Sigumand Freud And Nietzsche Personalities And The

Sigumand Freud And Nietzsche: Personalities And The Mind Essay, Research Paper Sigumand Freud and Nietzsche: Personalities and The Mind There were two great minds in this century. One such mind was that of

Sigumand Freud And Nietzsche: Personalities And The Mind Essay, Research Paper

Sigumand Freud and Nietzsche: Personalities and The Mind

There were two great minds in this century. One such mind was that of

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). In the year 1923 he created a new view of the mind.

That view encompassed the idea we have split personalities and that each one

have their own realm, their own tastes, their own principles upon which they are

guided. He called these different personalities the id, ego, and super ego.

Each of them are alive and well inside each of our unconscious minds, separate

but yet inside the mind inhabiting one equal plane. Then there was Nietzsche

(1844-1900) who formulated his own theories about the sub-conscious. His ideas

were based on the fact that inside each and every one of us is a raging battle

going on. This battle involves the two most basic parts of society, the

artistic Dionysian and the intelligent Apollonian. Sometimes one being becomes

more dominant than the other or they both share the same plane. Even though

individually created, these theories could be intertwined, even used together.

Thus it is the object of this paper to prove that the Freudian theory about the

unconscious id, and ego are analogous to the idea on the Apollonian and

Dionysian duality’s presented by Nietzsche.

“The division of the psychical into what is conscious and what is

unconscious is the fundamental premise of psycho-analysis; and it alone makes it

possible for psycho-analysis to understand the pathological processes in mental

life…” (Freud, The Ego and the Id, 3). To say it another way, psycho-analysis

cannot situate the essence of the psychial in consciousness, but is mandated to

comply consciousness as a quality of the pyschial, which may be present (Freud,

The Ego and the ID, 3). “…that what we call our ego behaves essentially

passively in life, and that, as he expresses it, we are ‘lived’ by unknown and

uncontrollable forces,” (Groddeck, quoted from Gay, 635). Many, if not all of

us have had impressions of the same, even though they may not have overwhelmed

us to the isolation of all others, and we need to feel no hesitation in finding

a place for Groddeck’s discovery in the field of science. To take it into

account by naming the entity which begins in the perception system. And then

begins by being the ‘ego,’ and by following his [Groddeck's] system in

identifying the other half of the mind, into which this extends itself and acts

as if it were unconscious, namely the id. It could then be said that the id

represents the primitive, unconscious basis of the psyche dominated by primary

urges. The psyche of a newly-born child, for instance, is made up of primarily

the id. But then contact with that child and the outside world modifies the id.

This modification then creates the next part of the psyche, the ego, which

begins to differentiate itself from the id and the rest of the psyche (Dilman,


The ego should be seen primarily as Freud puts it is, “…first and

foremost a bodily ego; it is not merely a surface entity, but is itself the

projection of a surface,” (Freud, The Ego and the Id, 20). An analogy that

could help with this definition could be one that states the following. If we

were to identify it with the, “cortical homunculus,” (Freud, TEI, 20) of the

anatomists, “which stands on its head in the cortex, sticks up its heels, faces

backwards and, as we know, has its speech area on the left side,” (Freud, TEI,

20). Ego, the Latin word for “I,” is a person’s conception of himself or

herself. The term has taken on various shades of meaning in psychology and

philosophy. In psychoanalysis, the ego is a set of personality functions for

dealing with reality, which maintains a certain unity throughout an individual’s

life. Freud, with whom the concept is closely associated, redefined it several

times. In 1923, Freud used the term to refer to the conscious, rational agency

in his famous structural model of the mind; powered by the instinctual drives of

the id, the ego imposed moral restraints derived from the superego. After

Freud’s death, several of his associates, including Anna Freud and Erik Erikson,

extended the concept of ego to include such functions as memory, sensory

abilities, and motor skills. It could also be said that there are other

important functions to the ego. It is the reality guide for one, and conscious

perceptions also belong to it. During the height of the phallic phase, about

ages three to six, these libidinous drives focus on the parent of the opposite

sex and lend an erotic cast to the relation between mother and son or between

father and daughter, the so-called Oedipus complex. However, most societies

strongly disapprove of these sexual interests of children. A taboo on incest

rules universally. Parents, therefore, influence children to push such

pleasurable sensations and thoughts out of their conscious minds into the

unconscious by a process called repression. In this way the mind comes to

consist of three parts: (1) an executive part, the ego, mostly conscious and

comprising all the ordinary thoughts and functions needed to direct a person in

his or her daily behavior; (2) the id, mostly unconscious and containing all the

instincts and everything that was repressed into it; and (3) the superego, the

conscious that harbors the values, ideals, and prohibitions that set the

guidelines for the ego and that punishes through the imposition of guilt

feelings. Strong boundaries between the three parts keep the ego fairly free

from disturbing thoughts and wishes in the id, thereby guaranteeing efficient

functioning and socially acceptable behavior. During sleep the boundaries

weaken; disturbing wishes may slip into the ego from the id, and warnings may

come over from the superego (Dilman, 170). It could thus be seen that the id

and the ego, are two separate identities upon which our whole psyche is

dependent upon, one side is the pleasure side (id) and the other is the reality-

based side (ego).

Then, however, Nietzsche came along and stated that he had his own

theories on the unconscious mind. In his first book, The Birth of Tragedy (1872,

Eng. trans, 1968), Nietzsche presented a theory of Greek drama and of the

foundations of art that has had profound effects on both literary theory and

philosophy. In this book he introduced his famous distinction between the

Apollonian, or rational, element in human nature and the Dionysian, or

passionate, element, as exemplified in the Greek gods Apollo and Dionysus. When

the two principles are blended, either in art or in life, humanity achieves a

momentary harmony with the Primordial Mystery. This work, like his later ones,

shows the strong influence of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, as

well as Nietzsche’s affinity for the music of his close friend Richard Wagner.

What Nietzsche presented in this work was a pagan mythology for those who could

accept neither the traditional values of Christianity nor those of Social

Darwinism (Salter, 41-42).

It can be visibly ascertained that by binary opposition, Nietzsche, as

well as Freud, can thus now reveal to us our split personalities. “Much will

have been gained for esthetics once we have succeeded in apprehending directly-

rather than merely ascertaining- that art owes its continuous evolution to the

Apollonian-Dionysiac duality,” proposes Nietzsche, “even as the propagation of

the species depends on the duality of the sexes, their constant conflicts and

periodic acts of reconciliation,” (AD in Jacobus, 550). It is by these two,

“art-sponsoring deities,” (AD, in Jacobus, 550), Apollo and his brethren

Dionysos, the we come to grasp the idea of that splinter between the, “plastic

Apollonian arts and the non-visual art of music inspired by Dionysos,” (AD, in

Jacobus, 550).

“The art impulse which has been described he [Nietzsche] designates as

the Apollinic impulse,” (Salter, 40). We thus recall that Apollo is the god of

dreams, “…and according to Lucretius the Gods first appeared to men in

dreams,” (Salter, 40-41). He [Nietzsche] then regarded the residing family of

deities on Mount Olympus as a removed and exalted conception of the, “commanding,

powerful, and splendid elements in Greek life,” (Salter, 41). The experience of

the Dionysiac is compartiavly different from that of the Apollonian. The

[Dionysiac] experience is element for art. It is a subject that may be

virtuously treated, for, “out of the Dionysiac festival grew that supreme form

of Greek art, the tragic drama; this may briefly characterized as an Apollinic

treatment of the Dionysiac experience- a marriage of the two,” (Salter 43).

By creating the art-loving Dionysian, he [Nietzsche] has also created the equal

but opposite Apollonian.

It would appear to be necessary to then understand Apollo in order to

understand Dionysos, and vice-versa. “At first the eye is struck by the

marvelous shapes of the Olympian gods who stand upon its pediments, and whose

exploits, in shining bas-relief, adorn its friezes,” (AD, in Jacobus, 557). The

mere conclusion that he is one god amongst many should not throw us into a fit

of misguided questions. But instead it should represent that the same motive

that created Apollo created Olympus (AD, in Jacobus, 557). The Dionysian, the

opposite of the Apollonian would then be considered his twin brother, cut from

the same womb, but yet different in personality and equally independent.

Nietzsche and Freud both had similar views on the subject of the

unconscious. Nietzsche’s though were directed primarily to the arts and the

Greek gods Apollo and Dionysos for whom his dichotomy of the personality were

named. The Apollonian, “…music had long been familiar to the Greeks as an

Apollonian art , as a regular beat like that of waves lapping the shore, a

plastic rhythm expressly developed for the portrayal of Apollonian conditions,”

(AD, in Jacobus, 556). That “plastic rhythm” described by Nietzsche is the

cardinal groundwork for the theory of the Apollonian. Apollonian people are

those who are totally based in the scientific world. They have no real

imagination, no abstractness to their thinking. Whereas people who are wholly

Dionysian are the opposite. These folk have no real basis in the real world.

They are completely out of synch with reality because they think only in

hypothetical thoughts. Hence the fact the most, if not all humans have a little

of both in them. Most great scientists for instance are both Apollonian and

Dionysian. They are mainly Apollinistic, due to the fact that they are clearly

intelligent, which according to Nietzsche is the foundation for Apollonian

thought, but they are also Dionysian. This can be said if you take Albert

Einstein for an example. He is probably one of the most intelligent (and thus

Apollonian) thinkers