Facing Our Fragility

Giles Fraser notices where Augustine and Freud converge – their descriptions of our rebellion against dependency on others, what Fraser calls our “striving for omnipotence”:

The reason I see Augustine and Freud as intellectual cousins is that both recognise the foundational nature of dependency and that, as Freud put it, “the original helplessness of human beings is the primal source of all moral motives”. … What I have begun to learn in therapy, though it takes a lot of learning, is how not to find my own helplessness intolerable. To live with the wound of original helplessness, and even, at moments of strength, not to regard it as a wound but as the very means by which I am porous to the world and others.