Monday, May 24, 2010

The Eternal Struggle for Survival: An analysis of Freudian Concepts toward life

    Within the field of psychology, Sigmund Freud is known as the father of modern psychology. Sigmund Freud spent his life working toward the betterment of society. He worked to understand that value of human life and how it centers on the ID, Ego and Super-ego. These three entities, Freud referred to as the pleasure principle of life. In Freud's analysis, the ID was a brain developed aspect of a person's desire for pleasure. The ID alone has no conscious; it has only the desire to achieve its goals. It is the Super-ego which is designed with our moral and ethical concepts. Freud conceived that the Ego is the balance between pleasure and control, which in today's term discusses the ideas of the human pleasure principle.

    Within the text, civilization and its Discontents, Sigmund Freud shares with us that humanity has worked toward the desires of pleasure throughout its existence, yet falls short due to higher expectations that we are ever able to achieve. That as people, we continue to keep putting forth the effort necessary to find happiness, yet this happiness is fleeting. Once we achieve a desire, we are left empty, and need to once again find a way to fulfill desires. (43-53)

    Sigmund Freud continues to posit the idea's that humans have a balance within society, even if they are not aware of it. (95) The philosopher Schiller shared with the world that "hunger and love make the world go round". Understanding the effects of love and hunger, Freud began to explain the libido. This entity which is part of each person aligns with the ego to bring about humanities desires. The libido is a human entity which resolves to achieve its maximum pleasure, and in doing so, can create negative cruelty for the individual and or others surrounding that individual. (95)

    An idea which manifested with the works of Freud and has continued forward into today's society is that of directing aggression toward others as an "instinct of aggression". This aggression principle allows for the flow of energy outwards, yet even with this aggression, there is a flow of energy which is destructive internally as well. This instinct creates a conflict of destruction within ourselves, and offers an inward and outward eroticism (96-99). The pleasure principle forces an individual to operate within their own spectrum (43). "Those who love fairytales do not like it when people speak of the innate tendencies in mankind toward aggressions, destruction and in addition, cruelty". (99)

    Understanding the concept of this struggle allows for a person to realize that they are continually in an internal struggle for balance. The pleasure principle finds itself seeking the ability of the ego to enhance an individual's desires. An internal conflict occurs when the super-ego seeks to understand the purpose of the behavior and in turn arrives at a null response, causing guilt or pain, or what we as learned people may call internal conflict. (104-105)

    In response to this internal conflict that is created, Freud shares with humanity that human beings have an ability to internalize their internal conflict, and to garrison it within their own minds and to choose over the chaos. Without this safety net, humans may be able to apply evil in any manner that they desire and feel no conscience in doing so. (105 – 106)

    A lasting impression of conflict results in the idea's that guilt is a predominant cursor toward our existence (120). There is an eternal struggle between Eros and the death instinct. We as people are focused as design for survival, yet our behaviors are for dominance toward our desires (120-124). This in a nutshell is the concept in which Freud explained in order to maintain balance between the Id and the Super-ego. Freud maintained that there is a price for the advancement of civilization, and that this price is to forego the pleasure of happiness and to arrive at the heightened sense of guilt (123). Studying the pleasure principle may allow for society to understand the effects that progress creates, and allow for a calmer more friendly environment so that world destruction can subside (144).


Freud, S. (2010). Civilization and its Discontents. Connecticut: Martino Publishing.

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