Inflation. A state of mind characterized by an exaggerated sense of self-importance, often compensated by feelings of inferiority. (See also mana-personality and negative inflation.)
Inflation, whether positive or negative, is a symptom of psychological possession, indicating the need to assimilate unconscious complexes or disidentify from the self.
An inflated consciousness is always egocentric and conscious of nothing but its own existence. It is incapable of learning from the past, incapable of understanding contemporary events, and incapable of drawing right conclusions about the future. It is hypnotized by itself and therefore cannot be argued with. It inevitably dooms itself to calamities that must strike it dead. Paradoxically enough, inflation is a regression of consciousness into unconsciousness. This always happens when consciousness takes too many unconscious contents upon itself and loses the faculty of discrimination, the sine qua non of all consciousness.[“Epilogue,” CW 12, par. 563.]
[Inflation] should not be interpreted as . . . conscious self-aggrandizement. Such is far from being the rule. In general we are not directly conscious of this condition at all, but can at best infer its existence indirectly from the symptoms. These include the reactions of our immediate environment. Inflation magnifies the blind spot in the eye.[“The Self,” CW 9ii, par. 44.]