The Ego, Super-Ego and the Id – A Balancing Act
Anyone seriously interested in self-improvement needs at least a rudimentary understanding of the trilogy composed of the Id, the Ego and the Super-ego. These are not specific part of the brain. They are simply constructs designed to better study and understand how the psyche functions.
The Id could be said to be the animal in us. It contains the instinctive drives and the raw emotions. It recognizes no law and seeks instant gratification. A perfect example of how the Id operates can be seen in the newborn. It demands immediate satisfaction and is totally self-centered.
The Super-ego on the other hand is the conscience. It is the complete opposite of the Id. It strives for perfection and socially acceptable behavior. It controls our sense of right and wrong and guilt. If the Id could be said to be the infant in us, the Super-ego would be the wise and socially correct citizen.
The Ego is who we are as individual. It is where conscious awareness resides. It represents what may be called reason and common sense. It is the mediator between the Id, the Super-ego and the external world. It is the rational part of what we are.
Self-improvement deals mainly with the ego. More precisely on how improve its effectiveness in dealing with the Id, the Super-ego and their the relationship with the outside world.
Without coming right out and mentioning it clearly, what self-improvement techniques aim to do is to show how we can best work with the ego to subjugate the raw passions of the Id so that the energy that those passions produce can be channeled into constructive endeavors. Those same self-improvement techniques also teach how to moderate the Super-ego so that it will contribute positively in the evolution of the person’s character.
An excellent example of self-improvement’s dealing with the Id, the Ego and the Super-ego can be found Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich. In that book, Hill submits the theory of sex transmutation. That theory exposes the fact that the sex impulse, spawned by the Id and repressed by the Super-ego, can be channeled into goal seeking energy.
Understanding the functioning of the Id, the Ego and the Super-ego is relatively simple. It is essentially a balancing act that the Ego has to do between the raw emotions and passions of the Id and the socially influenced moral considerations that we see in the Super-ego.
The ego has to mediate between these two opposite forces and society at large. Not an easy task yet, one that it has to face everyday of our life. That is why our Ego needs all the help that it can get. Help that can best be found by studying the science and art of self-improvement.
Full story at: ID, Ego and Superego
- See also;
- 7 Effective Ways To Deal With Difficult People
- Cannabis and mental health