[PDF] Narcissism: Denial of the True Self. Narcissism: Denial of the True Self. Book Review. It in one of the best publication. it was writtern extremely flawlessly . Narcissists do not function in terms of the actual self-image, because it is unacceptable to them. But how can they ignore it or deny its reality? The answer is by. Narcissism Denial of the True Self by Alexander Lowen Narcissim Denial of the True Self PDF.
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Editorial Reviews. Unknown. Los Angeles Times Thoughtful and provocative. Review Narcissism: Denial of the True Self - Kindle edition by Alexander Lowen. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ teshimaryokan.info Issuu is a digital publishing platform that makes it simple to publish magazines, catalogs, newspapers, books, and more online. Easily share. Narcissism book. Read 57 reviews from the world's largest community for readers . NARCISSISM Are you a narcissist? Do you interact with someone who is?.
Children are often accused of seeking power over their parents when all they want is to have their needs understood and responded to. Nella prima infanzia, risponde Lowen: Welcome back. The issue of power, however, often enters into the relationship between parents and children. Erich countered that that was just a metaphor. This view differs from that of most ego psychologists, who identify pathological narcissism as the result of a failure to outgrow the primary narcissistic state.
Published March 1st by Touchstone first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Narcissism , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Apr 21, Maria M. J Hyland rated it it was ok Recommends it for: Very dull and very bad.
I wasn't in it. Not a single mention of me. View all 3 comments. I picked up this book to see if it would help me understand my brother better. Granted, I'm not trained in psychology or psychiatry but when I read a description of narcissism as a borderline personality, it sure seems to fit my brother who is a very difficult person to be around. Quotes the caught my eye: Narcissists love their image, not their real self.
They are singled out sadness and fear because their expression makes a person feel vulnerable. To express sadness leads to an awareness of loss and evokes longing.
To long for someone or to need someone leaves the person open to possible rejection and humiliation. Not wanting or not feeling desire is a defense against possible hurt.
The eyes are dull; no light shines through them; there is no expression of feeling. They are relatively insensitive to other people and to themselves What they do is manipulate people and things The Oedipal complex with how it is being applied to the behaviors in this book is a little out there for me.
His talk of massaging his patients and making them kick and scream to "get in touch" with their feelings kind of made me laugh too! View 1 comment. May 15, Jenny Pat rated it really liked it. A little..
I started to read this book because I wanted to understand more about people who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, since my former boss clearly is a textbook example of one.
In this book, Dr. Lowen has opened my eyes to some of the reasons to how a person becomes overly narcissistic. However, I still cannot stifle my profound annoyance with this boss! I can imagine her childhood, upbringing, and perhaps even understand the key point of "Denial of Feeling".
Unfortunately, the understanding alone does not give me solace to the hurtful feelings I've suffered over the year, working for a boss with NPD. His method, the Bioenergetic Analysis, seems to be very difficult to go through, especially for people suffering from different levels of NPD.
Lying on the bed, kicking and yelling "NO! Nonetheless, this book is a very informative and interesting read. I haven't been able to put it down. I'd recommend to anyone interested in this subject.
It's a quick read too. Mar 03, Dariusz Nawojczyk rated it really liked it. This book should be obligatory for every single living, thinking and feeling creature. For some it may be difficult to read as there are many paragraphs reffering to complex scientific ideas.
For some it is going to be shocking as you are to see your very own story explained in a very direct context. At the end it will be healing for all. May 28, Nicholas rated it really liked it Shelves: As hysteria was the defining psychological disturbance of the nineteenth century,narcissism has become the definitive mental disorder of the modern age.
Most people won't need convincing of this,but they are probably less well informed about the degrees of narcissism that prevail and how the condition is nurtured and sustained by living through an ego image,thus denying the true self. Life experience then becomes a deadened existence, punctuated by the occasional superficial ego high and all true As hysteria was the defining psychological disturbance of the nineteenth century,narcissism has become the definitive mental disorder of the modern age.
Life experience then becomes a deadened existence, punctuated by the occasional superficial ego high and all true feeling is lost by denial of the unpleasant ones. One can't just select a certain type of feeling to suppress and control,for whatever purpose,the entire feeling function is affected, producing the distorted unbalanced,depressed individuals.
The author,who was a student and patient of Wilhelm Reich,favors a Freudian approach to the diagnosis and cause of the condition, ie Oedipal and promotes Reich's' bio-energetic methods as a way to counteract the denied feelings locked up in the body. Throughout the book he provides examples of his success with this therapy mainly,it seems, with other Psychologists and medical professionals. The book is readable and sets out to be accessible without dumbing down or being too textbook-like and neither is it a self-help book,but maintains its informative consistency throughout.
My only criticism would be in its minimal speculation regarding non-Oedipal environmental causes such as the media promotion of distorted values for economic benefit that have accentuated and exploited the condition to near epidemic proportions,but then again a greater realization of the general cause is his objective View all 5 comments.
Denial of the True Self is helpful from a theoretical perspective, but it hasn't aged well. However, his bias shows through in ways that struck me as amusing--his writing 30 years ago about his childhood resonates with people today writing about their childhood in the s.
Thoreau would feel right at home with Lowen's descriptions. Lowen, of course, considers these things indicative of the narcissism of "our time," and uses them as part of his central narrative about the way culture drives the occurrence of NPD.
Unfortunately, because every generation lobbies the same complaints about "kids these days," it seems extraordinarily unrealistic that culture is driving the prevalance of NPD. Or at least not in the way Lowen asserts. Interesting read, thoughtful historical perspective, but ultimately probably not worth your time.
View 2 comments. Sep 29, Jared rated it it was amazing. I believe you could learn much from this reading IF you don't lie to yourself. I will buy this book and refer back to it throughout my lifetime. I am very interested and excited about reading more from this author. Jul 16, Ryan rated it it was ok. Bits and pieces are hitting a little too close to home. Remember when you first took Abnormal Psych back in college and thought every condition perfectly described you?
I'm having deja vu all over again Nov 18, Mischenko rated it liked it. Maybe a little complicated at times and not enough information on helping, but more describing what it is, how to identify it, and the characteristic behaviors. Just OK This book is packed from beginning to end with a truly deep and wise understanding of the complexity of the human psyche. It is truly priceless. For me, the author is at a genius level of perception on the subject of human psychology.
I wouldn't be surprised if he was a fellow INFJ or other intuitive type like myself, as his wisdom resonates so deeply with me.
I had to take a long time to read it in order to absorb all the information it provided. I understand my own self so much more clearly, su This book is packed from beginning to end with a truly deep and wise understanding of the complexity of the human psyche. I understand my own self so much more clearly, such as the root of many of my struggles, along with increased clarity on the connection between mind, body and emotions.
I understand the struggle of others on a deeper level. This book is like an operating manual for the human being. One of them, that is, as we are incredibly complex beings. Narcissim is a spectrum, but all of us are susceptible to it to some degree, as all of us have a mind, which can keep us from staying in touch with our true Selves, our true essence.
This is one of the few books that I will absolutely re-read and my understanding will continue to grow with a second read through. Jun 03, Vincent Superking rated it really liked it Shelves: This book was one of the springboards for my discovery of psychotherapy. I get along perfectly well. The only answer I could make was: Dead men have no pain and nothing bothers them. You have simply deadened yourself.
I thought this remark would sting him. His reply amazed me. Erich explained, When I was young, I was terrified at the thought of death. I decided that if I were already dead, I would have nothing to fear. So I considered myself to be dead. I never thought I would reach the age of twenty. I am surprised I am still alive. He saw himself as a thing ; he even used the word thing in describing his self-image.
As an instrument, his purpose was to do some good for other people, although he admitted that he derived vicarious satisfaction from their responses. For example, he described himself as a very good sexual partner, capable of giving a woman much pleasure. Being emotionally dead, Erich derived little bodily pleasure from the sexual act. But because of his lack of personal involvement, her climax was limited. This was something Erich could not understand. Such mutuality, however, can occur only on the genital level, that is, in the act of intercourse.
Erich admitted that he used his hands to bring a woman to climax because they were more sensitive than his penis. In effect, his lovemaking was more a servicing of the woman than an expression of passion.
He had no passion. Yet Erich could not be fully without feeling. If he had had absolutely no feeling, he would not have consulted me about his situation.
He knew something was wrong, yet he denied any feeling about it; he knew he should change, yet he had developed powerful defenses to protect himself. Why had Erich erected such powerful defenses against feeling? Why had he buried himself in a characterological tomb?
What was he really afraid of? I believe the answer is insanity. Erich claimed that he was afraid of death, which, I think, was true. But his fear of death was conscious, while his fear of insanity was unconscious and, therefore, deeper.
I believe that the fear of death often stems from an unconscious death wish. Erich would rather have been dead than crazy. What this means is that he was closer to insanity than to death. He was convinced albeit unconsciously that to allow any feeling to reach consciousness would crack a hole in the dam; he would be flooded and overwhelmed by a torrent of emotion, driving him crazy. In his unconscious mind, feeling was equated with insanity and with his hysterical mother.
Erich identified with his father and equated will, reason, and logic with sanity and power. He pictured himself as a sane person who could study a situation and react to it logically and efficiently.
Logic, however, is only the application of certain principles of thought to a given premise. What is logical, therefore, depends on the premise one starts from. I pointed out to Erich that insanity describes the state of a person who is out of touch with reality.
From this point of view, I indicated, Erich would be considered insane, despite the apparent rationality of his behavior. This suggestion that he might be crazy had a strong effect on Erich, and he asked me several questions about the nature of insanity.
I explained to him that feelings are never crazy; they are always valid for the person.
It is tiring and pointless. I compared Erich to a fugitive from justice, who dares not surrender yet who finds that the strain of hiding is unbearable.
Peace can come only with surrender. If Erich could see and accept that his attitude was really insane, he would be sane. This explanation made a lot of sense to him. The most important feature, I believe, is the lack of feeling.
Although Erich had cut off his feelings to an extreme degree, such a lack or denial of feeling is typical of all narcissistic individuals.
He presented himself as someone committed to doing good for others, to use his words. But this image was a perversion of reality. What he called doing good for others represented an exercise of power over them which, despite his stated good intentions, verged on the diabolical.
Under the guise of doing good, for instance, Erich exploited his girlfriend: He got her to love him without any loving response on his part. Such exploitativeness is common to all narcissistic personalities.
A question comes up here: Can one call Erich grandiose in his exercise of power? After all, he described himself as a thing, hardly an overblown self-image. But the he who observed himself, the I who controlled the thing, was an arrogant superpower. This arrogance of the ego is found in all narcissistic personalities, regardless of their lack of achievement or self-esteem.
Through Erich, we have begun to glimpse a portrait of the narcissist. But how can we define a narcissist more precisely? In common parlance, we describe a narcissist as a person who is preoccupied with him- or herself to the exclusion of everyone else. As Theodore I. Rubin, noted psychoanalyst and writer, says, The narcissist becomes his own world and believes the whole world is him. A closer view of narcissistic personalities is given by Otto Kernberg, a prominent psychoanalyst.
In his words, narcissists present various combinations of intense ambitiousness, grandiose fantasies, feelings of inferiority and overdependence on external admiration and acclaim. Also characteristic, in his opinion, are chronic uncertainty and dissatisfaction about themselves, conscious or unconscious exploitiveness and ruthlessness toward others.
But this descriptive analysis of narcissistic behavior only helps us to identify a narcissist, not to understand him or her. We need to look beneath the surface of behavior to see the underlying personality disturbance. The question is: What causes a person to be exploitative and act ruthlessly toward others and at the same time suffer from chronic uncertainty and dissatisfaction? Psychoanalysts recognize that the problem develops in early childhood. In effect, they cannot distinguish between an image of who they imagine themselves to be and an image of who they actually are.
The two views have become one. But this statement is not yet clear enough. What happens is that the narcissist identifies with the idealized image. The actual self-image is lost. Whether this is so because it has become fused with the idealized image, or is discarded in favor of the latter, is relatively unimportant.
Narcissists do not function in terms of the actual self-image, because it is unacceptable to them. But how can they ignore it or deny its reality? The answer is by not looking at the self. There is a difference between the self and its image, just as there is between the person and his or her reflection in a mirror.
Indeed, all this talk of images betrays a weakness in the psychoanalytic position. Underlying the psychoanalytic explanation of narcissistic disturbances is the belief that what goes on in the mind determines the personality.
It fails to consider that what goes on in the body influences thinking and behavior as much as what goes on in the mind. Consciousness is concerned with or even dependent on images that regulate our actions. But we should remember that an image implies the existence of an object which it represents. The self-image—whether grandiose, idealized, or actual—must bear some relation to the self, which is more than an image. Simply put, I equate the self with the living body, which includes the mind.
The sense of self depends on the perception of what goes on in the living body. Perception is a function of the mind and creates images. If the body is the self, the actual self-image must be a bodily image. One can only discard the actual self-image by denying the reality of an embodied self. Their grasp of reality is not that weak. But they see the body as an instrument of the mind, subject to their will.
It operates only according to their images, without feeling.
Although the body can function efficiently as an instrument, perform like a machine, or impress one as a statue, it then lacks life. And it is this feeling of aliveness that gives rise to the experience of the self. Clearly, in my opinion, the basic disturbance in the narcissistic personality is the denial of feeling.
I would define the narcissist as a person whose behavior is not motivated by feeling. But, still, we are left with the question: Why does someone choose to deny feeling? And related to this is another question: Why are narcissistic disorders so prevalent today in Western culture? In general, the pattern of neurotic behavior at any particular time reflects the operation of cultural forces.
In the Victorian period, for example, the typical neurosis was hysteria. The hysterical reaction results from the damming up of sexual excitement.
It may take the form of an emotional explosion, breaking through restraining forces and overwhelming the ego. The person may then cry or scream uncontrollably. If, however, the restraining forces retain their hold, clamping down on any expression of feeling, the person may faint instead, as many Victorian women did when exposed to some public manifestation of sexuality.
In other cases, the attempt to repress an early sexual experience, along with sexual feeling, may produce what is called a conversion symptom. Here the person displays some functional ailment, such as paralysis, although no physical basis for this can be found. It was through his work with hysterical patients that Sigmund Freud began to develop psychoanalysis and his thinking on neurosis.
Yet it is important to retain a picture of the society in which his observations were made. Generally speaking, Victorian culture was characterized by a rigid class structure.
Sexual morality and sexual prudery were the avowed standards, with restraint and conformity the accepted attitudes.
Manners of speech and dress were carefully controlled and monitored, especially in bourgeois society. Women wore tight-fitting corsets and men stiff collars. Respect for authority was the established order. The effect was to produce in many people a strict and severe superego, which limited sexual expression and created intense guilt and anxiety about sexual feeling.
Today, about a century later, the cultural picture has shifted almost degrees. Our culture is marked by a breakdown of authority in and out of the home. Sexual mores seem far more easygoing. The ability of people to move from one sexual partner to another approaches their physical ability to move from one place to another.
Sexual prudery has been replaced by exhibitionism and pornography. At times one wonders if there is any acceptable standard of sexual morality. In any case, one sees fewer people today who suffer from a conscious sense of guilt or anxiety about sexual feeling.