Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Epidemic

From The Gospel of Mel Gibson
In 1950, thousands of teenagers were asked if they considered themselves an “important person.” Twelve percent said yes. In the late 1980s, another few thousand were asked. This time, 80 percent of girls and 77 percent of boys said yes.

...

The narcissistic person is marked by a grandiose self-image, a constant need for admiration, and a general lack of empathy for others. He is the keeper of a sacred flame, which is the flame he holds to celebrate himself.

There used to be theories that deep down narcissists feel unworthy, but recent research doesn’t support this. Instead, it seems, the narcissist’s self-directed passion is deep and sincere.

His self-love is his most precious possession. It is the holy center of all that is sacred and right. He is hypersensitive about anybody who might splatter or disregard his greatness. If someone treats him slightingly, he perceives that as a deliberate and heinous attack. If someone threatens his reputation, he regards this as an act of blasphemy. He feels justified in punishing the attacker for this moral outrage.

And because he plays by different rules, and because so much is at stake, he can be uninhibited in response. Everyone gets angry when they feel their self-worth is threatened, but for the narcissist, revenge is a holy cause and a moral obligation, demanding overwhelming force.

36 comments:

Darshan Chande said...

What to understand by this? I would still say narcissism is not desirable, even if it's not a pretense but real. Even if their passion is sincere they are holding on to the wrong idea. In fact, if it the self-directed passion was a pretense then it could be engineered, but since it is real (meaning, sincere) it's harder to overcome.

You have just given an information and not a view, if I am not wrong. These are just my thoughts after reading it.

Anonymous said...

http://www.bravenewkitty.com/?p=33

Here is a very nice essay on ego,narcissism and spiritual enlightenment.

Modern Man said...

At least the narcissists are ahead of the times (unlike the anachronistic spiritualists). I feel faint just thinking about what the post-narcissistic age will be like.

-MM

Anonymous said...

that pretty much sounds like your average every day ego. even non spiritualists show these traits when push comes to shove. it may even be going in the animal kingdom in a rudimentary sense regarding territory and mating. maybe the universe is propelled by a primordial narcissism in its vivacious natural beauty. not as a self would sense but in a lively competitiveness. maybe we tend to look at things from a human point of view too much and things are not quite that unfavorable.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ Anonymous.
Define how "a big ego" is interrelated with accomplishments (in which root of an accomplishment's definition)? Came by some doupts about that nexus.. But might be a sign of an ego that lacks sizeableness.
Mmay be .

Anonymous said...

Regarding connection of ego and accomplishments....

How do you think Donald Trump builds the next tallest building or conquers the next wife? How do you think Harman accomplished this big blog?

Anonymous said...

MY profile,
MY Views on Ballmer,
MY views on Dowry vs alimony,
My views on Indian Americans,
MY views on Spiritualists,
MY view on Actualism,
MY views on Speliing bee,
MY ...
MY ....
...
goes to make MY BLOG!!!!


So do you see - more the number of MYs (building blocks of ego) bigger is MY blog, Do you see the connection?

Harmanjit Singh said...

@anonymous

So do you see - more the number of MYs (building blocks of ego) bigger is MY blog, Do you see the connection?

So, by your reasoning, every writer, speaker, and thinker (and the more prolific, the more so) is a narcissist because he is sharing, talking about, and thinking about "HIS" views about something.

Woeful logic, dear budding philosopher.

Try again.

Anonymous said...

NO, NO dear Harman, do not get carried away with your logic and denounce all writers as narcissists...

The question was - what the connection between a big ego and big accomplishment was. And the article in question does make a distinction between a big ego and narcissism. And the example was just to illustrate the connection.It ends there.

A writer becomes a narcissist when he sees his views reflected in other people's views when in fact the other person is talking something different from what the writer perceives as his views.

Anonymous said...

"NO, NO dear Harman, do not get carried away with your logic and denounce all writers as narcissists..."

i think you should re-read what harman actually said. you have accused him of what you have done with his words.

Harmanjit Singh said...

A writer becomes a narcissist when he sees his views reflected in other people's views when in fact the other person is talking something different from what the writer perceives as his views.

I am confused. Which article are you talking about?

Also, be careful of regarding everything that humans due to their limitations as narcissism. E.g. the above trait you describe is not really narcissism. The main feature of narcissism is to regard oneself as the only important person around with the others being supporting cast, expendable, etc. It goes with sociopathy and a lack of emotional ties, and having only "inner" goals in life.

To seek confirmations only is "confirmation bias". To see confirmations where there aren't any (i.e., to misread text) is, I guess, a form of cognitive aberration which can be easily corrected through a simple discussion. If the other person becomes too defensive of his demonstrably aberrant misreading of something, then that again is not narcissism, but perhaps some form of stubbornness, which can have various causes. :-)

Anonymous said...

You may please re-read the words, unlike what Harman says I have not denounced all writers as narcissists.

Anonymous said...

'MY' is mainly used in english as an attributer (if there is such a word). it defines the holder, owner (if/when there is one) of an object or opinion. in the examples given its only an expedient word for 'the writer'.

to attribute vanity or narcissism to every use of the determiner 'my' is getting more than a bit carried away.

Anonymous said...

Harman there seems to be too much confusion here, between a person afflicted with a narcissistic personality disorder(which has the symptoms you describe the sociopathy obsession with one self etc etc) There is no way anyone who is not a psychiatrist can make such a diagnosis about anyone especially if they don't even know that person! So I was never talking about that regarding you or anyone else for that matter!!!
When we talk of a writer as a narcissist we talk of someone who fails to understand another's point of view completely because he will only see the reflection of his own standpoint in the other's view and not that person's point of view in its entirety. We do not mean that the writer is afflicted with NPD.

I hope the confusion is clarified now.

Anonymous said...

"unlike what Harman says I have not denounced all writers as narcissists."

i can't find that part. can you please copy and paste where harman says all writers are narcissists?

Anonymous said...

anonimous @
The question about the existence of accomplishments unconstrained by the directive of ego is interesting to me (maybe because of a repugnancy in the illusion about such existence).
Lively though dying in the hour, searching the name of wife and tower.

AA

Anonymous said...

This is what Harman says:
So, by your reasoning, every writer, speaker, and thinker (and the more prolific, the more so) is a narcissist because he is sharing, talking about, and thinking about "HIS" views about something.

This is NOT what I have said

Anonymous said...

... and you criticize Vipassana meditation.
You are a narcissist; and one confused being yourself.
P.S. No, I have not taken the course, I am going to soon, and came across your writing as I was researching it.
While you had some valid points, the way you loaded it up,to prove your point showed me you were a narcissist. Would you call it Karma, that the first thing I read, when I look into your background, is this statement of yours!

Anonymous said...

yep narcissists r us alright, every single one of us and we stay this way until the neo-cortical update is fully installed.

when it is, awareness starts a 180 turn till finally its capable of facing the facts and self centredness becomes redundant.

until then all sense data gets converted into a 'mine'.wav and transferred to the way back files of the primitive territorial emotional brain for processing. these rss feeds enable an ancient paranoid being not to look 'fully' at itself and so an inherent narcissism runs riot.

hows that for imagination :-)

Anonymous said...

Harmanjit, You have enough in your mind. It is good that you have taken a break from the gospels of your mind and have created possibility to create the much needed gaps in it.

Anonymous said...

problem is he got lodged in the gaps trying to bring through his baggage. understandable. it ain't easy being an ancient culture. A LOT is dear.

Anonymous said...

Richard is the biggest narcissist of all times considering he has the most grandiose self-image in all of human history and complete lack of empathy for others. He is the keeper of the sacred flame of Actual Freedom. He is hypersensitive about anyone or anything who might be against his AF. Anyone can read his responses to people when he felt AF under attack and see the different rules he plays by and how uninhibited his responses get and then he uses overwhelming force of the words.

If someone writes about it, AF followers try to label the writer as narcissist!

Anonymous said...

more than a few people would agree with you on that. when it comes to discussing actualism sans narcissism these intelligent human beings
make richard's bombast and blather look downright pathetic in the every sense of the word.

http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/thread/4034050/%22Actual+Freedom%22+within+a+larger+context?maxResults=20

Anonymous said...

Same are the traits of this blog.

Anonymous said...

ha! we are small fry narcissists compared to richard.

NO ONE here has ever claimed to be the *first and only* TO EVER WALK THE EARTH 100% free of narcissism like richard. AND intent on making money out of it. yet NO ONE has ever matched his ego-maniacal verbal aggression either. so go figure.

NOoo COMPARISON.

Anonymous said...

The path to enlightenment (or being in a state free of narcissism), is tread by chanting "Who am I?". However many people try to pursue this path by chanting "How am I?". This is the classic mistake many seekers and Gurus make based on their own circular logic, that defeats their very goals. "How am I" is the chant of a narcissist, how can any Guru, philosopher or seeker hope be in a "Free" state by chanting the very mantra that defeats their very goals. Most new age Gurus and seekers are caught in this web of circular logic.

Shadow said...

So, a narcisist has any human beings´flaws adapted to the maximum.

Anonymous said...

*WHO* am i?

back to school for you. you are mistaking the method for the goal.

which is to uncover the fact that the body is *in actuality* free of a narcissistic WHO.

the question "how am 'I' experiencing...etc." is only used to help the 'who' become aware of itself and its narcissistic act of making the body's experiences MINE.

body can think and move quite efficaciously without a *who* whining "how" all day long, but we gotta start somewhere.

Harmanjit Singh said...

Both actualists and spiritualists are narcissists because their main program in life is either "who am i" or "how am i", leading to an individual bliss, nothing less, nothing more.

Anonymous said...

Harmanjit Singh said...

"Both actualists and spiritualists are narcissists because their main program in life is either "who am i" or "how am i", leading to an individual bliss, nothing less, nothing more."

i disagree. actualists and [caring] spiritualists seek freedom from being 'perpetuators of suffering' in the full knowledge that it will not only benefit themselves but others also. one doesn't need a belief system to know for a 'fact' that individuals affect one another. isn't it therefore only sensible to make every effort to have a blissful and harmless effect on others rather than a painful and detrimental one?

don't confuse the hard work (and it is initially) and rewards of freeing oneself from blind self-centredness and its beneficial effects, with the psychopathic narcissist who is barely aware that anyone else exists, let alone whether they are having a beneficial (as in painless) effect or not.

Aman said...

Harman, your understanding of both spiritualists and actualists as being narcissistic to be a big quantum leap which helped me get out of actualism. Thank you for that. Life is much better without being an 'ist'.

Anonymous said...

Is there such a thing as "collective bliss" or "society bliss" or "universal bliss"?

If one pursues any path with the goal of attaining "bliss" and experiencing the "bliss" then it not called spiritual enlightenment. "How am I"?, "I am blissful".
This is not supposed to be the only goal of a spiritual aspirant. However a lot of people do pursue this path with this as their only goal. Therein lies the mistake.

Harmanjit Singh said...

Is there such a thing as "collective bliss" or "society bliss" or "universal bliss"?

One needs to question both the word "individual" and the word "bliss".

The key, as far as I can tell, to sanity and harmony is: interpersonal consideration and acceptance of at least some socio-biological goals.

Neither is "individual" very important, nor "bliss". Both are heady trips, and almost impossible to shake off. Almost everybody in the modern world is afflicted with the "individual" virus, and a select few are reeling under the fatal disease of seeking an "individual bliss".

I don't blame them; the forces of technological change, social stress, and a deconstruction of our most hallowed ideals are making this happen.

It is a complex issue, and just to start seeking without understanding the forces which are acting to make one seek, and one's own inability to withstand and counter those forces, is in my opinion, escapism.

To be an "individual" is to forsake the pushes and pulls of interpersonal ties, and to seek inward "bliss" is to forsake the challenges of worldly engagement (which can lead to fulfillment and satisfaction, but which also can lead to frustration and depression, obviously an ambitious seeker doesn't want to take any chances with the guarantee of happiness, and so forsakes everything but his own inner state).

"Causeless, continuous, bliss". Indeed.

Anonymous said...

the word bliss - in the context of no longer perpetuating suffering and thereby inadvertently having a benign and beneficial effect in world - was not being used to describe a selfish dissociated nirvanic spiritual inner state.

in fact the so called actualists never use the word bliss as they consider it a second rate experience iow *a feeling only* that pales in comparison to the direct pure conscious experience of apperception (which - btw - belongs to humanity, not a group of actualists with their ism and ridiculous cultist af certifications). bliss is not possible in apperceptive awareness as there is no *inner*subjective spiritual *feeling being* (soul) looking *out* at the world as tho there is a dissociation.

as far as i am concerned to make a trust fund out of a human experience is patently absurd. apperception is simply another way of experiencing human existence and can be explored by any mind capable of remaining sensible without the hogties of cultural and social mores. um.. something inconceivable to the taliban mind set, i would say.

Anonymous said...

So according to you an "individual" is defined after the forces of interpersonal relations have been forsaken?
Does such an "individual" really exist or is it a figment of our imagination? This is the question a spiritualist hopes to understand.
Even Meerabai or Buddha or Bhagwan Ramana were somebody's children, they did not appear in the world by themselves!

As for "causeless, continuous bliss", is it possible for a human being to live in that state forever?
The sun shines continuously, yet there must be day and night on the earth for life to exist here. So a spiritualist knows continuous bliss exists, yet a human being must experience happiness and sadness to be a human being. Just as a person who knows day follows night because the sun shines forever, he therefore does not fear night any more, a spiritually realized person does not fear death or suffering any more after achieving the state of realization.
This is all there is to it. Just because a Buddha or a Meerabai or a Bhagwan Ramana went into isolation to understand the Self does not mean the whole world has to mimic them. One has to remember that after realization they came back to try to explain to humankind what they understood. Our job is to try to live our lives by the understanding, not to try to mimic their lives. Is there any sense in trying to mimic Einstein's life to be an Einstein? Or is there more sense in trying to understand his theory of relativity?

The bottom line is to be aware of "Who am I" and not to keep worrying all the time "How am I". There is no need therefore to condemn all spiritualists as narcissists, nothing is achieved by that.

Aman said...

The bottom line is to be aware of "Who am I" and not to keep worrying all the time "How am I".

It is the worrying about "How am I" that sends the "I" looking for "Who am I".

Worrying is a part of the forces Harman is talking about when he said:

It is a complex issue, and just to start seeking without understanding the forces which are acting to make one seek, and one's own inability to withstand and counter those forces, is in my opinion, escapism.

Instead of trying to escape permanently using spiritualism or actualism, it is much better to do something concrete about the forces themselves. Though spiritualist and actualist practices can be used to understand the forces at work.