During the symbiotic phase, the child has a cognitive experience of “oneness”, where the mother gratifies the child’s needs, unaware of the mother being an external object. The mother is experienced as part of the self, being responsible, loving, and caring with the delusion of a common boundary, where two individuals work as two within one. The gradual loss of self and loss of part of the ego leads to the gradual shrinking of the narcissistic ego and abandoning one`s omnipotence, sense of power, and expectations of instant gratification. Early body experiences and motherly contact contribute to developing the body ego and the body self, the feeling self with a sense of identity.

The separation from the delusional symbiosis is experienced as the “loss of paradise “.

The shrinking of the ego is traumatic, making one vulnerable, fragile and open; recognising and acknowledging gratification and fulfilment of one`s desires do not magically come from within but depend on one’s effort and behaviour. As the child attempts to instigate freedom and separation, they begin to abandon the delusion of the false symbiosis whilst trying to retrieve the loss of part of themselves in the process, imagining it as a separate identity. The perception of the loss is unbearable and can’t be integrated into the ego, where parts of the body symbolise the aspects of the “lost object “and create separation anxiety. The body becomes the container for the lost object, where separation is denied, with the child developing fantasies and magical thinking, where the other is still contained in specific body parts. The body part identifies with the aspects of the mother that have been split off, either over-stimulated or inhibited. The body part becomes obsessed and possessed by the lost object, introjected into the self, and taken over by the lost object.

The superego is not only a psychic structure but also psychosomatic and embodied within the individual. The superego is the father in you, the father introjected, swallowed and consumed, becoming part of the child’s internal world, creating the “neurosis of mankind “. The ego Is based on the object libido being reinvested in the body. The love that goes towards the loved object is redirected to the false self or idealised parental imago, deluding the libido in the process. The ego is created during the flight from a separation in the denial of ego death, where separation is experienced as the death of the self. The original fusion is so intense and dependent that the separation feels like a loss of self, where the refusal to abandon the connection leads to the internalisation of the mother into the self. The adult /child refuses to acknowledge the death of their ego, and specific parts of the body continue to identify with the mother (normally erogenous zones). The child negates specific body parts and their functionality, leading to immobilisation and rigidity, negating life, splitting the ego into two, and becoming contaminated. The individual never fully owns his own person but is repressed by his possessed mother, losing their soul in the process. Internalisation regulates one’s anxiety, feeling safe and secure, not being abandoned or rejected, and getting their needs met.

What began as a mechanism to maintain and sustain narcissistic omnipotence becomes a source of oppression as the organism is repressed and imprisoned by the alien introjected mother. The introjected part is isolated and split off from the ego and is perceived as alien and detached, separate from the core self, projected as persecutory delusions which are pathological. The adult/child needs to extroject to transitional objects acting as substitutes for the internalised objects. The human ego does not want to differentiate itself and experience itself as a separate unit/entity. A constant struggle and wish to separate, wish to move forward towards autonomy against the wish for reunion and symbiosis. Is it worth the struggle to abandon the infantile paradise? Abandon one`s pleasures and desires with attachment to the idealised mother. The need to attach to an omnipotent object becomes inescapable; the wish for continuous fusion means individuation is blocked, and the ego becomes stunted and growth-arrested.

Opposing the wish to connect with the omnipotent object, which promises power and pleasure, keeping ego boundaries intact, threatens the ego`s cohesiveness and integrity, leading to enfeeblement, disintegration, and disorientation of the self. One continues to love one’s mother and idealise maternal love, sacrificing oneself as a compromise and capacity for growth and development. A dependent infantile attachment with a passive dependency, willing to kill the object, symbolising the dependency to relieve its oppression. The wish to preserve the symbiotic bond fuels the revolutionary struggle, struggling against the burden of the symbiosis, stuck in the middle and is permanent.

Social norms ease the transitions from one psychic place to another, transferring the libidinal energy from the mother to the new object and severing ties with the mother. The child clings to the new external object as though it is a part of themselves and endows it with the properties of love, care, and idealisation in exchange for solace and security. The new object becomes the symbol of the omnipotent mother with her attributes and functions, therefore never being abandoned and separated. Our psychic energy becomes bound to the structure created by cultures, celebrities, and idols, providing an anchor for one’s illusions and false identity. The child fuses their identity with the new object, concept, group or ideology to resolve transitional dilemmas and separation anxiety, becoming a surrogate to the idealised mother. The institutions and government then continue to attain their hold upon the individual, serving as containers for infantile energies and affects. Objects of culture become symbols of inner objects, which are idealised and attached to for comfort and nourishment.

As the body fuses with its culture via sublimation, the individual loses their instinctual energies, creativity, and autonomy. The rigid, fixated body cannot mobilise as it works as the container for the lost object and becomes sexualised, mediating between the inner and outer world. The adult needs to reunify with the projected parts, the shadow, reunited via symbolism, modified, and internalised.

To liberate oneself is to destroy the object which oppresses you, the object which you identify with.

  • The perceived loss of the object leads to illusions, with fantasies to retrieve the lost part.
  • In the conversion process, the lost object is projected onto specific body parts; the body contains or symbolises the lost object.
  • The sensory perceptions are projected onto the objects outside the body.
  • We need to liberate these body parts and create distance between object and self, relieving anxiety associated with the fusion fantasy.
  • The part of the self-contained symbols must now be introjected.
  • Restores the body into wholeness and reconnects with lost parts of the self.

To deprive one of their cultural idols and beliefs is to separate one from the object, the idealised mother, which contains your soul.

We live in a world where the self-object becomes the self-society, inescapable, omnipotent, feeding the beast of power working as a parasite on the individual’s energy. Obedience and compliance promise omnipotence and reward, with no separation anxiety, bonded together with the crowd. Repression leads to the denial of instinctual energies, allowing the body to remain in its converted condition, tied to the object of desire, leading to discontent and unlived life. One gives up their true self, desires, and interests in the name of service and loyalty. As the libido is bound to the internalised object, sustaining the symbiosis, is it not available for psychic growth, having to continually feed the delusion of symbiosis, keeping both identities alive?

In the struggle to maintain contact with this omnipotent object, the life of the individual and the self is severely diminished.

Koenigsberg, R.A (1989 ) Symbiosis and Separation: Towards a psychology of culture. The Library of Art and Social Science, New York