The id (I’ll use the more descriptive term “child-primitive”) is the product of the ancient (paleomammalian) mind. Its characteristics are that of our primitive, non-social ancient ancestors. The child-primitive is self-centered, bestial, childish, narcissistic, irresponsible, and wants to be dependent on others’ care. It inhabits only the unconscious mind; we have no conscious knowledge of the child-primitive’s state within us, yet it is considered the fundamental person inside each of us.

The unconscious child-primitive harbors feelings of sadness, emotional pain, and rage. When triggered it wants to push these emotions into the conscious realm to be expressed, as would have been the norm in primitive times. The ego is aware of this urge for expression and wants to prevent the explosion of sadness, pain, and rage into consciousness. It believes the pain and sorrow would be too dangerous for the person to experience or the anger to be too socially unacceptable to express. Instead, it represses these unconscious emotions by distracting the conscious mind with pain. It decides that physical pain is less threatening than expressing repressed emotions. We are not consciously aware of this decision and do not have any influence over it.

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