Oh, For Goodness Sake!

Imagine a world where everyone has sinned, committed immoral acts against some deity, yet no one is culpable. Like leaves blowing in the wind no one has control over their actions, thoughts, destiny. A world where everything is viewed as a conflict between good and evil entities, where temptation is engineered by evil to cause a downfall of the individual, and where good resists such temptation. No one can see these good and evil entities as they exist on a different plane. These beings however, work to influence thought.

During the Dark Ages, when Christianity ruled, this imagined world, where unseen demons, or angels controlled the pattern of destiny, was a given. Superstition, fear of supernatural forces, the human capacity of imagination ran wild.

Sigmund Freud proposed long ago the concept of Superego, Id, and ego. Many in psychiatry discount his work in this field as too simplistic, perhaps using a telescope where a microscope is needed. Overall, however, it does present a view describing the inner battle each human faces between the primitive desires and the social concepts of morality present in society.

This battle between the three, Superego, Id, and Ego, unknown as a concept by primitive peoples of the Dark Ages, was instead given life as being influences from outside forces. They knew what their concept of perfection was (superego), yet many times they instead took the road to ruin, the low road (Id). In between, was the inner voice which told them that certain behaviors were not socially acceptable (Ego), but that inner voice was easily swayed either way by Superego or Id. The inner voice usually tried to mediate a way for the desires of the Id to be satisfied in a socially acceptable manner, but it often failed. The Id was given life as a demonic influence, a demon or the devil. The Superego, author of perfection, was labeled God, or angelic in nature. The poor ego, torn in between, was the individual, exercising free will, deciding between the desires of the Id, and the demands of the Superego.

Blaming demons or devils for socially unacceptable behavior released the individual from responsibility. Not understanding the existence of an inner conflict primitive peoples transposed them upon imagined influences. “How could someone commit that act? How could they, upstanding citizens, fall to that level?” they asked. The answer became that they were not responsible for their own actions as they were tempted by demons into committing them.

Thank goodness people have grown out of these primitive beliefs! They have come to realize the inner conflict, to accept responsibility. God or the devil no longer manipulate the actions of human beings. Human kind has come to maturity!

Or has it?

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