Excerpts About Mirror Transference
In this chapter we will explore the mirror transference, which is the counterpart to the idealizing transference which arises in the student’s process. The need of the typical student to be seen and appreciated by his teacher is part of his normal relationship with her. All people have this need in their important relationships. The mirror transference is a more intense manifestation of this normal need. It may occur in any significant relationship, but inevitably develops in the student in his relation to the teacher, as the narcissistic constellation approaches consciousness. He starts increasingly to feel the intense need to be seen, recognized, understood, related to, admired, and appreciated. He wants her to see him as special and unique. He wants the teacher to be accurately attuned and empathic to where he is. He comes to realize how much he wants her to give him special attention and love, and how sensitive he is to whether she is giving it to him or not.
The Point of Existence, p. 279 • discuss »
The Point of Existence, p. 281 • discuss »
The Point of Existence, p. 309 • discuss »
We can summarize our understanding as follows: The need for mirroring is a general need of the soul, necessary for it to recognize its manifestations and integrate them into its sense of identity. The mirror transference arises because of the activation of the elements of the self that were inadequately mirrored in the formative years. Since infants receive so little mirroring of their essential nature, when Essence is activated the mirror transference will be triggered. In any helping relationship and in spiritual work in particular, the mirror transference is primarily due to the activation of the Essential Identity. The more pathologically narcissistic the individual is, the more the mirror transference will express itself as the need of the grandiose self (rather than the Essential Identity) to be seen and glorified. Even in narcissistic pathology, however, the mirror transference reflects the activation of the Essential Identity. Since the grandiose self is the central representation in the self-identity structure of the narcissistic personality, and since the deeper need for mirroring of essential elements of the self is subsumed under the mirroring need of the self-identity structure, in the narcissistic personality the grandiose self appropriates this desire for mirroring.
The Point of Existence, p. 289 • discuss »