In my childhood I was pretty amused reading the story of Narcissus and Echo, a greek mythology depicts the part story of a young love and also it's tragic death. When I first read the story, it was nothing more to me. Now I feel Narcissism in all of us. In other words, I would like to say that we created it.
Narcissus and Echo…
Echo was a nymph living in the forest. She liked much speaking over listening. Doesn’t matter, whether it was a joyful gossip or argue, she always had the urge to say the last words. One day she was amusing another nymph with her marvelous chattering box, Hera came in search of her husband Zeus. Hera was the queen of gods and wife of Zeus, who was most powerful of them all. When Hera got stuck with Echo’s chatterbox, other nymphs managed to escape. For the fluent interruption of Echo, Hera couldn’t even manage to ask her about her husband’s whereabouts. It made her furious and she passed sentence upon Echo in these words: “You shall forfeit the use of that tongue with which you have cheated me, except for that one purpose you are so fond of, reply. You shall still have the last word, but no power to speak first.”
One day while strolling in the woods, Echo saw Narcissus, a beautiful young man. She loved him and followed his footsteps. She fell in love with him.How could Echo tell him, she had no power to talk first? She didn’t know that many women tried to reach Narcissus but none succeeded until that when the day he found his own image on the water of a pool at the footstep of mountains. Narcissus saw his image in pool water and got bewildered. It seemed to him that he never met such a beauty ( like himself) before. Even he fell in love with himself. He passed moments after moments seeing his own image in the pool. Suddenly he praised his beauty and said to himself,”I love you”. That's when Echo got her chance to express her deep feeling about Narcissus. She said repeatedly, “I love you, I love you, I love you…”.
But Narcissus was so deaf in his own love, he didn’t hear a thing. Then all of a sudden Narcissus touched his picture in the pool and it disappeared. It made him mad. He said,”Don’t leave me” and jumped into the pool to get his love back and never came back. Echo from her hide came in a rush but could not save her long destined love. Heartbroken Echo disappeared in the mountains and never came back. It's said that Echo didn’t disappear. She just doesn't let anyone see her. But if you go near any mountain and shout anything, she answers with the last words you just said. Maybe that's why we call it echo.
Another story was born just where Narcissus died jumping into the pool. A beautiful white flower emerged and it would seem to you that it is trying to see its image in the pool. And the flower was named Narcissus.
P.S: If you thought the story ended there, you were wrong. It is said that it was not only Echo who was sad for the death of Narcissus. Even the pool itself was too. When someone asked her about it, she replied, “I am not sad because Narcissus is no more, I saw my beauty in his eyes. I am sad because I would not see my beauty in his eyes anymore”.
Narcissus and Narcissism…
Wikipedia defines Narcissism as, “the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one's own attributes”. Even medical science defines it as a mental disorder. From Wikipedia again-
“Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder, characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, excessive need for admiration, and lack of empathy for others. People with the disorder often come across as arrogant, callous, and envious, tend to be exploitative in their interpersonal relationships, and can be excessively preoccupied with personal adequacy, power, prestige, and vanity. As a personality disorder, those with NPD generally have poor insight into their condition and may not acknowledge that their behavior causes problems for others or themselves."
It is estimated that NPD affects between zero and five percent of the population. Males are affected more often than females. First formulated in 1968, NPD was historically called megalomania, and is a form of severe egocentrism.”
That's what I see every day on every one of us. We are to us nowadays. Technology made us closer but far far away. We are social to be personal but not the vice versa. In ancient society, Gods played as Human. But now we are playing as God.