Gazing at the Surface

Taking care of yourself is the most revolutionary act.

Into the deep. Where the surface patterns disappear and the cool water envelopes you in silence. Eyes closed, drifting, floating. Eyes open, seeing through a different medium.

As the story goes, Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection and died, not realizing the reflection was not real. It is easy to say that this represents a sort of self-love that is destructive, but what does that really mean? Why do we equate an obsession with illusion with self-love and connote that love as negative?

Narcissism is actually the ultimate avoidance of one’s self and one cannot love that which is being avoided. Love requires knowing. Narcissus “loved” the image of himself, the reflection that the world afforded him and he looked no further. He stopped at that image and stayed there till his death. Not caring for himself, simply gazing at the image as if that was all there was.

That is not love, that is obsession. Hypnotized by Nemesis, succumbed to hubris, Narcissus did not fall in love, he fell into the world of illusion.

Our words have meaning, our stories come from somewhere. They are not purely entertainment. They are not simply a commodity to be traded. Truth is traceable, discoverable. Buried beneath the surface. In the quiet places free from distraction, in a different world.

Narcissus is a powerful story intended to guide us. Knowing is not vanity. Love is not narcissism. We are seeing reflections in this world. Everything is backwards, not as it truly is. Submerge and you will not see this reflection. Reality will appear distorted, not as you expected, but as it is.

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
― Anaïs Nin