Archive: August 20

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The second trait of narcissism in which asceticism plays a role is blankness. “If only I could feel”—in this formula the self-denial and self-absorption reach a perverse fulfillment. Nothing is real if I cannot feel it, but I can feel nothing. The defense against there being something real outside the self is perfected, because, since I am blank, nothing outside me is alive. In therapy the patient reproaches himself for an inability to care, and yet this reproach, seemingly so laden with self-disgust, is really an accusation against the outside. For the real formula is, nothing suffices to make me feel. Under cover of blankness, there is the more childish plaint that nothing can make me feel if I don’t want to, and hidden in the characters of those who truly suffer because they go blank faced with a person or activity they always thought they had desired, there is the secret, unrecognized conviction that other people, or other things as they are, will never be good enough.
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(Last edited Aug 20, 2020)