Collective Narcissism

Narcissistic groups could be an extension of individual narcissism, although this may not necessarily be the case. There are also groups within groups, which gives rise to in-group bias.

Narcissism is self love. One could call the Kali Yuga the “Age of Narcissism”: the Mahabharata speaks of this “age of strife”. Because of this attitude, people are easily divided and controlled by narcissistic groups that are more powerful. There is much to explore in this subject, beginning with our own self-esteem. Unfortunately, spiritual groups – as well as religions and everyone else – display characteristics of this disorder. There’s a lot of it about! 😀 😀 😀

There doesn’t seem much we can do about a narcissistic world other than be aware of being drawn into its ‘social web’.

Signs of Narcissism:

  • Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
  • Expecting to be recognized as superior, even without achievements that warrant it.
  • Exaggerating your achievements and talents.
  • Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate.
  • Believing that you are superior and unique, and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people.
  • Requiring constant admiration.
  • Having a sense of entitlement.
  • Expecting special favours and unquestioning compliance with your expectations.
  • Taking advantage of others to get what you want.
  • Having an inability or unwillingness to recognise the needs and feelings of others.
  • Being envious of others and believing others envy you.
  • Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner.


This is why the Buddha said,
‘Do good.
Do no harm.
Tame the mind’.

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  1. tony says:

    An example of narcissistic group at work, putting Edward Bernays theories into practice.

    “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society.

    Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

    We are governed, our minds moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of . . .

    Whatever attitude one chooses toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by a relatively small number of persons – a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty million – who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses.

    It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.”

    (Edward Bernays, 1928, p.37 & p.38)

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