Let’s briefly review the components of our unconscious that we have explored so far and what their outer symbols are. First we have the id, which is symbolized by the “earth, formless and void” from Genesis 1. Second, we have the ego, which in it’s highest aspect is represented by Jesus as Authority-Ego. Now we move on and begin exploring the superego. Harold begins with Freud’s concept…
The concept of Authority-Ego in man, as posed by this study, is not to be confused with superego. In regard to superego, Jesus’ words and drama invite another basic alteration in psychological concepts.
Superego, man’s “higher nature,” or the “ego-ideal,” posed a knotty problem for Freud. He saw “that there is a special segment of the ego that contains the ‘higher’ values, the aspirations, and also the ‘conscience’ of the personality…and he described it as speaking to the ego with the voice of both inspiration and stern commandment.” He saw the “closest kinship…between the id and the superego, the highest and lowest having the most in common by virtue of their relative lack of consciousness… This ‘higher nature,’ however, is nothing more than the conventional moralities that traditional religions enforce.”
But as the beginning of the quote above states, Jesus took a different tact when it comes to the superego’s role. The big difference revolves around the role of conscience…
Jesus’ teaching and drama draw a sharp distinction between conscience, or the conventional moralities that traditional religions enforce, and superego. He indicates that the ego-group does not form the superego from the unconscious, nor is the superego the ego-group as developed along the lines of self-criticism and moral conscience – nor is it the Authority-Ego, “I.” In Jesus’ drama, the superego is represented by the elect, the disciples.
Harold presents us with the idea of superego=disciples; the elect. And he draws a specific distinction between superego and conscience. What then is the role of conscience?
Upon the disciples Jesus confers the certainty of being; and He, symbol of Authority-Ego, chooses this elect of consciousness. But the call of conscience, represented by John the Baptist, must precede the formation of the superego-group, and conscience, like John the Baptist, also develops its own following of selves responding to the censuring voice or assuming the ascetic stance. Conscience prepares the way for Christ-consciousness to express itself, but the elect of Authority-Ego’s choosing are not belabored by Him nor stricken by conscience to repentance. They appear to represent an element in man’s consciousness that spontaneously responds to truth and accepts the invitation to do its work in this world. The following of conscience and the following of truth never merge to become one fold. Thus, he whose actions are commanded by conscience is not an acting superego, not a disciple of his Authority-Ego. Such an ego-factor is disciple of the ascetic intellect John the Baptist represented, and “the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” But this is not an unworthy calling, for Jesus says “Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist.” Conscience is of the conscious domain.
So conscience is of the conscious domain, which means it is not of the kingdom of heaven, the unconscious. But it has an important role to play; it “prepares the way of the Lord…” We’ll finish with the role the superego, the elect/disciples, plays in the world:
Jesus’ drama indicates that superego is not drawn from the intellectual or learned level – it appears to be a lifting of simple consciousness to experience truth in action so that this consciousness may serve as a bridge between the conscious and unconscious domains, conveying to the ego-group the certainty of life and love. Thus, Jesus says of the elect, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” But He prays that they not be taken out of the world of consciousness, for here they represent “I-consciousness” in being.
And there it is. Do you consider yourself primarily a follower of conscience or of Authority-Ego? Something to think about! Until next time, peace…