Freud's clearheaded description of religion's myths encourages further thinking about its ongoing pitfalls. In "Civilization and Its Discontents," published in 1930, Freud quoted below his own writing from another book, "Future of an Illusion," from three years earlier.
"...I was concerned...with what the common man understands by his religion--with the system of doctrines and promises which on the one hand explains to him the riddles of this world with enviable completeness, and on the other, assures him that a careful Providence will watch over his life and will compensate him in a future existence for any frustrations he suffers here. The common man cannot imagine this Providence otherwise than in the figure of an enormously exalted father. Only such a being can understand the needs of the children of man and be softened by their prayers and placated by the signs of their remorse. The whole thing is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life.
Above image by Anne Sherwood Pundyk: "Dispersions (with Josephine in mind)", 2009, Oil and Acrylic on Panel, 10" x 8"