Substituting the Extraordinary for the Ordinary

The drive to do extraordinary things is driven by three things: 1) genuine creativity, 2) narcissistic injury, and 3) a difficulty doing ordinary things.

Most recently I have been  intrigued by the third reason. It seems that when activities of daily living, through sensory defensiveness or other reasons, lack satisfaction, that compensation is attempted through doing the extraordinary. Examples are being an astronaut or achieving samadhi, etc..

But when there is no satisfaction in the ordinary, there will be no satisfaction in the extraordinary.

Michael Samsel

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2 Responses to Substituting the Extraordinary for the Ordinary

  1. Trevor says:

    Hi Michael

    Are you saying that the difficult doing ordinary things comes from some oral-schiz character that might center around feeling awkward in the body? Jung contrasted sensing and intuition and I think it’s relatively straightforward to say that academics aren’t the most ‘handy’ people or the best athletes.

    I also think there is another angle, in that they have a high self-regard (false-self) that makes them feel as if they should be equals to genius.

    As opposed to a drive that makes a person strive for perfection, there is also a form of self-idealization or self-respect that allows one to feel like one’s ideas are worthwhile and valuable even if they aren’t popular or accepted or that one is special even though one lacks the wealth or status that usually confers that.

    This can exist in someone’s character in a way that isn’t necessarily pathological.
    However, if I understand the kind of patient you are talking about, perfection is as consuming as the procrastination and rebellion against striving for it. Between perfection and rebellion against it, the person doesn’t seem to enjoy life.

    How are you working with this (if you can post about it)?


    • mjsamsel says:

      Hi Trevor, somehow I didn’t see your comment until now.

      I was meaning I think that there is a pathway to seeking the extraordinary other than the ‘usual’ narcissistic adaptation. This other pathway is in the nature of an adaptation to derealization

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