Some thoughts on the relationship between identity and the mother instinct

Here’s a thought I had (some of which I’ve spoken of before):

There is a close association between identity and the mother instinct.  This is no surprise as one of the purposes of identity is to take impulses, desires, and drives and direct them into a healthy and meaningful direction.  As a result of this, the mother instinct is very dependent on identity to make it useful and productive.

ASPECTS OF PASSION AND IDENTITY

Identity does several things to impulses, desires, and drives.  It seems to do these things:

  • Direction – the “directed identity”It takes the impulses, desires, and drives, and directs them in a product place.
  • Molding – the “molding identity”.  It changes them to fit the situation and conditions.

We can see, then, that there are really two forms of identity.  Generally, an identity fulfills both qualities.  That is, the identity that leads a passion somewhere also ends up automatically molding it to the situation.  But there are cases where this is not true.  In other words, there are times when an identity may lead you somewhere but stops there.  A person will then have to discover another identity to make the passion valuable.  Sometimes, this may appear as a self-questioning, of “why did I want to do this?” or something similar.  In this way, we could see that there are two ways in which identity works:

  • The “unified identity”.  This is where the first identity finds its place and automatically molds it to the conditions.  This appears almost like a reflex action, without the self.
  • The “detached identity”.  This is where the first identity works but the second one doesn’t.  This seems to require an effort of the self.

In general, the “detached identity” does not entail an automatic molding of passion.  As a result, the discovering of this identity requires deliberate action of the self.  This deliberate action, though, may be unconscious or conscious.  In other words, a person may not “know” that they are seeking identity if its unconscious.  When it requires conscious effort, though, it often puts great demands on the self, often causing great pain and turmoil.  As a result of this, the conscious discovering of identity can foster great growth of ones self.  In this way, identity is associated with growth and development.

The two identities seems to be part of a greater process in the passion/identity association.  It appears to go like this:

  1. Passion.  These are the impulses, desires, and drives.  They primarily consist of a force within a person.  Its a force that needs to go to a specific location (the “place” . . . see below).
  2. “Directed identity”.  This is what gives the passion – the force – a direction and to make it find the “place”.
  3. “Place”.  Its here that the passion is needing to be, so to speak.
  4. “Molding identity” – This is identity that molds the passion to fit the “place”.
  5. Productivity.  When the place is found the passion, and passion molded to make it useful, the passion then becomes “satisfied” and “complete”.  This then makes the passion productive and useful.  It does this by making the passion productive and useful but also in giving a sense of productivity and usefulness in the person.  In this way, productivity of the passion is very critical in a persons sense of satisfaction, usefulness, and productivity in life as well as making them feel “complete” as a person.  This is one reason why identity is so important in life.

One can see that, in this process, its as if passion is “seeking” the proper place to go and is needing identity to get it there and make it useful.  Perhaps we could call this the “passion seeking tendency”?  This is the principle that passion is always seeking a specific place to be.  This fact shows that there is specific “place” for each passion.  This makes passion particularistic and “touchy”.  In other words, passion can’t just “go anywhere”.

A big part of identity problems is that it is leads passion in one of these places:

  • The wrong place.  In this case, it can be placed where other passions should be or its mistaken for another passion or it conflicts with another passion.
  • No place.  Here the passion has no way to be “completed” so it can literally disappear and, after a time, “die off”.

The effect of these is that it tends to cause problems such as:

  • It leaves a person feeling “incomplete” or “empty” in life.
  • They are always “scrambling” or “desperately seeking” something, in which they generally have no idea what it is.
  • They struggle with various passions, impulses, desires, and drives.  Often, the ones they struggle with tell the passion that has problems.

In these ways, a person with identity problems tends to “struggle with themselves”.  Much of this is seen with females with identity problems.

Overall, one of the effects of identity is that it fosters growth of a person, both as an individual and in society.  Its absence tends to leave a very unstable and unhealthy person who is often controlled by these impulses, desires, and drives.  Females, in particular, are particularly prone to this condition.  Because of this, identity plays an important and unique role for the female than it does not with the male.  This primarily has to do with the power and effects of the mother instinct.

THE POWER OF THE MOTHER INSTINCT

The mother instinct is not something to look at lightly as, despite how females may appear to be on the outside, the mother instinct has a great influence on them interiorly and, in many cases, it has a controlling and dominating influence on them.  Interestingly, very few females are aware of its power over them.  To say that many females are slaves to the mother instinct would not be far from the truth.  What this reveals is a number of things:

  • The power behind the mother instinct, that we are dealing with a controlling and dominating impulse.  This is a power that many females cannot control.
  • That many females aren’t fully aware of the mother instinct consciously.  I’ve seen few mention it.  For many females, there even develops a deep inner fear of this “hidden and mysterious” mother instinct that they may sense but can’t perceive.
  • The deep, and instinctual, sense of the importance of motherhood in the female.  We must remember that motherhood, and childbearing, is a sense that “hits deep”, far deeper than many people may realize.  Perhaps one could even say that it is one of the deepest senses in the female.  Sadly, many females, particularly in this society, have completely lost “contact” with the mother sense (see my article “Thoughts on female identity problems – an example of how females are losing the ability to interpret their own naturally appearing motherly feelings, the ‘alienated mother desire’, and other things“).  Despite this, deep down in their minds, it lies and exerts a deep-rooted power over them.

Because of the powerful deep-rooted nature of the mother instinct it is associated with many impulses that contain much force.  I should point out that these are not just little “desires” and petty “wants”.  These are powerful instinct-based impulses.  As a result, the mother instinct is one of those powerful impulses that needs to be “directed” in the right direction.  This is why identity is so important for the female as it offers such direction.  Because of this, there is a close association with identity and mother instinct.  With the lack of identity to give the mother instinct a purpose, place, and a role the deep instinctual impulses of the mother instinct have no definite direction.  Many females become overwhelmed and controlled by the mother instinct impulses as a result.

I should point out that, since the mother instinct is so powerful, and deep, almost all females struggle, at least to some extent, with the power it has over them.  In general, this struggle tends to create something like a “fragile” or “unstable” quality in the female.  This quality creates what is often called “femininity”.  These tendencies, though they may create a “fragility”, usually do not get out of hand with healthy females.

In addition, because menstruation is associated with childbearing and the mother instinct these “fragile” feelings often become more pronounced during that time.  How females reacts to it varies.  Again, identity helps a lot in directing all these impulses in a healthy direction.  But, for some females, they will alternate from being “in control” to “out of control” during this time.  For other females, this sense of “fragility” will impress upon themselves a great sense of great “instability” that can cause problems for them.  This often predisposes girls to low self-esteem, for example.

When identity is lacking the tendency to be swayed by the mother instinct becomes strong and can overpower them.  This can cause a great conflict with the mother instinct that many females have.  In some respects, its almost like they are fighting with themselves.  A whole war is often being waged within themselves.  In some cases, they drag other people into it, often blaming and accusing them for the problems they have.  In this way, conflict with the mother instinct often has a tendency to cause false blame and the villanization of innocent people.

SOME EFFECTS OF FEMALE IDENTITY PROBLEMS

There seems to be something like a progression that often takes place with many females who struggle with the mother instinct as a result of identity problems (at least in the U.S.).  It goes something like this:

  1. They begin to see themselves as a victim or victimized.  They often develop a “victim world view” where they see victimizing everywhere and in everything.  The femalehood, and being female, becomes associated with being a victim.  This develops a poor view of the female, as well as “feeling bad with themselves”, which leads to the next phase . . .
  2. With the “victim world view”, and the poor view of the female it creates, there develops a contempt for being female and everything female (see my article “Thoughts on some aspects of female identity problems“).  Since much of this conflict is not conscious, as I described above, many females are not overtly aware of this contempt.  It appears in things like problems they have, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and points of view they take.

With this contempt it can go in a number of directions, such as:

  1. The growth of contempt creates a tendency where they flee everything female.  The best example of this is how many will try to be a man.  They will also avoid things associated with being female.  As a result, they often “despise” things that are “traditionally” associated with the female, and view it in a bad light.
  2. As a reaction against the self-contempt they feel they “go in the opposite direction” and develop a tendency to a sense of superiority, self-glorification, conceit, and vanity.  I’ve seen this so bad that they start thinking the world revolves around them and that they are the answer to the worlds problems.  Most will not go this far but will develop a very inflated and exaggerated view of themselves.
  3. They see themselves as always fighting some threat.  They sometimes will act like the world is plotting against them.  In other cases, they act like they are fighting against an imagined “threat from the males”.

At the base of all these is the sense of being a “victim”.  How far they progress, and the direction they take, often varies with their personality and conditions of life.

THE “VICTIM”

The reason why being a “victim” is so critical is, of course, because it is associated with the mother instinct.  Because of this, the sense of being a “victim” is a result of a number of things created by the mother instinct, such as:

  • The sense of being controlled – This refers to the power of the mother instinct has over them and how they feel powerless to it.
  • Fabricating false abuses – This refers to the need to have a grasp on the problem, regardless of how they do it.  In this way, this tendency shows how they feel that they are not in control and is an attempt to feel that they are in control.  In many cases, they get “carried away” with these abuses, almost as if they are going into a fantasyland world. 
  • Feeling that they are being “hurt” in some way – This is a reference to the sense of “damage” associated with menstruation and childbearing.  As a result of this, females tend to make a deep unconscious association between menstruation, childbearing, sex, the male, and being a victim (in other words, anything associated with childbearing “hurts” them in some way).  This sense of “hurt” can be so bad that they get to the point of paranoia, even to think that the world is trying to hurt them.  Because the male is associated with childbearing, it not uncommon for them to think that the male is plotting against them (see my article “Thoughts on female identity problems – an example of how females are losing the ability to interpret their own naturally appearing motherly feelings, the ‘alienated mother desire’, and other things“).
  • The sense of a lack of control – This refers to the lack of a complete self . . . what I call the Partial Self (see my article “Thoughts on the female ‘flight from self’ – The Principle of the ‘Partial Mind’“).  The mother instinct is actually rooted in an absence of self for the female.  Nature has as if given the female an incomplete self and, accordingly, a perpetual need for something else to “complete” it.  It is the “child” that “completes” the females incomplete self, the ‘Partial Mind’.  In this way, “motherly love” is not really an emotional attachment but the result of the child being perceived as part of their self . . . the child being perceived as “a part of them”.  One effect of this ‘Partial Mind’ is that it makes the female self always lacking and in need for someone else to “complete” them.  This tendency predisposes the female to a tendency of never having complete control (as they do not have a “complete” self to do it).  This makes them never in control creating a sense of having no control.   
  • Blame and accusation – This refers to the instinctual sense of what I call the “other”, which the mother instinct creates.  In actuality, the “other” is a reference to an innate sense of a “child”, in particular, but can also refer to the male as he is associated with childbearing (see my article “Thoughts on the ‘mystic child’“).  This mother instinct based sense of the “other” tends to give females a sense of their always being “someone else involved”.  As a result, it makes them tend to blame and accuse people for their problems. 

These all contribute to the sense of being a “victim” which seems so prevalent with the mother instinct.  When females are exposed to these on a large scale, as is often the case with identity problems, it creates a need to defend themselves from it.  Its for this reason that they find various means to deal with it, as described above.  What this means is that the lives of many females consist primarily of reacting and defending themselves from the effects the mother instinct has upon them.  This is particularly so with identity problems where the effects of the mother instinct are more pronounced.  In this way, their reaction actually amounts to a symptom and, for some of them, this determines and dominates their life.  A good example are feminists with their world view of “being oppressed by the male since the beginning of time” and such, as I mentioned above.

THE CREATION OF A FALSE WORLD

One effect of when the mother instinct dominates the female is that it causes them to fabricate a false world in their mind.  This primarily consists of two fabrications:

  1. Fabricated abuse.  They see abuse that doesn’t exist or they make something out as abuse.
  2. Fabricated blame.  They find people to blame for their abuse.  My experience is that the male is first, then society.

These are part of a “victim world view” that the mother instinct often creates in females.  This can appear in a number of ways:

  • Sporadically – Its often seen during menstruation but can appear in some females from time to time or in certain situations.
  • Mild – It is a generalized attitude that affects some of their views of life.  It can create neurotic-like symptoms.
  • Severe – This can reach the point of a paranoid delusion.

However it appears, this fabricated world tends to make many females live in a non-existent world.  In this way, it shows that the mother instinct is so powerful that it can disconnect the female from the world and create a false world.  If it gets bad it tends to take on a quality of a paranoid delusion.  This tendency, I believe, tends to be a result of some basic traits associated with the mother instinct:

  • The sense of being a victim
  • The sense of the “other”

These naturally appearing tendencies predispose the female to paranoia . . . for example, “he’s trying to oppress me!”

This same paranoia can appear in different ways as there are many variations of the “victim” mentality.  In some cases, it doesn’t appear to be a “victim” mentality.  A good example is that they feel that “no one likes me”.  It doesn’t seem like it but this still reflects the “victim” mentality.  One could say that the “victim” mentality can be stated in this way: 

“Some one else is adversely affecting me!” 

In other words, someone else is doing something that is bothering me.  Knowing that this is a manifestation of the mother instinct one can’t help but note that this has a quality of a “mother responding to a child’s cry” . . . the someone else is the child who is calling for the mother and this bothers her.  I believe this to be the case.  Its a manifestation of the ‘mystic child’, the deep inner sense of the child “before it appears”.  In a way, the mother instinct is making the female respond to a child that is non-existent, being bothered by a cry of a child that isn’t there.  This fact shows a number of things:

  • Its another example of the female not being able to sense the mother instinct and its effects.  Because of this, they are unaware of it.
  • Its an example of the fabricated world the mother instinct creates as the female is reacting to a non-existent condition.

It also reveals how the “victim” mentality is closely associated with the “separation with the child” or, rather, the longing for a “missing child”.  In this way, it shows that there is an association between the “victim” mentality and the mothers longing for a missing child.  In a sense, they are “victims” of this “longing”.

What this “longing” shows is the deep pain of a “missing child” and the deep need the female needs for a child.  In effect, it causes a “deep hurt” that “victimizes” them.  Interestingly, this “longing” for a “missing child” often has no association with the real world (that is, they are often mothers and it still manifests itself).  This is because there is a difference between the deep unconscious instinctual world of the mother instinct and the real world reality.  In fact, the mother instinct seems to create an “independent world” within the female that is often unaffected or non-responsive to the “outer world”.  In this way, many mother instinct impulses continue to manifest themselves regardless of the “outer world” situation.  As a result, they will continue to “desire a child” regardless of how many children they have, how satisfied they are at being mothers, and so on.  Perhaps we could call this inner world the “interior mother instinct world”?  It is this interior world that is the source of the false world described above.

This tendency to the creation of a false world reveals a need for females to be “implanted” in the world.  That is to say, there has to be a “connection” between the world and the “interior mother instinct world”.  If this “connection” is not made then they can live as two separate entities, creating something like two minds in the female.  Identity creates this “connection” a number of ways:

  • As a medium for passion and impulses – this allows them to be manifested and displayed.
  • As a means for the creation of form – it gives it a “shape” and quality that is unique and “personalized”.
  • As a means for purpose and meaning – this gives the impulses a satisfaction and place.

Unlike the male the female is not “implanted” in the greater world by actively participating and doing things (such as biking, boating, etc.).  The female is “implanted” in the world in a different way because of her different character and mother instinct.  The effect of the mother instinct tends to create other needs, such as:

  • A “people orientation”.  The mother instinct makes the female more needing of other people.  As a result, they tend to need to be around people more.  They typically need to feel themselves “in the midst of people” and with a definite place and role.
  • The needing of other females.  The mother instinct does tend to cause a tendency for females to “congregate” together, almost as if to create a “greater female body”.  The example of older females (such as grandma) is also far more critical than is commonly supposed.  Also, since children are viewed as an extension of the female body, at least when they are young, children are also a part of this “greater female body” group.
  • A defined space – the ‘female niche’.  This is a “space” that females need all to themselves (see my article “More thoughts on the ‘female crisis’ – the need for self respect and the ‘niche’“).  This is usually both mental and physical.  It tends to reflect a more private aspect of the female.

With things, such as these, the “interior mother instinct world” tends to be blended with the outer world.  In this way, the female is more “implanted” in the world.  As a result, the mother instinct is more satisfied and productive in their life.

AFTERTHOUGHT

Overall, then, we see that identity actually protects the female from the mother instinct.  When identity isn’t there then females end up having to find ways to defend themselves from its power and control.  This gives female identity a very unique, special, and critical quality.

In America, especially, many females have lost their identity.  Because of this, many American females are struggling with the mother instinct (its almost a definable trait).  The result of this is that it has revealed many aspects of this problem, how it affects them, and how they deal with it.  In addition, it is revealing many aspects of the mother instinct that were previously hidden by behind female identity.  Interestingly, much of the qualities of the mother instinct were never seen because of female identity, which as if “hid” it and its qualities.  This made it very difficult (almost impossible) to see many aspects of the mother instinct.  This is one reason why the mother instinct receives such small notice, despite the importance it plays in life.  But, with the loss of the female identity, traits of the mother instinct are now being played out in open view for all to see.  Now, all you have to do is look . . .


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

This entry was posted in Identity and identity problems, Mother instinct, Psychology and psychoanalysis, The male and female and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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