Is narcissism the opposite of humility

Raphael Bonelli on self-transcendence

June 17, 2017, 6:56 am

Self-transcendence is part of mental health. Mentally healthy is someone who can put himself into perspective, who also distances himself from himself, who directs his attention to something that is bigger than himself. And this self-transcendence also has the dimension of amazement, amazement at the great, for example before a sunrise, before creation, before something really impressive, what has always been there and what there will be after me.

And this amazement, for example on the top of a mountain, also implies a certain humility. Psychology is also rediscovering humility. Humility is not a submission that is directed against oneself, but according to Josef Pieper, humility is seeing oneself as it corresponds to reality.

This ability to assess oneself correctly is actually the ultimate goal of any psychotherapy, because then one cannot be offended, then one cannot actually be confused, then one is stable in oneself, resting in oneself because one sees oneself as one is. And for that you need a relationship outside of yourself and that is this great thing that self-transcendence refers to.

The opposite of this is called arrogance in all cultures. Arrogance is: making yourself God. And it is impressive how all world religions, but really ALL world religions, recognize arrogance and pride as the worst evil that can happen to a person because he then no longer has this dimension of the higher, this self-transcendence.

It is all the worse when we notice that the age of narcissism is being ushered in by many authors today. Narcissism is a self-imprisonment without the recognition of anything higher.


Book, Raphael Bonelli, "Male narcissism. The drama of love that circles around itself", Verlag Kösel

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Composer: Georges Bizet / 1838 - 1875
Editor: Sergej Rachmaninoff / transcription / 1873 - 1943
Title: Minuet - 2nd movement from "L'Arlesienne" op.23, suite for orchestra No. 1 / arrangement for piano
Soloist: Howard Shelley / piano, Steinway
Length: 02:00 min
Label: Hyperion CDA 66486

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