Since I have become aware of narcissism, I have noticed there are so many extremely talented, gifted people out there who seem to me to be highly narcissistic. I observed one man in particular who was giving a presentation at an event I attended. The minute he walked in the door my eyes were drawn to him. I felt that familiar pang in the pit of my stomach and aside from all outward appearances I knew I was looking at a narcissistic man. He was dressed in costume, had a beautiful appearance and a presentation that had the audience eating out of the palm of his hands. Meanwhile I sat there with my protection erected and a stubborn refusal to buy into his charms. I’m sure I must have appeared quite staunch as the smile had been wiped off my face and in its place pursed lips and furrowed brows. I was in a mode of deep concentration and observation, trying to combat the urge to get up and run out the door.
The next day a girlfriend called me and invited me to an event where the same man was presenting and I politely declined.
A few days later I went to my favorite restaurant in town and had an unusual experience. I was sitting with two friends outdoors in the sun and suddenly a big gust of wind came along blowing sand in my eyes. The wind continued to a point where we all got up and relocated indoors. No sooner had we taken our seats this same man came walking in with a sidekick and I felt that large all consuming energy around me. They sat on the table right next to us and within a short time the man in question got up from his seat and moved directly across from me where he sat facing me. I sheltered myself behind my girlfriend who had her back to him.
The man continued to get up from his seat and walk by me very closely to where I sensed his energy field trying to come into mine. I avoided all acknowledgement of him and any eye contact. It was obvious he wasn’t getting what he wanted from me. It reminded me of some light versus dark movie where the darkness recognizes the light and wants to consume it, only the light also recognizes the darkness and continues to shine brightly within its protective bubble.
I checked in with my girlfriend and asked her what she had observed. She confirmed that the man was trying to get my attention but she believed it was because I was a pretty woman. That thought didn’t occur to me. I told her that there are lots of “pretty women” out there and I didn’t feel that I stood out as anything special. The thing that I felt made me stand out to this man was that I could read his energy and he could somehow sense that I had protections installed preventing him from invading me.
An acquaintance of mine had attended one of this man’s workshops and came over to the house I was staying at to visit. When asked to share her experience of the workshop she took out her notes and began reading “he said to do this, and he said that!” After a few moments of her reading her notes I asked her to put her notes away and tell me how she felt about the experience. She didn’t have much to say. It seemed more that she was trying to convince herself that she received value from the workshop. And she did receive some practical tips that she could use.
This scenario of narcissistic spiritual leaders was really beginning to disturb me. I needed to understand what was going on that caused so many people to feed into the hands of an over inflated ego. Part of it seemed to be plugging into the group mind. This man was great at interacting with the group and getting them to answer his questions. He would ask questions and the group would simultaneously answer yes, no or whatever else was presented. By the time he was asking them to participate in his workshop he had already conditioned them to say yes. So people were making commitments without realizing it. Even my friend sitting next to me started to say yes, before catching herself and saying “I don’t know if I can because…..” She needed to have a reason to say no.
Towards the end of the week I even found myself questioning “Is it me? Am I so tuned into narcissism that I am beginning to judge innocent people?” Am I reading more into it than is there? Perhaps this guy is a great healer and I can’t see past the costume.” How many of you can relate to that kind of doubt? We question what we see before our eyes and sometimes find ourselves taking responsibility.
For me the biggest question is “Why is there so much narcissism out there?”
The answer I received had to do with the ego. The more we begin to break free of the constraints of the ego the more clearly we are able to see it in action, especially in others. The man I am using as an example in this article was told at an early age that he was a great healer and a very special person who would transform and heal the planet with his gifts. How do I know this? Because he shared it with us to establish credibility. He wanted us to know just how lucky we were to be in the presence of greatness.
There is no problem with owning our greatness! We are all very special, especially to those who love us. And I believe we all have the ability to shape the planet with our gifts. Even if the gift you offer is your love and your light. I tell my own son that he is special and his life can make a difference. But I would not teach him that he is better than others, or more special than most. Because this would give him a sense of entitlement! “I am a King therefore I should be treated as one! The world should bow at my feat and shower me with gifts!”
Many people become narcissistic out of the belief that they are “more special” than others. When one believes this he will develop a belief that he is superior to most and that others should be lucky to be graced by his presence.
Those who have discovered special gifts, powers or abilities within themselves may not be ready for the responsibility that comes with having such gifts. Instead of recognizing that these gifts come through them from God or the Lifeforce, they believe they are the gifts! They are the God! And although we all have a piece of God within us, we must practice humility and be humble in our greatness.
The next question was “Why would God give such gifts and talents to one who is not responsible with them? Why do so many misuse their power?”
The answer I received was that this is the life lesson for the individual with great power. All of us come into this world with lessons to learn. Whether we learn them or not is our responsibility. Those who practice the “healing arts” who have not themselves been healed are not authentic healers. They are magicians! They are hypnotists. They are masters at seduction and manipulation but they are not true healers. They may be great entertainers as many entertainers rely on their egos to give them a powerful stage presence.
I interviewed a Spiritual healer on my radio show and she is a perfect example of a humble person. When I talked with her, her voice was soft yet self-assured. She had much wisdom to share but didn’t deliver it in a “performance package.” Instead she simply shared her wisdom and also acknowledged my wisdom and the wisdom of the listeners. She didn’t see herself as a God above Gods, but a God amongst Gods. We all have greatness (God-ness) within us! And true healers bring out the God-ness in others. They help others to see their own beauty, their own perfection and their own wisdom. The true healer is within each of us and simply must be awakened. It is the work of the forerunners to assist humanity in its awakening. The more we ourselves are awakened the more we can assist in the awakening of others. A very simple truth and yet so profound.
The narcissist or ego driven individual is one who has spent a lifetime running from the work of the soul in its path to awaken. Awakening can be a painful process because we must confront the illusions we have been hiding behind. Most of these illusions are put upon us by society, which in itself is highly narcissistic. They are the illusions that tell us we are more valuable if we have more money, a bigger house, a nicer car, an impressive job, a great body, a beautiful face, beautiful clothing, status, achievement and so on. We learn to put our value in everything that can be perceived from the outside and very little value in the achievements of the spirit. But true awakening is a spiritual process. It has absolutely nothing to do with those external measures. They are simply trappings of society. They bring momentary pleasure that is more based on “how others will see me” than on “how I feel.”
The egocentric performer I talk about in this article was likely the ex-boyfriend of one of my clients. I seemed to have recognized his name because my client asked me if I knew who he was. She was frustrated because everybody loved him and nobody saw the person she saw. In her intense pain she explained to me how everybody sees his performance and nobody sees who he really is. I can tell you now, my friend if you are reading….”I can see!” Not everyone is fooled! But I didn’t see with my eyes! I saw with my gut! I felt him before I saw him. I felt that familiar psychic attack to the solar plexus.
What was I feeling really? He didn’t pick me out when he entered the room so this wasn’t personal. What I felt was a dark energy and what I saw was this energy interacting with the entire room of people and extracting their energy pulling it to himself. He was feasting upon the energy of the people! And it was all one sided. He wasn’t really giving back any energy, although it seemed he was. It seemed he was giving through his performance. But he was taking! He was pulling energy, admiration, attention, adoration, and love from those who were caught up in the Web of Illusion. But his eyes were not filled with love! They were not filled with truth! They were crazed, intense, and vacant of any true depth of soul.
Why do I call this “dark energy?” Because it is unconscious! Because he is not aware that he has not yet awakened. He believes he is one of the chosen ones who bring enlightenment to the planet and yet his own enlightenment eludes him. And great power without great responsibility is dangerous and it is dark! It is my sense that those who attended his workshop may have felt very drained at the end of the day and not understand why. They may have attended under the belief that they would be receiving something of value for their money. And… there may have been some true value there.
A Christian nephew of mine told me that the dark forces on the planet weave just enough truth into their lies to make them believable. They have to have truth and value in order to be influential.
I know an excellent musician who I realized was a narcissist the moment I saw him. But he was an excellent musician. There is no question! What he offers in terms of value through his music is great and he is much sought after. Is he a bad guy? No! I don’t think so! I feel he means well and really wants to be of value to humanity. But he can’t help himself! He thrives on the positive attention and admiration he receives from his performances. He has made a name for himself and acquired a bit of fame! He has no problem getting a girlfriend, but he does have trouble keeping them. This is the life of a narcissist. He is a show pony with all the ribbons and bows but at the end of the day he goes back to a lonely stable. When all is said and done he is empty inside, sad, and lonely. He pushes those feelings aside with fantasies of his grandiosity and the continued dream that it will bring him everything his heart aches for. But he has missed the boat, the most important thing of all. That true happiness is in the giving not the receiving. True happiness is in being of service to humanity through the giving of our gifts. We give because it feels good to give and because it expands our hearts. When we give because of what we can receive. We are coming from the ego!
So in summary, narcissism is really a condition of the over developed ego and the underdeveloped spiritual awareness. Many of us move through narcissistic stages in our lives as we grow and develop and some people stay stuck in that stage. Those are the people we call narcissists or label as having Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The cure for this disorder is not to be found in psychological textbooks because it is not of psychological origins. It requires a spiritual solution. One must have the desire to awaken and see himself as a part of the whole with the understanding that what he does to others he does to himself.
Spiritual growth requires great compassion and empathy for our fellow man and woman. It requires us to awaken to the truth of who we are, that we are all a part of God. We all have a room in God’s house. We are like cells of the same body. If we go around infecting the other cells than pretty soon the body will perish.
When we awaken we realize that our contribution to humanity is huge. We can see how every action we take effects the whole in some way. So we become conscious of our actions and how we interact with others. We practice honesty with ourselves and others! We practice integrity and humility. We see the God-ness in ourselves and others and behave accordingly. We know that as we give love to the world we create a better world to live in.