Background

Collapsed Somatic, Psychopathic Cerebral, Transforming Shared Fantasy

Uploaded 1/7/2021, approx. 29 minute read

This is the good thing about living and teaching in parts of Eastern Europe that adhere to Orthodox and Protestant love Christianity. They celebrate Christmas on the 7th of January.

And so I, a Jew of all things, get to celebrate two Christmases, one the Catholic and the Protestant, and one the Orthodox or the Provost love. Happy me.

Today we are going to discuss another type of fantasy, and that is the narcissist's shared fantasy.

So I felt judging by your questions and queries and doubts and misunderstandings and so on and so forth, in short, judging by your feedback.

I think I should clarify a few points about the shared fantasy.

Many of you have asked, why does shared fantasy lead to sexlessness? That has to do with Freud's Madonna whore complex.

The narcissist is unable to have sex or to maintain long-term a long-term sexual relationship or liaison with women who he deems to be Madonna's women who are like his mother, women who he parentifies, renders them mothers or mother figures or maternal figures.

Obviously that creates in him a dissonance because to sleep with mother is to commit incest and no taboo, even among narcissists.

So the Madonna whore complex is an excellent explanation of the inner dynamics of the shared fantasy with an intimate partner or so-called significant other.

In the case of the narcissist, the insignificant other.

The narcissist simply divides all potential mates into sluttish, promiscuous, whorish, and Madonna motherlike nurturing service providers and he doesn't have sex with the latter.

Ultimately most narcissists settle for the sexless celibate solution because mothering and services are much more important to them than having sex.

The narcissist does not have a sex drive, not the somatic and not the cerebral.

Narcissists use sex to control. They use sex to torture and torment if they have a sadistic streak. They use sex to capture and captivate during the grooming and blood bombing phases, but they don't have an autonomous independent adult mature and reciprocal or reciprocating sex drive. They are children, remember.

But it's important to understand that the narcissist's shared fantasy is a general way, a general modus, a general method of relating to the world, not only in intimate romantic settings, not only in a couple or a dyad, not only with a mate via the mate selection process, but shared fantasy is the way the narcissist collaborates with other people.

It occurs with any type of source of any kind of supply, primary supply or secondary supply, narcissistic supply or sadistic supply. They all have to be embedded in a shared fantasy.

The narcissist has shared fantasies with friends, with family, with business associates, with intimate partners.

The whole concept of pathological narcissistic space is a shared fantasy embedded in a physical or in a cyber location.

And so the shared fantasy has very important psychodynamic functions. It fulfills, it caters to many of the narcissist's psychological needs, but as important, it modifies, it modulates and regulates the narcissist moods, renders him less labile.

The narcissist's negative emotionality renders, renders these emotions less dysregulated, less impulsive.

So it provides him with impulse control and it transforms the way he consumes narcissistic supply.

So shared fantasy is a critical psychological component in the makeup of the narcissist.


Consider for example, the grandiose narcissist, most grandiose narcissist tend to end up as cerebral narcissist.

The dominant type of grandiose narcissist is cerebral. They leverage their intellect, their intelligence, their irredition, their knowledge in order to obtain narcissistic supply from potential sources.

Grandiose narcissists react to any hint of animosity, any display of contempt, any overture of hostility by disengaging from the offender.

So if they are online, they ban or block. If it's an offline relationship, they quit responding, they ghost.

These are reactions to what isis perceived as narcissistic injury with a potential for mortification.

Narcissists just walk away, the grandiose one.

But this behavior changes dramatically within the shared fantasy.

If the narcissist comes across animosity, disdain, hostility, enmity within a shared fantasy, instead of walking away, instead of detaching and disengaging, what they do is they attempt to stalk. Instead of avoidance, there is extreme approach, delusional approach. They become erotomanic. They stalk the perceived transgressor. They try to hoover her.

And only when they fail with the stalking or when they fail with the hoovering or when they are subjected to law enforcement, they relent and then they disengage.

So we see an example of how a behavior that is very typical of a grandiose narcissist, you know, detaching or putting distance or firewalling narcissistic injuries reverses itself within the shared fantasy.

Within the shared fantasy, the narcissist seeks additional injuries and plays or courts mortification. He stalks, he hovers with the express and clear risk of being rejected once again.

When the narcissist hovers you, he's taking a risk. He's taking a risk of being rejected. He's taking a risk of being humiliated, injured. So it's a risk taking behavior.

Grandiose narcissist outside shared fantasies are risk averse. The grandiose narcissist inside shared fantasies are risk seekers.

So we see that narcissists within shared fantasies actually become more antisocial, more psychopathic because risk seeking, novelty seeking and lack of impulse control stalking, for example, implies a lack of impulse control.

Hoovering is an impulse. The narcissist had been injured by the person he seeks to hoover and yet he can't help it. He can't help it. He can't control his impulses.

So impulsivity, novelty seeking, risk seeking behaviors. These are all typical psychopathic traits.

And so the narcissist seems to become more psychopathic, more antisocial within a shared fantasy and the same subspecies of narcissists react with animosity with contempt and hostility and enmity to any act of friendliness, mindless adulation, offered empathy, support, secure or advice.

When they are outside the shared fantasy, I repeat this, it's very counterintuitive.

But if you assimilate this insights, you will suddenly understand 99% of the behaviors of the narcissist around you.

I repeat, grandiose narcissists react with enmity, aggression, animosity, contempt, hostility to any act of friendliness, mindless adulation, attempt to approach, offered empathy, support, secure or advice. They react the same way to any attempt at intimacy, including sexual advances.

How many of you have been rebuffed brutally, cruelly by a narcissist?

Narcissists regard such overtures, such gestures, such attempts to approach and be intimate. They regard all these as presumptuous, narcissistically injurious, impertinent impositions, intrusions.

So this is outside the shared fantasy, but take the same narcissist and place him within the shared fantasy.

And his behavior changes dramatically. He suddenly seeks to elicit friendly acts, mindless adulation. He seeks to leverage your empathy, to garner your support and support within the shared fantasy, especially the love bombing and grooming phases.

At a certain stage, he reverts to form. That's the bargaining stage. He reverts to form, but this is in order to simply terminate the shared fantasy.

So we see again, a change, a reversal. Again, this is psychopathic.

The narcissist within the shared fantasy becomes goal oriented. He suffers from abandonmentanxiety. He wants to secure, secure your presence within the shared fantasy. He doesn't want you to just walk away or abandon him. He's goal oriented.

Because he's goal oriented, he encourages in you behaviors that he knows are egosyntonic, behaviors he knows you like.

Lydia Langelowaska calls it the need to be needed. He fosters in you maternal behavior. He kind of triggers maternal instincts in you.

And then he uses these to obtain the goal of object constancy, to make sure that you remain within the shared fantasy. again, psychopathic feature.

The ideal narcissistic supply source is actually commoditized and anonymous. If you ask any narcissist outside the shared fantasy, they will tell you that they prefer faceless audiences in lectures and seminars, for example, or views on videos. These are anonymous, faceless, commoditized, streams of narcissistic supply. They have no name, they have no personality, they have no face, their numbers. This is the ideal narcissistic supply source.

And the ideal sadistic supply source is a victim. Some narcissists are sadistic, so they also need sadistic supply.

But sadistic supply is the opposite of narcissistic supply. This ideal sadistic supply source, the ideal victim of sadistic conduct, humiliation, degradation, descoiling, etc., is personal, is intimate.

So most narcissists need two types of narcissistic supply, anonymous, faceless number game, commodified or commoditized stream, flux and flow of supply, like a river, each water molecule has no identity, on the one hand. And a highly identifiable, specific individual or individual's victims, which they can then taunt and torment and humiliate and berate and degrade and demean and debase and torture and destroy, etc.

And they need both and they need both at all times. This also changes within the shared fantasy.

What I've said until now is outside the shared fantasy. This also changes within the shared fantasy. It's within the shared fantasy.

In both cases, narcissistic supply and sadistic supply, the narcissist needs a specific collaborator, a specific individual, a specific mother figure, specific you.

So again, we see that the shared fantasy transforms the typical classical behavior of a grandiose overt narcissist.

When the overt or classical narcissist is outside the shared fantasy, he prefers anonymous sources of narcissistic supply and individual sources of sadistic supply.

When he is inside the shared fantasy, he prefers identifiable, specific, individual, intimate partners, mates, which are the sources of both narcissistic supply and sadistic supply.

He can extract narcissistic supply from his insignificant others and then let them know how insignificant they are as a form of inflicting pain or sadism.


Now, to be clear, very few narcissists are sadists in the sense that very few narcissists subject other people to sadistic behavior, hurt other people, cause pain in other people and enjoy the very act of inflicting pain.

That's classical sadism, but narcissists hurt other people either because they are goal oriented.

In this case, within the shared fantasy, the goal is to secure your presence, your object constancy, or because it's a by-product, an inevitable by-product of their need to extract narcissistic supply.

And so sadism is a feature of narcissism, but not in the classical psychological sense.

Very few narcissists are actually sadists, derive pleasure from the sadistic act.

Now, people ask me about collapsed narcissists. They understood the concept of collapse cerebral narcissists. Collapse cerebral narcissist is someone who's intellect or intelligence or knowledge or irreducian intellectual power techniques are insufficient to induce awe or admiration or adulation. He is not that intelligent. He's not that much of an intellectual. He fails to attain a guru status, even among a limited set of people around you.

So the collapse cerebral narcissist is an understandable proposition. It's someone who tries very much to sound like a guru or like a genius and doesn't have what it takes. So he keeps failing at eliciting supply when he presents this false self, when he presents this facade of the wunderkind, the genius child.


But what about the collapse somatic narcissist? What on earth does that mean? What is a collapse somatic narcissist?

The collapse somatic narcissist is incapable for some reason of leveraging his good looks, his sculpted musculature, his sexual prowess to obtain narcissistic supply.

If he is endowed with intelligence, such a collapse somatic narcissist tries desperately to become cerebral. He switches to the cerebral mode.

Remember, there's no type constancy. All cerebrals have somatic periods and all somatic narcissists try to be cerebral or present themselves as geniuses. So there's no type constancy, but there's a dominant type.

When the dominant type is somatic and the somatic for some reason fails to obtain supply using his body, his looks, his muscles, I don't know what, then he tries to become cerebral if he has even a modicum of intelligence.

But if he's seriously dumb and doesn't have what he takes to obtain supply via his intellect, he becomes covert.

So collapse somatic narcissists are a reservoir of potential covert narcissists. And many, many covert narcissists are actually somatic, not cerebral.

The etiology, the reason, the psychological reason for such a failure, failure in trying to be a somatic narcissist, is very complex.

The somatic narcissist may feel that he's engaging in a forbidden competition with a dominant parental figure. So he may be competing with a somatic father figure in his life.

That is an insight provided by Lydia Van Genuska in one of her conversations.

When a somatic narcissist constantly competes with an overshadowing dominant paternal figure father who used to be or is a somatic narcissist and sometimes competes directly with his son for the favors of women, this creates a forbidden competition. It's a taboo competition. You should never overpower, overwhelm your father. You should never win as if you win, you're going to lose your father.

So this parental figure suppresses the somatic's self-efficacy, the somatic's ability to secure favorable outcomes and to elicit narcissistic supply. Or the somatic narcissist as a child in childhood may have been rewarded for intellectual accomplishments. Whenever he came back with good marks from school or whenever he started to read or whenever he said something clever, he was rewarded. But whenever he displayed his body, whenever he tried to talk about sex, whenever he asked questions about sexuality and all the other sex or whatever, his sex was decried as dirty.

Gradually such a child learns that the body is filthy, that sex is dirty, and that should both be avoided.

And so even if the narcissist's initial rudimentary primitive basic tendency is to become somatic, this constant messaging converts him gradually into cerebral, but this creates a dissonance.

By constitution, this kind of narcissist is better equipped and much prefers to be somatic.

And yet the messaging in early childhood was the intellect is pure, elevated, morally upright, correcting, beautiful thing. You should aspire to be an intellectual. Sex, body, body functions, body excretions, they are all filthy, dirty, animalistic, bestial primitive.

So this creates a dissonance and again impacts, impairs and reduces his ability to leverage his body to obtain supply.

In most cases though, in most cases, the failure of the somatic narcissist to use his body to obtain supply is because of gender differentiation. To be more precise, a lack of gender differentiation.

The collapsed somatic narcissist is a latent homosexual, or he has fluid psychosexuality, for example, is bisexual. But he cannot admit it. He has something we call reaction formation. He becomes, for example, homophobic or against transgender people. So he denies this part in himself, he projects it onto others, and then he despises them and holds them in contempt and even may become aggressive and violent.

And then this creates enormous internal dissonance, tension, conflict between the suppressed sexuality, which is the real sexuality of that specific narcissist, and the overt sexual behavior and the overt sexual traits and preferences which are geared towards obtaining narcissistic supply.

To put it in layman's terms, the collapsed somatic narcissist tries to act as a lady's man, a womanizer, the irresistible, paranormal, a Casanova, modern day Casanova, or Don Juan.

But in reality, he's a latent homosexual, or bisexual, or even transgender. And this creates in him enormous conflict, dissonance, and tension, and of course reduces his ability to secure the supply.

So one possible outcome of this huge conflict is celibacy or sexlessness within a relationship.

Another solution is exactly opposite, promiscuity, usually coupled with substance abuse. So we see these somatic narcissists, when they get married, when they have a girlfriend, when they have a regular lover, they suddenly become sexless. The transition is mind blowing and mind shattering.

During the love bombing and grooming phase, this somatic narcissist is insatiable. Insatiable, his sexual prowess is amazing, his pyrotechnics are.

And then once the relationship is established, he transitions abruptly to total sexlessness.

This is one solution.

The other solution is exactly the opposite, promiscuity and cheating. This kind of somatic narcissist becomes a sex addict.

And in order to this disinhibit himself, and to resolve a cognitive and axiological dissonance, he drinks, or he does drugs.

So there's substance abuse that goes with it.

You must understand that the inner conflict is not only an issue of, you know, sex is dirty, but I want sex, but I'm homosexual, but I should never show it.

And it's not only this very basic conflict. Conflicts is much deeper, because the narcissist has a view of himself as morally a pride, as a good person, and a socially conforming person.

Remember, narcissists are not psychopaths, they're pro-social. Psychopaths are anti-social. Narcissists are pro-social.

The grandiose cerebral somatic narcissists, who are not psychopathic narcissists, are actually communal. They're pro-social.

And when their behavior, for example, promiscuity, conflicts with these social values, it's yet another layer of conflict.

If the narcissist, if such a narcissist fails as a somatic narcissist, and then fails as a cerebral narcissist, he undergoes mortification, narcissistic mortification, and he becomes covert.

It's one of the main psychodynamic paths, psychopathological paths, roots to becoming covert. Many covert are actually collapsed narcissists, collapsed cerebral narcissists, and collapsed somatic narcissists. Who had undergone narcissistic mortification?

There's a video of mine, which discusses how the types change, how somatic becomes cerebral, cerebral becomes somatic, cerebral and somatic become covert, covert becomes psychopathic, how the types transition fluidly into each other via the bridge of collapse and mortification. There's a whole video dedicated to it, which I encourage you to join.

And if such a narcissist has strong histrionic or borderline features, if such a collapsed somatic narcissist is also histrionic or borderline. In other words, if he has access to emotions and a modicum of empathy, he is likely to become a psychopath, a secondary psychopath, or even a primary psychopath if he is a covert borderline.

So you see that when the somatic narcissist fails, he first tries to become cerebral. Then if he fails, he becomes covert. And then if in addition to that, he has borderline or histrionic features, he becomes a secondary psychopath. And if he is a covert borderline, he becomes a primary psychopath, covert narcissist and psychopaths. These are the two end reservoirs of failed narcissism.

That's not me. That's Grotstein. Grotstein has observed in the 90s that people who have borderline personality disorder are people who had failed to develop narcissism. He calls borderlines failed narcissists.

So does Kernberg, by the way, in the 70s. This is a very old insight.

So when somatics and cerebrons fail, they fluidly transition into each other. And when this fails as a solution, they become covert or psychopaths.

There is a good reason to argue.

The psychopathy and covert narcissism and all the covert forms are actually failures, collapses, end results of failure of much more adaptive strategies, much more self efficacious strategies, which uphold the person's agency and buttress his autonomy, self autonomy via grandiosity.

Consider, for example, the cerebral narcissist. And what happens to the cerebral narcissist when he fails, when he collapses? What happens to the collapse cerebral narcissist when he fails to secure supply? He becomes, we just said, he can become a somatic. And then if he fails, he becomes covert.

But we also said that he becomes somatic. And if he fails, he becomes psychopath.

What happens? How does the collapse cerebral narcissist look when he is a psychopath, when he had become a psychopath?

The path is cerebral narcissist, failure, collapse, mortification, attempt to become somatic, failure, collapse, mortification, attempt to become covert, failure, collapse, psychopathy.


Okay, so it's a very long, circuitous route. And old age psychopaths, real psychopaths, primary psychopaths with brain dysfunctions, and the proper genetics and physiology.

Because psychopaths have a special physiology, they don't have your physiology, the physiology of their body is very different. Their brain functions very differently. They have brain abnormalities and so on.

These kind of psychopaths, congenital psychopaths, they lose their psychopathy when they grow old. Most psychopaths lose their antisocial features when they grow old.

So if you see an old psychopath, someone who is in his 40s and his 50s and 60s, and he's clearly a psychopath, he started off as a narcissist. And he kept failing at every solution until he ended up a psychopath.

And then this kind of psychopath in his 40s, let's say, this kind of psychopath is going to become, is going to be totally antisocial.

Consider, for example, the cerebral narcissist who had become a psychopath. He's likely to plagiarize, he's likely to steal other people's work, he's likely to abscond with other people's ideas and life's work. I call it ideaism, idea plagiarism. It's rampant on the internet, rampant, all kinds of self-styled coaches and gurus and experts and so on. They steal other people's work and ideas, mine included. It's a very common practice.

These are actually collapsed narcissists, narcissists who had collapsed in all previous attempts. And this is their last resort, stealing other people's work and pretending it's their own as a way to obtain supply, however fallacious, however fake.

But of course, even when the covert narcissist, even when the cerebral narcissist collapses, and after a few permutations becomes a psychopath, he still essentially a cerebral narcissist. It creates a cognitive axiological dissonance because counter-factually, the narcissist considers himself to be a good, morally upright person.

That's by the way another telltale sign. When you talk to a real psychopath, a congenital psychopath, a Harvey Cleckley psychopath, they're likely to admit that they are no good, that they are broken, damaged goods, evil, wicked, vicious. They're likely to admit it freely.

When you talk to a psychopath who used to be a narcissist, used to be a collapsed narcissist, and then gradually became more and more psychopathic, more and more antisocial. When you talk to such a person, he says, no, I'm a good person. I'm a morally upright person. I have my values and my rules of conduct. I help people. I'm charitable. I'm altruistic, etc.

That's a telltale sign between the two ideologies of psychopathy.

So the narcissist who had become a psychopath via collapse and via mortification, the narcissist who now engages in antisocial behavior like plagiarizing, idealizing, stealing from people.

This kind of narcissist believes himself to be a good person and it creates a dissonance, cognitive dissonance and axiological dissonance.

Axiological dissonance is a clash between values.

An intelligent narcissist reserves this dissonance by confabulating and reframing. He convinces himself that the stolen goods, stolen ideas were his to start with. He came up with these ideas independently and long before anybody else did.

The goods that he had stolen, other people's life's work, plagiarism, it's his by right, one way or another.

He confabulates, he reframes, and this alternative history, alternative facts, makes him eligible for the fruits of labor that is not his.

This kind of narcissist convinces himself that his manufactured lies are the only true reality and that anyone who criticizes this fantasy, these lies, these confabulation, is envious of him. Envious people are out to deprive him, to disenfranchise him, to steal what is his, to obscure with these ideas.

He forgets completely that he stole these material goods, ideas, life work from other people.

He would deny vehemently that he had plagiarized. He would reverse the time arrow. He would say that, yeah, he came after, but still it was his idea.

But all this can work only if you're intelligent.

The psychopathic, antisocial solution of this rebel narcissist crucially depends on having minimum intelligence.

Dumb narcissists, stupid narcissists, buffoon clownish narcissists, they know deep inside that they are less than stellar intellectually, that they are not the brightest stars in any galaxy.

And this egodystonyne realization makes it impossible for them to recast their misbehavior, their misdeeds, as merely reclaiming what is theirs.

You see, when you tell yourself this idea that I had stolen from someone was actually mine. I came up with it first.

First, you have to believe in your own intelligence. You have to believe that you are capable of coming up with such ideas to start with.

If you think you're an idiot, if you think you're dumb, if you know you're dumb, you can't really tell yourself this idea was mine. It would bring hollow. It wouldn't convince even you.

Intelligence, therefore, is a critical factor in the psychopathic antisocial choices of collapsed narcissists. If they have intelligence, they tend to gravitate towards intellectual pursuits. They tend to direct the psychopathic antisocial and even criminal acts at intellectual goods, like ideas, like texts, like so they would steal a book. They would steal the content of a book. They would steal an idea. They would become gurus and coaches and experts by appropriating and expropriating other people's production.


But this they can do only if they have a minimal level of intelligence. And if they don't, their psychopathy and antisocial impulses become more and more criminalized, more and more aggressive and violent, body-oriented.

So this kind of narcissists who don't have the minimal intelligence to claim that what they had stolen or appropriated or expropriated or plagiarized or idealized is theirs.

They resort to aggression. They resort to suppressing the truth. In the process, they deploy a host of primitive defense mechanisms, such as splitting, devaluing others, projection, magical thinking and denial. They're inexorably transformed by their own antisocial acts into primary, dangerous, violent psychopaths.

And this goes hand in hand with substance abuse.


I want to read to you a segment from the amazing life-transforming book, The Man Who Stook His Wife for a Wife and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks, the book that had transformed me from a physicist and an economist and a philosopher into a psychologist.

Here's a segment from the book about the connection between substance abuse and narcissistic psychopathic behaviors.

To be ourselves, we must have ourselves. We must possess, if need be, repossess our life stories. We must recollect ourselves, recollect the inner drama, the narrative of ourselves.

A man needs such a narrative, a continuous inner narrative, to maintain his identity, his self. The narrative need, perhaps, is the clue to Mr. Thompson's desperate tale-telling, his verbosity, deprived of continuity of a quiet, continuous inner narrative.

Mr. Thompson is driven to a sort of narrational frenzy, hence his ceaseless tales, his confabulations, his mythomania, unable to maintain a genuine narrative or continuity, unable to maintain a genuine inner world.

Mr. Thompson is driven to the proliferation of pseudo-narratives in a pseudo-continuity, pseudo-worlds, people by pseudo-people, phantoms.

Mr. Thompson has Cossackoff syndrome, the late stage, the last stage of extreme alcoholism. He is an alcoholic whose brain had been damaged.

What is it like for Mr. Thompson?

Superficially, he comes over as an ebullient comic. People say he is a riot, and there is much that is farcical in such a situation which might form the basis of a comic novel.

It is comic, but not just comic. It is terrible as well.

For here is a man who in some sense is desperate, in a frenzy. The world keeps disappearing, losing meaning, vanishing, and he must seek meaning, make meaning in a desperate way, continually inventing, throwing bridges of meaning over abysses of meaninglessness, the chaos that yawns continually beneath him.

But does Mr. Thompson himself know this? Does he feel this?

After finding him, a riot, a laugh, loads of fun, people are disquieted, even terrified, by something in him.

He never stops, they say. He is like a man in a race, a man trying to catch something which always eludes him.

And indeed, Mr. Thompson can never stop running.

For the bridging memory in existence, in meaning, today we call it dissociation, is never healed, but has to be bridged, to be patched every second.

And the bridges, the patches, for all their brilliance, fail to work, because they are confabulations, fictions, which cannot do service for reality, while also failing to correspond with reality.

Does Mr. Thompson feel this? Or again, what is his feeling of reality? Is he in a torment all the while, the torment of a man lost in unreality, struggling to rescue himself, but seeking himself by ceaseless inventions, illusions, themselves quite unreal?

It is certain that Mr. Thompson is not at ease. There is a tense, taut look on his face all the while, as of a man under ceaseless inner pressure, and occasionally, not too often, or masked, if present, a look of open, naked, pathetic bewilderment.

What saves Mr. Thompson in a sense, and in another sense, damns him, is the forced or defensive superficiality of his life, the way in which it is, in effect, reduced to a surface, brilliant, shimmering, irredecent, ever-changing, but for all that, a surface, a mass of illusions, a delirium without depth.

And with this, no feeling that he has lost feeling, for feeling he has lost, no feeling that he has lost the depth, that unfathomable, mysterious, myriad-level depth, which somehow defines identity or reality.

And this strikes everyone who has been in contact with Mr. Thompson for any time, that under his fluency, even his frenzy, is a strange load of feeling, that feeling or judgment which distinguishes between real and unreal, true and untrue.

One cannot speak of lies here, only of non-truth.

The distinction between important and trivial, relevant or irrelevant, what comes out torrential in his ceaseless confabulation, has finally a peculiar quality of indifference, as if it didn't really matter what he said or what anyone else did or said, as if nothing really mattered anymore at all.

And there's another vignette about another patient, William.

Again, same syndrome, late-onset alcoholic damage to the brain.

But for William, with his brilliant brassy surface, the unending joke which he substitutes from the world, which if it covers over a desperation, is a desperation he does not feel.

For William, with his manifest indifference to relation and reality, caught in an unending verbosity, there may be nothing redeeming at all.

His confabulations, his apparitions, his frantic search for meanings, being the ultimate barrier to any meaning.

Paradoxically, then, William's greatest gift for confabulation, which has been called out to leap continually over the ever-opening abyss of amnesia, William's greatest gift of confabulation is also his damnation.

If only he could be quiet, one feels. For an instant, if only he could stop the ceaseless chatter and jabber, if only he could relinquish the deceptive surface of illusions, then, ah, then, reality might somehow seep in. Something genuine, something deep, something true, something felt could enter his soul.

For it is not memory which is the final existential casualty, although his memory is wholly devastated. It is not memory only which has been so altered in him, but some ultimate capacity for feeling which is gone.

And this is the sense in which he is de-souled.

Our efforts to reconnect, William, all fail, even increase his confabulatory pressure.

But when we abdicate our efforts and let him be, William sometimes wanders out into the quiet and undemanding garden which surrounds the home.

And there, in its quietness, William recovers his own quiet.

The presence of others, other people, excite and rattle him, force him into an endless frenzied social chatter, a veritable delirium of identity-making and seeking, the presence of plants, of a quiet garden, the non-human order, making no social or human demands upon him, allow this identity delirium to relax, to subside.

And by their quiet, non-human self-sufficiency and completeness, allow William a rare quietness and self-sufficiency of his own, by offering beneath or beyond all merely human identities and relations, a deep, wordless communion with nature itself, and with this, the restored sense of being in the world, of being real.

Thank you for listening.

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Professor Sam Vaknin explains the narcissist's shared fantasy, which is a space where they can re-experience their childhood trauma safely. The shared fantasy has multiple stages, including co-idealization, dual mothership, mental discard, and devaluation. The narcissist's pursuit of betrayal in their relationships is not the same as a cuckold's motivation, as the narcissist seeks to recreate the betrayal they experienced in childhood. The narcissist's only meaningful relationships are within a shared fantastic space, which is highly addictive and generates stalking behaviors and virulent hatred. The narcissist uses a variant of this strategy in all intimate settings, for example, in friendships or interpersonal relations.


Insider View Of Narcissists Shared Fantasy With YOU (+ Psychopath's)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the nature of narcissists and psychopaths, emphasizing that they are users, takers, and exploiters who do not form committed, long-term, or emotional relationships. He explains that they operate within a pathological narcissistic space and seek novelty, and that they view women as either mothers or whores. Vaknin also highlights the importance of understanding these concepts and the role of abuse and sadism in their interactions. Narcissists and psychopaths have three types of shared fantasies: with a man, with a woman, and with creative work. The critical point in a shared fantasy is what's in it for the narcissist or psychopath.


7 Phases of Shared Fantasy: Narcissist Needs YOU to Make Him Great Again

Professor Sam Vaknin's conceptual framework for understanding narcissists' interpersonal relationships is based on the idea of a shared fantasy. The process begins with co-idealization, where the narcissist idealizes their partner and themselves. This is followed by dual mothership, where the narcissist and their partner take on maternal roles for each other. The narcissist then mentally discards their partner, leading to devaluation and splitting. Finally, the narcissist may attempt to re-idealize their partner to resolve anxiety caused by the devalued internal representation of their partner.


YOU: Trapped in Fantasy Worlds of Narcissist, Borderline

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the fantasy worlds of narcissists and borderlines, which are post-traumatic conditions resulting from childhood trauma and abuse. Both types of children develop a fantasy with an imaginary friend who soothes and comforts them. As they grow up and interact with real people, reality intrudes and challenges their fantasy. The child is faced with two choices: give up the fantasy or give up reality. Narcissists and borderlines value fantasy more than reality, and anyone who brings reality into their lives is seen as an enemy. Victims of narcissism are not chosen, they are commodified and interchangeable.


From Grooming to Discard via Shared Fantasy: Cheat, Mortify, Exit

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the cycle of relationships with a narcissist, which follows a pattern of five phases: grooming, shared fantasy, interstitial one with two options, mortification or anti-fantasy, and interstitial two. The narcissist creates a shared fantasy to extract sex, supply, and services from their partner, and the shared fantasy allows them to avoid true intimacy and commitment. Cheating is an option for women who want to escape the shared fantasy and create an alternative sanctuary with another man. The fourth phase, the anti-fantasy phase, occurs when the partner tries to transition from the shared fantasy to reality, and the narcissist becomes indecisive and approach avoidant. Mortification is crucial to end the shared fantasy, and the narcissist switches to internal or external mortification


Your Role in Narcissist’s Shared Fantasy is Why He Hates You (hint: you make him feel himself – and human)

In summary, the narcissist's intimate partner plays a crucial role in the shared fantasy by fulfilling the roles of admirer, playmate, and mother. This allows the narcissist to experience maximal grandiosity and feel safe enough to separate and individuate. However, the intimate partner's presence also leads to the narcissist's self-hatred and inability to maintain meaningful communication with both the outside world and himself. The intimate partner ultimately becomes a threat to the narcissist, as they make the narcissist feel human, which is something the narcissist does not want to be.


Narcissist's Checklists: Mortification, Shared Fantasy

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of shared fantasy in narcissistic relationships and provides checklists to identify behaviors and symptoms of narcissists. He explains that narcissists seek relationships to create an illusion of normalcy and control their partners. However, they often become sexless and push their partners to cheat, which allows them to maintain their victim stance and moral superiority. Narcissists may remain in abusive relationships due to past failures and the need for a shared fantasy to avoid decompensation and depression.


Loving the Narcissist: Shared Fantasy to Discard

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the phases of a narcissist's relationships, including the shared fantasy, interstitial, and anti-fantasy phases. He explains the narcissist's behavior and the impact on their partners, focusing on topics such as cognitive dissonance, cheating, and the narcissist's emotional detachment. He also delves into the concept of object constancy and the narcissist's use of defense mechanisms.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
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