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Frustrating Object Relation

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Frustrating Object Relation?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Frustrating Object Relation

Frustration of Unrequited Love and Desire

The libidinal object relation is the structure of this desire soul wanting a wonderful, yummy, and completely desirable object. The object appears here as beautiful and desirable in an animal instinctual way, full and luscious. Its prototype is the engorged, youthful and turned-on breast, full of milk, thick juicy nectars, robust energy and aliveness. It is a full and gleaming breast, desirable and inviting. It promises to give the soul the object she needs, the object that will satisfy her hunger and give her erotic pleasure. The libidinal soul loves this object passionately and wants to gobble it up with gusto and total satisfaction. It is clear that the dominant genetic stage for this structure is the early oral stage, the characteristics of which pattern this structure. What makes this structure become split off is not only its unabashedly animal and instinctual nature, but the frustration that results when the soul is unable to get the desired object. The affect coloring the libidinal object relation is the combination of total libidinal desire combined with the intolerable frustration of unrequited love and desire.

Functioning With an Infant Identity

We have talked about and worked on two object relations so far: the rejecting object relation and the frustrating object relation. The rejecting object relation fixes you in a place of feeling afraid in the world. This fear makes it difficult for you to function as a mature human being. The frustrating object relation puts you in a position of being a hungry and desirous little kid who wants something he can’t have but always seeks. So you’re either paranoid or a seeker. We’ve talked about how these object relations interfere with dealing with yourself and your life in a mature way because in these two object relations you’re functioning with an infant identity. The rejecting and frustrating object relations have something else in common. You always experience them as bad. They’re negative object relations. One involves enormous fear and hatred, and the other involves lots of frustrated longing and need and desire. When we experience either of these object relations, we always have a sense that something has gone terribly wrong. Both the rejecting object relation and the libidinal, frustrating object relation are usually repressed or split off—parts of the ego that are hidden and need to be seen, understood, and integrated.

Soul Regaining Her Essential Heart

The infant soul seems to project her heart qualities onto the good breast or the mother because she tends to feel these qualities when she actually gets the object. She believes that this yummy richness actually comes from the breast, like milk. This is partly because the soul is initially not completely differentiated from the libidinal object. There is also no differentiation at the beginning between the physical and the essential, and the animal orientation of the soul toward the external object becomes structured through this experience. But since there is rarely a complete and perfect satisfaction, the dissatisfaction becomes split off into this libidinal and frustrating object relation. When this object relation is finally understood in the inner journey, the soul regains her essential heart. She transforms from a hungry animal soul into a human soul with a rich and beautiful heart, a heart overflowing with richness, love, and fulfillment.

Two Primary Instincts of the Animal Soul

The animal or libidinal soul is driven by two primary instincts or drives: the aggressive and the libidinal. The aggressive drive includes the soul’s power and energy directed toward survival and all of its correlates: dominance, rivalry, territoriality, etc. The libidinal drive includes sexual and erotic energy and impulses, animalistic wanting and desire, and the desires for togetherness, connection, and so on. These two drives appear in the animal soul within the context of two primitive object relations, again split off from each other. The first contains the aggressive drive and we refer to it as the “rejection object relation,” and the second contains the libidinal drive and we refer to it as the “libidinal and/or frustrating object relation.”

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