How Narcissist Borderline Child Experiences World

Uploaded 5/13/2023, approx. 37 minute read

Okay, Bon Bon Nimm and Bon Bon Not.

Today we are going to discuss how the child who is about to become a narcissist, the child who is in the throes of becoming a borderline, how such a child experiences this transition.

It's a transition from a real self, a true self, to a false self.

The world is suddenly alien and horrifying. Familiar figures like mother and father attain almost supernatural dimensions. Everything is disoriented, dislocated, the child is trying to navigate this labyrinth of unfamiliarity to a new terrain, the terrain of his narcissism, the terrain of her borderline.

And before you start again, I'm using he and she, but the pronouns are interchangeable. Interchangeable, every he can be a she, every she can be a he. Isn't it fun?

Gender fluidity?

Yes, borderline narcissism equally diagnosed in men and women.

This is not the 70s.

Okay, Shoshanim, my name is Sam Vaknin. I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited. I'm also a former visiting professor of psychology. And today I'm going to take you on a tour of the budding mind of a narcissist, the first signs, the nascent signs of a borderline.

How does a child who is often younger than two years old, how does he perceive this incredible trip into the unknown, into a new world with an imaginary friend in a poracosm, a virtual reality, an artificial one, an alien planet?

Did you ever stop to think about the mind of such a child?

Today we're going to do exactly this.

But before we do, I recommend that you watch the video Freud and Jung Reintegrating the Narcissist Self, description, link, click, and you're there.

I want to start with a quote was written by Hazen and McFarland in 2010.

When alarmed, the child seeks proximity to a caregiver. The proximity to a frightening caregiver increases the alarm.

Emotionally depriving mothers, dead mothers in the lingo of Andrei Green, 1978, this kind of mothers frustrate the child. They withhold.

And this is a form of passive aggression. Some of them proactively abuse and that's a form of aggression.

So we have two types.

The emotionally unavailable or depriving mothers, they are simply absent. They don't provide the child with what he needs, nurturance, love, caring, attention, compassion, holding containment and distending acceptance. They don't provide any of this.

They're depressed. They're selfish. They're narcissistic. They're immature and childish themselves, infantile. They expect the child to parent them. They use the child as an instrument. They idolize the child in the process of co-idealization. The child is ideal. They are ideal, etc.

The myriad ways.

The mother is not there. The child perceives it as a form of aggression. Frustration, withholding, avoidance are aggressive in adult relationships and even much more so in early childhood.

Both types of primary caregivers, both types of primary objects, both types of mothers in short, do not allow the child to develop boundaries. They don't let the child separate from them because if the mother is absent, how can you separate from an absence?

Intimate partners of narcissists know what I'm talking about.

How can you interact with an emptiness, with a schizoid empty core? How do you talk to the void? How do you navigate your way when there are no signposts and hallmarks, when it's all one huge deep space, a black hole?

The absent mother does not allow the child to develop boundaries and separate because you can't do this with an absence. You can do this only with a presence.

Similarly, if the mother is a terrorizing presence, it's difficult to separate from her. It's difficult to let go. It's difficult to set boundaries because any attempt to set boundaries, any attempt to separate, any attempt to let go is punished.

This kind of mother is punitive, terrifying, a looming penalty, a looming presence, an inquisition, implicit and explicit.

So a mother who is proactively abusive, physically, verbally, sexually, otherwise, a mother who is proactively abusive, retards, inhibits the possibility of separation and boundary setting, exactly as does the absent mother, but for different reasons.

Now, remember that well into the 18 months of life, the child is in a symbiotic state.

It is difficult for the child to tell with any certainty where he ends and mother begins. As far as the child is concerned, they're a single entity, kind of a hydra, an organism with two heads. They're one and the same. They're merged, they're fused, and this is known as a symbiotic state.

Or it's no longer known as, used to be known as a symbiotic state.

So when the mother is aggressive, when the mother is even passive aggressive, the child perceives this as self-aggression.

Think about it for a minute. If you are one with someone, if you are a single organism, if you're merged and fused with someone, and that someone aggressors against you, you are the same as the aggressor. You are one and the same. You're a single cell organism.

So if you're one and the same with the aggressor, any aggression comes from you as well. It's perceived as self-aggression.

The mother and the baby are one and the same. The aggression is mis-perceived by the baby as internal, coming from the inside.

Now this has lifelong severe implications because it creates confusion between external and internal objects.

A form of energy, aggression, sometimes even violence, comes from the outside but is mis-passieved as coming from the inside because the child is one with the mother, the infant is one with the mother. He can't tell the difference.

So any aggression is self-aggression.

So he gets confused between internal and external.

And this is the beginning, this is the inception of the lifelong confusion between external and internal objects in narcissism and to some extent in borderline, but mostly in narcissism.

The mother is also not perceived as a secure base. Of course she's not a secure base. She's terrorizing. She's capricious. She's arbitrary. She's absent. She's withholding. She's frustrating. She's depressive. She's punitive. She's not a secure base.

She's not a base. Definitely not a secure one.

And this leads to insecure attachment.

Insecure attachment.


It also leads to other mental health outcomes.

Ambivalence, love and hate and splitting.

The child needs the mother but also drains her.

So he loves her and he hates her.

Because it's very difficult to love and hate at the same time, it creates dissonance, the child splits the mother. We'll discuss it in great detail in the continuation of this video.

He splits the mother into good mother and bad mother. We'll deal with it a bit later.

But the child also learns that he should dread his own needs. Whenever the child expresses a need, whenever the child seeks comfort and love and caring and compassion and attention, the child is penalized. The child is reprimanded, chastised, beaten, molested, abused. Something happens.

Every attempt to assert himself as a separate individual entity is every such attempt goes punished.

So the child learns that his needs lead to punishment and he begins to dread his needs. He begins to be afraid of his needs.

Even when he doesn't express his needs, the very thought, "I need something" terrifies him because children have magical thinking. They believe that their thinking affects the world.

Many adults still do.

So as far as the child is concerned, a thought, a cognition is an objective ontological external entity.

So whenever the child considers a need of his, he gets terrified.

And so whenever the child perceives a need, a wish, a hope, at that moment the child becomes terrified and perceives himself as an aggressor because only someone aggressive makes you terrified. Only an aggressor makes you afraid. Only an aggressor scares you.

And so whenever the child thinks of a need, a wish, a hope, he becomes terrified and he perceives himself as having aggressed against himself.

Otherwise why would he be terrified? He's terrified because he's aggressing against himself.

So suddenly needs, hopes, wishes are suffused, affected, suffused with aggression. That's why injustices are entitled. They demand, they coerce, there needs a paramount and everyone else should pay the ultimate price to reward these needs and cater to them.

And injustices from an early childhood phase perceives needs as forms of aggression because he feels bad about if he's terrified, if he's horrified about being needy.

And so he wants to force other people to fulfill the needs.

As an adult such a person perceives himself as a source of acute egotisto, depression, anxiety.

This kind of person is not his best friend, he's his worst enemy. As an adult this child who grows up becomes an adult. Such a person perceives both himself and significant others, all of them maternal figures, the dual mothership concept.

So he perceives everyone himself and others as sources of discomfort, as sources of unease and in extreme cases depression and anxiety.

This is why the idealization, devaluation, discard cycle is always and also self-applied.

When the narcissist idealizes someone he is also idealizing himself, co-idealization.

And when the narcissist devalues someone, in a way he is also devaluing himself.

Self-devaluation and self-discard translate into self-defeat, self-destructiveness, self-harm and self-trushing.

And this is especially prevalent in borderline personality disorder.

So because the narcissist perceives other people as threats, as sources of extreme and acute discomfort, he needs to idealize them to get rid of the threat. He needs to embed them in a shared fantasy where he is in control, he is the scriptwriter in order to eliminate the dread attendant upon being dependent on other people.

Similarly he perceives himself as a threat.

So when he idealizes the external sources, those outside himself who may harm him, punish him for needing them, for being dependent on them, he idealizes them in order to render them harmless and loving.

And so when he does this he also idealizes the other source of threat himself because from a very early stage of childhood he perceived himself as an aggressor. He perceived himself as self-aggressing, as an enemy within.

And he uses other people, he idealizes them so that he can also idealize himself and reduce his anxiety.

It's an anxiolytic process.

At some point because of the need to separate from the mother and the individual, I discussed it in other videos, at some point the narcissist is compelled to devalue his intimate partner and discard her.

And when he does this he perceives this as a form of self-aggression, self-destructiveness, self-harm, self-trushing, self-defeat.

When he does this, when he devalues his intimate partner and discards her, he is aggressing against himself. That is why he tends to preserve the introject in the idealized state.

When he discards the intimate partner in reality, he perceives it as threatening, life-threatening self-aggression.

So, to reduce the anxiety, he preserves the internal object that represents the discarded external object and he preserves it in its idealized pristine form.

The idealized internal object is supposed to isolate the narcissist from his own self-aggression.

So, it's like the narcissist says, "I'm discarding only an external object, but the important object is internal and it remains my friend, it remains a lover, it cares for me, it's compassionate, it's perfect, it's ideal, it's not going to hurt me."

The narcissist perceives even the need to separate and individuate, which rules their lives and the approach avoidance repetition compulsion, which is essentially their relationships.

This need to separate and individuate from a maternal figure is also perceived as threatening because the narcissist learned in early life that whenever he expresses a need, he's punished.

These are threats and to express a need is to self-aggress, to express a need is to self-destroy.

Because when you express a need, you're punished.

Why provoke the punishment?

Because you hate yourself, you loathe yourself, you want yourself to be punished.

The narcissist perceives any expression of his needs as self-punitive, which is why he needs to manipulate and coerce people around him, he needs to control them and he needs to idealize the internal objects that correspond to them in order to avoid the inevitable punishment that is attendant upon expressing his wishes, hopes and dreams and priorities.

It's a very convoluted mechanism.

I hope you understood what I said.

So this is the first part of the video and those of you who are not interested in deep psychoanalytic theory, you can stop now.

I won't be angry. You can go away and I'll block you so that you can't watch my future movie videos. I'm joking. Those of you who are interested in deeper psychoanalytic theory, here we go.

Freud and Jung, let's delve deeper into the psychogenesis of narcissistic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder.

The individuation separation phase of our early childhood development predetermined the emergence of defenses, which are essentially narcissistic or fantasy defenses, both common, both in narcissism and in borderline.

Prior to the phase of separation and individuation, infant begins to differentiate between self and everything that is not self.

The infant tentatively explores the world and these excursions bring about a differentiated worldview.

The world breaks apart. It's a very traumatic experience.

The child begins to form and to store images of his self and of the world.

Now, the world initially is the primary object in his life, normally his mother.

The mother is the world. There's no other world.

But still there's the baby and the mother. These images are distinct.

To the infant, this is revolutionary stuff. Something short of a breakdown of an erstwhile, unitary universe, any substitution with fragmented, unconnected entities.

As I said, it's a major trauma.

Moreover, these images in themselves are split.

The child has separate images of a good mother and a bad mother, respectively associated with the gratifications of his needs by a good mother and his desires met by a good mother and the frustration of these needs and desires by a bad mother.

The infant also constructs separate images of a good self and a bad self linked to the ensuing states of being gratified by a good mother because you have a good self or being frustrated by a bad mother because you've been a bad self.

And this is the nucleus, the kernel of what later becomes the bad object if the mother is a dead mother, the wrong mother, absent, emotionally depriving mother.

At this stage, the child is unable to see that people are both good and bad, that an entity with a single identity can both gratify him and frustrate him.

The child derives his own sense of being good and bad entirely from the outside.

The good mother inevitably and invariably leads to a good, satisfied self.

And the bad, frustrating mother, withholding mother, avoidant mother always generates the bad, frustrated, punitive self.

But the image of the bad mother is very threatening. It is anxiety provoking.

Who wants to have a bad mother when you are dependent on her for life? If she doesn't feed you, you would die.

The child is afraid that if it is found out by his mother, she will abandon him.

In short, if the mother discovers the bad self, she would dump the child somewhere in the nearest trash bin.

And this persists into adulthood in borderline and narcissistic personality disorders, where the bad object is very threatening.

The borderline, for example, doesn't allow people to truly get intimate with her because she's afraid that they will find out how unworthy she is, how defective she is, how crazy she is, or whatever, how evil she is, whatever.

So she pushes away, approach avoidance.

The narcissist has an internal bad object and tries desperately to compensate for it by pretending to be the perfect good object externally.

We discuss this in my previous video.

So the image of the bad mother is threatening.

It is anxiety provoking.

The child is afraid that it will be discarded if the mother finds out how bad he is.

Moreover, the bad mother is a forbidden subject of negative feelings.

Bad mothers, you know, the child is angry. It's bad mommy. Why is mommy bad to me?

Child is full of rage, aggression, anger, even hatred.

But one must not think about mother in bad terms. It's a no-no. She should never do this as a child.

So that creates dissonance.

On the one hand, the child is angry. On the other, he is not allowed to express his anger.

And the child splits the bad images off, uses them to form a separate collage of bad objects.

And this process is called object splitting. It is the most primitive defense mechanism.

When still used by adults, it is an indication of a serious pathology.

Narcissists have object splitting.

So do borderlines.

Now, all this mess is followed by the phases of separation and individuation between the ages of 18 and 36 months.

The child no longer splits his objects, bad objects to one side, repressed side, and good objects to another side, conscious side.

Child no longer does this.

The child learns to relate to objects, to people, as integrated wholes with the good and the bad aspects coalesce.

An integrated self-concept inevitably follows.

If every object out there is both good and bad, the self can also be both good and bad.

The child internalizes the mother. He memorizes her roles. He becomes his own mother, his own parent, his self-parents.

When he performs the mother's functions by himself, he acquires what we call object constancy. He learns that the existence of objects does not depend on his presence or on his vigilance.

Mother always comes back to him after she disappears from sight. So he can trust this.

The same way we trust that the sun will rise and shine tomorrow morning.

A major reduction in anxiety follows, and it permits the child to dedicate his energy to the development of stable, consistent and independent senses of self and in projects, internalized images of other people.

This is the junction at which personality disorders form.

Between the ages of 15 months and 22 months, there is a sub-phase in this stage of separation and individuation, and this sub-phase is known as "Rappel-Schmo".

The child at this stage is exploring the world. This is a terrifying and anxiety-inducing process, even for adults, let alone for children.

The child needs to know that he is protected, that he is doing the right thing and that he is gaining the approval of his mother, that he is not going to be punished for trying to separate, explore the world and become an individual.

The child periodically returns to his mother for reassurance, affirmation and admiration, as if making sure that his mother endorses his newfound autonomy, efforts and independence and accepts his separate individuality.

When the mother is immature, narcissistic or suffers from some mental pathology, the mother withholds from the child what he needs.

What he needs at this stage is approval, admiration, reassurance, "You're doing well, you're doing okay, you should separate from me, you should go out into the world, you should explore everything, you should learn of the existence of others." A mother who is a dead mother broadcasts exactly the opposite, "You're a bad boy for separating from me." Other people are dangerous, avoid them, avoid the world, avoid reality, it's hurtful, it's painful, it's risky.

A dead mother in the emotional sense, an emotionally depriving mother, emotionally absent mother, she feels threatened by the child's independence, she feels that she is losing the child, she does not let go sufficiently, she smothers the child with over protection and indulgence, she offers the child overpowering emotional incentives to remain mother-bound, dependent, undeveloped, a part of a mother-child symbiotic child.

The child in turn develops mortal fears of being abandoned, separation insecurity, of losing his mother's love and support.

That's the message she's sending, that's the signal she's giving.

You walk away from me, don't bother to come back.

The child's unspoken dilemma is to become independent and lose mother or to retain mother and never to have herself, never to become an individual.

These are the choices.

The child is enraged because the child is frustrated in his quest to develop herself.

The child is anxious, is fearful of losing mother.

The child feels guilty for being angry at mother and the child is attracted to mother and repelled, drawn to her, terrified of her.

In short, the child is in a chaotic state of mind.

And so whereas healthy people experience such eroding dilemmas now and then to the personality disordered people, these dilemmas, these dissonances are constant, a characteristic emotional state to defend himself against this intolerable vortex of emotions.

The child keeps these emotions out of his consciousness.

The bad mother and the bad self, plus all the negative feelings of abandonment, anxiety, frustration, rage, withholding, all of them are split off.

But they bear it in a way.

But the child's over-reliance on this primitive defense mechanism of splitting off everything that's bad, ignoring it, repressing it, bearing it, this mechanism, and over-dependence on this mechanism, over-reliance on it, it obstructs the orderly development of a child.

The child fails to integrate these split images.

He remains unintegrated.

The bad parts are so laden, so burdened with negative emotions that they remain virtually untouched throughout life in what Jung called the shadow, as they remain there as complexes.

It proves impossible to integrate such explosive material with the more benign good parts.

And so the adult remains fixated at this earlier stage of development.

He can't move on.

He can't integrate.

He is unable to integrate.

And he is unable to see people as whole holistic objects, good and bad.

People are either all good or all bad.

Idealization, devaluation.

This kind of person is terrified unconsciously of abandonment, actually feels abandoned or under threat of being abandoned, and subtly plays it out in his or her interpersonal relationships.

But is the reintroduction of split off material in therapy, for example, is it in any way helpful? Is it likely to lead to an integrated ego or self or whatever you want to call it?

A unitary being?

To ask this is to confuse two issues.

And many, many mental health practitioners are doing exactly this. They're confusing the issues.

With the exception of schizophrenic and some types of psychotics, the ego, the self, is always integrated.

The patient cannot integrate the images of objects, both libidinal and non-libidinal, does not mean that he has a non-integrated or disintegrative ego.

No, confuses to.

The inability to integrate the world, as is the case in borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, this inability to put the world together, good and bad, relates to the patient's choice of defense mechanisms.

It is a secondary layer.

The crux of the matter is not what state the self is in, integrated or not, but what is the state of one's perception of the self, meta-self, if you wish.

And so from a theoretical point of view, the reintroduction of split off material does nothing to increase or enhance the ego's integration because it's already integrated.

This is especially true.

If we adopt the Freudian concept of the ego, it is inclusive of all split off material, of course.

But does the transfer of split off material from one part of the ego, the unconscious, to another part of the ego, the conscious, does this transfer in any way affect the integration of the ego?

Confronting split off repressed material is still an important part of many psychodynamic therapies.

It has been shown to reduce anxiety, cure conversion symptoms, somatization, and generally have a beneficial and therapeutic effect on the individual.

I'm not disputing this.

Yet, this has nothing to do with integration.

It has to do with conflict resolution.

That various parts of the personality are in constant conflict is an integral principle of all psychodynamic theories.

Raging split off material to our consciousness reduces the scope or the intensity of these conflicts.

This is so by definition.

Split off material introduced to consciousness is no longer split off material and therefore can no longer participate in the war raging in the unconscious.

But is it always recommended?

I'm not so sure.

Consider personality disorders.

Personality disorders are adaptive solutions in the given circumstances.

It is true that as circumstances change, these solutions prove to be rigid, straight jackets, maladaptive rather than adaptive.

But the patient has no coping substitutes available.

No therapy can provide the patient with such substitutes because the whole personality is affected by the ensuing pathology, not just an aspect of the personality or element or figment.

Bringing up split off material may constrain or even eliminate the patient's personality disorder.

But then what?

How is the patient supposed to cope with the world without his personality disorder?

A world that has suddenly reverted to being hostile, threatening, abandoning, capricious, whimsical, cruel, devouring.

Just like it was in infancy.

Before the patient stumbled across the magic of splitting.

So we need to be very careful with that.

This was Freud.

What about Jung?

His erstwhile student and then rebel.

The famous non-controversial psychoanalyst C.G. Jung and all the quotes are from his collective works. So published by Princeton University Press between 1960 and 1983. Shows you how much he's written a lot.

So he wrote the following.

Complexes are psychic fragments which have split off owing to traumatic influences or certain incompatible tendencies.

As the association experiments prove, complexes interfere with the intentions of the will and disturb the conscious performance. They produce disturbances of memory and blockages in the flow of associations. They appear and disappear according to their own laws. They can temporarily obsess consciousness or influence speech and action in an unconscious way.

In a word, complexes behave like independent beings.

A fact, especially evident in abnormal states of mind.

In the voices heard by the insane, they even take on a personal ego character like that of the spirits who manifest themselves through automatic writing and similar techniques.

This quote was lifted off of the structure and dynamics of the psyche.

Another quote, "I use the term self-sindividuation to denote the process by which a person becomes a psychological individual that is a separate, indivisible unity of whole."

This is from the archetypes and the collective unconscious.

Another quote, "Individuation means becoming a single homogenous being and insofar as individuality embraces our innermost, lust and incomparable uniqueness also implies becoming one's own self.

We could therefore translate individuation as coming to selfhood or self-realization."

This is from two essays on analytical psychology.

And the final quote, "But again and again," says Jung, "I note that the individuation process is confused with the coming of the ego into consciousness and that the ego is in consequence identified with the self, which naturally produces a hopeless conceptual model.

I fully agree.

Individuation is then nothing but egocentricness and autoerotism.

But the self comprises infinitely more than mere ego. It is as much one's self and all other's selves as the ego.

Individuation does not shut one out from the world, but gather the world onto oneself.

And this is from the structure and dynamics of the psyche.

To Jung, the self is an archetype. It's the archetype. It is the archetype of order as manifested into totality of the personality and as symbolized by a circle, a square or the famous quaternity.

Sometimes Jung uses other symbols, the child, the mandala, etc.

Jung wrote, "The self is a quantity that is superordinate to the conscious ego. It embraces not only the conscious but also the unconscious psyche and is therefore, so to speak, a personality which we also are.

There is little hope of our ever being able to reach even approximate consciousness of the self, since however much we may make conscious, there will always exist an indeterminable amount of unconscious material which belongs to the totality of the self.

Two essays on analytical psychology.

The self, said Jung, is not only the center but also the whole circumference which embraces both conscious and unconscious. It is a center of this totality just as the ego is a center of consciousness, psychology and alchemy.

"The self is our life's goal," says Jung, "for it is the completest expression of that fearful combination we call individuality.

Two essays on analytical psychology.

In his essay "Puer ei Ternus," "The narcissistic relation to the self," Jeffrey Satinover sums up the differences between Freud and Jung this way.

Freud considered that all people begin life in a blissful state that he called primary narcissism.

In this state, no distinction between self and world exists, hence no painful tensions in the form of as-yet unfulfilled desires of the subject for any object, and therefore no conscious experience of drives and frustrations.

As the infant develops, our view, it separates itself from its surroundings, it begins to experience needs for other things. As it grows, these needs put pressure on the developing ego to acquire the skills necessary in order to fulfill these needs.

And so the ego adapts to object-reality, objects out there. All the energy which in infancy was bound to the subject in this way slowly extends out and becomes bound up in the subject's pursuit of objects, and this process is normal development.

Freud originally described the essence of neurosis as an interruption in this smooth transition from subject-bound to object-bound libido.

The childhood libido reaches out, fascinated by the objects of its desire, but being as-yet insufficiently adopted to succeed, it fails to attain its goal.

To compensate for this failure and adaptation, and for the consequent lack of gratification, an alternate, easier form of gratification is sought, one with which the ego is already familiar.

The libido regresses and reactivates an earlier form of adaptation. It reactivates the blissful state of narcissism, now called secondary narcissism.

In this view, a narcissistic neurosis consists of the habitual seeking of gratification through self-stimulation, and the consistent refusal to take the more difficult path of adaptation or work.

Narcissists are lazy.

The grandiose fantasy is preferred to the modest accomplishment. The brief idealized affair or masturbation are preferred to the rocky, long-term commitment.

The most mortifying of this idea is that the retreat to earlier forms of psychic life and behavior to secondary narcissism is not only, or even primarily, an alternate means of gratification.

It is rather the necessary way that as-yet unused instinctive modes of adaptation latent within the psyche are released.

The retreat to the narcissistic state releases archetypal fantasies, and these fantasies are the representations in consciousness of inherited, but as-yet unused, adaptive behaviors.

The regression, therefore, is not in itself neurotic, but rather it is a sign of a compensatory process of the psyche whose purpose is actually enhanced adaptation.

Early in his career, Jung equated narcissism with introversion.

The general notion that introversion per se is pathological stems from the early Freudian idea that narcissism is a substitute employed where adaptation to object reality or extroversion had failed.

In consequence of his expansion of Freud's conception, Jung separated the two terms, and the general turning inward of libido, introversion, was recognized as a servant of psychological development rather than as an enemy to it.

In his book Psychological Types, Jung suggested that introversion does not occur only in response to failures of extroversion, but that the habitual turning of attention inward to the self is a normal function of the psyche, which in some individuals actually predominates in degree over the habitual turning of attention outward to objects.

To summarize, narcissism or introversion can be one, a pathological state, or two, a compensatory response regression in the service of the ego, or three, a normal form of psychological development.

And this last idea of Jung, that it's a normal form of psychological development, this idea means that there is such a thing as normal narcissism, healthy narcissism.

It implies that to some extent narcissism or introversion is a necessary aspect of all individuals and that like adaptation to the outer world, there is such a thing as better or worse sorts of adaptation to the inner world.

That neurosis can develop, which are narcissistic, not in the sense that the narcissism per se is the neurotic response to failures of external adaptation, but they are narcissistic in the sense that they are failures to develop healthy introversion, failures to develop a proper form and degree of narcissism.

In short, according to Jung, narcissistic neurosis like narcissistic personality disorder, they're simply an exaggerated healthy state, a malignant form of healthy state.

And this is how we see today, we are more Jungian today than Freudian.

Jung postulated the existence of two personalities, actually two selves, one of them being the shadow.

Technically, the shadow is a part, though an inferior part of the overarching personality, one's chosen conscious attitude.

The shadow develops this way.

Inevitably, some personal and collective psychic elements are found wanting or incompatible with one's personality, one's narrative.

The expression of these elements is suppressed and they coalesce into an almost autonomous splinter personality.

And this second personality is contrarian.

It negates the official chosen personality, though it is totally relegated to the unconscious.

Jung believes therefore, in a system of checks and balances, the shadow balances the ego consciousness.

This is not necessarily a negative thing.

The behavioral and attitudinal compensation offered by the shadow can be positive.

So don't listen to self-styled experts who tell you that shadow is all negative and you need to do shadow work.

That's not what Jung said.

Jung said, "The shadow personifies everything that the subject refuses to acknowledge about himself and yet is always thrusting in itself upon the subject directly or indirectly.

For instance, inferior traits of character and other incompatible tendencies.

This is from the archetypes and the collective unconscious.

He continued, "The shadow is that hidden, retrenched for the most part, inferior and guilt-laden personality whose ultimate ramifications reach back into the realm of our animal ancestors and so comprise the whole historical aspect of the unconscious.

If it has been believed hitherto that the human shadow was the source of all evil, it can now be ascertained on closer investigation that the unconscious man, that is, his shadow, does not consist only of morally reprehensible tendencies but also displays a number of good qualities such as normal instincts, appropriate reactions, realistic insights, creative impulses, etc.

Listen to Jung, not to self-styled experts who peddle shadow work for monetary gain.

It would seem fair to conclude that there is a close affinity between the complexes, split off materials, and the shadow.

Perhaps the complexes, also the result of incompatibility with the conscious personality by the way.

Perhaps the complexes are the negative part of the shadow.

Perhaps they just reside in the shadow, or closely collaborate with the shadow in a feedback mechanism kind of thing.

Perhaps whenever the shadow manifests itself in a manner of obstructive, destructive, or destructive to the ego, we call it a complex.

They may really be one and the same, the result of a massive split off material and its relegation to the realm of the unconscious.

All these amazing processes happen in the brains of children, infants, toddlers, and babies between the ages of 6 months old and 36 months old.

Thank you.

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