Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Language is not adequate to express our ideas

Our greatest difficulty is, that language is not adequate to express our ideas; because our words refer to things, and are images of what is substantial and material. If we use the word “emanation,” our mind involuntarily recurs to something material, flowing out of some other thing that is material; and if we reject this idea of materiality, nothing is left of the emanation but an unreality. The word “thing” itself suggests to us that which is material and within the cognizance and jurisdiction of the senses. If we cut away from it the idea of materiality, it presents itself to us as no thing, but an intangible unreality, which the mind vainly endeavors to grasp. Existence and Being are terms that have the same color of materiality; and when we speak of a Power or Force, the mind immediately images to itself one physical and material thing acting upon another. Eliminate that idea; and the Power or Force, devoid of physical characteristics, seems as unreal as the shadow that dances on a wall, itself a mere absence of light; as spirit is to us merely that which is not matter.

Infinite space and infinite time are the two primary ideas. We formalize them thus: add body to body and sphere to sphere, until the imagination wearies; and still there will remain beyond, a void, empty, unoccupied SPACE, limitless, because it is void. Add event to event in continuous succession, forever and forever, and there will still remain, before and after, a TIME in which there was and will be no event, and also endless because it too is void.

Thus these two ideas of the boundlessness of space and the endlessness of time seem to involve the ideas that matter and events are limited and finite. We cannot conceive of an infinity of worlds or of events; but only of an indefinite number of each; for, as we struggle to conceive of their infinity, the thought ever occurs in despite of all our efforts–there must be space in which there are no worlds; there must have been time when there were no events.

We cannot conceive how, if this earth moves millions of millions of miles a million times repeated, it is still in the centre of space; nor how, if we lived millions of millions of ages and centuries, we should still be in the centre of eternity–with still as much space on one side as on the other; with still as much time before us as behind; for that seems to say that the world has not moved nor we lived at all.

Nor can we comprehend how an infinite series of worlds, added together, is no larger than an infinite series of atoms; or an infinite series of centuries no longer than an infinite series of seconds; both being alike infinite, and therefore one series containing no more nor fewer units than the other.

Nor have we the capacity to form in ourselves any idea of that which is immaterial. We use the word, but it conveys to us only the idea of the absence and negation of materiality; which vanishing, Space and Time alone, infinite and boundless, seem to us to be left.

We cannot form any conception of an effect without a cause. We cannot but believe, indeed we know, that, how far soever we may have to run back along the chain of effects and causes, it cannot be infinite; but we must come at last to something which is not an effect, bur the first cause: and yet the fact is literally beyond our comprehension. The mind refuses to grasp the idea of self-existence, of existence without a beginning. As well expect the hair that grows upon our head to understand the nature and immortality of the soul.

It does not need to go so far in search of mysteries; nor have we any right to disbelieve or doubt the existence of a Great First Cause, itself no effect, because we cannot comprehend it; because the words we use do not even express it to us adequately.

We rub a needle for a little while, on a dark, inert mass of iron ore, that had lain idle in the earth for many centuries. Something is thereby communicated to the steel–we term it a virtue, a power, or a quality–and then we balance it upon a pivot; and, lo! drawn by some invisible, mysterious Power, one pole of the needle turns to the North, and there the same Power keeps the same pole for days and years; will keep it there, perhaps, as long as the world lasts, carry the needle where you will, and no matter what seas or mountains intervene between it and the North Pole of the world. And this Power, thus acting, and indicating to the mariner his course over the trackless ocean, when the stars shine not for many days, saves vessels from shipwreck, families from distress, and those from sudden death on whose lives the fate of nations and the peace of the world depend. But for it, Napoleon might never have reached the ports of France on his return from Egypt, nor Nelson lived to fight and win at Trafalgar. Men call this Power Magnetism, and then complacently think that they have explained it all; and yet they have but given a new name to an unknown thing, to hide their ignorance. What is this wonderful Power? It is a real, actual, active Power: that we know and see. But what its essence is, or how it acts, we do not know, any more than we know the essence or the mode of action of the Creative Thought and Word of God.

And again, what is that which we term galvanism and electricity,–which, evolved by the action of a little acid on two metals, aided by a magnet, circles the earth in a second, sending from land to land the Thoughts that govern the transactions of individuals and nations? The mind has formed no notion of matter, that will include it; and no name that we can give it, helps us to understand its essence and its being. It is a Power, like Thought and the Will. We know no more.

What is this power of gravitation that makes everything upon the earth tend to the centre? How does it reach out its invisible hands toward the erratic meteor-stones, arrest them in their swift course, and draw them down to the earth’s bosom? It is a power. We know no more.

What is that heat which plays so wonderful a part in the world’s economy?–that caloric, latent everywhere, within us and without us, produced by combustion, by intense pressure, and by swift motion? Is it substance, matter, spirit, or immaterial, a mere Force or State of Matter?

And what is light? A substance, say the books,–matter, that travels to us from the sun and stars, each ray separable into seven, by the prism, of distinct colors, and with distinct peculiar qualities and actions. And if a substance, what is its essence, and what power is inherent in it, by which it journeys incalculable myriads of miles, and reaches us ten thousand years or more after it leaves the stars? All power is equally a mystery. Apply intense cold to a drop of water in the centre of a globe of iron, and the globe is shattered as the water freezes. Confine a little of the same limpid element in a cylinder which Enceladus or Typhon could not have riven asunder, and apply to it intense heat, and the vast power that couched latent in the water shivers the cylinder to atoms. A little shoot from a minute seed, a shoot so soft and tender that the least bruise would kill it, forces its way downward into the hard earth, to the depth of many feet, with an energy wholly incomprehensible. What are these mighty forces, locked up in the small seed and the drop of water?

Nay, what is LIFE itself, with all its wondrous, mighty energies,–that power which maintains the heat within us, and prevents our bodies, that decay so soon without it, from resolution into their original elements–Life, that constant miracle, the nature and essence whereof have eluded all the philosophers; and all their learned dissertations on it are a mere jargon of words?

No wonder the ancient Persians thought that Light and Life were one; both emanations from the Supreme Deity, the archetype of light. No wonder that in their ignorance they worshiped the Sun. God breathed into man the spirit of life; not matter, but an emanation from Himself; not a creature made by Him, nor a distinct existence, but a Power, like His own Thought: and light, to those great-souled ancients, also seemed no creature, and no gross material substance, but a pure emanation from the Deity, immortal and indestructible like Himself.

What, indeed, is REALITY? Our dreams are as real, while they last, as the occurrences of the daytime. We see, hear, feel, act, experience pleasure and suffer pain, as vividly and actually in a dream as when awake. The occurrences and transactions of a year are crowded into the limits of a second: and the dream remembered is as real as the past occurrences of life.

The philosophers tell us that we have no cognizance of substance itself, but only of its attributes: that when we see that which we call a block of marble, our perceptions give us information only of something extended, solid, colored, heavy, and the like; but not of the very thing itself, to which these attributes belong. And vet the attributes do not exist without the substance. They are not substances, but adjectives. There is no such thing or existence as hardness, weight or color, by itself, detached from any subject, moving first here, then there, and attaching itself to this and to the other subject. And yet, they say, the attributes are not the subject.

So Thought, Volition, and Perception are not the soul, but its attributes; and we have no cognizance of the soul itself, but only of them, its manifestations. Nor of God; but only of His Wisdom, Power, Magnificence, Truth, and other attributes.

And yet we know that there is matter, a soul within our body, a God that lives in the Universe.

Take, then, the attributes of the soul. I am conscious that I exist and am the same identical person that I was twenty years ago. I am conscious that my body is not I,–that if my arms were lopped away, this person that I call ME, would still remain, complete, entire, identical as before. But I cannot ascertain, by the most intense and long-continued reflection, what I am, nor where within my body I reside, nor whether I am a point, or an expanded substance. I have no power to examine and inspect. I exist, will, think, perceive. That I know, and nothing more. I think a noble and sublime Thought. What is that Thought? It is not Matter, nor Spirit. It is not a Thing; but a Power and Force. I make upon a paper certain conventional marks, that represent that Thought. There is no Power or Virtue in the marks I write, but only in the Thought which they tell to others. I die, but the Thought still lives. It is a Power. It acts on men, excites them to enthusiasm, inspires patriotism, governs their conduct, controls their destinies, disposes of life and death. The words I speak are but a certain succession of particular sounds, that by conventional arrangement communicate to others the Immaterial, Intangible, Eternal Thought. The fact that Thought continues to exist an instant, after it makes its appearance in the soul, proves it immortal: for there is nothing conceivable that can destroy it. The spoken words, being mere sounds, may vanish into thin air, and the written ones, mere marks, be burned, erased, destroyed: but the THOUGHT itself lives still, and must live on forever.

A Human Thought, then, is an actual EXISTENCE, and a FORCE and POWER, capable of acting upon and controlling matter as well as mind. Is not the existence of a God, who is the immaterial soul of the Universe, and whose THOUGHT, embodied or not embodied in His WORD, is an Infinite Power, of Creation and production, destruction and preservation, quite as comprehensible as the existence of a Soul, of a Thought separated from the Soul, of the Power of that Thought to mould the fate and influence the Destinies of Humanity?

And yet we know not when that Thought comes, nor what it is. It is not WE. We do not mould it, shape it, fashion it. It is neither our mechanism nor our invention. It appears spontaneously, flashing, as it were, into the soul, making that soul the involuntary instrument of its utterance to the world. It comes to us, and seems a stranger to us, seeking a home.

As little can we explain the mighty power of the human WILL. Volition, like Thought, seems spontaneous, an effect without a cause. Circumstances provoke it, and serve as its occasion, but do not produce it. It springs up in the soul, like Thought, as the waters gush upward in a spring. Is it the manifestation of the soul, merely making apparent what passes within the soul, or an emanation from it, going abroad and acting outwardly, itself a real Existence, as it is an admitted Power? We can but own our ignorance. It is certain that it acts on other souls, controls, directs them, shapes their action, legislates for men and nations: and yet it is not material nor visible; and the laws it writes merely inform one soul of what has passed within another.

God, therefore, is a mystery, only as everything that surrounds us, and as we ourselves, are mysteries. We know that there is and must be a FIRST CAUSE. His attributes, severed from Himself, are unrealities. As color and extension, weight and hardness, do not exist apart from matter as separate existences and substantives, spiritual or immaterial; so the Goodness, Wisdom, Justice, Mercy, and Benevolence of God are not independent existences, personify them as men may, but attributes of the Deity, the adjectives of One Great Substantive. But we know that He must be Good, True, Wise, Just, Benevolent, Merciful: and in all these, and all His other attributes, Perfect and Infinite; because we are conscious that these are laws imposed on us by the very nature of things, necessary, and without which the Universe would be con-fusion and the existence of a God incredible. They are of His essence, and necessary, as His existence is.

He is the Living, Thinking, Intelligent Sour, of the Universe, the PERMANENT, the STATIONARY [Εστως . . Estos], of Simon Magus, the ONE that always IS [Το Ον . . TO ON] of Plato, as contradistinguished from the perpetual flux and reflux, or Genesis, of things.

And, as the Thought of the Soul, emanating from the Soul, becomes audible and visible in Words, so did THE THOUGHT or GOD, springing up within Himself, immortal as Himself, when once conceived,–immortal before, because in Himself, utter Itself in THE WORD, its manifestation and mode of communication, and thus create the Material, Mental, Spiritual Universe, which, like Him, never began to exist.

This is the real idea of the Ancient Nations: GOD, the Almighty Father, and Source of All; His THOUGHT, conceiving the whole Universe, and willing its creation: His WORD, uttering that THOUGHT, and thus becoming the Creator or Demiourgos, in whom was Life and Light, and that Light the Life of the Universe.

Nor did that Word cease at the single act of Creation; and having set going the great machine, and enacted the laws of its motion and progression, of birth and life, and change and death, cease to exist, or remain thereafter in inert idleness.

FOR THE THOUGHT OF GOD LIVES AND IS IMMORTAL. Embodied in the WORD, is not only created, but it preserves. It conducts and controls the Universe, all spheres, all worlds, all actions of mankind, and of every animate and inanimate creature. It speaks in the soul of every man who lives. The Stars, the Earth, the Trees, the Winds, the universal voice of Nature, tempest, and avalanche, the Sea’s roar and the grave voice of the waterfall, the hoarse thunder and the low whisper of the brook, the song of birds, the voice of love, the speech of men, all are the alphabet in which it communicates itself to men, and informs them of the will and law of God, the Soul of the Universe. And thus most truly did “THE WORD BECOME MESH AND DWELL AMONG MEN.”

God, the unknown FATHER [Πατὴρ Ἄγνωστος . . Pater Agnōstos], known to us only by His Attributes; the ABSOLUTE I AM: . . The THOUGHT of God [Ἕννοια . Ennoia], and the WORD [Λόγος; . . . . Logos], Manifestation and expression of the Thought; . . . . Behold THE TRUE MASONIC TRINITY; the UNIVERSAL SOUL, the THOUGHT in the Soul, the WORD, or Thought expressed; the THREE IN ONE, of a Trinitarian Ecossais.

Morals and Dogma: Prince Of Mercy, or Scottish Trinitarian, Pg. 569-575


Bee. A name for a class of insects relates to wasps and ants. Noted for their social habits and intelligence, they have been an interesting study since very early times. they in swarms made up of three classes, the queen, the workers, and the drones.

The queen is longer than either the drones or workers. During the laying season, she lays from one to two thousand eggs a day, putting the eggs in different cells for workers, drones and queens.

She lives longer than other bees, generally from three to five years. She forms the center of the swarm, so that when a swarm divides, each part secures a queen and thus start new colonies. So called "bee charmers" take advantage of this fact, and by securing the queen in a gauze bag make the swarm light where they wish. The workers form about nine-tenths of the swarm, and do all the work. They gather the honey, bee-glue and pollen, which they carry to the hive in little sacs and buckets attached to them; they make the comb, feed the young and clean the hives.

Drone Bee

They live only a few months and are constantly renewed from the eggs of the queen bee, so that a swarm that has lost its queen, soon dwindles and dies out. The drones are the only males, and are destroyed by the workers soon after the honey season. The breeding begins early in the spring. After the laying of the eggs, it takes about fourteen days to make a queen., twenty five for a drone. The long, slender egg is fastened by one end to the bottom of the cell. It first becomes a maggot with two white eyes, a mouth like a caterpillar and ten holes for breathing on the sides. The workers feed it for a week, when it is covered with wax and becomes a pupa. ten days later, it breaks its cover, creeps out, dries its wings, and goes o work as a member of the community.

The migration or swarming of the bees usually happens when the hive becomes too crowded. The first swarm, led by the old queen, usually starts out in June, leaving a new queen in the new hive. A second and third swarming sometimes takes place. An interesting thing which happens before the second and third swarms start out, is called the "piping of the queens." The new queen seems to be jealous of all rivals and tries to sting to death all the young queens which the workers are feeding. When a guard protects them, the reigning queen is supposed to utter this complaining or piping note; a lower sharper note which follows is though to be answering the tone of defiance from the young queen who will reign over the next swarm. The swarm comes out numbering thousands, and soon lights, usually on the limb of a tree, hanging like a bag, from which it may be taken and put into a hive. the first hives used by bees were the hollow trunks of trees, but now boxes are provided for the convenience in getting at the honey. Some hives can be opened so as to show the condition of the swarm and the progress of the work at any time. In building the comb, the workers begin at the top of the hive and build downwards, some spaces being left between the rows of cells for passage. Some of the cells are for honey and others for eggs. The cells are six sided, a shape that is found to give the most room with the least material and smallest space. The wax for the cell come from a pouch in the back part of the body of the worker, in which it grows, little by little, until it comes out in little scales which are gathered by the bees. The pollen and sweet juices of flowers furnish the food of bees. They enter a flower, and come out covered with pollen, which they carry to the hive and unload. When this pollen is kneaded into a paste it is called bee-bread. The drones have no stings, but the queens and the workers each have one in the back part of the body. The sting is a sheath, containing two darts with sharp points and ragged edges, like saw-teeth. Along this sheath the poison from a small bag within flows into the wound. Animals and men have sometimes been killed by an attack of a swarm of bees.

The Students Cyclopedia: 1897

The Bee Hive

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Iron Lady

Iron Lady is a nickname that has frequently been used to describe female heads of government around the world. The term describes a "strong willed" woman. This iron metaphor was most famously applied to Margaret Thatcher, nicknamed so in 1976 by the Soviet media for her staunch opposition to communism.[1]

Leaders who have earned the unofficial title (some of them postfactum) include:

Some female politicians have been given similar nicknames:

"Iron Lady of the Seas", a 1984 video, and Iron Lady at Sea, a 1988 book, are about Star of India, the oldest iron-hulled merchant ship afloat launched in 1863.[13]

Iron Lady is also the title of a song by Phil Ochs. In this song, the Iron Lady is a metaphor for the electric chair. This song was also performed by Diamanda Galás on her live album Malediction & Prayer in dedication to Aileen Wuornos.

Iron Lady is a Warcraft III LAN gaming competition held by SteelSeries and directed at female Chinese players. The event was created in 2007 and has completed 2 seasons already. Some well known players include Zhang 'Cang' Xiangliang and Xu "Sara" Yinghua, both of whom played in the IronLady.2 Final.

"What Is Truth?"

Truth is the Voice of Nature and of Time --
is the startling monitor within us --
Naught is without it, it comes from the stars,
The golden sun, and every breeze that blows. . . .
. . . Fair Truth's immortal sun
Is sometimes hid in clouds; not that her light
Is in itself defective, but obscured
By my weak prejudice, imperfect faith
And all the thousand causes which obstruct
The growth of goodness. . . .

What is Truth?" asked Pilate of one who, if the claims of the Christian Church are even approximately correct, must have known it. But He kept silent. And the truth which He did not divulge, remained unrevealed, for his later followers as much as for the Roman Governor. The silence of Jesus, however, on this and other occasions, does not prevent his present followers from acting as though they had received the ultimate and absolute Truth itself; and from ignoring the fact that only such Words of Wisdom had been given to them as contained a share of the truth, itself concealed in parables and dark, though beautiful, sayings.

[Jesus says to the "Twelve" -- "Unto you is given the mystery of the Kingdom of God; but unto them that are without, all things are done in parables," etc. (Mark iv. II.)]

This policy led gradually to dogmatism and assertion. Dogmatism in churches, dogmatism in science, dogmatism everywhere. The possible truths, hazily perceived in the world of abstraction, like those inferred from observation and experiment in the world of matter, are forced upon the profane multitudes, too busy to think for themselves, under the form of Divine revelation and scientific authority. But the same question stands open from the days of Socrates and Pilate down to our own age of wholesale negation: is there such a thing as absolute truth in the hands of any one party or man? Reason answers, "there cannot be." There is no room for absolute truth upon any subject whatsoever, in a world as finite and conditioned as man is himself. But there are relative truths, and we have to make the best we can of them.

In every age there have been Sages who had mastered the absolute and yet could teach but relative truths. For none yet, born of mortal woman in our race, has, or could have given out, the whole and the final truth to another man, for every one of us has to find that (to him) final knowledge in himself. As no two minds can be absolutely alike, each has to receive the supreme illumination through itself, according to its capacity, and from no human light. The greatest adept living can reveal of the Universal Truth only so much as the mind he is impressing it upon can assimilate, and no more. Tot homines, quot sententiae -- is an immortal truism. The sun is one, but its beams are numberless; and the effects produced are beneficent or maleficent, according to the nature and constitution of the objects they shine upon. Polarity is universal, but the polariser lies in our own consciousness. In proportion as our consciousness is elevated towards absolute truth, so do we men assimilate it more or less absolutely. But man's consciousness again, is only the sunflower of the earth. Longing for the warm ray, the plant can only turn to the sun, and move round and round in following the course of the unreachable luminary: its roots keep it fast to the soil, and half its life is passed in the shadow. . . .

-H.P. Blavatsky


What is Truth?

Truth ...

“Is the opposite of lies.”
“What is truth but what we believe to be truth?”
“I don't believe that there's one truth. There are so many different people, and there are so many different ways you can look at things. I don't see how there could be just one truth.”

These quotes, giving vague descriptions of truth, point towards relativism - a doctrine instructing that truth and morality are relative and not absolute. Relativism asserts that what is accepted as truth is relative to a person's situation or standpoint, and denies that any standpoint is uniquely privileged over all others.

If truth is relative, then absolute right and absolute wrong become doubtful and obscure. And if truth is relative, then only subjective and indefinite answers exist for the purpose and meaning of life. So is there any absolute or real truth in this complex and uncertain world?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Food For Thought


Left brain is CAIN, the builder, who resides in the brain.

Right brain is ABEL, the artist, who resides in the spine.

When both work as a team they achieve perfect speed.


PS: Abel never dies--he, the Id, only goes into the closet and hides itself from public view.

Creation had intended Cain and Abel to be fully integrated, and thus, openly visible to all.

Secret societies are for control freaks who lack any serious sense of self worth. Members give up their unit of poltical power in exchange for instant gratification....Security and Sovereignty or Sex and a Sandwich.

Bing, Being, Boeing, Beijing, Bang

The SculPTor (1776-1867)

Lilith, Eve and Carla


The new wEEmin of the world were genetically engineered, beginning in 4004BC. They are a composite of original, pre ice-ace, clan mothers fitted with a Neanderthaler medulla, an "auto-pilot" control mechanism in the neck.

Since then many "flavours" of made-in-a-lab humans have been tested.

Male-females, female-males and a variety of pseudo-hermaphrodites have now been released upon the world. Burkhas (nuns call them habits) have been a handy disguise during the transition period. It took some time to get IT (Little LuLu) right.

The recent batch of pseudo-hermaphrodite's on auto-pilot, Golda Meir--Margaret Thatcher--Condoleezza Rice--Hillary Clinton--Sarah Palin are just a few wEEmin who have made it to the top of the conglomerate media control profession, reportedly "on their own".

The latest version is styled "10".

Now the time of the burkha, either of ancient or modern fashion, has come and gone.

A new model for the next thousand years has been launched.

She is Carla Bruni, currently attached to the President of France.

Soon she, or someone like her, will rule on her own.

Later, gills will be added, thus making her into a true triphibian pseudo-hermaphrodite ready for launch as a "homeless bag-lad-y" sent to wander the universe in search of a place to call home.

The more things change....Hel-Len of Troy

Bing, Being, Boeing, Beijing, Bang

The SculPTor (1776-1867)


Web Site of Glen Kealey, National President
Canadian Institute for Political Integrity (CIPI)


Ipower (Phoenix /via India) -- their server FIDO continuously drops
the connection)

July 21, 2009

Roma Indigenous Native American So Called Prophecy: Elders (The Red =Marooned Roma)Speak

The system uses the Native peoples as guilt trip on Americans and Canadians(meanwhile they had nothing to do with their problems). Its not different from any other group, a select few are in the know and they go along with "The Plan", while the regular bystanders people who no nothing suffer. They are part of this conspiracy just like everybody else. But anyway, you'll notice how they mix profound truths with this "spirituality" crap.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Sufi Poem

"Strive to discover the mystery before life is taken from you. If while living you fail to find yourself, to know yourself how will you be able to understand the secret of your existence when you die?"

Farid ud Din Attar

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Roman Colleges of Artificers

It was the German writers on the history of the Institution, such as Krause, Helmann, and some others of less repute, who first discovered, or at least first announced to the world, the connection, that existed between the Roman Colleges of Architects and the Society of Freemasons.

The theory of Krause on this subject is to be found principally in his well known work entitled Die drei altesten Kunsterkunden. he there advance the doctrine that Freemasonry as it now exists is indebted for all its characteristics, religious and social, political, and professional, its interior organization, its modes of thought and action, and its very design and object, to the Collegia Artificum of the Romans, passing with but little characteristic changes through the Corporationen von Baukunstlern, or "Architectural Gilds," of the Middle Ages up to the English organization of the year 1717; so that he claims an almost absolute identity between the Roman Colleges of Numa, seven hundred years before Christ, and the Lodges of the nineteenth century. We need not, according to his view, go any farther back in history, nor look to any other series of events, nor trouble ourselves with any other influences for the origin and the character of Freemasonry.

This theory, which perhaps the most popular one on the subject, requires careful examination; and in the prosecution of such an inquiry the first thing to be done will be to investigate, so far as authentic history affords us the means, the true character and condition of these Roman Colleges.

It is to Numa(Amun), the second king of Rome, that historians, following after Plutarch, ascribe the first organization of the Roman Colleges; although, as Newman reasonably conjectures, it is probable that similar organizations previously existed among the Alban population, and embraced the resident Tuscan artificers. But it is admitted that Numa gave to them that form which the always subsequently maintained.

Numa, on ascending the throne, found the citizens divided into various nationalities, derived from the Roman, the Sabines and the inhabitants of neighboring smaller and weaker towns, who, by choice or by compulsion, had removed their residence to the banks of the Tiber. Hence resulted a disseverance of sentiment and feeling, and a constant tendency to disunion, Now the object of Numa was to obliterate these contending elements and to establish a perfect identity of national feeling, so that, to use the language of Plutarch, "the distribution of the people might become a harmonious mingling of all with all."

For this purpose he established one common religion, and divided the citizens into curias and tribes, each curia and tribe being composed of an admixture indifferently of Romans, Sabines, and the other denizens of Rome.

Directed by the same political sagacity, he distributed the artisans into various gilds or corporations, under the name of Collegia, or "Colleges." To each collegium was assigned the artisan s of a particular profession, and each had its own regulations, both secular and religious. These colleges grew with the growth of the republic; and although Numa had originally established but nine, namely, the College of Musicians, of Goldsmiths, of Carpenters, of Dyers, of Shoemakers, of Tanners, of Smiths, of Potters, and a ninth composed of all artisans not embraced under either of the preceding heads, they were subsequently greatly increased in number. Eighty years before the Christian era they were, it is true, abolished, or sought to be abolished, by a degree of the Senate, who looked with jealousy on their political influence, but twenty years afterwards they were revived, and new ones established by a law of the tribune Clodius, which repealed the Senatus Consultum. They continued to exist under the empire, were extended into the provinces, and even outlasted the decline and fall of the Roman power.

And now let us inquire into the form and organization of these Colleges, and, in so doing, trace the analogy between them and the Masonic Lodges, if any such analogy exists.

The first regulation, which was an indispensable one, was that no college could consist of less than three members. So indispensable was this rule that the expression tres faciunt collegium, "three make a college," became a maxim of the civil law. So rigid too was the application of this rule, that the body of Consuls, although calling each other "colleagues," and possessing and exercising all collegiate rights, were, because they consisted only of two members, never legally recognized as a College. The reader will very readily be struck withe identity of this regulation of the Colleges and that of Freemasonry, which with equal rigor requires three Masons to constitute a Lodge. The College and the Lodge each demanded three members to make it legal. A greater number might give it more efficiency, but it could not render it more legitimate. This, then, is the first analogy between the Lodges of Freemasons and the Roman Colleges.

These Colleges had their appropriate officers, who very singularly were assimilated in stations and duties to the officers of a Masonic Lodge. Each College was presided over by a chief or president whose title of Magister is exactly translated by the English word "Master." The next officers were the Decuriones. They were analogous the Masonic "Wardens," for each Decurio presided over a section or division of the College, just as in the most ancient English and in the present continental ritual we find the Lodge divided into two sections or "columns," over each of which one of the Wardens presided, through whom the commands of the Master were extended to "the brethren of his column." There was also in the Colleges a Scriba, or "secretary," who recorded its proceedings; a Thesaurensis, or "treasurer," who had charge of the common chest; a Tabularius, or keeper of the archives, equivalent the modern "Archivist;" and lastly, as these Colleges combined a peculiar religious worship with operative labors, there was in each of them a sacerdos, or priest, who conducted the religious ceremonies, and was thus exactly equivalent to the "chaplain" of a Masonic Lodge. In all this we find another analogy between these ancient institutions and our Masonic bodies.

Another analogy will be found in the distribution or division of classes in the Roman Colleges. As the Masonic Lodges have their Master Masons, their Fellow Crafts, and their Apprentices, so the College had their Seniores, "Elders," or chief men of the trade, and their journeymen and apprentices. The members did not, it is true, like the Freemasons, call themselves "Brothers," because this term, first adopted in the gilds or corporations of the Middle Ages, is the offspring of a Christian sentiment; but, as Krause remarks, these Colleges were, in general, conducted after the pattern or model of a family; and hence the appellation of brother would now and then be found among the family appellations.

The partly religious character of the Roman Colleges of Artificers constitutes a very peculiar analogy between them and the Masonic Lodges. The history of these Colleges shows that an ecclesiastical character was bestowed upon them at the very time of their organization by Numa. Many of the workshops of these artificers were erected in the vicinity of temples, and their curia, or place of meeting, was generally in some way connected with the temple. The deity to whom such temple was consecrated was peculiarly worshipped by the members of the adjacent College, and became the patron god of their trade of art. In time when the Pagan religion was abolished and the religious character of these Colleges was changed, the Pagan gods gave way, through the influences of the new religion, to Christian saints, one of whom was always adopted as the patron of the modern gilds, which, in the Middle Ages, took the place of the Roman Colleges; and hence the Freemasons derive the dedication of their Lodges to Saint John from a similar custom among the Corporation of Builders.

These Colleges held secret meetings, in which the business transacted consisted of the initiations of neophytes into their fraternity, and of mystical and esoteric instructions to their apprentices and journeymen. They were, in this respect, secret societies like the Masonic Lodges.

There were monthly or other periodical contributions by the members for the support of the College, by which means a common fund was accumulated for the maintenance of indigent members or the relief of destitute strangers belonging to the same society.

They were permitted by the government to frame a constitution and to enact laws and regulations for their government. These privileges were gradually enlarged and their provisions extended, so that in the latter days of the empire the Colleges of Architects especially were invested with extraordinary powers in reference to the control of builders. Even the distinction so well known in Masonic jurisprudence between "legally constituted" and "clandestine Lodges," seems to find a similitude or analogy here; for the Colleges which had been established by lawful authority, and were, therefore, entitled to the enjoyment of the privileges accorded to those institutions, were said to be collegia licita, or "lawful colleges," while those which were voluntary association, not authorized by the express decree of the senate or the emperor, were called collegia illicita, or "unlawful colleges." The terms licita and illicita were exactly equivalent in their import to the legally constituted and the clandestine Lodges of Freemasonry.

In the Colleges the candidates of administration were elected, as in the Masonic Lodges by the voice of the members. In connection with this subject, the Latin word which was used to express the art of admission or reception is worthy of consideration. When the person was admitted to the Fraternity of a College, he was said to be cooptatus in collegium. Now, the verb cooptare, almost exclusively employed by the Romans to signify an election into a College, comes from the Greek optomai, "to see, to behold." This same word gives origin, in Greek, to epoptes, a spectator or beholder, one who has attained to the last degree in the Eleusinian mysteries; in other words, an initiate. So that, without much stretch of etymological ingenuity, we might say that cooptatus in collegium meant "to be initated into a College." This is at least, singular. But the more general interpretation of cooptatus is "admitted or accepted in a fraternity," and so "made free of all the priviledges of the gild or corporation." And hence the idea is the same as that conveyed among the Masons by the title "Free and Accepted."

Finally, it is said by Krause that these Colleges of workmen made a symbolic use of the implements of their art or profession, in other words, that they cultivated the science of symbolism; and in this respect, therefore more than in any other, is there a striking analogy between the Collegiate and the Masonic institutions. The statement cannot be doubted; for as the organization of the College partook, as has already been shown, of a religious character, and, as it is admitted, that all the religion of Paganism was eminently and almost entirely symbolic, it must follow that any association which was based upon or cultivated the religious or mythological sentiment, must cultivate also the principle of symbolism.

I have thus briefly but succinctly shown that in the form, the organization, the mode of government, and the usages of the Roman Colleges, there is an analogy between them and the modern Masonic Lodges which is evidently more than accidental. It may be that long after the dissolution of the Colleges, Freemasonry, in the establishment of its Lodges, designedly adopted the collegiate organization as a model after which to frame it own system, or it may be that the resemblance has been the result of a slow but inevitable growth of a succession of associations arising out of each other, at that head of which stands the Roman Colleges.

This problem can only be determined by an investigation of the history of these Colleges , and of the other similar institutions which finally succeeded them in the progress of architecture in Europe. We shall be prepared to investigate with understanding of Krause, and to determine whether the Lodges are indebted to the Colleges for their form alone, or for both form and substance.

We have already seen that in the time of Numa the Roman Colleges amounted to only nine. In the subsequent years of the Republic the number was gradually augmented, so that almost every trade or profession had its peculiar College. With the advance of the empire, their numbers were still further increased and their privileges greatly extended, so that they became an important element in the body politic. Leaving untouched the other Colleges, I shall confine myself the Collegii Artificum, "the College of Architects," as the only one whose condition in history are relevant to the subject under consideration.

The Romans were early distinguished for a spirit of colonization. Their victorious arms had scarcely subdued a people, before a portion of the army was deputed to form a colony. Here the barbarism and ignorance of the native population were replaced by the civilization and the refinement of their Roman conquerors.

The Colleges of Architects, occupied in the construction of secular and religious edifices, spread from the great city to municipalities and provinces. Whenever a new city, a temple, or a palace was to be built, the members of these corporations were convoked by the Emperor from the most distant points, that with a community of labor they might engage in the construction. Laborers might be employed, like the "bearers of burdens" of the Jewish Temple, in the humbler and coarser tasks, but the conduct and the direction of the works were entrusted only to the "accepted members" - the cooptati - of the Colleges.

The colonization of the Roman Empire were conducted through the legionary soldiers of the army. Now, to each legion there was attached a College or corporation of artificers, which was organized with the legion at Rome, and passed with it through its campaigns, encamped with it where it encamped, marched with where it marched, and when it colonized, remained in the colony to plant the seeds of Roman civilization, and to teach the principles of Roman art. The members of the College erected fortifications for the legion in times of war, and in times of peace, or when the legion became stationary, constructed temples and dwelling houses.

When England was subdued by the Roman arms, the legions which went there to secure and to extend the conquest, carried with them, of course, their Colleges of Architects. One of these legions, foe instance, under Julius Caesar, advancing into the northern limits of the country, established a colony, which, under the name of Eboracum, gave birth to the city of York, afterwards so celebrated in the history of Masonry. Existing inscriptions and architectural remains attest how much was done in the island of Britain by these associations of builders.

Druidism was at the time the prevailing religion of the ancient Britons. But the toleration of Paganism soon led to an harmonious admixture of the religious idea of the Roman builders with those of the Druid priests. Long anterior to this Christianity had dawned upon the British islands; for, to use the emphatic language of Tertullian, "Britain, inaccessible to the Romans, was subdued by Christ." The influences of the new faith wer not long in being felt by the Colleges, and the next phase in there history is the record of their assumption of the Christian life and doctrine.

But the incursions of the northern barbarians into Italy demanded the entire force of the Roman armies to defend the integrity of the Empire at home. Britain was abandoned, and the natives, with the Roman colonists who had settled among them, were left to defend themselves. These were soon driven, first by the Picts, their savage neighbors, and then by the Saxon sea robbers, whom the English had incautiously summoned to their aid, into the mountains of Wales and the islands of the Irish Sea. The architects who were converted to Christianity, and having lost their connection with the mother institution, they became thenceforth simply corporations or societies of builders, the organization which had always worked so well being still retained.

Subsequently, when the whole of England was taken possession of by the Saxon invaders, the Britons, headed by the monks and priests, and accompanied by their architects, fled into Ireland and Scotland, which countries they civilized and converted, and whose inhabitants were instructed in the art of building by the corporations of architects.

Whenever we read of the extension in barbarous or Pagan countries of Christianity, and the conversion of their inhabitants to the true faith, we also hear of the propagation of the art of building in the same places by the corporations of architects, the immediate successors of the legionary Colleges, for the new religion required churches, and in time cathedrals and monasteries, and the ecclesiastical architecture speedily suggested improvements in the civil.

In time all the religious knowledge and all the architectural skill of the northern part of Europe were concentrated in the remote regions of Ireland and Scotland, whence missionaries were sent back to England to convert the Pagan Saxons. Thus the venerable Bede tells (Eccl. Hist., lib iii., cap. 4, 7,) that West Saxony was converted by Agilbert, an Irish bishop, and East Anglia, by Fursey, a Scotch missionary. From England these energetic missionaries, accompanied by their pious architects passed over into Europe, and effectually labored for the conversion of the Scandanavian nations, introducing into Germany, Sweden, Norway, and even Ireland, the blessings of Christianity and the refinements of civilized life.

It is worthy of note that in all the early records the word Scotland is very generally used as a generic term to indicate both Scotland and Ireland. This error arose most probably from the very intimate geographical and social connections of the Scotch and the northern Irish, and perhaps also, from the general inaccuracy of the historians of that period. Thus has arisen the very common opinion, that Scotland was the germ whence sprang all the Christianity of the northern nations, and that the same country was the cradle of ecclesiastical architecture and Operative Masonry.

The historical error by which the glory of Ireland has been merged in that of her sister country, Scotland has been preserved in much of the language and many of the traditions in modern Freemasonry. Hence the story of the Abbey of Kilwinning as the birth place of Masonry, a story which is still the favorite of the Freemasons of Scotland. Hence the tradition of the apocryphal mountains of Heroden, situated in the north-west of Scotland, where the first or metropolitan Lodge of Europe was held; hence the high degrees of Ecossais, or Scottish Master, which play so important a part in modern philosophical Masonry; and hence the title of "Scottish Masonry," applied to one of the leading Rites of Freemasonry, which has, however, no other connection with Scotland than that historical one, through the corporation of builders, which is common to the whole of the Institution.

It is not worth while to trace the religious contests between the original Christians of Britain and the Papal power, which after years of controversy terminated in the submission of the British Bishops to the Pope. As soon as the Papal authority was firmly established over Europe, the Roman Catholic hierarchy secured the services of the builders' corporations, and these under the patronage of the Pope and the Bishops, were everywhere engaged as "travelling freemasons," in the construction of ecclesiastical and regal edifices.

Henceforth we find these corporations of builders exercising their art in all countries, everywhere proving, as Mr. Hope says, by the identity of their designs, that they were controlled by universally accepted principles, and showing in every other way the characteristics of a corporation or gild. So far the chain of connection between them and the Collegia Artifcum at Rome has not been broken.

In the year 926 a generally assembly of these builders was held at the city of York, in England.

Four years after, in 930, according to Rebold, Henry the Fowler brought these builders, now called Masons, from England into Germany, and employed them in the construction of various edifices, such as the cathedrals of Magdeburg, Meissen, and Merseburg. But Krause, who is better and more accurate as a historian than Rebold, says that, as respects Germany, the first account that we find of these corporations of builders is at the epoch when, under the direction of Edwin of Steinbach , the most distinguish architects had congregated from all parts of Strasburg for the construction of the cathedral of that city. There they held their general assembly, like that of their English brethren at York, enacted Constitutions, and established, at length, a Grand Lodge, to whose decisions numerous Lodges or hutten, subsequently organized in Germany, Bohemia, Hungary, France, and other countries, yeilded obedience. George Kloss, in his exhaustive work entitled Die Freimaurerei in ihrer wahren Bedeutung has supplied us with a full collation of the statutes and regulations adopted by these Strasburg Masons.

We have now reached recent historical ground, and readily trace these associations of builders the establishment of the Grand Lodge of England at London, in 1717, when the Lodges abandoned their operative charters and became exclusively speculative. The record of the continued existence of the Lodges of Free and Accepted Masons from that day to this, in every civilized country of the world, is in the hands of every Masonic student. To repeat it would be a tedious work of supererogation.

Such is the history, and now what is the necessary deduction. It cannot be doubted that Krause is correct in his theory that the incunbula - the cradle or birthplace - of the Modern Masonic Lodges is to be found in the Roman Colleges of Architects. That theory is correct, if we look only to the outward form, and mode of working of the Lodges. To the Colleges are they indebted for everything that distinguished them as a gild or corporation, and especially are they indebted to the architectural character of these Colleges for the fact, so singular in Freemasonry, that its religious symbolism - that by which it is distinguished from all institutions -is founded on the elements, the working tools, and the technical language of the stonemasons' art.

But we view Freemasonry in a higher aspect, when we look at it as a science of symbolism, the whole of which symbolism is directed to but one point, namely the elucidation of the great doctrine of the immortality of the soul, and the teaching of the two lives, the present and the future, we must go beyond the Colleges of Rome, which were only operative associations, to that older type to be found in the Ancient Mysteries, where precisely the same doctrine was taught precisely in the same manner. Krause does not, it is true, altogether omit a reference to the priest of Greece, who, he thinks, were in some way the original whence the Roman Colleges derived their existence; but he has not pressed the point with the pertinacity which its importance requires. He gives in his theory a pre-eminence to the Colleges in which they are not in truth entitled.

Encyclopedia of Freemasonry

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Eternity (Turn Two in One it to Three in One)

Eternity personified, holding the ourobouros. Caryatid in the apse of Milan Cathedral (1611).

While in the popular mind, eternity often simply means existing for a limitless amount of time, many have used it to refer to a timeless existence altogether outside of time. There are a number of arguments for eternity, by which proponents of the concept, principally Aristotle, purported to prove that matter, motion, and time must have existed eternally.

The idea of Eternity

Metaphysics of eternity might be summarized as the question, if and how could anything survive time? Ever since the days of Aristotle, the philosophical aspect seems still very much relevant, based on the recent and very pragmatic approaches to proton decay research for instance. Regardless of all the efforts, spontaneous breaking of proton into other particles has never been observed.

A consequent metaphysical question of importance is, can information survive without humans, and if so, what would be the content and purpose of such information? Would it carry the idea of eternity within some recursive structure adopted from the nature perhaps, life with some regenerative process to reproduce itself? Could we consider ourselves as part of such message or piece of information?

Eternity as a timeless existence

Augustine of Hippo wrote that time exists only within the created universe, so that God exists outside of time; for God there is no past or future, but only an eternal present. One need not believe in God in order to hold this concept of eternity: for example, an atheist mathematician can maintain the philosophical tenet that numbers and the relationships among them exist outside of time, and so are in that sense eternal.

God and eternity

Theists say that God is eternally existent. How this is understood depends on which definition of eternity is used. On the one hand, God may exist in eternity, a timeless existence where categories of past, present, and future just do not apply. On the other hand, God will exist for or through eternity, or at all times, having already existed for an infinite amount of time and continuing to exist for an infinite amount of time. One other definition states that God exists outside the human concept of time, but also inside of time. The reasoning for this definition is that if God did not exist both outside of time and inside of time, God would not be able to interact with humans.

Whichever definition of eternity is understood, it is common to observe that finite human beings cannot fully understand eternity, since it is either an infinite amount of the time we know or something other than the time and space we know. For the infinite definition, there are parallels that give some notion of an infinity—of at least a potential infinity, or a series that begins and has not ended. A series of moments that has begun and not ended is however, not potentially eternal by that definition. A series of moments that has begun and not ended cannot be eternal, because even if it were to continue for the rest of (infinite) time, there would still be time prior to the initial moment in the series. The series of moments could not ever exist for all eternity because no matter what happened during the series of moments, nothing would ever cause the series of moments to have existed since the beginning of "eternity"(eternity has no beginning), and thus could never achieve the status of eternal or even potentially eternal.

Related to the notion of eternal existence is the concept of God as Creator, as a being completely independent of "everything else" that exists because He created everything else (as against panentheism). If this premise is true, then it follows that God is independent of both space and time, since these are properties of the universe. So according to this notion, God exists before time began, exists during all moments in time, and will continue to exist if somehow the universe and time itself were to cease to exist.

Related to 'eternal life', the biblical revelation first indicated that Man as a special created being is able to grasp the abstract concept in contrast with the lower animal world which did not have the ability to understand the concept of "eternity". See book of Ecclesiastes 3:11 "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men .." (from Bible translation in the N.I.V.). Contrast this with the timeless existence definition, which would imply animals are blessed with eternal life from birth (because of their inability to grasp the concept of eternity or even time), which is something mankind gave up when he was cast out of the "Garden of Eden." It is commonly believed among theists that although mankind can grasp the abstract concept of "eternity", one may only obtain "eternal life" once returned to God.

See also the nature of God in monotheistic religions.

Symbolism and eternity

Eternity is often symbolized by the image of a snake swallowing its own tail, known as Ouroboros (or Uroboros), though the symbol can also carry a number of other connotations.

The circle is also commonly used as a symbol for eternity. The related concept, infinity, is symbolized by \infty.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Id, ego, and super-ego

Id, ego, and super-ego

are the three parts of the psychic apparatus defined in Sigmund Freud's structural model of the psyche; they are the three theoretical constructs in terms of whose activity and interaction mental life is described. According to this model, the uncoordinated instinctual trends are the "id"; the organised realistic part of the psyche is the "ego," and the critical and moralising function the "super-ego." [1]

Even though the model is "structural" and makes reference to an "apparatus", the id, ego, and super-ego are functions of the mind rather than parts of the brain and do not necessarily correspond one-to-one with actual somatic structures of the kind dealt with by neuroscience.

The concepts themselves arose at a late stage in the development of Freud's thought: the structural model was first discussed in his 1920 essay "Beyond the Pleasure Principle" and was formalised and elaborated upon three years later in his "The Ego and the Id." Freud's proposal was influenced by the ambiguity of the term "unconscious" and its many conflicting uses.

The terms "id," "ego," and "super-ego" are not Freud's own but are latinisations originating from his translator James Strachey. Freud himself wrote of "das Es," "das Ich," and "das Über-Ich"—respectively, "the It," "the I," and the "Over-I" (or "Upper-I"); thus to the German reader, Freud's original terms are more or less self-explanatory. The term "das Es" was borrowed from Georg Groddeck, a German physician to whose unconventional ideas Freud was much attracted.[2] (Groddeck's translators render the term in English as 'the It').


The Id comprises the unorganized part of the personality structure that contains the basic drives. The id acts as a pleasure principle: if not compelled by reality it seeks immediate enjoyment.[3] It is focused on selfishness and instant self-gratification. Personality, as Freud saw it, was produced by the conflict between biological impulses and social restraints that were internalised.[4][5] The Id is unconscious by definition. In Freud's formulation,

It is the dark, inaccessible part of our personality, what little we know of it we have learned from our study of the dream-work and of the construction of neurotic symptoms, and most of this is of a negative character and can be described only as a contrast to the ego. We all approach the id with analogies: we call it a chaos, a cauldron full of seething excitations... It is filled with energy reaching it from the instincts, but it has no organization, produces no collective will, but only a striving to bring about the satisfaction of the instinctual needs subject to the observance of the pleasure principle.

[Freud, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis (1933)]

The id stands in direct opposition to the super-ego. [6]

Developmentally, the Id is anterior to the ego; i.e. the psychic apparatus begins, at birth, as an undifferentiated id, part of which then develops into a structured ego. Thus, the id:

contains everything that is inherited, that is present at birth, is laid down in the constitution -- above all, therefore, the instincts, which originate from the somatic organisation and which find a first psychical expression here (in the id) in forms unknown to us" [7].

The mind of a newborn child is regarded as completely "id-ridden", in the sense that it is a mass of instinctive drives and impulses, and demands immediate satisfaction. This view equates a newborn child with an id-ridden individual—often humorously—with this analogy: an alimentary tract with no sense of responsibility at either end.

The id is responsible for our basic drives such as food, water, sex, and basic impulses. It is amoral and egocentric, ruled by the pleasure–pain principle; it is without a sense of time, completely illogical, primarily sexual, infantile in its emotional development, and will not take "no" for an answer. It is regarded as the reservoir of the libido or "instinctive drive to create".

Freud divided the id's drives and instincts into two categories: life and death instincts - the latter not so usually regarded because Freud thought of it later in his lifetime. Life instincts (Eros) are those that are crucial to pleasurable survival, such as eating and copulation. Death instincts, (Thanatos) as stated by Freud, is our unconscious wish to die, as death puts an end to the everyday struggles for happiness and survival. Freud noticed the death instinct in our desire for peace and attempts to escape reality through fiction, media, and substances such as alcohol and drugs. It also indirectly represents itself through aggression.


The Ego acts according to the reality principle; i.e. it seeks to please the id’s drive in realistic ways that will benefit in the long term rather than bringing grief.[8]

"The ego is not sharply separated from the id; its lower portion merges into it.... But the repressed merges into the id as well, and is merely a part of it. The repressed is only cut off sharply from the ego by the resistances of repression; it can communicate with the ego through the id." (Sigmund Freud, 1923)

The Ego comprises that organized part of the personality structure which includes defensive, perceptual, intellectual-cognitive, and executive functions. Conscious awareness resides in the ego, although not all of the operations of the ego are conscious. The ego separates what is real. It helps us to organise our thoughts and make sense of them and the world around us. [9]

According to Freud,

...The ego is that part of the id which has been modified by the direct influence of the external world ... The ego represents what may be called reason and common sense, in contrast to the id, which contains the passions ... in its relation to the id it is like a man on horseback, who has to hold in check the superior strength of the horse; with this difference, that the rider tries to do so with his own strength, while the ego uses borrowed forces [Freud, The Ego and the Id (1923)]

In Freud's theory, the ego mediates among the id, the super-ego and the external world. Its task is to find a balance between primitive drives and reality (the Ego devoid of morality at this level) while satisfying the id and super-ego. Its main concern is with the individual's safety and allows some of the id's desires to be expressed, but only when consequences of these actions are marginal. Ego defense mechanisms are often used by the ego when id behavior conflicts with reality and either society's morals, norms, and taboos or the individual's expectations as a result of the internalisation of these morals, norms, and their taboos.

The word ego is taken directly from Latin, where it is the nominative of the first person singular personal pronoun and is translated as "I myself" to express emphasis. The Latin term ego is used in English to translate Freud's German term Das Ich, which literally means "the I".

Ego development is known as the development of multiple processes, cognitive function, defenses, and interpersonal skills or to early adolescence when ego processes are emerged.[10]

In modern-day society, ego has many meanings. It could mean one’s self-esteem; an inflated sense of self-worth; or in philosophical terms, one’s self. However, according to Freud, the ego is the part of the mind which contains the consciousness. Originally, Freud had associated the word ego to meaning a sense of self; however, he later revised it to mean a set of psychic functions such as judgment, tolerance, reality-testing, control, planning, defense, synthesis of information, intellectual functioning, and memory. [11]

In a diagram of the Structural and Topographical Models of Mind, the ego is depicted to be half in the consciousness, while a quarter is in the preconscious and the other quarter lies in the unconscious.

The ego is the mediator between the id and the super-ego, trying to ensure that the needs of both the id and the super-ego are satisfied. It is said to operate on a reality principle, meaning it deals with the id and the super-ego; allowing them to express their desires, drives and morals in realistic and socially appropriate ways. It is said that the ego stands for reason and caution, developing with age. Sigmund Freud had used an analogy which likened the ego to a rider and a horse; the ego being the rider while the id being the horse. The horse provides the energy and the means of obtaining the energy and information needed, while the rider ultimately controls the direction it wants to go. However, due to unfavorable conditions, sometimes the horse makes its own decisions over the rocky terrain.

When the ego is personified, it is like a slave to three harsh masters: the id, the super-ego and the external world. It has to do its best to suit all three, thus is constantly feeling hemmed by the danger of causing discontent on two other sides. It is said, however, that the ego seems to be more loyal to the id, preferring to gloss over the finer details of reality to minimise conflicts while pretending to have a regard for reality. But the super-ego is constantly watching every one of the ego's moves and punishes it with feelings of guilt, anxiety, and inferiority. To overcome this the ego employs defense mechanisms.The defense mechanisms are not done so directly or consciously. They lessen the tension by covering up our impulses that are threatening.[12]

Denial, displacement, intellectualisation, fantasy, compensation, projection, rationalisation, reaction formation, regression, repression and sublimation were the defense mechanisms Freud identified. However, his daughter Anna Freud clarified and identified the concepts of undoing, suppression, dissociation, idealisation, identification, introjection, inversion, somatisation, splitting and substitution.


The Super-ego aims for perfection[13]. It comprises that organized part of the personality structure, mainly but not entirely unconscious, that includes the individual's ego ideals, spiritual goals, and the psychic agency (commonly called 'conscience') that criticizes and prohibits his or her drives, fantasies, feelings, and actions.

The Super-ego can be thought of as a type of conscience that punishes misbehavior with feelings of guilt. For example: having extra-marital affairs.[14]

The Super-ego works in contradiction to the id. The Super-ego strives to act in a socially appropriate manner, whereas the id just wants instant self-gratification. The Super-ego controls our sense of right and wrong and guilt. It helps us fit into society by getting us to act in socially acceptable ways.[15]
The Super-ego's demands oppose the id’s, so the ego has a hard time in reconciling the two.[16] Freud's theory implies that the super-ego is a symbolic internalisation of the father figure and cultural regulations. The super-ego tends to stand in opposition to the desires of the id because of their conflicting objectives, and its aggressiveness towards the ego. The super-ego acts as the conscience, maintaining our sense of morality and proscription from taboos. The superego and the ego is the product of two key factors: the state of helplessness of the child and the Oedipus complex. [17] Its formation takes place during the dissolution of the Oedipus complex and is formed by an identification with and internalisation of the father figure after the little boy cannot successfully hold the mother as a love-object out of fear of castration.

The super-ego retains the character of the father, while the more powerful the Oedipus complex was and the more rapidly it succumbed to repression (under the influence of authority, religious teaching, schooling and reading), the stricter will be the domination of the super-ego over the ego later on — in the form of conscience or perhaps of an unconscious sense of guilt (The Ego and the Id, 1923).

In Sigmund Freud's work Civilization and Its Discontents (1930) he also discusses the concept of a "cultural super-ego". The concept of super-ego and the Oedipus complex is subject to criticism for its perceived sexism. Women, who are considered to be already castrated, do not identify with the father, and therefore form a weak super-ego, leaving them susceptible to immorality and sexual identity complications.

Advantages of the structural model

The partition of the psyche defined in the structural model is one that 'cuts across' the topographical model's partition of 'conscious vs. unconscious'. Its value lies in the increased degree of diversification: although the Id is unconscious by definition, the Ego and the Super-ego are both partly conscious and partly unconscious. What is more, with this new model Freud achieved a more systematic classification of mental disorder than had been available previously: -

"Transference neuroses correspond to a conflict between the ego and the id; narcissistic neuroses, to a conflict between the ego and the superego; and psychoses, to one between the ego and the external world"

- [Freud, "Neurosis and Psychosis" (1923)].

In popular culture

  • In the 1956 science fiction film Forbidden Planet, the murderously destructive forces at large on the planet Altair 4 are eventually revealed to be "monsters from the Id", internal forces unleashed upon the exterior world by the operations of the Krell mind-materialisation machine.
  • Guy Ritchie's mystery thriller film Revolver is based upon the interactions between the ego and the outer world, (although it understands little, if anything, of the actual concept).
  • Computer game developer id Software was originally named "Ideas from the Deep", but was later shortened to "id" and took on the Freudian meaning. In addition, the "Garg" from its game, Commander Keen, is a personification of the id.
  • Pearl Jam's 1995 single "I Got Id" describes an anxiety-ridden narrator and his goal of returning to a less controlled state.
  • In the video game Earthworm Jim 3D, player character Jim becomes his own superego after a cow incident sends him into a coma.
  • The film Shock Treatment features a song called "Look What I Did To My Id". The song is about characters donning new roles, as if putting on new personalities.
  • In the computer game adaptation of I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, the ego, id and superego play an important part in the final section of the game.
  • The band Transmission titled their 2007 debut album Id, Ego and Superego.
  • The band Anti-Flag mentions the Id and Ego in their song "Post-war Breakout"
  • The band NOFX mention the Super Ego in their song "The Decline"[18]
  • The band Deadsy mentions the Id in their song "Key To Gramercy Park"
  • The band Guided by Voices has a song titled "The Ids are Alright" on their 2002 album, Universal Truths and Cycles. The title is a pun referencing the song "The Kids are Alright" by The Who.
  • The PlayStation game Xenogears contains a character named Id, who represents a dark side of the main character.
  • The Band Of Montreal have a song entitled "Id Engager" on their album Skeletal Lamping.
  • The band Billy Talent mentions the Id in their song "Line and Sinker".
  • The television show Blood Ties devotes an episode to brothers whose psychotic mother has developed them into being the three separate parts of the Freudian psyche.
  • Buffy season 4 episode 5 "beer bad" references the ID early on in the episode and is the focus of the episode.
  • Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes Make frequent references to the id, following the idea that the protagonists are stuck inside their own minds. e.g. Sam Tyler "Give my regards to the id"
  • In the computer game Subterranean Animism, Koishi Komeiji uses attacks named after the id, ego, and superego.
  • In William Golding's novel 'Lord of the Flies', the id, ego and superego are represented by the characters Jack, Ralph and Piggy respectively.
  • It has been suggested that the wall motif in Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' is a representation of the superego.