Self-knowledge: Are we icebergs?

Self-knowledge: Are we icebergs?

One thing both Freud and Maslow (foremost psychoanalysts) agreed about was self-knowledge is key to mental health. The process of self-exploration is a prerequisite to maximizing personal power. For Maslow, “Freud’s greatest discovery was that the great cause of much psychological illness is the fear of knowledge of oneself—of one’s emotions, impulses, memories, capacities, potentialities, of one’s destiny” (Abraham Maslow, 1960).

Freud’s iceberg picture of the ambiguous “unconscious” is helpful. His model of the mind divides it into three elements: The conscious, preconscious, and unconscious. The conscious contains events we are aware of; preconscious (or subconscious) is events in the process of becoming conscious, and unconscious include events we are not aware of. What is striking is that most of our self is not conscious (estimates of 70-90%). Freud used id, ego and super-ego as the three parts of the psyche; they represent the activity and interaction of our mind. None of his brilliant theory is tied to current neuroscience; it is still theory, and tries to describe our unconscious—which represents most of our minds.

The iceberg metaphor shows to “know ourselves” and our three centers of intelligence is hard work. How much experience do you have at exploring your inner being? Learning to do self-exploration requires intention and attention.

See an inspiring and remarkable example of such focus here. Miyoko Shida Rigolo gives a breath-taking performance, its worth watching until the end!

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Learn more in my book.

Thank you for reading my post. I am an organizational and business consultant living in the mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico with my husband and dogs. My core message of everyone is creative resonates with people of all ages and walks of life. I invite all to become the best version of themselves and find true meaning by pursing long term creative quests.

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