Monday, May 24, 2010

The Culture of Narcissism, Revisited

A postscript to The Culture of Narcissism (Christopher Lasch, 1979).

This is a profound essay, coming 11 years after the publication of his book, and attempts to explain the flight to spirituality as well as the fight against nature, both being the responses of a being ill at ease with his limitations and mortality. I recommend reading this essay from start to finish.

I have scanned the essay from the book and uploaded it here.

If you are bothered by the tilt of the scanned pages, you can read this essay in full via the Look Inside the Book feature on this book's page. Use of this feature requires a free registration at

On another note, I found this video clip (by Victor Frankl, the author of Man's Search for Meaning) fascinating:


Anonymous said...

Yes, fascinating. Whereas actualism promises a light at the 'end' of our dark and murky tunnel, Viktor Frankl suggests flood-lighting it to ensure the way through.

Modern Man said...


Thank you for taking the time to upload Lasch's essay. I've only read it once, but it has already impacted my studies.


Anonymous said...

Now I see where you're pointing. Certain aspects of spiritualism (and actualism) do look like primary narcissism. Both long for the bliss and freedom from separation (e.g. safety of the womb etc.) except spiritualists see 'Being' as undivided from what sustains it, and actualists see 'Body' as undivided from what sustains it.

In such scenarios is there even space for a reflection? Can one really become indivisible, or just invisible to oneself?

Is the self-mind inflated by the search for meaning (and meaninglessness) and the tiring of that search it's effortless demise? Is it another form of narcissism?
Is this thrashing around in the psyche a way of wearing oneself out?

Aman said...

Very informative essay worthy of reading from start to finish.