We all possess a caged animal inside, lets learn to let it out once in a while, writes Luke Dillon.
Call it what you will: libido, the id, the stamp of our lowly origins. We have inside us urges and an innate savagery that is controlled for the most part.
Walking around Belfield you wouldn’t think it but all that really drives us is survival, propagation, hunger and thrist. The last three being satisfied by a trip to O’Briens and a night out in Freshers’ Week, but what about survival in evolutionary terms.
Our survival urge is heavily supressed in our civilised institutionalised world. Is that how it should be?
A friend and UCD graduate spends much of his income on air-guns and army attire. Every Sunday he travels to the Wicklow woods to fight an anonymous war with people he barely knows. He comes home in the evening battered and bruised but satisfied.
If all we did was eat, drink, have sex and survive, UCD’s world ranking would plummet
A girl I was talking to last Friday (also a UCD student) told me she dresses as a viking on Saturdays and arms herself with a blunt weapon. She goes to Wicklow (yes, again) and joins a group who reinact battles. They beat each other with enough respect that the bruises won’t show on a Monday morning and then go home.
And in Thailand, you can pay to blow up an animal with a rocket launcher. Why?
Freud talks about the human psyche in three parts. The “id” is the childlike portion that only considers what it wants and disregards the consequences. It is our main subconsious drive.
The “super-ego” which is our morality and civilisations do and don’t process, hotwired to different extents into our minds.
Finally the “ego” is the mediator between the two, a balancing mechanism between our wants and society’s. Certainly coming out of 16 years of institutionalisation from school to UCD many of us don’t know anything but the super-ego. All we are is rules. Going to every lecture. Obeying Services without question.
There has to be a way to express these basic needs without reverting to cavemen. People have come up with something: many play sports, computer games, some go to Wicklow (see above), some enjoy exploding livestock and there was even talk of an underground ‘fight club’ at UCD a few years back, but it all feels a little like appeasement for the hunter and gatherer inside.
How can we express these latent impulses as modern men and women? I guess there is no answer. Repression is a product of the times.
Freud believed that uncontrolled expression of the id was the answer to this repression. The ego is a very necessary tool. Not much else separates us from the animals.
If all we did in college was eat, drink, have sex and survive then the species would be going nowhere and certainly UCD’s world ranking would plummet.
Our greatest achievment as a group and failure as individuals is denying these urges. So our primal satisfaction waits for humanity’s higher purpose and we don’t even know what that is yet.
Darwin felt that despite civilised man’s “noble qualities” and his “exalted powers”, he “still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin”. And so a life of quiet desperation beckons…