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The perils of narcissism

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  • Rajiv Pande
    Dear Gretchyn, Gretchyn, I understand your concept of the oversoul, but isn t it a lot like Freud s Superego? I am inclined to believe that that the oversoul,
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 17, 1999
      Dear Gretchyn,
      Gretchyn, I understand your concept of the oversoul, but isn't it a lot like Freud's Superego? I am inclined to believe that that the oversoul, at least in the way you describe it, is also a created entity, a refined and distilled residue of all that your parents or teachers taught you, what your special friends taught you etc. This is not to say that you had no hand in its creation. You were open and receptive to input, earnest and sincere in your intentions. The creation of the oversoul is like the ancient wisdom, "gather all things, but hold fast that which is good".
      Howsoever divine the oversoul may appear, it is still an actively constituted entity, visible under the Freudian microscope, a normal part of being-in-the-world. Therefore, Gretchyn, don't be disappointed if you have to leave the best part of you behind when you die, because it belonged to the earth, and not to heaven!
      If, oversoul = superego, the coveted ideal self, then isn't one still coveting, wanting, craving? As long as hope impinges on an expected reward or goal, it is not true hope. As St. Paul said, "Hope that is seen is not hope, for what a man seeth, yet what doth he hope for?"
      Anything idealistic, superlative has a tendency to generate narcissism (self love). Not that it is something evil, but like liquor, one must partake of the divine broth with moderation. A chronic superego orientation causes delusions of grandeur, a divine drunkenness.
      For hope to have any real value, it must be totally free of any anticipation of reward. Otherwise, we would be no more than rats in a tunnel looking for cheese, to use Randy's analogy!
      Regards
      Rajiv
      PS I don't want to insult your personal faith, just trying to remind you (but mostly me) that no matter how good things are looking, one must always keep alert.
    • Gretchyn Lenger
      Hey Rajiv and all, I ve lost the train of thought from before the holiday. It s been a long time since I ve read Freud and I don t want to be too careless with
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 3, 2000
        Hey Rajiv and all,

        I've lost the train of thought from before the holiday. It's been a long
        time since I've read Freud and I don't want to be too careless with the
        terminology. I think what I've been saying is that I see the oversoul as
        something completely different from the superego, but like a Venn diagram,
        the two overlap in places. Yes it's true that one is shaped by instruction
        and environment but I have always been aware of another who guides me in
        what to assimilate from that and what not - prior to and apart from any
        known influence to the contrary. I'm talking about since the earliest
        memories and under extreme conditions. I also believe that so much of this
        is semantics. I can only describe my experiences but I don't pretend to
        think that necessarily has a universal application. I also don't have any
        religious affiliations. There are certain spiritual philosophies that
        "make sense" to me and seem to fit in with my experiences but all that
        forms my working hypothesis of existence, like anyone's, until it doesn't!

        By the way, I do like the idea of mutual reading/discussion. I prefer the
        suggestion of beginning with existential terminology/basics as I think it
        would
        help solidify a common ground from which to branch out.


        On Fri, 17 Dec 1999, Rajiv Pande wrote:

        > Dear Gretchyn,
        > Gretchyn, I understand your concept of the oversoul, but isn't it a lot like Freud's Superego? I am inclined to believe that that the oversoul, at least in the way you describe it, is also a created entity, a refined and distilled residue of all that your parents or teachers taught you, what your special friends taught you etc. This is not to say that you had no hand in its creation. You were open and receptive to input, earnest and sincere in your intentions. The creation of the oversoul is like the ancient wisdom, "gather all things, but hold fast that which is good".
        > Howsoever divine the oversoul may appear, it is still an actively constituted entity, visible under the Freudian microscope, a normal part of being-in-the-world. Therefore, Gretchyn, don't be disappointed if you have to leave the best part of you behind when you die, because it belonged to the earth, and not to heaven!
        > If, oversoul = superego, the coveted ideal self, then isn't one still coveting, wanting, craving? As long as hope impinges on an expected reward or goal, it is not true hope. As St. Paul said, "Hope that is seen is not hope, for what a man seeth, yet what doth he hope for?"
        > Anything idealistic, superlative has a tendency to generate narcissism (self love). Not that it is something evil, but like liquor, one must partake of the divine broth with moderation. A chronic superego orientation causes delusions of grandeur, a divine drunkenness.
        > For hope to have any real value, it must be totally free of any anticipation of reward. Otherwise, we would be no more than rats in a tunnel looking for cheese, to use Randy's analogy!
        > Regards
        > Rajiv
        > PS I don't want to insult your personal faith, just trying to remind you (but mostly me) that no matter how good things are looking, one must always keep alert.
        >
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