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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Love Yourself, Hate Yourself, or Both?

There is now hard scientific evidence that celebrities are narcissistic. Really?! See here. I think I also read about a new controversial study which has discovered that water is wet and another one that heat is hot.

An interesting sub-point of this study reveals that professional musicians - arguably the most highly skilled category of celebrities - are the least self-absorbed. And women from reality shows - the least talented - are the most self-absorbed.

"I was sort of amazed by this study," said narcissism expert W. Keith Campbell, associate professor of psychology at the University of Georgia.

Really?! I'm not a "narcissism expert" but I found nothing amazing about this at all.

Interestingly, the experts make a distinction between narcissism and egotism. Narcissists, they say, actually hate themselves and they are compensating. Egotists genuinely do believe they're the best since sliced bread.

Martin Luther identified man's problem as being "curved in on himself." One modern theologian said man is radically self-centered. How does that jibe with the report that so many suffer from self-loathing? That's easy to answer. The opposite of pride is not self-hatred. The opposite of egotism is not narcissism. In fact, self-hatred is really just another form of self-worship because it all centers on the self.

Sinful pride is when one loves oneself above all things. And everyone is guilty of that, even if they loathe everything about themselves. Humility, on the other hand, is not self-deprecation. Humility means to not think of oneself at all.

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