Excerpt About Support

Liberation of the Self from the Need for External Support

This returns us to a point in our discussion of Kohut’s view of the transformation of idealizing transference. He asserts that one never transcends
the need for external self-objects, that transformation—cure, in his terminology —is a matter of relinquishing the need for archaic and primitive forms of self-selfobject relationships, and replacing them with more mature and realistic ones. We agree that the normal self cannot transcend the need for external sources of narcissistic support, regardless of how strong or firm one’s sense of self becomes. Only realization of the Essential Identity, that has no inherent weakness or insecurity, liberates the self from the need for external support. If we limit our conception of the human potential to the conventional dimension of experience, as Kohut and most depth psychologists seem to do, then we are bound to come to the conclusion that human beings can never be totally autonomous narcissistically, that we will always need external sources of narcissistic support and supplies. This conception leaves out the truth that most genuine spiritual teachings of humankind have expressed: that there is such a thing as true and ultimate liberation. This liberation includes fundamental independence from external sources for one’s inner equilibrium.

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