Making Sense of Freud's Tripartite Theory of Personality

In last month’s post I started talking about the ego/identity and how we have to dismantle parts of it to grow and develop into a closer version of our higher self, however I never really formally studied the psychoanalytical origin of the word ego. I use the word often enough thinking that I understand it having heard others use it in psychological and spiritual teachings and books, yet I never took the time to look it up. With all of the “fake news” and unverified stories circulating these days I felt it was time to make sure I knew the original definition of that word and how it has been updated since its debut into our lexicon before flinging it around in my stories.

When I looked into it I found the the English word “ego” comes from Latin meaning “I, myself,” and it turns out that there is no universal agreement as to what the “ego” is. To save myself from getting too lost in the research of “ego” and how the concept has evolved through different people’s perspectives, I decided to focus on Sigmund Freud’s tripartite theory of personality involving the id, the ego, and the super-ego.

In Freud’s The Ego and The Id published in 1923 he described three aspects of the human mind. After looking up many different explanations and interpretations of these concepts, this is how they make sense to me.

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