Ids and ends

I continue to find myself fascinated by rumination on Freud’s concept of splitting a person into two (or even three) entities. He posited the existence of the childish id, and the more adult ego/superego. (This roughly maps to neurological observations that we receive commands from both our older reptilian brain and our more evolved modern brain.)

At first it seems impossible. I’m me and there is only one of me. How can multiple people exist in my mind?

But, when you think about it, we feel contradictory ideas and emotions all the time. For instance, I was jogging today, having recently taken up the activity again, and part of me — the childish id I presume — was begging me to quit. I had to have my prefrontal cortex/egos overrule the id by screaming, “Are you a real man or some kind of dick sucking homo?!*” The child in me wanted to avoid any unpleasant sensations, but the adult in me knows that the unpleasant sensations (jogging) have benefits.

* It’s well-known that homosexuals hate to jog.

And we experience this split all the time. The part of us that wants to eat a Twinkie, and the part that feels guilty about it. The part of us that wants to drive through the line of school children blocking us from making a left turn, and the part that advises against it.

Now, if we presume that we have this id, and that it’s not happy unless it’s getting its way all the time, we face an interesting conundrum. After all, the only way one person can make his/her id happy is by infringing on other people, and their respective ids. It would seem then, that the only way for society to function would be for everyone to repress the demands of their ids to varying degrees. However, the theory then posits that repressing the id generates smoldering inner volcanoes of rage and pain. If that were the case, most people walking around would be seething, misanthropic bundles of hatred, perennially on the verge of attacking their fellow man.

Yep, sounds about right.

2 Responses to “Ids and ends”


  1. John Saleeby

    Hey! I was thinking about taking up jogging! You’re stealing all my ideas! HOW DARE YOU ?!?

  2. Larwence

    That’s your id talking.