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The decider is the ego

  1. Oct 3, 2007 #1
    The decider is the ego

    Humans appear to be the only species of animal that has placed self-consciousness, in the form of what is called the ego, between animal instincts and animal behavior. That is, the ego interrupts the flow of instinct directly into action. The ego, the decider, says HALT, HOLD IT, to the force of instinct. Human action does not immediately follow instinct because the ego absorbs the energy of instinct.

    The ego is also a decider regarding all manner of things that might cause the creature to feel anxious. As the ego learns what causes anxiety it learns what inputs from both inside and outside the creature must be controlled. The ego becomes both the decider and the defender.

    In its role as defender the ego utilizes the mechanisms of denial, repression, and partialization. The latter represents the highest price that the creature pays for this defense against anxiety. The process of partialization limits the experience that the ego allows the creature to enjoy.

    “The ego, the unique “psychological organ” of the higher primates, develops by skewing perceptions and by limiting action.” Early in the infants life the “ego grows by a dispossession of the child’s own inner world. The mechanisms of defense are, after all, par excellence techniques of self-deception.”

    We often lament that “I can’t make him change his mind.” Why is it virtually impossible to change another’s mind? Often it is because the ego will not allow it. The ego recognizes that to change the mind in this matter is to lead to anxiety and thus the ego will not permit it to happen.

    THEY are not necessarily too stupid to change, just as WE are not necessarily too stupid to change. It may very well be that their ego and our ego will not permit the anxiety that will result from the change.

    Perhaps this is one reason for such strong anti-intellectualism and negative bias against psychology in America. The ego controls such things so as to reduce a cause for anxiety in the individual.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 6, 2007 #2
    is there such a difference really between instinct and ego? i think of the instinctive aspect of an organism as an ego in the sense that instinct is still focused on the "I" or self, self used loosely here, instinct is just an implicit "I" as opposed to the ego is "I" posited as reflected image in the external world. thoughts? is that a valid and/or coherent analogy?
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