Sigmund Freud and the unconscious

Almost everyday you will hear someone casually refer to an act done unconsciously, or someone letting their “ego” get in the way. When you think of these words, you most likely can immediately conjure up some schema or idea of what it is, and in what context it shapes who you are. What is your unconsciousness? It is the mastermind of your personality that lies just below the surface of awareness. It causes you to do things without you actually knowing you did it. It may hold repressed memories, sexual desires, or a mishmash of other thoughts and character traits beyond your immediate control. It may breach into your consciousness during your sleep, and according to followers of psychoanalysis, it holds keys to your personality and character that can be analyzed through dream interpretation. But is that really what the unconscious is? I would argue no. I would argue that the unconscious is merely an idea. It is unprovable, really. Empirically, we can’t show any evidence of an unconscious. Sigmund Freud brilliantly created and described the term and developed bodies of literature that supported it. But all of this only purports a proposed theory. It is a theory, much like Newtonian physics or even nuclear physics. We come up with ideas and theories that support happenings we encounter or observe, but they really are unprovable. I think in a way this is much like different forms of religion. Certain schemas are developed that govern peoples’ behavior on a day to day basis, but when these elaborate mental creations are really evaluated, there is no empirical evidence for their basis. We reach a point where our acceptance of them happens almost without thought; the ideas are just there. They’ve always been there and always will be. But I think we need to dig a little deeper.
I’m not arguing that there is no god or afterlife. This is merely an attempt at delving deeper into understanding the basis of our understanding of why we do the things we do and believe the things we believe. People have different ideas of morality. Where do they come from? If they come from christianity, their foundation is basically traced back to the bible. The Bible teaches a great many things and documents a great many miracles. But empirically, I have yet to see a miracle like that performed during the early first millennium. My point is, a schema has been created that purports a moral code, or a religious entity, that is founded from an idea. Without evidence, it doesn’t exist but within the mind. I’m not saying its wrong. I’m just saying that this is what it is. It’s a type of theory if you will, or schema created to explain something. And because of its acceptance, it begins to shape behavior. Should it shape behavior, or affect our lives so much?

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