Child Thwarted, Narcissist is Born (Zagreb Lecture EXCERPT) (BOOTLEG)

Uploaded 3/24/2024, approx. 1 hour 13 minute read

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Good evening.

Good evening.

I would like to introduce a very special guest tonight, and that's Sam Wagner.

Sam is very famous, and I googled many things and listened when I heard he will be our guest.

Maybe the most famous book is "Mattycystic Malignant Self-Love."


Yes, and 50 other different books and many other things.

So Sam started this long time ago, and he coined the term "narcissistic abuse," which is now very much in use in the last 10 years maybe, and it's more and more, it becomes like some fashion.

And he's a long-term member of the faculty of the Commonwealth Institute for Advanced Professional Studies in Cambridge, UK, Toronto, Canada, and Lagozny area, and former visiting professor of psychology in Southern Federal University, Rostov-Omsk in Russia.

And Otra, as I already told, 50 books about psychology, international affairs, business, economics, philosophy, and short fiction.

So this theme tonight is "Narcissistic Abuse Detox," deprogramming yourself after the Nazis' shared fantasy.

I'm very much interested about that, and I'm glad you are here with us.

Thank you.

So 50, around 50 minutes is lecture, and after that will be around after break, short break, 50 minutes for questions and answers.

I think it might be longer.

Okay, and please, your mobiles put on silent.

So this was a lecture, do you have any questions?

Okay, ladies and ladies, and ladies, ladies and gentlemen, and gentlemen, yes, no man great, I remember.

And gentlemen, of course, thank you for your help, I tell.

Today I'm going to take you on a tour into a world which is utterly alien, like visiting an alien planet.

But everything I'm going to say, I'm going to substantiate, I'm going to refer to studies, scholars, so as I speak, you can note down the references and study more, or go deeper into what I'm saying.

Still I'm warning you that what I'm saying is going to sound completely hallucinatory.

I tried not to take LSD today, so I'm more grounded than yesterday, but it will sound very, very strange.

Before I start, and after all, hallucinations, I would like to thank the organizers of this lecture, which is Ivina and Tiana.

And I, in the best narcissistic fashion, gave them a very short notice, very short three days notice, and still they managed to bring all of you together, so very nice of them.

I would also like to thank the survivor, my wife, Lydia Lagerovska, long suffering, it's still here.

I don't know what it says about her and me.

She's still here.

She's also actually an expert on narcissistic abuse.

She was the first person I educated 27 years ago, and since then she has made her own contributions to the field of narcissistic abuse.

So sometimes the student exceeds the master, which is the best situation actually.

Thank you.


A child is born, and immediately assailed and assaulted by smells and sounds and destructions and stimuli from the environment.

Yet the child is not equipped, at least initially, to cope with this avalanche of information.

Even as adults, and that's a fact that you can check online, even as adults, here they are.

They're here.

Even as adults, we process about 5% of environmental information.

95% is relegated to what is colloquially known as the unconscious.

It's the wrong term, but still.

Imagine we as adults can cope only with 5% of the information.

Imagine a baby, a newborn, on the first day, on the second day, on the third day.

And yet, within fewer than four days, the baby is able to tell that his mother is in the room.

He is able to react to her smile.

This is known as reflexive empathy.

There are three types of empathy.

Reflexive, cognitive, and emotional.

Reflexive empathy is when the baby reacts with a smile to the mother's smile.

This is medically impossible, as any doctor here would tell you, by such treatment.

This is medically impossible because the baby's eyesight is not sufficient at this stage to discern the mother's smile.

And yet, the baby does react to it.

It's one of the biggest mysteries of medical, of developmental biology.

We have no idea how the baby realizes that mother is smiling.

Of course, the baby reacts to tactile input to touch.

The baby reacts to smells, mother's smell.

The baby can tell, probably, differences in grade, like shade and light, and so on.

So by the fourth day, the baby is aware that money is in the room.

And an intricate dance begins between the newborn and mother.

If the mother gets it wrong, we end up with a narcissist.

If the mother gets it right, we end up with a politician.

You'll have to tolerate my sense of humor.

My apologies in advance.

It's something Jewish, I say.


The first instinct of the baby is to be seen.

The baby is programmed, from birth, actually within the womb, to attract the mother's attention.

The baby needs to be seen in order to survive.

So being seen, being noticed by other people, is not hubris, is not narcissism, is not grandiosity, it's a survival, it's a survival strategy.

We need to be seen, and if you don't believe me, go to any social video.

We need to be seen.

This starts at age four days.

The baby cries, for example, is accused, crying is a cue for mother to attract her.

But the need to be seen has a secondary, a second function that is not often discussed.

So the first function is survival.

A baby that is not seen is a dead baby.

I'm sorry to say.

Because mother will not feed such a baby, mother will not take care of such a baby, and so on.

So baby needs to be seen in order to survive.

But that's the second function.

Remember, that the baby is able to tell the existence of only one object, and that is mother.

I never said that the baby is able to tell that he or she exists.

The baby is not aware, of course, that he or she exists.

It's aware only of the existence of mother.

So how come, how do we develop the sense of self, selfhood?

How do we become individuals?

How can we tell, at what stage can we tell that there is we, as opposed to the rest of the world?

This depends on mother.

Mother's gaze, the baby becomes through the eyes of the mother.

When the baby sees itself reflected in the eyes of the mother, the baby experiences trauma, a shock, a schism.

The world is broken, because the minute the baby sees itself through the mother's eyes, the baby realizes, "I am not mother."

There's mother, and there is something which is reflected in mother's eyes, and is not mother.

So suddenly the world is binary.

Whereas the world starts as a monolith, a monopole, it becomes binary, and gradually the baby, around age six months, the baby begins to understand that this reflection is himself, because when mother moves her eyes, the baby is not reflected.

This happens exactly in experiments with monkeys.

When we put monkeys in front of a mirror, they gradually begin to identify themselves in the reflection in the mirror.

And of course, the person, the scholar, psychoanalyst who analyzed this phenomenon to the maximum is Jacques Lacan, the French.

Jacques Lacan, who by the way looks like my identical twin.

We don't have to believe him. Go on. He looks as if we were identical twins.

And his main topic was narcissism. I was born and he died. I'm not sure there's a connection between the two events, but it's a distinct possibility if you believe in reincarnation.

So the mother's gaze gives the baby the first taste of separateness, selfhood, being not mummy.

Now, of course, you understand that until age six months, mother is the world. The baby is unable to distinguish mother from the rest of the world. So mother is the universe.

So the grape is not only with mother, the grape is with the whole world. This is a major trauma which is neglected a lot in the literature.

This is something, again, neglected in literature.

When you perceive yourself as not someone else, a trauma, there's a trauma there that is triggered.

I will discuss it a bit later. I call this process othering, the ability to perceive others.

Okay. What happens?

So you let summarize this part. Mother's gaze defines the separateness of the child and allows the child to begin the process of developing the self.

Now, language issue. Freud called it ego. Cohort called it self. I mean, I'm talking about the same thing.

This core identity which defines to yourself who you are, this misperception that you are continuous, that there is continuity.

Of course, it's total nonsense. There is no continuity.

But you're like we all deceive ourselves to believe that we are continuous.

This continuity is the self. Right?

Mother's gaze is critical. What happens when the mother is absent?

Depressive. Absent physically, absent emotionally, depressed, selfish, narcissistic.

Or what happens when the mother uses the baby as an instrument?

Instrumentalized as the baby.

What happens if the mother uses the child a little later as substitute spouse or substitute parent?

Processes known as adultification and parentification.

What happens when the mother prevents the child from having contact with reality?

By, for example, idolizing the child, pedestalizing the child, telling the child that he can do no wrong, not allowing the child to interact with peers, and so on.

In all these situations, the mother's gaze is either defective, deficient, or absent altogether.

Now, there was a psychoanalyst by the name of Andrei Green.

Andrei Green called this type of mothers "dead mothers".

An unfortunate choice. But think of it as a metaphor. These mothers are as good as dead.

So, dead mother, Andrei Green, you cannot be not born.

And so these mothers are unable to provide a defining gaze.

Now, when you say "I am myself", what are you saying? You are saying two sentences, not one. You are saying "I am myself, I am not you".

This is, of course, a great definition of boundary.

The formation of boundaries starts there.

If the mother's gaze is absent, there will be no sense of selfhood and no boundaries between internal and external. There will be confusion between internal and external, and I'll come to it in a minute.

But before I come to this, and there's a crucial part of narcissism, before I come to this, how does a baby react when the mother is dead?

Dead metaphorically, but also dead physically.

If the mother is dead physically, also.

Now, when I say "mother", I want to explain. This is not about genetization.

Mother is a function. It could be a father who is acting in a maternal capacity. It could be a grandmother. That's quite often, actually, quite common.

Anyone who acts in maternal capacity is known clinically as "primary caregiver". Anyone who is a primary object, primary caregiver, is the mother.

So I'm not talking specifically about someone with a vagina. Just to be clear.

What happens, how does the baby react to the absence of the mother?

You realize, of course, that at some stage there would be a kind of negative effect. The baby is programmed to seek the mother's gaze.

You remember that, as I said, the baby is programmed to be seen.

Biologically programmed to be seen. That's why babies cry.

It's biologically. And then, when there's no response, there's the equivalent, probably, of some kind of panic, but there is also the internalization of the message.

What's the message? "I don't exist." I don't exist.

As the child grows older, this sentence of self-negation, "I don't exist," becomes what we know as shame. This is the core of the shame that is the engine and fuel of pathological narcissism, and other disemphonies, by the way.

Not only pathological narcissism.

Okay, so the child experiences this negative effect.

"I don't exist." And, of course, it's terrifying to not exist, because it's the exact equivalent of not being seen.

As if it don't exist, you are transparent. You are not seen.

And there's a panic about your needs. "Will I get food? Will I get milk? Will I get a roof over my head?" Of course, the child doesn't know anything about real estate, except Jewish food.

But the child doesn't know anything about real estate.

By the way, I have a great anti-Semitic food. The child doesn't know energy. Cool it.

The child doesn't know anything about real estate, of course.

It's not that the child sits in his corset, 86 months, and says, "My mother doesn't notice me. Probably I'll be evicted." You know? "I can't pay the whole bill. Just come." It's not what I'm saying.

But on the instinctual reflexive level, there is panic, of course, the equivalent of anxiety and adoption.

It's the shame.

And so the baby has to engage in a behavior or a defense mechanism, which is a primitive defense mechanism, infantile, known as splitting.

Splitting was first described by Melanie Klein, who, by the way, was one of the psychologists.

Seven out of the ten major psychologists in history were not psychologists.

I drink to that. Winnicott was a pediatrician, Freud was a neurologist, etc.

Now, splitting. The child has to cope with this situation.

Splitting is a normal part of development, totally normal.

But in the case of the dead mother, when the gaze is absent, the splitting becomes malignant, becomes pathological.

So the child initially splits the frustrating mother.

The mother is frustrating, yes. She doesn't notice the child.

She doesn't see the child. There's no gaze. There's no reflection. There's no feedback from the mother.

So the mother is a frustrating object.

And the child splits the mother. Splits the mother into good mother and bad mother.

At this stage, this is a healthy, healthy progression.

All children do this. Good mother, bad mother.

And Melanie Klein, who was phonographically inclined, called it the good rest and the bad rest.

So there's a mother, there's a split mother.

But a bad mother is a very threatening object.

If your mother is bad, she will starve you. She will neglect you. You will die. It's terrifying to have a bad mother.

Bad mother, good mother.

So what the child does, he internalizes the bad mother.

What happens is the child splits itself.

As the child splits the mother to defend against anxiety of an external bad object, bad mother, the child splits itself as well.

Becomes a bad child and a good child.

Up to here, this is healthy progression.

The mother, the good mother, it's known as good enough mother.

That's a term coined by Donald Winnicott.

The good enough mother manages the situation. She provides the child with equal measures of gratification, satisfying the child's needs and expectations, and she frustrates the child.

The role of a good mother is to push the child away.

That's the main function of a good mother.

Contrary to what you see on television and soap opera, and self-help books and other such nonsense, the good mother pushes the child away.

We'll come to it in a minute.

This is known as separation/individuation.

But the initial phase of pushing the child away is to provide the child with a reality testing.

To teach the child that in reality, sometimes you get what you want and sometimes you don't get what you want.

Ask my wife.

So the child learns to integrate.

The child splits and then he learns to integrate.

The child becomes partly bad, partly good.

Money is partly bad, partly good.

Everything is now in gray.

Not black and white, but gray.

Splitting scissors, at this stage splitting spots.

But if the mother is absent, there is no dose of reality.

And the child remains stuck in the split mode.

Where there's a bad mother, good mother, bad child, good child, and he has to make a choice.

And the only choice he can make, but this is the pathological process, what I'm talking about.

The only choice he can make is, "Mother is all good, I'm all bad."

The alternative is terrifying.

If mother is all bad, I'm all bad.

So mother must be all good and I'm all bad.

At this stage, we have something called bad object.

Bad object is a constellation of voices, in adulthood, a constellation of voices known as introjects.

These voices inform the person, the child, the adolescent, the adult, the other mind.

The bad object informs the person, "You are unworthy, you're bad, you're not lovable.

You are stupid, you're ugly, you're some acne." These are negative.

The bad object provides negative messaging for life.

But the bad object, ironically, is actually created by the child.

The child internalizes, there's a process with four stages.

The first stage is internalization, then identification, then interjection, then incorporation.

If you want to read about it online, I will not go into it right now.

The child goes through these four stages and actually generates a bad object.

In order to keep mother, Madonna, perfect, all good, so that the child doesn't feel threatened and anxious with a bad mother.

But this, of course, is lifelong implications, it's a disaster.

It's an absolute disaster.

And it is at the core of narcissism.

We'll come to it in a minute.

Now, at this stage, in healthy development, when the child integrates the bad mother with the good mother and gets a great mother, sometimes good, sometimes bad, you know, the child is ready to separate from the mother.

Because the reason the child was merged with the mother, the reason the child was fused with the mother, the reason the child was in what mother, Margaret mother, called the symbiotic state of faith with the mother, in symbiosis, is because mother was all good.

If you have an all good partner, it's difficult to divorce.

So the child cannot divorce mother as long as she is totally good.

But the minute she becomes human, human, the minute the child develops what we call reality testing.

Reality testing is one of the ego functions.

So the minute the child develops reality testing, the child is ready to signify it.

Because mother frustrates the child, pushes him away.

He's not always there.

He wants her, she goes away.

He wants to eat, she doesn't give him food, etc.

So he says the hell with it. I'm going to find another mother.

This leads to a situation.


No, life is a narcissist.

A narcissist will come to it.

A narcissist converts into the partners, into maternal figures.

They're sick. That is pathologic.

The child, we are talking now for you to understand, the child is about 18 months.

Between 18 months and 36 months.

This process is known as separation/individuation.

It was first described by Margaret Mander, although she built on the work by Benedict Leibniz.

So at this stage the child is ready to separate.

Initially, what the child does, he is looking for another mother, because he still has memory of the totally good object.

So initially he is looking for another mother.

But very fast, the child comes across reality.

He is frustrated, he gets wounded, peers, teachers, all right.

So he finally gives up on this fantasy.

And he compromises with reality.

We have perfect ego functions.

We have reality testing.

A healthy person is born.

And that is age 36 months.

Now the separation in dividuation is multiple sub-stages.

Differentiation, apportionment, I'm not going to hold this now.

This is not a seminar, unfortunately, that's a lecture.

Okay, but the child is able to separate individually.

If the child doesn't have another's gaze, she remains all good, because the child becomes all bad.

So he cannot separate.

He cannot separate.

She is all good.

There is no need to separate.

No incentive, no motivation to separate.

Why separate?

Why give up on an all good object?

What are you hoping to find?

Another all good object, no?

You're familiar with mother, you're?

You get a lot.

And I know many people who are 40 years old who are still in this stage, who are mother is not good.

And of course their girlfriends are all bad.


Cheers to them.

Yeah, drink a bit.

So in the case of an absent, a dead mother, separation and devituation phase, because there is no internal incentive to do it.

And the child remains stuck in pre-separation and devituation.

Now, in classic theory, it is called pre-edibles phase.

I forget all this.

This is previous century nonsense.

But generally speaking, it's true that this kind of child remains merged, symbiotically fused with a mother.

Not necessarily physically, he could be 3,000 miles away, but mentally he is fused with her.

She's here.

She is, in other words, introjected.

And there is what we call "cathaxis" in the introject.

There is emotional investment in the introject.

Freud called it "cathacted object."

So there is a "cathacted object" of the mother and a lot of emotional investment in the mother.


Another thing, which is much less well-known, everything I just described to you, you can find on my website, but another thing which is much less known is something called "nostasistic elation."

Now, "nostasistic elation" was first described by Grundberga, Bela Grundberga, who was, of course, a Jew, 99% of them were Jewish, and he was a Jew, he was a Catholic, and he was a psychologist, and he described "nostasistic elation."

He said it's the oceanic feeling of being one with mother in a nutshell.

So this is called "nostasistic elation."

Now, when there is no mother, because "nostasistic elation" requires a partner, you need a mother to feel good about mother.

What is a "nostasistic elation"?

She's absent, she's a dead mother.

The energy of the nostasistic elation becomes self-directed.

Rather than directly to the mother that doesn't exist, the child redirects this energy.

In psychology, there are two major principles, conservation of energy.

So energy never gets lost.

It is transformed, transmuted in a million ways, but never gets lost.

And the second principle is compensation.

When something goes wrong, there's another process that compensates for it.

As we shall see, "autological massicism" is a 100% compensatory process.

It's compensation.

So the child compensates by redirecting the energy.

Remember, energy cannot disappear.

Redirecting the energy at itself, the child becomes his own object.

So Freud said that the child develops "nostasistic libido" rather than object libido, rather than object love.

So the child redirects the elation and emerges or uses or diverts symbiosis with himself.

Now, this is completely your dimension, but this is exactly what happens.

And we know, for example, that this happens.

We know that there is no object libido in such cases because of something... because of an indication.

And one of them is known as "auto-evotism".

Auto-evotism is when you are sexually attracted to your own body, when you are your own sex object, when you are your own love object.

In classical terms, when the "evos" part of the libido is directed at itself.

So, auto-evotism has been observed and absolutely documented in laboratories that reject Freud.

Laboratories that reject all this, anything before 1980, still documented auto-evotism.

So we know that there is a redirectional energy at the self that has a sexual component, but also a kind of mother component.

In other words, emotional investment.

So it's sexual and emotional.

Because of this, because the energy which should have been given to mother as a gift, the gift of being one with mother, the gift of what we call "secure base".

Mother is a secure base, a safe environment.

Instead of this, we have a child who is essentially abandoned, neglected, terrified.

And then the child lies to itself, deceives itself, and says, "It's okay, I'm here. I don't need mother, I'm here. I'm my own secure base. I'm my own sex object. I'm my own love object. I can love myself in that sufficient way, I don't need to love anyone else." And this kind of child fails in two functions.

He fails to develop what we call internal working model.

He fails to develop a model of the world and how he operates in the world, how other people operate in the world.

Why? Because his energy goes inward.

He does not go outwards.

He does not, at this stage at least, he has no access to the outside world.

And he fails to develop this model, which is super critical model for functioning later in life.

Another task, another function that he fails, is called mentalization.

The ability to deceive or speculate about how other people's minds work, what makes other people pick.


So he fails to develop this because he is not in touch with other people.

He is in touch only with himself.

In other words, there's no friction with reality.

And when there's no friction with reality, there is no growth and no development.

End of story.

The child, in other words, remains stuck.

At what age? Two years.

Two to three years.

This kind of person remains stuck, latest at age three years, most typically two years.

How long? Until he dies.

So you see people 63 years old, and they're still two years old, in emotional terms.

They could be privateers, they could be professors of psychology, they could be, you know, and they're still two years old, emotionally.

Do not confuse executive functions with emotions or effects, and with cognitions.

People tend to make total confusion, you know, and they're not in the system.

You could have a thriving career, but still be very childish, infantile in many ways.


And then something, a cataclysm, then a cataclysm happens.

Anyone wants to leave, please feel free.

Honestly, I will not be offended.

I will cry with you in the toilet, but it's okay.

No, seriously, I see.

One or two of you.

No, I offer you to just go to sit here in the kitchen.

No, you can leave. Anyone wants to leave, please leave.

No, seriously, I'm alone.

Yeah, yeah.

And now something cataclysmic happens.

You remember that this kind of child cannot separate from others.

Consequently, it cannot become an individual, in a individual, at all.

It cannot become an individual.

And therefore, cannot become any of the hypothesized structures of the psyche.

Now, never mind what name you give this.

You can call it ego.

No one captured an ego in a laboratory and spoke to it.

These are all metaphors.

But I was surprised with them.

I have a PhD in physics, and most of physics is built on similarly, similarly built on metaphors.


No one captured a quark.

No one's.

This is all dark matter, dark energy.

This is all a speculation.

As ether for high speed.

So don't feel inferior because you are using metaphors that don't have the equivalent in a laboratory.

This is nonsense.

So say in physics.

So this kind of child does not develop an ego in Freud's terms or doesn't develop a self in coincidence.

In other words, this kind of child fails to develop a core identity.

The feeling of continuity and the feeling of not being other people.

Now, this is crucial.

There are two aspects.

To core identity, there are two aspects.

I am the same person that I was yesterday.

Even if I gained, like me, 15 kilos, I am still the same person that I was yesterday.

The delusion of continuity.

It's a delusion.

I'm coming back in December.

We can dedicate the lecture to this.

It's a delusion.

But it's a very powerful delusion.

A very useful delusion.

Especially legally.

So there's this delusion.

And the second function is to say, "There's me and I am not you.

I am not others."

These are the two functions of the self.

When you don't have a self, when the self fails to constitute or be integrated, and you don't have an ego, the main function of the ego is contact with reality.

The ego has many functions, by the way.

Not only this.

But the main one is contact with reality.

Assessing reality properly.

Providing feedback.

And preventing all kinds of misbehaviors that could have adverse horrible consequences.

That's the ego's role.

So when you don't have an ego, you have no contact with reality.

You misjudge reality dramatically and catastrophically.

When you don't have a self, you don't realize that other people are not you.

And you are not other people.

Can you digest this?

As far as the narcissist is concerned, for example, because narcissists don't have an ego.

And don't have a self.

And describing the etiology of narcissism, for those of you who do not understand.

This is how narcissists are formed.

The narcissist regards everyone as part of a colony. A hive.

Like bees.

Or ants.

Or NPCs invidio-gates.

There's no me and them.

There's no external and internal.

I will come to it a bit later.

This is so difficult to conceptualize.

But you must, if you wish to understand the narcissist.

Because he doesn't have the instruments that allow him to perceive reality appropriately.

He has what we call impaired reality testing.

And he doesn't have the self and ego.

Which will tell him, this is you and all others are not you.

This is very crucial in narcissism.

He has something which I call othering failure.

He cannot perceive the separateness and externality of other people.

Not only he doesn't perceive that they are separate from him.

He doesn't perceive that they are outside him.

He believes, he doesn't believe, he experiences other people as if they are inside his mind.

Totally crazy.

He introjects other people.

He experiences them as internal objects.

Because he cannot perceive separateness and externality.

He cannot do other things.


And so this failure, this failure of telling external, apart from internal, leads to a cascade of other failures.

For example, one of the main ways, one of the main ways that we become social creatures.

We know how to function in society.

There are sexual traits, social traits, and so on and so forth.

Mores, norms, and so on.

One of the main ways is known as socialization.

There's a process of socialization.

Now there are socialization agents.

Mother and father, maybe father by the way, is a socialization agent.

They teach us to be social creatures.

But there is a mother process, equally important.

So there's socialization and another one.

The other one is known as modeling.

It was first suggested by Bandura in social learning theory.


But molasses as a child cannot model.

Because to model, to adopt a model, to emulate father, to imitate mother.


This process was first described in depth by Edith Jacobson.

So to do this, to accomplish this, you need to recognize that mother and father are external.

Imitation is a form of internalization of an external object.

And if you're incapable of accepting that other people are outside you, you cannot model.

There's a modeling failure.

This is catastrophic consequences in the life of the last two.

Because he's clueless.

He's very reminiscent to an autistic person.

He's very reminiscent of autism spectrum disorder in this sense.

So there's a modeling failure.

And finally, because there is no external, internal, and no modeling, and no this and no that, what is left behind is huge emptiness.

The narcissist, no narcissist, is an absence pretending to be a presence.

The narcissist is emptiness pretending to be existence.

The narcissist is a black hole pretending to be a star.

There's nothing there.

I want you to understand that.

Absolutely nothing there.

There are no internal psychodynamics in narcissism.

It's all coming from the outside.

It's all important.

Regulation of sense of self-worth, reality testing.

You name it, it comes from the outside.

Inside, nothing happens.

This is also typical of borderline personality disorder.

But in borderline personality disorder there are mitigating factors, for example.

People with borderline personality disorder have more empathy, more empathy than narcissists.

People with borderline personality disorder are capable of experiencing emotions.

They are actually overwhelmed by emotions, a process known as dysregulation.

So they are far apart from narcissists.

It's not the same.

But both of them, in both these disorders, we have this internal emptiness.

How do we know that there's a black hole?

You cannot see a black hole.

It swallows the light.

And we know that there is a black hole by the behavior of the objects around the black hole.

The black hole is a gravitational field.

And objects around the black hole behave in strange ways.

They emit x-rays and what have you.

They behave in strange ways.

So then we know there's a black hole.

Same with the narcissist.

The narcissist dysregulates everyone around you.

The narcissist wreaks havoc and chaoswherever he goes.

And it is by observing other people's reactions, actually, that we can safely diagnose narcissism.

Because if you try to diagnose narcissism by a taste structure, you can use that as nonsense.

There's no one to talk to.

Also, I think it's a major mistake to try to treat narcissism with adult psychology or adult psychotherapy.

They're not adults.

You need to use child psychology and child psychotherapies combined with trauma therapies.

So today we're making big mistakes when we are trying to, for example, strike a therapeutic alliance with a narcissist or agree on treatment goals.

It's ridiculous.

So do your own.

At some point, you will throw a temperature and trauma and leave the clinic.

I'll tell you to f off.

That's what you're dealing with.

So the narcissist is this black hole.

It's this emptiness.

And we call it, the clinical term is "empty schizoid core."

And you can read about the empty schizoid core in Otto Kahneman's work, Jeffrey Seinfeld's work.

They are the two major ones.

And Otto Kahneman just released a few months ago, just released a book called "Emptiness and Hate," where he describes the empty schizoid core with the latest findings, with the latest, so it's published in August 2020.

So there is this walking, talking simulation of a human being built on as a shell, built on an emptiness that is active emptiness, emptiness that is soliciting, emptiness that draws you in, emptiness that manipulates you, emptiness that... And how to communicate this? You're listening to me and some of you are doing this, probably because you're four years late, but how to... How to... A late one.

But how to communicate this? Can you really understand what I'm saying? What does it mean to be an emptiness? None of you have experienced this. Except the narcissism of you.

None of you have experienced this. You've experienced some kind of presence, internal presence and of course external presence, because you have been affirmed, you received feedback that you exist.

But still, you need the internal component.

How can you not be? How can your existence consist and subsist of not being? That is something that is extremely difficult and then you need to resort to philosophers like Heidegger and Sartre and existentialism.

You need to go much, much deeper to understand this concept of not being.

Because even the greatest thinkers, they were talking ultimately about the authentic self, the authentic self. They said, "Yeah, this is fake, this is empty, this is this, but if you get it, dig deep, you will find the authentic self. There's nothing to find.

Never mind how deep you dig.

At the time that the person should have become, at the time when the child should have acquired personhood, the child failed.

There was no self, no ego, and no contact with reality, and no distinction between external and internal.

Finally, I want to make a comment about the unconscious.

Freud was a bit of a plagiarist, some of you may know.

Of ten major concepts in Freud's work, about eight were taken from others.

Sometimes with credit, sometimes not.

One of them is the unconscious. It's not Freud's intention.

It's Freud's.

There is a bit of debate in psychology about the unconscious.

The Freudian approach, and later his daughter, many others, this school, says that the unconscious is the seat of repressed wishes and drives and urges, and simplifying, of course, but generally speaking.

It's the seat of repression.

And there's another school, and the other school says that the unconscious is the internalization of other people, is the sum total of interactions with other people.

It's the relational unconscious.

I mentioned Lacan. Lacan regards the unconscious as relational.

But there are others, for example, Harry Stack Sullivan, who was the father of interpersonal psychology.

So the unconscious is the sum total of interactions with other people.

Imagine what it says about the narcissist.

The narcissist is incapable of interactions with other people, because the narcissist is incapable of perceiving the existence of other people.

There's no externality and no separateness.

So according to Lacan, the narcissist is possibly the only creature without an unconscious.

The only creature which is totally conscious.

What you see is what you get.

A mirror reflection.

This deep, you know, nanometer deep.

It's not that, because there are no inter-personal relationships which create the unconscious.

Lacan said that this is mediated through the language.

I don't want to mislead you.

If other people speak to the individual, then the language is internalized.

What they say is internalized, and the language shapes their consciousness.

Never mind all that.

When you don't recognize the existence of other people, according to many major scholars, you cannot have an unconscious.

We have here a human being, a leisure being, only with a conscious.

So, in this kind of human being, for example, wishes would be totally conscious.

And because this kind of human being doesn't have an ego, there would be no control on the wishes.

The wishes would be uncontrollable.

They cannot be retressed because it's not conscious.

And they cannot be controlled because it's not equal.

There's nothing there to inhibit narcissism.

As an example, similarly, if the narcissist has a drive, some kind of drive, let's take an example, a sex drive.

He sees a beautiful woman.

If he's a man, or heterosexual man, anyone swears sex, that's a drive.

Or in a healthy person, there is a whole process of repression and desire, but not going to it.

The healthy person can even sublimate the drive.

He can convert it to socially acceptable ways and so on.

Not the narcissist.

He cannot.

He cannot redress the urge.

And he cannot refrain the urge or transform it.

He cannot sublimate it.

He cannot do anything.

There's no ego, no self, no external, no internal, no unconscious, no nothing.

And here we are beginning perhaps to realize, and this is something controversial that I've been saying for more than 30 years, and got me a lot of flack and criticism.

If I see the narcissist is not human, I'm sorry, but if you don't have anything, and you don't have unconscious, and you don't have emotions, and you don't have the ability to distinguish other people as external, and you don't have separation, you're like, "What do you have?" It's a drive machine.

It's Freud's ideal drive machine.

Like Freud at the beginning, early Freud.

He later regretted it, changed it, but early, early, early Freud said that, "We are all machines, devices driven by drives, and we need to fight these drives and control them and so on."

This is Freud's drive machine.

So, yeah, of course, biologically it's human.

It has a heart, it has kidneys, liver, someone with brains.

But, you know, that's not what defines a human being.

As we will discover in 200 years, we will have androids with all these organs, and they will not be human beings.

That's how it defines human beings.

They are sentient.

Many of them are intelligent, but so is artificial intelligence.

I have serious doubts whether we are talking about human beings.

And I think it is possible to frustrate or thwart the developmental pathway in early childhood so as to produce, I don't know, a mutant.

I don't know how to explain, not a human being.

Something that is so divorced from what makes a human being so alien that maybe we should not use this term anymore.

At least it got me a lot of criticism.


Now let's talk a little about the mechanisms in action in narcissism.

These are general mechanisms.

And then the cherry on the cake.

I kept it to the end in order to kick you here.

This is called a hostage situation.

And we Israelis have a lot of experience.

The first part has to do with interpersonal relationships, especially romantic relationships.

So stay tuned.

Don't go away.

But until then, you have to suffer.

Jordan Gibson says that suffering is very important in life.

And so did Buddha.

Okay. They didn't look the same.

I'm going to describe now what is known as psychodynamics of pathological narcissism and its expressions and manifestations.

So that's like an overview of the typical narcissist.

And then later, the third part, as I said, is relationship.

Okay. First of all, as you all know, some of you know, there's a book called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.

It is in the text revision of the fifth edition published, I think, two years ago.

And within this book, which is essentially written by the insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry in the United States, I'm sorry to say it, within this book, narcissistic personality disorder is one of four disorders, which together are known as cluster B.

Cluster B is also known as dramatic, erratic cluster. And so the cluster B includes narcissistic, antisocial, not psychopath.

Commonly stated, antisocial personality disorder, ischronic personality disorder, and borderline personality disorder. The problem with, there are numerous problems with cluster B. There are numerous problems with DSM. But the numerous problems with specifically with cluster B. First of all, the comorbidity is enormous. In other words, it's very common to diagnose one or two or three in the same patient. So typically, for example, you have borderline and narcissist. You have narcissist and psychopath. This is a very powerful indication that something's wrong, that the clinical entities are not well defined. That's the first problem. There's another problem called the polythetic problem. I'm not going to it. This is not unless I'm on DSM. So there are serious problems with this decentralization of the... And it's all built like this, like list of criteria.

The second major problem, or the third polythetic problem is also major, but we're not doing it. The third major problem is that the list of diagnostic criteria is mostly behavioral. Not etiological, not dynamic, psychodynamic, but behavioral.

If you behave in certain ways, you're diagnosed, which I think is a major disaster, I mean, methodological disaster.

Because say, for example, the psychopath or maybe someone with antisocial personality disorder, they don't like rules and laws. They're abrasive. They're a bit criminalized. They are so old.

How does that make them mentally ill? They're defiant. They're defiant. They hate society. They hate authority. So do I, by the way.

So I don't see any hint of mental illness here. I see a problem with social norms, social mores, compatibility, conformity, adaptation, calling for everyone.

I don't see any mental illness here.

So there's a huge problem in the very foundations of the reason.

Be that as it may, narcissistic personality disorder, which is the extreme form of pathological narcissism, is inclosetly.

Now within narcissistic personality disorder, we have a subtype.

It's about 3% of narcissists.

When I say narcissists from now on, people diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder.

Not aeons, not jerks, not your current partner, but people diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder.

Or ex-partner. Or ex-partner. If you're a clever, if you're wise, it's ex-partner.

So within this group, about 3% are a very seriously bad combination of narcissists, psychopath and safest.

These small group are known as malignant narcissists.

They were first described by Kender. Malignant narcissists, it was the old name. Today we call them psychopathic narcissists.

So we have Roni Now malignant narcissists are simply narcissists who use psychopathic... Malignant narcissists are narcissists that use psychopathic behaviors to obtain the only outcome the narcissist is interested in, attention.

So most narcissists behave pro-socially. They conform to society. They work within society. Think Donald Trump.

But malignant narcissists adopt psychopathic behaviors. They're criminalized, they're defiant, they're cruel, they're bracing, they're callous, they're ruthless.

And they use this psychopathic leverage to obtain narcissistics, to obtain attention. The goal is always attention, for reasons that I will explain soon.

But the methods differ.

Now, as you begin to see by now, pathological narcissism is a post-traumatic disorder. The child is traumatized. The child can be traumatized in a variety of ways.

But not being seen is a great way to be traumatized.

So this is a post-traumatic condition. It involves, like all traumatic conditions, it involves defense mechanisms such as dissociation.

So dissociation is very common in borderline personality disorder. Actually, it's one of the diagnostic criteria for borderline personality disorder.

And dissociation is equally common among narcissists.

There's a lot of dissociation going on, memory gaps.

And what the narcissist does, he bridges the memory gaps. He tries to explain to himself and to others what might have happened, what probably happened, what plausibly happened, what must have happened.

And this is called confabulation. Confabulation is common among psychotic patients also.

And we're beginning to see that there are many, many, many commonalities between pathological narcissism and psychosis.

This was not, I regretfully am not the first to say this. The first to say this was autocaricature.

Borderline, borderline, means on the border between neurosis and psychosis. That's why it's borderline.

So, and in In Columbo's work, borderline is narcissism. It does not make the distinction. It's the same.

One group, one family.

So, I agree for whatever is right. Narcissism has many elements of psychosis.

I will give you one example. I told you that the narcissist cannot tell the difference between external and internal. So, when the narcissist looks at you, you become an internal object. He doesn't see you as external. He does not see your separateness.

Now, this is of course psychotic. In psychosis, there is confusion of internal objects as external.

The psychotic is a voice. He thinks the voice is coming from there.

So, internal object is misidentified, introject, is misidentified as external.

In narcissism, an external object is misidentified as internal.

So, narcissism is the mirror image of psychosis.

The left hand and right hand of psychosis, in effect.

And like in psychosis, there is trauma, there is dissociation. There is another thing called hyperreflexivity.

Hyperreflexivity is expanding outwards to include the world. So, digesting the world, assimilating the world, so to speak.

We are going to this.

There are search states. In claustrophobic situations, there are search states.

If you want to read more about search states, the guy who came up with the idea is called Philip Bromberg. Philip Bromberg. And I built on his work. I adopted his work to pathological narcissism, if you go on my channel, YouTube channel, you will find many, many videos about search states, pseudo-identities, ego states, sub-personalities, and so on, so forth.

We'll find many videos and also follow you along some of these.

So, they all have search states. Search states is simply when you switch from one type of identity to another, and of course, if you don't have an identity, then you have only search states.

And in both borderline and narcissism, there is something called identity disturbance or identity diffusion.

Not stable identity, because it's empty. If it's empty, you can pour wine, you can pour milk, you can pour water. It's empty.

One day the borderline believes that being, cheating the partner, being, engaging in infidelity is horrible, and the next day she does it.

And one day the narcissist believes that he's going to be a great writer, and the next day he's a businessman.

There's no constancy of goals, beliefs, values, and so on, because there's no identity.

Similarly, there is no constancy of external objects, because there's no perception of external objects.

So, they don't have object constancy. The narcissist doesn't have object constancy, and the borderline doesn't have introject constancy.

So much to say, and I apologize if I'm giving you only the headline, but I'm giving you keywords that you can later search until you get very, very old, and then you can hand it over to the next dimension.

And, which would please me not?


A critical dynamic in technological narcissism is known as narcissistic supply.

Narcissistic supply is a fancy name that I borrowed from early 1937 psychoanalytic literature, and I redefined it for narcissism.

Today's use is my work, actually.

So, narcissistic supply is a fancy word for attention. Attention could be positive and negative. If the narcissist is feared, if people fear the narcissist, that's narcissistic supply. If people think that the narcissist is the worst criminal ever, a demonic maniac, that's narcissistic supply.

Of course, if they admire the narcissist, adulate the narcissist, listen to the narcissist's lecture about cluster B, that's also narcissistic supply.

So, narcissistic supply is crucial.

Another concept, because I'm going to use it on this concept, so it's like giving you a dictionary.

Another concept is external regulation.

We regulate, not me, we don't mean, we don't regulate the internal environment by themselves. You regulate your own emotions, you regulate your moods, and above all, you regulate your sense of self-worth.

Sense of self-worth is simply knowing who you are, your advantages and disadvantages, shortcomings, limitations, skills, talents, and so on and so forth.

This comprises self-esteem, lack of confidence, in a package known as self-worth.

As usual, the narcissist regulates everything, emotions, cognitions, sense of self-worth, you name it, from the outside.

Everything is coming from the outside, so you can affect the narcissist's mood by telling him you're not a genius, you're an idiot.

So, that would affect the narcissist.

Try it on me.

It would affect the narcissist's mood.

You have the capacity to dis-regulate, to render the moods of the narcissist, lay by.

You have the capacity to dis-regulate the narcissist's emotions, to some extent, negative emotions, like envy, anger, the famous narcissist's decrees.

So, this is called external regulation.

Now, in borderline, external regulation is taught up.

The borderline hands over her regulatory functions, usually, to an intimate partner or to a special friend.

And then that person regulates the internal world of the borderline.

She outsources her mind, which explains why she panics.

When the borderline develops intimacy, it means that her mind, she's out of her mind.

Her mind belongs to someone else.

And that creates a more Hispanic, known as "engagement anxiety".

And so, the borderline approaches you and avoids you, approaches you and avoids you, which is known as approach-avoidance-repetition-compassion.

And so, there's the famous saying, "I hate you, don't leave me".

It's the same about borderline.

So, external regulation is critical in narcissistic and borderline disorders.

Next is self-supply.

When the narcissist fails to obtain supply from people, attention and so on, he gives it to himself.

If no one says he's a genius, he tells himself, "You're a genius".

And that usually is enough, because, as you remember, there's only the narcissist.

It's total solipsism.

Even you are just figments in the narcissist's mind. You're just NPCs, you're just representations, avatars, snapshots, I call them snapshots, clinicals and introgakes.

So, self-supply would make sense, because only the narcissist exists whether he uses this internal logic or that internal logic is not relevant, any internal logic to do.

Okay, so, self-supply.

Another concept is narcissistic collapse.

It's when the narcissist fails to obtain narcissistic supply on a regular basis.

So, that causes collapse.

Not failed narcissism.

You will find online many people saying, "Failed narcissism".

No, that's a mistake.

Collapsed narcissism.

There is failed narcissism, but it's something completely different.

So, concept of collapse.

And when the narcissist collapses, he switches between types from overt to overt from somatic.

So, they're switching, playing on.

Same happens with Godel.

When the Godel line is faced with a collapse, for example, when she anticipates abutment or experiences rejection or humiliation, and so on, she switches.

Clinically, she becomes the secondary cycle.

So, this is very important.

And finally, I will discuss objects.

Good objects in narcissism.

And then we'll go to the romantic relationships and so on and so forth.

We'll put on music, incense, lighting.

But if I may suggest, when I finish this section, tell me if I'm not... Because for me, you're internal objects, so...

If I may suggest, why don't you take like five minutes break?

I can continue forever because I love this only.

Maybe, maybe, maybe now.


No, no, no.

Let me finish this section.

Are you kidding?

I finish this section, then we'll take a five minute break, then probably none of you will return.

And I will give you my favorite audience.


And also, the blind.

First of all, exactly.

You got it.


Okay, so the last thing in this section...

The last thing in this section is objects.

You remember that when we were all much younger, we discussed the concept of bad objects.


Which is a constellation of voices, a coalition of voices, that inform you that you are somehow negative.

Self-negatement, that you are bad, you are worthy.

There's another type of object, it's known as the good object.

The good object is balanced, is grounded in reality.

Good object is not your own perfectness.

Sometimes you're good, sometimes you're bad.

So the good object is the result of proper integration and constellation after splitting.

When the mother is put back together, it's partly good, partly bad.

That's a kind of good object.

So, good object.

And there is idealized object.

Idealized object is what you believe, or when the voices tell you, that you are totally perfect.

That you are amazing, that you are god-like.

This usually comes from parental figures.

Parental figures that idolize the child, idealize the child, place the child on a pedestal, tell the child that he can do no wrong and his perfection, everyone else is wrong, the teacher is wrong, the peers are wrong.

So these messages accumulate, accrue, and they create an idealized object.

A narcissist has one of two objects.

They never have a good object.

As narcissists are not grounded in reality.

Remember, they don't have a reality testing.

Intact reality testing.

So, they cannot have a good object.

But what they do have, many of them have a bad object, and many of them have an idealized object.

A god-like object.

The narcissist who have a bad object, compensate for this bad object.

Because these voices are intolerable.

Imagine that you have someone who keeps criticizing you, telling you that you are wrong, and so on.

In short, imagine your marriage.

So, you know, it's unbearable, it's intolerable.

So, the narcissist compensates for this.

And he compensates for this by pretending to be everything opposite to the bad object.

Everything is a bad object.

He tells him, he is saying the opposite.

So, the bad object tells him, "Manana, you are stupid. This is not a genius." This is a compensatory mechanism.

And this is known as the false self.

The false self is a term developed, not invented, but developed by Venkam.

So, the false self is actually a kind of compensation for the bad object or the idealized object.

If the narcissist has an idealized object, then there is no compensation.

The narcissist believes that it is a God-like, you know?

It's not need for compensation.

Then we get typically overt, grandiose narcissism.

If the narcissist is a bad object and compensates for it by pretending to be God-like and lying to himself, deceiving himself and others that he is, then we get typically, not always, a covert narcissist.

Vulnerable, fragile, shy narcissist without the need.

So, these are two types of narcissists.

And their etiology is very different because the bad object narcissist was raised by parents who were critical, who were harsh, who were disciplinary.

And the idealized object narcissist was raised by parents who spoiled him, partnered him, worshiped him, admired him, told him he could do no wrongand he's better, and so on and so forth.

So, this is the sort of clinical background.

And when some of you come back, those of you who were brave enough and/or like Mike, then we'll discuss what happens to the narcissist, the poor narcissist, in romantic relationships.

As an example of interpersonal relationships, everything I'll say in the third section about relationships, interpersonal relationships, apply to all interpersonal relationships.

The narcissist interacts with his best friend, with his boss, with his colleagues, with his intimate partner, with his children identically.

It's the same mechanism.

But I'm going to give you as an example an intimate romantic relationship.

Because first of all, that's the most common experience.

Second most common is being a child of a narcissist.

And also, it guarantees that most of you will stay there.

It's a manipulative thing.

Very technical process.

Yes, which one thinks exactly?


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