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Blind Boy Apollo
and the All-White Astronauts

New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)

Tuesday, July 19

to die for

This is a book about love. About that of which it has been said: love is love and not fade away.

A lmost of necessity, given the subject, it is also a book about narcissistic personality disorder and attachment theory. Freud wrote about narcissism in 1914. However, according to Campbell's Psychiatric Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 8th edition, 2003), his ideas on the subject changed so radically over the ensuing decades that there is no coherent "Freudian" definition of narcissism. This fact has not, however, prevented the proliferation of one of the late 20th century's pet concepts: healthy narcissism.

In its article on psychoanalysis, The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism says of Norman O. Brown's book, Life Against Death (1959):

"...the dual drives Freud postulated can themselves be subsumed into one unity; Brown interprets Freud's "oceanic feeling" -- from The Future of an Illusion (1928) -- to denote a desire for union between self and world that, once recovered, can heal the divisions created by repression."
for the chapter:
No Love Lost - Sisyphus & Boulder
In contrast, Daniel Stern, one of the world's foremost child development researchers -- who worked with actual human beings, not just literary abstractions -- has this to say in The Interpersonal World of the Infant: A View from Psychoanalysis and Developmental Psychology:
This view [i.e., that of the book as a whole] places more emphasis on strategies and problems in attachment when viewing pathology, and it minimizes, even does away with, the need to conceptualize phases of "normal autism," "primary narcissism," and "symbiosis."
Symbiosis is a codeword for Freud's (and thus N.O. Brown's) "oceanic feeling." The sub-rosa agenda by which all these nonexistent concepts continue to thrive despite lack of a lick of evidence is America's mania for self-esteem boosterism -- the notion that self-esteem is "secondary narcissism" and therefore equals a second-order nonexistent concept: "healthy narcissism."

As Morris Eagle notes in Recent Developments in Psychoanalysis: A Critical Evaluation (1984), there is nothing remotely healthy about narcissism. Try this. Imagine looking into the eyes of a very beautiful plaster mannequin for whom you do not exist. Now you're beginning to get the picture...

her voice was soft and cool / her eyes were clear and bright
but she's not there...
~ zombies ~