|About the Book|
In the relationship between the normal experience of the egos potentiality and of the reality which limits that potentiality, the latter displaces the former, and causes delusions of grandeur. The preconditions can arise from ontogenetic ally different levels, either representing or complementing each other: 1. At the level of the reality principle, as a result of a lowering of the thresh old of criticism. The conditioning factors which stand in opposition to megalo mania are no longer recognized and can therefore be underestimated. 2. Through autistic regression to the pleasure principle, which prevailed at an ontogenetically earlier stag . In this case conditions are similar to the early childhood phase in which the power of the reality limiting the ego was not yet fully recognized. In such circumstances, personal power and importance can be overestimated. In addition to these alternatives, certain psychic dynamics are also necessary to produce megalomania. These can be activated by emotions and impulses which erupt endogenously. Such states are often caused somatically but are inaccessible to the understanding or to psychoanalytic explanations. Apart from those cases we define as the eruptive type, the dynamics that cause delusions of grandeur often constitute a striving toward release from a burden of suffering (Leidentlastung). Whether in delusion or in reality, the milieu is perceived as hostile. The aim of the tendency toward release from suffering, through the megalomanic increase in self-esteem, is to rid the milieu of its painful character.