Excerpts About Schizoid Character

Not only defenses, but many kinds of structures develop in defensive ways. Some ego structures actually develop specifically for defense, for example, those which constitute the schizoid character. In attempting to avoid dealing with very painful object relations, the child defends by isolating himself from his felt experience in general. This defensive detachment isolates him not only from his emotions, but also from his essential presence, characterized by vivid affects and qualities of aliveness. If he were in touch with the essential presence, he would lose his capacity to isolate himself from his emotions, because the presence would open him to his present experience, whatever its content. This disconnection from the essential core makes the schizoid character narcissistic on some level.
The Point of Existence, p. 187   •  discuss »
The truth is that the sense of separateness of ego is a schizoid phenomenon, but it is usually experienced in a mild form. The ego boundaries are a manifestation of the schizoid sector of the personality, of which no ego is devoid. The schizoid experience becomes intense and more manifest, and therefore more visible, when this separateness is challenged. The separateness of ego individuality is the outward, usually acceptable, manifestation of ego’s schizoid characteristics. The markedly schizoid character is basically a personality crystallized around this sector of the ego. In the process of essential realization, the issue of ego boundaries is resolved by dealing with the schizoid sector in one's personality, among other things. It is one of the most painful to deal with, but not necessarily the most subtle.
Pearl Beyond Price, p. 398   •  discuss »

We see, however, that not only for the schizoid character, but for every ego, there is a deep fear of being completely devoured and absorbed. This is not due only to difficult early object relations, as in the etiology of the schizoid character, but due to the vulnerability of primitive ego structures in the face of Being. This must be the case at the time in ego development when internalizations are just beginning to be set up. The identification with Being is still strong at this time, and these early and primitive ego structures are probably easily absorbed at times of complete letting go and relaxation. It is reasonable to assume that at such times the primitive infantile ego must experience repeated absorptions. This in turn assumes that the nondifferentiated aspect of Pure Being is part of the undifferentiated matrix of the neonate; but this seems like a most reasonable assumption in view of the universal experience of those who experience this realm of Being, that it was “always already there.” It is understandable that at such times the ego will first resort to schizoid defenses, especially those of withdrawal and isolation, not from object relations, but from the omnipresent sense of Being. This makes the schizoid sector of the personality the deepest core of ego structure.


Pearl Beyond Price, p. 452   •  discuss »

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