Is Ego The Enemy?
Wow. This is polarising.
OK. The hivemind for many years has moved in the direction of ego being the enemy. I'm a big fan of the stoics and Eckhart Tolle. I get it. But... then something happened...
A being with more ego than all the Kardashians combined became President of the United States.
Then another thing happened...
The ego of every citizen under his control rose up and waved its flag. Obviously, in a country as diverse as the United States of America, there were many flags. Obviously, a country with the cultural impact of America influences other countries. The rest of us got our ego flags out too. There we all were. Facing each other's egos. Shouting about how much more important our points of view were than anyone else's. Meanwhile, Trump was making this face...
Why is Donald making this face? Well... first, let's take a look at how likely it is that Mr Trump is at the personality disorder end of ego attachment. It's not really fair to pass judgment without a few facts.
Is Donald Trump a Narcissist?
The following is taken from Psychology Today:
According to DSM-5, individuals with NPD have most (at least five) or all of the symptoms listed below (generally without commensurate qualities or accomplishments).
1 Grandiosity with expectations of superior treatment by others.
2 Fixated on fantasies of power, success, intelligence, attractiveness, etc.
3 Self-perception of being unique, superior, and associated with high-status people and institutions.
4 Needing constant admiration from others.
5 Sense of entitlement to special treatment and to obedience from others.
6 Exploitative of others to achieve personal gain.
7 Unwilling to empathize with others' feelings, wishes, or needs.
8 Intensely jealous of others and the belief that others are equally jealous of them.
9 Pompous and arrogant demeanor.
According to Dr Nigel Barber, on these criteria, Donald Trump checks out for full Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
In the same publication, Dr Joseph Burgo describes Trump as an Extreme Narcissist.
The internet is full of diagnoses, by fully qualified health professionals, of not only narcissism but malignant or extreme narcissism. Many say the condition is being triggered further and that it/he is spiralling out of control. However you slice it... dude's a narcissist.
This is helpful. We have a very visual example of what narcissism looks like when it gets out of control. It is easy to picture Trump when thinking of what a 2-year-old temper tantrum looks like on an adult's face. If you look at the pictures of his most ardent supporters, you see similar expressions. I'm sure you've seen them, so I needn't post them here. I'll get onto that in a sec. But first... why the face?
One of the things that narcissism does to its host is to take the tank that most of us fuel with unconditional love and reconfigure it so that it needs to run on a different fuel. That fuel is called 'narcissistic supply'. It's like rocket fuel. It's highly addictive, and it runs out fast. When a narcissist makes the face above, it's because their tank just got filled. And... narcissistic supply does not have to come from anything positive. It doesn't have to feel anything like love. Absolute drama will do it. Terror of others will do it. Worship of the self by others will do it. Utter dischord will do it. Anything intense. Anything addictive. Anything destructive. Anything competitive. Anything extreme. It's all fuel for the tank. People hating on Trump fuels Trump. What doesn't fuel him? Ignoring him. That's painful. If nobody had watched his State of The Union address, he would have self-combusted.
I talk at length in my new book about why this kind of situation can arise for a person, and reading it may help you have empathy for him. However, someone at that level of narcissism and at Trump's age isn't going to change. He won't ever feel unconditional love fully, nor will he be able to give it. That makes me sad for him. But, then I remember babies in cages and I'm over it. Abuse is never excusable, whatever a person's own emotional pain. That said, however you feel about his policies and behaviour, he’s served a useful function in triggering all of our shadow selves out of their corners, so that we can all look at the parts of our psyches we usually keep hidden. It’s raw and painful, but necessary. From a political and humanitarian perspective I personally would have preferred him to remain a reality TV star. From a spiritual perspective though, he’s instigated some work for us all to do, which is necessary if we are to stop taking democracy for granted.
Narcissism Can Be Socially Contagious
There is such a thing as Group or Collective Narcissism. We can see this in everything from support of sports teams to religions and cults, to political parties, to full-on racism or sexism. What happens is that an individual de-selfs into the collective a bit... or a lot.
De-selfing is important for social animals, but when it gets out of control it can be very destructive. It's where we submit part of our own personal will to the collective will of the other person/s in a relationship or to the group will of the part of society with which we most closely ally our identity. This is what has happened with Trump and the Republican Party.
Trump is a narcissist, and his hold over his followers goes far deeper than mere influence.
If I go into Stockholm Syndrome and so on here, you won't have time to watch the vid... and you should watch the vid... so I'll just say that there is a great deal of damage that can be done to individuals when their will is handed over to the collective, where the figurehead of that collective is a narcissist. Ultimately, malignant narcissists never seek to serve others unless there's a benefit to themselves, so if Trump's working out well for you right now that's just the luck of the draw. The moment you're not working out for him, expect everything to go more than a bit Pete Tong, as we say in Britain.
But Narcissism Is Not ALL Bad...
If you came to the text before the video, you may assume the vid is all about what monsters narcissists are, and how anyone who votes for Trump should be pelted with rotten tomatoes. Nope. In fact, I speak to a couple of Trump voters in the video. I mean... I wasn't there when they voted, but I would be willing to bet they both voted Republican. They're both multi-millionaires, and they're both absolute sweethearts, who are on missions to help as many people as possible to help themselves. One was formerly a rock star. One was formerly a professional football (soccer) player. Clearly, they're not strangers to ego. At the same time, they have both created staggering opportunities for other people to thrive. They're both fully committed to aligning spiritually as they do so. And, they're lovely. You should get to know them.
The ego is the enemy when you serve it. It is NOT the enemy when you EVOLVE it. That's what I discuss in the video. That's what I discuss in my new book. The Birth of The Egon.
Yes, a malignant narcissist sits in the most powerful throne on the planet right now. Yes, he's attempting to use divide and rule to control the world. However... divide and rule only works if we agree to be divided.
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