Excerpt About Primary Self-Realization

The Infant's Initial Experience of Itself

Our concept of primary self-realization has elements of both the concept of primary narcissism and the idea of the undifferentiated matrix. The infant’s initial experience of itself appears to be a state of equilibrium of consciousness, characterized by a sense of perfection, wholeness, innocence, bliss, and purity of being. This is all easily acceptable to the ordinary observer, and also to the psychological observer; it is within the view of prevalent psychoanalytic theory. We add to these observations our own: The fabric of this consciousness is presence, which presents itself through continuously changing forms. Since the process of ego development involves construction of and identification with conceptual structures, it is reasonable to assume that the sense of wholeness and perfection is most complete in earliest infancy, but diminishes as the infant develops. The development of the body, along with the perceptual, cognitive, emotional, and psychical capacities of the self, engenders and coincides with a continuous transformation of the essential presence. The soul’s presence manifests new forms and qualities appropriate to this development. Although the ongoing substrate of the self continues to be presence, and the baby is a continuity of Being, a flow of presence, the self as a whole is in a constant state of development, maturation, and transformation.

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