Essay on Narcissism and Author Quentin Crisp

Submitted By consafo
Words: 607
Pages: 3

Selfishness ranks prominently as one of the sins of the flesh, along with fornication, impurity licentiousness, enmity, vanity, jealousy, anger, envy and drunkenness. It represents one of Satan’s most effective tools, and can be considered an impediment to man realizing the Beatific Vision. It is founded on pride, the narcissistic preoccupation with self-love, and lust, the insatiable pursuit of worldly pleasures. Voltaire, the French philosopher of the 18th century, wrote: “It is not love that should be depicted as blind, but self-love.” Man recognizes that he cannot hide his faults from himself, but he often maintains an arrogant belief that these faults escape the notice of others. Scripture [James 4:3] says: “You ask and you do not receive because you ask wrongly, with a view of squandering what you receive on your own pleasures.” Man can avoid selfishness only if he develops a positive and secure self-image, based on true humility and fulfilled in the conviction that God gives him everything he needs in life. To attain this self-image, as 20th century British author Quentin Crisp writes, “...is to reconcile the glowing opinion we have of ourselves with the appalling things that other people think about us.”

In addition to self-image, man can avoid selfishness through the use of self-control in giving others the respect they deserve and, thereby, gaining his own self-respect. This implies, of course, that man understands the concept of “self.” Composite man (body and soul) should know and appreciate his corporal and intellectual strengths and weaknesses through detached inspection and absorbed introspection. He struggles with the objective observation of the body in the looking glass and the mirror of the soul. Moreover, he must recognize that the regulation [elimination may be intrinsically impossible] of “self” is contingent on the request for and receipt of God’s grace in the conquest of “self.” In Freudian terms. the superego, man’s conscience, should dominate the desires and impulses of his ego, man’s outer and inner reality. God’s grace works on the superego to bridle man’s self-will. Giving too much importance to the human ego invites man to become trapped in pride and egocentrisman exaggerated self-importance. In his Ideas and Opinions, Albert Einstein wrote: “The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he as attained liberation from the…