Excerpt About Shell

Allowing the Underlying Emptiness of the Shell
The student will realize that his usual sense of being an individual is really an empty shell. This empty shell will be exposed when his autonomy, or his capacities, are not mirrored adequately, or when he feels they are not, if, for example, the mirror transference is disturbed. Then he will feel narcissistically hurt and might resort to narcissistic rage. But allowing the hurt and the sense of betrayal will reveal the emptiness underlying his sense of being a person. Allowing this emptiness will make it possible for his Essence to arise. The essential Presence that arises will not be the Essential Identity with its singular radiance, but rather, the Personal Essence with its fullness and roundedness. Since the empty shell associated with this form of narcissism is the structure of the ego individuality, which develops through the process of separation-individuation, the history of individuation narcissism can best be seen in terms of this process.

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