Sigmund Freud was a medical doctor, physiologist, and psychologist who lived from 1856-1939. He was born in Frieberg, Moravia to a Jewish family who moved to Vienna where he accomplished most of his work. Freud is considered the father of psychoanalysis for his invention of the science of the mind, though this is the subject of critical debate and controversy. By elaborating a theory of the mind as a complex energy system and then refining the concepts of the conscious and unconscious mind, Freud was able to develop a therapeutic frame of reference for understanding human psychological development and for treating abnormalities of thought.
Through observation Freud came to the conclusion that the human mind has three parts: the id, ego, and super-ego. He describes id as that part of the unconscious that provides instinctual behavior and is totally self-serving. All babies are born with only id behaviors.
He tells us the ego is partly conscious and partly unconscious and is the controlling part of the mind that guides actions in the real world. The ego attempts to satisfy the needs of the id. It is this part of the mind that makes us each appear as unique personalities to the outer world.
The super-ego is also described as partly conscious and partly unconscious. The super-ego is our conscience or guidance mechanism. It attempts to temper the ego’s desire to satisfy id through responsible interactions in the real world.
Freud understood that most of what humans act upon results from thoughts developed in the unconscious mind. The conscious mind is most often unaware of what is causing the person to think or behave as they do as a result of this. He studied not only other people, but also himself through both hypnosis and direct observation and was able to develop methods of discovery of the origins of certain thoughts within individuals and a method for correcting those thoughts leading to a healthier mental state.
However, though Freud was born Jewish he practiced a much more humanistic view point that failed to see any connection between his observations and the spiritual nature of man. If one were to make these connections from a metaphysical point of view it would be clear that the id which he describes is our karma. The ego he describes has been described continually throughout spiritual history but without the word ego attached to it. Ego is what engages us to interact and survive in the physical world around us. The super-ego Freud has described would be better described as one’s True Self, one’s Spirit, or one’s Soul, for it is when we are being True that the urges of the id to influence our ego are being controlled for our higher good.
Freud recognized that ego is awakened or activated as a process of growth when he observed that babies at birth act only from id and that ego becomes part of their nature sometime later. Again, had he drawn upon his Jewish faith he may have seen that this ego development was described in the story of the Garden of Eden. It is in this story that Adam and Eve eat from the Tree of Knowledge and are cast out of the Garden for their sin. Adam and Eve are metaphors for all people in the world who began life living from id. The process of evolution developed or awakened the nature of their ego, which is represented by the Tree of Knowledge. Their being cast out of the Garden for their sin speaks to the separation ego has created between their human form and their Spirit, or super-ego. Freud has given the modern Western world a gift that is not yet fully realized.
We have made great strides in using Freud’s findings to help improve how many people relate to the world. However, psychoanalysis is going to jump a great divide when the spiritual reality of life is introduced to this process. This change is already occurring and can be seen in the work of Dr. Paul Leon Masters, founder of the International Metaphysical Ministry and its two universities. Dr. Masters has developed a doctoral study program for Theocentric Psychology. This program has been developed through his 50 plus years studying and working in the field of metaphysics, and is based on the concept that life is primarily spiritual and that it is within this realm that our problems in the world can be explained and solved.
The breakthrough in this shift to Theocentric Psychology is that problems are examined at a much deeper subconscious level than the ego, which only manifests the symptoms. Solving errors in thought at the karmic level provides eternal benefits that transcend the current physical life.