There is a transformation of the Freudian Es or Id as we like to say in English, preferring in this instance, Latin to either Freud’s German or our own Anglo-Saxon. The Freudian Id is that It-monster that resides within us, yet apart from any of the mediating forces of our humanity. This monster breeder, the Id, is severed, practically, from any connection to what it means to be humane. If humanity is a thing separate from what we mean when we say humane, then what does this say about our humanity. I know we have had trouble humanizing things in the past as we continue to do so in the present.
Monsters from the Id once again; but if the Kingdom of Heaven being within has any validity . . . We must not forget that love is a thing, that forgiveness is a thing, compassion is also a thing. Perhaps we do not forget this as much as we remember it all too well, but what we remember all too well, we ignore. Perhaps it is our relationship to things that remains unchanged. We could go on and on but let’s continue from where we began.
Perhaps the problem lies with how we generalize things. All things are neuter, after all. Now ‘love’ in Italian is she; ‘love’ in English is it. There must be a difference. We have to ask if this thingness gets in the way of our feelings? To feel is a fuzzy thing, and this fuzziness does influence how we think. Obscurity is not far behind, thus eclipsing all the better impulses of what we once named heart. But then feeling is fuzziest in a metaphysics where mind has valence and heart and soul do not. In our culture, mind has championed over heart or soul in the beliefs of those with intellectual hegemony.
There are still languages where no distinction is made between soul and mind as we do in English. This dualism in English has shifted for the worse; so, what then does it mean to have a heart, if soul no longer has any validity? One must have heart, we used to say. In order to be human when human means humane, the most necessary ingredient was having heart. Without a heart, I couldn’t hope to love, have compassion, or forgive, even myself; without heart, there could be no temporal redemption. I know I have difficulty sometimes believing that a thing like the human heart exists, other than the pump in the chest. We have taken a headlong leap into the abyss of mind whereby heart vanishes and soul disappears. We do believe more firmly in mind than we do soul. Who believes in the actuality of the human soul? Can we believe in it; does it have knowable limits. Metaphorically, soul is as tangible as honor or integrity; it’s as believable as unicorns or Santa Claus?
Oscar Wilde believed in heart we could assume; a man would have to have a heart of stone not to laugh at the Devil himself in hell, I think the marvellous Mister Wilde quipped on the nature of the embodiment of evil.
All entities are things. But then God is a thing in that He is an entity, one of pure being. The appropriate pronoun then would be It for God. Again, the Id from our Latin, the same Id as Freud’s German Es. Humanity, like God, is It; as again is love, compassion or redemption. Freud maps the unconscious of the homo-sapiens in eternal struggle with the human, one left to his animal devices. Where do we arrive the deeper we go? This It is not as troublesome for many as would be the pronoun She is when referring to God, afterall, the Holy Ghost has always been It. Now, the debate over any shift from Pater Noster to Mater Noster I will not take up. Let me say that the Itness of God does not subtract from God anymore than does the dogma of the Trinity add to God. God is. God, in other words, He, She and It, just as God has been Father, Son and Holy Ghost . . .
If we could only humanize the It within, the human Id, what progress would that be in the history of the human, in the history of humanity, an ethics of the humane, in the history of mind, the history of the philosophy of mind, of psychology? One small step? A giant leap?