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ENERGY ENHANCEMENT DIRECTORY

OSHO WISDOM MEDITATION ARTICLES

METAPHYSICS OM AHAM MANI DIRECTORY

METAPHYSICS OMAHAMMANI DIRECTORY

SACRED DANCE DIRECTORY

ICM Library Foundation

The Legend of Narcissus


The legend of Narcissus actually tells us the tragedy of the narcissistic disturbance. Narcissus sees his reflection in the water and falls in love with his own beautiful face, of which his mother was surely proud. The nymph Echo answers the young man's calls because she is in love with his beauty, just as their mothers are with our patients. Echo's answering calls deceive Narcissus. His reflection deceives him as well, since it shows only his perfect, wonderful side and not his other parts. His back view, for instance, and his shadow remain hidden from him; they do not belong to and are cut off from his beloved reflection.

Narcissus and his reflection.

This stage of rapture can be compared with grandiosity, just as the next (the consuming longing for himself) can be likened to depression. Narcissus wanted to be nothing but the beautiful youth. He denied his true self, wanted to be at one with the beautiful picture. This leads to a giving up of himself, to death or, in Ovid's version, to being changed into a flower.

This death is the logical consequence of the fixation on the false self. It is not only the 'beautiful', 'good' and pleasant feelings that make us really alive, deepen our existence, and give us crucial insight - but often precisely the unacceptable and unadapted ones from which we would prefer to escape: impotence, shame, envy, jealousy, confusion and mourning. These feelings can be experienced in the analyst's consulting room and grow beyond their archaic form. In this way this room is also a mirror of the analysand's inner world, which is much richer than the `beautiful countenance'!

Narcissus was in love with his idealized picture, but neither the grandiose nor the depressive 'Narcissus' can really love himself. His passion for his false self not only makes object-love impossible but also love for the one person who is fully entrusted to his care: he, himself.

 


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