This is something I thought up while wondering about Whackjob’s comment about the Greek conception of man as animal, rational, and thumotic. I realized that thumos maps to Freud’s “ego” (spirit, action) and the rest fell into place.
So I now conceptualize the superego as a set of mental categories for making sense of sensory stimuli. It’s heavily concerned with turning sensory “things” into objects in space, and not running one’s physical body into them. (We actually have hardware in our eyes that sharpens the appearance of edges of objects in space. It’s impossible for us to perceive “real” incoming visual data, which would look significantly more flattened, without this preprocessing.)
In more abstract terms, cultural stimuli are perceived as “rule” objects, which the superego is concerned with following to avoid collisions. In contrast, the ego (spirit) is concerned with asserting new rules via creative action.
So my large-scale psych map looks like this:
Perception -> worldview -> emotional reaction -> rational redirection of impulse
Perception -> superego -> id -> ego.
I’ll flesh this out a bit more when I examine the show Evangelion.