To get and please whatever is wished. Sex and entitlement.
To get and please whatever is wished.
- Lawrence S Pertillar
There are a lot of articles going around on social media in particular about narcissists.
I find this surprising as narcissism is not new. Furthermore it could be argued that social media accelerates the development of a narcissist in this age of individualism and social media is the perfect platform for the 'me' culture.
I find myself having to be so aware of the fact that I am an avid user of social media but as it is a window on the world and a boon to the self-employed, one can’t help but wash the window and gaze adoringly through it.
The story of Narcissus.
It is a Greek classic and goes back to Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Narcissus was walking through the forest when he was spied by Echo, a mountain nymph. She immediately fell in love with him and followed him as he walked along. Narcissus had a feeling he was being followed and he called out ‘Who’s there?’ Echo, at first timid and shy, called back ’Who’s there?’ Echo gathered her courage and approached Narcissus and tried to embrace him. He shunned poor Echo and her heart broke with pain and grief so she went to live in the Glens with only her own voice for company. Nemesis (an aspect of Aphrodite) was angered by Narcissus and his callousness, so she lured him to a pool. When he looked into this pool he saw his reflection but not knowing it was himself, he fell in love with it. Since he could not get the image to love him he took his own life.
I think that the suicide is central to the story of Narcissus.
To the narcissist, what may appear as self-adulation and disregard for integrity and honesty is in fact the weapon base for spiritual and egoistic suicide.
Emile Durkheim in his study of suicides at the turn of the last century looked at suicide rates between Protestants and Catholics. He found that the rate was lower amongst Catholics as there was a stronger sense of identification and community. Suicide rates were highest in situations, especially amongst men, where there was no tethering or binding or a sense of ostracisation from the community at large.
Perhaps we can apply these findings to the contemporary world and psychospirituality. The narcissist is a dying wasp on the windowsill, the spirit writhing in agony trying to extinguish itself not knowing if there will life beyond annihilation. That means everything must be gone, destroyed, defunct, corrupted and abandoned.
The age of individualism.
The age of individualism provides a rich seam of seekers that make their way to the Tarot reader’s table or the healer’s couch, here we may find the perfect match...the narcissist and the empath or the victim of one and the rescuer. I feel that as consultants and healers we must be careful and raise the bar above empathy to one of compassion. It is not enough to empathise and relate, there is a very real danger of creating a new pain body or reinforcing an old one. I feel we must go deeper, follow that trail back to whence it came and to sit in compassion, holding the space for a troubled soul that requires new hope. I find myself asking what is it that can be learned?
I have found that narcissists are world weary and lack true courage and confidence.
They are in denial about what is to come and won’t take responsibility for their actions. They have taken the idea of the whole world being about self to a new level and live the world viscerally through the empathic host. They usually have a passion but don’t allow it to bear fruit or to guide them to their destiny and they certainly don’t use this passion to make them whole. Instead, they overcompensate, act without thinking or plot mercilessly to inflict pain and disruption. Imagine if all this power was channelled into something useful and constructive?
I asked Tarot how should one proceed in such a reading where you are dealing with such wounds. I got Hierophant and Judgement. Interesting!
The Hierophant suggests that we must recognise the complexity of the situation yet don’t get weighed down by the limitations and foolishness of the wounded human. Patience is required to assimilate the diverse and often paradoxical aspects of the situation and the people involved. We are to have the courage to speak about and introduce spiritual ideas to those involved. The spiritual lexicon enables us to view a crisis through a new lens, hopefully offering the client the opportunity to gain spiritual authority and wisdom.
Judgement speaks of confronting the issues and to evaluate the consequences of action. It could point towards the need for a stronger network or community. Resurrection and awakening are key here which produce powerful fresh insights that break down confining or limiting thoughts and experiences.
The reader, who is reading for the soul woven into the physical body, out of necessity guides the tired and the dysfunctional towards the deep beauty of an open heart.