As a language major, one aspect I find cool of the influence Freud has had on at least the United States is linguistics. Because of Freud, we now use words like “anal” when referring to personality. At first, I thought “anal” had a more vulgar connotation so I would never say someone is anal; however, I have learned that “anal” is used to describe someone who is detail oriented to the point that it becomes an obsession and possibly annoying to others. This word was developed from Freudian psychoanalysis.
Although not openly discussed at Harding, “libido” is another word that we have due to Freud. “Libido” is synonymous with “sex drive”; therefore, it is no surprise that Freud gave us this word as well. Other words to attribute to Freud include cathartic, denial, Freudian slip, neurotic, and repression. Freud used the analogy of an iceberg to describe the three levels of the mind. The visible top of the iceberg represents consciousness, which involves the thoughts that currently have our attention. The preconscious consists of all which can be fetched from memory. The third and most important region, in the context of Freud, is the unconscious. The unconscious involves the processes that are the actual causes of most actions.
For example, Freud realized that some occasions and longings were often too scary or painful for his patients to acknowledge, and believed those memories or longings were locked away, or repressed, in the unconscious. Freud stressed the significance of the unconscious mind. A basic inference of Freudian theory is that the unconscious mind controls actions more than people presume. Freud later cultivated a model of the mind composed of the id, ego, and superego. Freud believed the id functioned unconsciously according to the pleasure principle.
The ego grows from the id during babyhood. The ego’s purpose is to appease the id in an secure and culturally respectable manner. The ego follows the reality principle as it functions in both the conscious and unconscious mind. The superego evolves during early childhood and it plays an important role of guaranteeing ethical principles are pursued. The superego functions on the morality principle and drives us to act in a culturally respectable way.Freud’s theory of the id, ego, and superego can be compatible with scripture in a way. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 construes that we are of spirit, soul, and body. In a very loose way, the Holy Spirit is to Freud’s superego, the soul to the ego, and the body to the id.
As we discussed in class, Romans 7 also tells us of a struggle between spirit and body (superego and id). However, Freud and the Bible differ in the view, interpretation, and solution for the internal conflict we all face. Freud views humanity as entirely physical; however, the Bible portrays humanity as partially physical and partially spiritual. Both Freud and the Bible conclude that the longings of the flesh are not moral. The Bible argues that a spiritual being should not be controlled by fleshly desires, a slave to sin, or of the world. Freud sides with the id over the superego, but the Bible sides with the spirit over the body.
I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to take control over me and my earthly, physical longings.In the society in which Freud lived and worked, women, were forced to squelch their sexual desires. Freud tried to understand the nature and variety of neurotic illnesses by backtracking through the sexual experiences of his patients. He wanted to know the patient’s longings and desires. He wanted to know about their background of love, hate, shame, guilt and fear– and how they managed these strong emotions.
Freud believed that children have a libido at birth. He believed that there are stages of childhood that have a specific sexual emphasis. Mental abnormality can develop if a stage is not completed successfully leaving the person to become ‘fixated’ in the uncompleted stage. In Freud’s theory on dreams, he studied the possibility of universal symbols. Some of these were sexual in nature.
For example- symbols such as poles, guns, and swords symbolize the penis. Horse riding and dancing would symbolize sexual intercourse. As a female rape victim, I really do not like that there is such a huge emphasis on sex and aggression when it comes to Freud. The thought of me having sexual and aggressive desires disgust me. I believe humanity has alternative motives. I do realize that a lot of what is on the news as problems today relate to sex and aggression, but I do not think those are the bases of which my personality develops. I would like to think and believe that humanity is much more than those. Is it okay to have a sex drive? Yes.
Does that determine the fact I want to be multilingual? No. I just think there is more to people than what is in their pants and what they do with it. Also, as someone who has been with an aggressive man, physical aggression is scary. If everyone is living life based on some aggressive motive, life would be terrifying.
Where were Jesus’s sexual motives? Where were Jesus’s aggressive motives? I believe Jesus said some harsh things about what it means to be a Christian, but I would not describe Him or His teachings as aggressive. I acknowledge the fact that Freud’s psychoanalytic theory is helpful for those with PTSD. I am currently experiencing that personally. I acknowledge the fact that Freud based some of his thoughts and teachings based on what was real for him- Darwinism (survival of the fittest.
) Maybe if I were a Darwinist, I would like him a little more; however, as it is, I find him repulsive. I view Freud like I viewed my parents when I was younger: I understand what is being said; however, I do not like it.Freud influenced our view of linguistics, the unconscious, and psychosexuality. He influenced our view of linguistics by incorporating his concepts, such as the significance of “Freudian slips” or of erogenous zones, into everyday vocabulary.
It is common to hear someone described as “anal” because of Freud. Freud focused on the unconscious and developed the concept of the id, superego, and the ego. To me, the id, superego, and ego sound like the Spirit, soul, and body discussed in 1 Thessalonians and the wrestling between mind and sinful nature in Romans 7. However, the Bible professes a spiritual side to humanity whereas Freud says we are completely physical. I believe that because Freud believes we are entirely physical is where the disgusting psychosexual stages come into play.
I believe Freud was brilliant for his time period, but I do not like what he has to say about psychosexual stages, sex, and aggression.