Sigmund Freud: Father of the Conscious and the Unconscious

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Sigmund Freud:
Father of the Conscious and the Unconscious

Prepared By: Madison Vartanian
Prepared For: Mr. Froese
Course: CHY4U
Due Date: Monday, January 16th, 2012

Envision a time when the mind of a man, woman, or child did not have infinite boundaries to be studied and new segments to be discovered. A time when the subconscious was unknown. This was the time before Sigmund Freud.[1] Sigmund Freud was an Austrian scientist who has become the father of the conscious and unconscious mind. Freud was incipiently neither a psychologist or a psychiatrist, but a neuro-scientist.[2] Regardless of his profession, Freud has revolutionized the study of psychology and the psyche eternally. He explained that delving into a human being's inner life was essential in comprehending the nature of humanity.[3] His discoveries with the id, ego, and superego, the causes of repression, the development of psychoanalysis, and the interpretation of dreams have truly entitled him to a grand title of the Father of the Conscious and the Unconscious.

Sigmund Freud perceived the mind as always conflicting with itself. This conflict was the paramount inducement of anxiety and unhappiness. Freud's examination into these intimate struggles led him to the severance of the mind and the revolutionary discovery of the three dominant parts: the id, ego, and superego. This discovery has undoubtedly earned Sigmund Freud an exceptionally respectable platform. The id is instigated by the pleasure principle which strives for instant fulfillment of inner desires. The ego is compelled to keep the id reserved and express its desires in a proper manner.[4] Lastly, the superego is the sense of right and wrong and holds all moral archetypes, and strives toward perfection.[5] The id, ego, and superego operate in individual layers of consciousness. The communication between the three parts of the mind allows a consistent locomotion of items from one section to another.

The three functions of the mind have advocated for a higher understanding of personality. Freud uses the terms in a descriptive form to explain how the ego feels, “If the ego is obliged to admit its weakness, it breaks out in anxiety – realistic anxiety regarding the external world, moral anxiety regarding the superego and neurotic anxiety regarding the strength of the passions of the id.”[6] Knowing and apprehending these sectors is unbelievably beneficial to one's mental health. Freud has succeeded in doing so for millions of people around the world to earn him the title of father of the conscious and the unconscious. Discovering the three levels of the mind also helped to understand where repressions come from.

Think of the old saying: out of sight, out of mind. This is rubbish. Once something is repressed, it will always be stored in your unattainable attic of the unconscious. Here it will continue to indulge and press for gratification.[7] Sigmund Freud coined the term repression to explain how one “immoral” wish or thought can manifest itself negatively in the mind. He explains how it happens, “[A] wish had been aroused, which was in sharp opposition to the other desires of the individual, and was not capable of being reconciled with the ethical, aesthetic and personal pretensions of the patient's personality.”[8] It is very natural to have erratic desires, but sometimes this secret lust is difficult for the mind to comprehend. Freud continues, “There had been a short conflict, and the end of this inner struggle was the repression of the idea which presented itself to the consciousness as the bearer of this irreconcilable wish. This was then repressed from consciousness and forgotten.”[9] Even though this inner struggle is forgotten, that is only on the surface because it will forever haunt you from your unconscious. Therefore, the habitation of the incongruous wish or desire, will cause severe mental trauma. In regards to society, Freud argued that once the West 3

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