Sunday, July 24, 2011

What's Up With the 'I'?

Nothing like having a few narcissists amongst one circle, to heighten one's awareness of the pathetic nature of an 'I' run amok. This week, I had the opportunity to spend time with two such persons. As to be expected, there was much self-referential speech to be endured. With great interest, I watched myself go from annoyance, to boredom, to pity, to curiosity. 

And came up with a question.

Why this need to continuously feed the mind with thoughts about an inflated self? 

To the extent that we are all narcissists to various degrees, the mirror presented by the narcissistic person can be very useful. Looking inside, during times when thoughts arise about speech or actions in support of 'me', I usually find an emptiness yearning to be filled. Lots of clinging there . . . The challenge of practice lies in not indulging the thoughts and choosing instead to sit with the anxiety.

This morning I found a young one yearning for connection. 

The heart, once convinced of the futility of this 'I' business, becomes free to explore its full blown delusion, and the heavy price it exacts on one's (and others') happiness.

What is your experience of the 'I'? How much do you need to feed it? 


  1. The question seems to be similar to asking a lion what vegetable is its rrrrooorrrr very favorite soymeat substitute.

    My comment regarding what maybe you meant me to hear is: I feed my darling ego the very simplest meal I serve myself, so when either of us is hungry, we dine together. Either may stop feeding when the tummy growl sounds almost ready for afull throated purr. And when eating, each alone or together cuts, chew, swallow. Nothing else, no looky here there, no earbuds, no bj's, no spices, no liquids, no distraction: just cut chew eat swallow.

    (Though it already may be obvious to those who hear rather than read, the diet has proven good medicine as it keeps both Moimeme and this ego critter happy, lean, and ready to work full tilt boogie, in full mutual cooperation.

    Thus endeth the, menu.

    Check, please.

  2. I didn't even realise that I was allowed to have an I until recently. So, at the moment, my scales are swinging wildly in order to obtain a new balance. I was raised by two narcissists. Nuf said.

  3. Dear Natalie, glad you are giving yourself the space to be :) There is a certain dose of narcissism that is healthy . . .

    For me, there is a certain kind of 'I' making activity that brings up a lot of suffering. It is a very physical experience, and one I have learned to detect early on, so that it does not get out of hand . . . I am rather enjoying investigating the underline anxiety, as it gets me closer to the truth.

  4. Indeed! We humans are really onions masquerading as people. ;)

  5. Thanks Natalie for the onion image. I like that there is nothing to found once all the layers have been peeled away . . .