The Wheel of Babylon (see the Home page) is really a schematic map of narcissism in the broadest sense. Each of the six ego states is a manifestation of narcissism in response to different environmental triggers and stressors. There are overt and covert, assertive and insecure, extrovert and introvert forms of narcissism, all of which are founded on excessive self-interest and self-concern, which itself arises out of unacknowledged existential anxiety.
Until we overcome our existential anxiety and give up our self-concern, we are doomed to live the life of a narcissist and to be surrounded by narcissists. However much we may normalize this, and rationalize it, even build sociological and economic theories around it, we cannot evade the existential despair it subsists on, what Kierkegaard calls “the sickness unto death”. In effect, narcissism is this sickness unto death.
The only escape from narcissism is to take the leap of faith off the Wheel of Babylon altogether, and to eat from the Tree of Life (see the Home page). “Absolute faith”, as Tillich calls it, has the power to remove your soul from the soil of Babylon to the limitless sea of spiritual possibility. However, as soon as you claim the power and the faith as your own, you become a spiritual narcissist, and find yourself right back where you started, on the Wheel of Babylon, in the Diva position. This explains why Jesus admonished the apostles to say, “We are unprofitable servants”.
“And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”
Luke 17: 5-10