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Narcissism and Buddhism

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Re: Narcissism and Buddhism

Postby heracles » Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:40 pm

I feel I should clarify something. I did a little research on "Classical Theravada", and I realize I probably can't call myself a "Classical Theravadin", at least not a in a strict sense. I would say that I lean much more toward "classical" in my interpretation than "modern". Also, as I've said before, I look to what extent I do believe in it as an ideal, since I'm currently very lax in my practice.
Intermittent, intense angst & sensucht . Covert somatic narcissism/Pseudo-Body-Dysmorphia. Secret, languid schizoid. Dysthymia. Gerascaphobia. Dorian Gray Syndrome. Avoidant. Iatraphobia. Psychiatraphobia. Self-Indentified. Just traits? High on the spectrum? Full blown? Doesn't matter to me. Not on meds. INTJ.
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Re: Narcissism and Buddhism

Postby madjoe » Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:22 am

i learned buddhism from storys my shifu used to tell
i've been meditating sinds i was 14 and training other ppl to do it
ther is no being good at meditating you just have to train it 10min/day 'll do it
some days it'll go good some days it wont be good but if you do it plenty you can just flip the switch and do it for a min while you are waiting for the buss
and once you get past the basic stuff you can really use it to for excemple visualise a jump or a win in a game
i used to rewind my day at the end of the day or the day after laying in bed

some aspects ofc can be used in therapy like mindfullness

The Three Marks of Existence, which are:
(1) Life is full of dissatisfaction (Dukkha in Pali)
(2) Nothing lasts (impermanence (Anicca in Pali) )
(3) That all composite phenomena are without substance (Anatta in Pali) )

The Four Noble Truth, which are:
(1) Life is full of suffering.
(2) Suffering exists because of our desires and aversions.
(3) There is a state of mind in which suffering ends (enlightenment).
(4) There is a path to attain this state; That path is called the Eight Fold Path.

The Noble Eightfold Path, which is:
(1) Right View.
(2) Right Intention.
(3) Right Speech.
(4) Right Action.
(5) Right Livelihood.
(6) Right Effort.
(7) Right Mindfulness.
(8) Right Concentration.

The Five Precepts, which are:
(1) not to take the life of anything living,
(2) not to take anything not freely given,
(3) to abstain from sexual misconduct and sensual overindulgence,
(4) to refrain from untrue speech, and
(5) to avoid intoxication, that is, losing mindfulness

(not sure how accurate this is but i'm off to bed)
start with meditating if you want to know about buddhism
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Re: Narcissism and Buddhism

Postby madjoe » Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:31 pm

ok slept now how i see it wand what i know about it

karma

not wanting annything to forfill you (no compliments no items) but looking with yourself now this is the compleat opposite of the npd
if you can do this you are cured (i'm not kidding)

be true to yourself once more if you can do this you are cured from npd

the journey not the destination is important
very unlike nps once again it's all about shortcuts and cheating the game for a manipulator
once again if you can do this you are cured

exceptance basicly don't try to swim againt the stream use what you have in your avantage
something bad happends you take it and don't fight it trow a temper tantrum (very npd to do that ofc)


i can go on but you get the picture
it's the opposite of npd
does annyone here even know what bouddhism is ? i think not (no offens)
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Re: Narcissism and Buddhism

Postby coop007 » Sat Dec 06, 2014 4:59 pm

I think a common misconception about Buddhism and the way ego is viewed is that it somehow implies the ego is "bad" and should be seen as "false." True, essentially, Buddhism views ego as empty and inherently illusory (as much of the human experience, in fact), however, the consequences of that belief are often misinterpreted, I believe. Much like other people have noted here, every Buddhist lineage I know sees ego as an unavoidable passenger to our every experience. Trying to rid yourself of it is futile and not even desirable. What Buddhism teaches is to "make friends" with your ego - to view yourself (and through that, other people) with no judgement, to observe and get to know ego in its shapes and forms with compassion, i.e. deep kinship, recognition, and "being-with." In doing so, eventually, it will become unnecessary to react to ego needs as we habitually do, because the anger, pain, insecurity, desire etc. is not ignored but fully "looked at", acknowledged, and seen with empathy for self (and, again, ultimately, for other people, as we recognize there is no such thing as a divide in experience when one peels back all the layers.) And that it what Buddhists mean by freeing yourself from ego. Not to rid yourself of it, but to not be a slave to it. And it takes a lifetime, at least, to fully practice this. Especially, I assume, when a PD is at play that influences judgement, being-with, and compassion. Not impossible though.

Similar with meditation. Sure, there are meditation lineages that promote complete lack of thought, but those are not Buddhist meditation lineages. Similar to what I wrote above, meditation is actually about building a relationship to your thoughts. Meaning, instead of sitting down, trying not to think and judging ourselves when we do. We NOTE our thought (because that's what our brains do, they think), and let it go without hang in on to it, building judgments around it and/or developing a storyline about it. This, again, takes practice. It's a skill you develop to catch yourself thinking and deliberately choosing to let it go. This is where the magic happens in mediation.
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Re: Narcissism and Buddhism

Postby coop007 » Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:11 pm

Does this mean that self-aware narcissists who recognize that they have a false self are ahead of the rest of us?

I'm not sure about that. Recognizing that one's ego/personality/whathaveyou is fraudulent does not necessarily mean it is recognized in the same way Buddhists view ego as "false" - i.e. inherently an illusions (this is more of a transcendental approach that believes our entire experience is "like a dream.") In fact, I actually believe the narcissitic belief system is as step removed from viewing the ego's pain, insecurity, hurt with honesty and compassion. Self-awareness in Ns, then, doesn't look like one step ahead of Nons in realizing Buddhist egolessness, but one step closer to building a healthy relationship to Self that is crucial to eventually attain what Buddhists mean by it.
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Re: Narcissism and Buddhism

Postby creative_nothing » Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:23 pm

heracles wrote:Another thing, which I think ultimately complicates my angst, is that I don't know what kind of circumstances I will be reborn into, if the teaching is indeed true, and I will be re-incarnated. Even if I'm fortunate enough to be born in the human realm, will I live a life of disappointment, confusion and regret, like I have in this one? What kind of society, what kind of world will I come to? (I know this question would be met with scorn by other Theravadins, but I'm just trying to bring my worries out into the open.)

Why?
Dx. GAD
Capitalism is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else.
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Re: Narcissism and Buddhism

Postby heracles » Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:39 pm

creative_nothing wrote:
heracles wrote:Another thing, which I think ultimately complicates my angst, is that I don't know what kind of circumstances I will be reborn into, if the teaching is indeed true, and I will be re-incarnated. Even if I'm fortunate enough to be born in the human realm, will I live a life of disappointment, confusion and regret, like I have in this one? What kind of society, what kind of world will I come to? (I know this question would be met with scorn by other Theravadins, but I'm just trying to bring my worries out into the open.)

Why?


I'm not sure why. There is a sutta (discourse) that depicts this kind of question as "foolish". I'm afraid I don't remember the title at the moment. I hope I don't seem disrespectful, but Theravada can be kind of "stern" and forbidding, which is why I just don't feel I can be a part of that community right now. No criticism intended, they're doing what they see as right.
Intermittent, intense angst & sensucht . Covert somatic narcissism/Pseudo-Body-Dysmorphia. Secret, languid schizoid. Dysthymia. Gerascaphobia. Dorian Gray Syndrome. Avoidant. Iatraphobia. Psychiatraphobia. Self-Indentified. Just traits? High on the spectrum? Full blown? Doesn't matter to me. Not on meds. INTJ.
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Re: Narcissism and Buddhism

Postby creative_nothing » Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:44 pm

Now I am curious, if you remember the name please tell us.

I was thinking more of the relation of traditional vs secular you mentioned.

Because as far as I am concerned, early Buddhism was not a popular religion, it was a monk religion.

But without reading the sutta I can make no further comments.
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Re: Narcissism and Buddhism

Postby crystal_richardson_ » Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:54 pm

I think Narcissism is antithetical Buddhism.

But it could facilitate recovery as someone already stated?

Because it is like diametrically opposite...

-- Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:57 pm --

Esquire wrote:I have never been attracted to Buddhism, Communism, or any philosophy that attempts to make everyone equal, promote selflessness, or sacrifice the wants of the individual in favor of the needs of the community. I have always been attracted to philosophies that attempt to promote, enhance, and empower the individual will. When I was younger I was very attracted to Ayn Rand's philosophy, for example.


Aren't community needs also individual needs?

Only in screwed up communities are these two separate.

Screwed up due to the promotion of individualism at some point?

And then it just reinforces itself...
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Re: Narcissism and Buddhism

Postby heracles » Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:43 pm

Esquire,

I don't see any clear or strong relationship between Buddhism and communism. Many Buddhists, like me, see an affinity between Buddhism and individualism and are libertarians. I also don't see Buddhism as essentially egalitarian, nor does it try to make everybody equal. People are foolish and wise, virtuous or evil, and various degrees in between, based on their karma and many other factors. There are different levels of spiritual attainment and accomplishment in different people and this is clearly recognized in Buddhism. I'm not sure where you're getting your concept of Buddhism from.

A libertarian urged me to read Atlas Shrugged when I was in my 20's. He thought it was a work of genius. I didn't care for Rand's heroes at all and didn't take her villains seriously. Though she's somewhat interesting, I find her mostly harsh, rigid and absurdly black-white in her thinking, and like all censorious moralists, quite a bit of a hypocrite. Some people think she was a narcissist, and evil.

Anicca,

Glad your involvement with vipassana retreats have helped you with your narcissism. I recognize the value of them, but I question their underlying Dhamma interpretation. Also, like all the teachings, methods and teachers of Buddhism, even those I most respect, it just isn't quite answering my deepest existential angst right now. So I feel I really need to take this side-path of thinking and reading right now, even if many Buddhists look down on it as the vain path of Malunkyaputta.

madjoe

What brings you to this forum? Has this simple and straightforward Dhamma your shifu has taught cured you of all your "PD"'s?

coop007

There are myriad interpretations of Buddhism and one expert's, meditation master's, or scholar's "misinterpretation" is another's profound and "qualified" insight.

From my understanding of Theravada the goal is to overcome the ego-ILLUSION. And yes, the sort of meditation you describe is involved in that, but just because you develop a certain skill at it doesn't mean you've overcome that illusion. The ego-illusion, the very last trace of it is only overcome at the highest stage of the Path---when one becomes an Arahant. There's still plenty of suffering caused by the ego-illusion for the vast majority of Buddhists, even the assiduous meditators and precept keepers. I have no concept of what it's like to be an Arahant, but at this point in my life, I feel no need to. Now of course, if you're a modernist or secularist, you'll see it much differently...

Trying to reconcile the many conflicting theories of self and false-self from the various theoretical psychologists with Buddhism would be a pointless mess.

I don't have chapter and verse, but one paradox of Buddhism is that to overcome the self-illusion you have to have the self-illusion. The first is predicated on the second. Spiritual liberation is causally dependent on spiritual bondage, enlightenment on ignorance. Buddhism is a religion with much paradox.

crystal_richardson

I fully well know, but only intellectually, that my somaticism is a sickness, and I need to keep chipping away at it, but I'm not so sure that Buddhism is so anti-thetical to "NPD", or narcissism in the broader sense. (There are two Wikipedia articles. My main interest is narcissism as it relates to my angst, not so much "NPD".)

Here's something from the Buddha, in the Mahavagga I, 6-8:

"The all-subduing, the all-knowing am I, in everything that I am, without a spot. I have given up everything; I am without desire, a delivered one, By my own power I possess knowledge; whom shall I call my master? I have no teacher; no one is to be compared with me. In the world, including the heavens, there is no one like me. I am the Holy One in the world. I am the Supreme Master. I alone am the perfect Buddha."

There are many other similar self-descriptions by the Buddha.

Clearly, rightly or wrongly, this is "grandiose". Whether it's "narcissistic" I suppose would depend on whether, how much, or in what way, you're a believer. Same could be said of Jesus, Mohammed, Meher Baba, Baha'u'lla, Swami Prabhupada, Ayn Rand, Mani, ad infinitum, and you're opinion of them.

I have some volumes of the old Encyclopedia of Ethics and Religion. There's an article on egoism in it, and a section of that is "Buddhist Egoism" (Vol. 5). So to the extent that there's a relationship between philosophical egoism and narcissism, my thinking is that the relationship between Buddhism and "Narcissism" may be a bit more complex and nuanced than you do.
Intermittent, intense angst & sensucht . Covert somatic narcissism/Pseudo-Body-Dysmorphia. Secret, languid schizoid. Dysthymia. Gerascaphobia. Dorian Gray Syndrome. Avoidant. Iatraphobia. Psychiatraphobia. Self-Indentified. Just traits? High on the spectrum? Full blown? Doesn't matter to me. Not on meds. INTJ.
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