Excerpt About Self Image
Not only does space correct the distortion of body-image and dissolve the psychological boundaries of the self-image, it ultimately dissolves the self-image as a rigid structure bounding experience. This provides a hint regarding the ontological truth about self-image. Since we see that space makes the body-image objective and realistic, i.e., correcting it according to objective reality, we can assume that it also corrects the self-image according to objective reality. That is, ontologically, self-image is simply boundaries frozen in space, frozen by their cathexis with libidinal energy. When the cathexis is undone, the boundaries dissolve into empty space, which is what actually exists as the nature of the mind. Therefore, we can say that pursuing psychodynamic understanding of the self-image all the way to the end will leave us with, among other things, a real and objective body-image and the experience of the mind as open space. What happens, then, to the functioning ego, when a person goes though this process? We address this question in Chapter 13, “Space and Essence.” Here it suffices to say that the ego identity becomes increasingly “transparent”; the person’s experience depends less and less on unconscious self-images andobject relations units. Thus the person comes into clearer, more objective contact with the environment, and as the experience of space is allowed, there arises naturally within that space a clear, full presence, which without the rigidity and defensiveness of ego can assume ego’s functions in a vastly more mature, objective and deeply fulfilling manner.