Sunday, June 7, 2009

True Self or Super Ego

We always talk about the True Self, the higher institution inside us which is permanently connected to the universe. How can we separate this voice from the super ego, i.e. Freud's concept of the deep-seated biases that we receive from our our parents, society and culture?

Let me give you an example: I had some receding hair line, so I got a hair transplant done a while back. It is a minor operation and actually worked out quite well. In any case, one day before the operation, I banged my foot into a door such that I could hardly walk for almost one week. I happen to be very well-coordinated, so these things just don't happen to me. On top of that, the injury miraculously vanished exactly at the same time when my scalp had healed. I conjectured that my True Self wanted to give me the lesson that "you are not your body" and promptly cancelled my follow-up operation.

Perhaps it was a message from a higher institution, perhaps not. The alternative is that I was just ashamed as our culture still sometimes frowns on plastic surgery. My super ego was quite well articulated by my mother. When she heard about the upcoming operation she said, "My son, these are your genes, you should accept who you are!" You see the alternative view point, I may have run into the door because my subconscience wanted to tell me that I should not go against our cultural norms. How do we know? Any ideas how we can separate the alleged True Self from our subconscious desires and fears?

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