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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: Human beings are born too early making Narcissism a necessary form of love
Author: Fraser Trevor
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Narcissism is a necessary form of love, Freud argued, because, as is now understood, human beings are born too early. A current theo...
Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...
Narcissism is a necessary form of love, Freud argued, because, as is now understood, human beings are born too early. A current theory in evolutionary biology suggests that we have to be born long before we are able to look after ourselves so that our oversized heads can navigate the birth canal. Dogs and cats, dolphins and apes, do not face such difficulties and so become independent relatively speedily.
As infants and then youths, we demand parental servitude not for weeks or months but years. His or Her Majesty the Baby.
Narcissism is, then, the first form of love we know and to us such self-love appears to perform miracles.
You feel thirst and scream. As if by magic, sweet milk falls onto your expectant tongue. You experience discomfort and moan. The wetness and chill disappear. You want to sleep. Warm sheets and blankets enfold you.
The whole of life seems to be for the infant - in a way, to be the infant. It and the world are one.
Observations of babies indicate that they are born primed to expect that the world will be at their beck and call. After only 15 hours, they can distinguish their mother's voice and prefer it to that of strangers. Similarly with mother's smell and face. Other experiments demonstrate that the infant is calmed by hearing recordings of its own cry, and becomes upset at the crying of other babies. They like to hear the sound of their own, or their mother's, voice.
This command-and-control mentality has been lent support by other ingenious research. In one experiment, an infant is trained in the delusion that it can turn music off and on. What happens is that when the infant is sucking, music turns off and on according to the rhythm of its sucking.
The child soon comes to assume that it can turn the music off and on by varying its sucking patterns. Only next, the experimenters turn the music off out of sync with the sucking. The sound fails to "obey" the child. The infant becomes distressed, crying and whimpering. His, or her, majesty has been defied.
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