Excerpts About Individuation Narcissism
From the perspective of self-realization, the Personal Essence is the individuation of the soul. When the self is alienated from this form of Being, it is narcissistically disturbed in relation to individuation, rather than in relation to identity only, as in central narcissism. Thus, there are narcissistic disturbances in relation to the sense of being an autonomous individual, in the integration of the unique individual qualities of the self, and in the integration of its capacities, skills, and talents. The development of individuality, qualities, skills, and talents is not necessarily absent; rather, the integration of this development into one’s sense of identity is disturbed. Issues of self esteem related to this development are significant in individuation narcissism. This narcissism is an important element of the disturbances of individuation, but not identical to them. Individuation narcissism manifests as the need for support for individuation, and as the need for mirroring of one’s skills and capacities, and as grandiose ideas about one’s qualities, skills, talents, and accomplishments. One is narcissistic in relation to one’s competence and capacity, as well as in relation to one’s sense of being,
The Point of Existence, p. 363 • discuss »
The Point of Existence, p. 366 • discuss »
The Point of Existence, p. 362 • discuss »
The other reservation is our general one regarding psychological theories of narcissism, namely, that this view does not address the issue of alienation from Being as the cause of fundamental narcissism. The failures in meeting subphase developmental tasks which contribute to the development of individuation narcissism also contribute to this alienation. It is this alienation, specifically from the Personal Essence, which is at the root of this form of narcissism. This distinction is not simply a matter of theory. If the alienation from Being is not addressed, then this narcissism cannot be transformed; it can only be ameliorated. Its fundamental transformation is equivalent to the integration of the Personal Essence, to the degree of self-realization. Only when the student is able to experience himself as the Personal Essence can we say that individuation narcissism has been transformed. This is a resolution of a spiritual nature. It is not only a matter of developing a sense of individuation with a capacity for relating with others. It is not only a matter of establishing a stable sense of autonomy with realistic self-esteem. It is a matter of fundamentally knowing oneself as an authentic presence of Being, which feels personal and human, and whose self-esteem springs from the fact that this presence is its own value.
The Point of Existence, p. 369 • discuss »