About psycho-analysis

Many of the things I have been saying have, it is true, dawned upon psycho-analysts in a distorted, caricatured form. But they are not able to look into what lives and weaves in human nature, so distort it all. From what I have put before you today in a quite external way, you can see the necessity of acquiring a subtle, delicate knowledge of the soul if one wants to handle such things at all; otherwise one can know nothing of the relations between dreams and external reality as realised by man in his life. Hence I once described psycho-analysis as dilettantism, because it knows nothing of man’s outer life. But it also knows nothing of man’s inner life. These two dilettantisms do not merely add, they must be multiplied; for ignorance of the inner life mars the outer, and ignorance of the outer life mars the inner. Multiplying d x d we get d-squared: d x d = d2. Psycho-analysis is dilettantism raised to the second power.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 234 – ANTHROPOSOPHY, AN INTRODUCTION: 7. Dream-life and External Reality – Dornach, 8 February 1924

This translation has been made by V. Compton Burnett from the German text (first published 1927, third edition 1959) entitled Anthroposophie: eine Einführung in die anthroposophische Weltanschauung. Zugleich eine Anleitung zu ihrer Vertretung vor der Welt. Second English edition edited by Owen Barfield.