Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.’ -Pema Chodron
Narcissism is vastly misunderstood in our society. Many confuse it with simple vanity or a super-high interest in oneself. While you should have a healthy interest in yourself and be a little selfish when a narcissist appears in your life consider it a gift. You have something they want and they will stop at nothing to get it. And after they have it, your total and ultimate annihilation is what they have in mind.
In shamanism, there’s something called the Shamanic Death where awakening shamans must go through a period where their old life is stripped away. Destroyed. Annihilated. If you’re on the shamanic path, you may have heard of the Petty Tyrant. In the Carlos Castaneda’s Teachings of Don Juan:
A petty tyrant is a tormentor. Someone who either holds the power of life and death over warriors or simply annoys them to distraction. Petty tyrants teach us detachment. The ingredients of the new seers’ strategy shows how efficient and clever is the device of using a petty tyrant. The strategy not only gets rid of self-importance; it also prepares warriors for the final realization that impeccability is the only thing that counts in the path of knowledge. …The warrior who stumbles on a petty tyrant is a lucky one. You’re fortunate if you come upon one in your path, because if you don’t you have to go out and look for one. If seers can hold their own in facing petty tyrants, they can certainly face the unknown with impunity, and then they can even stand the presence of the unknowable.
Narcissists Are Petty Tyrants
Narcissists are people who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder and the signs and symptoms are so obvious once you can learn to identify them. But trying to understand Narcissism can almost drive you insane because it makes no sense. Because the sad tragedy of NPD is that those who suffer from it will never, ever realize that they have it.
And it is so pervasive in our culture. Narcissism has infected everything from our workplaces to our schools and churches. Our country is now running on psychopath rules and it’s an epidemic that largely goes unnoticed simply because it is so misunderstood.
In basic terms, NPD sufferers lack empathy for others and most importantly for themselves. They are furiously self-destructive while also maintaining an appearance of having it together. They maintain this appearance in a variety of ways. Lying, cheating, stealing or victimizing others. This is not to say that NPD people are not nice people. They are very good at mimicking human emotions and behaviors but by and large they are psychopaths. If a company has a narcissist for an HR manager, that company is in danger. If your therapist is a narcissist, your mental health is at stake. If your mother is a narcissist, every person you try to marry will be an enemy. If a narcissist falls in love with you, then you become their number one enemy. God forbid you marry a narcissist because they will make your life (and your children’s lives) a living hell.
If you have something a narcissist wants be prepared. They may want to be friends with your friends. They may want your popularity. They will study you as if you were prey and they were a predator. They may even view you as a threat to something they already have. But once you’ve been chosen as a victim of a narcissist, your complete and total annihilation is what they have in mind. And if they can’t kill you, they will do what they can to smear your reputation or turn your friends, lovers, and supporters against you. They want to wipe you off the face of the Earth and if they can’t do that they will ruin everything in your life so that you’ll want to die. They are counting on you committing suicide.
And what makes narcissists so dangerous is that if you discover that they are a narcissist or even expose them as one they go in for the kill. They are not above lying to judges or police officers to ruin your life. Their perfect appearance must be preserved at all costs. They will get you fired from your job. They will cry rape. They will do whatever they can to stop the truth from coming out. They will get a court order to throw you into a mental hospital. They will drive you crazy so that you will feel you have to go to a mental hospital. They will convince the authorities that you are a danger to yourself and to others. The goal is to have you eliminated. And most times they succeed.
Because narcissism makes no sense, it makes no sense to the person being victimized. Narcissists destroy your life and make it appear that it was all your fault. They psychologically torture their victims. It makes no sense to anyone but the few of us who’ve dared walk that scary road of trying to figure it out. To those of us who’ve had our lives destroyed by narcissists, even then we don’t truly understand. For those of us who have empathy, people who lack empathy may as well be alien robots from the future. Getting inside their brains to figure out why they do the things they do is not for the faint of heart. And I’ve survived more narcissistic attacks than I care to remember. And each time I’ve watched helplessly as my life was destroyed. But I’ve survived them all.
When Buddhist monk Pema Chodron talks about opening yourself to annihilation, you will truly find the indestructible parts inside of yourself. The gift that the narcissist gives you is a hard and tough lesson on yourself. The narcissist gives you a matrix and an obstacle course where your very survival is at stake. It’s a deathmatch race. Make it through alive and your life will be purified. You will be able to see things for exactly what they are. You will be able to spot a narcissist early and back away slowly. You will know secret knowledge. Survive the Petty Tyrant and you will know great truth.
Obstacles To The Truth
One of the first obstacles to overcome is the gaslighting. That’s where a narcissist tries to convince you or others that events went down a very different way than they did. They are very convincing and sometimes even enlist the help of other people. This is dangerous in a workplace just as much as the family home. The way to get through this is to hold fast. You know who you are and you know what happened. Narcissists are very good at engineering events that look good in their favor. You will learn the lesson of holding onto your truth and be able to see through lies easily.
Another obstacle is to remain calm. One of the tactics a narcissist will use is the “Badger and Blame” and it’s where they nag or badger you to the point you blow up in anger and then blame you for being angry. This way they can feel justified in further badgering you. Remain calm and don’t give in to the need to retaliate. You cannot win an argument with a narcissist so it’s futile. The Petty Tyrant can be driven insane by your non-response so just detach and watch it happen. Here you learn the secret of how to not panic in the face of danger.
And watch out for the name-calling. A narcissist will often project what they truly feel about themselves onto their victim. “You’re a liar!” they might say even though you know you are telling the truth. Try not to get into the arduous task of convincing the narcissist of the truth. The truth will often not work out in their favor so do not get into a name-calling contest with them. It is here where you gain X-Ray vision to see things and people for what they project onto you.
Since narcissists are ultimately self-destructive, they destroy themselves along with their victim. They usually spend lots of their own money towards keeping a person hooked and then withdraw. Then they blame their victim for spending so much money.
Narcissists do not know themselves and here’s where the ultimate gift of the narcissist comes in. An experience with a narcissist gets you to your core issues fast. After being wounded or taken down to the point that nothing else exists but you, it’s up to you to find the path to healing. If the narcissist has done their job, they will have caused so much drama that your friends and family will want nothing to do with you. You’re on your own and with most people not knowing how dangerous and cold-blooded narcissists are they will view your tales with suspicion. Normal people wouldn’t treat people that way but narcissists are not normal people with normal human emotions. You have to accept you’ve been mauled by a monster.
But after you heal you become stronger than ever. You understand that the narcissist and petty tyrant did you a favor. They purified your life quickly yet painfully and they showed you how strong you were. Without a petty tyrant it can take years to get the lessons a narcissist can teach you in one week.
Bless the narcissist for their role in shaping spiritual warriors.
Much Love from Your Friendly Neighborhood Shaman
(This was posted in the past and no longer indicative of where I am now as a shaman. However, it might be valid information for where you are in your journey so I still have it publicly available. To get the latest updates, visit myYouTube Channel for daily videos, livestreams and more. To book a session or consultation, visit theconcretetribe.com.)