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Narcissistic Constellation

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

Excerpts about Narcissistic Constellation

Characteristics of the Narcissistic Constellation

We will present this group of states and experiences in the reverse order from the sequence one encounters in the process of working through narcissism, assuming that this reverse order is the order in which these states arise in the process of alienation. We call this group of states, conditions, and structures of the self, “the narcissistic constellation” :
1. The disconnection of the self from its essential presence manifests as a profound and deep wound to the self. It is as if the very core of the self is yanked out from within it. This is the specific narcissistic wound, the hurt that expresses the pain of this fundamental loss, and
reflects the actual state of loss .....
2. Alienation from the Essential Identity leads to the loss of the profound sense of value and preciousness intrinsic to the sense of one’s identity with Being. Value is a quality of Being which, when lost, leads to a loss of self-esteem. When we are in touch with Being, self-esteem is experienced as an intrinsic feature of the self, as part of one’s inalienable human inheritance .....
3. The alienation from the Essential Identity results in narcissistic emptiness. This feels like a deficient emptiness, the specific deficiency being the feeling of absence of the sense of self. It is the loss of identity .....
4. The emptiness and the wound make up one structure, the emptiness wound. The emptiness and the wound are intertwined elements of narcissistic alienation. The emptiness-wound is where the hurt and vulnerability are felt .....
5. Reactions to this injury include narcissistic rage, envy, and depression. The rage has specific narcissistic features, such as lack of empathy and a sense of entitlement .....
6. The narcissistic injury, that is, the emptiness-wound and its various associated affects and reactions, is covered over by the self-identity, through the identification with self-images and their associated affects. The overall structure of self-identity is sometimes experienced as a shell around the deficient emptiness. This shows very clearly that the experience of being an empty shell—which is reported frequently by individuals suffering from narcissism—refers to the psychic
structure of self-identity, and that the emptiness inside this shell is the direct consequence of the alienation from the Essential Identity .....
7. One does not usually experience the shell directly as a shell; if she did, she would be aware of the deficient emptiness. The more she becomes aware of the truth of her identity, the more likely she will become aware that she is a shell, and the more aware she will become of the emptiness. The usual experience of what we are calling the shell is the sense of self characterized by a specific feeling of identity. Because of the normal feeling of identity, the ordinary individual is
not directly aware of her fundamental narcissism. As she becomes aware of her fundamental narcissism, she will recognize that her feeling of identity is based on a structure which she can perceive directly as an empty shell. This will usually make her feel phony or fake.
8. The more narcissistic the person, in other words, the greater the distance from the Essential Identity—indicating greater narcissistic injury in childhood—the more her identity is based on the grandiose self.

The Point of Existence, pg. 216, 217, 218

Going Through the Narcissistic Wound

A primary element in resolving the narcissistic constellation is going through the narcissistic wound and understanding it precisely and objectively. It must be understood, not simply experienced. To understand it means to see how it is related to not having adequate mirroring. Our insight usually begins with seeing the narcissistic issues as they manifest in our present life circumstances, but generally goes on to remembering or re-experiencing the original childhood hurt. We recognize that the hurt is due to losing sight of what is genuine in us, of our precious nature, because it was not supported and mirrored in our early years. We feel hurt that the people in our environment did not see us, did not appreciate our truth, and were not attuned to our true nature. We feel hurt because being ourselves was not appreciated by those we cared about and depended on. As we become aware of this lack of mirroring and support for our true being, we might come to feel abandoned or forsaken.

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