Repost: shamanic doubling

Recently, I came across some material on narcissism (a personality disorder), which got me thinking.   I read that this disorder is the result of the emotional aspect of the self not maturing, whilst the intellectual and social self gains in adult sophistication.  It is said that the inner self remains in a form of stasis, not growing at all, yet the outside self appears to have grown and to be fully matured.

The nature of this developmental pathology is deeply problematic, because the stasis of the inner self implies the stasis of the overall self.   The adult cannot mature until the ‘inner child’, as it were, begins to mature. However,  the adult self, with its degree of acquired sophistication, formulates strategies and engages in tactics to prevent the childlike self from having to engage with an emotionally complex world.

Although such a situation, as it has been formulated, seems hopeless, there is another way to look at solving problems of emotional trauma.   The adult self must take on an authoritative role and go “looking” for the child, using all the wiles and strategies they can muster.   Rather than turning one’s wiles against the outside world, one puts them to good use in search of that within oneself that may wish to remain hidden.

To employ such a strategy is what I refer to as “shamanistic doubling”. 

Perhaps this is a hard to manage.  I have the impression from many years of studying shamanism that facilitating a conceptual and effective ‘doubling’ of the self furnishes the basis for shamanistic healing.
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