Narcissus in the most misunderstood of all…
He befalls to the mercy of the external reference twice.
Once for the good and once for the bad.
Narcissus is not the one established by the imperfect hermeneutics of the scholars and if there is a moral aftermath to come for our rescue, it is not the necessity of diversion from the vanity of complacency but something much deeper that we are not ready to conceive. Something inconceivable and subtle was tantalizing the handsome youth who was mesmerized by his own idol. No, he wasn’t consumed by the seduction of the mirage due to the pathos of the self’s division but due to a higher insight which is constantly found outside the frame of our cultural reference. Because hardly language can explicate the natural urge of the tongue pronouncing it; because the concept of water cannot have any discerned significance for the fish.
Narcissus is not the boy who with his dazed attention to his idol implies the natural repercussions for all those who are abandoned to the erotic whirlpool of the Same. Narcissus is the one who was enchanted by something much more substantial, yet depravingly indiscernible for those benighted whose overweening interpretations crystallized his forlorn world. Their identification with the adornment of the surface did not allow them to see clearly and deep beneath that which astonished the wise youth…
He saw lucidly his idol on the water; he saw that which he truly is, something indefinite and beyond the dominion of the despotic reference. His gaze did not slide, as they assume, to the charm of his beauty. He was staring at the stabbing gaze itself, wounded –the predatory gaze of the idol he was not. Not the love for the Same, but the stirring of the mystical Other; desire for union with what he always longs to become: the source of the self-reflective focus itself, the epicenter of becoming, the Subject that perpetually eludes, like a drop of quicksilver, the urge of its self-definition.
Narcissus bent down and gazed and saw and loved exactly this potential act. He devoted himself to the instinctual quest of the ultimate Mystery, the source of self-reflection itself, the other end of the spectrum, the alien idol, this infinite stranger…
If there was a wound, it did not occur from the tragic coexistence of the tangible object of desire with the desiring Subject who eludes each and every seizure. The wound, still bleeding like the womb which constantly bears the bemusing breakages of thought to an ultimate gesture… the void reception of the seizure as the humble hand of a suave orison: the convolution of the self-reflective act around the perennial looping question –torsion to the root of its train.
The reflexivity which persists to the most paradoxical stare: to the gaze that will not be subtended to the mirage on the mirror, that will not surrender perplexed against that executioner who knows you better than anyone else, but to the gaze that stabs and evacuates the idol of an unforeseen plenitude, as the most paradoxical identity. The gaze of the Other stripping you with the awe of the sacred for as long as the terrific realization of the reflective instinct effaces one of the two.
Thus, Narcissus from a point on did not exist on the mirage or he himself disappeared by ending up on the other side, conceding the invincible strength of the idol as the only possible existent and the exclusive source of being. Besides, it has been said by the Mathematics: without the self-reflective loop there cannot be an arithmetic object. Theology said it too: in the net of Indra, the coexistence of objects owed their existence to their interrelated reflection. Physics postulate it: the particle cannot be conceived without the crystallization of the identification by the word. Philosophy assumes it too: the event is always an arrangement of expressive rules that foundered it.
This is what he was absorbed with on the face of the idol, young Narcissus. This is why he slipped down in the lake to be swallowed by his idol. The interpreters could not conceive that Narcissus did not surrender to the love for the Same but to the irredeemable demise being implied by the emergence of the Other.
He didn’t die by a slippage of vanity.
He is the martyr of an inconceivable self-sacrifice, which is being plotted with the realization that crowns the most optimal self-knowledge: that the self is constantly under the mercy of the external reference, even from within; that the self-reference is constituted by a perennial alterity which subverts radically the coherence of becoming everywhere and always.
Here’s the sole aftermath for the new humanity which at last shows with the index the index: the double irony that is looming with the reflexive maturation of our species. How Narcissus was, for the good, the willing victim of a now emblematic self-sacrifice, which emerged with the intoxicating surplus of an inherent alterity and, at the same time, how this benevolent self-sacrifice was to be misconstrued, for the bad, as a gloating idiocy from all these authorities of the Logos who, even more ironically, defend with their bewildered gaze against the idol on the mirror, for the most precious safeguard of the Same…