The Desire for an Idealized Self

Both the religiously inclined and secular types strive to acquire a splendid false self. Between the two groups, the terminology may differ, but the game remains the same. The case of C. S. Lewis reveals that the desire for a splendid false self leads to self-alienation. (Photo: public domain) English author and academic C. S.…

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The Importance of Being Superior

Austrian doctor and pioneering psychotherapist Alfred Adler made the inferiority complex central to his thinking. He believed that, “When the individual does not find a proper concrete goal of superiority, an inferiority complex results. The inferiority complex leads to a desire for escape and this desire for escape is expressed in a superiority complex, which…

Simone de Beauvoir on Death

Like all those who place the ego’s false persona before all else, Simone De Beauvoir struggled mightily with the reality of death. She writes of "the scandal of finiteness," referring to our inescapable mortality. When you insist on emphasizing your separateness and see yourself as merely an isolated conscious ego, it becomes inevitable that fear…

Did Feminism Kill Sylvia Plath?

In 1963, at the age of thirty, the brilliant American poet Sylvia Plath committed suicide in her London flat leaving behind two small children. She had suffered from depression since her early twenties and showed signs of considerable mental instability throughout most of her life. Some of her psychological difficulties arose from the death of…

Disliking Yourself

Inner emptiness, the inability to tolerate being alone are symptomatic of a lack of self-knowledge, a poorly defined sense of self. Sufferers often describe the chronic condition as a feeling of loneliness. People with this problem usually have a desperate need for the regard and affection of others, said regard and affection providing the means…

The Constant Self Is Real

When feelings such as loneliness, loss, and placelessness assail them, people often get into serious emotional trouble. It is interesting to note that, when some people experience such feelings, they do not turn inward for an explanation of their own emotions. They do not even turn to psychology or philosophy, external knowledge bases which would…