Degradation of (moral) values in the context of the ego ideal and the ideal ego
Author(s)Todorović Milorad V.
'degradation' of values
History of scholarship and learning. The humanities
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AbstractAll conclusions about some psychological characteristics or content must derive from relations of social, or better yet, epochal changes and structure they create. General agreement - admittedly biased and without access to a constant fact which is not close to any transitional movements - that the times are unstable - does not end with a precise understanding of how much would that instability reflect on the formation of a stable character. It could be said that this particular level of structuration, which connects 'the external' and 'the internal', is consistently absent in most theories. This especially applies to our central self, our consciousness, the authoritative part of us that sets standards and has been wrongly equated with universal truths, general principles and something that is considered to be common to all people. All complexity of formation of the superego, as the lastly formed instance that is also responsible for the sense of duty or the sense of moral obligation, has always been a result of the current form of structuration and has always been realized, more or less, as a distorted memory of certain, quite determined, events that a subject was overwhelmed with. If we listen to our own tendencies toward instability, we will not fall into the trap which is often present when describing ourselves, i.e. the belief that we have 'a real self', common to all human beings, whose requests are more important than requests of all others. However, outside of dynamic psychology, it would be difficult to understand how Lacan's 'split entity' could ever have 'a real self' whose requests are, especially concerning morality, more important than all other requests. Human nature has most easily been introduced into the norm by those ideals that had insisted on denial, and are located in the ego ideal. When 'ideals' moved, usually behind a screen of freedom and urge for individualization, the pleasure returned to nature in the form of ego ideals that knew the answer to the question, 'What is good for a man's life?' It is, as a reality principle, located in egocentric context, but no longer as an individual excess, but rather as a general, universal truth. Individualism, as the supreme value, has allowed different people to keep different views on what is a good life. While the ego ideal extolled people to make a compromise in which, of course, they had to forgo nature for the sake of culture, ideal ego approves all bypasses of the law if it is good for the subject. It could almost be said that the system of ego ideal, which is valued less and less, makes values as they are. There is no degradation whatsoever because cancelling of differences and boundaries leads to uniformity where the difference between the right and wrong is reduced to personal good. 'An inner voice' that dictates duties to the subject and indicates where good and evil are in opposition as pure or impure, was suspended. Ideal ego is not an ally of the law because it does not care for the subject's well-being. Unlike it, the ego ideal was giving satisfaction by its realization. No matter how strange it might seem, the highest value in a man (moral values) is most deeply associated with the lowest, with his pure nature. Therefore, it is difficult, if not impossible, to answer the question, 'What is my true self?' to a man who wonders what it is human nature. For psychoanalysis, it is hard to accept that naive 'clear understanding of self' and own values, which starts from Plato. And that was particularly difficult when, instead of compensated narcissism in the ego ideal, he continued his life in the ideal ego.