Black Hole

It is a metaphor for the subconsciously-experienced emptiness of No-Self which irresistibly fills itself with ‘feeling-good-about-oneself’ from getting approval.

Some infants are treated by their primary caretaker as a pawn in the caretaker’s own emotionally-needy games, not as a real, independently existing human being. Thus, the infant cannot develop a good sense of themselves as a distinct, ‘real person’. Inside those children who have been prevented from developing ‘a sense of him- or herself as an independent and autonomous human being’, an emptiness is naturally experienced which, like a black hole (astronomical term), actively seeks to be filled the moment something comes near it that can be used as filling. That’s because the way Nature has constructed the human psyche, a Lack-of-Sense-of-Self is simply intolerable if life is to go on.

So it is not an actual hole; it’s a metaphor for that void that exists in the psyche of a person who is preventing from developing a healthy Natural-Sense-of-Self and isn’t able to experience being alive on this earth as a real, independently existing person. We can imagine this void as the ‘place’ (in consciousness) where there should be a strong foundational ongoing-experience of independent existence, of being a real person just by being alive – a solid, abiding, touchstone or ‘spine’ of ‘I-ness’.

This void is, like any natural void, programmed by Nature to generate a continuous pull to be filled in by something. For the person with a Lack-of-Sense-of-Self, that ‘something’ consists of anything that can evoke the primary caretaker’s approval (or a virtual version of it from, later in life, one’s internalized caretaker’s judgment) In practical life this results in the child’s subconscious but deliberate behaving in ways that seem to evoke approval, but it goes a lot further than that. The child actively seeks out ways (Vehicles) that can be used to earn the caretaker’s approval (or the virtual version of it). In short, the child desperately seeks and becomes dependent on something to make him ‘feel-good-about-Self’ because that becomes his ultimate need when the even more ultimate need for a Sense-of-Self isn’t being filled because of the low quality of the caretaker’s mirroring of the child.

The way the child has learned (subconsciously) to behave, in order to evoke those needed reactions from parents (or others that have that function), by manipulating its behavior or feelings, doesn’t disappear with age. Unless healed, this pattern continues throughout his or her life.

Because a having some Sense-of-Self is a psychological survival need, when its development is prevented by self-absorbed caretaking, the pull by Nature to meet that need somehow is experienced as strongly as a ‘force of Nature.’ It ‘sucks in’ or we might say it co-opts all kinds of real approval, from self or others, and distorts/co-opts much of the child’s behavior and ways of being. The challenge in trying to heal is that the Substitute-Sense-of-Self-oriented System keeps the person locked into itself with this ‘force of Nature’ strength.

Resolutions and affirmations to ‘change’ are powerless in the face of that Black Hole’s vacuum, the emptiness of ‘no-self’. Healing comes only by filling yourself up with a stronger Sense-of-Self, which does fill or eliminate the Black Hole. Then one can be free from compulsive and addictive behaviors which fed into the Substitute-Sense-of-Self as an unhealthy and ephemeral way to fill the Black Hole.