The Myth of “Narcissus”

An analogy Adi Da uses to describe the activity of separation and the avoidance of relationship is the ancient Greek myth of “Narcissus”.

Narcissus was universally adored but scorned everyone, until he was cursed to fall in love with his own image. He stared at his reflection in a pond, eternally miserable and frustrated that he could not be with this one he adored. He did not realize that his loved-one was his own reflection; he presumed it was someone else. Yet he rejected all others in the “real” world and eventually died, solitary and self-enamored.

Avatar Adi Da observed during His own life of Spiritual practice that the story of Narcissus was like a script that everyone is living constantly. Everyone is constantly thinking about his or her own suffering, seeking, or self-improvement, never inspecting the act of avoidance and contraction that is the cause of suffering.

Like Narcissus, everyone persists in adoration at the pond, longing to have life work out or be better, to realize union with the presumed loved-one there. But Avatar Adi Da’s teaching is about being attracted out of the self-enamored state—looking up from the pond in devotion to Him—and thus recognizing it is your own misunderstanding that bound you to suffering in the first place.

Narcissus is a good symbol for suffering. He has separated himself from all relationships, especially the primary relationships of mother, father, loved-one, and environment. He confronts only his own image, which he does not re-cognize as such. Obviously, Narcissus does not know that the face in the water is his own image. He does not re-cognize his own image, or quality, as such. And suffering is in the failure of one to re-cognize, to know again, one’s own distraction, which is one’s own state, one’s own quality, one’s own modification. When one re-cognizes it, one ceases to be enamored, fascinated, and distracted.

—Avatar Adi Da Samraj

The Divine Siddha-Method Of The Ruchira Avatar


Self-Understanding and the Self-Contraction | The Myth of "Narcissus"
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