CHAPTER SIXTEEN. And now we come to the most alarming delusion of all. The idea that other people don’t matter. Their feelings. Their needs. Imagine a cave where those inside never see the outside world. Instead, they see shadows of that world projected on the cave wall. The world they see in the shadows is not the real world. But it’s real to them. If you were to show them the world as it actually is, they would reject it as incomprehensible. Now what if, instead of being in a cave, you were out in the world, except you couldn’t see it. Because you weren’t looking. Because you trusted that the world you saw through the prism was the real world. But there’s a difference. You see, unlike the allegory of the cave, where the people are real and the shadows are false… here other people are the shadows. Their faces. Their lives. This is the delusion of the narcissist, who believes that they alone are real. Their feelings are the only feelings that matter because other people are just shadows, and shadows don’t feel. Because they’re not real. But what if everyone lived in caves? Then no one would be real. Not even you. Unless one day you woke up and left the cave. How strange the world would look after a lifetime of staring at shadows.