Hi all, I hope everyone is keeping well. I have been thinking more about my last post, the mind body problem. There was a lot of holes in it. I think in this post I will stick to the concept of the I.D, Ego and Superego. I thank part of the problem I have is I don’t have a clear idea of consciousness, part of it is because there are so many meanings to the word consciousness. I think for my own understanding I will describe consciousness as the reflective rational part of the mental states. The part of the self that can be described as Ego. The part of the self that is realistic and self-reflective, the part that mediates between the more primitive part that represents instincts, desirers and hidden memories (I.D) and the part of higher values and moral conscience.
It’s interesting to note, Ego is Latin for “I”. This sense of self that comes from self-reflection, thou I don’t think it fully describes the self. The self then (I think) would be the whole package, the body and mind. This would make the ego (for me) synonymous with consciousness, self-reflection the realistic. The most important part of the self. However, this represents a problem, perhaps of egoism. That being that each individual has one ultimate aim, that being one’s own welfare. Because that is what ego hear as consciousness set out to do, change and modify behaviour for the best outcome of the self. I think fits with the biological drive of non-eusocial animals, most mammals I think including ourselves are non-eusocial. This however need not be contrary to living in social groups, cooperating and providing reciprocity to each other. This just seems to make sense to me.
This however doesn’t satisfy the question: what is consciousness? Consciousness is ego doesn’t describe what it is, it just replaces the word. It doesn’t really answer the question: how does consciousness come to exist? Though it might in my view arise from emotional conflict between the I.D and Superego. Nor does it satisfy the question: why does it exist? Why I think remains to big a question to ask.
I think id like to think more about how and what is, theses I think are within the realm of human ability. Perhaps not my ability, though I find it interesting to contemplate. To justify my thinking on how, namely that the I.D and Superego are emotional. So, what is an emotion; it’s a strong feeling, instinct or intuition. It describes something that is involuntary I think, arising from circumstances, mood and or relationships. The same would go for moral values (something distinct from ethics) these things are emotional, we feel them—deep down we are emotionally attached to our morals. Our morals and Ego are what separates us from the animals, they allow for empathy in turn allowing us to live in groups successfully.
The what is consciousness? That is a very difficult thing for me to understand and answer, necessarily it is beyond emotion. It is in a sense to reason with the self, an internal narrative. Its self-reflective and personal, this describes the phenomena (the appearance) but not the noumena (the thing in itself). Yet I think we can say to reason or have consciousness/ego is an impulse to be that way, as if it is a result of the conflict that arises between the I.D and Superego. So, in a provisional sense consciousness or Ego arose out of a feeling of discomfort. But these are just my thoughts, I’ll give this topic more thought.
I’m sad though, because it seems to take away from the sense that the consciousness is as a soul or gift from the divine. Though it I think necessarily it can’t be.
Thanks for reading my ramblings, stay well all.