I’m thinking it is taking a long time to get from question to answer. We started off wanting to know the difference between feeling and emotion, and several sessions later we are as far as ever.
Not so. Redefinition precedes new clarity. A superficial definition would [leave you with] “Take it or leave it.” We’d rather offer an alternative way to see things that lets people work things out themselves. You’ll see.
Dirk’s 11th question: “Some psychologists (Jung in particular) used ego, id, superego, and other terms. Are these related? Are they distinct ideas, or do they represent ‘concrete’ things? Do they map to the other terms?”
Jung moved away from such terminology as his admitted and unadmitted experience grew with time. Freud tended to remain with not only the words but the initial concepts. Let’s look at the underlying idea these words represent. Rather than assume their viewpoint for long enough to replicate their terminology, let us sketch their starting-point as contrasted with ours. It should clarify quite a lot in relatively few words.
To the first modern psychologists, humans now appeared to be 3D creatures composed of
(1) a 3D consciousness (ego),
(2) a 3D subconscious self, irrational, unpredictable, disruptive, often dangerous, the uncivilized part of the 3D mind (id) and, though well-argued among them
(3) another layer that was perhaps the equivalent of the id from the opposite end. That is, the superego was as different from the 3D consciousness as the id was, but where the id was all irrational and subhuman force, the superego, perhaps equally irrational, was arguably superhuman, as much better than the conscious self as the id was worse.
This summary is unfair to all schools, but it is good enough for our purposes, because look how different the human psyche looks when you begin by knowing that it is not 3D-only, and that the 3D is not even primary let alone singular, and that the 3D consciousness is arguably the lowest of the three states. As you will see, this moves us closer to Jung’s distinction between ego and self.
From our point of view, here is the human 3D psyche.
What Freud generalized as the “id” and generalized as the “ego” is really abstraction added to an erroneous understanding. Had he come from a different cultural tradition, his same medical experiences with his patients would have led him to different conclusions, as, indeed, is what happened with Jung.
We would say this. “Id,” “ego,” “superego” are terms, not realities. They are conceptual labels that bundle certain aspects of the human experience; they are not things. Therefore, it should be evident that they do not exist physically; they cannot be sited (hence, cannot be sighted!) in specific physical tissues. Yes they are ideas, but they are ideas that are not helpful anymore.
Instead, think in terms of process. Once you see the human 3D experience as integrated with the non-3D in various ways, you see that even relatively obvious distinctions can be only approximate, can be only more or less true.
Your life was created or assembled or chosen (however you choose to think of it) from outside 3D – that is, from the greater reality that encompasses but surpasses 3D. It commenced in one point in time and space and from that birth point, functioned both as separate and as continually connected. The vast impersonal forces that animate life flow through your life and are transformed in effect into vast personal forces, the energy flowing through the wiring you continually maintain and alter as you live. Nothing happens to you that could be accurately described in 3D-only terms, no matter how long you live, no matter how deeply you think or feel, no matter what you admit into or exclude from your conscious awareness.
Within that view of your psychic reality, there is room for distinctions between the 3D consciousness, its subconscious penumbra, and the non-3D matrix in which it exists, but the underlying unity is more clearly seen, and the temptation to overstate divisions is perhaps reduced or countered.
Yes, of course there is an “ego,” if you refer to your 3D awareness, which is limited, necessarily, if only by time and available RAM. Of course there is an “id,” sort of, if you refer to the fact that much of your life is beyond your consciousness, and is hence beyond your conscious control. And of course there is a “superego” in the sense that you are integrally connected to a part of yourself that does not weigh or discern by 3D standards, but by its own values. But, you see, context alters everything. We see no particular benefit in using any of those terms in our exploration, because mostly they will drag their unwanted and often unsuspected baggage into the discussion, warping things.
So now we are ready to look at emotions and feelings. Now you have a model based more on flow than on a static idea of structure.
If you see yourself as conduits of life-force rather than as units receiving inputs and producing outputs, it may seem to be only a slight change, but in fact it is profound. This model puts the forces as primary, rather than looking at them as if they were breezes blowing through the room ruffling papers. And that changes everything.
It reconnects us to the universe.
It does that, or you might say, it reconnects the universe to you, from your 3D point of view. Instead of “the afterlife” and such being matters of speculation, they are taken for granted as existing. Their exact nature and effects may be debated, but that they are an integral part of life can no longer be doubted, and therefore there can no longer be a temptation (or even an excuse) to suspect that “3D life is all there is.” So, emotions and feelings, for example, cannot be what the old model conceived them to be. If the structure is incorrect, the ideas about forces within the structure cannot be accurate, even if they themselves, seen in isolation, save the phenomena.
I see that. “Saving the phenomena” refers to the fact that an incorrect theory may nonetheless produce accurate results, in the way that medieval astronomy was able to predict the movements of the planets even though the calculations assumed that Earth, not the sun, was the center of the system.
Any theory, no matter how erroneous in a larger context, is going to save a significant amount of the phenomena it examines, else it would never become an accepted theory. Usually such theories get overturned when enough new intransigent evidence demonstrates its insufficiency. And isn’t that what we have been doing with you for 20 years, bringing in and harmonizing intransigent facts and ideas?
So next time we will enter into the question of the 3D consciousness and the forces it deals with moment by moment. Only, remember, although we may say “3D mind,” there is no 3D mind in isolation from its non-3D underpinning. We can’t be reminding you every time, but it’s so, and if you can remember that, things will go smoother, and your mental readjustments will perhaps be less in the nature of jolts and more like bumps in the road cushioned by shock absorbers.