Tag Archives: Narcissus

Dark Narcissus

Another splendid Greek myth is that of Narcissus. Renowned for his exquisite beauty and youthful charms, his was a mad quest of insatiable self-obsession—as exemplified by his just incessantly staring at himself in a reflective pool. He never allowed anyone to sway him from becoming totally immersed in the sordid mess that was his own “spoiled” reflection. Narcissus is not an alien figure in our own day and age. In fact, his face is everywhere—it is legion. He can even be found wandering around on the Noble Path leading to self-realization; yet, given his propensity of looking for himself (and not attuned to the Recollective Resolve to nurture the seed that would reveal his “true” face) literally in all things—passing it off as a “search” but in reality just meandering down a long maze that can only lead to the defiled-center of his own “image”. Within that maze there are indeed many twists and turns—epistemological, soteriological (like in Amidism), zenism, and even an intellectual curiosity into the deepest maze of them all, hermeneuticism…which is really just a nice cloaking term for cognitive, rational analysis that deconstructs everything under the sun and is linked to assorted disciplines like linguistic analysis, historical-critique methodologies, ethnocentric premises and other exclusively left-brained pedagogies. This is all poor Narcissus’ “head-trip” and like wandering through any maze it more often than not leads to a dead-end. He’s trying to find himself in all the wrong places. Yet, at each twist and turn Narcissus’ ol’ arrogance shines through; seeking to prove—above all to himself—that his latest “fad” must be the right turn that will finally break the mystique of the maze and land him at last—dead center. But as we know from the Greek Myth, Narcissus’ “image” finally does him in at the end. He just couldn’t get beyond himself; he was seeking a reflection in the illusory pool of Maya and not his True Self-Nature. He was truly an Icchantika—wherein the beloved bodhiseed never reaches potential but just withers away and dies; worse yet, incarnates again and again throughout eternity on the Wheel of Life and Death and, like a hungry-ghost, is never satisfied and cannot get enough of itself. A Dark Narcissus indeed. read more

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