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West, M. (2020). Self, other and Individuation: Resolving Narcissism through the Lunar and Solar Paths of the Rosarium. J. Anal. Psychol., 65(1):171-197.

(2020). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 65(1):171-197

Self, other and Individuation: Resolving Narcissism through the Lunar and Solar Paths of the Rosarium

Marcus West

This paper describes narcissism as our natural, infant-like behaviour, and specifies three characteristics relating to the evacuation and avoidance of distress, to control, and to distancing from relationship. It suggests that the processes of incarnation and individuation represent the development of the early ego and the ‘resolution’ of these narcissistic ways of being, including escape from the ‘mirror trap’. The development of the early, controlling ‘homunculus-ego’ entails the loosening and broadening of ego-identifications and the ego becoming subject to the Self. This is an embodied-relational-social-spiritual process outlined in detail by the full 20 woodcuts of the Rosarium Philosophorum, and specifically the lunar (relational) and solar (self-expressive) paths, which are explored herein. These processes are illustrated with respect to the interaction between infant and caregiver, clinical vignettes and examples from the political sphere.

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