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Inner Mother

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

Excerpts about Inner Mother

Associating the Merging Essence with One's Mother

We can say then that the Merging Essence is in a sense the "inner mother." In fact, all students in the process of inner realization relate to it as if it were their good mother. One of the main issues to be worked through is that of associating it with one's mother. It is an independent aspect of Essence, a Platonic form. It has its own perspective, or rather; one can see all of reality from its vantage point. One can see the whole process of human development as the ever-increasing merging with one's Being, as more and more boundaries are dissolved.

Complete Disengagement from Mother

However, when one experiences oneself as Being, one is no longer the self-image. One’s sense of being a human individual is now based not on the internalized self-image, but on pure beingness, beyond all images of mind. This means that this new sense of oneself is not in relation to mother’s image. It is not dependent on past object relations, and is not a reliving of them. This is the autonomy of Being, that we discussed in detail in a previous chapter. The mother’s image is completely irrelevant to this sense of being oneself. It is in fact in a completely different dimension of experience. One is living on the Being level, while mother’s image and all mental representations are on the mind level. These representations are experienced as mere thoughts, concepts, images and of no fundamental reality. The disengagement from the mother in this experience is complete, utter. One feels no relation to the memories of mother or her image, in the sense that one’s sense of identity is completely independent from both. The experience of the mental representation of the mother is seen as completely alien to one’s experience of Being, as if from two different universes of experience.

Loss of Mother's Image and the Arising of the Merging Essence

When the identification system that is equivalent to the inner image of mother is experienced as lost or absent, there is revealed underneath it a large, deficient emptiness. This deficient emptiness, when looked at objectively rather than trying to avoid it or fill it with a new structure, will reveal underneath it an aspect of Essence, a presence of consciousness in a specific Platonic form. This essential aspect is experienced both as part of oneself, and as the good mother that one always wanted. This aspect, which we call the Merging Essence, is not a result of experiencing the mother’s image, but rather the result of losing it. Our observations, and the reports of thousands of experiences from hundreds of students, all indicate this fact, which cannot be accounted for by object relations theory, or any branch of developmental psychology at the present time. However, it is not incompatible with developmental psychology, and in fact we can use the findings of object relations theory to gain some understanding of it. The Merging Essence is not revealed exactly by the loss of the mother’s inner image, but more specifically by the loss of the deeper layers of the psychic structures. The unified mother image is a composite of images of mother remembered from all phases of ego development. The earliest, and hence the deepest, layers of it were formed in the symbiotic phase of ego development. This phase, which starts sometime in the second month of life and lasts until about the tenth month, is characterized by the infant behaving as though he and his mother were a unified functioning system, as though they formed a dual unity with a common boundary.

Metabolism of the Internalized Mother Image

Thus we can see that the internalization of the mother's image is an incomplete attempt to integrate the Merging Essence. When the metabolism is complete, the nondifferentiated representations are absorbed into Being, resulting in the realization of the Merging Essence. Thus, when both the Personal Essence and the Merging Essence are realized, the Personal Essence takes the place of the separate individuality, and the Merging Essence takes the place of the mother's image.

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