Monday, December 17, 2012

Id, ego and super-ego

I think we must have heard about these three common words, 'Id, ego and super-ego' during conversation with friends, in a movie or just using in your daily conversation. We may have been using these words but what actually is its meaning. Let's look at the definition from Wikipedia.

[Id, ego and super-ego are the three parts of the psychic apparatus defined in Sigmund Freud's structural model of the psyche; they are the three theoretical constructs in terms of whose activity and interaction mental life is described. According to this model of the psyche, the id is the set of uncoordinated instinctual trends; the ego is the organized, realistic part; and the super-ego plays the critical and moralizing role. The super-ego can stop you from doing certain things that your id may want you to do.
Even though the model is structural and makes reference to an apparatus, the id, ego and super-ego are functions of the mind rather than parts of the brain and do not correspond one-to-one with actual somatic structures of the kind dealt with by neuroscience.] ~Wikipedia

In case you didn't clearly understood with the definitions of Wikipedia. Let me present you with a clear illustration below to better enlighten you in the topic.
Id means emotion/instinct. You are walking along a road and you see a beautiful girl or a handsome boy and immediately you have a desire to hug/embrace him/her. It is not crime, not sin. Take it as a religion/nature(स्वभाव) of your mind. This is called Id / Instinct. This nature is present in every living creatures including human. When your instinct wants to hug or embrace. Animals will embrace or those who embrace immediately are animals. Now the super-ego suggests; stop what are you doing, it is illegal, immoral, sinful act; have you forgot you are married? Id always suggests you to act according to the desire and super-ego provides you with moral aspects or simply stops you from doing it.

Talking in terms of biology, we have to give expression to those feelings. But super-ego does the act of censorship towards Id because if you act you are finished because its illegal, immoral and non-social. And if you do not provide outlet to your emotion by saying that it is illegal, immoral and sinful act, then that person may lose his/her sanity. So, what nature does to save that person from being insane is to bring the role of Ego in it. Ego is very clever. Ego is wisdom. So, what ego does now is that, it says to Id/Instinct (in our case, desire to hug) it is ok to hug but it is not the proper time and place to hug. She is not your wife or He is not your husband. Your husband/wife is waiting for you at home. That is Ego. Ego helps to divert all these things and feeling with a rational and defensive way that won't bring harm to you. In this way Ego plays an important role in making you sane. If you suppress your feelings according to super-ego you will definite become the victim of mental illness. Ego provides the proper outlet to your feelings. 

Let's consider an another example. You are in a conference hall, and you are in hurry to urinate. That is instinct /Id. Then super-ego suggests 'stop, you are in a conference room.' Then ego suggests you 'don't you see the toilet there, go there are do your work.' So, the Id / Instinct is forcing you to urinate right here, super-ego is telling you 'not here' and ego is telling you 'there is the toilet'. That's why ego saves human. So, Id and super-ego are the identity of animal, you need to have ego to become a human. 

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