Curiosities of Freud’s Theory of the Unconscious Mind

Curiosities of Freud’s Theory of the Unconscious Mind

Last update: 25 January, 2022

Freud’s psychoanalytical theory has received strong rejections and produced debates around the validity of its methodology, but nobody can criticize that it represented significant advancements for philosophy, psychology, and scientific medicine in its time.

Whether you consider it pseudoscience or science, Freud’s theories about the destruction of the concept of the id through the study of the unconscious mind had an essential influence on every discipline in the 20th century.

In the wonderland of Mind, I should be as free as another.

-Helen Keller-

Curiosities of the mind according to Freud

Desire and repression

As human beings, we all have desires and repressions that we feel obligated to control in front of others. Sometimes we are not even aware of this because it is controlled by the unconscious mind.

We often behave ways that the culture will accept, rather than ways we actually feel would make us happy. Our desires are frustrated on these occasions because they are seen as immoral, illegal, or unbecoming.

These contradictions emerge in a subliminal way in our dreams, fantasies, or slips of the tongue. Why are we so limited by what others may think of us?

Man Thinking

Ego, id, and superego

In 1923 Freud explained that the mind is divided into three parts. On the one hand, we have the conscious part of the mind, the “ego,” which represents the controlled aspects of ourselves; on the other hand, the “id” is the unconscious mind controlled by the principle of pleasure. Finally, we have the “superego,” which is made up of the moral norms that we have been internalizing since we were children and that culminates into both guilt and morality.

Insanity

Just as the ancient thinkers believed, the human mind needs harmony. We no longer talk about the brain cells balancing the four humors, but rather of the three parts of the mind mentioned above. According to Freud, imbalances cause neurosis or psychosis.

This was an important assertion at the time, as it was the first time insanity was considered as independent of mental or physical injury.

Curiosities about the theory of the unconscious and the application of psychoanalytical method

Force of language

When a patient wants to undergo a study of their unconscious for some kind of problem they’re suffering from, the cure lies in language itself. Indeed, language is the place where inner conflict can be recognized. This is because the person is able to talk about any subject without restrictions.

“The unconscious is structured like a language.”

-Jacques-Marie Émile Lacan-

Free association

Through language, the patient expresses contents that, for them, are still unconscious. In fact, they don’t recognize them due to their “ego”.

Interpretation of dreams

If our internal desires show themselves in the form of dreams, these must be studied. This allows the emergence of traumas and conflicts which can then be resolved. After all, as we know, we are what we dream of and we dream of what we are.

Dreams

Role of the psychoanalyst

The psychoanalyst is equipped to psychoanalyze the dreams of their patient. They allow the conscious study of the unconsciousness of the person.

“Would you mind telling your subconscious to calm down?”
“It’s my subconscious. Remember? I can’t control it.”
-Nolan, Inception-

Culture

This is a means of viewing the subject in the way in which they’re configured in their own culture. In effect, it’s feedback. Because each era has its own peculiarities and its ways of being that must be studied by the psychoanalyst. In this way, they understand what the effects are on the patient.

“The symptoms of psychic pathologies take the forms proper to the societies that the subjects inhabit.”

-Nora Sternberg de Rabinovich-

 The Oedipus Complex

The Oedipus complex is, perhaps, the greatest curiosity of the theory of the unconscious. Freud pointed out in his research that man moves by instincts and one of them is the well-known “killing of the father.” In fact, the figure of the mother becomes the significant and essential one. In fact, one of the wishes of the individual is that she replace the father. 

Culture, as we mentioned earlier, plays a strong part in the realization of the “ego”. In this way, it’s in charge of causing the non-realization of the individual’s desire. This tends to lead to morality and religion. Furthermore, repression and the Oedipus complex can become pathological.

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