The Narcissist’s Mirror

Narcissus viewed his reflection in the stable, reflective surface of a still pond, and was so enamored by his reflection that he fell in love with himself. Nothing — not even the love of the beautiful nymph, Echo — drew him away from himself. Her attention, in fact, drew him further into his reflection, for her words of affirmation became justifications for the grandiosity with which he perceived his image.

Narcissus’s steadfast commitment to gazing upon his reflection reflects the ego attachment that is the conceptual basis for narcissism. Freud described this attachment in “On…