One of the most fundamental beliefs that a human acquires about themselves is that there’s something “wrong” with them. This can become a self-concept of being a “bad”  or “lazy” or some kind of person.

We see this through the disciplinary measures utilized by our parental figures, in the schoolhouses, and also in religion. The human acts out an urge is judged for it, punished, and then feels guilt and shame.

A false self-concept is so deeply embedded within our unconscious and subconscious mind, that we often only access subsidiary effects of it, such as an external and conscious emotional disturbance with can look like an argument with a partner or an addiction to social media or overeating.

Let’s look at the media because it plays such a fundamental role in creating desires and wants within the human.

If one can simply look at whom they idealize or even demonize, we can see that the people, images, sites or social media accounts that are typically followed indicate a pattern of interests, wants and desires that we deeply hold in the conscious and subconscious mind, and of course, the collective unconscious mind as well.

For example, a woman may see other women her age who are beautiful or attractive and she may desire that attractiveness for herself. A man might be attracted to images and messaging of success, and look up to figures who make millions of dollars and own businesses, as these are things himself that he is keen on achieving. A woman in her mid-thirties may see other pregnant women because she herself struggles with infertility or her “clock”.

Interestingly, the behavior stems from a desire or want, yet validates the predominant unconscious belief.

For example, “I am not as beautiful as the celebrities, I’ve done something wrong. I’m bad.” or “I haven’t achieved enlightenment yet, what’s wrong with me?” and of course we have the “I should..” beliefs that stem from the demands of others and the collective and have become adopted by our own psyches, as ours.

According to Freud’s psychotherapy models illustrated in his iceberg image, the belief “I’m bad” causes emotional distress and mental activity of agitation or the addiction itself. This is visible to the conscious mind. The subconscious then houses the memories of all the times that we were bad, as children and as adults. It holds the memories of being punished, ashamed, getting bad grades, being left by the partner, and so forth. Now, in the unconscious is where things get very interesting. This is the part of the self that houses fear and also instinct. This is where one may house the actual self-concept itself.

Freud then took this iceberg model and deconstructed it into the id, ego, and the superego. The id, ego, and superego have most commonly been conceptualized as three essential parts of the human personality. He used these categories to conceptualize mental functions, all of which exist underneath the conscious realms. According to this model, the id is responsible for our instincts, the ego is responsible for our reality and the superego is responsible for morality.

The id hops on to the social media to satisfy and gratify it’s pleasure instincts. It does not feel rich or beautiful, but simply by looking at images of people who are, it can satisfy this desire. The ego’s goal is to satisfy the demands of the id. It is now on the lookout for ways in which it can acquire wealth and beauty, within a socially acceptable manner. The superego can now make sure that the inner standards of morality are followed. And if one does not follow them, the superego will activate guilt and shame.

The basic existential dilemma is that each element demands something that is incompatible with the other two and inner conflict is inevitable.

The inner conflict is then acted out by the ego in one of multiple forms: repression, denial, projection, displacement, repression and sublimation.

Psychoanalysis as well as dream interpretation works to resolve and also offer a “royal road to the unconscious”.

This is also one of the very many effects of awareness.

In dreamwork, an underlying desire is translated into manifest content. The forbidden wishes become translated into a nonthreatening or sometimes even threatening form.

As we hold a magnifying lens up to that which is visible and perceived with the conscious mind, we gain extraordinary insight into the composition of the psyche. Simply sitting on the couch watching TV may make us “lazy” or acting out an extreme emotional response may make us “crazy” and so forth. We are now enacting the bad person who is not perfect and does not live up to it’s ideal, and this personna becomes an energy embedded within the way we speak, act, perceive and express – significantly limiting the full expression of consciousness.

Consciousness is now not emanating a free and unlimited expression. Rather it is expressing through the filter of the unconscious.

A wonderful archetype that gives us supreme insight into the condition is the biblical Mary Magdalene.

She is the stereotypical “bad self”, representing a self-image that is tainted. A person who is not perfect. She comes to Jesus, she begins to wipe Jesus’ feet and cry. The Pharisee who is present says, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” This is the world’s judgment of Mary. Her behavior is not desirable and she herself is condemned. Nonetheless, Jesus instantly and simply says, “Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you, go in peace.”

This mythological story says so much. Firstly it shows that an open heart is always a pure heart, regardless of the past. In fact, it is Mary’s act of looking for grace that saves her!

As we shift out of our negative self-concepts and look into the light, we see clearly that we are forgiven, or even lifted out of any self-concepts instantly, and free to emanate what we truly are, the pure, pristine light of the God-self.


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