Id, Ego, and SuperEgo
Posted by Justin Benjamin on August 17, 2008
Update: (10/03/09) Ahhh! note: damn you elementary school! upon looking up the wikipedia article on “3 (number)”, I indirectly found out that the three primary colors are red, green, and blue. I was taught it was “red, yellow, and blue”. Yellow didn’t fit with my conception of the Ego, and I couldn’t figure out why (since the three primary colors were definitely aligned with the Id, Ego, and SuperEgo– see my Id, Ego, and SuperEgo post). all this time I was stressing about how to resolve this fundamental mystery, and whenever I thought about the color yell, I intuitively got zilch.
Damn you elementary school– I’m starting to get all teary-eyed now. Green makes sooooooo much more sense, especially in regards to my self-conception. Now I know why green is my favorite color!
FTR: Red –> Id, Green –> Ego, Blue –> SuperEgo
In a few of my more recent posts, and in particular Agony, I was very confused at the time, as I’m sure was reflected in what I wrote. I also had some lapses of judgement, and of these there are two that are particularly important to point out: terminology and conceptual perception. Most of the time (in more recent posts) that “Ego” is used, “SuperEgo” should have been instead. Furthermore, much of what is said about the Id and Ego are misconceptions, due to a lack of understanding of them, or more accurately, how I have come to perceive them, as I have developed my own definitions and philosophical understandings of them, to which the original words that were defined by Sigmund Freud, have lost all save their core meanings, in much the same way that Christianity has diverged into countless denominations and sects thereof, with only the core values undisturbed. Hopefully, I’ll be able to convey much of what the true meaning of my own “Id”, “Ego” and “SuperEgo” is, as well as what its relationship is to the many other aspects of life.
It occurred to me recently that there is a great significance to the fact there are only three basic colors, from which all others are derived: red, green, and blue. Once I realized this, it was immediately clear to me that these correspond to the Id, Ego, and SuperEgo:
Red: Id –> Desire –> Passion
Id’s Focus: Experience
Red: Passion, strength, energy, fire, love, sex, excitement, speed, heat, arrogance, ambition, leadership, masculinity, power, danger, gaudiness, blood, war, anger, revolution, radicalism, socialism, communism, aggression, summer, autumn.
Green: Ego –> Control –> Intimacy
Ego’s Focus: Knowledge
Green: intelligence, nature, spring, fertility, youth, environment, wealth, good luck, vigor, generosity, go, grass, coldness, cunning, jealousy, deceit, illness, greed, life eternal, air, earth, sincerity, renewal, natural abundance, growth, health, August, balance, harmony, stability, calming, creative intelligence, the ordinary.
Blue: SuperEgo –> Identity –> Commitment
SuperEgo’s Focus: Communication
Blue: Seas, men, productive (interior) skies, peace, unity, harmony, tranquility, calmness, coolness, confidence, conservatism, water, ice, loyalty, dependability, cleanliness, technology, winter, depression, coldness, idealism, obscenity, tackiness, air, wisdom, royalty, nobility, strength, steadfastness, light, friendliness.
If you think about it, the symbolism of Red corresponds to Id, the symbolism of Green corresponds to the Ego, and the symbolism of Blue corresponds to the SuperEgo. The level of compatibility is amazing, actually.
One of the core matters that I’ve been concerned with, is how to get ourselves (i.e. “Ego”) in touch with the SuperEgo. See- Id, Ego, and SuperEgo, are our mind’s materialization of the past, present, and future- Id=past, Ego= present, SuperEgo= future. By looking in retrospect, one can appreciate both truths- these three elements are, in my opinion, just three different ways of looking at the same thing. We have the past, present, and future, and from our mind’s perception of these, are born desire, control, and direction, which in turn correspond to the respective three. But God exists outside time (depending on “who” God is(!) and so to him they are all one
As I have more or less already said, I’m currently setting aside the face-value dogmatic interpretations of the Bible prevalent in Christianity, to determine what the true meaning is, if only for me. The Bible is referred to as “The Living Word of God”, and “living” is the key word here. The Bible is the literary personification of God himself, and should be treated as a person when reading it. I think it’s very unfortunate that God’s word, which not only is essentially a person, but also one of infinite proportions, has been simplified into such a dogmatic, close-minded interpretation.
To put into proportion the gravity of this unfortunate development, here’s a good comparison: “All Mexicans feel compelled to have babies” In the United States, the rate of Mexican babies being born versus Caucasian babies being born is 3 to 1, despite the fact Mexicans are a minority. Such a statistic might justify that stereotype then, but it’s still a bit harsh, right? The figure can also lead people on about the relation to the other aspects of Mexicans’ lives.
The dogma that Christianity, and other major religions have become, is infinitely worse than the above example, because God is infinite, and thus infinitely more complex. Not only is this insulting to God, but it has produced many misconceptions.
We should try to understand the Bible as we would a person. When getting to know people, there are two key things to consider:
(1) Everyone who knows that person knows them a little bit differently.
(2) The more that we get to know each person, the more that our own understanding of them changes; over time our perception of them is continually clarified, and more beautiful.
When reading the Bible, we should treat it as we would a person, because it is a person, and God himself at that. God does not change, but our perception of him does.
The Id, Ego, and SuperEgo also correspond to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Genesis 1: 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was[a] on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.
In verse 1, God separates the heavens from the other, but IMO, this does not refer to the physical heavens and earth. Those were created in verses 9-10. Christian conspiracy theorists claim that the first creation occurred in verses 1-3, but that Satan and his angels destroyed it, and God recreated it in 7 days (a rush job!), in verses 9-10. I know these claims are just hot-air, but it’s interesting that J.R.R. Tolkien materialized (more or less) this theory in the first few chapters of his book The Silmarillion.
Here’s the real meaning (IMO): vs1- Time began when God created the first law (as in standard, without which we could not know one thing from another, or ourselves even, it (and we) would all be one big blob without standards.
vs2- It is clarified that everything is just one big blob “without form, and void” notice also that God’s Spirit (the Holy Spirit) is hovering over the “blob”- notice the significance in relation to the Id, which is aimless desire.
vs3- “the Father” (or the Ego) began time (and the first law) with the first, and fundamental law, light and dark. Through establishing this standard, God was able to appreciate his work, and this is acknowledged by God, following the creation of light and dark, and in doing so time itself, said it was good.
Throughout the rest of the creation story, God clarifies the previously formless creation, starting with the basic standards of contrast, and with each new standard things become more and more complex; with the increasing complexity and standards, God is able to appreciate his creation more and more- that is why with each standard he says it is good, because the creation is better than it was the day before. The Son, which is referenced in Genesis, and throughout the Old Testament, but not realized (actuality, i.e. incarnation) until the new testament, is the part of God that focuses on the future, and on ideals, expectations, and most of the aspects covered under the symbolism of Blue (above) Through Jesus we can look forward to a future, are given hope- and that is also the purpose of the SuperEgo.
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all[b] the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
“Let Us” is key here- it refers to the fact that God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit- each of these aspects are reflected on us, because we are an image of all of these aspects of God. In other words, the Id, Ego, and SuperEgo are the reflections of God the Holy Spirit, God the Father, and God the Son within us; because God gifted us with his image, we have a past, present, and future; we have desire, direction, and control. We are “Fearfully and Wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14)