Excerpts About Narcissism
In the experience of self-realization, the self recognizes its identity as presence. When a person is identified with something other than the primordial presence, self-realization is absent. He is not then being himself; he is not simply being. He is not one with his essence. The most fundamental and deepest aspect of the soul is absent in his experience of himself. This is the root of narcissism. In narcissism, the experience of the self is disconnected from its core, from the depths of what it is. It is estranged from its true nature, exiled from its primordial home. The soul’s estrangement from its true nature is the basis of narcissism. Here, we are using the term narcissism in the colloquial sense, similar to what is referred to as narcissistic disturbance in psychoanalytic terminology.
The Point of Existence, p. 26 • discuss »
The Point of Existence, p. 148 • discuss »
The Point of Existence, p. 91 • discuss »
The four forms of narcissism we have identified in our work are: Oral narcissism which results from disturbances in the first few months of life. central narcissism which results from disturbances in both the differentiation and practicing subphases of the separation-individuation process, spanning the period roughly from seven months to eighteen months … individuation narcissism which results from disturbances mostly in the rapprochement phase of the separation-individuation process, in the second, third and sometimes fourth years of life. oedipal narcissism which results from disturbances in the oedipal stage of psycho sexual development, extending from the beginning of the fourth to the end of the fifth and possibly extending to the sixth year.
The Point of Existence, p. 43 • discuss »
Narcissism develops throughout the early years, not only at one particular stage. The earlier it appears, of course, the greater the disturbance it creates, since disconnection from essential presence in the early stages of development predisposes the child to further disconnection in the later stages. Also, narcissistic disturbances can be more severe in some stages than in others, depending on the changing circumstances of the child’s life, such as changes in her relationships with her parents, in her health, and so on. Later we will discuss these factors in detail, but here it is sufficient to note that, although narcissism develops throughout the developmental stages, and although the earlier stages influence the later ones, the nature and severity of narcissistic disturbance fluctuates depending on many factors. The capacities and properties of all dimensions of the self—mental, emotional, cognitive, physical, maturational, and so on—influence narcissistic disturbances, depending on the stage during which the disturbances occur. As we have discussed, narcissistic manifestations are determined not only by their central causative root, which is the loss of felt contact with the essential presence, but also by the particular qualities of the forms of the soul that emerge in the various stages of development. The fact that specific forms of essential presence characterize each developmental stage is consonant with the phenomenon of specific developmental changes in all dimensions of the self. Our understanding of this phenomenon has developed partly from direct observation of children, but more from the reconstruction of childhood experience during the extensive investigation of adult experience and memory. Thus, there are different forms of narcissism that originate in different developmental stages.
The Point of Existence, p. 41 • discuss »
Narcissism is a very general, basic element of ego life. The self of the average individual is deeply and fundamentally narcissistic. The complete resolution of narcissism will elude us until the achievement of self-realization. All that conventional psychotherapy can do is alleviate symptoms resulting from severe disturbances of narcissism, and, when successful, can help the individual to reach the level of the narcissism of everyday life. To proceed further and address this fundamental narcissism, only spiritual development will make a real difference. We also believe that understanding the spiritual nature of the self can help us to understand even the severe forms of narcissistic disturbance. This perspective can help us to see that we cannot separate our psychology from our spirituality, our psyche from our spirit, for we are fundamentally whole. Our self is one self, and cannot be dichotomized into a spiritual or “higher” self and a psychical or psychophysical self.
The Point of Existence, p. 46 • discuss »