Let me just say that the research for this piece was done after viewing the movie "Revolver". Check it out if you get the chance...
Freud argued that the mind was composed of three theoretical constructs: the id, the ego and super ego. Fashioned in infancy, the id is the summation of the basest desires, such as food and sex. It is the most animalistic and instinctual of the three, lying in direct opposition to the super-ego. The ego is supposedly the “self”, which is what we have become through interaction with the world around us. It actually is driven to satiate both the id and super ego. “The Ego comprises that organized part of the personality structure which includes defensive, perceptual, intellectual-cognitive, and executive functions. Conscious awareness resides in the ego, although not all of the operations of the ego are conscious.” The ego is said to be a slave to three masters: the id, the super-ego and the world. This is because the “self” must attempt to work and live in harmony with each of these constructs in the most pleasurable way possible. The super-ego is the refined part of the psyche, regulating and defining the higher ideals of the ego. The super-ego allowing feelings of guilt and remorse. Feelings, fantasies, hunger and sex will be prohibited by this construct if they are defined by the ego’s ideals as such.
Thinking of this, I know that we each have three personalities fighting within us, jockeying for position. Herman’s Head, a 90’s sitcom involving a man and his unconscious interactions with the three distinct parts of his mind, is reminiscent of Freud’s psychic apparatus.
My Id would be called “Big Dogg”. Big Dogg is a nickname that was given to me in the dawn of my adolescence. At this time, as with most twelve year-olds, I was exploring girls and sports, things that gave me pleasure. I was experimenting, feeding the monster that was my id without concern for who I hurt. Sex was my vice, as I recall. It was the one thing that I sought to explore above all else, and I didn’t care what harm I caused myself or those I came in contact with. Big Dogg is the animal side, the growling beast that smiles like a baby, yearning for satisfaction, willing to feel pain for pleasure.
Marcelle is the Ego. He is me, or as close to the “real” me as possible. He is the culmination of experiences, the benefactor of situations. He has reaped what he has sown, and accepted the consequences of his actions. He feeds the id and super ego, vacillating between both hemispheres, an unconscious mediator at times. I am still not sure how to understand or differentiate between Marcelle-me or Marcelle-ego. I don’t know if they are the same or totally opposed. That is the problem, because I know that I can be fooled into thinking that the ego is me, because it tells me how to interact according to the whims of the id and super-ego as well as my environment, “the world”.
Ward Prefect is the Super-Ego. He is the teacher, the admonisher and the advocate for change. I find that the ideals that are embraced by the Ego can be enforced by Ward Prefect. I believe that God is at the forefront when the Super-Ego can be accessed, and that I am at my best when I am able to trust in my own ideals. Support for restraint and meditation are found there; the love of God emanates throughout if I am able to keep the clear mind that my super-ego endorses.
What is most puzzling is that when I became aware of these three psychological constructs, I found myself able to combat inclinations that I had previously left unchecked. It is like I am peering through the window of my own house, watching each of these personalities interact. Big Dogg’s on the couch, Ward Prefect is reading and Marcelle is trying to get them both to help clean up the house. It seems surreal now; like I can see myself for the first time. Now I am thinking there is a fourth construct: true self, or the Watcher.
This idea of the Watcher is not without its difficulties. One has to be aware of which one of the constructs he is dealing with at any one time, so as to not lose control of the self. The ego identifies with safety and resists struggle at times. The Watcher can see these hesitations and act upon them for the better of the whole being. Each of these parts, each construct, is still dependent upon the other. I believe what makes it all so marvelous is the idea that we don’t have to be slaves to any of them: we can benefit from regarding each, scrutinizing our moments carefully. We can weigh decisions better, and form more positive relationships.
It has been said, and I will believe this until my death, that 100 percent of our perceived external enemies are falsely created by our egos due to the fears, ideals and mores that culture, the world and our experiences have forced upon us. The true enemy all along is inside us: the ego sometimes becomes us and is able to lead us into a false sense of self. It makes us believe that we are it, and the feelings it expresses are true enough for us to follow and benefit from. If you think about it, why is your enemy your enemy? What makes him bad to you? Is it the ideas of others or your experience with them? Is it because of an idea you had about them, or an action that they took? What is the real cause of your feelings of hate or fear towards them? Christ came to Earth to present the reality of living in peace with one another. He championed love over hate, peace over war, and forgiveness over bitterness. He asked us to love our neighbors and forget about ourselves for once. It is in the self that we create these demons that cause us to fear people, situations and ideas contradictory to our own. That is profound, for as I think on it, all of the enemies I may have thought I had, were just formed through my fears, brought on by my interaction with the world. Why would I say that I hate another man, when he has not personally caused me harm? Should I call a man my enemy because he does not believe as I? Or because he does not like me? He may not like me because of someone else or something that his culture has instituted upon him. That is a prison of its own, and I need not be shackled again. We should live free and as friends through God.
This is another path to freedom.