According to Sigmund Freud, the “id” is one of the three parts of the psyche. The other two are the “ego” and the “superego.” The id is pretty much the antithesis of the superego and vice-versa. It is up to the ego to negotiate and mediate between the id and superego. However, most of this does not make any sense unless you have taken at least some sort of psychology class or read a psychology book.
For those that have not, there is the run down on the id and the superego.
The id is defined as the part of your psyche that wants pleasure. It does not care about customs, laws, rules, and so forth. The id is the part of your psyche that wants instant enjoyment and pleasure. In a sense, this is where your inner demon resides for the most part. One could compare your id to the darkest depths of the abyss.
All the id wants is pleasure and self-gratification. That applies to the want of food, water, sex, release, and everything else. It is completely ruled by the sensation of getting pleasure. In order to get that pleasure, it sends out signals of pain as a result.
One example would be hunger pangs. Say that you are hungry and need food to relieve yourself of the hunger pangs. However, you cannot simply get the food. The id cares about getting the food. The superego keeps you from simply eating the food and so forth. In short, the id is defined as the part of you that just wants selfish pleasure. It does not care about other people, rules, laws, regulations, and so forth. In short, this is the part of the psyche that stops at nothing to get that instant gratification.
The superego is the antithesis of the ego. While the id is all about getting pleasure and gratification by whatever means necessary, the superego is the complete opposite. In represents your “moral” and “ethical side.” In short, the superego acts as your compass of morality. The superego is your “conscience” at best. It is up to the ego to mediate between the id and the superego. While the id is more hard-lined towards pleasure, the superego is more hard-lined towards morality and discipline.
In order to understand the role of the id, one also has to understand the role of the superego. Think of the id as being the villain or antihero while the superego acts as the superhero.
In order to understand the role, there are some examples to follow:
Say that you are about to engage in sex. The id simply tells you to go ahead and have sex without using protection. If you are a guy, the id is probably telling you to just go on with it without using a condom. If you are a female, the id is probably telling you to go ahead without telling the guy to use a condom. In short, the id wants sexual pleasure and does not care about the consequences of unprotected sex.
This reminds me of the storyline of “Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance.” A new villainous group called the Red Dragon which is supposed to be the rival and antithesis to the Black Dragon. While the Black Dragon is another villainous group, it has a different approach from the Red Dragon.
The Red Dragon exercises discipline and restraint while the Black Dragon decides to go all out. In this case, the Red Dragon represents the superego while the Black Dragon represents the id.
Say that you are extremely hungry and want food. The id wants the gratification of consuming food. The role the id takes is that it sends signals in the forms of hunger pangs. One notable example would be the growling stomach that wants food. The id is forcing you to get food by whatever means necessary.
In one situation, you may be tempted to take food without thinking of the consequences of it. In another situation, you may be tempted to eat food as is without thinking about contracting food poisoning.
You may be tempted to relieve yourself of anger and hatred without thinking of the consequences. But, the id does not care. All it wants is the pleasure and instant gratification of release.
The id represents your primal wants, needs, and urges. In a sense, the id is the inner beast that comes out when it is hungry, thirsty, angry, and so forth. Overall, the id’s role is similar to that of the human beast. It is the part of the psyche that wants pleasure. As long as it gets pleasure, the id does not care about the consequences.