Authority and Power


Preston Harold continues his exploration of Jesus and the unconscious…

Psychologists presented man with the staggering fact of his unconscious mind, and that the power of this unknown reality of himself in being cannot be fully comprehended because it enfolds a world of his being that exists apart from his conscious world of being.  In Jesus’ day, the staggering fact men could not accept was His proclamation of an unknown domain within, which He called the kingdom of God, or heaven, and that this realm was real, its power real, and that it must be understood in terms of the relationship between man’s ego and “I.”

When we call ourselves “I” we usually refer to our conscious egos. Harold makes clear here that there is a difference between our conscious ego and our higher “I.”  Jesus called the conscious ego the world:

Freud assumed that what is repressed in the unconscious has acquired a certain independence of the ego, the force which denies the existence of the unconscious and has subjected it to repressions.  Jesus states that the realm He refers to and its Authority have acquired a certain independence of the conscious ego, for He says, “…I have overcome the world,” and on another occasion, “…I am not of this world” – the world of the conscious domain known to the disciples and the egocentric hierarchy of Judaism that denied Him.

Our true Ego, our “I,” our higher Self is unconscious.  Jesus made of Himself an outer symbolImage of this higher self, this authority and power within us so that we may become conscious of our true selves, who we REALLY are in the eyes of God.  Jesus wants us to turn from the outward-focused view that God is merely transcendent to the inner-focused view that God is everywhere; “The Kingdom of Heaven is spread out upon the earth but men do not see it.”

Freud came to recognize “that the unconscious does not coincide with what is repressed; it is still true that all that is repressed is Unconscious, but not…the whole Unconscious is repressed.  A part of the ego too- and Heaven knows how important a part – may be Unconscious, undoubtably is Unconscious,” and thus he came to postulate a “third Unconscious which is not repressed,” and , as Progoff says, to suspect it “to be the most important unconscious of all, the very foundation of psychic life.”  This very foundation of psychic life, Jesus called the “Son of man”- man’s true Ego, “I,” his true Authority in life, or Self – and acting as its symbol confronted man with the fact of his inner kingdom, with the fact of its power…

The Gospel of St. John presents the concept that Jesus symbolized the psychological potentiality each individual can realize within himself as he comes to accept for himself the name by which Jesus called Himself, Son of man, “I.”


The question for us is can we come to accept for ourselves the same name by which Jesus called himself.  Nobody can answer that question for you but you yourself.

We’ve been looking a good bit into the ego these past couple of posts, but what about the id and superego, those other two aspects of the Freudian psychology of the unconscious?  We’ll begin swimming towards them in the next installment.  Until then, peace…

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