Sunday, March 19, 2017

A rough-hewn working-through of the Narcissistic state (part 2)

I have to invoke my purest-oxygen feelings of Narcissism to try to understand this flaw. In my later adult life, knowledge and grief-cathartic feeling have dimmed the narcissism’s incandescent purity. But it’s still there in a small kernel that won’t die, and that’s what I have to study.

I begin by declaring it, then undermining it.

I know more than anyone else about psychology, human nature. It is my inner engine and depth of knowing that is the apex unreachable by others, not as much the particular facts or amount of knowledge. Someone else might discover a new observation or principle that I hadn’t conceived. But that is only because I haven’t yet, in my busyness, gotten around to that point. In fact, someone’s discovery couldn’t be anything that contradicts my own insights, because I have already grasped the essence that contains all future learnings.*

So what is it that I have to know, or be, to have the narcissist identity?

I see that I must have – always present, always part of every thought and experience – a felt image of myself as unique and wise and separate from humanity. I cannot simply feel something – excitement at seeing a comet cross the night sky, sadness after an argument with my wife, benevolence at helping a client, love when petting my dog** – without at least a minimum accompanying presence of grandiose self-awareness. Healthy children don’t need ego in every stimulus-response moment. Narcissists do. I’m sure this is because we did not have ego, identity, in the early formative years, but rather life-and-death emotional pain. I must say “I am” in every moment now, or else the child returns – “I am nothing.”

But why the need for perfection, difference (separateness), superior, best, unique? Why is the narcissist’s life-identity so shaped and colored? Why isn’t it sufficient for the ego-less man to say “I am a person”? Why is inferiority defeated by superiority, ego non-existence defeated by deepest existence?

And most enigmatic – Why do I know, in my sternum, that I am the best, and know, in my mind, I am not the best – both equally strong and certain, both always present, matter and antimatter coexisting in relative harmony?

This is very difficult to figure out. Maybe a better approach-question is: What is the narcissist’s feeling? “Perfection” and “superiority” are not feelings. What is the narcissist’s actual experience?

For me, if I allow a feeling of being ignorant, I feel there is no person that exists – there is no actor.

The narcissist has become an idea, because feeling itself brings him back to the underground conflagration, the disintegration of his child’s ego-identity. He does not feel human: In his growing adolescence – set adrift from the umbrella of parental dependency in which he has a borrowed identity – he observes other humans and, in the most evanescent spark that is quashed instantly, senses he is not them – he is a failure.

There is now no choice: The idea he becomes must be non-human: He must be different, possibly perfect, possibly superior. I say “possibly” because I do not know if all sociopaths feel superior or perfect, and the sociopath’s childhood is very similar to the narcissist’s.

What may seem like self-esteem and glory is really an identity outside of humanity.

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* The part-destruction of my narcissism has left me aware that I might be blind not only to some recondite truths in my own field, but may be completely blind to simple daily insights that most average, more mature people know.

** Post-narcissistic me has selfless love for puppy and wife, and sometimes selfless benevolence for clients.

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Comments are welcome, but I'd suggest you first read "Feeling-centered therapy" and "Ocean and boat" for a basic introduction to my kind of theory and therapy.