Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology

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The Wound that Connects: A Consideration of “Narcissism” and the Creation of Soulful Space

Les Todres


This article develops an existential perspective on what has been called ‘narcissism’. Using both the psychoanalytic tradition and the literary myth of Narcissus as ‘touchstones’, it unfolds a view of existential dilemmas and possibilities that are announced by this discourse. As such, it seeks to clarify the existential task of embodying human vulnerability – a journey that is potentially the source and depth of human compassion. With the help of the perspectives of A. H. Almaas and Eugene Gendlin, the phenomenon of ‘soulful space’ is named, and pursued in both logical and evocative ways. 'Soulful space' is articulated as an existential achievement and an alternative response to the call of Narcissus: an embodiment of both vulnerability and freedom; a freedom-wound that grounds interpersonal empathy and openness.

Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, Volume 4, Edition 1 July 2004
AJOL African Journals Online