On being more equal.

Narcissus is blind to the well maiden’s essential being, he depersonalises her with his rejection, declines relatedness, which is why she curses him with his own preoccupation, a dose of poetic justice  the gods are so good at.

Gilgamesh does the same in his story when he is propositioned by the goddess Ishtar. He spurns her. He refuses the kind of awareness that might challenge his assumption that the psyche is what he knows of it, and thereby misses the opportunity to grow, to be fertilised/inspired by the Unconscious. The carnal invitation is one of initiation, a cross-pollination of energies that might give rise to something new..

I was once talking to a lovely guy who travelled the world giving talks about interesting stuff to packed venues. So, this woman comes up to us and asks if we’d like her to fascilitate our conversation. Like, we couldn’t possibly talk to one another under our own steam or were clearly failing to  get friendship right. We needed her help. Like an angel of…. something, she descended to grant us the boon of knowing our own minds.

She was blind to our essential being, didn’t want the unpredictable, lively dance of our conversation. It took something away from her. So she’d step in and ‘fascilitate’ .

The divine spark couldn’t be shared, and so everything must be unintelligible. You must be talking crap, even if you aren’t.

Who gets to have the spark is a big deal. And many a relationship is fucked up simply because we don’t know how to be on the same level playingfield.

There’s no divine template for sharing space.

And so we can’t see what is in front of us. No matter what you are staying or sharing it has no ultimate validity without my stamp of approval.

What is it with Yahweh stamping people? Everyone seems to get stamped in the Old Testament. Stamped with his mark or stamped with his foot. He even stamps his own wife, before tossing her into the briny foam.

You stamp property.

And that’s what we do with one another if only one person can have the stage at a time. We reduce the other’s stature to that of stock, and then of course cannot possibly condescend to converse let alone congress, concealing meantime that ragged hole passing for a centre.

Like dutiful children who follow by example rather than fine verses we start our own  bit of stamping, labelling, owning, exploiting, any thing to avoid being in a situation where who has the spark becomes a matter of debate.

To follow example is in our DNA. It comes under the ‘how to survive’ icon on our hard drive.

So its not really right to talk about narcissists. Our culture is narcissistic. The dominant religion is narcissistic. It would be better to talk about the narcissistic encounter, something that happens between.

I saw a lovely narcissus-free encounter on the bus. Mother with shopping and two small kids, the larger thumping the smaller protesting child. Mum says, ‘Billy, is Carl as big and strong as you?

No ways!

Remember that next time you thump him…

An honest measured thump… rather than what I did in the absence of such containing forbearance, convincing my younger brother that mother was dead and that he’d been sent away to Mars which just happened by chance to look like where we lived, forcing him to carry the dark wound of my own black mamma’s loss and being sent away so that it could be his experience and not mine.

I could magically have a different and better experience….

…..and join in the joke that Andy only speaks Swahili.



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Psychotherapist/writer/artist/ author of, 'Going Mad to Stay Sane', a psychology of self-destructiveness, about to come into its third edition. Soon to be printed for the first time, 'Abundant Delicious.. the Secret and the Mystery', described by activist Satish Kumar as, ' A Tao of the Soul'. This book documents the archetypal country through which the process of individuation occurs and looks at the trials and tribulations we might expect on the way. In the meantime..... Narcissisim is the issue of our age. This blog looks at how it operates, how it can damage and how we may still fruit despite it.

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