Excerpt About Stomach

Assuaging the Hunger of the Empty Self with Narcissistic Supplies

The student understands at this point that this hungry, empty self is the deepest psychodynamic source of his selfishness, self-centeredness, self-seeking, exploitativeness, cruelty, heartlessness, and compulsive need for narcissistic supplies. This self views these supplies—the admiration, acknowledgment, recognition, support, love, success, acclaim, applause, and the rest—as a kind of food it needs to assuage the gnawing hunger and to fill its painful emptiness. At this point, as the underlying emptiness of the self begins to manifest, the student might experience the usual narcissistic meaninglessness and emptiness of life and existence. He feels empty and meaningless, but also experiences the whole world as empty, devoid of warmth and nourishment. Persisting with exploring these manifestations, he discovers that for this self, meaning is food, or a full stomach. However, this food has a narcissistic quality to it. Before he actually experiences the emptiness, he feels hungry, and observes that he tries to assuage his hunger with narcissistic supplies. He tries to fill himself with acclaim, applause, admiring mirroring, adoring support, and idealizing love, with recognition, appreciation, and approval, but goes about it with the uncontrollable hunger of a famished soul. He can never get enough; his satiation is transitory and his fullness can only be short-lived.

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