We are hearing very specific terms bandied about in the media in relation to the political atmosphere. We hear of arrogance, torture, the authoritarian personality, and similar terms which lean in the direction of totalitarianism.
From time to time, I reread this quote by James Hollis from the book "Creating a Life." Here Hollis writes on self-esteem. The question that comes to my mind is how does the authoritarian and the powerful arrogant individual square themselves with a sense of self-esteem. What is it that they are able to ignore or shield from themselves? Can they successfully do this, or not?
"Perhaps this self-esteem business is overrated. A person with high self-esteem is often one with a narcissistic personality disorder whose whole persona is devoted to hiding from others his or her secret emptiness. Anyone with a modicum of consciousness and a mild dollop of integrity will be able to enumerate a very long list of screw-ups, shortcomings, betrayals, moments of cowardice and generalized incompetence. Anything less than a very long list suggests either an undeveloped awareness or an act of great self-deception."
Painting by Bernardo Strozzi c.1615