Excerpt About Ego

The Experience of Ego Cannot be Devoid of Narcissism

As has been amply demonstrated by object relations theory, since all ego structures are based on identifications with impressions from the past, it is clear that the experience of ego cannot be devoid of narcissism. Thus the conventional dimension of experience, which is deeply patterned by these structures (whether healthy or pathological), includes an intrinsic narcissism. Everyone knows that he has some measure of selfishness, self-reference, a need to be seen and appreciated, a deep wish for esteem and admiration from others, and some distortion in his self-concepts. Although we are accustomed to thinking of these traits as normal, they are in fact narcissistic phenomena. They are universal to all nonrealized individuals, reflecting the fundamental narcissism that is the result of not knowing oneself on a deep level. This is what we call the “narcissism of everyday life” or “fundamental narcissism."

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