Ego, Todestrieb and Immortality
Is the id of Freudian theory the central feature of the self? If so, then it does not tally with our interest in continuity of consciousness, continuity of the ego. The libido of the id is no doubt a central feature of personality, but hardly the only one. Appropriating lust through memory is, in a sense, what gives meaning to lust. But how to reconcile libido as a fundamental force with the death drive, which according to Freud is an opposing, but equally central force? Of course, there is no reason humans should not be possessed of opposing forces, but in the final analysis the Todestrieb might just be a consequence of waning or fulfilment of lust. When our libidos have been exhausted we might have been conditioned to seek our deaths, and leave the stage to the next generation – with still untamed ids. It is hard to agree with Freud and Schopenhauer that the purpose of life is death, but it is not hard to believe that both life and death have purpose.