Emotions and thoughts and sensations, they come and go. What is really "here" is you. Everything else is a tourist. Everything else is coming and going. You are the witness of coming and going. Once you know that you are not the thing which is coming and going, peace will prevail inside your mind and heart.
Freud developed the theory that our psychological identity can be divided into ego, super-ego and the "it". The ego is our perceived identity, the "I" that we feel responsible for. The super-ego describes the belief-sets of our parents, friends and society that we have internalized as ours. The "it" then is the unconscious, the instincts, the extension of the iceberg below the surface so to speak.
Freud had the noble mission to help us understand some of these external norms that we subconsciously subscribe to, as well as to enlighten us on some of our demons, drives and fears that are lurking deep in our subconscious. We spiritual travelers have the same mission and could learn a thing or two from Freud's methodology. Yet, when it comes to the notion of the ego, many of us would take the other side. Freud believed that the ego can be made sane, which is something that we spiritual travelers highly doubt. We perceive the ego as an energy field - a foreign agent so to speak just as the super-ego and the "it" - and become simply aware of it without fighting it, nor giving any power to it.
I once found this quote which describes the problem statement that we spiritual travelers see quite well:
Who am I? I am always in survival mode, living in insecurity, guarded constantly, feeling threatened. I feel a sense of lack and incompleteness (believing to be always not enough). I am defensive, living in constant reaction (taking things personally). My objective is to secretly serve myself and others who serve my own end. I am very skillful at projecting my own pain, judgment and fears unto others, to feel safe (avoiding looking at myself). I am unconscious, unaware of the depth of my spiritual nature. I secretly covet the approval and validation of others. I am the cause of pain and suffering, and I also delight in playing my cherished victim story. I am nothing without material acquisition, popularity and power in this world. I constantly seek drama in one form or another to give me a feeling of self-importance and separate sense of personal self-hood. I have been known in religion as the tempter, the thief, the devil, and Satan. I am your inner critic, your best friend (oldest buddy); I believe myself to even be you. You do not even believe that I exist, for I am in everyone’s head. I AM YOUR EGO.
When we say that the ego is nothing but a "foreign" energy field, what then remains after we have stripped ourselves of its influence? The SELF we would say, the GOD connection that can be perceived once the mind becomes still. But then, it takes awareness and spiritual maturity to connect with the SELF. Life is always here to help us find this GOD connection, within as well as outside of ourselves. In Freud's tautology of ego, super-ego and "it", all that remains outside of the SELF in the end is the "IT": the WAY, the HOLY SPIRIT, that is, an ongoing communication channel with the BEYOND that helps the observer in us realize the SELF. It is the "IT" that helps us realize who we are.
A spiritual traveler with tell you that everything that comes our WAY is designed to help put us in touch with our SELF. Yet, this decision doesn't take place in the ego realm. The ego, properly understood is simply the awareness of the "IT": the wisdom of our body; the serenity we perceive; the love we perceive when we interact with our soul siblings; the presence of the SELF when we meditate. In short, everything within and without that is designed to bring us HOME. We call this FORCE the WAY, but within Freud's vocabulary we might as well call it "IT".