There was an old post here in the blog section that talked about narcissism, my personal experiences with narcissists, and some of the approaches to recovery from narcissistic abuse. It spoke from the usual perspective of someone walking through the difficult journey of awareness, understanding, the healing of trauma, and the building up of personal resources like boundaries, taking ownership and responsibility, tracing back and healing childhood stuff, and maintaining no contact while working on forgiveness, compassion, etc.
Though I’ve worked with lots of people who are healing from narcissistic abuse, the therapeutic focus is not my specific area of expertise. There are lots of wonderful therapists and coaches who do a thorough and compassionate job helping people walk through that process. That kind of delicate support work is not in my nature and does not interest me.
Over the last five years or so, I’ve been taken on a different kind of journey with narcissism, and have been sharing different mysticism-specific approaches, understanding, perspectives, and practices on my personal facebook page. I’m going to try to collect them here in some annotated fashion. Because of their often paradoxical nature with therapeutic instructions, they are not generally recommended for people who are at the beginning stages of their abuse recovery work. These perspectives concern a more advanced, deeper level of inner work, and contradictions with therapeutic instruction will produce confusion. Please take account of where you are in your healing process, and exercise caution where appropriate.
Also a short disclaimer: When I use the word narcissism or narcissist, I am not making any kind of diagnosis. (There’s a video and blurb about this somewhere, which I’ll include.). I am making an identification and discernment of a person’s character, which “narcissism” summerizes nicely. You might say it’s short hand for “egotistical monster lacking a conscience.” It includes all kinds of other diagnosable personality disorders inside of it (because to me, they all share the egotism problems, various states of psychopathy, and the character defects. I think they are much more fluid than anyone cares to admit.).
Using a gross identification setting suffices to do my own work, and to convey my thoughts to others like me. I’m not actually interested at all in the contents of the narcissist’s mind nor in making distinctions between them. I am only concerned with their effects, and what those bring for the benefit of the victim. The identification value is only as a red flag to the transactional nature of the exchanges with them. I don’t care about deliniating or categorizing them under the different psychiatric labels. That’s a waste of time and energy, spent inside the other person’s mind. It’s the wrong place to focus.
Finally, lots of people tiptoe around using narcissism as a term loaded with condemnation. They are afraid to offend evil people. I do not and am not. I bring down the full weight of truth and condemnation (as you will see), and offending them doesn’t offend me. They know who they are, and what they do to others. They know how much harm they cause. I think it’s condescending and disrespectful to truth to deny their evil and pretend they are good people. If they are interested in changing their destructive patterns, they can. But as a rule, I don’t tiptoe around them anymore, and I don’t pretend they are anything but vessels of remorseless destruction (read evil). You shouldn’t either.
If these last few sentences produce discomfort, I invite you to investigate that closely. Good people have lots of trouble with admitting evil; it’s one of the things I want to explore here.