Pastoral Psychology 2009

The Culture of Narcissism Revisited: Transformations of Narcissism in Contemporary Psychospirituality by Ann Gleig

In this paper, Ms.Gleig traces the debate over narcissism in deinstitutionalized and heavily psychologized spiritualities. First, she summarizes how Sigmund Freud’s discussion with Romain Rolland about the “oceanic feeling” established the classical psychoanalytic view of mysticism as a regression to primary narcissism. Second, she reviews how Heinz Kohut’s radical reconceptualization of narcissism has played a seminal role in socio-cultural interpretations of modern psychologized spirituality. Third, she explores how a contemporary psychospiritual tradition, A.H. Almaas’s Diamond Approach, details the relationship between narcissism and mysticism. And finally, Ms. Gleig reflects on the benefits of a dialogical approach between psychoanalysis and spirituality arguing that the types of integrative psychospirituality envisioned by Romain and developed more fully by Almaas have the potential to facilitate the mature transformation of narcissism.  Read the full article>

The Culture of Narcissism Revisited: Transformations of Narcissism in Contemporary Psychospirituality
Ann Gleig -- Pastoral Psychology online edition May 2009

Ann Gleig
Department of Religious Studies, Rice University, MS – 15, P.O. Box 1892, Houston, TX 77005-1892
Email: agleig@rice.edu

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