Excerpt About Ideals
Our argument that identification with ambitions and ideals constitutes and perpetuates narcissistic disturbance may be easy to see in the case of ambitions, but harder in the case of ideals; in most societies high ideals are a sign of maturity, even of spiritual refinement. However, having high ideals is not the same as having ideals based on ideal images of self and objects. We might have high ideals in the state of self-realization, but they do not originate from psychic structures that define who and what we are. These high ideals are the influence of the qualities of Essence on the self. It is difficult not to develop ideals into psychic structures that define the self. In fact, it is difficult even to engage in spiritual practice if we are not inspired by ideals. The inevitable presence of ideals based on psychic structures, however, simply reflects the limitation of our self-realization. As long as we are not fully self-realized, some psychic structures define the self, and ego activity is based somewhat on ideals. The more we are self-realized, the less we rely on ideals because we experience a growing trust that the dynamism of Being will manifest what is needed. Ultimately, we do not need high ideals because we have integrated into our being their very source. Our actions might appear from the outside as if they are inspired by high ideals, but in fact, we are merely manifesting our true nature.