Excerpt About Acting Self

Two Branches of the Acting Self
The acting self is a totality, but it has, so to speak, a legislative branch and an executive one: the legislative branch is basically the self-identity and the executive branch the self-entity. Both branches are needed for meaningful action, for the complete action of the integrated self. Disturbances of either branch interferes with action. When the legislative branch is defective there are no clear indications or motivations for action; this is narcissistic disturbance. The narcissistic individual can act, since the functional capacity is generally intact. In other words the narcissistic individual does not feel, "I cannot do" but rather, "I do not know what to do". The borderline individual, on the other hand, experiences his main difficulty as ego inadequacy, in which he feels "I cannot do."

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