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Inner Mother

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Inner Mother?

Diamond Approach Teachings 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.


Emotionally, the Personality Continues to have a Symbiotic Relationship with Mother

So emotionally, the personality continues to have a symbiotic relationship with mother. We grow up physically, but not emotionally. We continue to unconsciously believe we are dependent in ways that an adult human being doesn’t actually have to be. You see yourself as dependent on others for love, approval, recognition, support, nourishment, contact, pleasure. Most people think that’s the way it is. They think, “How can you be a grown up person and have a career and a good life unless you have a mate or at least a lover?” That’s how most people think. They don’t question it. They think they need love, and it is true—they do. But what they are seeing is the personality. The ego functions through emotional dependency, and you call it love. Even when you are by yourself, not married or in a relationship or in a group, you are still relating to your mother—the mother inside you. You relate to your superego which is always beating you up. Why is your superego beating you up? Because it makes you feel that your mother is around. When you were a child, your mother was always judging you. So every time you feel like a little kid, your internal mother comes and beats you up. Then you feel secure. You might complain, but you feel secure.School—a regular school—helps you to become an adult in some practical ways. You learn how to remember information. You learn skills that can help you to earn a living. You learn to do what your teachers teach you to do. But school does not teach you to grow up psychologically. In this school, we allow you the opportunity to grow up psychologically, to become an adult on an emotional level, to become really autonomous. You learn how to provide emotional sustenance for yourself. You learn how to give yourself love, compassion, approval, recognition, support, and strength. You stop believing you need those things from the outside.

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.

The Process of Really Growing Up

What essentially happens in the process of really growing up is that you don’t need your mother or your father any more. You don’t need to have your mother inside you or outside you. In the course of dissolving the mother inside you, you have to deal with the fear that there will be nothing there to support, protect, comfort, or nourish you. You must learn that you have these capacities in yourself. What takes the place of the mother—first the physical and then the psychological mother—is your essence. To recognize, realize, integrate, and develop your essence is to become an adult. Your essence is you. It is not something you learn from your mother. It is not being like her or relating to your superego. It is being your real self. Then you will have what your mother gave you in your physical babyhood: love, compassion, support, intelligence, consciousness, protection, pleasure, fulfillment, release—all these things. Essence can give you these things because Essence is support, is strength, is intelligence, and so on. If you look to others for these things, you will get exactly what’s there. And what is that? Psychological babyhood. Essentially, everybody is deficient and hungry, psychologically poor, weak, unconscious. What you get from the outside is frustration, suffering, pain, and disappointment. Only if you turn to Essence will you find real love, support, consciousness, intelligence, strength, and protection. That is where they exist in a pure way. It is a basic and obvious truth that if you turn toward the outside world, you will get the pain that prevails there, and if you turn toward Essence, you will find those things you want. You will find your own essence, which is the source of all the things you thought you wanted from the outside.

You Still Have Your Mother Around

In a sense, what is generally called “the life of an adult” is really just a second babyhood. When we are children, the functions of nourishment, care, protection, release of tension, and comfort are provided by the parents—particularly by the mother when the child is an infant. As the personality of the child develops, the child becomes more independent of the mother, but this is accomplished by introjecting the mother, recreating her inside. You have your mother inside you and so, in a sense, you are still a baby. You still have your mother around, and you believe you need her. That is why, when you go deep inside yourself in the Work, you start realizing how much you want your mother, how much you don’t want to lose her, how much you fear separation, all of that. Deep inside, you still believe that you need Mother around. The mother inside you is not a physical thing; you have her emotionally in your unconscious. You behave like her, and you seek out people like her. You feel the way she felt, or you find people who treat you the way she treated you. In these ways, you always have Mother around. The ego or the personality of an adult is really a baby, except that now the mother is in a different form. Even those who deny they want mother, who had a negative experience of mother, continue to unconsciously seek the negative mother while consciously feeling the opposite. The mother is still pretty much the same mother you had before. You project that image outside and want other people to be like her, or you look for other people to perform those mothering functions for you, or you look to society for security, or comfort, or sustenance.

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