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PSYC 2520 Lecture Notes - Unconscious Mind, Vienna Circle, Iceberg

Course Code
PSYC 2520
Hernan Humana

of 2
Lecture #17
Personality (Part V)
ŸAnxiety is the systems way of letting the person know that the ego is losing control, informing itself
that id or superego Is overwhelming from ego point of view
ŸAnxiety is a sign that system is out of whack, to be protected against
ŸHuman mind has all kinds of mechanisms to defend itself from experiencing anxiety known as defence
mechanisms =different strategies to protect mind
ŸThere are different defences that people use depending on how they are particularly partial to it
ŸRepression is the process of preventing unacceptable thoughts or feelings or urges from reaching
conscious awareness (hurt someone, break the law, etc)=you push the thought away, outside your
awarenessàthis defence mechanism is used by everyone, usually the thing we try first, a human
ŸBut repression doesn’t always work, some urges are so strong, so then we have auxiliary defences,
where we show individual preferences, wide range (17 or 18 defences)
ŸThe least mature and most primitive defence is denial, you allow it into consciousness, but you don’t
accept that it is true (make believe, pretend), refusal to accept this is the reality of what you thinking,
but the thought is in fact in your head, and your thinking it
ŸMore mature than denial is projection, more sophisticated, you take whatever thought or feeling that is
anxiety provoking, and you displace it on someone else, and then you can hate it on that person, e.g.
there are some people in your life who you are simply hostile towards for some unnatural reason, and
Freud thinks that maybe these attributes that you don’t approve in them are actually attributes you see
in yourself, rather than disdaining yourself, you look at the others and despise them (easier to deal
ŸThe highest form of defence, most matured and most sophisticated is the defence sublimination, where
you channel or redirect unacceptable thoughts/feelings into things that are socially desirable or
ŸFreud thought much of artistic expression was subliminated into their paintings, where they receive
social rewards and positive attention, and he felt this was a good thing, because it allowed civilization
to maintain itself, redirect unacceptable into socially beneficial ways
ŸLast aspect of Freud’s theories is the conscious mind and the unconscious mind, multiple layers of
conscious, preconscious to unconscious (topography of personality)
ŸConscious mind consists of all the thoughts and images that you are literally conscious of (everything
in access and you are aware of in your mind), which is the smallest part of your mind
ŸBeneath the conscious is the preconscious, which includes all of those things, thoughts, feelings, urges,
and memories that were not consciously aware of at the moment, but we have access to, we can
become aware of (e.g. phone number), a larger portion of the mind
ŸThe largest part of the mind is the unconscious, the part that consists of all the memories, thoughts and
feelings that are unacceptable, anxiety provoking and cannot be allowed into consciousness (involving
trauma, violence, physical or sexual aggression, overwhelming difficult to cope with)
ŸThe pyramid of the layers depict an iceberg, the top of the iceberg and the smallest part of it is the
conscious, that is always seen and visible, the preconscious is just below the water, and if you try you
can see what is below the surface, but the majority of the iceberg, is the part you cannot see, like the
ŸFreud’s assistant, Carl Young made impact in psychoanalysis
ŸCarl young was born and raised in Swiss, he encountered Freud at the turn of the century and was
acknowledged in the Vienna circle, where young was the ‘heir apparent’, and Freud knew someone
would have to take his place, and fraud chose young as his successor
ŸThey both had their own ideas, that they both had to split
ŸYoung had psychotic episodes, that lasted about 4-6 years, and following that he did extensive amount
of writing about human nature, which is slightly more optimistic than Freud
ŸFreud and young disagreed about the existence of the collective unconscious
ŸThey agreed upon the conscious ego
ŸThe second layer in young’s topography was called the personal unconscious, a combination of the
preconscious and unconscious minds from Freud’s pyramid which represented a substantial layer
ŸBut for young the deepest and largest part of the human mind is something Freud would not
acknowledge, but a notion of the collective conscious
ŸThe collective unconscious it the inherited ancestral memory (this is a hypothesis, no empirical
ŸDeeper than person unconscious and much more powerful, al of the ancient and primordial images
that are common to all people everywhere at all times in history, and is impersonal (universal)
ŸMetaphor of a large deep lake, that all of us have the ability to draw from, and its not personal to
individual, everyone has access to this lake
ŸCollective unconscious is responsible for unconscious thoughts and it had all kinds of mystical
concepts that Young believed in such as the concept of synchronicity meaningful coincidence,
behaviour of unrelated people can become coordinated, since we are all accessing the same pool of
ŸWhen we step into this lake, we would see archetypes (primordial images), universal patterns that all
of us see in the world around us, that organize our experience in similar ways (containers, certain
containers are receptive to certain products, to hold a certain type of substance for soup, sandwich, and
certain things fit in containers better)
ŸArchetypes are like containers that fit into specific type of behaviours
ŸOne very common archetype is the archetype of the hero, a particular kind of pattern that we can all
see in stories and patterns, so long as people have been narrating, there have been heroes who go
through specific experiences and certain features (humble finds of origin, early signs of power, rapid
rise to prominence, evil, and heroic sacrifice that needs to be made, e.g. Christ, Moses, Buddha,
ŸThe matrix story (chosen one, power, death and resurrection)
ŸArchetype shadow, the dark half of who we are and things that aren’t part of consciously positive side
(if you choose to be a forgiving person, then shadow is vengeful and wrathful)
ŸEverything you choose to be is at the extent of choosing what not to be, which becomes your dark
reflection, your shadow (unacceptable thoughts an feelings that are repressed)
ŸAdditional archetypes including that all humans interact with older authorities, parents or guardians,
and archetypes that are known as the teacher and mother or the wise old man or earth mother templates
to organize our experiences with masculine and feminine advisor, sources of knowledge and wisdom,
teacher can easily foretell future, and they know more than the hero does, and the hero comes to them
for guidance (e.g. Morpheus, and the oracle)
ŸConflicts of the anima and the animus, all of us have the capacity of completion, the opposite of our
choice of being is within us
ŸAll people come into world with masculine and feminine attributes
ŸInside men is archetype of anima that tell thematic women are, can be positive or negative (with sisters
or mothers, etc)
ŸAnd inside each woman is an animus about masculinity, and all experiences with male figures
ŸWith romantic relationships, you try to find someone who fit’s the model of your anima or animus
ŸImplicit belief in balance and harmony, the universe is constantly striving for greater harmony and
balance and people are always trying to reconcile and solve their problems within them= The
transcendent function, the two opposites must be reconciled, the thing you have chosen to be with the
things you are not
ŸSelf perfection is exactly the opposite of striving to become complete
ŸTo be perfect you must destroy your own shadow, find in yourself that you chosen no tto be and
vanquish them
ŸTo become complete is to become al of these that you find in your shadow and embrace them
ŸSo what type of person you are striving to become are two very different roads, one involving
eradication and one involving embracing
ŸTrue growth is found in completion
Ÿe.g. in matrix, neo allows himself to accept his opposite of agent smith, not his attempt to vanquish it,
he assimilates into agent smith which leads to the end