“Is this [the vilification and necessity of narcissism] a case of Caliban and the mirror? Perhaps it may be that for most people locating themselves in that “Mirror of my familiar” issues painful feelings of insecurity, pathology, ambivalence as it were a direct reminder of a grotesque existence. Thus established, narcissism in and out occupies a performative space in the narcissistic psyche. So it is worth bearing in mind that this psychic space is not a vain space, but rather a chi-oma or God’s-beauty-in-me space. A sort of sublime awareness of the self inhabited by the self and nourished with appropriate fastidiousness.
“For the redeemed narcissist, the mirror is not a mere site at which to perform such base functions as decoration and adornment. Rather, the mirror serves as a location that allows “The Regarded Self” a sacred and intense solitude by which it may renegotiate and disclose its superior self at all cost. The “narcissist” is always a hero exactly because he typifies the opposite of the heroic appearance. To locate and resolve the weakness of the ego is a mark of strength and shows a profound regard for the self. The best hunt or bargain for love is not outside but within and around the self. The mirror is only one side of the coin.” Excerpt from Iké Udé’s “The Regarded Self“