Sunday, July 20, 2014

inferiority tensions and superiority/ conceit tensions and self-satisfaction

I'm still struggling to formulate the deutero stage in altruism...

The tension of conceit and people-pleasing and being self-effacing is simple to see and straightforward. Those who want to help the disadvantaged without much gain for themselves and for whom compassion and not pity (in its implication of being above) is present can be contrasted to those who want social honors.  

Similarly, the ambitious/industrious person who is driven for more achievement is simple to understand as well.

In deutero superiority in the egoist the drive element is diminished and the person has a confidence that may be built upon very little achievement.

In the altruist the tensions of conceit that a part of the self-effacement and avoiding presumption, and worrying about others seems to be flipped as well.

There is a self-satisfaction in the deutero subject altruist. There is a relation to a father-substitute in which he is treated with manifest gratitude and idealization but under this there is some sense that in one's assisting him that one has put on the finishing touches or guided in a way that was indispensable or that one knows better. The father must lead and the altruist can't take his place but in the deutero altruist there is something like a masked superhero fantasy.

The echoistic Peter Parker is secretly Spiderman and its not just to protect his family but the inability to be taken for the father-substitute.

In another relation to the depersonalized father in the social realm the deutero subject altruist could maybe be a bit of a "busybody". I think of Jane Austen's Emma and her matchmaking and general meddling.

Another patient referred to "needing to be needed" and the self-pity that went along with feeling that others didn't appreciate what she had given was strongly manifest.

The variety of types is often staggering and it's very difficult to feel like I have a principle or concept that can refract in all the different directions that I see in cultural, personal, and clinical experience.


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