Freud Vs Dalai Lama Analysis

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Sigmund Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents outlines different paths to happiness and asserts that civilization is the cause of human unhappiness. According to Freud, humans experience happiness by fulfilling instinctual desires, many of which are suppressed by modern society. Some of these desires result from a human attraction to Eros and Thanatos — love and death. On the contrary, the Dalai Lama argues that true happiness stems from compassion and self-control. Both Freud and the Dalai Lama provide compelling arguments; their theories, such as Freud’s death drive and the Dalai Lama’s idea of interdependence, are evident in society. However, despite the legitimacy of many of Freud’s claims, the Dalai Lama presents both a stronger and…show more content…
As restrictions are placed on external aggression, such aggression must turn inward so as not to impede the advancement of civilization. Yet such internalized suffering goes beyond the repression of released aggression; it extends to all regulated instincts, resulting in the creation of a superego. As explained by Herbert Marcuse, consciousness exists in three different “layers”: id, ego, and superego. Id exists without the restraints of civilization; it consists of natural instincts on their basest levels, untouched by societal norms or expectations. When such expectations arise, so does the ego, serving to keep the id in check so as not to allow instinct to disturb society. A subset of the ego, the superego, serves as an internal authority to prevent the ego from doing something that is considered wrong. Freud states that “the tension between the harsh super-ego and the ego that is subjected to it, is called by us the sense of…show more content…
As opposed to Freud, the Dalai Lama would undoubtedly fully endorse the idea to “love they neighbor as thyself.” In fact, while he does not use those exact words to frame his philosophy, the Dalai Lama is certainly a believer in finding compassion for everyone and anyone, no matter the individual or circumstance. The Dalai Lama not only preaches unconditional compassion but self-restraint as well. He would likely deny Freud’s claims of an intrinsic aggression characteristic of humanity, especially that such aggression outweighs
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