Are We the Same Person Today, As Yesterday?

You ever have one of those days, or series of days, where even though there’s nothing earth-shattering wrong, everything still seems wrong? Or out of place. Almost as if you yourself are out of place. Sort of like Dorothy, minus the munchkins. The flying monkeys? Yea, they’re still in the picture as is the Wicked Witch of the East (or was it the West).

I’ve heard people say they feel like they’re “in a funk,” or “just not themselves.” And I get it. Kind of. Thing is, what if you’re just not really sure what “yourself” is supposed to be. What if there is no constant, but only progression―or regression, as the case may be. What if that aforementioned funk is your reality?

In college I took a philosophy class and while I don’t recall much from the course, I do remember one particular lesson. It goes something like this …

A man commits a crime when he’s 20, but no one knows. He continues with his life with no repercussions, and barely a thought of the entire event. He leads a good life. Is a shining example of what a person should be. Then one day, when he’s say 40, the incident is brought to life and he is tried, convicted and punished. Severely.

Is that fair? Push aside any consideration for the severity of the crime, if you can, and just focus on the basic facts. And so … is it fair? If, indeed, the personality is constantly evolving and we live in a non-equilibrium state, then we are not the same person as we were moments ago, let alone days, weeks, years ago, so how can the said man in the example be accountable for something he did decades earlier?

If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday. ~ Pearl S. Buck

According to Freud, there are three main components to the personality:

  • The id is the primitive and instinctual part of the mind that contains sexual and aggressive drives and hidden memories―it is the only component with which we are born and it is entirely unconscious, instinctive and primitive.
  • The super-ego operates is our moral conscience, and
  • The ego is our reality, or middle man if you will as it mediates the desires between the other two.

And most of us, at least those whom society deem “stable” go about our daily lives with all three concepts present, and all three balancing out one another when needed. Of course others live more extreme. Ever met an extremely judgemental person? Chance are their super-ego rules their mind. An extremely sensible, rational person? They’re more than likely ruled by their ego. And the people ruled by the id, well, think of those who act on impulse, often without much thinking but rather just an inherent needed to do. Yes, criminals often fall into this realm, but so do some perfectly sane people who simply can’t help but live on the edge a little. Or a lot, as the case may be.

Me? I’m influenced (highly) by my id. I think I have been quick to decide and quick to do, since the day I took my first breath. I don’t overthink. I may be a bit impulsive, but I’m not irrational. Don’t get me wrong, I do do make mistakes and sometime I think I should have done things differently, BUT, I do not regret. I mean what’s the point? What I do, “do,” is live. And I so unapologetically. At least I thought I did … but, back to my little problem of feeling like everything is wrong, when nothing really is. Could it be that it’s just my super ego chiming in when I’ve been just fine with out it? Or my ego trying to ground me before my id forces me off the ledge?

Or, could it just be that there’s a curtain somewhere and behind it, the Wizard is manipulating my every move. Pulling. Pushing. I think he needs to take a lunch break.

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