Excerpt About Nervous System
Unconsciously, Merging Essence is equated with the good undifferentiated representation, the positive dual unity. But consciously it is associated with the good mother, or the all-good love object. A devastating outcome of this association is the development of the strong belief that the Merging Essence is not part of oneself, but that it is, or is part of, the good mother. In the usual process of ego development, the most integration an individual can have of this aspect is the belief that one can experience it only with the good mother, or with somebody who stands for her……… Another important factor in this aspect is its relation to the nervous system. It is a state of melting and flow, expansion and pleasure. When it is present it seems particularly to affect the nervous system, facilitating the functioning of the nerve cells and ends, as if energy and electrical impulses become smoother and more easily transmitted. It is a profound relaxation of the nervous system, and of the whole organism. It is closely allied to the functioning of the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system. So it facilitates discharge, rest, relaxation, metabolism, gestation, which are all features of states of satisfaction and gratification. Its effect on the organism, at all levels, is that of comforting, soothing, nourishing, relieving tension and discharging energy. It is no wonder that the good mother becomes the promise of everlasting happiness for the ego. She represents a vehicle for the return to Essence. These qualities of the affect of the Merging Essence are exactly the mothering functions, which object relations theory says are internalized and integrated by internalizing the good mother's image. Object relations theory understands ego development and autonomy to be dependent on internalizing these soothing and regulating functions, which in turn depends on the internalization of the mother's image, forming one of the two main achievements of object constancy.