What Does Freud's "Where there was id there shall be ego" Mean?

I think Freud once said, “Where there is id there shall be ego,” or else “Where there is unconscious there shall be consciousness.” This seems to mean that we are supposed to dredge up repressed memories that are causing illsnesses and neuroticism and worse and address them as the psychological project. However, I see a different meaning. What if “Where there is id there shall be ego” means that whatever is said about the id or the unconscious, it is said by the ego. So everything dredged up is just the opinion of the conscious ego and there is more “down there,” and it can never be known. It can only appear as what it is from the point of view of the ego, which means it (repressed memories etc.) can only appear as what it was not and is not. Thus the ego is really just using the id for more material. Is this interesting theory something I thought up or did Freud also think this?

The Psychoanalytic perspective states that your are born with your Id. Your Ego is created after you begin to see that you cannot have everything your Id wants, or, in other words, you cannot just go around satisfying every desire that enters into your mind. So, in a sense, the Ego takes what it gets from the Id and the Superego (which forms after the Ego), and makes compromises. That was part of Freud’s theory.

don willard , Freud would say that the only direct access to the material held in the unconscious is through dreams, slips of the tongue, and the analytic techinique of free association. He would agree with you that when we speak of what we think is the problem, it is filtered through the conscious mind, and therefore changed. OTOH, the quotation actually means that the ego is created out of the energy of the id, as the id is all exists when we are born. (BTW, the ego is largely conscious and the id unconscious. Conscious and unconscious are the correct terms for the concept you raise, however, not ego and id.)

abel , you seem to know your Freud in the other thread and didn’t do too badly here. Small world–I used to teach a class on Freud at a college in Indiana. If you are at Earlham, tell Nelson I said Hi. :slight_smile:

What Freud’s remark means is that he never made it to Cancun during Spring Break.