One of the nice things about Facebook (at least for those of us who do still use it) is the ability to receive info offers from sources that might appeal to you. One of those info sources for me is “Sounds True” (founder is Tami Simon) who often provides FREE (with limited-time availability) psychology-related summits that I find both interesting and informative. And if I think these summits are interesting enough for sharing, I usually provide a link here so that others can view the materials for themselves if they wish.
Lately I’ve been listening daily to the latest Sounds True summit on “Understanding Narcissism” (Day 5 yesterday) within the 24-hour FREE time periods for each day: “Understanding Narcissism Summit with 20 leading experts in psychology and spirituality.”
The gist of this summit’s importance is “that as Americans, we are living in an era of narcissism: social media addiction, overall lack of presence and empathy, and increased societal division”; that and the current resident of the Oval Office demonstrates daily what being a Malignant Narcissist entails, so if you wanted to better understand him, here is the chance with this summit. Overall I think it’s a timely and interesting presentation of 20 leading authorities on the subject matter of narcissism in general. (And yes, some folks are more interesting than others to me.)
Overall for the Sounds True folks, the focus is on first understanding what is really happening to us personally as well as culturally in this current narcissistic group dynamic, and then determining how best to shift the current narcissistic focus from ME to WE to mend the deep social divisions in our country.
Yesterday I was hearing Day 5’s presentations beginning with Caroline Myss, who is considered more so a spiritual teacher than the other psychologists and therapists who had been presenting prior to her, and one I’ve been listening to over the last two decades. Initially to me she seemed a strange choice for this particular summit, but then she began talking about overviews and the BIG PICTURE of why this era of narcissism is happening to us as a group consciousness, so I naturally perked up to hear her unique thoughts on the subject matter of “narcissism as being a stage of consciousness” that we are meant to go through in our own soul’s evolution.
A few sentences in, she shifted the entire summit for me from “how to treat narcissism and those affected by the malignant narcissist that they may work or live with daily” to WHY we as a society and culture are “exploring” the archetype of Narcissist right now; and then everything shifted in my head to better see the reasoning for those socially chaotic decades of my own life during the time period from late 60’s to the present.
According to Caroline during the turmoil of the late 60’s, youth felt “the need to break away to discover our individuality—our individual self—to launch on the journey of our INNER SELF—to find out what am I capable or—what am I made of? The 60’s was a decade of REVOLUTION. That sense of ‘I’m not going to take this anymore—you can’t tell me what to do—you can’t send me to war I don’t understand… Revolution was the first phase of breaking out of a Tribal thought-form—this is archetypal. In the 60’s this template began, and it was collective. It exploded—it downloaded into our global soul and the REVOLUTION began (to separate ME from WE)….the sense of INNER SELF and PERSONAL was born. ..Now when we are in the revolutionary stage—the BIRTH of the SELF—you may know what you ‘won’t take anymore’, but you may not know what you WILL take—or what you DO want. You don’t know what you DO want—all you know is that when you are revolting, ‘you know what you do NOT want’ and ‘what you will NOT accept’. …’I won’t take this anymore’…you are revolting against the control of a system or a person or a structure to control how you perceive reality. That’s important for you to understand that. …What’s controlling your perceptions—what’s controlling your capacity to respond—to make choices. And another way for you to understand this is to reduce it—condense it—to something that makes sense to you—YOU DON’T WANT YOUR POWER CONTROLLED so you are revolting against those who try to control your ‘power to decide for yourself’.”
Wow! Bingo! That’s it completely. It took this personal revolt from the accepted norm to get us to this point in awareness, but now we must evolve further to survive our own self-focus. She continued:
“Out of that revolution of the 60’s came the ‘collective permission’ to pursue something that never existed before , called the Inner Self. So we collectively gave birth to a hybrid EGO that we never had before. …We had a survival Ego but we never had this collective ‘Inner-Self’ focus.
…Another thought-form that made its way into the Collective at this time, which was a gargantuan and mystical truth but it came in kind of a ‘pop-camp’ package, was that WE CREATE OUR OWN REALITY. …Now while at a mystical level we participate in the creation of our own reality, ..that profound mystical teaching got translated into kind of a pop-culture way which says ‘I can choose whatever I want, I’m free to do whatever I want, and I create my reality, and there it is! …It’s not unlike the way the Churches took the profound teachings of Jesus and reduced them to the politics of the CHURCH so that you don’t even see those profound , mystical teachings that later had to come through Saint Francis of Assisi or Theresa of Avila. ..This mystical sense of spirituality that exploded within us in the 60’s—that produced this longing in us to find our own path—the Spirit that lit up our nuclear power base—it compelled people in the 60’s to seek what was named ‘this Spiritual Path.’ And that caused people to break away from the Tribe. …and the slightest Tribal shift is going to get a repercussive reaction from members of the Tribe. So we formed our own Tribe—of Spiritual seekers—so we went from one traditional tribe to another Tribe of outrageous individuals who called themselves Hippies, … they had to strike out at the beginning of this movement of finding the Inner Self. ..This movement eventually laid the groundwork for what we call Narcissism…the Narcissist—the you can’t tell me what to do—I need to find myself. This is how the momentum began that literally launched this tremendous appetite and permission to go our own way.
60’s blended into 70’s, Hippies grew up and had children of their own and gradually moved into the 2nd stage of revolution is INVOLUTION. … Once you say I don’t want this—you will always retreat inside—to look within to see what you Do want. …now you listen for the voice of the INNER SELF to know what you Do want. ..Now you’re in a different field of power—now it’s clear you have to make a choice. ..You are shifting from having been controlled to feeling a different voice. The 70’s was an involution decade. But what came out of that was exactly what came out of you…you start piecing together a path. You start asking yourself ‘What do I need?’ and it always begins with the discovery and existence of your inner self. ..Now you realize that nothing begins without SELF-ESTEEM. Self-esteem will become a part of this journey of you putting yourself together. Of you developing a voice. ..Of you becoming a whole person. …Enter the 1980’s—The DECADE OF THE NARCISSIST. And now we move into the stage of you becoming a Narcissist—the essential stage and the risky stage. This was the decade that gave rise to Narcissism—the decade in many ways, in which we are psychically stuck.
This is why we need the Narcissistic Phase: We need it because breaking away from the Tribal Journey requires a great deal of inner-self stamina, lest you get reeled back in. …
What’s going on here at a very different level is that we are all of us on a track of discovering the power of our own soul to participate in acts of creation—that in fact every word we say sets in motion an act of creation… that every thought results into setting energy into motion…that every feeling sets sparks of energy into creation…that every choice we make is this moment in time where we need to ascend to a level of inner knowledge where we truly understand that we are vessels of creative power and that is the nature of God within us and around us. The nature of God is expressed through the creative laws of the Universe—that we are governed by these laws….
…That we are a species participating in a constant flow of all that is created. …We are becoming hyper-sensitive—hyper-aware of our own selves—we are becoming Narcissistic –but in fact it is a hyper-awareness of our own creative ability. …to impact our biology and impact the biology of others. In this journey of becoming aware of the power within us, but it has brought us to the illusion of our own significance—but it is the power that is significant—not ourselves wielding it. …We need to become mindful enough to manage ourselves. Like a spiritual art-form to move through the dark side of Narcissism…where we embrace our shadow-side self—sense of self-importance—and move beyond it—the words we say are important in their power—but not that WE are important in saying them. When we believe that WE are the center of the universe, is the dark side of narcissism. When we feel entitled—‘blame, deserve, entitlement’ are the sources of your greatest suffering on earth. We need to humble up. … We need to recognize and reclaim our true power, but not focus on our personal ability to do so. It’s not about us—it’s about the ability we all have to create with intention….
The task of the Narcissist is to ‘Get Over Yourself’. ..we need to mature into a level of self-awareness—self-management—self-accountability. You become a high-functioning individual …who returns to the human tribe with a sense of community, as you affect all others in what you do. ‘What I do affects the whole.’ That is the new Theology. …My personal spiritual ecology is part of the ecological system of the Earth itself. …That is the NEW Theology. …What I do is then done to the whole. Narcissism is the state of awakening to your own power, or NOT. …See through the illusion of personal importance…. Healing occurs when you see beyond taking things personally. The Universe is not personal. It is archetypal. I can choose to be detached from the personal and work instead with mystical truths. …
“Narcissists delude themselves into thinking that they can control the entirety around them. They try to do that very thing.” …
“You’ve been given a life and a task and one of those tasks is to become fully you… and you have to trust ‘that journey of becoming fully you’ is what you were meant to do. But at the same time, that does NOT make you ‘special’—you are simply one of many journeying in their own ways—but we are always journeying together. You aren’t here by yourself. ..The spiritual path is about Truth—about you discovering what is REAL—and you are able to manage yourself and your power without compromising it by your shadow and your EGO-focus. …The Spiritual path is about courage. It’s not about your personal accomplishment—it is about finding your inner truth and then recognizing it as such. …” ~Caroline Myss.
[In truth I did not intend to type so much of what she said during her presentation, but I soon realized that with only an hour left of FREE viewing, no one would be able to catch her talk without paying to hear it. So I transcribed most of it here because it is extremely pertinent and powerful. At least in this way you could actually catch it.]