I Don't Want to Talk about It
读书笔记 Sons of Narcissus: Self-Esteem, Shame, and Depression
People often think of Narcissus as the symbol of excessive self-regard, but in fact, he exemplifies the opposite. As the Renaissance philosopher Marsilio Ficino observed in the 1500s, Narcissus did not suffer from an overabundance of self-love, but rather from its deficiency. The myth is a parable about paralysis. The youth, who first appears in restless motion, is suddenly rooted to one spot, unable to leave the elusive spirit. As Ficino remarked, if Narcissum has possessed real selflove, he would have been able to leave his fascination. The curse of Narcissum is immobilization, not out of love for himself, but out of dependency upon his image.
....This parent's warm regard, the "gleam in the mother's eye," is internalized by the young child and becomes the seed of his own capacity for self-regard.
What comes naturally with children is often lost sight of in relation to adults, including ourselves. Society bids many of us to forget about inherent worth and, instead, to supplement the deficiency with external props such as wealth, beauty, status. The greater the scarcity in true self-esteem, the greater the need for supplementation.
Narcissus in love with his image is like a man in love with his bank account, his good looks, or his power. Narcissus is an emblem for all men enthralled with just about anything other than their own deepest selves. Since the hidden depression in such men stems from a lack of internal vitality, the defense of reflected glory rarely succeeds. Each time Narcissum reaches out to embrace the object of his desire, he only causes it to withdraw. Even his tears, his expression of pain, disrupt the beautiful image and cannot be permitted. Narcissum must lay alll of his authentic feelings, all of his needs, upon the altar of his worshiped reflection. He must "cherish the flame that consumes him." As inexorably as any addict, Narcissum is caught in a cycle from which he cannot break free, even to the point of death. These are the essential dynamics of covert depression.
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