E is for Enlightenment and Ego

E = Enlightenment and spiritual emancipation.

See Freedom from the bondage of ignorance – spiritual emancipation


en·light·en (ĕn-lītʹn) verb, transitive
en·light·ened, en·light·en·ing, en·light·ens

1.     To give spiritual or intellectual insight to: “Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppression of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day” (Thomas Jefferson).

2.     To give information to; inform or instruct.

– en·lightʹen·er noun


en·light·en·ment (ĕn-lītʹn-mənt) noun

1.     a. The act or a means of enlightening. b. The state of being enlightened.

2.     Enlightenment A philosophical movement of the 18th century that emphasized the use of reason to scrutinize previously accepted doctrines and traditions and that brought about many humanitarian reforms. Used with the.

3.     Buddhism. A blessed state in which the individual transcends desire and suffering and attains Nirvana.


Enlightenment, Age of

Enlightenment, Age of, term used to describe the trends in thought and letters in Europe and the American colonies during the 18th century before the French Revolution (1789-1799). Writers of the period itself frequently employed the phrase, convinced that they were emerging from centuries of darkness and ignorance into a new age enlightened by reason, science, and a respect for humanity.

People came to assume that through a judicious use of reason and education, unending progress would be possible: Humanity itself could be altered, and its nature changed for the better. A great premium was placed on the discovery of truth through the observation of nature, rather than through the study of authoritative sources such as Greek philosopher Aristotle and the Bible. However, most Enlightenment thinkers did not renounce religion. They accepted the existence of God but rejected the intricacies of Christian theology.

More than a set of fixed ideas, the Enlightenment implied an attitude, a method of thought, and a desire to question values and explore new ideas. Proponents of the Enlightenment, known as philosophes, expressed their ideas in pamphlets, anonymous tracts, journals, and newspapers.

In many respects, the homeland of the Enlightenment was France, where such philosophes as Charles de Montesquieu, Denis Diderot, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and Voltaire published works. Representatives in Germany, England, Italy, and the American colonies also maintained close contacts with the French philosophes and made important contributions to the movement.

During the early 1700s leaders of the Enlightenment were imprisoned and censored by governments or attacked by the church. Toward the end of the century, however, their ideas were thoroughly entrenched among broad segments of society, including the nobility and the clergy. The experience of the American Revolution (1775-1783), with its implications of dramatic political change, signaled that, for the first time, some individuals were going beyond merely discussing enlightened ideas and were actually putting them into practice.

The Age of Enlightenment is usually said to have ended with the French Revolution, which embodied many of the ideals of the philosophes. In its more violent stages, the Revolution discredited these ideals in the eyes of many people. Yet the Enlightenment left Western civilization a lasting heritage of modern secularism, political and economic liberalism, and humanitarian reform.


Id, ego and super-ego are the three parts of the psychic apparatus defined in Sigmund Freud’s structural model of the psyche; they are the three theoretical constructs in terms of whose activity and interaction mental life is described. According to this model of the psyche, the id is the set of uncoordinated instinctual trends; the ego is the organized, realistic part; and the super-ego plays the critical and moralizing role.[1]

Even though the model is structural and makes reference to an apparatus, the id, ego and super-ego are functions of the mind rather than parts of the brain and do not correspond one-to-one with actual somatic structures of the kind dealt with by neuroscience.

The concepts themselves arose at a late stage in the development of Freud’s thought: the “structural model” (which succeeded his “economic model” and “topographical model”) was first discussed in his 1920 essay “Beyond the Pleasure Principle” and was formalised and elaborated upon three years later in his “The Ego and the Id“. Freud’s proposal was influenced by the ambiguity of the term “unconscious” and its many conflicting uses.



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