Are YOU The Narcissists Fantasy

Uploaded 11/4/2020, approx. 37 minute read

My name is Sam Vaknin. I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, and I am also a professor of psychology.

Like all the other videos, long videos on my channel, this video is divided into parts. Each part has its themes, so these are thematic parts.

And you can choose to watch one or more themes. You don't have to watch the whole thing. You don't have to watch the whole 90 minutes.

But on the other hand, it's equally unwise to give up on the video after 10 minutes, as the vast majority of you do.

You may wish to scroll back, scroll forward, rewind, etc. until you find a theme which suits you.

A typical video has well over 20 themes, and it's a pity to miss out on many of them.

So I will start by apologizing in my interview with the clinical psychologist from Poland.

I have made a concluding statement which had misled many of you.

I said that splitting the primitive defense mechanism, the infantile defense mechanism of splitting, appears only in narcissistic personality disorder and in psychopathy.

That is untrue. It, of course, also makes a prime appearance in borderline personality disorder.

We can even say that borderline personality disorder is splitting writ large.

The reason I did not mention borderline personality disorder in my comment is that I was trying to make an equation between self-styled empaths and other grandiose characters and narcissists.

And so I said that both of them engage the mechanism of splitting.

But of course, borderline is founded on splitting. And borderline, people with borderline personality disorder, split the world. They have dichotomous thinking. And most importantly, they split their intimate partner.

So I encourage you to watch videos on borderline personality disorder, which I have on this channel, where I explain how splitting operates there.

Today we are going to delve even deeper to the issue of shared fantasy. And I'm going to introduce you to many concepts, religious, technological, literary, etc.

So it's going to be a very thrilling ride, a kind of Disney world of the narcissist's shared fantasy.

But I want to open with a quotation from Marcel Proust.

Marcel Proust was a French Jewish, of course, author, and he had written the longest novel ever, Remembrance of Things past. It's about 3000 pages. Every page is a masterpiece. It's an amazing novel. And he wrote there, it is the terrible deception of love that it begins by engaging us in play, not with a woman of the external world, but with a doll fashioned in our brain. The only woman moreover, that we have at our disposal, the only one we shall ever possess. That is an excellent insight into the narcissist's shared fantasy and how the narcissist idealizes you, transforms you into a toy, a doll, during the love bombing and the grooming phase.

Generally speaking, if you want to study psychology in depth and its totality, if you want to have a look at the human animal as a whole, as a Gestalt, all you need to do is read three authors, Robert Musil, M-U-S-I-L, Marcel Proust, and of course, Fyodor Dostoevsky. All of psychology is in their books and nothing new had ever been discovered afterwards.

As you've just seen, Marcel Proust had written about the narcissist's shared fantasy well over a hundred years ago.

A shared fantasy is an imaginary world and therefore, it can be easily conceived as a type of Paracosm.

Have you heard of Paracosm? P-A-R-A-C-O-S-M, Paracosm? Paracosm is an imaginary world, but a very, very detailed one.

Paracosm is usually originating childhood and the child invents this kingdom, this imaginary space, this galaxy far away, where gradually over a long period of time, sometimes years, the child develops this imaginary world, introduces characters, geographical and topological features, all kinds of habits and practices, social interactions, and the thing grows and grows and grows.

The creator of the Paracosm, remember it starts as a child, the creator has a very, very intimate, deeply felt relationship. It's a subjective universe. It's a universe in the creator's mind, of course, but it does have some connections to the real world because most of the imaginary characters, their behavioral conventions, they are borrowed from the real world and the Paracosm has an interface with the real world. Paracosm has its own geography, its own history, sometimes its own language and within the Paracosm, the child has imaginary friends. These are friends who come to the child's aid, help and assistance. They are everything the child is not.

Yes, it rings a bell, doesn't it? It rings a bell because the false self is such an imaginary friend.

The child creates the false self because the child is immersed in an environment of abuse and trauma and trying to fend off the pain, trying to fend off the hurt and the fear and the anxiety that his environment creates with a dead mother, with a mother who is not good enough, not a safe base, trying to insulate himself from the pernicious and deleterious effects of not being loved unconditionally, not being accepted, being castigated as a bad and worthy object, exceedingly excruciatingly agonizing.

And so the child invents an imaginary friend. That's the false self.

And the false self has all the elements of God. And of course, everything the child would like to be in his magical thinking, he imbues the false self with.

The false self knows everything, is capable of anything, or powerful, or knowing, or initiate, or nippet, the false self is brilliant and perfect and good, utterly good, and lemishless.

The false self is an outcome of splitting.

When the child puts everything that's good, everything that's strong, everything that's resilient and hopeful and protective and loving and caring into this imaginary friend, gradually this imaginary friend comes to acquire the attributes of God.

Indeed, we can conceive of the kingdom of heaven as a paracosm with God or Jesus, if you're a Christian, as imaginary friends.

The forthcoming kingdom of heaven is an imaginary world invented by humanity at its infancy when humanity was a child.

And humanity needed an imaginary friend because nature was brutish and nasty. There were famine, there were diseases, there were wars. I mean, humanity needed a friend badly.

So they invented God. And then God had a child, his son, so to speak. So these two became imaginary friends. You could safely say that God and Jesus and other religious prophets and religion in general is humanity's false self.

These imaginary characters, they are everything that humans wish they were and can never be.

If you look at the narcissist shared fantasy, it's very religious.

I said before in many other videos that narcissism is a private religion.

The false self is a Godhead, it's a divinity, it's a deity.

And then there's a worshiper, an adherent, a single believer, that's the narcissist.

The narcissist worships the false self. And the narcissist makes human sacrifice. He sacrifices his true self to the false self.

There's a lot of religion in this.

And the narcissist shared fantasy involves you in a religious role. Listen well, you become a religious artifact within the narcissist's private religion.

Because what is the narcissist shared fantasy?

It has a trinity. There's the father, the mother, and the son.

No Holy Ghost, but father, mother and son.

The father is the false self. Mother is the intimate partner. You, you are the mother.

The false self is the father and the narcissist is your son. He is your son.

The false self provides paternal roles, paternal roles of socialization, of protection, of provision, etc.

And you, you as a mother, you are supposed to provide unconditional love and acceptance and support and support and to help the narcissist grow and to overcome crisis and challenges. It's a holy family. It's a holy trinity, exactly like the mother, the father, the son, and the Holy Ghost. This is a trinity that is founded on a maternal or shall we say feminine principle.

Now the narcissist shared fantasies, therefore a form of mysticism. It's a mystical experience.

This is why the narcissist is seriously mortifying when the shared fantasy disintegrates.

And it's a mystical experience founded on femininity on you. You're the pivot and the axis of the narcissist's shared fantasy.

We find similar, we find other mystical schools which place femininity at the center.

For example, the Kabbalah, which is a 13th century Jewish mystical school, the Kabbalah says that many of God's attributes, the attributes of God, the attributes of creation, they are feminine. Shekhina is a feminine name for one of the attributes of God, Yetzirah, etc.

Jung himself had used archetypes. Many of these archetypes were feminine archetypes.

So we see the feminine at work.

Narcissism is not only a mental health illness. It's not only a mental health disorder. It's a disruption of the most fundamental, rudimentary processes of identity formation, of socialization, of functioning, of ego and self constellation.

This is a very foundational, profound, profound interruption and intervention in processes which are very, very primordial processes which are very, very akin to nature, natural processes.

So while other mental health disorders have to do with internal objects, external objects, misbehavior, this then, narcissism is about interference with the core and the core is in some ways divine.

The core is in many ways animalistic and in other ways natural. Narcissism permeates all these dimensions and the narcissist, the child, the child on his way to becoming a narcissist reacts by coming up with a private religion.

When he grows up, when he becomes an adult, you have a role in this religion. You are the mother, the archetypal mother. You are the partner of the false self, the counterparty, the intimate partner of the false self. That's why you have to be idealized. That's why the narcissist needs a snapshot of you because he needs to internalize you. He needs to convert you into an internal object.

Having converted you into an internal object, you can interact with the other important internal object, the false self.

So there's a family, a defined family like the Olympian gods. There's you in the role of Hera. There is the false self in the role of Zeus and there's the narcissist in the role of Hercules.

Intimate partner as a mother provides the narcissist with access to the feminine. It allows the narcissist to safely explore femininity in general and his femininity in particular.

Now his femininity could be normative. So he's male with feminine aspects. All men have feminine aspects, of course, or it can be very pronounced. He could be a latent homosexual. Whatever the case may be, he needs access to his suppressed, repressed femininity, to his forbidden femininity and you are providing this safely.

He can explore his femininity through you because he had rendered you a sexless, genderless object, internal object in his mind so he can explore his femininity without the threat of sex or sexuality.

You see, you fulfill many crucial roles. You represent the feminine dimension or the feminine aspect of reality. You represent your integral part of a holy trinity, a religious experience.

But ultimately, the shared fantasy is always antisocial. It's antisocial because it rejects real life. The narcissist rejects adulthood and the narcissist is paranoid. He involves you in a shared psychosis. It's we against the world.

If you put all these things together, the religious aspect or pseudo or quasi-religious aspect of narcissism in the shared fantasy, this we against the world, paranoia, and the exploration of forbidden sexual realms, psychosexual realms, like homosexuality.

If you put all these together, what you get is a cult. It's simply a cult setting.

Shared psychosis is a paracosmic cult, which brings us back to paracos. Remember that paracosm is an imaginary kingdom, imaginary world, imaginary space, imaginary galaxy, invented by a child.

The concept was first described on, believe it or not, the BBC. There was a researcher who was interviewed on BBC, Robert Silvey, and then there was another guy called Stephen Mackiewicz, and finally the psychologist who gave paracosm its weight in scholarly literature was David Cohan, a British psychologist.

Paracosm, the word itself, was coined by Ben Vincent and he was just one of the participants in Silvey's study. Silvey conducted a study in 1976 of children who inhabit imaginary spaces with imaginary friends.

The psychiatrist Delmont Morrison and Shirley Morrison, they enlarged the concept of paracosm. They came up with something called paracosmic fantasy, which, if you read their work, is actually a shared fantasy.

They published a book called Memories of Loss and Dreams of Perfection, and they described people who went through trauma, people who went through the loss of a loved one, or some tragedy in childhood, or maybe had been abused in childhood, people who had experienced childhood trauma.

And they said that one of the major compensatory mechanisms that these people come up with, they invent an imaginary world, a paracosmic fantasy, and they retreat to this fantasy whenever they're stressed, whenever they're anxious, or whenever they seek love, care, and intimacy.

For such people, paracosm are ways of processing and understanding loss, pain, hurt, trauma, and possibly abuse.

In literature, we find this, it's very common.

If you read Peter Pan by James Barry, Peter Pan openly says, I don't want to grow up. Wendy, let's run away to an imaginary kingdom.

Ultimately, we discover it's not so imaginary, but it sounds like an imaginary place. Let's run away there and live there ever after, genderless and sexless.

Peter Pan is the originator, originator of the first narcissistic shirt fantasy, at least in public, dinosaur.

Emily Bronte, all of them wrote about paracosms. And all these paracosms followed some major calamity or catastrophe.

Denison and Bronte describe paracosms which followed the death of a loved one.

James Barry described a paracosm which followed the refusal to grow up.

And I will elaborate on this issue a bit later.

It's important to understand that for the narcissist, the need to grow up is traumatic, it's painful, it's threatening. And he retreats to his paracosm, which is the shirt fantasy with you.

There's a false self to protect him, you to love him.

The child developmental psychologist Marjorie Taylor studied imaginary friends. And then later on she discovered the concept of a paracosm and she was very happy because imaginary friends usually inhabit paracosms.

The false self, think about the concept of the false self, the false self would have been inefficacious, would have been useless, had it not been integrated with elements, vestiges and figments of reality.

These figments of reality are among others you.

The false self needs to interact with people, needs to interact with people in order to extract from them narcissistic supply, support, love, caring, imaginary or real. The false self is an interface between reality and the narcissist fantasy, later shared with you.

So the false self is an imaginary friend and it is the role of imaginary friends in paracosms to isolate the child, to protect the child, to prevent the child from suffering.

They are the shock absorbers, they are the lightning rods, they don't allow harm to come to the child.

These imaginary friends, their grandiosity is invested in their capacity and capability to isolate the child and to fend off enemies, hostile entities, threats, abuse, trauma and hurt.

They are like firewalls.

Adam Gopnik wrote an essay called Bumping into Mr. Ravioli and in this essay he describes a conversation he had with his sister. His sister is a child psychologist. He was very worried because his daughter was three years old and she had an imaginary friend and he went to his sister who was a child psychologist and he said, is it bad? Is it good? What's happening? I'm very worried because my daughter who is three years old is much more invested in her imaginary friend and in reality or in us.

And she introduced him to Taylor's ideas about imaginary friends within paracosms and she told him, his sister told him, don't worry, paracosms are a way of actually transitioning to reality.

The child, I'm about to drink. The child uses the paracosm as a bridge to reality.

Similarly, the narcissist uses the false self in the shared fantasy as a bridge to reality, the reality of you.

Michelle Ruth Bernstein, she studied creativity and she also, I don't know why all of them do this, but she also discussed her worries about her daughter. Her daughter invented an imaginary world and her daughter inhabited this world, resided in this world mentally for well over a decade, shining, giving up on reality.

And Ruth Bernstein was very worried.

In 2014, she wrote a book called Inventing Imaginary Worlds from Childhood Play to Adult Creativity. And she suggested that fantasy and paracosms are critical in the process of creativity, the ability to imagine another world and then to retreat to that world and to create from within it, from within the imagination, from within the shared fantasy.

Many narcissists will tell you that they are very afraid to lose their narcissism. They're very afraid to be cured and healed whenever that would become possible because they feel strongly that their narcissism is intimately connected with their ability to create.

Narcissism is the diagnostic and statistical manual, clearly makes very clear. Narcissism is a fantasy defense writ large.

It's simply fantasy out of control. It's fantasy on steroids.

But what is fantasy? Fantasy is creativity. The shared fantasy is very creative.

It's like a movie. It has a script. You have a role. It's like a theater production. You are on stage. You're on stage playing the narcissist mother or the narcissist adulator admirer or the narcissist playmate.

But there's a role for you. It's all a production. Like Shakespeare said, it's a stage and we are all on it.

So the narcissists create shared fantasy and paracosms and the false self, which is a father God figure, these are all in effect creative efforts.

And it is pretty stunning and amazing that the child age four can come up with this kind of imaginary world and imaginary friends.

This is to the credit of narcissists.

And if you look at the narcissist, the elements of the narcissist shared fantasy, as I said, it's like Holy Trinity. It's like a religion, but it also, they also reflect elements in the narcissist's life and in the narcissist's inner composition, inner makeup.

You have the father figure, which in the shared fantasy, the narcissist plays the father figure.

So you have the false self. The false self is a father figure.

And within the shared fantasy, especially during the lock on beam and grooming phase, the narcissist plays the guru father figure.

Then you have the mother figure, which is you, the mother figure loves unconditionally. She is accepting, she is, you know, soft, she's feminine and so on and so forth.

The narcissist plays this as well.

The narcissist becomes a genius child.

So he starts, he starts by playing or play acting the false self in the grooming phase. He's a father, he's a guru, he's disciplinarian, he's stern, he's strong, he's a rock, you know?

But then when you have entered the shared fantasy, he kind of appropriates your role. He becomes a child, emotional, petulant, infuriating, endearing, cute, unbearably adorable, hateful. He's a child.

In short, feminine. These are characteristic traits of femininity in a stereotyped, gender wrong manner.

And some scholars believe, therefore, that the ability to create imaginary worlds and imaginary friends, the ability to engage in shared fantasy as a mode of relating to the world, as an interface with the real world. Many scholars believe it has to do with creativity and also high intelligence.

Kalekli himself in 1942, Kalekli who wrote Mask of Sanity, Kalekli suggested a strong connection between giftedness and psychopathy. He speculated that perhaps most psychopaths have a very high IQ, are highly intelligent and perhaps even highly emotional. And psychopathy is a reaction formation. It's kind of a massive attempt to destroy hypersensitivity, hyper emotionality, because it's very painful.

So Kalekli was among the first to speculate on this.

And there was a Michigan University study, Ruth Bernstein aforementioned, and she discovered that many fellows of the MacArthur program, geniuses, yes, many of them had Paracossum's as children, and they they engage in a practice called world play. In other words, they created imaginary imaginary world.

Actually, geniuses who qualified for the MacArthur stipend, they were twice as likely to have engaged in childhood world play and the construction of Paracossum's. They were also significantly more likely to recognize aspects of fantasy, shared fantasy, world play, and Paracossum in adult professional work. So Paracossum's imaginary friends, imaginary world, and the narcissist's shared fantasy, they're indicators of a high level of creativity, and possibly a high level of intelligence.

And in the international handbook on giftedness, the same Ruth Bernstein wrote about Paracossum playing childhood as an indicator of creative potential. And she said, it may supplement objective measures of intellectual giftedness, as well as subjective measures of superior technical talent.

And so I also refer you to the book Children, Childhood and Cultural Heritage, written by Christine Alexander.

She said that Paracossum's and imaginary world have to do with writing. It's an attempt by children to create self-efficacy and agency to kind of become their own autonomous independent entity, able to act upon the world.

This would explain, of course, why children who become narcissists develop these imaginary worlds and imaginary friends as a response to abuse and trauma, because they need to feel that they have an agency. They need to feel that they can act upon the world, not only the other way around.

So this is about Paracossum's.

The initial stage of establishing a shared fantasy is idealization.

And I connect idealization, of course, to self-gas lighting, as I mentioned in my previous videos. Self-gas lighting is when you yourself, when you gaslight yourself, when you create an image of the world, perception of the world, which is unrealistic, when you fail the reality testing, when you cause yourself to doubt your own judgment about the world, about what's real.

So idealization is self-gas lighting because it's false. It's also grandiose. It aggrandizes you.

There's a process of co-idealization. By idealizing your internet partner, you are idealizing yourself. And this is a process of self-gas lighting because it divorces you gradually from reality.

But as distinct from the narcissist, as distinct to the narcissist, you can give up this imaginary world. You can give up even on your imaginary friend, which is the idealized narcissist who has been grooming you and bumping you. You can give up on any of this. It's painful. It's hurtful. It's an anguish. It's agonizing.

But you can give up on it because you're healthy.

Essentially, you're healthy. The narcissist cannot give up on his imaginary world, on his paracosm, on his kingdom of heaven, on his shared fantasy, and on your role within these imaginary worlds.

As the false self protects him, you have the role of loving. And no human being, even a narcissist, even a psychopath, can survive without being loved at all, 100% by no one.

People need to be loved regardless of their mental illnesses.

So the false self is the protector, the father figure, the godlike figure. Your role is to provide love and care and empathy and femininity and softness and acceptance and warmth.

And the narcissist cannot give up on either of you. He cannot give up on the shared fantasy because shared fantasy is the imaginary world within which both of you exist, the false self and the internal object that represents you. Both of them are internal objects. Both of them are within the mind of the narcissist.

And to ask the narcissist to give up on his shared fantasy is exactly like asking the narcissist to give up on his mind and on reality. That's his reality. That's his mind. He can't give up on it.

And so the narcissist will sacrifice his life literally to defend his shared fantasy, to defend elements in the false self like grandiosity or superiority, and to defend elements in you which cater to the narcissist's regulatory emotional needs. And he will fight, he will fight to death. That's why narcissists, this is when narcissists engage in behaviors like aromantic stalking or hoovering. It's these attempts to resuscitate and revive shared fantasy, shared fantasy.

And this is why narcissists move seamlessly and immediately from one shared fantasy to another. Because in the absence of a shared fantasy, there's no narcissist. The little that does exist, the figment of imagination and fantasy that substitute for a person, for a human being. Even these are under threat if the shared fantasy disintegrates and nothing replaces it.

The narcissist needs to subsist and exist continuously within shared fantasy. If the narcissist is exposed to reality, it's like a vampire. He shrivels and dies and burns brightly.

He cannot, narcissist cannot be exposed to sunlight. He needs to inhabit the dark recesses, recesses of his mind within the confines, the walls, the fortress of a shared fantasy.

And this has to do, this has a lot to do with the narcissist's refusal to grow up.

Remember I mentioned Peter Pan. The narcissist refuses to grow up and he is severely penalized for this.

I'll come to it in a minute.

The shared fantasy is an oasis. It's a sanctuary. It's a shelter within which the narcissist can survive.

And only within the shared fantasy, narcissist cannot survive in reality, only inside the shared fantasy.

In this sense, the narcissist shares a lot in common, has a lot in common with autistic spectrum disorder patients.

When we come across someone who refuses to grow up, someone who rejects adult chores, roles, skills, and responsibilities, someone who assumes the mental of a petulant and infuriating child, someone who would not invest or commit in any undertaking or relationship. When we come across someone like that, our reflexive reaction is revulsion, revulsion coupled with disrespectful contempt.

If the narcissist were to show himself the way he is, you know, if he were not to fake and to lie through the shared fantasy, if he were not to present to the world a somewhat acceptable facade, somewhat acceptable front via the shared fantasy. If he were just there, if his narcissist were just there, raw, unedited, uncensored, he wouldn't last because we really react very badly to people who refuse to grow up.

Women, when they're confronted with someone who refuses to grow up, they feel deceived, they feel fooled, and they respond this way to Peter Pan types.

The Peter Pan type, the man who wouldn't grow up, the man who pretends to be an adult male, but then when you penetrate the veneer, when you get a bit closer to him, when you develop some intimacy, you discover that he is not an adult male, that he refuses to grow up, that he's a child.

So women shame this kind of man, humiliate him in public, sometimes by openly and ostentatiously cheating on him with ripe adult males.

But not only, they lose all respect, and they feel very angry and deceived.

And men, men abscond with the with the Puelle Aeternus women and with his property, both material and intellectual. Men ostracize the Peter Pan, they subject him to a toxic mix of ritualized aggression and a sedulous derision. If he's rich or famous or powerful, they await his downfall with glee, or they precipitate it maliciously and enviously.

And these reactive behavior patterns are ancient and in big part, they are biological.

The stunted personal growth and arrested development of the eternal adolescent, they threaten the survival of the species. They threaten the survival of the species first and foremost because they inhibit procreation and child rearing, for example.

So if you refuse to grow up, you're very likely to become a father.

The Puelle Aeternus is also essentially a free rider. He enjoys goods and services produced by other people, but he evades and avoids rendering a productive contribution to the collective effort. He's a parasite. His conspicuous absenteeism, often cloaked in self-justifying ideology, it undermines the survival and the welfare of the many by wasting scarce resources and potentials and by shirking the proportional sharing of the communal burden.

Refusing to grow up, therefore, is an antisocial act. It elicits the same attitudes and responses reserved to egregious criminal behavior. So narcissists put up a facade. They put on an act. They lie, confabulate and prevaricate.

And the way they do this, the procedure, that's a shared fantasy.

Within the shared fantasy, the narcissist can pretend that he's normal, that he's an adult. Here, he's with a woman. Here, he has a family. Here, he has a job. That's a shared fantasy.

Only the narcissist knows that he has no intention to actually become an adult, actually assume commitment, actually invest, actually go in the long run, go for it in the long run. Other people are very frequently misled by the narcissist, and more particularly by the narcissist shared fantasy.

Shared fantasy is a shield. It's a defense. It's a fortress. It's a protection. It's a firewall against people coming to know the narcissist, against seeing the narcissist for what he is.

Because if you see the narcissist for what it is, no makeup, no disguises, no camouflage, no pretensions, no fantasies, you are very likely to harm the narcissist.

Narcissists provoke extreme aggression, extreme emotion, negative emotionality, extreme hatred, everything extreme. People hate narcissists vehemently, viscerally, uncontrollably. There's an impulse, irresistible impulse to pounce on the narcissist and to destroy him. He's so repulsive, so petulant, so arrogant, so stupid actually as well.

And so you just want to mold the narcissist, you want to break every bone in his body.

The narcissist need to defend against this. They need to make sure you never see their true faces.

And they use you, one of your roles as a mother figure, is to shield the narcissist. They use you by being seen with you, by living with you, by cohabiting with you, by making a family with you, by, I don't know, making love to you.

But this is virtual signaling. They're using you for virtual signaling.

You see, I'm normal. You see a woman picks me up. You see a woman agrees to live with me. You see I'm in a couple. You see nothing's wrong with me. You see I'm not a narcissist in effect. That's not a fantasy. That's reality, the narcissist says, about his shared fantasy.

But why would a narcissist once inside the shared fantasy, why would a narcissist choose to renounce sex and the pleasures of intimacy and succor with a partner.

We just said that the narcissist needs you to fulfill the role of a mother, to love him, to support him, to accept him, and also to signal to outsiders that everything is okay, that everything is normal as should be, that the shared fantasy is not a fantasy, that it's real, and that the narcissist had been vetted and found out to be totally, totally okay and normal, that virtuous, that's one of your major roles, virtual signaling to the outside, the narcissist uses you as a cover. It's a cover-up.

Okay, but once you are in the shared fantasy, trapped with a narcissist, within the confines and the walls and the perimeter of this gated community, of this compound, or some have been laden compound, or some have been wakened compound.

Once you're inside, why suddenly many narcissists give up on you? They don't want your intimacy, they don't want your company, they don't want your support, they don't want your sex, they don't want you to bother them. You had become an annoyance and a nuisance. This is especially true with cerebral narcissists.

Why is that? Why and why does the narcissist transform such predilections of proclivities and decisions into an ideology of superiority akin to a religious tenet?

You see, the cerebral narcissist converts, transforms his sexlessness, his celibacy, self-imposed celibacy. He transforms it into a virtue, into an ideology, into a religion. It elevates him. His celibacy elevates him. His abstinence renders him supreme and superior. So he converts it into a kind of faith, article of faith.

So there's two questions here. One, why not benefit from your presence? Why not make use of your body, for example? Even if it is only auto-erotic and only to masturbate, to masturbate with.

Why not masturbate with your body? Why not keep distance from it? Why throw away everything you have to offer, which includes love, caring, support, saccord, empathy? Why throw this away?

And then once you have done that as a cerebral narcissist, why do you glamorize and glorify these pretty stupid actions?

There are two pathways, developmental pathways, two etiologies, two cerebral narcissists. One is when there is overwhelming efficacy in extracting narcissistic supply via intellectual pyrotechnics. That's a very, very politically correct way of saying when the narcissist is truly, astoundingly gifted, the narcissist is a genius.

But at the same time, he's very ugly. Hans Christian Andersen comes to mind.

The second trajectory, however, is much more complex. It's avoidance. Avoidance in the wake of repeated failures in relationships. Sex invariably leads to the formation of a shared fantasy with every narcissist.

Somatic, cerebral, even covert. Narcissists create shared fantasies. And very often, the gateway to the shared fantasy is the intimacy experienced in sex.

So in narcissist, and in many other men, by the way, sex leads to intimacy, not the other way.

So, sex invariably leads to the formation of a shared fantasy, which results also invariably ineluctably to betrayal, to cheating, by the disgruntled partner, and to life-threatening mortification. Whenever the narcissist has sex with a woman, whenever he falls in love, so-called, in love with her, infatuated with her, whenever he chooses her as a potential social supply, which he calls intimate partner, whenever he does this, it ends badly. It ends in cheating. It ends in betrayal. It ends in breakup. It ends in heartbreak. It ends in life-threatening mortification.

And so, at some point, even narcissists who are somatic to start with, let alone narcissists who are mostly cerebral, dominantly cerebral, all narcissists at some point, choose cerebral narcissism, because it's a strategic outcome of pain, or hurt aversion. They're averse to pain, averse to conflict.

You will discover, have a look around you, make a survey and you will see, that all the narcissists are almost exclusively, almost exclusively, cerebral.

Somatic narcissists are young, in their 20s, 30s, 40s, maybe 50s.

Gradually, all of them become cerebral. All of them become cerebral because of the cumulative mortification, hurt, and pain over multiple, failed, shared fantasies.

Every few years, every few decades, the cerebral narcissist tries again to become somatic. And such attempts are based on mistaken, counterfactual beliefs that he or she or the world had changed, or that he had finally found the right partner.

And so, he boldly ventures forth. And then he rediscovers long forgotten facts and lessons.

One, that his body is far inferior to his mind if he's a cerebral.

As a tool for extracting supply, he better use his mind and his intellect because his body is unattractive.

And he also discovers that sex leads inexorably to failure, betrayal, cheating, mortification.


Because he's a child. He's a child, not a man. He cannot meet a woman's emotional needs. He cannot meet a woman's physical and sexual needs. He's a child. And he is a child who is not even in reality, but in a fantasy, all of his making.

The narcissist gradually discovers, as he grows older, that the paracosm, the imaginary world, the imaginary friend, the imaginary world, the imaginary friend that he had created when he was a child, when he was a kid, had taken over, like in a horror story by Stephen King.

There's no way out. He's in the dome. You know, he can't escape.

And this monstrous golem has come alive like Frankenstein's monster. Dr. Frankenstein's monster. It's come alive. And it had devoured him and his ability to be with other people, people, not only women.

The shared fantasy is a principle that is applied to all the narcissist relationships.

So the para cosm principle, the imaginary world principle, the imaginary friend principle, they're applied to women in a romantic shared fantasy. They're applied to colleagues and business partners in a business shared fantasy.

But it's shared fantasy. It's a fantasy.

On first encounter with reality, it unravels and disintegrates. There's nothing there, exactly as there's nothing inside the narcissist. There's nothing outside the narcissist. It's all a sham. It's all figments of the narcissist's febrile imagination, childish imagination.

The narcissist refuses to grow up, possibly because he cannot grow up. Reminded of why he chose to withdraw in the first place so many years, so many decades ago, the cerebral narcissist then reverts to his dominant mode as a cerebral.

And again, he avoids sex and intimacy. And this implies that in some respects, narcissism is a choice. And in many ways, it is.

I can prove to you that narcissism is a choice, by the way. And I can prove to you even that all aspects of narcissism are choices.

The narcissist chooses to be a narcissist, and many, many narcissists are proud of this choice. They are emotionally invested, cathected in this choice.

Here's the proof.

When the narcissist ends up in prison, and many do, he's gone. The narcissist is gone. All aspects of narcissism vanish.

The abrasiveness, the contempt, the defiance, the grandiosity, the arrogance, the hotiness, everything is gone. The narcissist evaporates.

The minute he crosses the threshold of a prison, the narcissist never mind how malignant, never mind how grandiose, never mind how vociferous and victorious, and I don't know what, defiant and impulsive, is gone. Not a trace of the narcissist is left.

Inside prison, the narcissist is a pussycat. He's a cutie pie. He's pro-social. He's communal. He's empathic. He's submissive. He's obedient. And he's conforming.

And the fact that the narcissist can affect this transformation within minutes, outside the gates, he is still the obnoxious S-O-B that we all know. Ten minutes later, inside the prison compound, he's gone. And here, he is replaced, he is substituted for by a delightful person, a person we would all have loved to marry or to do business with or to socialize with.

What happened to the narcissist?

The narcissist leaves his narcissism outside the gate. Inside prison, if he were to continue to be a narcissist, it would have been a very short-lived career.

Trust you, me.

And this ability to self-transform is a choice. It's a decision. And it's a fact that the narcissist reverts to his narcissism, having left jail, even on furlough. It's proof that narcissism is a choice and that it is a self-efficacious reaction to incentives. It's incentive-driven behavior.

When you have the right incentives to not be a narcissist, you are not a narcissist. You are not even a hint of a narcissist. You're not a shadow of a hint of a narcissist.

Trust you, me, from personal experience.

If you're in prison, try anything narcissistic, you're very dead.

So, in reality, the narcissist is an impotent, infantile loser with zero self-efficacy. And deep inside, he knows it.

His avoidance of all true commitment and investment are because of that. He dreads yet another proof of disability and failure. If he commits, if he invests, he will inevitably fail. He knows that his only expertise, the only thing he's good at is failing.

And don't start telling me about all kinds of narcissists who made it and are successful at the pillars of the community and the presidents of the United States.

Narcissists enjoy short-term successes. It is the end, the end game that matters, where their self-destructiveness takes over.

And many of you ask me, well, shared fantasy and so on. I could have played along. I could have fitted into the shared fantasy. I could have enacted my role in this theater play, in this movie. Did I contribute to the breakup? Did I contribute to the dysfunction of the relationship with the narcissist?

Well, listen, undoubtedly you did. Whenever two people who are profoundly mismatched, people who are fundamentally incompatible, when two such people insist on having a relationship, let alone when this relationship is not realistic, but it's a dream, it's a story, it's a piece of fiction, it's a fantasy, a shared fantasy.

These people generate a dynamic which leads inexorably to the dissolution of the realism. Both of you create this dynamic. Both of you want to undermine the shared fantasy because you don't feel good with each other.

Why did you choose the narcissist in the first place?

Because the narcissist resonated with your sick side, with your shadow side, with your pathology. You don't want that because there's a big part of you that is normal, that is healthy, that is self-loving and self-caring and self-nurturing, a big part of you which nurtures you and cares for you and protects you.

And this part realized that the narcissist is bad for you. The narcissist is collaborating with a part of you which is detrimental to your longevity or good life or well-being or welfare.

So the healthy part protected you.

The mismatch between you and the narcissist is that you had a healthy part, the narcissist has no healthy part, it's a scorched earth soul, there's nothing there, only ruins piled upon ruins.

And so the narcissist, like the living dead, interacting with the zombie part and your healthy part was trying to save you and this is the source of the mismatch and the incompatibility.

It is natural, common and healthy to seek to undermine a sick relationship, to seek to free yourself, to pursue self-actualization and happiness, that's not sabotage, that's salvage, that's self-saving.

You should be proud that you had undermined this relationship, that you had brought it to an end. You should be proud of yourself, this should be the foundation of your healing from the trauma that you had endured.

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