25. sep. 2006

Mother love

"There is one taboo that has withstood all the recent efforts at demystification: the idealization of mother love."

Alice Miller


Painting of Narcissus by Caravaggio

According to the legend of Narcissus, this Greek boy fell in love with his own reflection in a pond. In a way, this amply sums up the nature of his namesakes: narcissists. The mythological Narcissus rejected the advances of the nymph Echo and was punished by Nemesis. Consigned to pine away as he fell in love with his own reflection – exactly as Echo had pined away for him. How apt. Narcissists are punished by echoes and reflections of their problematic personalities up to this very day.

Narcissists are said to be in love with themselves.

But this is a fallacy. Narcissus is not in love with himself. He is in love with his reflection.

There is a major difference between one's True Self and reflected-self.

Loving your True Self is healthy, adaptive, and functional.

Loving a reflection has two major drawbacks:

1. One depends on the existence and availability of the reflection to produce the emotion of self-love.

2. The absence of a "compass", an "objective and realistic yardstick", by which to judge the authenticity of the reflection. In other words, it is impossible to tell whether the reflection is true to reality – and, if so, to what extent.

The popular misconception is that narcissists love themselves. In reality, they direct their love to other people's impressions of them. He who loves only impressions is incapable of loving people, himself included.

But the narcissist does possess the in-bred desire to love and to be loved. If he cannot love himself – he must love his reflection. But to love his reflection – it must be loveable. Thus, driven by the insatiable urge to love (which we all possess), the narcissist is preoccupied with projecting a loveable image, albeit compatible with his self-image (the way he "sees" himself).

The narcissist maintains this projected image and invests resources and energy in it, sometimes depleting him to the point of rendering him vulnerable to external threats.

But the most important characteristic of the narcissist's projected image is its lovability.

The World of the Narcissist (Essay), Narcissism, Pathological Narcissism, The Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), the Narcissist,and Relationships with Abusive Narcissists and Psychopaths (Fifth, Revised Impression, 2003) By: Dr. Sam Vaknin

24. sep. 2006

Narcissistic Personality Disorder - Self Love and Self Destruction


If narcissists love themselves and are so self-centered, why do they have all these self-destructive and self-defeating behaviors? Isn't it a contradiction?


There are two important differences between healthy self-love and malignant narcissism:

(a) in the ability to tell reality from fantasy, and (b) in the ability to empathise and, indeed, to fully and maturely love others. As we said, the narcissist possesses no self-love. It is because he has very little True Self to love. Instead, a monstrous, malignant construct – the False Self – encroaches upon his True Self and devours it.

... Moreover, our experience of what it is like to be human – our very humanness – depends largely on our self-knowledge and on our experience of our selves. In other words: only through being himself and through experiencing his self – can a human being fully appreciate the humanness of others.

By: Dr. Sam Vaknin

Self-Love : Is It Selfish?

Learning to love yourself may be the greatest love you ever experience and achieve. Self-love is not "selfish" or bad. When you love yourself, you will feel good about yourself, and you will feel better about the world. This will make it easier for you to give love to others. Especially if you are a parent or any type of caregiver, you must not forget to take time out to care for yourself. When you take time to re-energize, you will have more energy both for yourself and to share with the people you love and those in your care. The person who feels self-love is generally happier and much more pleasant to be around than the person who lacks self-love and self-esteem. Embodying self-love is the greatest example we can set for our children, for our loved ones, for our friends, and for all those we encounter in our lives.

Unconditional self-acceptance and self-love?

To accept and love yourself unconditionally is to:

- Place no condition on yourself as to how to behave or what to be in order to receive self acceptance and self love.

- Not use "if - then" clauses in establishing conditions for accepting and loving yourself.

- Take a risk to be open and vulnerable to who you are with no preset limits or expectations.

- Accept and love yourself for the fact that you exist rather than for what you do.

- Give yourself the respect and latitude to be yourself rather than to be what others want or expect you to be.

- Set the stage for yourself to feel warmth, caring, and concern for yourself which results in your growing in self-esteem and self worth.

By James J. Messina, Ph.D. & Constance M. Messina, Ph.D.

Tvivel är en signal om fara

– Ljumma relationer där man bara ”älskar” vissa sidor av den andres person, blir med tiden problematiska. I en nära relation kan man inte välja bort detta någonting. Man måste ta emot en hel människa, säger psykoanalytikern Tomas Böhm till Svenska Dagbladet 24 februari 2005. Han har skrivit flera böcker om förälskelse och kärlek.

"Fråga inte varför hälften av alla äktenskap slutar med skilsmässa. Förundras i stället över hur två människor kan finna varandra, leva tillsammans, och utvecklas sida vid sida, trots alla fallgropar och blindskär."

... Det finns ett korn av sanning i talesättet ”du måste älska dig själv innan du kan älska någon annan”, menar Tomas Böhm. En bra självkänsla – och ett mått av personlig utveckling – krävs för att kunna ge och ta emot kärlek.

– Djup och varaktig kärlek kräver en egen inre förändring.
Om man är alltför osäker och oflexibel i sin personlighet, kommer man inte att klara av en nära kärleksrelation. I stället för att enbart driva sin egen linje, måste förmågan att nyfiket intressera sig för den andre finnas. Först då kan de älskande mötas och utvecklas tillsammans.

Shakespeare on Love – kärlekens ansikten i Shakespeares sonetter

Kärlek är ett mångformigt, komplicerat och laddat begrepp och det var inte enklare i England för 400 år sedan – snarare tvärt om. Mycket är sig naturligtvis likt; de första tafatta kontaktförsöken, den rusiga förälskelsen, den trygga fördjupade gemenskapen, den halvljumma slentrianen, svartsjukan, hatet och bitterheten hos den som blir sviken och skuldkänslorna hos den som svikit. Men de ramar samhället satte upp kring kärleken var så radikalt annorlunda på Shakespeares tid att skillnaderna antagligen även har påverkat själva känslorna i viss utsträckning. ...

... Paradoxalt nog bidrog dessa snäva yttre ramar till att göra ordet kärleks innebörd vidare. Idag är det bara i nära relationer mellan generationerna som det används utan sexuell bibetydelse, gäller det två vuxna människor är en sexuell relation underförstådd. Så var det inte på Shakespeares tid. Det faktum att man förväntades hålla ihop hela livet med någon man kanske aldrig älskat i dagens mening bidrog till att delvis frikoppla begreppen kärlek och sexualitet från varandra.

text: Anna Lejfelt-Sahlén

22. sep. 2006

Lust, Love, and the Literary Vampire

"For an instant it seemed as if she saw herself through his eyes. . . . 'Our souls have touched,' he said" (Petrey, 29). Vampiric love permits a union unknown to ordinary people.

By Margaret L. Carter

Are You In Love Or Lust?

Love and lust are inextricably intertwined. Lust is ground zero for hormones -- it's nature's way of bringing the opposite sexes together to mate. In fact, without lust, it's doubtful that love between a man and a woman would have a chance to prosper at all.

The driving force of the sexual imperative bridges the gap between the almost incompatible brain styles of the two sexes. So lust can be seen as one end of a broad continuum, which may or may not culminate in romantic love.

And love is the most ennobling of human emotions -- transcendental, exalted and capable of engendering emotional states, which can make the male of the species "want to be a better man."

Men fight wars over lust, but they make homes and families for love.

By Matthew Fitzgerald

Love is...

"Love Is...": "Kim Casali created 'Love Is...' back in the late 1960's when she drew the little pictures as love notes for her husband-to-be, Roberto," reveals Tribune Media Services, which hosts the long-running cartoon feature at ComicsPage.com. "Her illustrations were then revealed to the rest of the world when they were first syndicated in 1970.

"Since his mother's death in June 1997, Sefano Casali has maintained his mother's legacy of the beloved comic panel ... with artist Bill Asprey, who continues to draw the charming little cartoons."

Today's "Love Is...," as seen in newspapers worldwide, with months of previous selections are accessible in an online archive, an effort stretching Valentine's Day romance throughout the year. Individual cartoons become email greeting cards and may be forwarded free to a special friend.

From Mike Durrett, your guide to http://humor.about.com

11. sep. 2006

Union with Brahma

He lets his mind pervade one quarter of the world with thoughts of love, and so the second, and so the third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world, above, below, around, and everywhere, does he continue to pervade with the heart of love, far-reaching, exalted, beyond measure. Just as a mighty trumpeter makes himself heard--and that without difficulty--in all the four directions; even so of all things that have the shape of life there is not one that he passes by or leaves aside, but regards them all with mind set free, and deep-felt love. Verily this is the way to a state of union with Brahma.

Buddhism. Digha Nikaya xiii.76-77, Tevigga Sutta

Yoruba Proverb

"God drives away flies for a cow which has no tail."

African Traditional Religions,
Yoruba Proverb (Nigeria)


What kind of love is this that to another can shift? Says Nanak, True lovers are those who are forever absorbed in the Beloved. Whoever discriminates between treatment held good or bad, Is not a true lover - he rather is caught in calculations.

Adi Granth, Asa-ki-Var, M.2, p. 474

Love Your Enemy

The prescription to love your enemy and to requite evil with good is sometimes thought of as an impractical and perfectionist ethic, able to be practiced only by a few exceptional souls. But, in fact, this doctrine is widely taught in all religions as a fundamental principle for pursuing relationships with others. The person who insists upon vengeance or retribution is not necessarily committing a crime, but neither will his act of revenge be helpful to spiritual advancement. Revenge, which requites evil with evil, only multiplies evil in the world, while love, by in which one strives to overcome evil with good, spreads goodness in the world.

True love is unconditional and impartial--thus the metaphor of the sun that shines down on all life. It is tested and proven by encounters with those who are difficult to love. Where true love prevails, there no enemies are found.

The concluding passages dispute the prescription to love your enemy when it apparently contravenes the principles of justice and right. Sometimes the best way to love an evil person is to make him face justice, or to hinder him from doing wrong. Nevertheless, these corrective actions should be done with a loving heart and with the other person's welfare uppermost in mind.

From "WORLD SCRIPTURE - A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts" by Dr. Andrew Wilson, Editor

Teater Taimine: Kärlek! Kärlek!

Barneteater på Trikkehallen på Kjelsås. En komedie om 11-årige Kevin som har en mamma som er finlandssvensk og pappa som er finsk. Kärlek! Kärlek! viser hvor komplisert og overraskende kjærlighet kan være.

At foreldre som krangler, men også kysser mye, kanskje er lykkeligere enn stokkonservative mormor og miserable morfar som er blitt forsteinet av plikt og fasade. Kärlek! Kärlek! handler om for første gang å reflektere over fenomenet kjærlighet.

Passer for barn i barneskolealderen. I samarbeid med Norden i Fokus.

Sted: Trikkehallen på Kjelsås, Midtoddveien 12 (Kjelsåstrikkens endeholdeplass) Tid: 14.09. kl.18

9. sep. 2006

Medieval Images of “Sacred Love”: Jewish and Christian Perceptions

Christian artists present a dynamic image, featuring the passionate relations of the "lover" and his "beloved." Jewish illuminators present a more static and ceremonial picture, in which respect and courtesy take the place of passion and ardency. These differences in approach can be attributed mainly to the different interpretations of the poem as reflected in the respective commentaries, and to the fact that in Jewish art there is a ban on the depiction of God in human form. The present paper examines the nature of Jewish iconography by comparing it to Christian representations of the same subject - the Song of Songs. In Christian art the images appear mainly as an illumination of the initial "O" illustrating the poem or a commentary of the poem. In Jewish art they appear in the mahzor, and illuminate a piyyut, a prayer which draws its inspiration and several verses from the Song of Songs.

From a very early date, the ardent love expressed in the Song of Songs has been interpreted allegorically by both Jewish and Christian exegetes. In both traditions the intimacy between the lover and his beloved is seen as representing the relations between God and man. For the Christian exegetes, it is the mutual love between Christ the bridegroom and His bride, the Church, or the union of the Divine Word and the individual soul. In Jewish expositions, this intimacy is understood in terms of God's bond, or the Schekinah, with the people of Israel and His commitment to them. In a general sense, although these two interpretations of the Scriptures appear to be similar, they differ both in context and in spirit.

by Ruth Bartal

Sacred and Profane Love

Sacred and Profane Love, Titian's masterpiece painted when he was about twenty-five to celebrate the marriage of the Venetian Nicolò Aurelio (coat of arms on the sarcophagus) and Laura Bagarotto in 1514. The bride dressed in white sitting beside Cupid is assisted by Venus in person. The figure with the vase of jewels symbolizes "fleeting happiness on earth" and the one bearing the burning flame of God's love symbolizes "eternal happiness in heaven".

Venus Coelestis & Venus Vulgaris

There are actually two Venuses, discussed in Plato's Symposium, Celestial Venus and Earthly Venus. The two Venuses correspond to the notion of Sacred and Profane love, a big topic in the Renaissance.


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