Excerpt About Individuality

The Sense of Separateness of the Individuality of Ego

The individuality of ego has a sense of separateness that is based on the building of self-boundaries. These boundaries contribute to the sense of being an individual. However, these boundaries become walls separating the individual from other human beings, and from the universe in general. Even if we take psychological individuation to be more than the development of the psychic structure, for instance if we take it to be the emotional experience of oneself resulting from such mental structure, the boundaries still function as walls, which are not permeable to real contact. ego boundaries create a much more profound separateness than is usually recognized. object relations theory regards ego boundaries as necessary for the sense of being a separate and unique individual, the fruit of the process of ego development; but it does not appreciate how much such boundaries separate human beings from each other, or how they make true contact impossible. We will explore this point more fully. This might not be clear for an individual identifying with ego, but it becomes acutely obvious when one knows oneself as a being, and not as a elf-image. One then experiences the structure of ego giving rise to the sense of separateness as thick and rigid shields around oneself, restricting him from truly touching another human being or being touched by another in any deep way. There is also a profound isolation from the rest of reality, which becomes the most important barrier against the experience of oneness with the universe.

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