We develop more and more of a sense of self as we face reality. As we face reality by ourselves and overcome challenges that add to our self-confidence and intrinsic motivation.
As we grow and interact with the world, we work through the stages of Ego development.
This is the process by which we become an autonomous, inner-directed human being. Jung called this process Individuation.
The Autonomous Ego or The Independent Mind: is a conflict free zone, a sphere of consciousness free from the war between the Superego, the Shadow and the Id, and it has its own autonomous system of drives, derived from the instinct for self preservation.
*It understands and integrates the energetic drives of the Id and sublimates them toward loving sexuality and creative activity. Integration is not only a normal function of the Ego but also a defense against disintegrative tendencies from the Id and Superego.
*Along with unconscious processes such as imagination and intuition become consciously directed and work in collaboration with the integrative functions of the Ego, such as logical thought, which are related to directed creative effort and implementation.
*It creates his or her own moral code and relies on his or her own sense of right and wrong, based on rational and objective analysis, as it is free from Superego programs.
*It is essential for an individual to be truly creative, outside of the box of his upbringing and parental and peer standards.
*It provides us strength and power, determination and ability to engage reality for whatever we find it to be – to accept what is as existing and to then use our cognitive-behavioral, emotional and relational skills to deal with such.
*It refers to the inner personal strength by which we tolerate stress and frustration and to deal with reality without falling back to infantile defense mechanisms.
*It can tolerate a difficult situation, can cope and then will look at it realistically and act on a solution.
*It is our ability to play the Game of Life according to whatever curves life throws at us.
The Superego stands in the way of major creativity by suppressing any thought or feeling that is too unconventional or that may be subject to external criticism, so it routinely censors anything truly creative.
Freedom from the Superego is a necessary prerequisite, but creativity outside the boundaries of the ordinary also requires sufficient intelligence applied to an appropriate, wide-ranging database.
It is free to reality test and to innovate creatively. To test new ideas and to fine tune it’s creative expression and reasoning of our perception.
The Shadow and Creativity:
The ‘Shadow’ is an unconscious part of the Ego, a receptacle for that which we have for one reason or another disowned or wish to remain out of sight and those qualities that one would rather not see in oneself, as well as unrealized potentials.
By illuminating the Shadow into consciousness, its energy becomes a resource for inner-directed positive action rather than other-directed destructive actions.
We need to integrate the Shadow and achieve sufficient Individuation, in order to overcome the Superego and achieve Ego-Autonomy. The Shadow, now our friend again, energizes us to re-assimilate our total personality and Being.
Another requirement for higher levels of creativity, Intelligence, (which is essentially the ability to quickly establish new and multiple linkages between thoughts, ideas and feelings) is a necessary requisite of the creative synthesis. We also require a long tether to create, therefore freedom and mobility in the use of symbols is another requirement.
Creativity reduces instinctual tension, it fuses pleasure with reality, and satisfies the Id, or the reptilian brain.
A weak Ego run wild, out of the control of its Superego and driven by the Shadow, is not the means to valuable creativity; that is the route to neurosis, psychosomatic dis-ease, hypomania, or even to mania and psychosis.
The stronger our Ego grows, the more of a sense of self we develop and the greater our skills and resource to handle whatever comes.