You and I: the Freudian Model
We developed the science called physics to provide us with certainty in our relationships with physical reality.
We developed the sciences of biology and medicine to provide us with certainty in the fields of organic existence and the health of the human body.
It is a human addiction to acquire certainty, so at the past turn of the century, a science called psychology had begun to emerge. The purpose of psychology was to provide us with an understanding of what it is to be a person, an understanding that leads us to joyful, satisfying lives,
The theories and teachings of Sigmund Freud represent the first force in psychology. While no doubt Fraud world be horrified to be considered under the heading of spiritual leaders, there is much about him that places him in the category.
To understand Freud and his teachings, we should examine the climate and environment in which they emerged.
Freud's theories developed in a climate of stifling BVvictorian prudery and a Europe dominated by the church. They were revolutionary times- Europe was headed was toward the first world war. Freudianism and psychoanalysis tore away at the blanket of Victorian prudery and represented a new model of what it means to be a person: it was a radical philosophical outlook.
Freud taught that while we prided ourselves on the quality of reason, thus separating ourselves from the animals, the quality of reason was purely illusionary.
Freud stated that we only seemed to act in reasonable terms, while in fact, we acted out of old, hidden, irrational, and unconscious motives.
He took the point of view that by nature you and I are motivated by powerful sexual, animalistic, and destructive habits. This basic nature Frrued called the "id." The process of growing up to become a useful part of society required that we develop mechanisms to suppress our incestuous, homicidal, and cannibalistic wishes.
The control allows us the veneer of socially acceptable behavior Freud labeled the superego.
The classic batt;e between good and evil. The "good" of the acquired veneer of socially acceptable behavior and the "evil" of our incestuous, cannibalistic, and environmentally destructive nature. The battle rages, according to Freud, in a part of the mind he labeled the ego. The result of the battle was manifested in the form of our behavior. If our behavior is acceptable, the superego is winning; if unacceptable, then the id is winning.
What we have is a model not too different from the religious model we've just explored. We have the notion that we are incestuous, cannibalistic, and destructive, which sounds pretty much like the equivalent of sin.
Also, we have the concept of the torment of the struggle between the id and the superego, which parallels the notion that living is about suffering. Not a very promising model for building science to elevate the quality of the experience of living.