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Copyright 2008 by K. Ferlic,   All Rights Reserved

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The Narcissus
Becoming narcissistic

One of the issue that arises in learning to love the self is narcissism. The question becomes, “Are we not becoming narcissistic to love ourselves?” The topic, “Self Love or Selfish Love?” talks to this point of being selfish. As for being narcissistic, that has a different meaning.

Narcissism as defined is the excessive admiration for or fascination with oneself and often used to describe self love. It is considered an infantile stage of development in which the self is the object of one’s erotic interest . This stage of development can be seen to persistence into later years. But exactly what does narcissism have to do with our creativity?

The Narcissus (Top)

Narcissism arise from the concept of the Narcissus. In the story of the Lion Cub in “The Human Condition as Seen From the Creativity Perspective,” the old lion takes the cub to a pond of water and say “Look, you are not a lamb - you are a lion” so the cub looks to see who and what they really are. The image of the lion cub looking into a pond is reflective of the traditional image of the Narcissus from which we get narcissism, excessive self love. It is a very appropriate image for coming to understand who and what we are.

The concept of the Narcissus comes from Greek mythology and an ancient Greek legend. The Narcissus was a youth who caused the death of the nymph Echo who "wasted away until only her voice was left" because Narcissus spurned and rejected her love. Nemesis, the goddess of retribution and justice or vengeance caused Narcissus to fall in love with his own image in the water, his reflection in the world. The youth became so mesmerized by his own image until he grew thin and weak. He longed so deeply for the image of himself until he wasted away longing for that image until he died and changed into the Narcissus.

What is important to note in this story from the creativity perspective is the nymph has traditionally been seen as a feminine divinity residing in the forests, mountains and groves. The nymph is reflective of the external world which calls us forth to love and be loved by it. In some ways it is like the muse. Additionally in regards to the Narcissus story, the nymph is reflective of the gift we carry can be given to the world and needed by the world as represented in the love and attention that could have been given to the nymph Echo.

The masculine mind as reflected in the ego can become so self absorbed with its own reflection in the world that it rejects what the world call forth from it and within ourselves to give to the world. To give what the world calls forth in us requires us to step out of mind and the ego and surrender to the call. If we reject the call for what we have to give, the world before us dies only to become an echo, a voice calling us out but that seemingly lies within our own being.

However, what calls us does not lie within but it is external to us. In becoming absorbed within and preserving the ego we have created, we, in turn, become the narcissus and waste away in our owe self absorbed love. Rather than realizing the voice that calls us forth lies external to us to give our gifts to the world, we hear the voice as within, that is something to be fulfilled within ourselves, and allow our mind to determined how we satisfy that voice by seeking something in the outer word to satisfy the voice within rather than giving to the world.

Often individuals have a longing in their heart and seek a beloved in the outer world either a physical person or some manifestation of God. However, the longing in one heart is only the echo of the external world calling the individual’s creative spirit to come out of their self absorption and be true to their nature to give the gifts they incarnated to bring. As long as one tries to satisfy a beloved felt from within they will be self absorbed in ego.

Becoming narcissistic (Top)

It is here we face a dilemma. In many ways to access the depth and breadth of our creative power, especially our unlimited creativity we will have to become somewhat narcissistic. We must become so self absorbed in our love and long for our own truth of who and what we are such that we do what the Narcissus did. We need to cause our current ego and who and what we think we are to pine and wither away in that longing. It does not matter if we long for our beloved, the Beloved, our external muse or the free unfettered expression of the creative spirit within our being or whatever it is we wish to create. We must die and be reborn. We must become the phoenix.

With the death and destruction of our ego, we then have the possibility of being reborn and claiming our birthright as the creator that we are and manifest the creation we choose. There are two issues we face.

One is to not become attached to our existing creation and the ego that created it. Nor become so enamored what we desire to create such that we become attached to the form we create. In either case we cause the creative death and confinement of our creative spirit with little hope of its resurrection as that reborn phoenix

The other issue is that when we see the truth of who and what we are as the creator of our experiences and the creator of the reality of our experience we truly risk wasting away. We can become so enamored that we are the creator we forget we are in Creation experiencing our creation and that we are subject to the creation we ourselves created. This too results in a death that is very hard from which to recover.

No we do not want to become narcissistic. If we do, we will cause our own death. Either we become lost in our creation or we become lost as the creator. Only in the dance of the creator in love with their creation as discussed in the topics  “Self Love or Selfish Love?” can we find the love that truly nurtures all of Creation.

Related topics
Self love or selfish love?
The observer-observed pair and the nature of duality


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