Narcissism and schizophrenia are psychological byproducts of modern western lifestyles.
Being kept in a cocooned environment, where all error in judgment is excused and even promoted, the mind begins feeling invulnerable, and reality irrelevant, because it has very little implication in everyday existence.
The individual's activities and choices have very few dire repercussions and so fear is rendered unproductive - a primitive remnant of a past that prevents total assimilation within this all encompassing environment.
Judgment does not matter, either, for the same reasons, and so intelligence ceases to matter, outside of providing methods of ascending within the cocooned environment's hierarchies.
The only acceptable application of intelligence is to consume and to produce more effectively. Stupidity is preferred in all other areas.
Thoughts are strictly censored. Most shamed into silence.
The environment has now been dominated by manmade artifices and reality is excluded or selectively allowed entry.
It is fenced away; distanced.
This is when the mind becomes self-absorbed, overconfident, fearless, careless, falsely arrogant and disrespectful, convinced that its world is the only world or, at least, as probable a world as any other; it begins gaining an untested sense of self-esteem and a false sense of empowerment, eventually resulting in a total disconnection from reality.
In fact disconnecting from the world is its ideal state - its progress towards enlightenment.
The mind has now been encased in its own conceptions, placed in a safe-box, and given that it is sheltered against anything that might correct its delusions, it becomes lost in itself: arrogant and demanding...increasingly self-absorbed and self-referential.
It's maturity is retarded as it does not have to mature at all.
We see the effects of this in domestication.
This is a self love based on delusion and an absence of self-consciousness or the tempering affects of reality.
Narcissism in its many forms is the outcome.
A romantic kind of love, focused upon an idealized identification.
The individual begins living in his own world, or one given to him, and since it is a pleasant world, full of positive to it messages and flattering contexts, it abandons itself to the uninhibited hedonism.
Hedonism becomes his ideal, culminating in a reverence for the elusiveness of material happiness...his only way of measuring value and of evaluating quality.
He will defend the other's right to exist in his or her own little world, if it does not disturb his own.
He does not wish to be disturbed from slumber - quiet narratives streaming through a skull cut-off from sensuality.
The mind is now conveniently convinced that reality is a matter of personal taste or a human construct that can be altered with mere thoughts and casual gestures, or with further detachments.
The unwanted can be dismissed at will. Not even death can withstand the force of unhindered imagination.
When the real world disturbs your plans, dive deeper into fantasy, and lose yourself in pleasure.
He is able to do so because there is a system in place - a system that benefits from this complacent detachment - a system which protects him from his own stupidity and naivete and delusion.
A system which is not entirely successful and one which often cannot shelter the individual from reality altogether, as it is itself a human construct.
The box is porous and the institutional walls never high enough to keep the sun and the dust out.
So the individual is often corrected or offered an uncomfortable and disconcerting dose of reality it did not expect.
It shocks him.
This sudden correction may have traumatic effects, as the mind is often shattered by a world that cares not for its self-referencing beliefs or what it thinks it deserves, but more so because the individual has grown soft, not being accustomed to anything outside its little mental box.
No amount of sheltering can fully protect the individual from a world that is indifferent to its hopes and assessments.
The first response to this sudden contact with a cold and harsh world, one he had no idea existed, contained as the individual is within institutional walls and social artifices, is that of fear.
Fear coupled with the comfort he has become accustomed to makes the a man a vehement defender of the system that provides him with that luxury; with that little proverbial box.
Fear that then might lead to a desire to destroy - nihilism - the source of his discomfort, which is the world itself and nature herself, or that might lead to a desire to change the world - idealism - so as to accommodate his preferences as these have been shaped, ironically, by nature or, worse, by the system that protects him, and by the artifices he is contained within.
It's a double-edged sword.
What saves him from pain, bleeds him.
His ideals become as detached from reality as he is; they turn fantastic, unrealistic, childish.
Self-hatred, underlies the process. Hating one's past is essentially a hatred of everything that determined the present. A dissatisfaction with the world, as it is, is a dissatisfaction with everything that preceded it and that made it possible.
Dissatisfaction with the world is really a dissatisfaction from existence; alienation from the world is an alienation from existence.
The mind, now, dives deeper still; deeper into itself or into the systemic contexts it has been given to escape the world that cares not for its comforts and interests.
At no point does this mind considered reevaluating its own positions, premises and judgments, in other words changing itself in relation to the world.
At no point does he dare question the contexts he has grown accustomed to or the authorities that offered them to him.
He cannot endure confronting the world outside his safety-net.
He is completely absorbed; he sees himself in every surface placed before him.
He admires his "brilliance" in the very walls that surround him. He loses himself in his own gaze. His horizons are contained within his skull because there the artifices become plausible - they remain perfect by not being applied - because in there he can be trained to behave and then he can be left to wallow in his own imagery...in his own peace.
He is in love with the image his artificial environment has constructed for him. He falls in love with the certainty.
He does not know how to begin breaking out even if he dared to consider it, having been sheltered for so long; and what small doses he has experienced of the real world, in those moments when it filters in through the crevices,and he has managed to endure, have taught him that such a prolonged engagement might shock him to death.
He does not think his self-image outside the reflections on these mirrored walls will satisfy him out there where he has no rights and his life is not so hypocritically venerated.
He has invested too much time and effort in placing himself within the contexts he accepted early on, and his identification has been shaped for so long that anything that confronts its premises would seem like a loss of self.
He feels he might go mad if he were to even entertain the possibility.
He might be right.
In fact he does go partially mad, as narcissism and schizophrenia are symptoms of insanity, but are lost within the sea of conformity and taken as a natural product of modern stress or adolescent rebelliousness.
His teen years is the time when he put on the clothes and reluctantly, often with spite, stepped into the box.
It is when the schism commenced.
It is not he, but the world that must be changed to accommodate his already established hopes and interests and beliefs...his interests as these have been decided for him.
This sets up a relationship of animosity between the individual man and the world outside his social and cultural paradigm, in other words a world outside his fantasies or what constructs he was given to believe promised him the best and most fulfilling rewards.
Even his imagination is directed by the imagery provided for him. He cannot escape not even in dreams, what contains him.
His fantasies reflect the symbols, through the veneer of artistic expression and popular culture, he is immersed within.
Now the mind finds no relation with reality - little, if any, point of contact. It feels alienated, disinterested, frightened and confused, when faced with anything outside its own conceptions, or the shared ones it has adopted as its own.
At this time and if these conceptions are replaced by some other foreign influence, some alternative political/philosophical/spiritual scenario, then he, this hypothetical man, may find identification with an ideal outside his willful control.
He will relish the sensation of giving up a will he now considers feeble, for the promise of a bigger, stronger Will.
This is the feminine road to power. Power through association.
It relates to my essay of The Feminization of Mankind
, which is presently being updated with new thoughts and new considerations.
He now surrenders to whatever more current human artifice is offered as an alternative - one promising to change the world for him - including the social and cultural milieu he has become disenfranchised with because it has failed to protect him from a reality outside its premises.
From the starting point of narcissism, based on an untested flattering sheltered evaluation of self, the mind may then project itself outward and it may fall in love with a greater Self
, breaking the separation of self from other, as it has been established though a continuum of experiences held together by memory.
As was noted, memory must be selectively discarded, for much of it stands in the way of being totally immersed within a new paradigm, a new, more modern or an old more wise identification.
The past is a burden, a resisting element, that must be reinterpreted, if it cannot be erased.
Race, sex anything associated with inheritance, with the past, with genetics, is to be dismissed or softened with semantics.
If it cannot be changed it must be forgotten and buried in the subconscious.
He does so, often willingly, to escape the world into a stronger cocoon.
He seeks escape in communion with otherness, and the unburdening of his primal fears and risks and costs, by submitting to a shared construct: a new one....a progressive rebirth of hope and expectation or a rediscovery of ancient roads towards a better state of being.
The promise is seductive.
He sacrifices independence for the sake of comfort and comforting. He forgets the past that burdens him with their immutable determinations.
He is reborn a clean slate...a new man...a modern man...or a modern being, for even the idea of manhood is to be taken off.
He saves himelf from the worse consequences of self-realization and rushes to find cover in ideas and ideals and identifications and definitions that offer him a renewed pride, via his association with a new, hypothetically more powerful, more current, perhaps, entity.
The denial of the past, his nature and essence, is his sacrifice, proving his faith to the new Self
Did not God test Abraham for the same reason?
Do not nations ask for self-sacrifice, as evidence of commitment to this greater Self
He is no longer a he
, a man, a self, an ego; his penis is but an organ he has no identification with.
A tool only for pleasure. He uses it, supposedly, with detachment. It's loss would amount to nothing, for it is not he and h is not it.
He is more, because he is Self
. The others compensate for his failings. The others pick up the slack and complete his incompleteness.
But he is still not content, because he has now alienated himself from his own self - his very sense of self, his selfishness, his ego, has been slandered into hiding.
He denies their presence to others, to show them how well he's adopted his new shared identity...cults do this as a way of overcoming resistance.
He is now fragmented and confused; of two minds.
He has no past; he has to heritage; he is sexless, egoless, selfless; he has lost his sense of continuity which he had called self and which connected him with the world.
His self-consciousness and the identification which now has been redirected leads him to a sense of detachment form his own actions and choices and then from his own thoughts.
He feels like two people occupying the same form. The mind/body dichotomy might serve to alleviate the distress but if the detachment persists the mind will shatter: being convinced that a voice is speaking to it, whether it be the voice of God, the manifestation of this greater Self
, or the Devil or his reincarnated spirit or ghosts or aliens or whatever.
Consciousness, his own, is now placed somewhere outside his skull...he has no contact with it except through some mystical realm only his faith can attach him to.
Everything is ethereal....magical....mysterious....immaterial. The supernatural replaces the natural, his experiences become secondary, mere illusions, his life is not his own, his thoughts come from outside himself, his identity is an external construct....all is fake...a dream he must awaken from to rediscover the more real reality, the world outside the world, life after death, existence outside existing.
Thinking, judging will break the spell; they stand in the way and must be suppressed - meditation is subscribed, hypnosis is advised, or some other form of intoxication.
The mind must be disconnected from the sensual...it must lose itself in drunken Dionysian ecstasy, where the irrational turns rational, and the unreal becomes real.
Apollo gives way.
In its stupor the mind sees visions, hears sounds, receives guidance.
It's defenses must be lowered - the skin being a defensive membrane - to allow this enlightenment, this loss of self, to take over.
Everything must bleed out of him, preparing for a new fertilization.
All resistance must be thwarted, embarrassed, called a disease.
Fear itself, a quintessential natural defensive measure, is now an illness that can be cured, must be cured, in order to experience this loss which is called a gain.
Concepts are reversed, turned on their head. The mind is bewildered by the paradoxes this produces.
It falls back on blind hope - on faith
His internal dialogue becomes one of otherness towards self, as the undesirable elements are projected as separate from himself and they take on a reality of their own.
He argues with them, pushes them away, tearing himself to bits and pieces where some parts are lost in the chaos.
The voices, the inspirations, come from "out there", from some ambiguous beyond....the same place gods reside.
The greater Self
that has seduced him, is now at odds with his subdued self, usually associated with his nature or instincts or essence - essence being the character produced by sum of his past, akin to nature.
He is no longer himself; absolved of all responsibilities, except in service and in loyalty to his new Self
- which can take on the form of a nation, an institution, a god, wealth, promiscuity, materialism, a political ideal or any abstraction for that matter - and he is also saved from any accountability in reference to his actions before he was "discovered" "found"or was "awakened" or was "reborn" into the new identity within this new Self
He is no longer himself so what is he, whom is he?
Self is an illusion, he is told.
The defenses are now crumbling and the external Will
, proposing this alternative Self
, enters to offer a transplant. He latches onto it like a hungry man who has been deprived of nourishment.
He thanks the very concept that deprived him, like a slave or a dog thanks his master who gives him food after he has taken it away.
He is now more...no longer alone. Existential solitude is negated in the myth of intimate communion.
If he gives in to his smaller self, the parts he sacrificed to be included within the greater Self
, he must make amends....feel guilty and shamed, offer token of his renewed vows of loyalty to the abstraction that absorbed him and that tolerates his momentary lapses and his contradictions.
He is, in fact, free from his past and all that this has determined about him.
Nature, being the sum of all previous nurturing, is now discarded, like unwanted luggage, and the mind soars within the possibilities of its new persona within this protective new Self
The sensation is exhilarating, freeing but it sets the mind up for a fall.
He is stripped of everything expect the parts necessary to be useful and servile.