Excerpt About Defense

Development of Defenses
The child cannot try to defend against his experience in the present moment and at the same time remain in touch with his present essential nature. Thus, all ego defenses, necessary though they are for the psychological balance of the inadequately cared-for child, contribute to his disconnection from his essential core, and thus to his narcissism… Not only defenses, but many kinds of structures develop in defensive ways. Some ego structures actually develop specifically for defense, for example, those which constitute the schizoid character. In attempting to avoid dealing with very painful object relations the child defends by isolating himself from his felt experience in general. This defensive detachment isolates him not only from his emotions, but also from his essential Presence, characterized by vivid affects and qualities of aliveness. If he were in touch with the essential Presence, he would lose his capacity to isolate himself from his emotions, because the Presence would open him to his present experience, whatever its content. (The Point of Existence, pg 187) From our perspective, however, just as it is known in psychoanalysis that some identification systems are defenses against other systems, or against id impulses, they (all identification systems) are usually defenses against the various aspects of Being. Being is always there; it is what we are in the most fundamental way. That it is not in conscious experience indicates the presence of defenses against it; it becomes part of the content of the unconscious. And any identification system taken to give the individual a sense of self or individuality is bound to function as a defense against Being because Being is who one is, it is the true self.

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