling through life is like traveling by car: you drive badly when following no traffic rules as well as following all of them. It seems bad to see life primarily as a succession of performances of one’s duty.Freedom is more important than perfection. Living is like driving. You drive best when being joyful and loose as compared to totally correct. Also: First refuel, then drive. The joy of life should be a priority before discipline. Motto: Everything is allowed but not everything is good.
The person concerned lacks the first and most important answer (listed in the right column, under 1.) when confronted with problems. He is directly dependent on the solution of the problems. They determine him, take him captive. He is not above the problems. In the case of faults, he reacts self-accusing or self-destructive. One can solve problems worse, reach life goals worse when one submits to them. Then one is not master of the situation. It is unfavorable to recognize no fault as one’s own but it is perhaps even more unfavorable to bear the blame for a long time.People with a favorable basic strategy have two answers when problems occur:
1. and most important answer: I am free – in God¹. This makes me stand above the earthly problems. I am and remain good enough whether I solve the problem or not. I do not have to solve the problem. That means. First one should remember this basis, then only, secondarily give oneself the following
2. answer: try to solve the problem from a free position. Fault (guilt) is treated relatively, secondary. It is favorable to give your own guilt to God¹.
It is an unfavorable and also unnecessarily strenuous faith if one believes in earning one’s own worth. Work first, then only self-worth and feeling good, is a questionable life maxim. However, work or workability often has the status of an idol in our society. But there could be written on such people’s gravestone: “His life was only work and the fulfillment of duties.” Such a gravestone can be thrown away. Someone once said it was a tombstone for a horse but not for a human being.From a religious point of view, man can feel like God’s image in every situation of life. What would be higher? You can even read about human beings in the psalms: “You are gods.” Man can say that he is always good enough before God¹, without preconditions, that he has an invariable basic value without having to give something in advance. Man is thus entitled to “basic well-being” and deeper, existential joy. Motto: A holy joy and serenity shall not leave me.
It is unfavorable for us if our core definition includes only the adult role.In my opinion, the strongest core definition is to be the child of God¹ and to subordinate the adult role with all its responsibilities. (See more details later.)
It is unfavorable to believe that oneself or the world is quite good or quite bad. In the first case one is naive and sooner or later will be confronted with reality. In the second one you will quickly give up. This also spoils the joy of life.It would be good if man, so you, too, dear reader, would not only think that he himself but also the other people, the world and just the entire life is good enough. Motto: It’s good enough. (I deliberately write “good enough” because of course a man or life is not only good.)
It is unfavorable to believe that one is ultimately subjected to fate or matter or nothing. Of course, God’s existence cannot be proved. However, neither his non-existence. In this case, it is rather stupid, or at least unfavorable not to believe in anything.It would still be beneficial if one had deep down a primal trust, an existential feeling of security and safety. This should extend beyond the current condition, physical well-being and death.
Any strange Absolute (sA) comes first and the Self second. Man is dependent and outside himself-determined by sA. He is ultimately its slave but believes to be its master. Conscience, morality, earthly responsibilities, achievements, opinions of others, ideals, security, health, success, recognition, guilt, fixed goals, roles, norms, etc. determine the Self.
A permanent effort is required in order to achieve the absolute positives, to repel the negatives and to fill the emptiness – an ultimately unnecessary waste of energy.
The Self comes first and (almost) everything else second: conscience, morality, earthly responsibilities, achievements, opinions of others, ideals, security, health, success, recognition, guilt, fixed goals, roles, norms, etc. The I-self is free here, self-determined and self-responsible and master in his own home. (Religiously and in my opinion stronger: trusting primarily the loving God¹ with only secondary responsibilities, thereby relieving!).
It is unfavorable to regard the Relative as self-evident, just as it is unwise to question the real self-evident – namely the promises to the Self (see above).It is wise to take the Relative only relatively and to place the +Absolute (God¹ and his promises) absolutely.
Many of the mentally ill are in an (often unconscious) role or attitude of a victim. Thus the (former) offender has still got power over them! The own role of sacrificing is similar. Here we make ourselves a victim of our own or foreign goals, ideals, successes, of the conscience, etc.It would be good to drop the victim’s role and if possible, not to get involved in an (even if understandable) offender’s role. Religious: I-want-to-trust-in-God-standpoint and as a victim: I am God’s child and if I am a victim, maybe He will pay back. (“The vengeance is mine,” says God. (Dt 32:35)

It is unfavorable to take the life height more important than the life width.
The life width is more important than the life height. Because the wider your life, the more secure and the higher you can build your life.
It is widespread, unfortunately in Christian circles, too, to believe that one necessarily has to be good and morally. Morality without freedom (grace) is deadly, even the Bible says so. That is it. Always having to be only moral is a torture on which the repressed immorality flourishes. Karen Horney, a psychoanalyst, calls such people ~`pressure angels´.
It is unfavorable to love one’s neighbor more than oneself.
More → `Christian one-sidednesses…
Disadvantageous mindsets are:
⦁ Parents only love us if we are good.
⦁ Other people only if we are really great.
⦁ Our partner only loves us if we love her, too.
⦁ Our conscience only loves if we do not act against it.
⦁ Morality loves us only if we are moral.
⦁ Success loves us only if we are successful.
The easiest way to be good is with the freedom to be allowed also to be immoral or bad, too. I think you also try intuitively to communicate to your children: “First you are accepted and loved, then only you should try to be moral and good. One oneself benefits the most by living a moral life. It is not to please the dear Lord or someone else.”

In other words, commandments or the like are made to serve man and not vice versa. Likewise, church should be there for man and not man for the church. It is therefore wise to try voluntarily to be moral, unwise, to believe one has to be.
It is unfavorable to take care only of the body or the new car or the apartment and not to do something for the psyche. Unfortunately, we did not learn this very important lesson at school.In order to land more on the “favorable side”, it is useful to regularly practice “soul care”. The old forces, which offer only a temporary substitute for real success (happiness) but exploit in the long run, are deeply anchored. But they can be overthrown, at least weakened, by patient practice. Concretely: Just as one takes time to eat, one should also take time to nourish the soul.
In short: It is favorable for us:
• First basis, then try to jump.
• Set the bar at zero, then jump.
• First freedom, then optimum trials.
• First (free) absolute, then relative.
• First take absolute, then give relative
• First heavenly, then earthly.
• First Self, then I-activities.
• First width of life, then way.
•  First freedom, then duty
• First width of life, then height.
• First life, then role.
• No demands but wishes to oneself and the world.
   I repeat because important: the question of whether we behave favorably or unfavorably has only a relative importance, for the fact that God¹ loves us is even more important, even if we behave unfavorably – and this is going to and is allowed to be happening again and again.

Unfavorable and Favorable Attitudes in Relationships

Unfavorable attitudes

Favorable attitudes

It is unfavorable if one or both partners have no or only a weak and strange-occupied core: one makes up the core of the other. This can apply to one, or more often, to both of them. This creates dependencies but also mutual unconscious manipulations and blackmailing (jealousy!). Everyone is at the same time the other’s master and slave. The relationship is either too symbiotic or falls apart quickly. Typical are “love”-hate relationships. This is the same as dividing people only into either good or evil – also friend-enemy thinking; Or: “Who is not for me is against me”.

relationships can be symbolized as follows: Both have a strong, free core, which they also protect. They also do not depend on the most beloved partner. Ultimately, he only plays a relative role, even though occupying a lot of space in life. Which means that no partner or other person belongs in the very core/self-domain. If one relativizes the other’s importance, the prospect of getting happiness and security from them seems to diminish. On the other hand, however, the benefits are much greater and more realistic: I myself do not have to be your savior, to bring you happiness and the only responsible for you. If one stays with the other, it is because one wants to and not for reasons of dependencies.

The figure shows the position of other people in the self-area of the person concerned. These occupy more or less his center so that this person lives partly foreign directed. He can, on the one hand, rely on the others but on the other hand, he will be exploited by them.       

The figure shows a favorable position of other persons to the Self. The others are not in the center (Self-domain) but have a relative importance for the person concerned. The person is thus not alien- but self-determined. The favorable order of the persons in the outer area is: 1. partner 2. children 3. parents and siblings.
It stimulates mental illnesses tremendously when one thinks one must love the other more than himself. This principle, too, usually not so directly mentioned, seems to be ecclesiastical common property. Lack of self-love, however, is one of the main sources for mental illnesses and partner conflicts.
At the same time, it is unfavorable to expect others to compensate for one’s lack of self-love
“Love your neighbor as yourself” – is one of the most central biblical statements. In order to make it clear, one should love oneself and love the other. Self-love = love to others.
Important: Bring love into the system!
It is favorable if I do not expect of others to compensate for my lack of self-love.
The more demands/ expectations for oneself, the others and life have to be fulfilled, the more the relationship becomes difficult.The relationship is going even better if people express their desires (of themselves, others and life) clearly, without being focused on their fulfillment.
All tricks and techniques are of little use when love is lacking (not only love for each other but also self-love).
The more love exists (self-love and love to others), the less important the differences become which seemed to be insurmountable previously.

    © by T. Oettinger, 2003/2022
Further favorable:
⦁ Preserve self-determination also in partnership.
⦁ I give and do what I want (principle of voluntariness) and I will try to make it not a pleasure and mood principle. I only give as much as I can.
⦁ I can take without a guilty conscience, without giving.
⦁ I do not have to be useful, I can only try.
⦁ I can also be a burden to others. I should even be a burden to others when it is necessary. (Accept help!)
⦁ I can say no.
⦁ I want to test others’ opinions but my opinion is crucial to my life.
⦁ If the others are better than me, I want to be happy with them.
⦁ I do not necessarily have to make up for mistakes if so, then I do it voluntarily.
⦁ I want to defend myself against wrongdoing but I do not want to engage in a personal fight.
⦁ I do not set preconditions for the others and myself but clearly express my wishes.

[1]: The unfavorable basic attitudes are sometimes favorable and not forbidden (!). This means we may or should also sometimes resort to unfavorable emergency solutions or such defense mechanisms. The favorable basic attitudes are mostly but not always favorable or then unfavorable. They are therefore not a must.
[2] The core self is not an earthly Self to be produced but a more or less heavenly, divine Self, which one simply accepts for himself, and which comprises the relative earthly Self. It is most strongly constituted by a power that the person loves for his own sake, which I personally see in God¹.
[3] What is meant is not: First be, and then do nothing, etc.

Note: The following examples are similar. Here the more favorable or important is also relative to the actual Absolute (God¹).

Self-Strength and Ego-Strength

“I am weak but my God is strong!” (Anonymous)

    Self-strength is more important than I-strength.
    The stronger the Self, the stronger the I.
    The I is strongest when it is absolutely loved.

I believe that we are most loved by God¹ and from him we get the strongest Self and I.
An important characteristic of this Self is that it lives by itself, that it is without conditions and that it also supports our mental and physical spheres. Therefore one could even interpret the self-running body functions as Self-effects since they act independently. However, these body functions do not run completely by themselves, only in principle. This means we can help the body to work well but we must not permanently control the body.

This applies even more strongly to mental-spiritual functions. That relieves the human being. He does not have to care primarily but only secondarily for himself and for his existence. A major problem, however, is that because of predominantly atheistic-materialistic psychology we do no longer believe in such a God-given and self-sustaining Self. We instead replace it by the responsible Self. The consequences are far-reaching: we have no basic trust, only trust in the Relative. But that will not give us enough support and strength and we will be overtaxed in the long term.
To trust in the actual Self is objectively speaking very easy but subjectively partly difficult. It can cause fear of death, since old dear absolutizations, with which we have identified ourselves and which became our very own Self, must be abandoned. Above all, to renounce their benefits is difficult. Even if they provide no benefits anymore, we got accustomed to them and we feel threatened by an unendurable void when we relativize them (withdrawal). Lapsing back to old, foreign thinking patterns is normal, before the new, the simple, the relieving and the redeeming will have become more natural.
So, dear patient, be patient and dare to allow yourself to be yourself. This rather means recollecting one’s own dignity and freedom than constant effort. It means a letting-go or better a letting-go into God¹. According to the motto: God¹ does the most important thing and he absolutely loves me – I do not have to prove anything to myself or to others. It is as if you are continuously reminding yourself of the first love. Mind! It does not go against the I-strength. On the contrary, the self-strength is the best foundation for the I-strength.
What are the characteristics of our true Self? It speaks the language of love, freedom, self-determination and unconditional worth of one’s own person (keeping a critical eye on one’s owns actions at the same time). This Self feels ultimately secure and unconditionally loved. Is that no selfishness or narcissism? some might ask. I do not think so. I think the human being has the right to self-determination and he can and should protect himself against heteronomy because it is too expensive in the long run.

I guess you could call it “the moment of birth of the self-confidence ”. Bruno Bettelheim called a book “The Empty Fortress – Infantile autism and the Birth of the Self” which offers the view that the Self must be born and educated in the course of life. I think this can be said of self-awareness but not of the Self. I also believe that the Self is already there by birth. When we were given our children, for example, I would say that they were themselves right away, even though they were not aware of it.

Conscience, morality, earthly responsibilities, achievements, security, other people’s opinions, ideals, health, well-being, success, recognition, roles, norms; But also: misfortunes, traumatization, guilt, etc.


Conscience, morality, earthly responsibilities, achievements, security, other people’s opinions, ideals, health, well-being, success, recognition, roles, norms; But also: misfortunes, traumatization, guilt, etc.
The left illustration shows different strange Absolutes dominating a person’s Self and cause heteronomy.
The right illustration shows a Self relativizing these strange Absolutes

Dear reader, I am aware of the difficulties with this issue. They lead to central questions:
What is man’s essence? What is man’s worth? What is his sense, his happiness? Does he not have to do something before he can claim the Absolute? Is there not the danger of ethical relativism, where the end justifies the means – positions which are taken on by some leaders again and again and which they misuse for their purposes? 262Morality (the “law”) has only a relative importance compared with love/ God¹. It is embedded in it and thus “also-absolute”. [Hint: I partly write God¹ to indicate my own conceptions of God, which do not necessarily agree with definitions of official theology.]
Within the scope of this work I can only briefly discuss these questions. First of all, I would like to point out that psychical  illness almost always evolves on the basis of a foreign-directed, little valued, weak or self-destructive (felt) Self and that it is our most urgent task to give back people  above all their actual Self, their dignity, their self-determination right, their inner freedom and to restore a fundamental enjoyment in living and in being themselves. We will be able to do this more easily if we start from a corresponding image of man in theory and therapy. Imagine for example a therapist thinking of his patient: “This is a schizophrenic,” or similarly bad. And further, quite professional, technocratically and perhaps quite like described in a textbook: “Now it is important to figure out, is this a hebephrenic, catatonic, paranoid-hallucinatory schizophrenia or a simple one or a neurosis and which drug I use against it?” This therapist can be professionally extremely competent but ultimately he turns the sick (as well as himself by the way) into a thing – and the tragic is: mentally sick people mostly see themselves this way.
Will not a psychotherapy mobilize the strongest forces that values human beings most highly?
However, many see the man too low, too weak and too unfree. I am in favor of a view in which man is created in God’s image, in which he is free and can feel valuable and loved even without preconditions: an unsurpassable basis – at least I have not found a stronger and more valuable one. 263God¹ is thus also the strongest liberator and intensifier of the Self. How do I get to myself? Or: How do I get the strongest self? The spirit that loves me the most will still best help me! He loves me more than I love myself. [Hint: I partly write Godto indicate my own conceptions of God, which do not necessarily agree with definitions of official theology.] 
What lets me be so sure of it?
     1. It’s just as I see my children: “They are precious, free, loved and precious, without preconditions and without performance as they are, and they can feel good before they lift a finger!” Only after this assurance is it advisable to point out the tasks in life
(→`First A then B‘). This also not, so that the good God¹ feels comfortable but because you better go through life and others benefit from it, too! Unfortunately, the reverse principle of “first achievements – then life” is still widespread and propagated in some places by the church.
        2. What is handed-down from Jesus about his life and his statements is in particular him appearing primarily as a savior and only secondarily as a admonisher and he primarily proclaiming a liberating and joyful message. This message is also extremely humane and does not expect any prerequisites. 264For example, the first miracle of Jesus was not a humane act but the transformation of water into wine. Jesus has sins forgiven without demanding any amends or the like. To ask for forgiveness was enough. The language of love is expressed in both cases. This means that man must first be taken serious, given his freedom, self-determination and dignity before he can give anything. First, man must be clothed before he can give half of his coat. Even a dog gets fed before being send to guard. “Love your neighbor as yourself”. But if you believe, you must love your neighbor mostly, even more than yourself, it would be a vain and even unchristian-like attempt.
Usually there is a typical series of unfortunate circumstances just like this: the parents had too little love and could gave too little love – and the concerned cannot love himself enough but he tries in vain to get love through certain achievements. But you cannot permanently offset the lack of love, appreciation and freedom by something else. Only temporarily, only as a substitute, only if need be – but then the soul wants what really saturates it: a strong, redeeming Absolute with true unconditional love.
 In addition, some key words:
Redemption is a gift, solutions must be worked out. Redemption is more important than solutions. Redeemed one finds most easily solutions. If no solution is possible, the more important and simpler redemption is still possible: earthly lack of freedom is compensated by spiritual freedom, earthly contradictions are dissolved by spiritual redemption, etc. Paul Watzlawick argues similarly, “He locates many disturbances of everyday human communication (especially as regards couples) on the relationship level and sees meta-communication as a solution to dissolve them.” 265  4/2014.
Or Socrates: Keep in mind that this earthly life is not the last one and that it does not matter much how you achieve here, then you will not be manic in happiness and will not be depressed in misery. 266In reference to Socrates: “Always keep in mind that everything is transient, then you will not be too happy in happy times and not too sad in sad times.”  For what else reason could people experience liberation despite of existential threat-situations?

How do I recognize a strange Self? Above all, by its wrong absolutizations and by its permanent imperative “must”.

Adult-Ego and Child-I

One may symbolize those two lifestyles just mentioned like this:

On the left, the adult Ego is at the center: striving hard to cope with life and to get a grip on life. It never has any real peace. It can never let go completely. It must always be attentive. It is very serious, mostly over-strained, quickly burnt out. It has to see rivals or even enemies in many fellow men. It is never sufficient unto itself. It is always responsible.

On the right, the I, that trusts in God¹ like a child, is at the center. It lets itself getting loved, does not need to do anything. It is playful, much lighter and yet more realistic because it does not demand anything (from itself) that it cannot offer anyway. However, the person concerned has not turned off his active adult I! On the contrary, it will be all the more powerful if it can rest and make mistakes at the same time.267I postulate a so-called `The absolute attitude´ at the center of the person Self, which exists beyond the child or adult role and relativizes them.The person concerned has not turned off his active adult-I! It will not turn into its own enemy. But: the I, that idealizes itself, becomes its own enemy. As it is not ideal as a matter of fact, its shadow must become its opponent automatically. It idealizes and fights against itself at the same time – or falls back on other emergency solutions. Do we not all bear the longing in us to be like a child, just to let us fall, to bear no responsibility? Christians have such a thing when defining themselves primarily as God’s children. “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  (Mt 18:3).

It is problematic or even dangerous if, as sometimes recommended, the child-I is centered on its own without a strong foundation (preferably an omnipotent Absolute, God¹) because then it is too vulnerable and weak. That´s my problem with Janov’s Primal Therapy. Moreover, the left picture shows us that this person does not run “smoothly” and does not rest in itself. It wobbles. The reason for this, as described elsewhere, is an absolutizing of something relative, which  creates a strange-Self with two or more centers, around which the ego wobbles.
[Hint: I partly write God¹ to indicate my own conceptions of God¹, which do not necessarily agree with definitions of official theology.] © T. Oettinger 2003/2019

First A then B

Many people live according to an unfavorable strategy, which is: “First B then A.” What is meant by this? Most of us are educated in such a way that we have to fulfill certain conditions (B) before an acceptance or absolute feeling (A) of the individual person occurs. (‘A’ could also be named the acceptance by God¹.) Before the person (P) can feel comfortable in his/ her skin, even before P can have the feeling that P has the right to exist at all, P must have done something from a primary B position. fulfillling any preconditions is then the first and most important thing – the person him-/ herself is secondary that is less important.

This can be represented symbolically as follows:                                                                            
The left-hand symbol shows how the first and most important step (A) is in second, less important place, and its very place is taken by the secondary (B).

The person in question tries to do the second step before the first. No wonder that he stumbles?  He more or less chases for being accepted all the time.

We are smart when we live according to the motto “first A, then B”, when we always assume that we are valuable, unique, lovable and (in the core) free and that we are allowed to always feel good enough. All this comes first – even before we have lifted a finger. We are wise when we see that these fundamental rights are not extinguished even if we make the most serious mistakes.

AB’ can also stand for farewell and liberation. The B * in front of A should not “die” in vain but in order to be really alive as B itself. It can live properly only after A, or on the basis of A. It is not all about being against B (our desires, our achievements, etc.) but it is also for B. We will have the earthly things twice and more if we do not let ourselves be devoured by them. As the saying goes: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else and he will give you everything you need.” (Lk 12:31, New Living Translation) We will have the heavenly (A) and the earthly (B) if we give priority to heaven. 

This does not only apply to essential attitudes towards life but also to simple daily situations. For example: If I, being a man, must be necessarily potent, I cause impotence. When I am educated to say everything correctly and fluently, stuttering will be provoked. If I try desperately to remember something that is very important to me, I will not remember it, etc.. But it is only when we relax and relativize, which means in our cases to be able to be impotent, to be able to say something wrongly, to be allowed to forget and so on, that we are more likely to achieve the desired goal.

But we will be weaker if we gain our inner strength only from ourselves or from other people. It is the old, morbid pattern to be subjected to fulfilling this or that condition. We are then, servants of these things or persons. As long as we meet the requirements, they, in their grace so to speak, allow us to be proud, feel comfortable or grant a thrill, usually only briefly. But if we do not meet their demands, the punishment comes automatically and relentlessly. They are going to bleed us white, as we should work for them and not they for us in their point of view. Could we let them go, better hand them to God¹, we would be more relaxed.


High Jump with or without a yardstick

In the left picture, the man is jumping over a fixed yardstick. He is deciding which height. If he is managing this height, he is having a very strong positive feeling if not he is having a strongly negative feeling (black and white pattern).
In the right picture, the jumper is keeping the bar at zero. He is also trying to jump as high as he can but is not fixed to a certain height. He is experiencing neither thrill nor frustration, and therefore he is holding all the cards to achieve the desired achievements in the long run. In other words: Without a yardstick above us, the sky opens up above us and at the same time we are better grounded because our heart does not have to aim high.

The Undoing of the Fixation

We are wise if we rather let our fixations, our false gods, die than us. Our fixations are, for example, to be always perfect and good, our fixed thinking of security and order, our indispensable demands on health and well-being, on external happiness and success, and ultimately the fixed expectations how we and the world should be. Only then we were free to live life without (morbid) fear. It would be the best thing for us if we could die all these sensible ‘deaths’ of our fixations before we perish because of them.
It is about the “die and become” (Goethe), the gain of such a ‘dying’ (Paul), that ‘capitulation’, as the anonymous alcoholics call it, which offers us a more real, freer life, the farewell of a dogged life, which Hermann Hesse described as follows: “Go on my heart, say goodbye and get well!” or Jesus: “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” But we do not want to let these foreign absolutenesses die because we regard them as our Self. When I identify myself with a strange Absolute, I become it and then I get the feeling that I die when I let it die. From this point of view, it is a logical consequence if some people rather kill themselves in extreme cases than give up their strange absolutenesses. We are in a dilemma: If we continue the life of the substitute, we will die. If we want to live freely, we must also let something “die”. We have the choice between two types of death and life. Living substitutionally is usually slowly self- destructive. It resembles a drug life. We may be quite high for a time but in the long run we live a substitute life and die a substitute death. But the Christian solution goes further and is even easier: Let Jesus die for you (which does not exclude that you also endeavor to relativize the strange Absolutes.) © T. Oettinger 2003/ 2019

Choosing the Self and God – a Plea

 I believe that man can freely choose between the absolutes. (See `The absolute attitude´)
Elsewhere a person’s freedom to choose is only relative. More precisely, I believe that every human is faced with a free, existential and absolute decision, even if he is not aware of it. It is a kind of principle attitude for or against the good. I know I am stepping into a sphere solely concerning the faith. But as I try to show, it is not a purely theoretical or speculative subject but something that plays a decisive role in our lives. For it is connected with the question: “Am I able to claim the above-mentioned characteristics of the Self for myself and for others due to such a basic attitude or am I not able to?” I found the answer to this question most impressively in my relationship with my children and, parallel to this, in the Christian religion. Since my children’s births I would automatically and instinctively give each of them the already mentioned characteristics of the Self: Each child is unique to me, something very special (God’s image), absolutely loveable, etc. – So to be, without any doing. And all human beings have an inherent right to such a life. Only by their mere existence. These characteristics of the Self give man not only an invaluable dignity but also absolute freedom of choice. More precisely, whereas  the usual decisions for or against this or that, for or against this or that action and even for or against the usual morally good or evil matter only relatively, there is in my opinion a crucially important basic decision or orientation to the positive or to the negative. Concrete example: If one of my children (or me or any other person) glorifies the evil, the destruction and the inhuman in principle and irrevocably, then in my point of view this person has gone too far to be possibly forgiven. Forgiveness would be even nonsensical. 268Perhaps S. Freud meant by “death drive” something similar to the Bible’s “mortal sin”. In his late years S. Freud postulated the “life- and death-drives” as the two main drives.
If, however, he was to discover in his heart a principled orientation toward the good, he could, in my opinion, claim further pledges to himself (see below), even though acting viciously and doing evil in everyday life. For this reason one can therefore distinguish between a Self deciding to be basically positive or negative. [I called it “positive absolute orientation” or the corresponding will also the actual primary virtue.] Of course, no outsider is capable of attributing one or the other to a person. It is not a question of speculative theory but I want to encourage people to raise their heads, to live their own lives, even if they have made a lot of mistakes. From a Christian point of view, such a person can feel free and saved in principle. The real, existential question as regards life or death, being or non-being is answered in principle with the answer for the good. All other questions, however important, may be regarded as relative, secondary, and calmly. The same applies to corresponding questions on responsibility, guilt and conscience, etc. The same applies to corresponding questions on responsibility, guilt and conscience etc.
When I refer to my Self, I ultimately refer to God¹, too. If the I approve of the Self, I become a unity, I become the I-Self. To me, such a Self seems to be divine in the truest sense. According to my knowledge and experience, all other worldviews fall far behind it. Especially in mentally ill people, unconscious, self-destructive mechanisms start very early on. To forgive and to be generous to other people is not difficult for many mentally ill people. However, to be self-generous to himself and to see one’s own Self free from the failures, sins, mistakes and to regard it as inviolable by them, is something which most of the mentally ill are not able to. They are determined by negatives that have attained absolute and existential significance with corresponding devastating effects in their absolute and self-realm. The Self that I mean is sovereign and inviolable like love and God¹. It speaks for itself. It cannot be questioned. There is no need to prove it. It is a present. You do not have to get it because you already have it. It also includes foreign Selves because it is stronger than them. If a person rejects the Self and makes a strange Self his absolute, the real Self is still present in the depths. Many people long for a good sense of self-esteem but believe they have to do something for it. If H. Schröder thinks – representative for many others: “Self-esteem is determined by the relation between one’s own aspiration level and the successes achieved”, 269The quotation is literally (in the German version, here it is freely translated into English) but I cannot find the source any more. then it is a widespread fallacy because this is a sort of `achievement self-esteem´ but no actual self-esteem. This is precisely the one of a person who defines himself only by what P has achieved and not of a person whose value comes from his own Self. This feeling is in the minus range for many people.

What impact does this have on the therapy and on the self-esteem of the patients? It seems obvious: Whatever a human’s picture of himself will be it will be decisive for his self-esteem. Likewise: What kind of picture of humans the therapist has will be essential for the therapy success. How can a patient develop a strong, good sense of self-esteem, when even his therapist maybe underestimates the Self? If it is true that every one of us wants to be loved for his own sake, then it is good to do that as a therapist as well. In one of the following chapters I will present a corresponding concept for schizophrenia therapy.

The Circle Closes

I have the idea that we humans, in the symbolic forms of Adam and Eve, had removed ourselves from God¹ and thereby also lost paradise. Following Janov’s choice of words (though not with the same meaning), this experience represents our “primordial pain”, and perhaps we were born with a “primordial scream” because this world, just like we, is full of suffering and death and needs redemption. Mental illnesses are one part of the suffering. We try to redeem ourselves by establishing various “saviors” in the form of strange positive Absolutes (+sA) – which are, however, only substitute solutions that have some advantages but even more disadvantages. In the terminology of this work: We mix-up God and the Relative. In my opinion, the human being made the decisive step towards the actual solution (the “revision of inversion”) by a basic attitude towards the good. One can also say that God will redeem man if he wants salvation. This closes the circle, beginning with the “primordial sin” and ending with Jesus or the “primordial love” of God.


In the following section, I try to give some hints regarding some single aspects in the sense of ‘primary psychotherapy’. They are more or less systematized and intended for patients. The division follows the one described in the section ‘Metapsychology’, whereby individual aspects overlap and repeat and therefore only present accentuations. I treat some therapeutic aspects only in notes, others in more detail and some I want to elaborate on later. I also refer to the above remarks in the part ‘Psychiatry’, to the meditations I have published (in German), to the explanations in the chapters First-Rate Solutions and ‘Causal Therapies‘ as well as to the `Anonymous self-help groups‘ principles, which pursue similar intentions.
Like them I believe that the best basis for the solution of all life problems is God¹ (love) – because he affirms and liberates people most strongly and corresponds to all other requirements for a `positive Absolute´ (+A).
There are a few sentences in quotes that I would say to a concerned person in a corresponding situation using these or similar words.

I am specifically talking to a “psychotic” here. I only mentioned some interesting symptoms here, described impressively f. e. about Marguerite Sechehaye’s patient, called ‘Renée’ (see also bibliography). They are the same symptoms listed in the Summary table below schizophrenic symptoms.

Concerning the Dimensions

a1 Absolute and Relative or: Redemption and Solutions

This aspect is about the positive Absolute, in particular. The result of the positive Absolute is redemption, the positive Relatives make solutions.
About both I have already written in the section `Solutions´.
“You are in principle redeemed by God¹.” Redemption comes before solution. Redemption comes also before self-redemption, since self-redemption also entails self-destruction and destruction to the outside.
Redemption begins with freedom, with “I am allowed to”. It would not be redemption if it begins with a must, a duty. Redemption  is the basis of all solutions. The second step would be to try to solve the specific problem. Especially as I do not have to solve the problem necessarily, the resulting serenity will additionally increase the likelihood of solving the problem! Even thinking about God¹//Jesus brings redemption and relativizes all strange Absolutes. 

a2 Identity and Otherness

In terms of identity, I distinguish between an absolute identity and many relative identities.
[Compare also the explanations about  Identity and Identity changes ]
I do not consider the identity that we give ourselves, such as the one of the “good person” or the one of our profession or status, to be the absolute identity. They are attributive or relative identities. But we need, as said, an indestructible identity. This cannot be earthly because everything earthly is destructible. I believe that the absolute or rather strongest identity is the one attributed to us by God¹, namely God’s image, which is never lost.
“If you feel alienated from yourself or from your environment, then that is not abnormal because we all live in more or less alienated realities (second-rate realities). You only feel this alienation very clearly. Even if this torments you, do not be afraid: your actual Self, which you possess but perhaps have not yet found, lets you, like love/ God¹, always be yourself because they love you for your own sake, unlike the foreign forces (strange Absolutes). A beloved child does not lose its identity, too, even if its identity has been changed or hurt or the child is evil. You have an indestructible identity. You are unique and inimitable.”

a3 Reality and Unreality

 “The reality is nothing for me!” (a patient)

“Do not be afraid of strange and unknown realities. They are not bad – but the first-rate reality is better and ultimately stronger. All of us, even the so-called normal, live in second-rate realities and suffer from them, though probably less than you. If you experience the world, your environment, your fellow human beings as especially unreal, artificial, shiny or dead, unbounded or narrow and experience the things as if they were alive, as if they speak to you do not be afraid. If you experience fellow human beings or yourself like robots, puppets or if contexts get lost and other things that do not belong together seem welded  – if you experience this and other bad things, then do not be afraid but try to trust that the love/ God¹, from which the primary redeeming reality comes, which also becomes strong in you so that you also get well. The love/ God¹ redeems us in principle but not totally from the disadvantages of the second-rate realities on this earth.”(See also `Disorder of Personal Reality´)

a4 Unity and Diversity

Love/ God¹ and the first-rate reality arising from it are unified and diverse at the same time.
In the second-rate realities, one often finds compressions instead of unity and rather splittings than diversity. But love is indivisible and diverse like God¹. By both, divisions, fusions and even autism can again become a diverse oneness.
“If you feel split, dissociated or if you feel as being one with other persons or objects and feel no boundaries or insurmountable borders, do not be afraid, for your very Self is an unbreakable diverse unit.” “God heals the brokenhearted.”270(Ps 147: 3)

a5 Freedom and Safety

Safety and freedom complement each other in love/ God¹. (That is the way to fly and take root simultaneously!). One neither exists at the expense of the other. As I mentioned, I distinguish between an absolute freedom, which includes all earthly unfreedoms, as well as an absolute safety, which compensates all earthly uncertainties. I believe the love/ God¹ give this absolute liberty and safety free of charge. A beloved child will feel safe and free. Absolute freedom and safety are not identical with total freedom and total safety. They are primarily spiritual but also have a strong impact on the psychical  and physical areas.

Freedom and Responsibility
Optimal relief will occur (begins) if you assume only an absolute, individual ‘responsibility’ (absolute basic attitude) and otherwise only relative responsibilities. That means all the normal responsibilities will overburden us if they are seen to be absolute, like Freud’s “never-ending search for truth”, C. G. Jung’s individuation requests or the dogmatic formulated responsibilities of a misunderstood Christianity or of other religions.
(See also Disorder of the Person’s Safety and Freedom; Examples can be found in the German unabridged version in the meditation `Orientation and Freedom’.)

a6 Center and Periphery

The Christian religion is both theo- and anthropocentric, as already mentioned when talking about it, that means God¹ has also placed man in his center respectively in the center of the world/ the cosmos. According to religious understanding, man left the center (paradise) by the primeval sin but he returns there through Jesus Christ (if he wants to). Just like loved children, we can always feel to be in the center, even if we were pushed up to the edge. This spiritual center prevents us to feel psychic isolated and marginalized. This center is not a point but really wide. This width, which contains all negative areas as well, is more favorable than the attempt of having to reach and obtain a certain (worldly) center of one’s life. Of course, this does not exclude earthly goals but does not make humans dependent on them.
“God¹ is with you even in the remotest (thought) universe, even if you believe to have already lost yourself and your center.” 271(See e.g., the book: Elyn R. Saks: “The center cannot hold!” and Disorder of Personal Bases and Levels)

a7 Security and Autonomy

Motto: The one who is as free as allowing himself to also be dependent owns the greater autonomy.
Security comes before autonomy. Even as an adult, like a beloved child, you can feel secure, free and autonomous in love/ in God¹.
But autonomy and security, as well as the other absolute dimensions are so only in principle but not total. However, they also affect all other aspects of human life by their fundamental nature.
Therapy goal autonomy?
Autonomy is only an absolute when we think about the self-determination with respect to the absolute – not when it comes to self-determination in the earthly realm. 272(For more information, see section: `The absolute attitude´ and Disorder of the Person’s Independence and Ties)

Concerning the Differentiations

Main Differentiations

I. Being

Spiritual being is stronger and more important than material being. Similarly: the inner is more important than the outer.
“You may be, however you are. You have an unconditional right to exist.

II. Life

                                                                  Mottos: First life, then work.
                                                                               Life is more important than functioning.
                                                                               Heavenly life has more essence than earthly life.

“You have an unconditional right to live, even if you are aggressive, crazy, irrational, evil, lazy, paranoid, neurotic, dirty or otherwise. You should try to act good but if you do not, then you do not. I strongly advise you to practice deliberately and playfully what you absolutely do not allow yourself to do, then you are master of it – that is, negative behavior does not have to enslave you.” Practice both: functioning and dysfunctioning.”

III. Qualities

“You are more important than all earthly values, more important than all ideals.”
“No one is worth more (but also no less) than you.” “You are God’s image.”
“Try to rise above the zeitgeist, who wants to persuade you that we have to optimize ourselves.”

IV. Subject / Object and Relations

Things should serve people and not vice versa.
“You are (as a ‘subject’) more important than all objects.”
The love/ God¹ connects without welding and solves without splitting.

Individual Aspects

1. Everything (All) , Individual and Nothing

Everything is allowed but not everything is good.
Everything will be fine. Therefore: “I have nothing to lose – I’m free!”

2. God and the World (Transcendence, Immanence)

“Do not become a slave to the earthly.” according to Genesis 1:28. Man and the world are in need of redemption. Earthly existence, immanence often is very good – but good transcendence is even better and goes much further. God¹ is omnipotent but man is only partly powerful. Man is wise when relying not only on himself but more on God. I have not come to know any stronger and better “power” in my life than God, and I do not believe that there is anything bigger and more loving.
“If you do not know how to carry on, you can turn to God¹ or Jesus. If you do not believe in them, you may try once. In the simplest case, you just say/ think `God´ or ‘Jesus’ and ‘I want to try to believe that I am absolutely loved and safe!’ Something like that, depending on how you feel.  In my experience, it is best for us to be affirmed by him and not if we believe we have to give him anything or to be a good person – for he has given us birth to be free and not that we are his or other people’s slaves. If you want to know more about God¹/ Jesus, you can read in the New Testament what he is like and what he advises you.”

3. People and Things

People are more important than things.

4. Me and Others

                                               `Love your neighbor as yourself!´ – But do not become the slave of another slave!.

Just being yourself is more important than Individuation or other changes. (Goethe, C.G. Jung et al., in contrast, thought individuation to be the highest goal.) Man’s aspiration to become fully himself someday is an illusion and overstrained him. The Self is a gift of love/ God¹ that everyone has. The stronger Self is not that which must be strong or authentic or true but that which may be weak or a strange Self which does not lose itself when it becomes improper, unauthentic or untrue but instead can integrate these parts. This way the Self cannot get lost but integrates all foreign parts, which become Self, too.
All the people are worth the same.
“Love your neighbor as yourself!” is a recognition of mankind formulated at all times and by all great religions and philosophers. As a basic ethical formula, this statement is the last criterion for humanism,  – for a Christian, the last criterion is God¹ and his love for us, which does not make this ethical orientation a dogma. Meaning, even if I hate the other or myself, I remain loved by God¹.
“If you feel lost, absolutely lonely, cold, strange, unreal, tormented, dulled or full of fear or anger, meaningless, worthless, hopeless, unlike the seemingly normal. If you feel responsible and guilty of everything and dictated by commanding voices if you struggle with your last ounce of strength against something that wants to overrun you, imposes its will upon you or seduces you that you want and yet you do not want at the same time, which perhaps tears you up inside – whatever your suffering is, try to endure it because your Self, love, God¹are ultimately stronger than those forces that do this to you! It will be a matter of time, until  you will be free, in principle, even if it is not totally (more is not possible on this earth).”

5. Spirit, Soul and Body

Spirit is stronger than matter – both in a positive and in a negative sense.
About the relations between spirit, soul and body s. Ibid.
The spirit of an unconditional love/ the + A, the spirit of God¹ or the Holy Spirit, whatever you call it, is – in my view, the strongest and best power in our lives – as far as we allow it.
Health and well-being do not just depend on God¹. But free, good, given and not expensively bought health and wellbeing are best reached with God¹. But they are also not necessarily necessary, they do not have to be maintained all the time and their loss has only relative importance.

6. Love and Sexuality

Love / God¹ are the best basis for good sex.

7. Peace of Mind and Well-being

                                                  Mottos: `Peace of mind is even more important than well-being.´
                                                                 Your pain today is your freedom of tomorrow ‘.

“Do what is good for you!” is a frequently heard motto in therapies. Normally the person concerned understands ‘good’ to be ‘well-being’. But I can also create well-being through a +sA (for example through drugs or alcohol or other) but then have to pay a price.
Like Nietzsche’s “Rapture peaks” and their consequences: “peak and abyss”.

“You may have all the feelings that exist, especially the ‘crazy’ and ‘evil’ ones such as hatred, envy, jealousy, revenge, etc. Do not fight them, try not to suppress them – they are mostly relatively unfavorable and therefore try to put them aside or give them to God¹. If not, then not. But sometimes they can also have a positive function. If you taboo feelings, that you experience negatively, I advise you to practice them on purpose. Test playing the jealous, vengeful, madman’s role, etc.”
Why are there people who seemingly have no feelings, f. e. autistics? I think many of them carry in themselves the prohibition from the childhood of not being allowed to have bad or irrational feelings and thoughts.
Why are there people who seemingly have no feelings, f. e. autistics? I think many of them carry in themselves the prohibition from childhood of not being allowed to have bad or irrational feelings and thoughts.

Pieces of Advice for Patients

Try to accept your illness and try to do something about it but do not make the disease an enemy, which must be defeated.
Do not hide, do not be ashamed and get help at the right time.
Do not taboo your illness but do not hawk it around either.
Believe that life goes on, even if you die on earth.
Try to believe that God¹is stronger than all negative forces.
If your present “God” forbids you something imperatively, then find a God¹ who gives you freedom.
If your “devils” are strong or even stronger than your present God¹, then look for a stronger God¹.
If you do not get along with father or mother, take God¹ as father / mother who will always love you.
If you feel worthless, then look for a God¹ who will lift you up.
If you are always guilty, try to find a merciful God¹who forgives you all that you regret.

8. Absolute and Relative Will

Morality is good but the  “primary virtue”  is more important and easier.

I. Kant: “It is impossible to think of anything at all in the world, or indeed even beyond it, that could be considered good without limitation except a good will. Mind, mind, judgment, and the like, whatever such mental powers may be called, or courage, determination, and perseverance in one’s plans, as qualities of temperament, are undoubtedly good and desirable for many purposes but they can also be extremely evil and harmful if the will … is not good.273 
Like Kant, I see the primary virtue also in goodwill but more precisely in a fundamental will to the good.
See also `The absolute attitude´ and `Right and wrong´.
“Call on your Self /God¹.” “Remember your ‘primary will’ (‘primary virtue’), which says: `I want God¹´ – that´s all.”.
It is not mortal sin if you, like every human being, in part want and do evil.

9. Being and Having

To have is good, to be is better. More favorable than greed is modesty. But greed is not a deadly sin. To take heavenly things is more important than giving earthly things.
“You are always more than you own or have achieved.” 274See also: Erich Fromm: “To Have or to Be”.

10. Strength and Weakness

Mottos: ‘I-strength is good, the strength of the actual Self even better!’. Or: ‘self-strength is more important than Ego-strength.’

“Try to be strong – but you can also be weak because the most important goes by itself.
Let God¹ (or others) do what you cannot do yourself.”
Further see in Self-strength and Ego-strength.

11. Order and Necessity

People say that the way to hell is paved with good intentions.
Even more: the way to hell is especially paved with many musts.
It is therefore favorable: no must, no compulsion – even the favorable does not have to be.

12. Primary Virtue and Morality

Morality is good but primary virtue is more important and easier.
See also `The absolute attitude´, `Right and wrong´ and `Absolute and relative will´ above.

13. Freedom and Control

We were born to be free. Control and discipline are good but freedom is better.
You may be, however that is! 275See Meditation: `Orientation and Freedom’ in the German unabridged version.

14. New and Old

Seen from this angle, I discussed Hallucinations – an important symptom of schizophrenia – as new, strange ‘creations’.
The hypothesis regarding their genesis was: Inversions in all aspects can promote or cause hallucinations, in particular inversions in aspect 14 (“main impact direction”).
Conversely, it is hypothesized that all revisions that all ultimately strengthen the Self, must help against hallucinations, especially those that can be categorized under aspect 14, such as “You are a unique creature – the so-called normal reality is subordinated.” Or, “Everything that comes from you, all your ‘creations’ are allowed to be, even if they are bad.”
In addition, other interventions or meditations may be useful because other aspects (mainly asp. 3 and 4) play a major role. In these cases, it has proven useful for me to reflect the content and the possible origin of the acoustic hallucinations together with the patient. For example to investigate the following important questions: Which persons could such voices come from? What significance do these persons have for the person concerned? What functions could the hallucinations have?
According to my experience, it is very fruitful if the person concerned does not suppress or even fight the voices he hears but has a conversation with these voices in the therapist’s presence. In doing so, I advise to “somewhat” agree with the voices, in order to avoid struggle with them, and to take into account the fact that these voices have partly positive functions, that there is usually “something true in them”. As a result, the person concerned does not come into conflict with himself because the originally mostly external causes for the hallucinations became his own strange-Selves someday.
However, in the next step, after the voices were partially proved right, I advise to present the own position corresponding to the actual Self – like, “Voice, you are not entirely wrong here and somehow I can understand where you’re coming from – but essentially, I see it  differently (now) namely so and so, etc.”
For example, if the voice insults the person concerned, which is often the case if it says something like, “You’re a pig!”, the optimal response would not be, “I’ve never been a pig!” but “Yes, sometimes I am a pig.” or something like that, “because we all are sometimes like pigs.” This latter and strongest reply would be based on love/ God¹, who says, “You may be a pig or whatever. You can be, whatever you are, you always loved and made in my image – and everything else is less important!”

15. Let and Do

In my experience, most mentally ill people are fixed for functioning – that is, they function according to a strange Absolute, respectively its “system”. They miss out on life this way. How many people do realize “I only function!” – but they cannot change it because a change is possible only very slowly (because that is how it has been done since childhood). “Do not fight it, first try to accept it and then if possible, put it aside lightly.
Practice loving and in particular being loved –  especially in those situations when you think you do not deserve it.” “First being, then achieving” is not a bad motto. Or “The Lord provides for those he loves while they sleep.” 276(Ps.127,1) – at least he gives the most important things. Or, according to Augustine: “Love – and do what you want!
“Many people believe they must do good. Nice if you can do so and have the needed strength. But it is also normal to do evil or nothing. If you forbid yourself this, you may practice it playfully. You may as well inform your friends and family members that you should practice the negative behavior – it is for their benefit, too because  that way, no aggressiveness builds up. Besides, you can apologize afterward, too. Or you simply let God¹ forgive your ‘sins’.”

16. Trust and Knowledge

Knowledge and mind are good, trust in God¹ even better.
Rationality without irrationality becomes sterile – so “do not suppress your irrationality and your ignorance. Both God¹ and your ignorance will protect you from being flooded with too much information because all earthly information is of relative importance.”
See also: Belief and knowledge.

17. Openness and Reticence

“Try to be open – but you may also be closed down and hide.”
“You are the light of the world!” and “Do not put your light under a bowl!”, says Jesus.
But we are also allowed to remain sitting in the dark, hide and betray ourselves – without losing ourselves.

18. Values

Under this aspect, I called delusion, an important symptom of schizophrenia, primarily the result of judgment and thinking disorder. These, in turn, according to the hypothesis, may have been due to Inversions in every aspect but mainly due to inversions in aspect 18 ‘Values and meanings’ – as I show in the corresponding section of Delusion in the part ‘Psychiatry’.
Analogous to this, a revision of this inversion in this aspect 18 should be focused on – but just as a ‘therapeutic spreading’, revisions will also have a therapeutically favorable effect on all other inverted aspects, so in particular the person concerned’s self-esteem, which can be strengthened by appropriate meditations. For example: “You have/are already the most important thing (your Self, God’s love, made in his image) – everything else is less important.” As I said, this also applies to all other aspects. That is to say, any meditation or attitude change that confirms the person’s true Self will be therapeutically beneficial. They all find their common denominator in an unconditional love for the person concerned, or the +A or God’s promises – whatever you want to call it. In short, I believe that nothing is as effective against delusion and against all other schizophrenic symptoms as this unconditional love.
One question frequently arises in therapy: Should one correct the delusions of the patient directly ?
In my experience, it is best to acknowledge the subjective truth that the delusional thoughts have for the patient and to try to present their positive function (as a defense mechanism, for example). Then depending on the stability of the person concerned, one can encourage him to loosen or give up this protective function and to trust his true Self/ God¹. At the same time, I would like to point out that it can make sense to use the old defense mechanisms (as well as antipsychotics) again, on purpose, in case of greater stress. Of course, this requires an intensive examination of the content and background of the delusions.
Regarding the thinking: “You may have all kinds of thoughts, even the evil and crazy – killing ones, thoughts of revenge, sadistic, masochistic, sodomitic thoughts or behavior  – You may curse God¹ in your thinking or out loud (he will stand it) or curse your fellow human beings, even if they cannot stand it. Try to accept these or similar thoughts or behavior and thus you in your totality. But do not let them run to seed because they usually have a negative effect but they become even more negative if you taboo them. Yes, sometimes they can be very important and have a positive function, then it would be false if you suppress them.” Howsoever, “You may be whatever you are, what you may think and do. Try to be clever (but you do not have to be clever either). Where appropriate, practice actively the evil, crazy thoughts by deliberately thinking them if you tend to taboo them.”

19. Past

I believe that most people who once had a psychosis have been burdened by certain strange Absolutes by birth or prenatally. They live feeling `I am only allowed to be under preconditions´. If they meet these preconditions, they are relatively stable, albeit always at risk. This applies more or less to all of us but especially to some. In my view a psychosis occurs then when someone can no longer fulfill certain strange Absolutes or no longer wants to! We then regress and return to a point in childhood where we were overstrained by certain sAs. We are then helpless, powerless and at somebody’s mercy like an embryo or a child. 277Already in the 1920s, Harry Stuck Sullivan discovered that patients who were seriously ill returned to the forms of early childhood communication. Compare: , 2014.
Even as an adult, we retain childlike parts, even though we are mature and smart in other spheres of life. Now the dark sides of the then established sA become clear. In order not to stop their demands by illness they should be relativized. How should that happen?
“Simply” by daring, under the protection of the +A, to take the position that we were not allowed to take in our childhood. So, if we dare to trust like a child of God¹ and feel secure in “Abraham’s womb”, without being compelled to bring anything, and I mean anything, in order to be entitled to life, then the most important sA will be disempowered and we will be in principle (but not totally – which is not possible here) safe and free – and will have the best basis to be healed. We will then also have the experience that despite this helpless, stuck situation, nothing happened to us and we will feel like a new human. Quite a few psychiatrists thought similarly and acted fruitfully like S. Freud in a certain way and A. Janov in his particular way (“Urschreitherapie”). Other therapists, such as John Rosen, Marguerite Sechehaye and Jacqui Lee Schiff, also succeeded by responding to their schizophrenic clients’ regression and nourishing them like infants and children. While Roses and Ship fed their patients by bottle, Sechaye satisfied their needs on a symbolic level.” 278But: I find it problematic as already noted in the confrontation with the psychotherapy of Janov if the affected person regresses on a child level but he should feel safe, loved and invulnerable – which is only partly possible in the presence of the therapist – an additional + `meta-area’ (God¹) is best.
[Hint: I partly write God¹ to indicate my own conceptions of God¹, which do not necessarily agree with definitions of official theology.]
 They all agreed not to demand any preconditions and achievements from their patients and to provide security and appreciation in the form of an “auxiliary ego” or something similar. But this way seems easier than it is.  As it means for the person concerned a great risk, to entrust himself again like a baby or toddler to someone who perhaps, similar to earlier, does not satisfy the primordial needs and thus repeats the old story. But even for therapists a common way with the patient is not easy because they are, as each one of us, inhibited by some own sA. I think, it is therefore favorable for all parties involved to bring the +A/ the love/ God¹ into play, as not to overburden the involved persons or to develop a symbiotic relationship because  +A is the self-evident and the independent, that lives by itself and prevents that. 
See the story `Adult-Ego and child-I´.

20. Present

The present is good – eternity better.
One advises, “Carpe diem!” (Seize the day!) – but I believe that the day, the present is only an attribute of eternity which itself again is the most important thing. So you can sometimes sleep through the day without feeling guilty.
Some say “The way is the goal.”
But “Whoever does not know the destination, cannot have the way.” (Chr. Morgenstern).

21. Future

“Try to have no fixed expectations but only wishes from you and from the world.”
The earthly future can be good – the best future is in heaven.
We are already inscribed and sealed in the book of eternal life in all of our first-rate uniqueness.
Therefore we do not need to have any existential fear anymore.
“Stand up and lift up your heads because your redemption is drawing near.”

22. Right and Wrong

 `The LORD said, “They now know the difference between right and wrong, just as we do.”279(Genesis 3:22, Contemporary English Version, 2006.)

“The guilt gnaws with blind fury
At the weak foundation of our souls …
Can we stifle the old anxious agony of conscience,
Which lives in us and clings to us …
Tell it beautiful sorceress, O! tell it, if you know! 280Loosely based on Charles Baudelaire’s `L ‘irréparable´.

To the question of guilt:
In my experience, permanent feelings of guilt significantly increase the development of mental illnesses, especially psychosis. Above all, responsible and perfectionistic people are affected. “Because I have done this or that wrong, I have to be punished – otherwise my soul will not rest.” Not a gracious God but our superego demands this self-punishment. Franz Kafka, for example, painstakingly described these tortures in “Der Prozess” (“The Trial”).
At present, there is a tendency to deny guilt or to exclude questions of guilt.
It is understandable when a blogger writes, “Most patients are convinced that their illness is their own fault. Here it is necessary … to overcome these false guilt convictions and to learn instead to take responsibility for one’s own life. And this is a very big difference because it leads the patient into acting and shaping his present and future, instead of remaining ruminating over guilt.” 2007.

Sure you should try to avoid blame. On the other hand, however, I do not see the solution to avoiding guilt by assuming responsibility. Why should I taboo my guilt, my flaws, my shady sides or stress myself with compensating them by responsibilities? Why not just apologize if it is true? In addition, one could be absolved by Jesus. You do not have to but it is easier. But one has largely said goodbye to Jesus. The church is not innocent of that. Consider the abuse of penance in earlier times when it was a must. Scharfenberg to that: “A Christian theology and ecclesiastical practice … which must first awaken and nurture feelings of guilt and then redeem them with the word of forgiveness perverts to a pure end in itself of an ideology hostile to life.”282 Scharfenberg quoted at H. Wahl ibid. p. 288.

Similar H. Wahl: “The dialectic of the eternal conflict, man’s division with himself and God and the rediscovered unity and reconciliation with God and the world in Christ, between the ‘penultimate’ and the ‘last’ also assign the phenomenon of the ethical and thus the Ethics its place and value in the whole of reality: as knowledge of good and evil, all ethics belong to the structure of the penultimate … This freedom, in which, instead of masochistic self-tormenting according to the mechanism of ‘guilt and atonement’, human self-acceptance (Tillich), happiness, imagination and capacity for suffering (Sölle), free self-obedience and a free dealing with the instincts (Mitscherlich) are, belongs to the identity of faith and implies the abolition of the ‘guilt principle’ but not the denial of real guilt experience that requires a differentiated more structured, ‘strong’ I; this liberation is rather aimed at the enabling and willingness of responsible acceptance of guilt (Bonhoeffer, Ricoeur) [‘and of handing over guilt‘ should be added in my opinion] – instead of an ‘illusionary getting over guilt’ before a foreign law – or superego God.”283H. Wahl ibid. p  288f.

Many people see only moral teaching in the gospel. But one wishes, as the above-cited blogger or as H. Thielicke puts it, ” ‘beyond good and evil’, to be treated in medical ‘objectiveness’. One would like to be liberated from guilt and paranoia; one would like to have something like the Christian who knows about ‘forgiveness’ and ‘peace’ … One would like … being talked out of the feeling of guilt.”H. Thielicke, In: Läpple, Volker & Joachim Scharfenberg (Hrsg.): „Psychotherapie und Seelsorge“; Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt, 1977, p. 126f  “Various analyzes illuminate the unconscious background of guilt. This itself is presented to the patient as the product (let us say, causally deducible product) of various childhood traumas or similar causes, thus removing the sphere of freedom, in which all genuine guilt and all genuine knowledge about it, is grounded. It is the result of a process to which the patient behaves purely as an object … But in seeing my deeds, my conscience, my feeling, even my entire subjective existence to be the products of contexts suprapersonal and detached from my responsibility, my freedom is denied and the real guilt 284One would have to say: “… maybe a real guilt will be denied” because of course, other people can be guilty of my depression. my depression backgrounds could be based on is disputed.285H. Thielicke ibid. p. 128.

 In short, you handle the patient as an innocent object and not as a normal person who sometimes becomes guilty. And that will also weaken the therapy.
As said, guilt is not the last thing. I think again about Luther’s sentence: “Sin bravely and all the more believe bravely in God’s forgiveness.” Or, “You do not have to justify yourself – you are already justified!”  I used to be just sad about my sins in the past. Now I am still saddened about them, too but also happy because God takes them away from me – and this joy is greater than my sadness. (See also `Absolute and relative will´and `The absolute attitude´)

23. Protection and Defense

“Try to trust: your Self is indestructible! What is destructible are our strange Selves. But our strange Selves are not only bad, they also protect us but only like heavy tanks. They are good in an emergency but generally too heavy and too expensive. Try not to fight your enemies but to let them be, perhaps even to ‘love’ them (not what they do!), then it will be easier for you to admit or even love your own inner enemies. This is not a must! You can also hate your enemies, in an emergency that is even favorable but generally, it is too exhausting and makes depended. We often defend our strange Selves because we consider them to be our own Self and fight against our own Self because we consider it strange. But we also do not have to defend our Self. It defends itself. Stronger: God¹ defends it. It is enough if you defend your I. If you have no strength for it, do not be afraid, God¹ still protects the most important thing, your Self. God¹ will also avenge you. Your perpetrators will be treated fairly by him, that is if they repent, he will forgive them if not, then they judged themselves or: “Vengeance is mine”, says God but he is still more the grace. You do not have to saddle yourself with this exhausting judgeship – He will do that.” See also `Aspect 23: Protection, Defense´.

Fictitious letter to a schizophrenic person

“Believe me, nothing can tear up your person’s very base, your very Self because it is indestructible as it rests in God¹ (even if you do not believe in God¹). What can break is a strange Self, the strange center, the strange Absolute in your soul – that which you may think of as your Self but that is not. To attribute no absolute importance to this strange absolute can be like a hard drug withdrawal because we have become addicted to the strange Absolutes. You will need a lot of staying power. But you have time. When the strange Self dies, it will feel terrible because you think it is your own Self. But believe me, there is the actual, indestructible Self, which you cannot see or have not experienced yet. It is under the strange Self. I.e. under your illness rests the actual health – by no means lasting well-being.
How do you recognize the strange Self? Above all, it demands something from you before you can be yourself.
How do you know the actual Self (God¹)? That there is something in you that loves you for your own sake – without preconditions, without demands (only with orientations.)
Try to believe that you are loved for your own sake, howsoever you are!
Believe me, the Spirit of God¹, which is also called the Holy Spirit, will always love and accompany you. God¹ will take all the blame from you, you will be like new-born and you will always live.”

Successes of ‘Primary Psychotherapy’

Regarding the successes of psychotherapies that consider religiosity or spirituality, there is little German-language literature. In addition, the differences between the different religions and spiritualities are sometimes immense, so it will be difficult to make general statements about their successes. In Anglo-American literature, there are many reports of healings based on similar experiences. (See, for example `Healing of schizophrenia´.)
I have had the experience that, with the inclusion of what I called the positive Absolute (the love / God¹), which is at the center of this ‘primary psychotherapy’, the serious mental disorders, the psychoses, as described above, have good chances of healing. On the other hand, the successes of such “love-based” therapy cannot be objectified any more than one could prove that the love of parents for their children or love at all is meaningful and useful. As far as I know,  the anonymous self-help groups, whose concepts are very similar to mine, have had very good successes. And if even S. Freud praised the advantages of `religious beliefs’ towards psychoanalysis, this should encourage every concerned to benefit from such beliefs.286Sigmund Freud – Oskar Pfister: Briefwechsel 1909-1939, Frankfurt: Fischer, 1963, p. 12f.  [For details, see `Content and goals´ of ‘Christian psychotherapy’.]
I hope to have shown that a theory and practice that conveys the most love is also the most effective. When I find this greatest love in God / Jesus, this is my (but also other) personal experience, which, however, is less based on religious formulas than on corresponding contents as they are more or less found in all good psychotherapies as well. 

Some Mini-Stories

    • Redemption
    • The umbilical cord
    • The child in us
    • Neurotics
    • Story of the slide part
    • To me is not to be helped – I am doing everything wrong.
    • Sadomasochism
    • How do I get from the seesaw?
    • Story of the crash
    • The two high jumpers
    • The “Roll Story”
    • The story of the great trap
    • The plus 30 or minus 70 percent
    • The story of the wrong suitcase
    • The story of missing thanks
    • Rail or gravel
    • The story of the conflicting interpretation
    • The story of original sin
    • The story of the prostitutes
    • A story between myself and my wife


A few years ago, I went with my wife to the Community of Taizé in France because I was in a personal crisis. At that time the Prior Frère Roger still lived. During the summer months, thousands of young people from many countries gather in Taizé to celebrate, to sing and to pray together. But I was depressed, anxious, and full of self-doubt.
In my need, I asked one of the Order Brothers to bless me, although to me this was unusual.
The brother asked me only for my name, for nothing else – and I said to  him my name.
Then something wonderful happened: He pressed a cross like a seal on my forehead and said, “God will always love you!
This struck me like a lightning bolt. I had to cry – it was liberating tears – I felt redeemed.
The blessing liberated and raised me –  but it did not allow me to heighten myself. I’m sure if the President of the United States or a tramp wanted to have the blessing after me. No matter they got the same blessing.

The Umbilical Cord

People who are interdependent are connected with each other like with umbilical cords.
This often affects several people at the same time. So also different generations. Even if parents or grandparents no longer live, we can be dependent on them. One thinks, as long as one has still, what makes dependent, does not happen much. However, we overlook how much we must sacrifice ourselves for this and ultimately come too short, and that our fears and diseases have to do with this situation.
What can you do? First, I recommend two exercises:
1. The participants should do “separation exercises”: they should work on the points at which they are dependent on other people (alone driving, shopping, visiting, traveling, expressing their own opinion, their own wishes clearly and not pretended wishes the other, etc.)
I recommend at least once in the partnership.
– to make a fictional separation conversation. What if we are separated by destiny or divorce? (The conversation should be in the details, otherwise, it makes little sense!)
– occasionally conduct a conversation with reversed roles. I am you and you are me – and what we say then!
2. Likewise, it is useful for dependent partners to do approaching exercises because interdependent ones cannot separate and not approach each other enough too.
In both cases, they must fear the loss of their mental stability. When they are completely separated, they fear the loss of something that seems absolutely important to them (e.g. partner); in the case of a more intense approximation, they must fear that they will be “sucked” of the other.
In other words because they fear their own loss in separation and the loss of the other in intense approximation, the partners remain in a fixed middle or stalemate position. The freedom they still have is determined by the degree of their dependencies.
A possible deeper solution consists in revising the definition of what love is. (Possibly also what God¹ is.)
A big field! The most important misunderstandings here are, in short: lack of self-love, excessive mutual consideration, the opinion of having to prove oneself and the other, dogmatized principles and ideologies, false gods, etc.

The Small Child in Us

The figure shows a child who was blocked in his development at the age of three years. 287As stated above, I believe that in people with psychoses, the “blockages” caused by “sA” probably arose much earlier, perhaps even prenatally.
If this blockage has not been lifted, the blocked child will still be within us, even if we are 25, 35, 40 years or older.

We humans appear as one whole person. In our interior, however, we have many, contradictory spheres. In these spheres, we are differently secure, differently congruent, differently mature etc. We can have a lot of experience and competence in some spheres and be there much ‘further’ than people of the same age.  At other levels, however, it can look absolutely different: There we are afraid, unsafe and helpless like small children – maybe even like a newborn child. While we give the image of an adult to the outside, there is in truth a different, other picture, which, as I said, can range from the newborn to the wise old man.
Thus outer appearance and inner conditions are often in extreme contradiction. Maturity is welcome to us – the helpless-childish or evil parts not. They have mostly arisen in childhood because we have been blocked in certain development stages. The main blockages, as shown in this publication, are fixed ideals, prohibitions, strange absolutizations (sA).
In most cases these are from parents who are blocked or fixed in similar places. Mostly unconsciously, for fear or other reasons the parents or a parent did not dare to develop freely and self-confidently at these points and that´s why they blocked the development of the child. If the child dares new ways, it comes to fear or even rejection of the parents. The normal development in this sphere is blocked and can remain so for decades also unnoticed  blocked. But if the person in question comes into a life phase or situation where he faces a problem at this blocked level, he/she will behave accordingly to the “mental age” in which he/she was blocked – thus like a small, helpless child. Now comes a crucial point: We can accept this situation or we cannot accept it. We usually do the latter. We do not accept our unloved childlike behaviors, repress them or, worst of all, we fight them and want to exterminate them but they are parts of us. We want to kill the little child in us. We have often accused our parents that they loved us too little – and do not even notice the tragedy that we are now perhaps even worse with ourselves. What can you do?
We should do what we can do with our own children but never have learned with us: We should try to accept and to love the fearful, helpless, evil child within us. We should take it by the hand and accompany it slowly and patiently into the world, which is so frightening.
This means that in situations where we “failed”, we should try to be with us. In these cases, the ‘paradoxical’ attempt is quite efficient to play deliberately the role of failure, disgust, pig, or the like. Intentionally and upright (!).
One difficulty of eliminating the blockade is that the blockade is not only a hindrance but also a protection of the helpless child from the threat. Try to take the risk! It will help a religious person to feel accepted in these situations completely as a child of God¹. God does not demand that we react always adult.
Important: Sometimes it makes sense to go back and to regress!

  • Too much noise in the house by quarrel → Everybody shuts the ears, instead of solving the conflicts.
  • The unemployed are to blame for unemployment. For if they did not exist, then there would be no unemployment.
  • The big child can still not go – that´s why the mother has to wear the child, it falls otherwise4. If I put my head in the sand, I do not see the danger.
  • Because I’m too fat, I cannot move, that´s why I cannot lose weight6. You are to blame for my bad behavior. Or: I am to blame for your bad behavior.
  • I take painkillers because my feet are burning instead of buying better shoes
  • I have left my husband only for your sake!
  • How can I put the weapon away, but then the enemy shoots me. However, he argues as well as me.
  • If the purpose sanctifies the means.
  • She: “I love you!” He: “I thank you.”
  • Things are more important than people.
Nobody can Help me – I’m Doing Everything Wrong

Patient: “I’m so desperate because I’m doing everything wrong.”
Therapist first: “It’s not so bad. Accept your mistakes.”
P. “I cannot accept it, even that’s wrong, you cannot help me.”
Therapist probably more effective with paradoxical intervention: “You can do everything wrong.” Or like Luther: “Sin boldly but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly.”


Neurotic play of sadomasochism: He submits to the domina and thus becomes dependent on her. At the same time, she is dependent on his payment. Each is thus the dependent ruler and the dependent object of the other at the same time.
→ Neurotic happiness and satisfaction, neurotic balance and neurotic stability. Also: shorter luck and longer bad luck.

Story of the Slipping

The strange Self (sS) gives a person a certain base which is differently wide: from the narrow burr up to the bigger width which never reaches, however, the width and stability of the real Self. As long as this person is on the sS base and does not leave this, he stands sure. Yes, he can say himself with pride that he has created it, this higher position compared with other people. If the person leaves, however, this sS base – and this is exact in the point where he does not fulfill the demands of the strange Selves any more – then he will slip off into the negative sphere. It begins a slipping or a dropping to which the affected person is delivered more or less and which stands, besides, in no relation to the defectiveness of his behavior. It becomes a self-running. Most mental disorders are found in such autodynamical and mostly self-destructive processes.                           
If somebody stands with both legs on real Itself, it can go, figuratively spoken, also down, then, however, it is a descent with which the person concerned loses not the footing but keeps always firm ground under the feet.
People who climb the “strange Self-summit” live under durable compulsion: „You must come up higher, you must reach this, you must become better“ – everywhere `must’. If the summit is reached under self-abandonment, height drunkenness, however, becomes soon fear – but the descent is forbidden. It seems like the loss of self-esteem. The summit must be hold – in spite of fear, in spite of an immense effort and in spite of increasing cold and loneliness. Besides, it would be much easier for us to trust our real self-(God¹) but then the kick is absent.

How Do I Come from the Seesaw?

Two or more people sit on a seesaw. They want to stop with seesaws.
Problem: The one below could go down easiest but then he endangers the seated one on top because this would then fall down.
Solution: The one, which sits top must – with a certain risk – first down. A seemingly paradoxical solution because the initially more risky solution is the better one.
That is, Not every easy solution is the best. Similar: The story of the family, which holds an expensive balance in the boat. If one of them moved, the boat can capsize, although thereby a solution is blocked. See also ‘Relationship disorders.

Two High-Level Jumpers

There were two high jumpers: Peter and Paul. Peter trained very hard. He sacrificed almost all the leisure time for the sport. Paul was a bit lazy. He trained moderately, often went dancing, had a girl. On the day of the competition everyone was looking for a place from which he jumped. Paul jumped from the solid ground. Peter, however, from a soft place. It won the `lazy’ Paul because he chose the right ground. 

The bread roll story

Or: too much consideration and love.
At the end of her life, a couple is astonished that both of them, despite the utmost consideration, had been given the part of the bread roll , which they did not want. How did it come?
The man always wanted the upper part of the bun. But because he loved his wife very much and thought that she wanted the upper part as well, he preferred the lower one.
However, she wanted, actually, always the lower one but because also she wanted to give him the better one, she said, she wants the upper one. Everybody thus gave to the other from a wrong consideration what he wanted, actually, himself – with the result that both got this what they did not want or did not get both what they wanted, actually. But it would have been easier a lot.

The Story of the Big Trap

In the normal psychical development, we go through the phases of the adaptation, the anti-position and finally of detachment. We all are blocked in this development more or less and shy. On the way to solve these blockings, there are many obstacles, seduction and traps.
One of the biggest traps is the following: At last, we believe, we have parted from our parents. At last, we are no longer following their love and recognition. At last, we have looked through them and are shocked at how weak, timid, flawed, and even evil they are. We now know which mistakes we cannot make with our children now.
But one day we see like in a mirror and see with horror how similar we have remained to our parents. We are, as in the case of the mirror image, exactly different, mirrored but therefore still dependent.
But the actual great trap is not this realization but if we condemn ourselves. I wish my readers that they do not. If they do not, it also means that they stop condemning their parents.

Plus 30 or Minus 70 Percent

At the points where we are fixed, where we have absolutized something,  the story of the plus 30 and minus 70 percent will come across.
You can fix yourself on everything. For example, on sex or success – which is the case with many men.
The inner, often unconscious motto is: I must necessarily have sex or success. Only then I am happy. It is not the mistake when men want sex and success, the mistake is when they depend on it. What is happening?
If he concerned is fixed to 1oo% achievement but reaches only 30, he loses the 3o% satisfaction too but experiences unfortunately 7o% minus.
But, If nothing else is possible, it can also make sense to fix oneself and see the situation worse than it is!

The Story of the False Suitcase

A patient had a dream: He went with a heavy suitcase through a strange town and searched lodging. Suddenly he tripped, the suitcase fell down and its contents poured forth on the street. In amazement, he found out that the things which had liked there on the street not his but they of his parents were. He let everything lie, and went free in his ways.  He had understood that the suitcase at all had not been his “thing”.

The Story of Missing Thanks

Our grandchildren have certain wishes. Although my woman it sometimes cuts herself from the ribs, she fulfills almost all wishes. Result: The grandchildren look at it as natural and, therefore, thank her seldom. Maybe they think even: The granny needs this because is just her thing – yes then she would even have to thank us for giving us something. I try to keep up sometimes the motto: „Dear a healthy and bad grandpa, than good and dead.“ Result: I am thanked for the most.

Rail or Gravel

If we are programmed on the positive strange Absolutes and must fulfill whose demands, then we get speed like on a rail. If we do not fulfill the demands because we can no longer fulfill them or no longer want, we come from the rail on the gravel.
Rail or grit, everything or nothing, black or knows, properly or wrong and nothing in between, that are then the formulae. Then it will be difficult to find or create normal ways or meadows in this area.
But, If nothing else works, it can also make sense to stay on the gravel or to go on the rail, even if it doesn’t make sense most of the time!

The Pit

People start to live from very different positions. The first far in the plus, the second far in the minus. The second one often falls into a pit, although he has done more than the first.
If he compares with the first one after a few years, he is still behind him. He takes it badly and falls into the “pit” (depression …).
His mistake: he does not consider that he had a much worse start and could be proud of himself.
Findings: Compare is crap.

The Story of the Conflicting Interpretation

My wife has got a new book and instead of going to bed with me, she reads the whole night. Is this the sign of a lack of love or great love?
Lacking love perhaps because she prefers the book to me.
But it is big love, perhaps because she considers me so generous that she can do it all.

The Story of the Lost Paradise

We have lost paradise through our sins. We try to put ourselves in the place of God¹ and eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That is, we have tied ourselves to the leg, which is too hard for us. Instead to relativize the question of good and evil, we have submitted to it and are now condemned to do the good and to let the evil. We should not have done this stress. 
(See also `theodicy´)
We should live in the center of our lives paradise again – (in the core) beyond good and evil. (It is easiest with Jesus, I believe).

The Story of the Prostitutes

One prostitute to another: The men are all pigs. They want only one thing: sex.
One suitor to another: the prostitutes are all pigs. They want only the one thing: money.

A Neurotic Story between Myself and my Wife

Because my last two patients fell out, I came at home one hour too soon. Instead of joy, I see slight horror on the face of my wife because, as I learned later, she had not yet ready the meal. But I did not expect that at all – on the contrary, it does not matter to me.
I am now offended because she has not rejoiced at my coming, and even more because she seems to me to be under the impression that I, like a despot, demand immediate punctual food.
She feels hurt because I’ve told her that she was not happy about my coming and even more about it because it seems that I do not care when the food comes to the table and I do not value their efforts.
A neurotic solution that went through with the head would be that I would never come home too soon, so that this conflict does not even arise. And I often take such neurotic solutions because they create greater relief in the short term.

© by T. Oettinger, 2003-2023, German edition/2017


Abbreviations of all Parts

+ = positive
 − = negative
¹ = first-rate or primary
² = second-rate (or secondary) not to be confused with coordinate
→ = ‘see or `result is´.
* = Sign for absolutizing and / or dominance. (Often used to point to an absolutizing.)
| = a sign that the German original version has been shortened at this point.
# = contradiction
A = the Absolute (+A = positive Absolute, −A = negative Absolute)
All (∀) = here strange everything, which stands in opposition to the nothing(ness).
asp. = aspect
BLQC = being, life, qualities, connections
C = general abbreviation for complexes that dominate personal and other areas of reality.
D = Dynamism D¹ = first-rate D., D² = second-rate D.
DM = Dimensions
DM = Defense-mechanisms
e.g. = exempli gratia (for example)
etc. = et cetera
God¹ = I partly write God¹ to indicate my own conceptions of God, which do not necessarily agree with definitions of official theology. → `Christian one-sidednesses… .
I = I in general ( I¹ = first-rate I, I² = strange I = Ego)
i.e. = id est (that is)
It = dominating entity/instance, consisting of 2 or 3 cores:
    2 parts: all and nothing (∀/ 0) = `dyad’ or
    3 parts: pro-sA or + sA, contra-sA or -sA and 0 = `triad’
It/sA resp. It/sS: if I want to emphasize the absolute role of an It-part.
KW = keyword = headword
ns = new-strange/ new-second-rate (new secondary)
No. = Number
P = Person; P¹ = first-rate personality; P² = second-rate personality (often only P labeled)
pr = psychically relevant
r = relative
R = the Relative (represents everything that is not A or 0.)
R* = Relativistic
resp. = respectively
s = strange = second-rate (²)[1]
sA = strange resp. second-rate Absolute
             pro-sA and contra-sA = opposing sA.
             asA = absolutistic strange Absolute
             rsA= relativistic strange Absolute
s0 (or 0) = strange, determining nothing(ness) = nihilistic
sS = strange Self
syn. = synonym
W = World, reality
WPI = world, person, I.


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[Further references are also given in corresponding footnotes].

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