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Merging Essence

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

Excerpts about Merging Essence

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.

Human Development Seen as the Ever-Increasing Merging with One's Being

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. Many associated issues and conflicts must be resolved for it to be completely realized. We are discussing it briefly only to understand its relevance to the realization of the Personal Essence. The reason the realization of the Personal Essence requires the realization of the Merging Essence is that the realization of the Personal Essence is experienced as a profound autonomy implying a radical separation from mother, which seems to threaten the loss of the capacity for inner soothing and regulation. So the ego hardens its defenses and identifications against the experience of the Personal Essence. However, when the Merging Essence is realized, the ego experiences the presence of all the soothing and comforting it feels it needs, and this disposes it to further surrender its defenses. However, this must not be taken to imply that one realizes the Merging Essence first and then the Personal Essence. The process is not so linear. The aspects become realized gradually together.

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.   

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