Friday, November 5, 2010
We all have impulses. If we didn't we would not experience things such as impulse purchases or road rage. What we do with our impulses is what counts the most. Jung divided the personality into three categories. The Ego, he said, was the sense of self, the knowing about who we are in the world and within ourselves. A lot of people bash the ego because they only want to see it as rampant and self-serving. That is actually something else. The Ego is the sense of self that defines us from the rest of those around us, which is actually a very good thing, even though we are all one as well.
The Super Ego is like our conscience. It is the part of ourselves that says, "You know, you might be angry with that driver but it is really not a good idea at all to pull your gun out and blow his head off as you drive past him." We need the Super Ego to keep us in check because if we didn't have it there would be nothing but chaos all around us all the time.
The Id is that part of us that is most impulsive. I equate the Id as the "Inner Desires", which is also a part of our ID. The Id is the one that will say to us, "You know, it's only chocolate cake. What would it really hurt if you had a fourth piece?" Sometimes our inner desires are not healthy for us. We have to be able to control some of them in order to not sabotage ourselves along the way. To keep our heads in the sand and think that our bodies will simply process that fourth piece of chocolate cake with ease is simply a heart attack waiting to happen.
So when we look at our inner desires, we do have to look at what is best kept as a fantasy and what can actually be incorporated into our lives as an expression of desire. I might fantasise about rolling naked in millions of dollars of Canadian 20 dollar bills, but to I really want to experience the paper cuts on places that should never be sliced? Indulgence is something that needs moderation. When we don't moderate our indulgences we tend to overdo it and end up with deep regrets. Every year at Christmas time we indulge in Christmas dinner. Sometimes, after say the third helping, we complain about being too full and thus being in pain. Well, we could always stop after the first or second helping. Yes, Christmas is a time of indulgence, but we don't have to over do it even for a special time of year.
I invite everyone to look at what you view as indulgence vs necessity. See what you come up with and see how many antics the Id will take you through to convince you that an indulgence is a necessity. At the same time, I invite you to allow some of your deeper inner desires to come forth and allow yourself to play with them. It won't kill you or anyone else for you to allow yourself to address one or two inner desires. After all, even the Id needs some attention now and then!