For the NPD mind, healing takes place at four different levels.
Each of these (beyond the false self) is a hard won battle that requires courage and commitment beyond anything you ever thought yourself capable of:
The False Self
The false self is a defense mechanism put in place as the result of perceived psychological trauma. The false self is childish, angry, and destructive. However, the false self has also been a gift in disguise. It has been your friend and protector. It has helped you make it this far – even if it didn’t use the best possible methods to do so.
The Raw Self
Once aware of their pathological narcissism, the narcissist seemingly has several choices to make. This is untrue. There are only two. Continue to run and hide – to remain in lock step with the false self, or to accept that you must force growth to occur within yourself by taking away all of your hiding places and facing yourself and your pain head on – probably for the very first time.
The True Self
This is an emergent aspect of self – it is the realm of the healthy ego. This true self is born anew as the healing process continues. It is the natural state of evolution that unfolds as the raw self is beaten and battered with the truth of reality and struggles to learn life’s harshest lessons. As this emergence occurs, a sense of oneness or wholeness begins to develop.
This is the final stage of the process in one sense, but in another – it is just the first step on the next path. No self is a state of mind that is achieved by reaching beyond the raw and true selves. This is where the vision of reality becomes clear and our interconnectedness with all things begins to shine through. Within this process, all of your other selves fall away – and the full nature of the delusion is finally revealed.