C.G Jung: The Ego

The ego mentioned, the Latin “I”, the us that is conscious, interacting and reacting to our external and internal reality(s). The ego, here, is mentioned from a C.G. Jung and Freudian point of view, to get an idea of what this complex three letter word is. Enjoy, Peace, and always, Love ❤ Info primarily collected from wiki.

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The Ego

The ego comprises the organized part of the personality structure that includes defensive, perceptual, intellectual-cognitive, and executive functions. Conscious awareness resides in the ego, although not all of the operations of the ego are conscious. Originally, Freud used the word ego to mean a sense of self, but later revised it to mean a set of psychic functions such as judgment, tolerance, reality testing, control, planning, defense, synthesis of information, intellectual functioning, and memory. The ego separates out what is real. It helps us to organize our thoughts and make sense of them and the world around us.

Jung included the ego in a broadly comprehensive theory of complexes, often referring to it as the ego-complex as illustrated when he said “I understand ego as a complex of ideas which constitutes the center of my field of consciousness and appears to possess a high degree of continuity and identity“.

According to Jung, the Ego – the “I” or self-conscious faculty – has four inseparable functions, four different fundamental ways of perceiving and interpreting reality, and two ways of responding to it. The four ego functions postulated by C.G. Jung in Psychological Types are: Sensation, Thinking, Feeling, and Intuition. Jung suggested that people start life developing one of these four ego functions, and at various stages throughout their life may develop others, the undeveloped ones having less effect on their cognition. Typically, the second ego function might become developed during adolescence, and the development of a third accounts for mid-life crises.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depth_psychology

Complex existence is widely agreed upon in the area of depth psychology. It assumes the most important factors influencing one’s personality are deep in the unconscious. They are generally a way of mapping the psyche, and are crucial theoretical items of common reference to be found in therapy. Complexes are believed by Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud to influence the individual’s attitude and behavior.

A “complex”, meaning a personal unconscious, core pattern of emotions, memories, perceptions, and wishes organized around a common theme, such as power or status. According to Jung’s personality theory, complexes are building blocks of the psyche and the source of all human emotions. Complexes are thought to operate “autonomously and interfere with the intentions of the will, disturbing the memory and conscious performance“. Jung stressed that complexes are not negative in themselves, but their effects often are.

(wiki info) An example of a complex would be as follows: if you had a leg amputated when you were a child, this would influence your life in profound ways, even if you were wonderfully successful in overcoming the handicap. You might have many thoughts, emotions, memories, feelings of inferiority, triumphs, bitterness and determinations centering on that one aspect of your life. If these thoughts troubled you, Jung would say you had a complex about the leg.

Some complexes usurp power from the ego and can cause constant psychological disturbances and symptoms of neurosis. With intervention, it may become conscious and greatly reduced in their impact (Daniels, 2010).

Jung proposed four main functions of consciousness:

The functions are modified by two main attitude types: extraversion and introversion. Jung theorized that the dominant function characterizes consciousness, while its opposite is repressed and characterizes unconscious behavior.

The eight psychological types are as follows:

  • Extraverted sensation
  • Introverted sensation
  • Extraverted intuition
  • Introverted intuition
  • Extraverted thinking
  • Introverted thinking
  • Extraverted feeling
  • Introverted feeling

Wiki info

Ego (latin “I”): The ego separates out what is real. It helps us to organize our thoughts and make sense of them and the world around us. Its task is to find a balance between primitive drives and reality while satisfying the id and super-ego. Its main concern is with the individual’s safety and allows some of the id’s desires to be expressed, but only when consequences of these actions are marginal. It has to do its best to suit all three, thus is constantly feeling hemmed by the danger of causing discontent on two other sides. It is said, however, that the ego seems to be more loyal to the id, preferring to gloss over the finer details of reality to minimize conflicts while pretending to have a regard for reality. But the super-ego is constantly watching every one of the ego’s moves and punishes it with feelings of guilt, anxiety, and inferiority.

To overcome this the ego employs defense mechanisms. The defense mechanisms are not done so directly or consciously. They lessen the tension by covering up our impulses that are threatening. Ego defense mechanisms are often used by the ego when id behavior conflicts with reality and either society’s morals, norms, and taboos or the individual’s expectations as a result of the internalization of these morals, norms, and their taboos.

Denial, displacement, intellectualization, fantasy, compensation, projection, rationalization, reaction formation, regression, repression, and sublimation were the defense mechanisms Freud identified. However, his daughter Anna Freud clarified and identified the concepts of undoing, suppression, dissociation, idealization, identification, introjection, inversion, somatisation, splitting, and substitution.

In a diagram of the Structural and Topographical Models of Mind, the ego is depicted to be half in the consciousness, while a quarter is in the preconscious and the other quarter lies in the unconscious.

In modern English, ego has many meanings. It could mean one’s self-esteem; an inflated sense of self-worth; the conscious-thinking self; or in philosophical terms, one’s self. Ego development is known as the development of multiple processes, cognitive function, defenses, and interpersonal skills or to early adolescence when ego processes are emerged.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Id,_ego_and_super-ego – cite_note-Child_Development-19

Wiki info

Personal Unconscious: is Carl Jung‘s term for the Freudian unconscious, as contrasted with the Jungian concept of the collective unconscious. The personal unconscious is located at the fringe of consciousness, between two worlds: “the exterior or spatial world and the interior or psychic objective world” (Ellenberger, 707). The personal unconscious includes anything which is not presently conscious, but can be. The personal unconscious is made up essentially of contents which have at one time been conscious but have disappeared from consciousness through having been forgotten or repressed. The personal unconscious is like most people’s understanding of the unconscious in that it includes both memories that are easily brought to mind and those that have been suppressed for some reason. Jung’s theory of a personal unconscious is quite similar to Freud’s creation of a region containing a person’s repressed, forgotten or ignored experiences. However, Jung considered the personal unconscious to be a “more or less superficial layer of the unconscious.” Within the personal unconscious is what he called “feeling-toned complexes.” He said that “they constitute the personal and private side of psychic life.”

Consciousness is the quality or state of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself. It has been defined as: sentience, awareness, subjectivity, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind.

3 thoughts on “C.G Jung: The Ego

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