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Why YOU Exist Through Other People's Gaze? (Compilation)

Uploaded 12/25/2023, approx. 2 hour 5 minute read

We've gone a long way and we have circumnavigated the globe and I've reviewed the death drive from as far as I know every possible angle and I think it all leads to the conclusion, the sad conclusion that when a child is born it is given the choice between life and death by his mother and healthy mothers, loving mothers, caring mothers, Winnicottian good enough mothers. Let the child choose that is exactly separation and individuation. Some children choose death regardless of the mother but the overwhelming vast majority choose life. It is when the mother chooses for the child that she invariably chooses death. Even if she believes that she is choosing life, even if she thinks she is being protective and loving and caring and holding and containing, whenever the mother makes the choice she is choosing death for her child. And once the child has become intimate with death there is no going back because death is the woman. It's an oceanic feeling, it's nirvana, it's the beginning and the end. It is far superior to life, far more gratifying, far more engulfing and encompassing and soothing and comforting. Once a child gets in touch and gets to know death it never lets go and it keeps choosing death into adulthood and into its own physical death. That is a mother's gift, poisoned gift. That is a legacy. Mothers, a mothers main role is to push the child away, to reject the child in a loving manner, to serve as a secure base while the child is propelled by her, encouraged by her to explore the world out there, externally separate from her. A mother who is too insecure, too selfish to let the child go is a mother who chooses death for her child and her child will never ever revive. All the self-styled experts online provide answers to your questions. The answers are rubbish but they still provide answers to your questions and I am here to question their answers and even more importantly yours.

So welcome to questioning your answers session. Today I'm going to tackle four of your questions. I'll start with the first one. Do narcissists hold everyone in contempt?

Short and the long of it is absolutely. Narcissists hold in cold, demeaning, contemptuous, the very people that they envy and they hold in virulent, sadistic contempt, people that they depend on for narcissistic supply, attention, adulation, admiration and so on. They also hold in contempt, people that they need for the maintenance of the shared fantasy, the so-called love.

Let me summarize it for you. They hold in contempt everyone. If it moves, they hold it in contempt.

But above all, they hold themselves in utmost disdain, self-loathing and they compensate for this with pretend godlike grandiosity. So that's why we keep saying that the pathological narcissism is compensatory. The contempt is on 24/7/365, no letter and consequently so is the narcissism, the narcissistic defenses.

They also own all the time. Next question.

Narcissists are capable of love. Narcissists are incapable of any positive emotion, not only love. It's because they are unable to access these emotions. These emotions are hold in, firewalled, buried, repressed, suppressed, out of reach. This is the difference between the narcissist and the borderline. The narcissist is terrified of becoming emotionally dysregulated if he were to access his emotions, first and foremost, ashamed.

So narcissists are incapable of love. They are incapable of loving, but I think even more importantly, they are incapable of being loved.

Consider this.

Okay. Are narcissists lazy? Narcissists appear to be lazy. They appear to be indolent, slackers, but actually they're not. Narcissists are very hard workers to obtain and to secure narcissistic supply. It's hard work. Ask any junkie to ascertain or to make sure that you have an uninterrupted flow of the drug of your choice. It's a full-time job, but narcissists perceive themselves as God-like, perfection, reified. So God created the entire universe in six days and eight short sentences utterances. God didn't have to work hard for it. He just spoke, said something and here we are.

So the narcissist perceiving himself as the absolute equal of God, the equivalent of God, a divine, a divinity, a deity of some kind. The narcissist believes that his words are more than enough. They don't have to be followed with action. He's a great believer in what the Greeks called the logos. He believes, and this is of course, magical thinking. The narcissist believes that if he were only to wish something, to think about something, to contemplate something, it would become true in reality. And so God is also entitled to special treatment, service and supplication. And the narcissist is no exception. Being a God, he expects this from other people. He expects to be treated by special people in a special way. And he expects to be serviced the famous 4S's, sex, supply, services, safety. And he expects submissiveness, obedience, the supplication part.

Other people should labor in toil, to realize, to actualize, to materialize the nitty gritty aspects of the narcissist's big picture vision. Yes, the narcissist has the vision thing and he's above the tedium, above the boring stuff, above the pedestrian, the cotidian, the day to day. He sits in his armchair contemplating the universe, the big picture. He has a panoramic and synoptic view of everything. And he hands down instructions and commands and orders to the lesser mortals that surround him.


Another question has like to do with narcissism, it's about intrusive thoughts. What to do with intrusive thoughts? Thoughts that occupy your mind and despite your best efforts, you cannot get rid of them.

Here's the thing, the more you try to suppress an intrusive thought, the more pervasive and potent, strong, powerful it becomes. This is known in clinical psychology as ironic rebound.

If I were to tell you to not think of an elephant, the first thing that would come to your mind would be an elephant, of course.

So try the opposite. Force yourself knowingly and consciously to contemplate only the intrusive content. Focus on the intrusive thought, dredge it up, provoke it, evoke it, elicit it, consider it, analyze it, think only about it. Put away from your mind anything that's not intrusive, anything that doesn't have to do with these intrusive thoughts.

Whenever another unrelated thought occurs to you, immediately recall the intrusive thought and focus on the intrusive thought in great detail. You will find out that gradually the intrusive thoughts will cease altogether.

And finally, I've been asked, some people are charitable, altruistic, helpful, they give a lot in a variety of ways. Could these be narcissists?

Well, there is something called communal or pro-social narcissist, but more generally, some people know how to love only by giving. Giving is their way of showing and expressing love. But when the gifts of such people are rebuffed or ignored, they panic, they become control freaks. The giving of these people becomes compulsive, coercive, the very opposite of love.

So people who give in lieu of love, people who give as a substitute for love, people who are incapable of loving but are capable of giving, are actually control freaks. This is their way of mastering the situation and the recipient of their largess. They cannot countenance being rejected. They take rejection very badly and then they become real monsters and their giving is out of control. It's absolutely coercive and controlling and compulsive and you have to take what they are giving and if you don't, then you're the enemy or something's wrong with you, they pathologize you, they bad mouth you and so on.

Okay, this is pathological giving, a sick kind of giving. Okay, I hope I've questioned all your answers. Stay with me for the next episode, which would be, I promise, a hell of a lot longer. Why? Because I love the sound of my voice. I'm completing the manuscript to my new book and I'm glad to inform you that I found a publisher and I thought it's a good time to give you a glimpse into one of the innovations in this forthcoming book, The Mother's Gaze and how the mother's gaze generates the child, makes the child become, creates the child's unconscious and later on shapes the child's self. All this with the mother's gaze. The same way a 3D printer would print out an object, a mother scanning her child time and again with her loving, sometimes adulating, caring, compassionate, holding, containing gaze. A mother creates the child, renders the child a being, a person. So this is today's topic and then when this process goes awry, we have narcissism. And how does this affect you as the narcissist, intimate partner, friend, family member? How does this failure in maternal gaze affect you? How does it impact you? How does it change your life? How does it shape the interaction between the narcissist and you, aka shared fantasy? And what? What does it render the narcissist? What does it make the narcissist into? The narcissist is, as I keep saying, not fully human. Critical components and modules are missing. How does this manifest in a relationship, in an interpersonal relationship, linking it backwards to the mother's gaze? And this is the topic of today's video. My name is Sam Vaknin. I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, a former visiting professor of psychology and currently on the faculty of CEPS, Commonwealth for International Advanced Professional Studies, Toronto, Canada, Cambridge United Kingdom Outreach Campus in Lagos, Nigeria.

So before I proceed, before we start with the topic of today's video, I owe you a correction. I got something wrong in one of my last videos and I wish to thank the viewer who alerted me to this. I welcome any constructive criticism and any amendments to any mistake that I may be making.

So I made a claim in one of my recent videos that psychopaths can deceive a lie detector, they can pass a lie detector test. That is not true. I was relying on a study by Ruskin and Hare. I'm sorry, Ruskin and Hare. Hare is the father of the modern conception of psychopathy.

And so I relied on the study dated 1978, not realizing that the study has been criticized the very same year by Lycan and later on debunked multiple times over the ensuing decades.

Psychopaths, exactly like non psychopaths, cannot deceive a lie detector. They cannot fake a lie detector test. They cannot pass a lie detector test while lying because a lie detector test measures impacts in the body that are connected to the autonomous central nervous system.

However, another claim that I've made is absolutely true and well substantiated over 70 years of studies. And that is that people are not good at detecting liars and lying. People cannot detect liars and lying. This is beyond debate and beyond doubt in the scholarly literature. Okay. Let's delve right in.

I received a fascinating comment from someone who calls himself the coach.

"Sam, if you came across Narcissus laying there by the pool, would you try to pull him out or just leave him be?" "I'm not sure myself," says the coach, "interested to hear your take though." That's a fascinating topic because it goes straight to the heart of Narcissus.

The inability to perceive the separateness or even the external existence of other people. Narcissus inhabits a world of one. There's only the Narcissus. Others are passing penumbral shades. They're not real. They are peritions. They're like ghosts in the Narcissus mind.

This is the demon in the Narcissus machine.

These are the ghosts in his mind.

Other people. The Narcissus is incapable of perceiving entities as external.

So what he does, he converts them into internal objects and he continues to interact only with these internal objects.

But hitherto, in well over 1200 videos, I didn't go deep into the question of how does this glitch happen? Why this bug in the Narcissus software?

What happens? Today, I'm going to deal with it.


Before we proceed, I'm going to use the word gaze.

Gaze is not a physical fact. It's not like, "here's to looking at you." It's not like a stare.

It doesn't involve the eyes necessarily. A gaze is any caregiving, compassionate, holding, containing, loving, idealizing, and sometimes adulating attitude.

This is a gaze.

When the mother gazes upon her newborn child, she gazes at the child not only with her eyes, but with her mind's eye, with her love for the child, with her bonding, with her attachment, with her caring, with her dedication.

And this is the mother's gaze when the mother, of course, is a good enough mother.

Later on, we will discuss what happens to the dead mother's gaze.

Okay?

So gaze is actually the interpersonal interaction between two people.

We are all subjected to the gaze of others.

The newborn baby, helpless, half formed, still forming, as it is, critically depends on his mother's gaze.

But I personally believe that many of the giants of the field, including the likes of Winnicott, got it all wrong because they forgot that the infant has no conception of itself. The infant doesn't realize that it exists. The infant doesn't acknowledge its own separateness.

So when the infant gazes into the mother's eyes, the infant can never see itself. Never. That's a mistake.

Because the infant is incapable of perceiving its own existence. He doesn't know that it exists. There is a stage that used to be called symbiotic phase where the infant and mother and the world are all one.

So when the infant gazes at the mother's eyes, he doesn't see itself. The infant has no conception of self, of others, of the world. It has no apprehension or comprehension of external and internal. It doesn't make this difference, this distinction. It doesn't differentiate. It is therefore initially unable to identify itself in the mother's gaze.

That is a crucial mistake in the work of most of the giants in the field.

When the baby looks into the mother's eyes, it sees nothing because it sees everything.

It sees a mass, an undifferentiated mass.

And this mass doesn't include the child because the child doesn't perceive itself as separate.

From the mass. It's not that the child is a component of the mass or an ingredient of the mass.

This undifferentiated mass is all there is.

When the child finally recognizes itself in the mother's gaze, the child experiences a trauma. It is a schism, a break in the world, the emergence of the other. And the initial other is the child itself. The first other person the child comes across is the child itself.

Initially when the child looks into the mother's eyes, the first few months of life, the child sees nothing there because it sees everything there.

Mother, the child, the world, everything is one.

This is just undifferentiated chaotic mass.

But later on, things begin to break down. Suddenly the child recognizes someone else in his mother's eyes.

And that someone else is actually the child himself.

By the way, when I say himself, it is herself, of course, yes, it applies equally to female babies or female infants.

Now this is a very big difference in my work compared to the work of Winnicott, object relations schools from Melanie Klein to Gantri and Fairburn.

This is absolutely what I'm saying is not acknowledged or accepted in any of the schools of psychology, mainstream psychology.

But I think these people, these scholars didn't think it true. So there are three phases of gaze.

The first phase, the child looks into the mother's eyes and sees an undifferentiated mass. It does not see itself. This is not self-perception. And it has no self, no constellated or integrated self to perceive.

The second phase, the child suddenly realizes that there is someone there in the mother's gaze. That someone in the mother's gaze is the other. But who is it in the mother's gaze? It is the child himself. So the child self-alienates. The child is estranged from itself.

There is the child and there is the child's reflection in the mother's gaze, the first primordial other. And this creates an enormous trauma because the initial undifferentiated mass suddenly disintegrates, breaks down. The child begins to realize that there is internal and external himself and mother, someone out there, someone in here, the whole world collapses into clumps that are mutually exclusive.

And this is absolutely terrifying. It's a trauma. What do we do when we are traumatized? We reject the trauma. We repress the trauma. We forget the trauma, amnesia. We dissociate it.

That's exactly what the child does. Having perceived itself in the mother's gaze, the child experiences the trauma of the bicarbural world, of the disintegration of the world. This is a trauma that is too overwhelming even for an adult, let alone a helpless, needy, dependent, newborn child.

So what the child does, it rejects the mother's traumatizing gaze. It perceives the mother as a source of frustration. It perceives the mother as the agent that brought about the breakdown in his erstwhile, unitary, comforting, safe, stable universe, the world.

The mother is angry at the mother, there's aggression there. So the child rejects the mother and her traumatizing gaze. He pushes her away, but it is exactly this act of pushing mommy away because she is traumatizing me. Exactly this act causes the child to realize the mother's existence as an external object.

The child pushes away the mother so clearly she is external to the child. He realizes the mother's externality. It is the child's first experience at object relations. Not a very positive experience, but still there's a dawning, dawning realization that mother is not me. There's me and there's mother. There's me, this internal introspective experience and there's mother, the other out there an external object.

Moreover, it's a frustrating and traumatizing and hurtful object. So it's an object over which I have no control. The symbiosis breaks down, dissolves, disintegrates and ironically it is precisely this rejection that leads to differentiation. It is the first instance of proto-separation.

Lacan called this "aperception". A form of self-objectification, ambivalent self-annihilation, self alienation.

I'm sorry, Lacan said that when the child beholds itself in a mirror, the child sees itself in a mirror, it realizes that there's someone there in the mirror, but he doesn't know that there's someone in the mirror, it's the child itself.

But of course, you're not in the physical mirror for that. The mother is the initial, the primitive, the first, the proto-mirror.

When the child beholds itself in the mother's gaze, the child breaks down. There is "me" internal innate and there is someone out there in the mother's gaze and that's someone out there. Is it me? Is it not me?

And this is Lacan's "aperception".

The child objectifies itself. It says the other child in the mother's eyes, in the mother's gaze, that other is an object. The child self-alienates. It's as if the child divorces its own reflection.

This is very early on. It's around the age of six months to 12 months.

Lacan suggests that the unconscious, the seat of repressed traumas, is a continuum of other people's gazes.

I'm going to repeat this because this sentence is crucial to my work, actually.

Lacan said that the unconscious is an anthology, a collection of other people's gazes, the information that we gather and glean from the way other people perceive us.

Other people as individuals, other people as collectives, society itself. So there's the gaze of society via socialization and we internalize all this. We introject it, we identify with it, we incorporate it and it becomes us. Introjects are representations of this process of formation of the unconscious. We perceive introjects as ego-syntonic. We perceive introjects as part of who we are. We don't perceive them as alien or estranged or external to us.

These voices become us. This is what Lacan said. The unconscious is simply a collection of all the people that have ever meant anything to you and became a part of you via the process of introjection.

But I want to add to this, in my work, I add to this another layer and this one is borrowed from Freud.

The unconscious is also a collection of repressed trauma, traumas, multiple.

In other words, the unconscious is a collection of voices, gazes, gazes of other people.

The unconscious is the other or the others on the one hand and on the other hand the unconscious is also the seat and repository of all of life's repressed traumas.

And this is the linkage that I found which allowed me to develop my work.

The mother's gaze in my work is the cause of the formation of the unconscious. It is the mother's gaze that creates the initial unconscious.

The mother's gaze, remember, traumatizes the child because the mother's gaze informs the child that there is something or someone out there. The mother's gaze breaks the world for the child.

The mother's gaze reflects the child so the child realizes there's something or someone out there and rejects the mother. And as the child rejects the mother, this separation becomes even more acute. The differentiation, the distinction between the child and the rest of the world becomes incontestable, undebatable. This is a major trauma. The child represses this trauma. It is the process of recressing this primal trauma that creates the unconscious.

The mother's gaze and the trauma induced by it are the two pillars that when put together create the unconscious.

Now I've put all the pieces together. The child beholds itself in the mother's gaze, this traumatizes the child, the child represses the trauma and the gaze. These are the two components of the unconscious. The trauma represses traumas and other people's gaze.

So this creates the unconscious.

Within a few months of life, six to twelve months, the child has made leaps and bounds that are nothing less than astonishing but also cataclysmic.

The child's symbiosis disintegrates. He begins to perceive external objects. He begins to initially to objectify himself and other people. He perceives the existence of the other. He is traumatized. rejects his mother. He develops the unconscious.

What is this primal trauma that we are talking about? I keep mentioning that the mother's gaze traumatizes the child.

What is this trauma? It's the trauma of being seen. The child is seen through the mother's gaze.

So why does the unconscious emerge to resolve the existential dissonance between the need to be seen and the traumatic impact of being seen?

Initially the child, the infant, the newborn, is critically dependent on the mother. The child needs to be fed, needs to be sheltered, needs to be attended to, needs to have skin contact, needs to be loved, needs to be held. The child in short needs to be noticed and needs to be seen.

A child who is not seen is a dead child.

So the need to be seen is a survival strategy, but it has a cost. It carries a cost with it.

Whenever the child is seen, the child is reminded of the existence of the external world. The child is reminded that mother is an independent, autonomous, agentic entity outside the child's control and sphere of influence.

The child develops extreme abandonment, anxiety. The child needs to develop object constancy. The child has to cope with the fact that being seen is also being set apart, being separated.

The only way to be seen by mommy is to become a separate object. The only way to be noticed by mommy is to push her away. The only way to be taken care of by mommy is to set oneself apart from mommy.

So the cost is enormous.

The oceanic feeling of being one with the world and one with mother, the very fact that the child is incapable of perceiving separateness, externality. This is very comforting. This imbues the child with a sense of safety and stability and the ability to cope with the existential dread, the angst of being 1000% dependent on someone else.

And here there is a conflict, there is a dissonance. For the child to be seen, the child needs to separate.

For the child to be attended to by mommy, the child needs to push itself away from mommy.

Mommy's gaze being seen by mommy informs the child of its own separateness.

Let's the child know that mother is an external object, an object that can abandon him any minute.

It's terrifying. It's a mega trauma, the likes of which one never experiences again.

So this creates a dissonance. The child wants to be seen, but is terrified of the trauma attendant upon being seen and to resolve this existential dissonance between the need to be seen, which is a survival strategy and the trauma of being seen.

The child invents the unconscious.

Conscious emerges to solve this dissonance. The trauma of being seen is repressed in the interest of survival. Unconscious is formed as a container, as a repository, as a space within which the child can deposit the trauma of being seen and enjoy the benefits of being seen without being re-traumatized time and again.

Repression is the mechanism that the child uses to continue to separate itself from the mother and not experience existential dread, anxiety, terror and trauma.

This is the solution known as the unconscious.

Another child is ready to objectify and instrumentalize the mother.

Now that the child has perceived the mother's externality, her existence as an external object, its own separateness from the mother, the very fact that there's a world out there, the child is ready to proceed to stage two, which is objectification and instrumentalization of the mother as a mirror.

The mother now truly becomes a mirror. The child beholds itself in the mother's eyes. The child is able to form a well-informed view of itself, concept of itself, delineation and demarcation, an illustration of itself, using the mother's eyes as incontrovertible mirrors.

But why use the mother's eyes? What in the mother qualifies her to become the first, the proto mirror, her love for the child, her gaze, the function of caregiving?

So the child feels safe. The mother is a secure base. The child feels safe to use her gaze, to use her as a mirror. The child knows that if he were to look into the abyss, the mother's eyes, the abyss is not going to look back at him. The child is not afraid to venture forward into the mother's eyes.

And it is the first time the child takes on the world, attempts to explore the universe, discover things beyond the child.

And this, of course, gives rise to personal boundaries. The mother's mirroring function via her loving gaze allows the child to safely explore the exterior, the world out there, and realize the boundaries between itself and that world.

And again, the mother gaze is a secure base. It's a safe environment. Where the child to behold itself in another person's gaze, not the mother, there would have been the risk of psychosis.

Because exactly as Nietzsche said, when you gaze into the abyss, sometimes the abyss gazes back at you.

Hyper-reflexivity, the mechanism at the heart of psychosis, is an attempt to deny the mirror. And the mirror is threatening and terrifying. You deny the mirror. You say, the world is me. There's no external. Everything that's happening in my head, my voices, they're all external. And because my mind is externalized, then there's no me in the world. There's no distinction. I'm one with the world.

Psychosis is the perfect merger and fusion with the world. It's a regression to the pre-mirror stage, to the stage where the child still perceived everything as a single mass, undifferentiated when the child did not separate and did not have a self-perception because he didn't have a self.

That is psychosis.

But when the child studies itself, studies mommy, explores the world, discovers external objects via the mother's gaze, there is a sense of safety. There's a secure base. This gives rise to primary narcissism, the healthy kind, the kind of narcissism that persists into adulthood as the foundation for sense of self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-regulation, and most importantly, a self-concept.

That is Jung. That's not Wagner.

This introversion is intimately connected with narcissism in Jung's work.

Anyway, the mother actively reflects the child to itself.

And what does she reflect to the child? Does she reflect a true fact-based picture of the child? Not because she loves the child. So she reflects the child and the child an idealized, aggrandized image of the child.

This is very, very crucial.

Healthy narcissism, ironically, is founded on the wrong information. It involves grandiosity because at age 18 months or two years, you have to be seriously grandiose to take on the world, to separate from mommy, to explore the next door neighbor, to climb up a tree or to try to climb up a tree, to let go of mommy and move into the world.

Adventureously, you need to have an impaired reality testing, a misperception of a proportion between you and the world. You need to perceive yourself as much bigger, much larger than you are, much more powerful than you are.

In short, you need to be idealized.

Healthy narcissism, primary narcissism relies on the mother's idealizing, fantastic, aggrandizing gaze.

The mother broadcasts to the child through her gaze, "You are God-like. You're perfect. You're amazing. I love you, no end. You are ideal." This empowers the child, energizes the child.

The child says, "Well, I have become a god through my mother's gaze." It's an apotheosis. "I've become a god and now I'm ready to let go of mommy for a short period of time, of course, and explore the not mommy. Explore everything that is not mommy."

This is what I call the Hall of Mirrors effect.

The mother reflects through the child, through her gaze, an image of the child which is not real, which is grandiose, which is idealized, thereby misleading the child to believe that it has the capacity to take on the world safely.

This is what renders her a secure base, to borrow a term from attachment theory. This affords the child the grandiose energy to take on the world and to affect the world, to emotionally invest in the world.

The mother's proactive benevolent gaze, idealizing gaze, is synonymous with her secure base status, and it gives rise to healthy attachment, healthy narcissism, mental health in general.

We need to transition as children through this phase of narcissism, laughable grandiosity, being idealized and loved essentially unconditionally, adulated and admired, albeit passively.

We need this.

Then reality pushes back. The friction with reality informs us about boundaries and limitations.

That's the latest stage in life.

Mother's gaze and genders in the child, this capacity to venture forth, separate from her, and become an individual, a process known as separation individuation.

But mother gaze is another very important function known as mentalizing.

The mother's gaze informs the child of the fact that the mother is external to the child, is not the child.

So the child has to develop a theory about who is money. If money is not me, who is money?

And this initial proto-theory is the first phase of a process known as mentalizing.

Mentalizing is perceiving other people as separate to you, external to you, and with their own mind and state of mind.

And the mother's gaze triggers mentalizing in the child, and once it's triggered, it persists. The child uses mentalizing to form theories of mind about other people, especially significant others, and later on a theory of the world known as the internal working model.

The mother's gaze is also, as I said, the initial primordial form of object relations.

Object relations are the relationships that people have with other people.

Other people are perceived as objects, yes, in psychology, which tells you a lot about psychology.


Okay, but this is object relations. It is founded on the separateness of other people, on other people being external to you, and on secure attachment.

Object relations are founded on attachment to other people.

If the attachment is insecure, the object relations are disrupted.

If the attachment is secure, object relations are healthy.

The mother's gaze, the loving mother's gaze, the good enough mother's gaze, to use Winnicott's phrase, the mother's gaze teaches the child to relate to other people as if they were secure basis, as if they were copies of mummy.

So the child learns, other people are separate to me, other people are external objects, they're not me, and other people are safe. They're secure basis. They're not going to hurt me. They're not going to traumatize me.

And this all comes through the mother's gaze, although the trauma attendant upon the mother's gaze initially is repressed and forms the foundation of the unconscious.

This is when the mother is loving, when the mother is what Winnicott called good enough.

What about a dead mother?

And Ray Green coined this phrase in 1978 to describe mothers who are absent, who are depressive, who are selfish, who are instrumentalized the child, who parentified the child, who pedestalized the child, idolized the child, used the child to realize their own fantasies and dreams, etc.

These are dead mothers.

The dead mothers, because they don't care about the child, they objectify and instrumentalize the child. They don't see the child. They see what the child can do for them. Or they see the child as a nuisance to be rid of.

So there's no process of gaze with a dead mother.

A dead mother has dead eyes. She has no gaze.

The child, when he looks into the eyes of such a mother, physically or metaphorically, when he looks into her gaze, when he tries, when the child tries to latch onto her gaze, to decipher her gaze.

In other words, when the child tries to attempt to use the dead mother as a mirror, he cannot see himself because the dead mother doesn't see him. He cannot even see the world because the dead mother doesn't see the world. He cannot also see the mother because these kind of mothers are empty inside. They're black holes. They're voids. They don't exist. There's nothing there.

What the child sees in the dead mother's gaze is the infinity of deep space, the devouring of the black hole, the predatory nature of the world, the symbiosis that is undisturbed and undistrupted, the merger and fusion and enmeshment that never give rise to separation and individuation. It's very sick.

This kind of child fails to develop a concept of the external, fails to embark on operative object relations, and never constellates and integrates a self or even an ego. Such a child is also incapable of mentalizing because he doesn't develop his own states of mind. He doesn't perceive himself because there's no self.

This kind of child cannot attribute states of minds to other people. This is known as non-mentalizing.

I'm going to deal with it in a separate video soon.

So there is a disruption in the process of mentalizing. The child remains stuck in primary narcissism, which as time passes becomes pathologized, becomes malignant. It's a kind of narcissism that is known as secondary narcissism, adulthood narcissism, and it's bad because it doesn't allow the narcissist to separate from other people. He doesn't let the narcissist individuate.

So what the narcissist, the grown-up narcissist, offers his partners, including his intimate partners, is the Hall of Mirrors effect because that's where he's stuck. He's stuck at the Hall of Mirrors effect.

The mother's gaze should have provided him with a Hall of Mirrors, but he didn't because the mother was dead. So the narcissist tries to recreate this with his partners, especially his intimate partners, and he offers them the Hall of Mirrors effect. He says to them, "You can conceptualize yourself through my gaze. You can see yourself idealized and loved unconditionally and accepted through my eyes. 'Look at my eyes,' says the narcissist, 'and I will mirror you, but I will mirror you the way you've always wanted to be.' I'll mirror you the way a loving, functional mother, good enough mother, mirrors."

So the narcissist forces advertises. He says, "I can be a good enough mother to you. I can idealize you. I can energize you to explore the world safely. I can be a secure base. I can offer you the Hall of Mirrors effect."

Yes, but that is not true because the narcissist has never experienced the Hall of Mirrors effect. Narcissist has never separated, never individuated, never saw itself through the mother's gaze, or her mirror, was never seen. The narcissist cannot offer this to his partner or intimate partner. He cannot mentalize her. He cannot have an object relations with her. He cannot perceive the partner as separate, external with her own mind and states of mind, and emotions and cognitions and hopes and dreams and wishes. He cannot perceive this.

As far as the narcissist is concerned, she is a figment, a figment of his imagination, an internal object in his mind. It's a manipulative game within his mind. It's all self-contained.

So when he offers the partner to be a mother, to become a maternal figure to her, he is unable to conceive of her. She doesn't exist and it never progresses beyond grandiose cathaxis, emotional investment in the grandiose fantastic idealized image, which has nothing to do with the partner. It's not real.

This causes causes in both partners, in the narcissist and in his partner, causes them to regress, to become infants again, because it triggers the original trauma that has been repressed and had become the unconscious. The narcissist taps into his partner's unconscious by regressing her to the phase where she has been seen for the first time. The narcissist takes the partner by the hair, pulls her by the hair and regresses her to age, I don't know, six months, 12 months, 18 months. It's a time when the partner, when the narcissist partner has first been seen by her own mother or caregiver. And so she goes through this phase again, but this time there's no protection against the trauma of being seen.

In a way, the partner exports, outsources her unconscious to the narcissist and he becomes her unconscious. That's why the narcissist is able to activate introjects in the partner to form coalitions with other introjects, to team up with other introjects, because he is granted unmitigated access to the partner's unconscious, where the first trauma of having been seen by a mother figure has been repressed.

Of course, being seen by the narcissist triggers this trauma, but while the original mother was helpful, loving, compassionate, and so the trauma was easily repressed with the narcissist, there's no such thing. So the trauma erupts full force.

This is the core of trauma bonding. At the same time, the partner herself is converted into a dead, frustrating, withholding, betraying mother, a mother who mirrors herself, who mirrors the world, but never the narcissist, at least initially. And then later, a mother who is incapable of mirroring the world or herself because she has been demolished by the narcissist.

So the narcissist is also traumatized or re-traumatized by his partner because he renders her, converts her into his original biological real mother, the only mother he has ever known.

This is why the narcissist's home attempts to separate and individuate from this new mother, the intimate partner. These attempts are reasonable, they're stupid because he doesn't convert her, the intimate partner, into a good enough mother. He converts her into a dead mother, exactly as his mother has been.

And so the deadness of the intimate partner induced by the narcissist and her constant trauma because she is seen by the narcissist, but not loved by the narcissist, these undermine the shared fantasy and the narcissist converts his intimate partner into a persecretary object.

This is the core of my work and my work differs from the work of others, such as Fornaji and Lacan and Winnicott, many, many others. It differs. And I hope I succeeded to explain how it differs.


Now I'm going to make a much, I believe a longer video on these topics, which would be a bit academic, but I want to give you some glimpses and some access and some insights into the topics I'm going to discuss in this next video.

I'm going to start with empathy.

Empathy has been linked to mirror gazing. Remember the concept of the mother as the mirror and later on the mirror in Lacan's work and the mirror in my work.

So empathy has been linked to mirror gazing. I refer you to work by an article by Giovanni Caputo.

And I want to read to you the abstract, the article is titled Empathy and Mirror Gazing.

The abstract says a relationship between empathy and self-directed behavior during mirror gazing has been hypothesized by some authors. Nevertheless, how these concepts may, how these concepts may be connected is still an argument or a debate.

Previous research on mirror self-recognition may not completely account for the fascination produced by mirror gazing. In fact, gazing at one's own face in the mirror for a few minutes at a low illumination level can produce the perception of bodily dysmorphic visual illusions of strange faces. Strange face illusions may be the projection of the subject's unconscious contents into mirror image of the basis of somatic, motor, mimicry and contagion.

This is by the way the primal trauma that I've been discussing.

Motor mimicry and emotional contagion can operate through the feedback produced by the mirror within the observing observed object.

The projection of unconscious content, that's my primal trauma, the primal trauma that I mentioned, the projection of unconscious content can characterize empathy according to early ideas of Einführer, the German term for empathy.

Empirical research shows correlations between susceptibility to strange face illusions in both the fantasy and empathy, empathic concern, subscales of interpersonal reactivity index, IRI.

And this was published in Psychology and Neurobiology of Empathy edited by Douglas Wort and Panxep. It was published by Nova Science Publishers in 2016.

So Caputo says actually what I've been saying for over 10 years, being seen by the mother is a trauma, I call it the primal trauma because it breaks the world. It teaches the child that the mother is external to it. And so the world breaks at least in two pieces and then in many more pieces becomes a kaleidoscope. It's very traumatic.

And what Caputo says is that this trauma can be projected onto the mirror and result in self-perception as ominous, strange, terrifying, a horror figure, and so on.

So that's why I mentioned it.


Hegel had a concept known as negation of the negation and I'm using it in my work.

The identity of the self and the determination of an object outside the self both require Hegel's negation of negation.

So in my work there is the child as an undifferentiated mass. Let's call it child-mummy world. World-mummy child. It's one thing. It's not even symbiosis. It's like the child dissolves into the world and the world dissolves into mummy and mummy is the world. It's one thing. It's all one thing.

Oceani. I mean many Eastern traditions would appreciate this state of nirvana in a way.

And so this is the first stage.

Then there's negation. The child negates itself when it sees itself in the mirror or in the mother's mirror. In the mother's gaze it is traumatized and the child rejects the mother, rejects the gaze, rejects itself. It's a recoil. It's a total reaction. It's like PTSD about the child. It's terrified and this would be the negation in Hegel's model and then the child negates the negation because it has to survive. It needs to be seen by mummy. It realizes that if it were to reject mummy and reject the gaze and reject the world and everything then it would die.

So it negates the negation. It negates the previous phase and this negation of the negation is what is colloquially called the unconscious and later on object relations.

So I'm using Hegel's negation of negation. I'm not going into it in this video although I will go into it in my next video.

I also claim that empathy is a form of healthy narcissism.

Empathy is a self-contained internal set of processes triggered by the presence and by the self-reporting of another person.

Empathy involves two confabulated self-deceptions.

Self-deception number one that the internal experience of empathy is actually external has to do with that other person. That other person triggers the empathy. It's not totally internal. It's externally triggered. It's not true. It's a deception and number two that, by the way, this confusion between internal and external objects is formal psychosis actually.

The second sub-deception involved in the classical perception of empathy or colloquially perception is that the experience of empathy is altruistic, that it is focused on the other person.

But in reality empathy is solipsistic. It revolves exclusively around self-centered emotional regulation and cognitive processing.

Empathy has all the hallmarks of healthy narcissism.

Now I have two videos dedicated to this and I'll place the links in the description.

Those of you who want to delve deeper into the issue of empathy.

Now I'm mentioning empathy. I mentioned Hegel's negation of negation and all this because these emerge as the inevitable outcome of the interaction between the child's nascent ego or self or whatever in the mother's gaze.

Now you know that I don't believe in a unitary self but it doesn't matter. The assemblage of self-stays is the same. The mother's gaze is an external boundary condition. It's a determinant. It gives rise to the unconscious. It shapes the self. It creates the child. There's no child without the mother's gaze.

So this is why phenomena such as empathy are crucial.

If you perceive of empathy as an externalizing emotion like aggression, you know, aggression is externalized. Empathy is externalized. If you perceive empathy as externalized.

This undermines almost everything we know about developmental psychology.

So I need to tackle the issue of empathy and I will do so in this more academic video in the future.

I received a fascinating email from William the Graph. William the Graph created an application, an app with all the transcripts of all my videos up until the end of April. So there's this app. You can download it on Google Play and there's this website, vaknin-talks.com. And William the Graph wrote to me, having watched my video on behaviorism, he wrote to me, "I read some interesting literature on behaviorism earlier in the week." He referred me to some Twitter link. "I also wonder if this behaviorism approach is connected to Phonogies' teleological form of non-mentalizing in his model, which also has interesting links to Kloninger's phylogenetic research on human personality." So I'm going to deal with all these issues in the next video. I'm going to explore automaticity, mentalization, phonogies, non-mentalization, and so on and so forth.

But I want to make a few initial comments.

Automaticity is probably the wrong model for human behavior, but equally, rationality is the wrong model for human behavior. Even bounded rationality is an optimistic approach and probably counterfactual.

I'm going to deal with all that in my video.

Phonogies' teleological non-mentalizing feeds not only humans, but for example, animals. So in many ways it is tautological. It's the outcome of observations. So it's like we observe behavior and then we make deductions based on our observations of these behaviors when these behaviors actually are in themselves observations.

So it is second order observation. Definitely leads to infinite regression. It's tautological in the best case.

And I'm going to analyze the non-mentalizing concept. Phonogies' non-mentalizing concept. I'll try to demonstrate how erroneous it is.

The existence of a goal, because one of phonogies' non-mentalization concepts has to do with teleology. So there's an assumption of a goal, goal orientation.

But the existence of a goal, existence of a goal implies, perforce, the existence of intentionality that's France-Guentano, and vice versa. So you cannot divorce behavior from a state of mind. You cannot say, well, there's mentalizing and then there's non-mentalizing. Non-mentalizing is simply the inability to conceive of the existence of states of mind in other people and goal orientation.

So you can't divorce it too.

And I'm going to go much deeper into this criticism in the next video.

What we cannot be sure of, I admit, is the existence of goals.

And this is why teleology is a body man in science. But we equally cannot doubt the existence of state of mind.

And I'll try to explain why in that video.

I want to finish by quoting extensively from the work of the biggest of them all, Winnicott.

I disagree with him. I just explained to whole video to explain where I differ and diverge from Winnicott. But he's still the foundation upon which we all work.

So I'm going to read to you what he had to say.

In individual emotional development, the precursor of the mirror is the mother's face. What does the baby see when he or she looks at the mother's face?

I'm suggesting that ordinarily what the baby sees is himself or herself. And this is, of course, where I differ, I beg to differ with Winnicott. Because I don't think the baby has a conception of himself or herself.

And therefore, the baby cannot see himself or herself in the mother's eyes or mirror. That's completely wrong in my mind. This is an anachronism. This is projecting backwards.

Adults have cells. Babies don't. Okay, but I'm going to continue reading.

In other words, says Winnicott, the mother is looking at the baby and what she looks like is related to what she sees there.

All this is too easily taken for granted. I'm asking that this, which is naturally done well by mothers who are caring for their babies, shall not be taken for granted.

I can make my point by going straight over to the case of the baby whose mother reflects her own mood or worse still the rigidity of her own defenses.

In such a case, what does the baby see? If the mother's face cannot reflect him, the infant does not look into the mirror anymore. Instead, he binds up looking at the mirror.

Of course, nothing can be said, continues Winnicott. Nothing can be said about the single occasions on which a mother could not respond.

Many babies, however, do have to have a long experience of not getting back what they're giving. What he says is that a single event is not going to damage the baby. It has to be a long exposure to a dead mother.

Okay, Winnicott continues. The babies look and they do not see themselves with the dead mother. They are consequences. The baby gets settled into the idea that when he or she looks, what is seen is the mother's face.

The mother's face is not then a mirror. So perception takes the place of a perception. Perception takes the place of that which might have been the beginning of a significant exchange with the world.

A two-way process in which self-enrichment alternates with the discovery of meaning in the world of seen things.

This is the magnificent magisterial book, Mirror Role of Mother and Family in Child Development article in one of his books.

So this is Winnicott and I will expand on Winnicott and Funaji and others in a future video. At this stage, I wanted to explore my work and demonstrate to you how it differs from the older perceptions.

Babies are born. They are not blank slaves. We know them.

By the way, Winnicott was a pediatrician when he has written most of his work. He only much later acquired a degree in psychoanalysis. He's never had a degree in psychology actually. So those of you who are very much into credentials and academic degrees, forget it.

Most of the contributions to psychology were made by people with no degree in psychology.

As simple as that. Fact, check it out.

Okay, let's continue.

The baby is born. It's not a blank slate. To differentiate itself, to form boundaries, to constellate and integrate at first an ego, which guides him with regards to reality and then later a self, the baby needs feedback.

And only the mother is there to reflect the baby at itself, to let the baby see itself in her gaze, which is like a mirror. And this traumatizes the baby because baby realizes, "Oh my God, I'm separate from Mummy. She can leave me at any minute. I am not the world." It's terrifying. It is this trauma that causes the child to form the unconscious and to bury the trauma there.

That's where the trauma is buried. And the trauma is attached to the mother's gaze because the mother's gaze created a trauma.

So both the gaze and the trauma are buried in the unconscious.

And then the baby continues to do the same with other people.

Gradually the unconscious becomes very rich. It includes hundreds of introjects and voices.

And so this is what Lacan said, that the unconscious is the other.

Others in the mind, they form the unconscious.

And so this is how I see things.

The baby then learns to bury the trauma, but benefits from the gaze.

The mother's gaze is idealizing, aggrandizing, fantastic and fosters in the baby primary narcissism.

Grandiose and godlike as it has become, the child then takes on the world.

As it takes on the world, reality pushes back and he learns his limitations, his boundaries and the existence of external objects, other people with whom he later on goes to develop a relationship.

It's all predicated and dependent crucially on the mother.

A good enough mother would accomplish all this for her child and he would grow up to become a relatively functional and balanced adult.

She would serve as a secure base.

This kind of child would have a secure attachment style, but the dead mother would not provide the mirroring necessary.

So the child would never separate, would never become.

And so this kind of child cannot mentalize other people, he cannot perceive other people, is external with their own states of mind and cannot develop object relations.

So this kind of child comes a narcissist in attempts in repetition compulsion to reenact this failed stage of mirroring separation and individuation with intimate partners as he goes along.

Of course all this fails. It fails because the child turned adult has never had experience with the whole of mirrors, with mirroring, with separation, with individuation, is unable to reenact something that he has never experienced before.

And this is the shared fantasy and its dismal outcomes both for the narcissist and for his partners or intimate partners.

At the beginning of the relationship, the narcissist cannot perceive you as an another, as the other, as an object external to him and separate from him.

As he embeds you in the shared fantasy, the narcissist converts you into an internal object process that I nicknamed snapshotting.

And then as the relationship progresses and the narcissist reenacts his original conflict with his biological mother or with a maternal figure in his life, then the narcissist begins to perceive you as the other, as an another.

So at the beginning you are not an other, you are not the other, you are just a figment of the narcissist's mind.

At the end, during the devaluation and discard phases, you are the other.

The mechanism and process of othering, perceiving someone else as not you is the foundation and the backbone of the narcissist's shared fantasy.

Idealization, devaluation, discard and replacement or hoovering.

It can all be explained by the fluctuations in the narcissist's ability to perceive you as not him, to perceive you as external to him, to perceive you as an autonomous, agentic, independent, efficacious or self-efficacious entity.

The narcissist finds it very difficult to assimilate the knowledge that you are not his extension, you are not an internal object.

And when this knowledge penetrates somehow the narcissist's defenses, this leads to his devaluation, this leads to devaluation.

Narcissist then needs to separate from you in order to become an individual and he converts you into a secretary object or an enemy.


And today we are going to discuss the other, the concept of the other in psychology and the process, mysterious process and mechanism of othering.

And who is better to guide you through this labyrinthine labyrinth than me.

Sam Wachnin, the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, a former visiting professor of psychology in Southern Federal University and a member of the faculty of SIAPS, Commonwealth for International Advanced Professional Studies, Cambridge United Kingdom, Toronto Canada and an outreach campus in Lagos, Nigeria.

Othering, the other, not you. Think of it for a minute, consider this, it's a very bizarre concept.

After all, we perceive reality exclusively through our senses, we process reality within mathematical models in our brains. We never get in direct contact with the world out there, with the environment. We reconstruct everything within our minds. It's a little like a movie or like a simulation that takes place within our minds.

So in which sense, in which sense do we perceive other people as other, as not us? How can we be sure that other people are not just figments, imaginary, confabulations, hallucinations, illusions and delusions that we came up with?

How can we tell that other people really exist independent of us, not connected and not related to our minds? How can we be sure that our minds are not taking over somehow and making us believe erroneously and counterfactually that other people exist?

Now this was like a very crazy question, but it lies at the heart of convoluted concepts such as intersubjectivity, the agreement that all human beings share about what it is to be human, and also empathy.

Empathy assumes similarity between external objects in you, the empathizer. So if we cast in doubt, if we're skeptical about the externality and separateness of other people, if we suspect even for a minute that other people don't really exist, that there are some kinds of projections or conjuring within our minds, then we're in trouble. We're in trouble because the whole social edifice and social contract collapse.

We are therefore incentivized as social beings whose survival depends critically on collaboration and cooperation. We are a cooperative species. We are incentivized to believe that other people are external to us, that we are not other people and other people are not us, that there is some kind of boundary where we end and other people begin.

But are these just maxims? Are these just hypotheses?

Well, this is the philosophical side. It's important to understand where the problem lies.

You know, you have emotions, you have effects, you have cognitions, thoughts, you act, you have behaviors, and you have unconscious primary processes.

But all of these things are triggered by others. Our emotions are directed at other people. We love someone. We hate some vankin. So there's always an external other which triggers our emotions. Similarly, our cognitions, our thoughts, are more frequently than not triggered by the presence or the actions of other people.

And when I say other people, they don't have to be present physically. They can be present only in your mind, the real other, the symbolic other, and the imaginary other, to use Jacques Lacan's terminology.

But it is always the other that engenders, fosters, triggers, and provokes your internal world.

The other is the catalyst without which the chemical reactions of your mind would never take place.

So your mind is an apparatus, it's a device, a paratus, a device that is responsive to others.

Take away all others and you are very unlikely to experience emotions, cognitions, you're very unlikely to act after a certain period of time, accept survival, actions needed for survival, and many of your primary unconscious processes would shut down.

The other is indispensable for having an internal world.

But we could say the same about the self. The self triggers and actualizes the same potentials in a similar way. The other triggers and actualizes potentials interactively.

Let me explain what I just said.

Your emotions, your cognitions, your effects, your behaviors, they are all potentially there. They're all in a potential state.

And then the other comes along, someone else, and these potentials translate into reality. The potential emotion of love becomes the real emotion of love in the presence of a loved one.

A thought that is potentially there crystallizes and is materialized in the presence of a stimulus emitted by another person.

You act on other people, together with other people, in view of other people.

So your potential actions become actual actions, actualized in the real world because of others, directed at others.

This is known as intentionality.

So the other triggers and actualizes your potentials by interacting with you interactively.

But the same goes for the self.

The self triggers and actualizes the very same potentials by interacting with these potentials.

You could think, you could conceive of the self as the set of all potentials and triggers that actualize these potentials.

The self, you could say, provokes itself into being. The self is the engine of its own becoming.

So the self and the other have the same epistemological status and the same functions.

Functionally and epistemologically, the self and the other have the same standing and in many ways are indistinguishable.

We cannot come up with a rigorous philosophical test to tell apart the self and the other because they produce the same outcomes using the same mechanisms, employing the same processes.

So if the self and the other accomplish the same things within your mind, if both of them trigger you identically, then you could say that the self is othered. You could say that you regard yourself as an other. You other yourself. You perceive it as not you.

Now this is not alienation and this is not estrangement. These are pathological processes where you act or you feel, you emote or you think and you can't identify yourself in these actions or thoughts or emotions.

So these are the processes, for example, which lead ultimately to dissociation.

We will not discuss them right now. When I say that the self is othered, that it is perceived as an other, I don't mean that you do not identify yourself in yourself.

Of course, you realize that yourself is has something to do with you. But internally, the self is kind of a coordinator, a host personality, if you wish. It monitors, supervises, triggers, deactivates, activates. It's like a switchboard.

And so the self is distinguishable, definitely, from all the other constructs of the personality or the person and also distinguishable from the very processes that it creates and that it triggers and provokes.

And because it is distinguishable from these things, it is the primal other, the number one other.

The first experience of any other is an experience of the self.

Now, this sounds very, very counterintuitive and many of you would discard this idea out of hand. They would say, how could you be yourself and regard yourself as not yourself?

Let's go back to very, very early childhood between the ages of zero and 36 months, or more precisely zero and 18 months, when the child does not perceive itself as separate from his mother. It used to be called the symbiotic phase.

The child until around age 18 months regards himself and his mother and the world as a single unity, as a unitary universe.

The child doesn't say there's me, there's mommy and there's the world. No, the child is embedded in this oceanic feeling that he and mommy and the world are just one and the same. He doesn't even realize that there's a mommy or there's a world. He is reactive to mommy, he smiles at mommy, but this is not intended to elicit care. They're not real in the mental or psychological sense.

Up to a very advanced age, children, mothers in the universe are one and the same. So when you acquire as a baby, when you acquire a self, when suddenly the self begins to emerge from this undifferentiated mass, suddenly there's you, there's a self.

Initially, you perceive this self as not you. As a baby, there is you, mommy and the world and you're all a single unit.

When your self begins to form, when your self becomes, initially you don't identify that it is you. You regard it as a foreign body, a foreign entity, an invasion of some kind, a break in the world, a schism.

Suddenly there is a fourth entity, not you, not mommy, not the world, you're one. Suddenly there's a second entity, not a fourth, there's a second entity there.

And this second entity is not recognizable by you as you when you're a baby. And so the self is othered, it's the primal other. It is the outcome of othering the mother.

The emergence, constellation and integration of the self are the direct outcomes, results of separation and division.

Initially you are one with mommy, then you begin to separate from mommy.

As you separate from mother, your self emerges. Self is the outcome of this distancing, this distancing and grandiose exploration of the world.

And when the self emerges, initially it is perceived as not you and not mommy, of course. You don't know what it is as a baby. It's terrifying, it's a traumatic experience.

The self forces you to regard mommy as not you.

Mother becomes the other. You are othering mother, you're separating from her, you're individuating, you are becoming not mother.

But before you become not mother, you become you.

So the separation and individuation is actually three phases.

The initial phase is the symbiotic phase where you are one with mommy and the world. It's a single unity. It has no parts, it has no parts, it has no distinctions, it has no boundaries. You mommy world, world mommy you, you mommy mommy you world. It's one thing.

Second phase, you become you. The self emerges.

And it's a great, great trauma. You feel totally alien, alien and estranged and you don't know what is this thing that is emerging. At first you can't identify yourself in this emerging entity. This alien being, this self.

So you other the self. You regard the self as not you in the second phase.

In the third phase, you have learned to other. By othering the self, by regarding the emerging or nascent self as in other, as the other. You have acquired the mechanism, the process, in the skill of othering.

Now you can other mother. It's the second othering.

So the primal othering is the othering of the self, regarding the self as not you.

The secondary othering is the othering of mother, realizing that mother is not you, separating from her and becoming an individual.

It's easy to prove that the self is other, that initially we perceive the self as not us, when we are very, very, very young. It's easy to prove this because when we look at pathologies, such as for example dissociative identity disorder, when we look at other types of dissociative self-stays like narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, when we consider identity diffusion, identity disturbance, all these are forms of othering the self.

In all these conditions that I've just mentioned, there is no recognition of the self as you.

The person with dissociative identity disorder does not have a self it recognizes as herself. The same goes for borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder. There's always the sense that the self is not you and you are not the self.

There's always a kind of diffuse disjointed identity or in the case of borderline personality disorder, identity disturbance. These outliers, these pathologies reveal to us the fact that if you remain stuck in an early phase of personal development and growth, if you remain in war and embedded and enmeshed in early childhood and never progress and never evolve and never mature, if your separation and devituation has failed, in all these pathological conditions, indeed you do not perceive, these kind of people do not perceive the self as themselves, they perceive the self as other, they other the self.

So if you talk to someone with DID or narcissist or borderline, you will discover that they have a self when they think of the self, actually they don't have a self, but when they think of the concept of the self it is perceived as another, an other, the other, they don't identify with it.

Now when I say self, of course I refer also to an assemblage of self states like in Philip Broner's work and in my work and so on.

This assemblage, troop of self states is equivalent to the self and it's also other.

Now remember that the child goes through a unitary phase, oceanic feeling phase, then it others the self, it begins to regard the emerging new nascent self as another, as the other, and then it others mommy, it begins to regard mother as the other and this allows the child to separate an individual.

The primal othering, the initial, the number one, the first process of othering is othering of the self and as I said it's very traumatic because it involves the breakdown of the unitary world where the infant perceives its separate existence through the mother's gaze.

So let me explain, I did it in another video as well.

The mother's gaze, the infant's ability to perceive itself through the mother's gaze, this creates the primal othering.

When the baby sees itself through the mother's gaze, when the mother frustrates the baby, doesn't cater to all the baby's needs, when the mother rejects the baby by leaving the room, generating enormous abandonment anxiety and separation insecurity, in the initial phase of childhood until age four years old there's no object constancy.

So the child, the mother informs the child that she and the child are not one, it is the mother that ends the symbiotic phase, the mother with her behavior, with her gaze, with the way she relates to the baby in short with her interactions.

The mother triggers the primal othering, the mother conveys to the baby you are not me, look at you, look at yourself through my gaze, see yourself in my eyes, you're not me, I'm leaving the room you're not me, I'm frustrating you, you're not me, you're not me, the message constantly is you're not me and then the baby is forced to ask if I'm not mommy, if I'm not mother who am I and this question who am I gives rise to the construct of self, or self-stains doesn't matter, gives rise to the self, who am I, I'm the self, but wait a minute, I've spent 18 months being selfless without the self, in these 18 months I, mommy and the world, we were one, who is this self that mommy imposes on me, mommy forces me to develop a self, I don't like that, I don't like the self, I'm terrified of being abandoned by my mother, I don't have object constancy, I'm a baby, I'm 18 months old, the self is my enemy, the self is the other and it is very threatening and very traumatic and this is primal othering and the self is the primal other, the primal other is the self and it takes the baby a while, another 18 or even longer months to actually accept the self, realize that he and the self are one, so these are two processes which go in completely opposite directions, the baby used to be one with mother and now he broke up with mother and he made her the other, the baby used to be broken up with the self, he didn't have a relationship with the self, there was a breakup between the baby and the self initially and then he learned to become one with the self, he learned to other the mother and he learned to become one with the self, so the only way to become one with with yourself, with this new entity, the only way is to push mother away and to replace her with the self, it's very similar to the concept of self object, co-hoot and so on, okay this trauma, this perception of a separate existence through the mother's gaze by internalizing this gaze never goes away, this initial breakup with a love object is the template upon which we build all our future relationships and the only repetition compulsion that is common to all humanity, all of humanity, so it's not pathological, it's the norm, I call it the internal eye, the mother's gaze becomes an internal eye and this internal eye observes the baby, informs the baby that he is not mother but then informs the baby that the self is the baby and allows the baby to create a new symbiotic phase with the self, where things go awry in the case of massicism is that the mother's gaze does not allow the child to separate from her and when the self emerges or tries to emerge it fails, there's a failure of the formation of the self or the ego if you wish, there's a failure in this formative phase stage, this formative stage fails and then the child remains stuck in the unitary symbiotic phase with the mother who won't let him go, he cannot become an individual, he cannot separate but the mechanism and process of othering is at work, so the child invents an imaginary friend and merges with that friend, the narcissist remains in a symbiotic relationship with the mother introject and also with a substitute self that is essentially false, it's a concoction, it's a piece of fiction, it's a narrative and it's grandiose, it's cognitively distorted but it's still better than nothing, it seems that the need to develop a self or again an assemblage of self-states, the need to develop a self is innate and probably genetic and in this sense I'm very close to the views of Fairbairn in the country, so we are born probably with the need, with a proto-ego, proto-self, we are born with a nucleus somehow and then it flowers later on because the mother's gaze pushes the child away, the mother's gaze defines the child as a separate entity and this triggers the ego nucleus and it becomes a self, so forming a self, developing a self is not a choice, it's not a choice, it's an inexorable genetic innate process and when it is suppressed, when it is frustrated, when it is prevented from occurring or unfolding naturally, the result is the false self, a poor, counterfactual, unrealistic fantasy-based defense, it's a fantasy defense, when the mother does not allow the child to separate, when she does not communicate to the child that he's a separate entity, an external object via her gaze, when she doesn't do that, the innate triggered process of developing a self is stunted and thwarted and to compensate for this lack, for this deficiency, because the child wants to develop a self, is compelled to develop a self, it's not up to the child, it's not a choice, he has to, so to compensate for that somehow because reality in the shape of mother is very frustrating and denying and repressing and oppressive, reality doesn't let him separate, so he says the hell with reality, I'm going to revert to fantasy, I'm going to build a fantasy world in which I do separate and individuate and I do develop a self, but of course it is just a fantasy and the self is a fantasy self, also known as false self, the narcissist is a child who has not been allowed to other the self because the child has not been encouraged to separate from mother and individuate, the mother did not communicate to the child that she's separate from him via her gaze, she didn't distinguish herself, there was no boundary, no differentiation, so the child withdrew internally into a fantasy space, a paracosa and within this paracosa, within this virtual reality, he proceeded with normal evolution, normal growth, he proceeded to separate, individuate, to develop a self, but it's all a fantasy, it's all a dreamscape, it's all, it's not real and that's why in adulthood the narcissist feels compelled, this is unfinished business, the narcissist tries desperately to convert the fantastic space into reality via the shared fantasy, the narcissist says as an adult, the narcissist says let me take this fantasy that I've developed as a child, the fantasy in which I have separate, I have individuate and I have a self, let me take this fantasy and let me superimpose it on reality so that I convert the fantasy into reality and then I can really separate and really individuate and really acquire a self like Pinocchio, but to do this I need a partner, someone who would play mummy, someone who would act as my, as the maternal figure in this fantasy, because how can I separate and individuate if I don't have a mother, I need a mother in this shared fantasy and this mother is my intimate partner, I'm going to convert her into a mother, she is real, my intimate partner is real, at least in my mind she is real, there is an internal object in my mind that is distinct from the mother introject, so she, I know that she is real, I'm going to convert her into a mother and then she is real and then the fantasy will become real and then I'm going to separate and individuate and become a real boy like Pinocchio, so this is the compulsion, there is a compulsion to convert fantasy to reality and to convert the false self to a real self and to complete the separation and individuation from the mother via a new, the gaze of a new mother who would this time allow the narcissist to become a person, to acquire personhood, the trauma of the primal othering in the case of the narcissist is a trauma of not completing the primal othering so he needs to complete it, the whole process is by definition traumatic, it has to involve trauma, that's why narcissists engage in narcissistic abuse, they need to create a traumatic environment for themselves and for the mother, the whole environment should be traumatic because healthy normal primal othering, a situation where the baby perceives the new emergent self as the other and this is very traumatizing but it's healthy and it's normal because it leads to separation and individuation, the narcissist needs to do the same, he needs to experience this trauma, so he pushes via projective identification, he pushes his partner to traumatize him because there is no emergence of self, there is no constellated integrated self and there is no separation and individuation without trauma, that is also the insight in cold therapy by the way so at that stage there has been primal othering, the self has been perceived as the other and this was followed by the othering of the mother, separation, individuation and a symbiotic merger infusion between the child and the self, so the self is no longer perceived as the other, the self is perceived as the child, the child and the self created a new unit, a new unitary universe and it's a very oceanic feeling, it's a very good feeling, introspection and self-reference depend on the primal othering, you need to other the self, you need to regard the self as not you, as the other in order to observe the self, study the self, examine the self, analyze the self, introspect, develop self-awareness, what is self-awareness? You're aware of the self but who is doing the awareness? Not the self, self-awareness is an excellent example of the continued operation of the primal othering, the othering of the self, considering the self as the other, regulation, self-regulation, agency, self-efficacy, they all depend on introspection, on the ability to perceive yourself from the outside, to observe yourself, to analytically examine yourself, study yourself, so health, mental health crucially depends on the othering process during separation, individuation, first othering your self and then othering mother and becoming your self, then you're capable of introspection, of self-reference, self-regulation, of agency, self-efficacy, independence, personal autonomy etc, all the healthy things that we keep preaching you should have or you should develop, othering is crucial for this.


Now let's go back to narcissism, when the formation of an integrated, constellated self is disrupted because of failure in separation, individuation, such a failure can also be abusive, it can also be the outcome of abuse and trauma because abuse and trauma is disrespect for the child's boundaries, it's breaching the child's boundaries, abuse and trauma are forms of merger, fusion and enmeshment, the abuser engulfs his victim, consumes, subsumes the victim, it's a unitary space where no separation is allowed, so the formation of the constellated integrated self is a very delicate and fine-tuned manner, an absent mother, a dead mother could disrupt it, an abusive mother could disrupt it, the lack of trauma could disrupt it, trauma is critical to othering the self and then othering mother, trauma there's no separation, individuation without trauma because it's very traumatic to realize that mother and the world are not you, suddenly you're all alone and much diminished, it's traumatic but some mothers don't allow the child to be traumatized, they temper the child, idolize the child, pedestalize the child, cause the child, spoil the child, these are all forms of denial of trauma, avoidance of trauma and so in the absence of trauma there's no separation, individuation and the othering of the self leads nowhere because the self cannot emerge and then the child tries to compensate via fantasy defense and invents a false self, okay so when the formation of an integrated constellated self is disrupted the result is not self, so the two types of people, people with a self or assemblage of self states and people with no self, no self is the coordinating core, I refer you to my work on IPAM, intra-psychic activation mode, so when this happens there is an empty schizoid core where a star should have been, the self, it's exactly like a black hole, a black hole used to be a star or a galaxy which collapsed upon itself, disappeared in a way, so it's the same here, the self was not allowed to emerge, to constellate, to integrate and the self imploded under its own gravity if you wish and vanished and what was left behind?

A black hole, an empty schizoid core and the empty schizoid core is devoid of any other because the self did not emerge there was no primal othering, because there was no primal othering there was no secondary othering of the mother, so this kind of child doesn't know how to other people, he doesn't know how to perceive other people as the other, he has no training or skill or experience in othering people and this leads to an inability to other people, inability to relate to other people as external separate objects, if you've never experienced separation from your mother how would you experience separation from other people?

They're not separate, if you've never experienced yourself as an external object, the other, or your mother as an external object, the other, then you would experience no one in the future as an external object, you've never had experience in this, there is an incapacity to actualize intentional emotions, effects, cognitions and behaviors, in other words all these emotions, conditions, they're usually directed at the other, they're dependent on the existence of the other, they're triggered by the other, they're catalyzed by the other, they're provoked by the other, take away all the others and you don't have an internal world, so children who were not allowed to other the self and then they were not allowed to other the mother, this kind of children not only cannot perceive other people as other, as external and separate, they cannot also relate to other people, they cannot have emotions, because emotions are intentional, indirectional, you love someone, but if you don't recognize that there is someone out there, the other, you cannot love, you cannot love, you cannot even think properly, you cannot act, the narcissist world is depopulated, devoid of others, narcissist unable to recognize people is external, everything is inside his head, it's all a vast wasteland of quiescent deactivated and inert internal objects, kind of a cemetery, effigies and ancient Egyptian mummies, that's how the internal world of a narcissist looks, so of course in such an environment the level of activity, emotional activity, cognitive activity, affective activity is very reduced, much reduced, that's why I say that narcissists in many respects are zombies and symbols, they're not fully there, not only in the sense that they're not present or they're not alert or they're open to possibilities and opportunities and other people, no, they're not there inside, not only outside, they are in absence because their level of activity is very close to zero, it's like the absolute zero in outer space where no molecule and no atom move anymore, because there's no energy to move, fantasy is an attempt to compensate for these deficiencies by othering constructs or by othering internal objects, when you cannot other people because you've never had the experience as a child of othering your mother, of separating from her, you cannot other people, you try to other something else, you try to regard for example yourself as the other and this is the false self or you try to perceive internal objects as the other which leads later to devaluation, so there is a desperate attempt to not be alone, this is existential, solipsistic, deep deep space loneliness and the only way to repopulate the devastation and the wasteland is by othering your inside, by othering your introgates, by othering the avatars in your mind, by othering internal objects, by othering pieces of yourself, by othering self-states, by othering something, certain narcissists while incapable of othering anyone in the outside constantly others himself, he others himself not as a unity because the narcissist is highly fragmented and so on, he others elements of himself, he others portions of himself processes constructs, he keeps othering them in order to not feel alone and this is the fantasy, when he comes across an intimate partner he immediately converts her to an internal object because he doesn't know how to other external objects but he has a lot of experience in othering internal objects, ironically the narcissist feels alone when he's confronted with a real flesh and blood external person, then he feels totally alone because he cannot perceive that person as separate external and the other but the minute the narcissist had internalized and interjected that person, the minute there is an internal object in the narcissist's mind that represents this external object the narcissist doesn't feel alone anymore because he can other this internal object, he can regard this internal object as the other.

Now the narcissist mistakenly perceives internal objects as the other, he would insist that the internal object in his mind is actually separate and external, he would be very insulted if you were to imply that he doesn't see you, that he doesn't really notice you, that he doesn't pay attention, that he is not into you, he would be very insulted and he would deny it vehemently, in his mind he has other you, he has other the internal object that represents you, you're interjected and from that moment on that internal object acts as the other, it triggers the narcissist's emotions and cognitions and effects and behaviors and primary processes, the narcissist is triggered internally rather than like most healthy people externally and this is why I keep saying that narcissist is in effect a variant of psychosis, there's a failure of othering the world, failure at incorporation, narcissist is unable to other the world and then to incorporate this knowledge, instead the narcissist others elements in his mind and then behaves as if these elements in his mind are real and this is of course what we call fantasy defense, that's why the false self is an imaginary friend.


Now when we come to the phase of devaluation or discard, at that point the narcissist reverts from othering to something called alterity, alterity is othering people by considering them inferior to secretary, evil, somehow deficient.

So even devaluation involves othering, it's just a redefinition of the internal object, a re-characterization of the internal object, looking at the internal object differently, this is I differentiate it from othering, this othering is basically neutral, you just perceive the externality and separateness of another person and you make assumptions, you make assumptions about the other person's mind, this is known as theory of mind and you have an internal working model which coordinates all these insights but alterity is a value judgment, alterity is judgment, it's harsh, it's sadistic, it's rejecting, it's humiliating, it's shaming, according to Spivak it is a form of othering that involves devaluation.

So but ironically it is at this stage that the narcissist begins to other you as an external object, in preparation for discarding you the narcissist preserves the integrity and the ideal internal object because the idealized internal objects idealize the narcissist, the narcissist's co-idealization depends on the preservation of the idealized nature of his internal objects, if the narcissist works to contain bad objects, evil objects, unworthy objects he wouldn't be able to idealize himself, the whole point of the exercise of idealizing other people is to idealize himself so that he can fight off the bad object, so he cannot devalue the internal object, what he does instead he suddenly notices you as an external object, he begins to regard you as the other and then he devalues you, so there are two phases in every shared fantasy, first phase involves snapshotting, converting you into an internal object, idealizing the internal object, othering the internal object, regarding the internal object as the other and allowing the internal object which is now the other to trigger emotions and thoughts and so on so forth in the narcissist's mind, the same way external others do for healthy people, but then comes a point where the narcissist has a compelling need to separate from you an individual because you will have become a total maternal figure, a mother, so then the narcissist has to suddenly wake up and notice that you are an external object because he cannot devalue the internal object, if he were to devalue the internal object he would be devaluing himself, which is an impossibility of course, he has a grandiosity defense, so a grandiosity cognitive distortion, so instead of devaluing the internal object he devalues you as an external object and that means that you suddenly will have become an external object, identifiable as such, separate from the narcissist and the subject of othering, of course it's great because it allows the narcissist to separate from you and to individuate in his mind, of course he fails, and while he fails I refer you to the videos in the shared fantasy playlist.

Now othering is not a new concept, it's been studied and examined for at least 150 years.

Lawrence Cahoon wrote in 1996 what appears to be cultural units, human beings, words, meanings, ideas, philosophical systems, social organizations, they are maintained in their apparent unity only through an active process of exclusion, opposition and higher colonization.

Other phenomena or units must be represented as foreign or other through representing a hierarchical dualism in which the unit is privileged and favored, the other is devalued in some way.

Hegel almost 200 years ago observed that otherness is something that is crucial for the formation of human consciousness.

Lacan took on this idea much much later 150 years later.

So the other in the work of Hegel and Hegelians, the other can be associated with the image outside oneself, perceived and identified within the mirror stage in Lacan's work.

It's roughly when the baby sees itself in the mirror and gains an idea of itself as discontinuous from money and from the rest of the world.

There is a major trauma, seeing yourself in the mirror according to Lacan is a break, it's total attack on all the baby's conception of the universe.

So Lacan went to an extreme he said that even the unconscious is actually other, even the unconscious is the outcome of othering other people.

He said that the unconscious is structured like a language and we acquire language from other people, so it is structured by other people.

The unconscious he said is the discourse of the other, the unconscious is not interior.

On the contrary, since speech and language are intersubjective phenomena, the unconscious is trans-individual, the unconscious is so to speak outside according to Lacan.

The exteriority of the symbolic in relation to the self is the very notion of the unconscious explained Lacan inexplicably.

All he was trying to say is that in order to form the unconscious we need to other, we need to perceive that we are not one with everything but we need to other people.

The primal othering is an othering of the self and the secondary othering of the mother but we learn how to other and then we acquire language because language comes from outside, from the other, from others.

We acquire language and then we use language to construct our unconscious.

The unconscious is a language in Lacan's work, so the unconscious comes from the other, not internally, externally.

If the unconscious seems interior, internal, this is an effect of the imaginary which blocks the relationship between the subject and the other and which inverts the message of the other.

Lacan argued that ego formation occurs through mirror stage misrecognition.

The child sees itself in the mirror and initially doesn't recognize it so.

It's a great metaphor. In my work the child kind of beholds the emerging self and feels very alien, feels that this thing that is emerging is not me. He doesn't own it. He doesn't become one with it until he has rejected mother.

To become one with the self you need to separate from mother, you need to reject her.

So, Atus was a post-Marxist or neo-Marxist philosopher and psychologist.

Atus said the same he applied it to politics and collectives.

Anyhow, Lacan said the "I" is always in the field of the other.

Lacan designated actually two others. There was other with the lower case "o" - small "o" - "a" in French, "autre" and other with a capital "o".

The small stage, the lower case "o" - other - is the mirror stage. It sets up an image of the ego as an ideal "I" for the subject. The ideal "I" becomes the other within the subject's experience of the "I". It's a component of the self that is internally divided.

This is Lacan. My work goes much further. I don't make this distinction. I think initially there is a rejection, a feeling of alienation and estrangement from the totality of the self, not from one element of the self. There's no idealization of the self initially. The self is perceived as threatening because the self pushes the child away from mother. The child perceives the self as an enemy who is separating him from his mother. The child rejects the self, others the self totally.

Now in Lacan's work, the other with a capital letter represents other people, other subjects whom the individual encounters in social life. But it also stands for language and the conventions of social life, law for example. Because language and the codes of human society pre-exist an individual human being. These systems are other to the individual.

In short, you are born into an existing society, into an existing world and that society or world, they are other to you. They're not you by definition.

And the fact that subjects themselves internally alienated by rejecting a part of the self or in my work all the self.

So the fact that subjects must employ the other people in order to acquire language at least to understand the rules of the game. They are forced to interact with other subjects.

And this gives rise in Lacan's work to the totality of the human psyche.

The term other in his work and in other scholars' work is used in a variety of ways. But it depicts the manner and processes by which perceptions of others are attained.

This is what I've been saying before. Others with a capital letter, other people trigger the internal world, trigger your emotions, your conditions, everything that's happening to you even unconsciously has to do with others.

We are relational creatures. I strongly and vehemently reject the concept of the individual. We're utterly relational creatures.

And so they trigger this.

And similarly, the self triggers these internal reactions.

Now, child psychologists postulate that the perceptions of the other proceed from processes of contrast, comparison, analogy. The self sets itself apart from mother, father, siblings, and then strangers. We have the work of Klein, the work of Ericson, they dealt with these issues, but I think that didn't go deep enough. They describe mechanical processes of recognizing I'm not mommy, I'm not father, I'm not my brother, and I'm not my friend or my teacher.

So then they are the other. No, I think it's much more profound. I think othering is at the core of self formation, and then psychological activity in operation throughout life.

We constantly other internally and externally. And when the othering fails, we have psychopathologies, the etiology of psychopathology is othering.

Failure in othering, separation and individuation is a single very important private case of othering.

Emergence of the self is a single private case, important of othering. Love is a case of othering.

Everything is othering, in effect. It's an underlying concept.

Consciousness of the self depend upon processes that affect distinct characteristics of others. Okay, in philosophy, we have the likes of Hegel, Husserl, and so on and so forth.

In continental philosophy in Europe, there are serious investigations of the question of otherness in conjunction with the tendency of the self to conceive all things after one's own likeness.

So we tend to deceive ourselves, we tend to lie ourselves. When we perceive others, we tend to make them so similar to us that sometimes the otherness dissipates, the lines are blurred.

This is precisely what the narcissist does.

Narcissism is an extreme case of this. Narcissists convert everything to internal objects, which are essentially part of him, and serve to idealize him. They are functional.

It's a desire of the ego to feel at home externally and internally. That's why the ego mediates reality, because he wants to prevent outcomes of punishment, self alienation, disintegration, psychosis, and so on.

The ego is focused on a comfortable coexistence between the other and the person. I'm not saying the self, because the self is one of the others.

The other emerged in context, in the context of these philosophies.

Some of them were talking about a transfigured or disfigured essence, no longer a reflection of itself, unaware of itself. This kind of other is a product of the self, or at least only knowable first, because of one's awareness of the self.

Levinus, for example, according to Levinus, the other is the very condition of one's own existence. The other is not any particular person. It's an entire category that Levinus calls otherness, which makes being and self, I, possible.

There is a reversal of the presupposition of people like Husserl, phenomenologists, like Husserl and others, that the self is the beginning of all philosophical inquiry.

In my work, which stands on the shoulders of giants like Levinus and Lacarnus, in my work, the beginning of all philosophical inquiry is the otherness, the othering, the othering of the self, the othering of mother.

This is where questions emerge. Who am I? What am I doing here? How am I distinct from others? Where are my boundaries? Where do I stop and others stop?

If others are so influential in triggering my emotions and cognitions and so on, maybe they are not others. Maybe they are figments of my mind, and this is the narcissistic failure to tell apart the others from internal objects and so on and so forth.

But all philosophical inquiry starts with others, not with the self. The concept of the self requires the other to define itself. It is nothing new. But many philosophers didn't go the full nine yards. They said, yes, the self requires others, but it is the self that does the othering, and therefore the self is the be-all and end-all, the alpha and the omega. It was Hegel that first introduced the idea that the other is a constituent in self-consciousness. He wrote, "Each consciousness pursues the death of the other." What he meant to say is that in seeing a separateness between you and another person, there is a feeling of alienation. You try to resolve this by synthesis, by somehow merging or fusing with the other person.

There's a famous parable, it's known as the master-slave dialectic. I'm not going into it right now.

Sartre was the same in Being and Nothingness. He describes how the world is changed, altered at the appearance of another person. So another person appears, enters your world, enters your sphere, your space, you're changed. The world now appears to orient itself around this other person.

Sartre presented it however without any life-threatening need for resolution like Hegel. He said it's just a phenomenon, it's just a feeling, it's not a threat, and you don't need to resolve it by merging with the other somehow to take over the other.

Le Bienus is perhaps the most instrumental philosopher when we deal with the question of the other. Le Bienus said if it is the other, it's radically other. If it is very much like you or a little like you, you can't really perceive it as the other.

To perceive someone as the other, he or she must be radically different to you. He connected it to all kinds of deliberations about God and he's an amazing thinker.

Butthinker. But the other he said is superior or prior to the self, which is also in my work.

In my work the othering mechanism is innate, genetic, born, and precedes the self by many many months. He said the other is superior to the self, it's prior to the self.

The mere presence of the other makes demands before one can respond by helping them, by ignoring them in short, before one as a self.

And this idea and the idea of face-to-face encounter infiltrated thinkers like Derrida. Derrida said that there's impossibility of pure presence of the other. The other could be other when this pure alterity is encountered.

So issues of language and representation and so on and so forth.

Levainer said that the process of othering precedes the emergence of the self. And Derrida said that the other exists in distinction from, separate from, othering it. So the other exists even if you were not to other it, even if othering is not applied. The other exists there, a priori and there's a question of language representation and so on and so forth.

I recommend those of you who are interested to delve even deeper, I recommend that you search online for this saying and this said in Levainer's work.

Levainer gave the example of insomnia, insomnia and wakefulness. He said that it is an ecstasy or extollarity towards the other that forever remains beyond any attempt at full capture. This otherness is interminable or infinite. Even when we murder another person, the otherness remains. It has not been negated and has not been controlled. This infiniteness of the other allows Levainer to derive other aspects of philosophy and science as secondary to the other.

Levainer wrote, "The others that obsess me in the other do not affect me as examples of the same genus, united with my neighbour by resemblance or common nature, individuations of the human race or chips of the old block. The others concern me from the first. Here, fraternity precedes the commonness of a genus. My relationship with the other as neighbour gives meaning to my relations with all the others." And that's what I've been saying in my work.


Once you have acquired the skill to other by othering yourself and then othering mother, you will be able to other everyone. And once you have other one person, you have other everyone. You've other all people. All you need to do is other one person.

So essentially if you succeeded to other mother by separating from her, you're healthy. You're set for life. You're ready.

This is where the failure is that causes extreme pathologies such as narcissism.


Okay, otherness is being studied now in neuroscience and in brain in psychology and so on and so forth. Many scientists are asking whether the brain and the mind can be made to transcend self-consciousness and affect, to relate differently to desire, interest. In short, many scientists are beginning to consider the option of self-othering in effect. They don't call it self-othering, but it is self-othering.

In many systems in Eastern philosophy and meditation and so on, they are focused, they're centered around self-othering. They call it by mistake, the death of the ego.

Western popularizes with very little profound understanding of Eastern philosophy. They call it the death of the ego. It's nothing to do with the death of the ego. It's the othering of the ego. It's not becoming the ego. It's not being the ego.

But in my work and in my mind, when you other the ego, when you begin to treat the ego as the other, you actually regress, you're regressing to an infantile state which brings about the oceanic feeling known as nirvana. Nirvana is because you regressed back to the womb. You became an infant, which in Western psychology is a form of pathology. Moreover, if you alienate the ego, if you alienate the self, if you are not you in this sense, if you regard the self as alien to you, as the other, then in many respects you begin to develop narcissism. I think many of these techniques, including mindfulness and soul, are highly narcissistic and induce narcissism. It's temporary narcissism, it's situational narcissism. It's narcissism all the same. But that's a topic for another video. You've been spared. It's been only an hour and something. And see you next time. You others. Today we are going to discuss homosexuality from a new angle. But before we do so, we need to agree on a common terminology and then we need to get rid of a few persistent, stubborn myths, perpetuated, propagated, or else by self-styled experts online.

Start with the terminology.

Sex is determined by one's genitalia, reproductive organs, and other secondary sex signs in the body. Sex therefore is corporeal. It's bodily. Gender, however, is socially and culturally determined. It's a construct. It's performative. It's acquired mostly via imitation and education and acculturation and socialization.

So when we talk about sex, there are males and females. When we talk about gender, there are men and women and they are not coterminous. You could have any set of genitalia and be a man or masculine. Similarly, you can have any set of secondary sex signs or sex symbols and still be a woman.

So the correlation between your body and your gender, your sex and your gender is very high because society and culture condition us to associate sexuality and gender role or gender functioning.

But it doesn't have to be this way.

Next, homosexuality is the physical sexual attraction to the same sex. It therefore comprises lesbianism. Lesbianism is homosexuality in females.

So when I say homosexuality, when I use the word homosexuality in this video, I'm referring to both males and females. Although, of course, homosexual males and homosexual females can choose any gender role. You could have a masculine homosexual male or a feminine homosexual male and vice versa in lesbianism or female homosexuality.

Now, homosexuality is not the same as homo-romanticism. Homo-romanticism is the romantic attraction to the same sex. You could be homosexual, sexually attracted to the same sex, but hetero-romantic, romantically attracted to the opposite sex. This absolutely can and does happen.

So bear all this in mind when we venture forth into this exploration of homosexuality, the physical, biological, sexual attraction to the same sex. This does not imply, homosexuality does not imply automatically any specific gender role, nor does it mean that there is also homo-romanticism. It's a very fluid area, as you can see.

Now to the myths.

Myth number one, refrigerator mothers cause autism. Dead mothers in the metaphorical sense, absent, depressed, selfish, etc. That is nonsense. Autism is a neurological condition. I'm not sure if it's neurodegenerative in any sense or neurodivergent, but it definitely has to do with the neurological system and the brain, especially the brain.

So if you want to use value-laden terms or judgmental terms, you could say that this is an abnormality of the brain. If not, you can say that the autistic person is not neurotypical, by which another case may be autism has nothing to do with bedparenting, upbringing, or any of these 1950s nonsense.

Similarly, homosexuality has nothing to do with strong mothers and weak, absent fathers. This has been debunked decisively, even in the psychoanalytic literature, where this nonsense has started, pernicious nonsense. There's a guy called Isai, I-S-A-Y, read his work. This is totally debunked. Homosexuality has nothing to do with family background, parental performance, gender roles of the parents, none of this. Homosexuality is biologically determined. It doesn't mean that homosexuality doesn't have a psychological side. Everything has a psychological side. Even diabetes, even cancer, even tuberculosis, even COVID-19, they all have a psychological side because we are composite organisms. We have our biology and we have our psychology, which is the way we perceive some biological processes inside ourselves, the way we introspect.

But the cause, the etiology of homosexuality is almost 100% biological. So forget all the nonsense about weak mothers, absent fathers, strong mothers, hateful fathers. I mean, forget all these nonsense.

This is 100 years old. These are 100-year-old myths that have been long thrown into the garbage can of history.


Next, there is no such thing, at least we couldn't prove that there is such a thing, as contagion. Homosexuality is not contagious. Transgenderism is not contagious, not socially and not in any other way.

The few studies that have kind of peered into this topic, the few studies that try to ascertain the existence or non-existence of contagion found that there's no such thing.

Now, finally, mental illness. Homosexuality is not a mental illness. It used to be defined as a mental illness in the early editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, removed in 1973 and '74 from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, never to make an appearance again.

Homosexuality is not mental illness. Autism spectrum disorder is not a mental illness. These are biological, biological kind of causes or biological antecedents, dissidents of a state of mind.

We'll come to it a bit later. Freud himself stated, "Recognition of the organic factor in homosexuality does not relieve us of the obligation of studying the psychic processes connected with its origin." I beg to disagree with Freud and psychoanalysis on this.


Now, I've been repeatedly accused of overhyping psychoanalysis, psychodynamic theories and object relations theories, which are, according to self-styled armchair experts, passé. There's no such thing as passé in psychology. Some things are valid, some things are not valid, regardless of when they've been described.

Sadism has been described in 1869. It's still very much valid. And it is also not true that I'm exclusively focused on these schools of thought in psychology. You can find on my channel videos about the eternal family system, social learning, neuroscience, and the latest cutting edge, the bleeding edge.

So in this particular case of homosexuality, I am completely at odds with all the psychoanalytic literature bar none. I think they got it wrong. I think they are prejudiced. I think they were under the influence, not of alcohol maybe, but for example, social mores and conventions. I think they didn't do their homework. All their observations are speculations. They're not based on any studies. They're not based on any database of objective information.

And so psychoanalysis is a really, really bad source for understanding homosexuality, its etiology and its development.

And I'm most definitely not going to refer to any writing of Freud's or others on psychoanalysis well into the 1970s and 1980s casting homosexuality as a deviance or a perversion or what have you.

Now, we all start life as pansexual. At a very early age before the onset of sexual differentiation, we are all simultaneously male and female as far as sexual orientation, feminine and masculine. We are undifferentiated. We are a big mass of potentialities. We could become heterosexual. We could become homosexual.

No one knows. Well into the third year of life, we are pansexual. But then what happens is owing to interactions with members of the same sex and members of the opposite sex, if your boy, mother, your girl, father, and so on and so forth, we integrate all these sexual predilections. We create a single nucleus, a single core, which is at the same time feminine and masculine sexually, but also erotically, which is the psychological dimension of sexual attraction.

And then what happens, we differentiate. We develop a sexual orientation, a set of sexual preferences, sexual attraction, which become dominant. They prevail. They're manifested.

And the rest remain repressed, latent.

So we all start off as homosexual and heterosexual. And then by age three or four, we become predominantly heterosexual or predominantly homosexual.

And the other propensity, the other half, the other potential, the other possibility is repressed, becomes latent.

So when you ask, is he a latent homosexual? Of course he is. Everyone is.

Is he a latent heterosexual? Of course he is. Everyone is.

And then that includes gays.

So everyone is everything at the same time. It's just that one mode is dominant and the other is recessive.

One mode is occult, hidden, and one mode prevails and is manifested.

And this is not an sociological effect. This is not only about classification or taxonomy. This is real.

I read to you something from Freud, which I do agree with. I told you that I mostly disagree with psychoanalysis, with the concept of homosexuality. But Freud has written something very advanced for the age in his unfortunately named essay, The Sexual Aberrations.

Freud wrote that many homosexuals find homosexuality to be natural to them, while other homosexuals rebel against it and consider it pathological.

Homosexuality may persist throughout life. It may go into temporary remission, be covert or overt. It may be a detour in the path of normal development. It may appear late in life after a long period of apparently heterosexual activity.

And there may be oscillations between its overtness and covertness.

Freud also mentioned that a distressing or traumatic experience may lead one, especially women, into homosexual activity. He noted that many homosexuals assert that they could never remember any attachment to the opposite sex from their earliest years.

But Freud mentioned that perhaps these individuals had only repressed their positive heterosexual feelings, that is, Freud's prejudice, turn of the century Vienna.

Freud remarked that many homosexuals feel both homosexual and heterosexual arousal, and only at puberty may a frail heterosexual adjustment be overrun by homosexual attachments.

So Freud covered the entire spectrum of the manifestations of the battle between homosexuality and heterosexuality in every human being.

In all of us, male or female, these orientations juke it out until one of them takes over and the other one is put to sleep.

This is known as latency.

We all latent homosexuals if we are heterosexual and latent heterosexuals if you're homosexual, which is why it is not safe for your wife to have a gay friend.

Apropos my previous much contested video.


Okay, just kidding. Next.

In my new work, I am putting an emphasis on the concept of othering, concept which was central to Lacan's work.

Remember, one of my previous videos, you can find links in the description to my previous videos about othering.

In one of our previous videos, I made clear that the other, the presence of the other, another person, object, it's known as object in psychology, which tells you a lot about psychology.

Anyhow, the presence of the other triggers you and then actualizes your potentials interactively.

You see, you have a potential to emote, you have a potential to feel an emotion, you have a potential to think something, cognitions, you have a potential to express your emotions in a highly specific way, affects, you have a potential to behave in a variety of ways, behaviors.

Even your unconscious primary processes are triggered somehow.

So when you're confronted with another human being, with another person, when another person enters your territory, your turf, your ambit, your emit, when you're in the presence of someone else, this triggers you.

It triggers you to actualize some of your potentials, triggers you to actualize specific potential emotions, it triggers you to experience them, then to express them effectively, to think in a highly specific manner, which is responsive to the presence of the other, to behave in ways which are reactive to the other's behaviors, etc.

So you could conceive of other people as catalysts, they catalyze in you reactions, they generate them in you. Actually, Lacan went as far as saying that the unconscious is an internalization of other people.

Other people are your unconscious and in object relations theory, everything is relational, definitely some of the mental health disorders defined in the ICD and the DSM are relational. Psychopathy, for example, antisocial personality disorder, but its very main anti-social demonstrates that it is a relational, socially determined behavior.

So other people are critical, they control your internal space, they make it happen in many ways.

Now when this triggering by other people becomes overwhelming, we get autism. Autism is the avoidance of others and the avoidance of the process of othering. Othering is the recognition of the existence of other people as external and separate entities, autonomous, agentic, self efficacious, independent. This is othering.

The autistic person is incapable of othering because he or she is overwhelmed with stimuli coming from other people. They avoid autistic people, avoid othering.

Same by the way applies to borderline personality disorder people.


Okay, but today's focus is homosexuality. Homosexuality is of course a form of sexual orientation and as such it has a lot to do with what is known as sexual identity. Sexual identity emerges in early childhood and it undergoes two processes.

Process number one is integration, process number two is differentiation, not necessarily a disorder.

Integrated and differentiated sexual identity is triggered and actualized similarly to all other processes.

In short, to develop an integrated and differentiated sexual identity, you need to be exposed to objects. You need to be exposed to other people.

Other people trigger in you, stimulate in you the emergence of your sexual identity.

Sexual identity is a complex construct, is a hyper construct. It includes emotions, cognitions, behaviors and so on and so forth.

So you need other people to trigger this potential in you.

Freud and others, many others, went as far as saying that other people determine your sexual identity out of the field of all potential sexual identities.

The presence of other people, their choices, their behaviors determine which of these potential sexual identities will coalesce, crystallize, integrate, differentiate and become your sexual identity.

So if you're exposed to one group of people, you're likely to develop sexual identity. If you're exposed to another set up, another combination, another dynamic between people, you're likely to develop sexual identity.

So they went, they took it to extremes. I disagree. I think sexual identity is a potential, of course, because you remember in early childhood, we are all pansexual. In early childhood, we possess all possible sexual identities as potentials.

And yes, other people, the presence of other people, the behaviors of other people, the emotions of other people, interactions with other people, especially important other people like mother and father and role models and teachers and peers, they to some extent determine your sexual identity, but not which sexual identity rather than how sexual identity.

In other words, the presence of others, other people in your life, something known as object choice, the present or presence of other people determines not whether you will become heterosexual or homosexual, that is biologically determined.

But how would you act as homosexual? How would you act as heterosexual?

Social scripts?

In some societies and cultures, homosexuality is frowned upon or even criminalized. So obviously, the presence of other people has a massive impact on the latency of homosexuality, the expression of homosexuality or the expression of heterosexual.

So I agree that sexual identity, the processes of selection of sexual identity out of the sea, the sea of possible potentials, the process of integrating various elements into a single heterosexual identity or homosexual identity, and then the process of differentiating, choosing that identity and becoming that identity.

So I agree that all these processes are largely triggered from the outside by other people.

The process of othering is at work here as well. It is by othering or through othering or via othering that we become the sexual beings that we are.

Similar to other fields of life, how we emote, how we think, cognition, cognitive functioning, all these are determined by outsiders, by the outside, by other people.

Sexual identity is not an exception. It is the outcome of othering.

If there is a problem with othering, then there would be a problem in a panoply of functionalities.

There would be a problem in emoting. There would be a problem with empathy. There would be a problem with cognition and there would be with attention and there would be a problem with sexual identity.

Othering is the defining crucial process for the emergence of a self, maybe not a self, maybe an assemblage of self-states.

The model doesn't matter. For the emergence of you, for you to become, you need to interact with other people.

In the absence of other people, you never become, you never finalize, you are working in progress.

Okay, so other people in your life, starting with your mother and father and many others, they determine not who you're going to become sexually. They do not determine whether you'll become homosexual.

That is determined by your biology. That is proven absolutely beyond any doubt. Forget all the rest of the nonsense.

Homosexuality is biological. So that is determined by your biology.

But what kind of homosexual are you going to be? How are you going to function as a homosexual?

What would be the outward manifestations of your homosexuality or emotionality or hyper or evil emotionality, your cognitive processes functioning, your, I mean, all these are determined by others.

So your homosexuality is a biological template, but the way it manifests and is expressed is determined by the environment, the human environment, similar to genetics. Genes are templates and they're expressed by being exposed to the environment.

This is the science of epigenetics. Okay.

What happens when there is a disruption or failure in the formation of sexual identity when there is what you could call sexual identity diffusion or sexual identity disturbance?

What are these things?

First of all, they're forms of narcissistic othering failures.

When the child is not allowed to other, when the child is not allowed to interact with other people, when the child, for example, is not allowed to separate from mother and become an individual separation, individuation, the process of othering is disrupted. The child never transitions from narcissistic investment in the self, also known as narcissistic libido. The child never emerges from narcissistic object choice in the sexual sense to other object choice, to object libido.

So if the child is not allowed to practice othering, if the child is not allowed to regard other people as external and separate and potentially threatening, by the way, it's a very traumatic experience.

If the child is not allowed to go through this, he's not encouraged by a mother who is a safe base, good enough mother, and later on in life, father. If they discourage the child from taking on the world, exploring it, confronting reality, however bruising and painful it may be, then the child fails to develop othering skills and capacities. He is incapable to other people. He's incapable of regarding other people as other people. He converts them into internal objects as a defensive mechanism.

I go into that in my shared fantasy videos. Have a look at the shared fantasy playlist.

So a dead point, a child who experiences othering failures, a child who is incapable of othering other people, a child who is basically solipsistic, self-invested, narcissistically oriented, a child who is into himself or herself, a child who regards himself or herself as a sexual object, this is known as autoerotism.

So this kind of child will fail to develop an integrated and differentiated sexual identity. It will develop a kaleidoscope of sexual identities and will keep oscillating between them, rotating, experimenting, but never really settling into a single all inclusive, mutually exclusive sexual identity.

Sexual identity diffusion, sexual identity disturbance, failure to form sexual identity, these are forms of narcissistic othering failures.

And there is in this case, there's not integrated or differentiated sexual identity. This is a point where I strongly differ from classic psychoanalytic theories from, for example, suggested that object choice, the object we choose to have sex with, the other person, is not about who we love, but about how we love the object.

So he said narcissistic object choice is not about who we love ourselves, but about how we love.

I completely disagree. It is about both. It's about both who we love and how we love.

The narcissist is incapable of loving another person. He is incapable of having object relations because he's incapable of othering the object. He cannot perceive an external object as either external or separate. He cannot other the object, therefore can definitely never have an object choice which is external to himself.

The narcissist chooses himself as the exclusive object choice. And this, of course, is a major determinant of narcissistic object libido.

I mean, to say otherwise is, you know, similarly, I disagree with Freud, 1905, when he wrote, it seems probable that the sexual instinct is in the first instance, depending on its object.

Not true. I disagree. The sexual instinct is shaped into a sexual orientation via object exposure and object choice, a process of othering. It is totally relational.

It's raw material.

So in this sense, I disagree that there is some sexual instinct, which is well defined and clear and so on, but it is independent of any object out there. It's totally self-contained.

No, I don't think so. Even when the child, the infant, is its own sexual object, there is a process of othering. The process of othering in very, very early childhood leads to the formation of the self. The self is perceived as the other, the early child in a symbiotic bond with his mother.

When the self emerges, the child perceives the self as a third party, not me, not mommy. Who is this thing? What is this thing? The child others the self.

At the very beginning, the child has a traumatic relationship with the nascent self because he doesn't perceive the self as his self. He doesn't understand or realize that the self that is emerging is himself.

So even when the child is sexually cathected, emotionally and sexually invested in himself as the sole sexual object, there is still a process of othering, even I would say alienation and estrangement to the initial phase.

Homosexuality is about object choice. It's a failure of othering. It is not only a narcissistically bidonal investment. One could even argue that it is not at all a narcissistically bidonal investment. It's a failure to other, other people.

When the child fails to perceive other people as others, as external, as separate, as unique, as distinguishable, as out there, the child then reverts to himself. The child says, there are no others. Everyone is just clones, a clone of me. There are eight billion clones of me or four billion clones of me.

So from that moment on, the homosexual relation, homosexuality, the investment, the cathexis, it's all with oneself via the mediation of someone who looks like you.

So it is true that there is narcissistic, libidinal investment, but that's not the core problem because all humanity, all human beings go through a narcissistically bidonal investment phase.

Not everyone is homosexual. In homosexuality, there's, you know, sexuality is not only a problem of narcissistically bidonal investment. It's a failure of othering.

When you fail to other people, when you fail to perceive people as not you, everyone is you.

And so you have sex with people who look like you. Who are you? If you're a man, you would have sex with men because men are you and you can't other people, you can't perceive them as others.

And so you would be having sex with yourself via the agency of another body.

The object in homosexuality is not loved only on account of its similarity to what the subject is, once was, or hopes sometime to become. It's not only the similarity that's the problem.

It's not that the homosexual says, oh, great, here's an external separate object that looks like me. I would like to have sex with him or with her. It's not the case here. The homosexual, the sexual perceives the sexual object as himself. There is a process of identification, internalization and incorporation of the sexual object.

Now, this is not the same as narcissistic libidinal cathexis or narcissistic libidinal investment. No, it's not the same.

In narcissistic libidinal cathexis or narcissistic libidinal investment, the child is erotically and sexually attracted to his self, to himself. He doesn't make a distinction. He says, I am my sexual object.

In homosexuality, the homosexual knows that the sex object is not himself, unless the homosexual is insane. But a normal homosexual, mentally healthy homosexual, does not perceive his sex objects, his sex partners, as himself.

So it's not that there is a confusion here, which creates narcissistic libidinal cathexis. I'm in love with myself. I'm sexually attracted to myself.

No, it's not the case here. It's not really about similarity. It's not that the homosexual perceives the object as himself, but he perceives, he cannot perceive the object, the sex object, as other.

While the homosexual does not perceive the sex, the adult homosexual, does not perceive the sex object as himself. He also cannot perceive the sex object as other, as someone else.

It's kind of a twilight zone. Here's someone that looks exactly like me, reminds me of myself in some ways, but I know he's not me, but I also can't perceive him or her. It's external to me. It's separate from me. It's a kind of merger infusion, automatic, instant sexual merger infusion.

Like heterosexuality, homosexuality is an aclitic. It's dependent on an external object to provide what the subject cannot himself be. It's only that in homosexuality, the external object is not perceived as external. It's perceived as an extension, as an instrument, as an internal object. It's in this sense, it is narcissistic. In this limited sense of inability to other, the failure of othering, homosexuality is narcissistic, but it's not libidinally narcissistic. It's not the misperception of the other, of the sex partner, of the sex object, as myself. There's no such mistake here. It is an aclitic. Homosexuality is an aclitic. It's like looking for someone who can make me happy, looking for someone who can please me sexually, looking for someone who can give me something I don't have. I cannot have sexual pleasure without that someone.

There is a realization of dependency upon an agent, however not othered, however not external and not separate. And so there is a dependence on the object for providing what the subject cannot provide.

In the case of heterosexuality, the object, the sex object, provides otherness. One of the main reasons for sexual arousal is the otherness of the partner.

When you perceive the partner, the sexual partner, is not you. It's very sexually arousing. Otherness is a critical stimulant, aphrodisiac if you wish, in proper healthy sexual relations.

So in the case of heterosexuality, the external separate sexual object provides otherness, which of course you can never provide. You cannot be other. You cannot be other. Someone else needs to be other to you.

In the case of homosexuality, the external object is not perceived as external. The separate object is not perceived as separate, but it is perceived as sexual. So it provides an integrated and differentiated sexual identity.

The homosexuality is an othering failure. Consequently, homosexuals fail to generate an integrated and differentiated sexual identity, which is triggered by other people. They do have a sexual identity, of course, but it is a sexual identity which is more innate and inert.

However, when they interact with a sexual object, homosexuals acquire from the object an integrated and differentiated sexual identity.

It's as if in homosexuality you need two. You need a couple to generate and gender a sexual identity, a full-fledged, fully working, integrated, differentiated sexual identity.

In a heterosexual, the sexual identity is self-generating, self-assembling. It does not depend at all on the presence of another person, although it is activated by the presence of another person.

In a homosexual, the very existence of a sexual identity is engendered, created by the presence of another person, and activated by the presence of another person.

You could say simply that in homosexuality, the sexual identity is dormant, latent, which would explain perhaps why homosexuals have been found in studies to be a lot more promiscuous and a lot more sexually active than heterosexual.

In order to maintain a sense of continuity of sexual identity, homosexuals need to consume numerous sexual partners.

It's the only way they could feel alive if you want sexually. The other person is not othered.

The homosexual cannot perceive the sexual partner as separate or distinct or unique or the homosexual perceives the sexual partner as part and parcel of his own sexual identity.

It would also explain why homosexuality is identity politics while heterosexuality is not.

It's not only about being a minority. Many homosexuals self-define via their homosexuality, and it has nothing to do with being oppressed because this happens in Scandinavia and the East Coast in the United States or California, where there's no longer oppression of homosexuals, well mostly.

So it's not a reaction to social oppression. It's, I think, much more deep. I think homosexuals need other homosexuals to reawaken their sexual identity, activate it, and act on it.

And so they consume each other in sexual encounters just to maintain a continuance or continuity of sexual identity, whereas heterosexuals don't need this.

Now, is this pathological? No. I'm not describing this as a pathology. I'm describing this as a failure in the process of othering because when you other people effectively, when you are able to perceive other people as separate from you, distinct from you, not you, yes, this is the process of othering, when there's you and not you.

In this case, you're not reliant on other people to be you. Other people cannot tell you to be you. There's you and not you. Othering implies that other people are not you and can never ever be you. You're reliant on yourself 100% to be you.

When othering fails, for example, in racism, you are critically dependent on other people in order to be you. Similarly, when othering fails, for example, in homosexuality, you're critically dependent on other people to be you sexually, your sexual identity.

And yet, you're critically dependent on other people, but you cannot perceive them as separate, external and other. The continued failure of othering leads to repetition compulsion. You need to do it again and again and again and again, because you cannot other people, you cannot other other people, you're going to perceive other people as external and separate, you need to continue to interact with people all the time.

In the hope, perhaps, that one day you will be able to other them, which never happens.


But is homosexuality really a disturbance in othering? Is it a disturbance in the emergence of sexual identity, integrated and differentiated?

I think it is.

But to be a lot more precise, I think there's no differentiation failure in homosexuality because homosexuality, homosexuals know that they're homosexuals. That's differentiation for you.

I think there's a failure of integration. Homosexuality is an immature, integrated sexual identity, which has been differentiated, but not integrated.

In the initial phase, when we are all pansexuals, we start by differentiating.

So, okay, we're all pansexuals. Now, let's see. Actually, I think I'm heterosexual. So then, differentiation is a break in the system.

Initially, the system includes homosexuality and heterosexuality. The system initially, up to age three, four years, the system initially is pansexual.

Then differentiation sets in and breaks the system.

Now, you are heterosexual. But no one can survive with a broken system, psychological. So we have to reintegrate the parts. We have to create a hierarchy or a structure which accommodates our latent, recessive, repressed and suppressed sexual parts.

If we start off as pansexuals and then we differentiate as heterosexuals, we now have a broken system. We are heterosexuals, but what to do with our homosexual part?

So then we need to build the hyperstructure. We need to build a building, a structure where the upper floors, the visible floors, the public facing floors, are heterosexual. And the basement is occupied by our abundant homosexuality.

And this process is integration.

I think homosexuals differentiate as homosexuals, but then fail to integrate because integration is crucially dependent on othering.

Integration is almost totally relational. Integration has to do with the ability to interact with other people in a way that informs you about, for example, society. Societal expectations, mores, conventions, sexual scripts, and so on. Socialization and acculturation are critical to integration.

If you as a child fail to other, if you as a child were not allowed to perceive other people as not you, as separate from you, if you are not allowed to separate from money and to individuate, if you were not allowed to be in touch with reality, mother was overprotective, father was overprotective, then you as a child don't acquire the skills to regard other people as out there, separate, external, and you are then incapable of learning anything from them.

The whole process of socialization and acculturation, these processes fail, they collapse.

And so the homosexual starts off like all of us with a pansexual buffet of every non-sexual orientation. He then differentiates, he becomes homosexual, or she becomes homosexual.

But what to do with the abandoned heterosexuality? Only the environment, the human environment can tell you what to do with it.

And if you are not capable of recognizing that there's anyone except you, that there's anyone out there, that there are entities that are not you, if you're incapable of this, you will never be able to integrate.

And so the homosexual's sexuality is differentiated but not integrated.

And so the only way for the homosexual to experience sexual identity is via others. By merging and fusing with others, even if for one night, by merging and fusing with others, the homosexual becomes complete and whole as far as the sexual identity. He can now integrate it, if only for a few minutes or for a few hours, he can integrate it via the gaze of the sexual partner. The homosexual perceives himself or herself through the gaze of the partner.

And in this sense, it is a shared fantasy. The failure to integrate is biology, not psychology.

In the case of pathological narcissism, the othering failure is the outcome of upbringing and so on, the same with homosexuality.

But homosexuality itself is a reaction to othering failure, is a biological reaction. It's predisposition, it's predisposed, genetic, hormonal and so on. It's not the case with narcissism.

Now, I mentioned that the othering of sexual objects, the kind of object relations, when we other sexual objects, I say a beautiful woman, I say, wow, she's not me. It's very attractive that she's not me. You know, I'd go for it. I'm aroused. When doing this, I other the sexual object. I perceive the sexual object as not me, as other.

So the othering of sexual object is modeled on an integrated and differentiated sexual identity, as I've explained.

In the absence of such an identity, it is not possible to other sexual objects, as I again explained.

The homosexual merges, fuses or internalizes and interjects his intimate partner, converts the sexual partner into a kind of internal object, plays with intimate partner as if it were some kind of an object inside.

So when the formation of differentiated sexual identity is disrupted, there is one set of consequences.

And when the formation of an integrated sexual identity is disrupted, the result is another.

Let me focus on this.

When the formation of a differentiated sexual identity is disrupted, when you're not allowed as a child to choose between homosexuality and heterosexuality. And for discussion's sake, we'll assume that these are the only two options in the pansexual menu. And they're not the others, but okay.

If you're not allowed to choose from that menu, so your sexual identity does not become differentiated, it is disrupted in the phase of differentiation, the result is autoerotism.

You give up on all others, your world becomes devoid of others. And you begin to regard yourself as the only legitimate, attractive, arousing sexual object that is known as autoerotism.

It leads to an inability to other sex objects to relate to them as external, separate, in capacity, and in capacity to actualize intentional directional emotions, effects, cognitions and behaviors.

A disruption in the differentiation phase does not lead to homosexuality, as psychoanalytic literature implies. It leads to permanent, fixated autoerotism without any objects, masturbation, lifelong masturbation, or using objects in a way that de-animates them somehow, renders them non-functional, non-workable.

That is a disruption in the differentiation phase. That's not homosexuality.

Homosexuality does involve object choice. So homosexuality is a disruption in the formation of integrated sexual identity.

The homosexual fails to integrate the rejected part of his pansexuality with the dominant emerging part of his pansexuality.

If I was to integrate, in short, his chosen sexual identity, which is homosexuality, sexual orientation, which is homosexuality, if I was to integrate it with the rejected part, which is his heterosexuality, is this failure of integration that prevents the homosexual from experiencing a sexual identity which is stable, all pervasive, all determining, functional, and operational.

So he needs other people to accomplish this. And he needs them in a frenetic pace. He needs them on a constant basis. He needs, in short, external regulation.

But it's not the regulation of emotions, as is the case with borderline personality disorder.

It's not the regulation of a sense of self-worth, which is the case with narcissists. It's a regulation of a sexual identity, the feeling that you have a clear, differentiated, integrated sexual identity that you're at peace with, you're egosyntonic with, and defines you completely.

To achieve this, to accomplish this, the homosexual requires sexual partners. That's not the case with heterosexual. It is, to some extent, the case with somatic narcissism.

So narcissism and homosexuality has so many superficial similarities that led great thinkers, Freud included, to mistake, to conflict the two mistakenly. They're not the same.

Apropos auto-erotism.

When sexual identity is disrupted very early on, you're not homosexual and you're not heterosexual. You're nothing sexually. You're auto-sexual. This is known as erotic target identity inversion in the literature. You're auto-sexual.


You become your own lover for good. There are no others, not as a homosexual, not as an heterosexual. That's why I'm saying homosexuality is a much more advanced stage.

Auto-sexuals are auto-erotic, but only a minority of auto-erotics are also auto-sexual.

You could be auto-erotic and homosexual. You could be auto-erotic and heterosexual.

Auto-erotism is not necessarily pathological if it doesn't take over, if it doesn't become the dominant activity or the dominant type. If it does, then you're auto-sexual.

Auto-erotism finds expression not only via sex, but via different activities.

So Freud and others suggested that same-sex sex and same-sex partnerships, homosexuality, is a form of auto-erotism because the partners share the same genitalia.

And I think it's a problem with othering because the homosexual cannot other people, cannot regard people as other. He keeps choosing sexual partners which resemble him himself, which look exactly like himself, because he needs to complete himself. He needs to somehow reach a point where his identity is integrated.

So it's more a problem of othering than a problem of auto-erotism or narcissistic investment or whatever.

Incest, for example, is the sex in incest. You're having sex with 50% of yourself.

That is auto-erotic, but it's not necessarily also narcissistic.

So we need to be very, very careful. I think that in the case of incest, narcissism is way more dominant than in the case of homosexuality.

Now gender dysphoria, transvestism, autogynephilia, autophilia, and similar paraphilias, they're all auto-erotic.

So auto-erotism is a dominant feature of sexual life, and if it persists into adulthood, sometimes leads to paraphilias, to sexual deviances, and so on.


Now, in everything I've just said, fantasy plays a major role. Remember this as a general rule. The classic defense against othering failures is fantasy.

When you fail to other yourself, when yourself fails to develop, you end up without an ego. Your internal structures are disrupted and chaotic and disorganized. It's a failure of othering the self. It's a pathology.

When you fail to other people, when you don't regard them as separate or external or not you, it's a pathology. Othering failures are pathologies, severe pathologies, possibly the most severe. I think psychosis is a major othering failure.

The major other, the epitome and the quintessence of othering failure and othering failure would be psychosis.

So the defense against all these is fantasy. It's an attempt to compensate for these othering deficiencies by othering oneself or by othering internal objects.

When you other yourself, yourself not as a self, not the construct of the self, but you other your existence, and when you other, definitely when you other your internal objects, when you perceive your internal objects wrongly as external, when you erroneously attribute separateness and externality to objects that are in your head, then you're psychotic.

For example, you hear voices, when you're a narcissist you perceive your intimate partner as an idealized internal object.

In all these cases there is an othering of the internal object.

When you fail to other external objects, you compensate by othering internal objects including yourself.

The self is an external object. So you other internal, you cannot other the external, you other the internal. Othering internal objects is a great definition of fantasy.

The failure of normal othering, also known as incorporation, when you incorporate you fail to other. It leads to a monopoly of behaviors.

One of them is homosexuality and in this sense, in my work, homosexuality is a fantasy defense. It's a shared fantasy intended to restore othering by using a sex partner as the last remaining internal component for the integration of a sexual identity.

Sexual identity is missing one element, one ingredient in order to become integrated and so the homosexual goes on a quest to find that sexual partner who would be internalized and complete the jigsaw puzzle of the sexual identity.

So there is an incorporation here of the sexual object and in this sense it's a fantasy defense, a shared fantasy exactly like narcissism.

In narcissism, the narcissist incorporates the external object by converting her into an internal object in his mind and allowing him to reenact the early childhood conflicts with his mother and to obtain separation and individuation.

In other words, the narcissist uses an intimate partner as the last remaining piece in his own becoming, in his own individuation.

The homosexual uses an intimate partner or a sexual partner as the last remaining piece in the sexual identity of the homosexual which is not yet integrated. The sexual partner of the homosexual is the glue that should somehow put the pieces together, integrate them and provide the homosexual with a bulletproof, fully sealed, full-fledged sexual identity and this is the addictive nature of homosexual relations in this sense.

Fantasy is especially prevalent in latent homosexual.

To be clear, latent homosexuality is not only repressed homosexual feelings, it's a defensive posture, it's submissive, it's regressive.

There is a kind of attitude directed at more powerful males which stand in possibly for the father.

Latent homosexuality is a bit masochistic, Freud called it the feminine masochism.

Latent homosexuality can however be regarded as a defense against paranoid anxiety and analogous to the intimidated, appeasing, submissive attitudes adopted by animals when they are attacked by a member of their own species.

So latent homosexuality is actually much more pathological than overt homosexuality because it involves elements of masochism and sadism but I will not go into it in this video.

I hope you got the picture.

The differences are subtle but major, very important. I don't read out homosexuality as a form of narcissism the way the vast majority of the literature does. I read out homosexuality as a failure to perceive other people as separate and external, as distinguishable, failure of boundaries.

I stop here, you start. Me, not me. A failure of this.

And homosexual exactly like the narcissist consumes people frantically, addictively, consumes them in order to restore something in himself or herself. A sense of coherent, cohesive, stable, integrated sexual identity.

While with the narcissist, the narcissist consumes people also having failed to other them exactly like the homosexual.

The narcissist consumes people to kind of reach a situation of individuation, become an individual.

So when you look at it from the outside, when you were just an observer, not aware of the psychodynamics and etiologies, they look the same.

The narcissist and homosexual consume people. They are unable to perceive people as others. They are very bad and they internalize people.

And that is the kind of stereotypical view.

But the reality is that they do so for different reasons.

And this is why homosexuals are more capable than narcissists of long term, truly loving and caring relationships.

Because the partner can much more easily complete the homosexual, sexual, his partner's sexual identity. Sexual identity is more easily completed than a sense of self, a missing ego, an individual that has never been born, a black hole.

Homosexuality is not a pathology in this sense. It's just a form of external regulation.

And as distinct from borderline personality disorder, it's not even all pervasive external regulation. It's an external regulation that pertains to a single element. All the rest may be totally perfect.

In borderline, the regulation is total. Everything has to be regulated. The emotions, the moods, the affix, you name it, cognitions.

So borderline is a pathological condition.

In narcissism, the very existence of the narcissist depends on external input.

So definitely it's a pathology.

Not so in homosexuality. It's very limited to sexual identity.

I think homosexuals are preoccupied with their sexual identity precisely because of this lack, lacuna and deficiency.

Luckily, the homosexual's partner can cater to this psychological need.

And the experience of an integrated sexual identity is acquisitive, is acquired.

So there's also a lot of healing in long term homosexual relationships, as should be the case in any relationship, homosexual or heterosexual.

We need to heal each other, not as a task or an assignment, but just by being there.

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