Excerpt About Dual Unity

The Child Experiences the Dual Unity of the Symbiotic Phase as the Merging Essence

However, as we have pointed out before, the baby is not aware of essence conceptually or from the perspective of an observer. He is the essence, so in this phase he experiences the dual unity of the symbiotic phase as the merging essence. What he is dimly aware of is the presence of mother and himself as “one,” and this “one” is felt as merging love. As Mahler says, there is still no differentiation between inside and outside, between self and mother. It is a dual unity, and this is his perception. However, he is actually experiencing the merging aspect of essence. The child does not know that he is the merging love. There is still no sense of a separate self in this phase. So there is the impression, right at the beginning of the ego's formation, that the dual unity is merging essence. This initial and primitive impression of the baby is faulty because the merging essence is he himself. But we see that this wrong impression lies at the root of the personality. This equation of the dual unity with the merging essence remains in the unconscious, at the root of the personality, for the rest of the individual's life.

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