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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Mother?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Mother

Continuing Symbiotic Relationship of the Personality with Mother

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. 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.

Identification as the Child of Our Mother

Although we experience and understand that we’re not deficient, fundamentally we still identify with that little kid who is the child of our mother. When we experience ourselves as Essence, or as awareness, we realize we’re not the child of our mother. We’re the child of the universe. We’re the child of God. Maintaining this deep belief that you’re the child of your mother means continuing to be the little kid who is vulnerable and inadequate, who needs mommy to take care of him. All of these beliefs about deficiency are based on the conviction that you are the child of your mother.

Imbibing Mother's Personality

Thus during the time of symbiosis, much of the mother’s personality is imbibed, so to speak. This has great significance for ego development, as Sullivan saw. When the mother is happy the infant will feel happy, even if she is not interacting with him. When the mother is suffering, the infant will suffer, even if the mother is not expressing her inner state in her interaction with him. For instance, the mother might be angry at her husband. She knows this and is not directing her anger towards the baby. She holds the baby gently. However, the baby feels her anger completely, and the resulting experience is negative merging. This point becomes painfully clear in the deeper stages of essential development, when the student begins to deal with the merged representations. He will realize that many of his traits, conflicts and emotional proclivities are not his own at all. He will see that he is living not only his own life, but also the life of his mother (and his father to some extent), and her mother before her, and so on. One will realize, with horror or perhaps with humor, that he has literally inherited the deeper layers of his personality. One lives, to a greater extent than one cares to face, the emotional lives of people long forgotten.

Influence of the Concept of Mother

That is the night. The night never changes. The night never comes, never goes. The night is not born. The night will never die. When we glimpse this truth, we see that however obvious have been the notions that your mother was your mother and your father was your father, thinking through concepts has actually separated you from your truest nature, the nature that was never born. We have to confront many assumptions in the mind before we can really get a taste of the guest. The realm of the night is like deep sleep. When you wake up you are completely refreshed. Creation begins all over again, the whole universe arises. Only when all sensations cease, when there are no more sensations, no more consciousness, do we really know who we are. Then we know the absolute truth. As the night, we perceive the whole of existence, the totality of the daytime realm, as nothing but thoughts that arise in the night.

Brilliancy, pg. 169

Sensing Oneself Without Relation to Mother's Image

When one experiences himself as Being, the internalized image of mother becomes of no use for support or soothing... 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... 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.

Soul's Primal Longing for the Good Mother

When the need for the good object takes over, we are generally willing to forget everything—essence, reality, God, truth—and unconsciously, compulsively go for the dual unity. Its power is the final psychodynamic support for the ego identity itself. The following are intimately connected: the attachment to life, to existence, to love, to the good mother. It takes the state of absolute poverty to expose this deep attachment, to bring to consciousness the part of you that has not changed its mind and heart, and still believes it is going to get the perfect union with the perfect object one of these days. The soul might believe that the way to get the dual unity is to become enlightened, but she is still pursuing the perfect object. To thoroughly comprehend this deep desire, you need absolute purity. Deep in the soul resides the primal longing for the good mother, where everybody feels: “I just want my good mommy and that’s it. I want to sit in her lap, have her give me a big hug and kiss my neck. Then I will feel happy and complete.” The terror of giving up this deep longing of the soul is one reason why poverty is frightening. When the state of poverty begins to arise, you find yourself running a mile a minute, terrified as if a goblin is after you, after your most cherished possessions, after your very life. To comprehend what I am talking about, you have to penetrate deep inside, in your guts, where things are stuck and held, where you are too afraid to be truly alone and truly nothing. People die not wanting to let go of this deep desire, this hope and attachment. I am not saying that you should try to find this need for dual unity, for the good object, and relinquish it. The truth is revealed simply by exposing it, by looking at your attachments in your life. All the attachments come from this source. It is the foundation of all impurities.

Soul's Projection of Mother onto the World

Thus the soul has a much deeper loyalty to her initial object of gratification than most of us suspect. The power of this attachment does not become clear until it is brought up in deep levels of the soul’s inner journey. In our work this issue arises in connection with the experience and integration of the diamond vehicle called the Markabah, the diamond vehicle having to do with pleasure. The soul’s loyalty to the historical object of gratification and to the orientation associated with it is libidinal, emotional, and philosophical. The mother, or breast, was the first external object and hence the prototype of such objects. Each time the soul relates to an object of gratification, or a love object, the soul cannot help but relate to it in a way that is similar to how she related to her mother. She values it as a source of pleasurable satisfaction and fulfillment; at the same time, she has a deep and committed allegiance to it. But the fact that the first object of gratification is an object that the soul comes to recognize as separate from her and outside her, deeply conditions her to expect pleasure, satisfaction, and fulfillment only from external objects. This expectation becomes the libidinal foundation of the materialistic and worldly view of reality, the view that the animal soul adheres to totally. The first instinctual object and love object, the mother, becomes projected onto later objects, and onto the world, for mother was not only the first object but, at the beginning, the whole world for the infant. The externality of the first object makes the soul, at some point, project this onto all objects that she considers outside herself, onto the totality of manifestation.

The Choice to be Loyal to Your Conditioning or to Your Essence

So to have the correct attunement or the correct relationship to the teaching means you risk being unfaithful to your mother. It is your superego, it is your personality, it is your unconscious that you risk. Jesus said, “Leave your parents and follow me.” That’s what he meant, because you are usually listening to your mother. You try all the time to fight her—you argue, you get angry, all that—but you still listen. That is what you listen to all the time. Instead of listening to Jesus, people are listening to their mothers. Jesus had nothing against mothers and fathers. Jesus meant you should listen to the teachings present in your essence rather than listening to your superego. What we come down to is dealing with faithfulness and loyalty to your parents. Most people are, at a deep level, very loyal and faithful. They will go through great suffering to avoid being disloyal to their parents, no matter how much they hate them. Sooner or later, the choice will be made: to be loyal to your conditioning and thus to the image of your parents in your unconscious or to be loyal to your essence, which gives you freedom and true security. You have a chance here to have a truly genuine and direct relationship with a real human being—the teacher. It is probably the most real relationship you have in your life, and this can help you with your other relationships. It is an opportunity to live in a way that is truly and genuinely to your personal benefit instead of living according to the prejudices of your unconscious, which is not to your benefit.

The Core of the Need for Intimate Love Relationships

The core of the need for intimate love relationships is the desire to actualize a certain relationship you had in early childhood with your mother. When you were a baby, four or five months old, you were in a state called “symbiotic union.” In this state, you were essentially merged with your mother. There was no sense of “I am me” and “you are someone else.” There was total, non-differentiated unity with wonderful, pleasurable, warm, melting kinds of sensations. When you think about what you want in a relationship, you’ll usually find that what you want is to be so close that there are no longer two separate individuals. There is a deep desire to melt into the other person, with no boundaries, so that it’s not even a question of two people loving each other—there is just a state of love. It’s a big puddle—a wonderful, golden puddle—like honey with the sun shining through it. A golden womb. You feel safe, protected, melting. Your body is all pleasure; your mind doesn’t exist. Because we had this experience with mother during our infancy, we believe very deeply that to have this state again, we must be with another person. So, we search for the right person. What we are actually searching for is that sense of merging, the golden, melting feeling.

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