Energy Level Freudianism?

Energy Level Freudianism?

Perhaps the logic of Freudianism is that so much of the human psychology is idiosyncratic that it is difficult to create generalizations. What if we could focus scientific inquiry on the features that all living humans must have?

He may have decided that activity in the digestive and reproductive systems are universal and fundamental to human experience. Therefore, although one may not be able to account for all psychological phenomena in terms of activity in these overlapping areas, at least one would have good reasons for thinking that observations in this two areas would be fairly universal.

If this is in fact the foundation of scientific psychology, then perhaps we can imagine an even more comprehensive, universal aspect of human existence - one that seems to play a role in all conscious activity. Perhaps much of Freudianism could be reimagined in terms of perceived energy levels. Changes in energy level seem to be a constant feature of all human activities. Perhaps revisiting the Freudian infrastructure and superstructure that is built on the digestive and reproductive systems could inspire a new style of Freudian infrastructure and superstructure built upon the subjective experience of energy levels. Perhaps in Freud’s day there were not sufficient scientific tools for measuring the perception of energy levels. Today, brain scanning, hormone level measurement, and computer analysis technologies may help us to correlate perceived energy levels with physiology in ways that could help us to reinterpret mythologies and other sources of human knowledge and wisdom.

Maybe many of the problems people have in adulthood are the result of a mismatch between their childhood and early adult energy levels, and the lived experiences they have as mature adults.

There may be several different major battles that all humans tend to face while attempting to budget their available energy at different points during their development. The exact stages one goes through and the necessity of each stage may vary by individual and cultural context. Here is an attempt to sketch out a few fairly common stages:

  1. Staying awake when others are awake or when there is some other limited window of opportunity

  2. Potty training instead of going freely in a diaper

  3. Informal education and play with others during times outside one’s control

  4. Informal education and play that is under one’s control

  5. Formal education

  6. Feeding, dressing, cleaning, and decorating one’s person and possessions

  7. Romance and initial sexual experiences

  8. Remunerated and Unremunerated work for others

  9. Formal, regular labor for others

  10. Marriage

  11. Having children

  12. Advancing career

  13. Health maintenance and decline

  14. Retirement - which introduces more free time and more bodily and mental decline

If these thresholds and others are not successfully navigated, then perhaps the individual remains delayed and suffers in ways that might be relieved by psychoanalytical and physiological examinations and therapies.

If energy is the capacity to bring about change, then there are at least three sources of control that attempt to shape how the individual brings about change or not - change that may shape the individual’s body, mind, and environment (which includes other individuals).

  1. ID - The portion of one’s cognition and direct bodily sensations that are outside of awareness and have an internal origin.

  2. EGO - The portion of one’s cognition and direct bodily sensations that are within the individual’s awareness and shaped by the individual in aware ways.

  3. SUPER EGO - The portion of one’s cognition and direct bodily sensations that are brought about by the perceived and actual demands of the community that are placed on the individual.

If the individual fails to find a pleasant way to bring about change in the stages of life listed above under the influence of the three forces above, then they may encounter unhappiness and other developmental problems.

Interestingly, by basing the theory on energy (i.e. ability to bring about change) simple equations from physics might be useful for exploring psychological phenomena. If we can find physiological markers of increased energy levels, we may even be able to empirically test the consequences of theories intended to lead patients to better budgeting of their energy. Often we may wish to invest our energy in ways that will lead to a better expenditure of energy in the future. If we do not learn to invest in this way using the ego, where we are not forced to do so by the superego, then perhaps the energy demands as we advance in life may become overwhelming.

Does this idea make sense? There may be energy expenditure budgeting demands that are implied by different stages of development too.

Red - Energy mostly spent on self-care + family care
Amber - Self-care + family care + rituals and community care
Orange - Self-care + family care + education, deliberation, research, voting
Green - Self-care + family care + tolerance, diversity, inclusion
Teal - Self-care + family care + cultivating the coexistence of healthy forms of all prior stages

There is almost certainly a lot more detail that can be added to this. It seems clear that you must budget your energy in certain necessary ways in order to sustain access to a particular stage of development in a stable way. Transcend and Include seems to imply that there is a re-budgeting of energy when making a transition. You need to budget for the included portions of prior stages and for the new transcend portions that define the new stage, all of it has to occur within your energy constraints. Perhaps caring for the body can improve one’s chances of Enlightenment because it gives you more energy to budget with.

Interestingly, by basing the theory on energy (i.e. ability to bring about change) simple equations from physics might be useful for exploring psychological phenomena. Ones current energy investments are a velocity vector- where the mind, body, and environment are basic dimensions of the energy investment vector. The id, ego, and, superego are forces attempting to change that vector. Changeability of a particular energy investment is inertia - which can replace mass in some calculations.

If we had an effective form of VOLUNTARY ONLY behavioralism we could perhaps reshape the energy use vector by rewarding behaviors that we wish to become part of the ID.

A big part of making this an empirical science would be to find ways to approximate the energy use vector and to develop methods that bring about predictable changes in the energy use vector that we can also see in our measurements that approximate it well.