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The Unconscious..The Hidden Self

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Posted 04/01/14 - 1:08 PM:
Subject: The Unconscious..The Hidden Self
Is the Unconscious a Hidden Self? Sigmund Freud, the father of psycho-analysis thought it was, and went as far as to base most of his theories on it. The term is often used synonymously with the term subconscious, although Freud never used it. Freud believed the unconscious was an area of great intrapsychic conflict and empowered by emotive energy. He believed that every object, whether person, place, or thing, has some level of emotive energy attached to it. When the ego, or conscious mind, copes with reality it does so in either an adaptive, or maladaptive way. If done so maladaptively, defending against, rather than coping, the object (person, place, or thing) becomes charged with negative emotive energy and is suppressed and forced into the unconscious. Freud believed this is what causes psychoneurosis, a mental condition or disorder based on psychodynamics, and not bio-chemical in origin. His psychotherapeutic analysis, and techniques sought to free this pent up psychic energy and conflict. He employed free association, hypnosis, dream analysis, and even opiates to let the unconscious reveal its secrets. His theories are still used today, all or in part, and are called neo-Freudian. So does the Unconscious constitute a Hidden Self? Sincerely, Wentworth
Nihil Loc
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Posted 04/02/14 - 4:05 PM:

I've seen a treatment of Jung's metaphor of the Self as a diagram in one of Joseph Campbell's lectures. Campbell's monomyth is essentially a rendition of the same diagram, except with greater reference to the shared (generic) features between myths and legends from around the world.

The Unconscious is the threshold of the unknown, that which is yet to be known by meeting, exploration and integration.

Somewhere else, I think from Rick Rodderick, is related another metaphor attributed to Freud in which he compares the conscious self (the ego or "I") to a small garrison of soldiers in the city of Rome.

Wentworth wrote:
So does the Unconscious constitute a Hidden Self?

I don't know really what is meant by Self. It is all relative to how we make sense of the question.

In the little I've read about how the Self is portrayed by authors of the psychoanalytic tradition, it is a field far larger than transient persona or ego. The Self is the potential in time and space of any human being as it experiences itself, as it crosses the threshold of its former limits to overcome and dissolve in a process of life learning and integration of otherness ("individuation").

I think Jung did as much as he could to bring bring Western and Asiatic myth (philosophy and metaphysics) to bear on Freud's work.

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Avatar JrnymnX
Posted 04/04/14 - 11:17 AM:

I think it is easy to see why Freud would like tying the idea of a hidden self to the unconscious. People tend to be unconscious of various aspects of themselves. Their 'conscious' mind sees themselves one way while the world may see things they are unconscious of, things they have deliberately, if unknowingly, hidden from themselves. Where it falls apart for me is in the unconscious arising from a maladaptive way of coping with reality. Now sure, maybe this is just a little semantic nit-picking, but I think it is a wonderful feature of our minds that we can have this unconscious self that our conscious mind seems blissfully unaware of. Not a maladaption but an adaption that smooths over the hypocrisies and contradictions that could otherwise cause problems.

I've never read Freud directly to get a feel for what he meant with his ideas about 'psychic energy,' it sounds a little mumbo-jumbo-y to me.

The advances made in fields of medicine and biochemistry would I believe give legitimate cause for doubts about his theories on how psychoneuroses arise. Of course when you've got a theory that necessitates many long and expensive sessions on the couch science tends to become opinion as the psycho-analyst copes with reality.
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