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Merging Essence

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Merging Essence?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Merging Essence

A Field that Has No Edges

So when we experience a positive dual unity with mother as an infant, she is there, available; we are being held and loved, and there is no conflict. But what this brings into the heart is something even deeper—the mother and the child share a specific state of presence, of essence, which is a love that is of a slightly different quality than the pink love we discussed before. Pink love is experienced when the mother looks at the child and says, "Oh! I love this baby. He's so cute." The merging essence, on the other hand, arises when mother and child are both so ecstatically surrendered that there is a sense of being one pool of ecstasy, one surrendered, melted pool of consciousness. It is a field that has no edges because the edges are constantly melting and dropping away.

Love Unveiled, pg. 175

A Very Soft, Warm, Pleasing, Ecstatic Letting Go

The merging gold doesn't only melt your thoughts, it also melts your rigidities. It melts your positions. You recognize that your sense of having sharp, hard edges is decreasing, because those sharp edges that separate you from everything else are actually tensions, and as this melting love arises and melts you from within and you relax and become softer, your edges start to surrender, so to speak. So your thoughts, your feelings, your tensions, even your body itself, melt and merge into the surrounding space. You're a puddle, but the puddle doesn't have an end. It merges away, it flows; the edges are constantly melting, dropping away. You experience no clear demarcation between you and anything else. But all of this is happening as a very soft, warm, pleasing, ecstatic letting go. So the contentment we experience here is very loving; it is smooth, delicate, full and fulfilling, and at the same time very happy. It is a happiness, a lightness, a joy, an appreciativeness that is more of an ecstatic feeling. It's not that you're happy about this or that. It is more like your nervous system is running so smoothly, your system is so relaxed, so contented, that you can't help but smile a silly kind of smile all the time, and you don't have the vaguest idea of why you're smiling.

Love Unveiled, pg. 179

Autonomic Regulation Cannot be Very Efficient in the Absence of the Merging Essence

We have seen that the negative-merging affect is the state of contraction of the nervous system due to undischarged mounting tension. This contraction is always the core of any contraction or tension in the organism,. any painful or stressful condition. In anger, in fear, in hurt, in jealousy, in anxiety, in any painful emotional state there is a contraction in the nervous system, and this contraction is the negative-merging affect. It is also the core, at the nervous system level, of physical contraction and tension. Most, if not all, of human suffering can be reduced to physical pain and tension, or painful emotional states, which involve contraction in the nervous system and thus the negative-merging affect. This indicates that suffering is ultimately frustration, and that tension produces it. It is also significant that an aspect of Being, the Merging Essence, is what can eliminate this suffering; this is another reason for the infant’s desperate need to internalize the good mother of symbiosis. We note also that autonomic regulation cannot be very efficient in the absence of the Merging Essence, and thus the state of the organism is kept always in a less than optimal condition. This returns us to the observation that the separate individuality of ego cannot coexist with this aspect of Essence, and therefore the ego always experiences a great deal of suffering. This is exactly the claim of most spiritual teachings, as exemplified by Buddha’s first noble truth, that the life of ego is suffering.

Barriers to the Experience of the Merging Essence

The most important barrier against the experience of the Merging Essence is the belief in an individuality with boundaries. This is why it becomes much easier to experience this aspect of Essence when one realizes the Personal Essence; the latter is a sense of being a person that is not dependent on ego boundaries.

Integrating the Merging Gold

Integrating the merging gold means being able to experience it in aloneness. This happens when we see that it has nothing to do with the condition of dual unity, it has nothing to do with being in a love relationship, it doesn't have much to do with sexual union, and it has nothing to do with community or togetherness. All of these can happen as an expression of the merging gold, but the gold is more fundamental than any of these. It is independent of all of them; it could exist in any situation.

Love Unveiled, pg. 193

Memory of the Merging Essence

Since the Merging Essence is dominant in the symbiotic phase, and is especially present at times of gratification, it becomes associated in memory with the following: Gratification ... The "all good" undifferentiated self-object representation... The "good" mother image...

Merging Essence and Strength

The presence of both the Merging and Strength aspects of Essence is a specific state of consciousness, the Essence of sexual energy. One feels sweet and soft, but also strong and hot. One feels the simultaneous presence of both closeness and distance, alternating in dominance.

Merging Essence and the Symbiotic Stage

We will describe the characteristics of the Merging Essence, which should make it clear why this aspect is connected with the symbiotic stage. It is a Presence, a state of Being, a certain form of self-existing consciousness. It is not an emotional reaction or an image. It feels soft, tender, gentle and very sweet. It feels like a form of love. This form of love feels like a Presence of goodness. This love has the quality of sharing in it, of feeling it with someone else. The sharing feels like the sharing of the goodness one has. It has a sense of nourishment, contentment, satisfaction and happiness... It's most characteristic property, which distinguishes it from all other aspects of Essence, is its feeling of melting... when it emerges in consciousness one feels melted by a sweet and delicious kind of love... It has the characteristic color of clear gold. When seen with the inner senses of Essence it looks like a very delicate clear honey-like flow, which has luminosity... It has an intrinsic sense of pleasure... The melting quality of this aspect of Essence makes one feel merged with the environment, not separate and not differentiated. So it basically melts one's sense of boundaries. The melting is felt throughout the whole body.

Merging Essence is the Result of Losing Mother's Image

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 a part of oneself, and as the good mother that one always wanted. This aspect, which we called the Merging Essence, is not a result of experiencing the mother's image, but rather the result of losing it.

Student's Fear of the Loss of the Merging Essence

Sometimes, a student will consciously miss the Merging Essence, and become terrified of completely losing it. This can happen especially after one has had some experience of it. The fact is that unconsciously the individual cannot differentiate between mother and the Merging Essence. So the realization of the Personal Essence is always, at the beginning, experienced as a threat of the loss of both mother and the Merging Essence. This can manifest as fear of loss of mother, of her love, of closeness to her, of merging with her, of the Merging Essence, etc. The loss of the symbiotic mother, which is associated with Merging Essence, implies a lot more than one can see at the beginning, because of the properties of symbiosis and of the Merging Essence. The loss is experienced as equivalent to the loss of, or the loss of the possibility of, security, pleasure and company. The fear of loss of security becomes reflected in fears of loss of support, money, nourishment and so on. This accounts for many phobias, like fear of being in airplanes, of earthquakes and so on. The fear of loss of pleasure is generalized to all kinds of pleasure; eating, comfort and so on; but more particularly it manifests as fear of loss of sexual pleasure. This is enhanced by the fear of loss of company, which manifests mostly as fear of aloneness. In other words, the gratification of what can be seen as the three primary instincts—sexual, social and survival—becomes endangered.

The Merging Essence Does Not Allow the Fixation of Boundaries and Partitions

The Merging Essence seems to be needed by the organism at that time for healthy maturation and growth. Its presence brings about the symbiotic connection to the mother needed for survival and psychological development. It is a differentiated aspect of Being, in contrast to the nondifferentiated aspect of oneness characteristic of the normal autistic stage, in which there is no perception of boundaries at all. So it is a step toward differentiation, and part of the perceptual and cognitive development towards the ability to discriminate. It allows a certain limited capacity for discrimination. More accurately, it allows discrimination in perception, but it does not allow the fixation of boundaries and partitions. Boundaries and partitions are perceived but are not seen as fixed; they are fluid and changeable. It appears that one of the first boundaries experienced is that of a common boundary around mother and child, in what Mahler calls the “dual unity.” Perception becomes more discriminative when the Strength Essence dominates consciousness, in the differentiation subphase. It brings to perception the capacity to see partitions as more fixed and stable. Still, even here, partitions are seen as porous, transparent and permeable. The impermeability of boundaries is the effect of ego development, and not that of Essence.

The Nectar of Merging Gold

The most effective way to be open to the arising of this quality of love is allowing the symbiotic wish and the longing for mother or another. This means feeling the emptiness without fighting it or trying to fill it with whatever we think it should be filled with. Then it might happen that at the very depths of our heart, at the very bottom of our soul, a fountain opens up. It is a fountain of very warm, soft, alive nectar. Not only is it warm and soft and alive, but also transparent, clear, clean, and pure. And it has a specific warm color—a beautiful glowing gold. I call it merging gold because of its color, but it’s not a metallic gold. It is more like taking golden sunlight and making a clear fluid from it. You take the sun and liquefy it, and make it sweet in an uplifting, pure way, and what you have is a transparent golden medium or nectar. You probably think of nectar as being a little bit opaque, but this is a very clear, transparent fluid presence—almost like honey, but not as dark or as dense, not as thick and not as sticky. It is a fluid that is denser than water—syrupy, but a slippery syrupy, not sticky. This pure, clear, light-golden syrupy nectar has an exquisite sweetness. I don't know what type of sweetness to relate it to because there is nothing like that kind of sweetness in our world. It's not a fruity kind of sweetness. It doesn't taste too sweet, nor is it a sweetness that you can have too much of.

Love Unveiled, pg. 176

We Associate the Merging Essence with the Dual Unity

But what I’m focusing on here is what’s common for most people: that when you are alone, you don't let yourself melt. Why? Because you believe you can melt only with someone else. So every time you feel alone, you can't help but feel, "I'm isolated, alone, rejected, abandoned. Nobody loves me." Your mind can only think that there is something wrong. Thus when you experience the fullness of your being and you feel alone, you start to feel sad or lonely, or some resistance about aloneness arises, because to your mind it means that you can’t have the merging gold. Again, this is because we associate the merging essence with the dual unity, and aloneness with the loss of that dual unity with another. So we don't allow ourselves to experience that state of union when we are not in a dual unity, when we happen to be alone in our houses or in nature or wherever we are. That is why sadness and loneliness, fear and deprivation, and a sense of rejection arise. To our unconscious, aloneness means the absence of mother, her love, caring, nourishment—and that is what causes the negativity. However, if we allow ourselves to experience the merging gold when we are alone, all these feelings of deprivation will disappear. There is no need for them.

Love Unveiled, pg. 192

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