OF PATHICSAND EVIL
THE BOOK THAT STRIKES AT THE ROOT OF EVIL'S MALICE
Written by the People for the People
with Related Chapters by the Author
JOSEPH SGUIGNA researched the subject of evil in relation to psychopathy for sixteen
years, and his book Of Pathics and Evil: A Philosophy Against Malice, is the culmination
of that research. Mr. Sguigna's insightful approach to the subject of psychopathy differs
from all other books on the subject from four standpoints: (1) it is a compilation of per-
sonal accounts from psychopaths themselves and from their victims; (2) he has cleared
up the frustrating problem of distinguishing the differences between the psychopath, the
sociopath, the narcissist, and the psychotic; (3) he has consolidated these four terms un-
der the inclusive term, "pathics"; (4) he has brought to the foreground an awareness of
pathic behavior in both women and children, which has been mostly in the background
of (psycho)pathic studies; and (5) he explores the phenomenon of the pathic character
in relation to human evil through an extensive compilation of quotations by eminent
persons on the subject of evil as inherent to human nature.
It is a fascinating, wrenching study of both evil and pathics as it weaves in and out of the
variations of pathic behavior. He saves the reader from sinking into despair on reading
these graphic accounts by offering a philosophy against malice derived from personal
experience, extensive study, and intuitive insight.
Readers will emerge from this book the wiser for it, with a deep and incisive understand-
ingof both evil and pathic behavior that will assist them in recognizing, and protecting
themselves from, the predators that invade their lives. The author's philosophy against
malice inherent in the book, serves as a clarion call to all readers that there must be an
ascendancy of justice and wisdom to replace injustice and ignorance. For truly has Of
Pathics and Evil highlighted Thoreau's statement, "For every thousand people hacking
at the branches of evil, there is one person striking at its root."
Joseph Sguigna is a writer of philosophic wisdom and co-creator with his wife, Sharon,
of a successful critical-creative thinking curriculum, Studies in Meaning. He was educated in philosophy at UCLA and CAL State University and lives in Redondo Beach,
California, with his family.
FIRST TWO REVIEWS
Workplace Bullying Institute: http://www.workplacebullying.org/2009/06/01/barbaric/
1. Charles Page says:
June 2, 2009 at 8:02 pm
I found the book, OF PATHICS AND EVIL, http://www.ofpathicsandevil.net to be a great and enjoyable resource for understanding the kinds of bullying behaviors I've had to endure. You'll find there the general categories of pathics: NARCIPATHS - do evil (deliberate harm)primarily for the sake of self-aggrandizement, SOCIOPATHS - do evil primarily for the sake of dominance over others, and PSYCHOPATHS-do evil primarily for the sake of malice, the pleasure derived from inflicting suffering upon others. All the bullies and abusers I've had the misfortune to know, and all of the bully enablers and apologists have epitomized these kinds of pathic behaviors.
2. garynamie says:
June 3, 2009 at 10:26 am
I like the typology, drawing fine distinctions within the general class of evil acts. Good resource.
Gary Namie [Ph.D., Social Psychology, author, and co-founder of the Workplace Bullying Institute]
"Beware of the false teachers, who come disguised as harmless sheep, but are wolves and will tear you apart"
- New Testament, Matthew, xiii, 57
OF PATHICS AND EVIL
A Philosophy against Malice
Compiled, Edited and Written
The individual has manifold shadows, all of which resemble him, and from
time to time have equal claim to be the man himself.
HAS THERE BEEN A PATHIC IN YOUR LIFE?
IS THERE ONE NOW?
If so, you can do something significant about it. You can free yourself from their present and past oppressions.
For this freedom to come about, (1) You must be able to distinguish the differences between the psychopath, the sociopath, and the narcipath. (2) You must come to understand, not only pathics, but yourself in relation to them; an understanding which happens through reading, reflecting, and discussing. (3) You must come to realize that, as humans, we all have our own dark side, more or less; and that in contrast to your dark side you also have your light side -- your transcendence.
Armed with this understanding, you will then be in a strategic position to free yourself from them permanently, and to recognize them for what they are, and to free yourself personally from them.
We can offer this understanding, this wisdom, this freedom, through two avenues found on this website, and related to this desktop published book: (1) an e-mail interchange for public discussion, (2) our AIM [AOL instant messenger] setup for personal discussion, and (3) our myspace for and oral and visual experience of pathics:
For many years, both my wife and I have studied thoroughly this corrosive pathic phenomenon psychologically, philosophically, and spiritually; and accordingly, we have compiled into this distinctive book, Of Pathics and Evil, real life accounts from victims; as well as revelations from the predators themselves; and have analyzed these pathic persons in relation to human evil and good.
This book ends on a high note of optimism and freedom through the projection of an ideal to reach for; namely, that justice and wisdom will one day take the ascendancy over injustice and ignorance. See our related website:
The contents of this book will surely provide an awakening awareness of the mindset and behavior of these pathics as how they intertwine their lives into our lives.
PART ONE: Perspectives of Human Evil
Chapter 1 A Preliminary 1
Chapter 2 The Pathics 9
Chapter 3 The Evil in Human Nature 16
Chapter 4 Pathics As Evil 82
PART TWO: Profiles of the Pathic Individual
Chapter 5 The Pathics: In Their Own Words 90
Chapter 6 The Victims: Descriptions of Pathics 109
Chapter 7 The Authorities: An Overview of Pathics 122
Chapter 8 Nature and/or Nurture 152
PART THREE: Pathics In Relationships
Chapter 9 Gender and Age Distinctions 166
Chapter 10 Codependents 241
Chapter 11 Sex 257
Chapter 12 Religion 290
Chapter 13 In the Workplace 301
Chapter 14 Traumatic Effects on Pathics' Victims 346
PART FOUR: Against Evil
Chapter 15 Against Evil in General 382
Chapter 16 Against Pathics in Particular 395
PART FIVE: Toward the Ascendancy of Justice and Wisdom
Chapter 17 A Philosophy against Malice: Auroralism 410
Chapter 18 Hard Natures in Contrast to Soft Natures 413
Chapter 19 That Good May Prevail over Evil 428
Chapter 20 The Play's the Thing 443
My purpose in composing this book is twofold: (1) for it to serve as an introductory manifesto for those individuals who aspire to do good for others, or for mankind, and (2) to serve as an introductory guide for those who aspire to be good to themselves by preserving their self-identity and personal integrity.
So this book is the natural companion to my accompanying book, Human-Transcendence: A Love-Wisdom. The former book is the dark in/of us, the latter book, the light in/of us.
The personal accounts of these passages are mainly from internet forums; and I am endlessly grateful for each person’s story, which, without these forums, this book could not have been compiled. These individuals have contributed immeasurably to the ongoing understanding of the pathic personality.
To keep the authenticity of the personal accounts in this book, I have retained each person’s natural way of writing with their often nonstandard words, spellings and usages – for example: “gonna,” “for the helluvit,” “sooooo seductive,” etc.; as well as, idiosyncratic words, such as “creepazoids” I retained their use of capital letters for emphasis, since their accounts on these internet forums were written in plain text, which, do not include bolding, italics, underlining, and the like (HTML). Also, since many of these accounts are from England, I retained their standard spellings of such words as, “behaviour” (behavior), “cant” (can’t), “favour” (favor) “realise” (realize), etc. I do change punctuation marks, so that their sentence arrangement make sense.
The following abbreviations are used by the personal accounts in this book.
N - Narcissist
S - sociopath
P - Psychopath
NP - Narcissistic Psychopath
NS – Narcissistic supply
NPD - Narcissistic Personality Disorder
PA - Passive Aggressive
NS - Narcissistic Supply (attention, admiration, etc.)
APD - Antisocial Personality Disorder
BPD - Borderline Personality Disorder
"To defeat them, first we must understand them"
- Elie Wiesel
"The world is all the richer for having a devil in it; so long as we keep our foot upon his neck"
- William James
[Those who use and abuse others primarily for the sake of harming them]
1. “It's heart-sickening how ignorant most therapists are when it comes to psychopathy. Excuse me. Antisocial Personality Disorder. Let's be politically correct, here.
“The last therapist I saw with my psychopath husband did not see ASPD at all in him. He dropped out of the `therapy' after he had thoroughly conned her. This therapist knew he had beaten me, threatened my life, slept with my friends, had affairs with teenagers, peeped, exposed, lied, stolen, abused his positions, turned my community against me; he had admitted to all of this. She also knew he had been accused by some children of molesting them, which he had not denied. He had told her if he did it, he didn't remember. She also knew he probably had molested his own children. She said to me, 'You think he has ASPD. I don't see that.'
“I said, 'Why not?'
“She said, 'Where is the antisocial behavior? What crimes has he committed?'
“I guess she meant he had no criminal record. Therefore he didn't have ASPD. Most people, including most therapists have a cardboard insightless image of a psychopath. They wouldn't know a psychopath if one hit them over the head with a two-by-four.
“They don't think a psychopath is charming, intelligent, attractive, personable, nice. In fact, a successful psychopath is all these things. And that is why a successful one has no criminal record. Nobody ever pressed charges against my husband. The next door neighbors had a talk with him after he window peeped the wife in the shower, and rang her doorbell and exposed himself to her. When he did it, again, they had another talk.
“A successful psychopath can talk himself out of just about anything. ASPD? No way. No psychopath worth his salt would ever get that label.
“Said therapist lectured me, repeatedly, to let Psychopath have his job, to not ruin that for him, to not turn his family against him. She was clearly agonized that I had turned his children against him. In her view, I was taking everything away from him. I did not do any of that. There was a leak into his job community about his office affair. I was not responsible for the leak. I never spoke to his family about the problems, at all, ever (she got the idea I would turn them all against him from Psychopath; my sin was apparently inviting them to my daughter's baby shower). I did not turn his youngest daughter against him. She put him out of her life after he beat me for the hundredth time, and held me captive with a knife for many hours; and I called her, afterwards, out of need. Okay, I did that. But I did not mean to turn her against him; I tried to talk her into being chummy with him again; afterwards (I was sick).
“When we reconciled, briefly, the therapist lectured me, endlessly, that I had better darn well be having sex with him. She was worried that I wouldn't play fair with poor Psychopath.[dash] Me being such a mean, spiteful person.
“And people wonder how we who were so victimized could have stayed so long. Here was a credentialed therapist who was not in love with the man, hadn't had his children, hadn't been his wife for decades, had never suffered any abuse, but knew about it, and blamed it all on me. The psychopath was that good. If he could convince her it was all me, how much more easily could he convince me?
“And she was not the first therapist to blame it all on me. I believe she was the fourth. Which is all of them, except for the first and the last.
“The therapy situation is appalling. No one should be permitted to work with a psychopath's victim who is not very specially trained. Better yet, all those who do should have experience with psychopaths.”
... [passage 2 ]
[Those who use and abuse others primarily to their advantage through manipulative control]
1. In my case [my] husband of 12 years, is not exactly malicious. He doesn't set out to hurt me just for kicks, in my opinion. He hurts me as little or as much as it takes to achieve his goal: to make me dependant on him in as many ways, obey him, give him all the [attention, admiration, etc.]. He demands that I abdicate control. So, while his primary goal isn't to hurt me, it becomes a goal if that's what it takes to get [attention, admiration, etc.] out of me.”
... [passage 2 ]
The Narcipath (a variation of 'narcissist')
[Those who use and abuse others primarily to their advantage for the sake of self-aggrandizement]
1. “My ex girlfriend said I was perfect. She made me feel so special and I tried so hard to make her feel loved. After the first year, nothing was ever good enough. On every holiday, she found a way to cheapen the experience and say it was my fault. It was like looking into the abyss. She did the most horrible things to me to make me feel like garbage. When she left me, she just acted like everything I did was nothing to her. It was my fault because she wants a man who will give her 80% of their time to nurture her needs while giving 20% in return, because she said she deserves it, and intends to have it. Her lies were unnecessary and she never seemed to be able to have an in-depth conversation about much of anything. I miss the person she claimed to be. The facade was so great. I don't know what happened to her, but I wish I could find her again. I know it's over, but god it hurts to know you spent two years together and it meant nothing.
... [passage 2]
[by the Author]
Psychopaths do us harm. Sociopaths also do us harm. Narcissists, too, do us harm. Each harms according to his/her own propensities. Psychopaths will do us harm primarily for the sake of harm. Sociopaths will do us harm primarily for the sake of manipulative-dominance. Narcissists will do us harm primarily for the sake of self-aggrandizement. However they may differ in their approach to harming others, they will do so both covertly and overtly.
The terms, psychopath, sociopath, and narcissist are commonly interchanged, and so can be confusing as to the degree and fashion [type] of harm perpetrated by these individuals. Accordingly, in order to resolve this confusion, we have coined a comprehensive term that includes all three terms. The term “pathic” is this comprehensive term that includes the sociopath, the psychopath, and the narcissist. This word `narcissist' will be modified to narcipath – I modify the term, “narcissist” to “narcipath” so that the suffix, “path,” is consistent with the other two terms, as well as to avoid the various connotations, favorable and otherwise, of the term “narcissist.”
One other term included with these three, is what I term “psychoticpath” which refers to the abnormality of blood-lust as an habitual frame of mind. Because of its rarity in human behavior, it will not be discussed overall, but will have its own chapter.
The term “pathic” is derived from the suffix, path, signifying 'disease-producing,' 'suffering'. It is this etymological root of the term `pathic' which gives these three types of harmful individuals, each in his own way, their commonality: that they cause disease (the breaking down of physical and/or psychological health) and suffering. The common term, 'narcissist', therefore, will simply be renamed `narcipath' so that they all belong to the same.
... [8 more entries]
THE EVIL IN HUMAN NATURE
Since the doings of pathics are universally destructive to the well-being of others; and since evil is considered a destructive force, it is understood that pathic behavior is considered a form of evil. Malice is the overall term that applies to this form of human evil. So, we can say of a pathic (person) that he or she is evil in general, and malicious in particular.
It is not very likely that a good person could ever be a malicious person; but he might very well act maliciously under extreme circumstances, such as revenge or self-defense or self-preservation or jealousy (“the green-eyed monster”). In which case, malice, or evil, is inherent to even the good or moral, person. Which extreme causes this evil in a basically good or moral person, depends on the person and his particular physical and psychological threshold of pain ensuing from fear, anxiety, terror, rejection, abuse, starvation, imprisonment, and the like.
Furthermore, if we consider human nature from an ethical perspective, we could classify people as either basically moral (concerned with what is right and good), or basically immoral (opposed to what is right and good) or basically amoral (indifferent to what is right or good). And, as mentioned, if even a good, moral, person could act maliciously in the extreme, then certainly, even moreso, could the amoral and immoral person.
From this brief analysis, it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that evil is an inherent human trait relative to a person's individual nature, or temperament, or constitution, however buried in his/her unconscious “id” of human nature.
To support this view, I offer a wide selection of quotations from eminent persons from all times and all places. My threefold purpose in including these quotations is (1) as I mentioned, to support the view that evil, relatively speaking, is as much a part of our common human nature as is good; and (2) to better prepare the reader's understanding and open-mindedness to not judge the pathics in these readings as an anomaly, or “sickness” of human nature; but to view them as an opposition to human welfare and well-being; and so, accordingly, to protect ourselves from them the best we can; and (3) to understand more fully the nature of human evil in general, and the pathics as evil in particular.
The following quotation from a contemporary theater critic, Charles McNulty, places the inevitability of strife, for good and for evil, in human affairs simply by an innate propensity to dominate, or be dominated: “The urge to dominate is fundamental to our territorial natures. We know we're not safe, and our canine vigilance readies us to attack and defend.”
A Contemporary Perspective
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF EVIL
Devils, Demons, and the Daimonic
Selection from Anger, Madness, and the Daimonic: The Psychological Genesis of Violence, Evil, and Creativity, Stephen A. Diamond, Ph. D.
Hostility, hatred, and violence are the greatest evils we have to contend with today. Evil is now – ever has been, and ever will be – an existential reality, an inescapable fact with which we mortals must reckon. In virtually every culture there has existed some word for evil, a universal, linguistic acknowledgment of the archetypal presence of “something that brings sorrow, distress, or calamity...; the fact of suffering, misfortune, and wrongdoing.” Yet another of Webster's traditional definitions links the English word evil with all that is “angry… wrathful...[and] malignant.” The term evil has always been closely associated with anger, rage, and, of course, violence. But today we seem uncomfortable with this antiquated concept. Our discomfort resides largely in the religious and theological implications of evil, based on values, ethics, and morals that many today find judgmental, dogmatic, and passé. In a secular society like ours, we Americans have tended to avoid biblical characterizations such as “sin,” “wickedness," “iniquity,” and “evil.” Nevertheless, as Jungian analyst Liliane Frey-Rohn rightly remarks: “Evil is a phenomenon that exists and has always existed only in the human world. Animals know nothing of it. But there is no form of religion, of ethics, or of community life in which it is not important. What is more, we need to discriminate between evil and good in our daily life with others, and as psychologists in our professional work. And yet it is difficult to give a precise definition of what we mean psychologically by these terms.”
Evil is an actuality, whether or not we choose to deny it.
An Historical Perspective
We are no more responsible for the evil thoughts that pass through our minds than a scarecrow for the birds which fly over the seed plot he has to guard. The sole responsibility in each case is to prevent them from settling.
1. Intellectual appreciation does not amount to so much, it's what you thrill to. And if murder, suicide, rape is what you thrill to, and nothing else, then it's your destiny – you can't change it mentally. You live by what you thrill to, and there's the end of it. Still, for all that, it's a perverse courage which makes the man accept the slow suicide of inertia and sterility: the perverseness of a perverse child. – It's amazing how men are like that.
2. This is the very worst wickedness, that we refuse to acknowledge the passionate evil that is in us. This makes us secret and rotten.
George Bernard Shaw
1. When it comes to the point, really bad men are just as rare as really good ones.
2. It is easy – terribly easy – to shake a man's faith in himself. To take advantage of that to break a man's spirit is devil's work.
There is no explanation for evil. It must be looked upon as a necessary part of the order of the universe. To ignore it is childish, to bewail it senseless.
1. I believe there are monsters born in the world to human parents. . . . The face and body may be perfect, but if a twisted gene or a malformed egg can produce physical monsters, may not the same process produce a malformed soul?
2. I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one. . . . Humans are caught-in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too-in a net of good and evil. . . . There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well-or ill?
... [24 more entries]
Oh, man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power,
Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
Thy smiles hypocrisy, thy words deceit!
By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Calm, thinking villains, whom no faith could fix,
Of crooked counsels and dark politics.
Destroy his fib, or sophistry – in vain!
The creature's at his dirty work again.
1. The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
O what a goodly outside falsehood hath.
... [6 more entries]
She has a nature so malign and evil that she never sates her greedy will, and after food is hungrier than before.
PHILOSOPHERS / SAGES
1. The evil implanted in man by nature spreads so imperceptibly, when the habit of wrong-doing is unchecked, that he himself can set no limit to his shamelessness.
2. Evil is nourished and grows by concealment.
For insolence is the natural results of great prosperity, while envy and jealousy are innate qualities in the mind of man. When these two devices are combined, they lead to the most enormous crimes: some atrocities are committed from insolence, and some from envy. Princes ought to be superior to all such feelings; but alas! We know that this is not the case. The noble and the worthiest are the object of their jealousy, merely because they feel that their lives are a reproach to them; with the most abandoned they rejoice to spend their time. Calumny they drink in with greedy ears. But what is the most paradoxical of all, if thou showest them merely respectful homage, they take umbrage because thou art not sufficiently humble; whereas if thou bend the knee with the most submissive looks, thou art disordered personalities....
It must be that evil communications corrupt good dispositions.
1. It should be understood that war is the common condition, that strife is justice, and that all things come to pass through the compulsion of strife.
2. Homer was wrong in saying, “Would that strife might perish from amongst gods and men.” For if that were to occur then all things would cease to exist.
Man is at bottom a wild and terrible animal. We know him only as what we call civilization has tamed and trained him; hence we are alarmed by the occasional breaking out of his true nature. But whenever the locks and chains of law and order are cast off, and anarchy comes in, he shows himself for what he really is.
We are conscious of an animal in us, which awakens in proportion as our higher nature slumbers. It is reptile and sensual, and perhaps cannot be wholly expelled; like the worms which, even in life and health, occupy our bodies. Possibly we may withdraw from it, but never change its nature. I fear that it may enjoy a certain health of its own; that we may be well, yet not pure.
1. [Zarathustra:] But it is with a man as it is with the tree. The more he aspires to the height and light, the more strongly do his roots strive earthward, downward, into the dark, the deep – into evil.
2. [Zarathustra:] You aspire to the free heights, your soul thirsts for the stars. But your wicked instincts, too, thirst for freedom. Your wild dogs want freedom; they bark with joy in their cellar when your spirit plans to open all prisons.
1. To fight is a radical instinct; if men have nothing else to fight over they will fight over words, fancies, or women, or they will fight because they dislike each other's looks, or because they have met walking in opposite directions. To knock a thing down, especially if it is cocked at an arrogant angle, is a deep delight to the blood. To fight for a reason and in a calculating spirit is something your true warrior despises.
2. All men are born with a sufficient violent liking for domination, wealth, and pleasure, and with a strong taste for idleness; consequently, all men covet the money, the wives, or the daughters of other men; they wish to be master, to subject them to all their caprices, and to do nothing, or at least to do only very agreeable things.
... [30 more entries]
1. It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go beyond himself. But let these harmless creatures form a mass, and there emerges a raging monster; and each individual is only one tiny cell in the monster's body, so that for better or worse he must accompany it on its bloody rampages and even assist it to the utmost. Having a dark suspicion of these grim possibilities, man turns a blind eye to the shadow-side of human nature. Blindly he strives against the salutary dogma of original sin, which is yet so prodigiously true. Yes, he even hesitates to admit the conflict of which he is so painfully aware.
4. Taking it in its deepest sense, the shadow is the invisible saurian [reptile] tail that man still drags behind him. Carefully amputated, it becomes the healing serpent of the mysteries. Only monkeys parade with it.
1. I will say nothing of how you may appear in your own eyes, but have you met with so much goodwill in your superiors and rivals, so much chivalry in your enemies and so little envy amongst your acquaintances, that you feel it incumbent on you to protest against the idea of the part played by egoistic baseness in human nature? Do you not know how uncontrolled and unreliable the average human being is in all that concerns sexual life? Or are you ignorant of the fact that all the excesses and aberrations of which we dream at night are crimes actually committed every day by men who are wide awake? What does psychoanalysis do in this connection but confirm the old saying of Plato that the good are those who content themselves with dreaming of what others, the wicked, actually do
And now look away from individuals to the great war still devastating Europe: think of the colossal brutality, cruelty and mendacity which is now allowed to spread itself over the civilized world. Do you really believe that a handful of unprincipled place-hunters and corrupters of men would have succeeded in letting loose all this latent evil, if the millions of their followers were not also guilty? Will you venture, even in these circumstances, to break a lance for the exclusion of evil from the mental constitution of humanity?
You will accuse me of taking a one-sided view of war, and tell me that it has also called out all that is finest and most noble in mankind, heroism, self-sacrifice, and public spirit. That is true; but do not now commit the injustice, from which psycho-analysis has so often suffered, of reproaching it that it denies one thing because it affirms another. It is no part of our intention to deny the nobility in human nature, nor have we ever done anything to disparage its value. On the contrary, I show you not only the evil wishes which are censored but also the censorship which suppresses them and makes them unrecognizable. We dwell upon the evil in human beings with the greater emphasis only because others deny it, thereby making the mental life of mankind not indeed better, but incomprehensible. If we give up the one-sided ethical valuation then, we are sure to find the truer formula for the relation of evil to good in human nature.
1. We are all ready to be savage in some cause. The difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of the cause.
2. For life is evil. Two souls are in my breast; I see the better, and in the very act of seeing it I do the worse.
... [4 more entries]
From THE BIBLE
For those who the Bible is the first and last word of our humanity and spirituuality, will find in the following passages that not only has God created the world, “and saw that it was good”; but has included human evil in that process – “I make peace, and create evil.” It is not the work of Satan, or some Evil force or alien entity, or whatever else; unless these concepts serve as metaphors that apply meaning and myth to what we cannot understand about the nature of evil. So, according to the Bible and God, it looks like we are stuck with evil regardless of the endlessly vast chaos and suffering it engenders in and against life.
From THE OLD TESTAMENT
from Lamentations 3:38
1. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7, KJV) Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? (Amos 3:6, KJV) Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?
2. Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come? (Lamentations 3:38, NIV) Is it not from the mouth of the Most High That both good and ill go forth? (Lamentations 3:38, NASB)
1. Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and clever in their own sight!
from THE NEW TESTAMENT
1. “Beware of false teachers who come disguised as harmless sheep, but are wolves and will tear you apart. You can detect them by the way they act, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit. You need never confuse grapevines with thorn bushes or figs with thistles. Different kinds of fruit trees can quickly be identified by examining their fruit. A variety that produces delicious fruit never produces an inedible kind. And a tree producing an inedible kind can't produce what is good. So the trees having the inedible fruit are chopped down and thrown on the fire. Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit produced.'” (Matthew 7:15-23)
2. “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)
1. “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!” (Matthew 18:6-7)
2. “The good person brings good things out of a good treasure, and the evil person brings evil things out of an evil treasure.” (Matthew 12:35)
3. “It is what comes out of a person that defiles. For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:20-23)
4. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God." (John 3:20-21)
And if you are sure that you are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth, you, then, that teach others, will you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You that forbid adultery, do you commit adultery? You that abhor idols, do you rob temples? You that boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?
Variations of Evil
The following sections: “The Aesthetics of Evil,” “The Degradation of Evil,” “The Culture of Evil, “The Egoism of Evil,” “The Politics of Evil,” present evil in its various aspects besides its obvious destructiveness in human affairs .
THE AESTHETICS OF EVIL
1. Repudiating the virtues of your world, criminals hopelessly agree to organize a forbidden universe. They agree to live in it. The air there is nauseating: they can breathe it.
2. Crimes of which a people is ashamed constitute its real history. The same is true of man.
3. We know that their adventures are childish. They themselves are fools. They are ready to kill or be killed over a card-game in which an opponent – or they themselves – was cheating. Yet, thanks to such fellows, tragedies are possible.
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THE DEGRADATION OF EVIL
1. Wolves which batten upon lambs, lambs consumed by wolves, the strong who immolate the weak, the weak victims of the strong: there you have Nature, there you have her intentions, there you have her scheme: a perpetual action and reaction, a host of vices, a host of virtues, in one word, a perfect equilibrium resulting from the equality of good and evil on earth.
2. Get it into your head once and for all, my simple and very fainthearted fellow, that what fools call humanness is nothing but a weakness born of fear and egoism; that this chimerical virtue, enslaving only weak men, is unknown to those whose character is formed by stoicism, courage, and philosophy.
3. All, all is theft, all is unceasing and rigorous competition in nature; the desire to make off with the substance of others is the foremost -- the most legitimate -- passion nature has bred into us and, without doubt, the most agreeable one. Destruction, hence, like creation, is one of Nature's man- mandates.
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THE CULTURE OF EVIL
1. One of the most notable traits of the Mexican's character is his willingness to contemplate horror: he is even familiar and complacent in his dealings with it. The bloody Christs in our village churches, the macabre humor in some of our newspaper headlines, our wakes, the custom of eating skull-shaped cakes and candies on the Day of the Dead, are habits inherited from the Indians and the Spaniards and are now an inseparable part of our being. Our cult of death is also a cult of life, in the same way that love is a hunger for life and a longing for death. Our fondness for self-destruction derives not only from our masochistic tendencies but also from a certain variety of religious emotion.
We are nihilists - except that our nihilism is not intellectual but instinctive, and therefore irrefutable. … We believe that sin and death constitute the ultimate basis of human nature.
2. The North American system only wants to consider the positive aspects of reality. Men and women are subjected from childhood to an inexorable process of adaptation; certain principles, contained in brief formulas, are endlessly repeated by the press, the radio, the churches and the schools, and by those kindly, sinister beings, the North American mothers and wives.
A person imprisoned by these schemes is like a plant in a flowerpot too small for it: he cannot grow or mature. This sort of conspiracy cannot help but provoke violent individual rebellions. Spontaneity avenges itself in a thousand subtle or terrible ways. The mask that replaces the .dramatic mobility of the human face is benevolent and courteous but empty of emotion, and its set smile is almost lugubrious: it shows the extent to which intimacy can be devastated by the arid victory of principles over instincts. The sadism underlying almost all types of relationships in contemporary North American life is perhaps nothing more than a way of escaping the petrifaction imposed by the doctrine of aseptic moral purity. The same is true of the new religions and sects, and the liberating drunkenness that opens the doors of “life.” It is astonishing what a destructive and almost physiological meaning this word has acquired: to live means to commit excesses, break the rules, go to the limit (of what?), experiment with sensations. The act of love is an “experience” (and therefore unilateral and frustrating). But it is not to my purpose to describe these reactions. It is enough to say that all of them, like their Mexican opposites, seem to me to reveal our mutual inability to reconcile ourselves to the flux of life.
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THE POLITICS OF EVIL
1. Whoever desires to found a state and give it laws, must start with assuming that all men are bad and ever ready to display their vicious nature, whenever they may find occasion for it.
2. A prince should therefore have no other aim or thought, nor take up any other thing for his study but war and it organization and discipline, for that is the only art that is necessary to one who commands.
3. Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.
4. It is necessary to take such measures that, when they believe no longer, it may be possible to make them believe by force.
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THE EGOISM OF EVIL
1. We behave politely to be treated politely, and to be considered polite.
2. Pity is often a way of feeling our own misfortunes in those of other people; it is a clever foretaste of the unhappiness we may someday encounter. We help others to make sure they will help us under similar circumstances, and the services we render them are, properly speaking, benefits we store up for ourselves in advance.
3. We make promises to the extent that we hope, and keep them to the extent that we fear.
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PATHICS AS EVIL
From Personal Accounts
From the following personal accounts it is clear that pathics are emissaries of evil; who are wired neurologically, chemically, and psychologically to op- pose, offset, upset, agitate in the extreme, the moral and social order that prevails in any given situation; yet perhaps not so clear that without such pathics, our humanity would fall into a debilitating stagnation of listless automatism.
And you might protest: “But these pathics cause so much unjustifiable suffering to countless innocent victims. Wouldn't life be so much better without them; and would why would such a life be a debilitating stagnation of our humanity?” And I reply, Theoretically, ideally, life would be much better without them; but then, there would remain only the good and loving with no opposition whatsoever: a utopian world. All would be well and good. But, all would not – could not – be well and good simply from the living realities of pain and pleasure, wants and needs, self-consciousness; or of sexual selection that spawn rivalry, jealousy, lust, etc.; or of physical and mental variations that spawn competition, aggression, moods, etc.; or of fatigue, of disease and aging that spawn fear of our mortality and the situations goes on and on.
All these living realities that we are faced with, are inescapably part and parcel of our human condition. Hence there can be no one-sided perspective of human nature. Strife comes with love; that is to say, creation with destruction; there is no annihilating the one without annihilating the other. Life, human life in particular consists of necessary dualities, or opposites: good and bad, light and dark, male and female, pain and pleasure…good and bad.
And here we return to our topic of the pathics of evil destroying the good, the “tooth and nail” side of life. And does not this “tooth and nail” side of life apply to the good as well? For the good must protect itself from the bad and so often enough must apply the “tooth and nail” side of life, though with good on its side. In either case, life remains “tooth and nail.” There is no way out, however we twist and turn.
So the ever-repeating mantras of “peace on earth,” and “universal brotherhood,” are no less than illusions – often becoming a delusions – so long as life is as it is: patterns of dualities. Hence we are stuck with the pathics as they are stuck with the nonpathics; they need us as we need them so far as life as we know it is structured and patterned; and apparently, evolving. The following passage by a pathic relates to this point: “We have had some interesting chats. He [the pathic] tells me that predators are necessary so that prey can develop survival skills – and that assists the human race in becoming smarter. Sometimes I can't really follow his logic.”
Hence, the fight, the struggle, one against the other goes on without stop; yet what could very well change for the better is for the good (justice and wisdom) to one day take the ascendancy over the bad (injustice and ignorance). Then we will have a “brave new world” to look forward to; for then we will have fought the good fight.
1. “And the reptilian stare of those eyes. You cannot escape the uniqueness of that stare, no matter what the color. Once you've seen it, you'll never forget it. ... how they drill into you, draw you in and capture you.”
2. “Also what I have observed is the truly evil end of the spectrum both in human and animal is always displayed in those deep dark hole for eyes. Can that be the easiest clue to tune into?”
3. “This evil seeks and finds anything and everything that is sacred, special, or cherished and seeks not only to destroy it; but to do so in the most agonizing, never-ending, worst way imaginable.
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THE PATHICS: IN THEIR OWN WORDS
1. “I'm right back at the center of attention – where I belong!”
2. “It's all about me now. I don't care about you or what the kids want or what they need.”
3. “I don't care if you have been sitting in traffic all this time because of a wreck on the Interstate! I have been sitting here waiting for you for 2 hrs! You have no regard for ME!
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1. “I don't get mad, I get even. I am the Master Manipulator.”
2. “I'm a taker not a giver.”
3. “I tell you things on a need-to-know basis. If I think you need to know, I'll tell you
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1. “I will kill you if it takes me 20 years. When you least expect it.”
2. “I'd like to beat the sh**t out of you!”
3. “I just have this sudden urge to punch you right in the face.”
4. “The BEST time to kick a man is WHEN he's down!”
5. I asked why he was being so verbally abusive. His response was “Because I can!” Didn't that say it all?
6. “Do whatever you want to do to whomever you want to do it. Just don't leave any bruises.”
7. “I can only hurt you as much as you allow me to.”
8. He told me, “It is like when you put an animal in a cage, I like to poke at you, because I like to watch you get mad,”
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"Paxton was killed because of an irresistible compulsion that has taken over my life, I knew when I left my house that day that someone would die.... This compulsion started with just thoughts about murder and progressed from thoughts to action. I've thought about getting professional help but how can I ever approach a mental-health professional? I just can't blurt out in an interview that I've killed people (Paxton was not the only one). Technically I meet the definition of a serial killer (three or more victims with a cooling-off period in between) but I'm an average-looking person with a family, job, and home just like yourself."
1. "I did this not as a sex act...but out of hate for her. I don't mean out of hate for her in particular, really I mean out of hate for a woman."
2. "It wasn't as dark and scary as it sounds. I had a lot of fun...killing somebody's a funny experience."
1. "I always had the desire to inflict pain on others and to have others inflict pain on me. I always seemed to enjoy everything that hurt. The desire to inflict pain; that is all that is uppermost."
2. I am not insane, I'm just queer."
3. "I saw so many boys whipped, it took root in my head."
"What I did was not for sexual pleasure. Rather it brought me some peace of mind."
"When this monster entered my brain, I will never know, but it is here to stay. How does one cure himself? I can't stop it, the monster goes on, and hurts me as well as society. Maybe you can stop him. I can't."
1. "A 'possessed' dog in the neighborhood won't let me stop killing until he gets his fill of blood."
2. "I always had a fetish for murder and death."
3. "I am a monster. I am the Son of Sam. I love to hunt."
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1. "That is my ambition, to have killed more people - more helpless people - than any man or woman who has ever lived."
2. "I carried it too far, that's for sure."
1. "They say it's the number of people I killed, I say it's the principle."
2. "To me, this world is nothing but evil, and my own evil just happened to come out because of the circumstances of what I was doing."
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THE VICTIMS: PATHIC DESCRIPTIONS
The following quotation fragments are further indications as to whether who is being referred to is either a narcissist, sociopath, or psychopath. Because of the current confusion between the three terms among people, these persons use the three terms indiscriminately because each category has shared traits, such as lack of conscience and remorse, lying, irresponsibility, etc. More information is needed to derive a full picture of which he or she is according to our grouping. Accordingly I will group these passages with this in mind. In keeping with each writer's contribution, Narcissists are abbreviated as N; sociopaths are abbreviated as S; and psychopaths are` abbreviated as P
1. “You say your guy might actually be an NPD [narcissist personality disorder]. Sometimes I don't think there's a dime's worth of difference between the P and the N. So if he is violent, unpredictable and a chronic liar he's more likely to be a P; more needy of admiration, more likely to be an N. In most other respects they are quite similar.”
2. “Of course, as normal human beings, we search inside ourselves for answers. That is precisely what the N never does. If he did, he would go for therapy forthwith. It is natural to wonder how we could be fooled so easily and so ruthlessly. Ever watch sleight of hand? Well, it is the same. You are fooled by the speed and skill of the 'magician' or the card sharp. But, and this is the 'but', it is only an illusion.”
3. “Looking back on all the Ns I've ever known and merged with, I see there were signs within minutes of meeting the N that they were grossly selfish, immoral, sex-addicted or something was definitely 'off' that I couldn't explain. I didn't honour my intuition, gut feelings, and instinct. The truth is that I had almost no experience setting healthy boundaries.”
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74. “I am obsessed beyond normal...almost envious of their 'super powers'. How do I wean myself away from this evil fixation?”
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AN OVERVIEW OF PATHICS
The three selections in this chapter professionally substantiate the insights, descriptions, and experiences of the nonprofessional contributors (mostly victims of pathics) to this book. Section 1 includes Dr. Robert Hare's noted 20-item checklist that is used extensively in psychopathic literature and therapy. Section 2, includes pertinent passages on psychopathic descriptions from Dr. Hervey Cleckley's seminal masterwork, The Mask of Sanity. Section 3 includes recent findings of psychopathy by Dr. Kent Kiehl, one of the world's leading younger investigators in psychopathy.
Hare's PCL-R 20-item Checklist
Hare's PCL-R 20-item checklist is based on Cleckley's 16-item checklist.
1. GLIB and SUPERFICIAL CHARM – the tendency to be smooth, engaging, charming, slick, and verbally facile. Psychopathic charm is not in the least shy, self-conscious, or afraid to say anything. A psychopath never gets tongue-tied. They have freed themselves from the social conventions about taking turns in talking, for example.
2. GRANDIOSE SELF-WORTH – a grossly inflated view of one's abilities and self-worth, self-assured, opinionated, cocky, a braggart. Psychopaths are arrogant people who believe they are superior human beings.
3. NEED FOR STIMULATION or PRONENESS TO BOREDOM – an excessive need for novel, thrilling, and exciting stimulation; taking chances and doing things that are risky. Psychopaths often have a low self- discipline in carrying tasks through to completion because they get bored easily. They fail to work at the same job for any length of time, for example, or to finish tasks that they consider dull or routine.
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From Mask of Sanity
by Hervey Cleckley
More often than not, the typical psychopath will seem particularly agreeable and make a distinctly positive impression when he is first encountered. Alert and friendly in his attitude, he is easy to talk with and seems to have a good many genuine interests. There is nothing at all odd or queer about him, and in every respect he tends to embody the concept of a well-adjusted, happy person. Nor does he, on the other hand, seem to be artificially exerting himself like one who is covering up or who wants to sell you a bill of goods. He would seldom be confused with the professional back-slapper or someone who is trying to ingratiate himself for a concealed purpose. Signs of affectation or excessive affability are not characteristic. He looks like the real thing.
Very often indications of good sense and sound reasoning will emerge and one is likely to feel soon after meeting him that this normal and pleasant person is also one with high abilities. Psychometric tests also very frequently show him of superior intelligence. More than the average person, he is likely to seem free from social or emotional impediments, from the minor distortions, peculiarities, and awkward- nesses so common even among the successful. Such superficial characteristics are not universal in this group but they are very common.
Here the typical psychopath contrasts sharply with the schizoid personality or the patient with masked or latent schizophrenia. No matter how free from delusions and other overt signs of psychosis the schizoid person may be, he is likely to show specific peculiarities in his outer aspect. Usually there are signs of tension, withdrawal, and subtle oddities of manner and reaction. These may appear to be indications of unrevealed brilliance, perhaps even eccentricities of genius, but they are likely to complicate and cool easy social relations and to promote restraint. Although the psychopath's inner emotional deviations and deficiencies may be comparable with the inner status of the masked schizophrenic, he outwardly shows nothing brittle or strange. Everything about him is likely to suggest desirable and superior human qualities, a robust mental health.
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Selections from The Search for the Roots of Psychopathy. by John Seabrook, The New Yorker, November 10, 2008
At thirty-eight, [Dr. Kent] Kiehl, is one of the world's leading younger investigators in psychopathy, the condition of moral emptiness that affects between fifteen to twenty-five per cent of the North American prison population, and is believed by some psychologists to exist in one per cent of the general adult male population. (Female psychopaths are thought to be much rarer.) Psychopaths don't exhibit the manias, hysterias, and neuroses that are present in other types of mental illness. Their main defect, what psychologists call "severe emotional detachment" – a total lack of empathy and remorse – is concealed, and harder to describe than the symptoms of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. This absence of easily readable signs has led to debate among mental-health practitioners about what qualifies as psychopathy and how to diagnose it. Psychopathy isn't identified as a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the American Psychiatric Association's canon; instead, a more general term, "antisocial personality disorder," known as A.P.D., covers the condition.
There is also little consensus among researchers about what causes psychopathy. Considerable evidence, including several large-scale studies of twins, points toward a genetic component. Yet psychopaths are more likely to come from neglectful families than from loving, nurturing ones. Psychopathy could be dimensional, like high blood pressure, or it might be categorical, like leukemia. Researchers argue over whether tests used to measure it should focus on behavior or attempt to incorporate personality traits-like deceitfulness, glibness, and lack of remorse-as well. The only point on which everyone agrees is that psychopathy is extremely difficult to treat. And for some researchers the word "psychopath" has been tainted by its long and seamy relationship with criminality and popular culture, which began with true-crime pulps and continues today in TV shows like CBS's "Criminal Minds" and in the work of authors like Thomas Harris and Patricia Cornwell. The word is so loaded with baleful connotations that it tends to empurple any surrounding prose.
Kiehl is frustrated by the lack of respect shown to psychopathy by the mental-health establishment. "Think about it," he told me. "Crime is a trillion-dollar-a-year problem. The average psychopath will be convicted of four violent crimes by the age of forty. And yet hardly anyone is funding research into the science. Schizophrenia, which causes much less crime, has a hundred times more research money devoted to it." I asked why, and Kiehl said, "Because schizophrenics are seen as victims, and psychopaths are seen as predators. The former we feel empathy for, the latter we lock up."
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NATURE AND/OR NURTURE
The following article precedes the nonprofessional perspectives on this controversial topic of nature-or-nurture-or-both. I include it here to set the stage, so to speak, so that the reader will better appreciate a layman's views.
From: The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatrist: by Dr Essi Viding, from the Medical Research Council's Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London
PSYCHOPATHS are born anti-social, not corrupted by bad parenting, scientists reveal today.
A study of twins showed that anti-social behaviour was strongly inherited in children with psychopathic tendencies. In children without psychopathic traits, being anti-social was chiefly the result of environmental factors.
The findings support previous research indicating that children with psychopathic tendencies often remain an anti-social problem. Psychopaths are generally recognized by a lack of empa- thy and weak conscience. If a psychopath does something that hurts another person, he or she is less likely to feel remorse than other people.
These tendencies are a recognized warning sign of anti-social behaviour in young children.
To help identify the genetic components of anti-social behaviour, a team of British psychiatrists studied 3,687 pairs of seven-year-old twins.
Twins are often used by researchers investigating inherited traits. Identical twins share the same genes, and, therefore, the same inherited influences, whereas non-identical twins do not. By comparing the two groups, it is possible to see if a trait is or is not carried in the genes.
In the new study, teacher ratings for anti-social behaviour and psychopathic tendencies were obtained for the children. Those in the top 10 per cent of the sample for anti-social behaviour were separated into two groups, with and without psychopathic tendencies. Analysis showed that anti-social behaviour was only strongly inherited in the psychopathic children.
A Man's Introduction
“Are these children just born bad? Environment alone cannot explain deranged behavior - too many abused and neglected children grow up to be law-abiding citizens. If there is a genetic explanation, it's a slippery, discreet mutation. We don't see entire families of serial killers. There is no such thing as a “kill gene”, but research is revealing some genetic tendencies to violent behavior. In other words, bad seeds blossom in bad environments.
“The position I favor is that psychopathy emerges from a complex – and poorly understood – interplay between biological factors and social forces. It is based on evidence that genetic factors contribute to the biological bases of brain function and to basic personality structure, which in turn influence the way the individual responds to, and interacts with, life experiences and the social environment. In effect, the elements needed for the development of psychopathy – including a profound inability to experience empathy and the complete range of emotions, including fear - are provided in part by nature and possibly by some unknown biological influences on the developing fetus and neonate. As a result, the capacity for developing internal controls and conscience and for making emotional 'connections' with others is greatly reduced.
A Woman's Introduction
“Most parents will tell you that their children exhibit general behaviors very early in their development. Some may be stubborn, others happy, and still others may be grumpy. We see these general emotional responses in infants and can often see a trend by the time the child is only a few months old. Many of these parents will also assert that these responses, or temperaments, seem to continue throughout the child's development.
“The stubborn infant who cries when put down for a nap may become the stubborn adolescent who rebels against authority or resists society's norms. The happy and content infant may be the adult who finds friends easily and has a knack for seeing the good in others. When these temperaments are present shortly after birth and continue throughout a person's life, it is difficult to not see a biological connection.”
TOPIC TITLE: What Are Your Views that Psychopathy Can Be Inherited?
1. “One article I read pointed out that a certain gene combined with a bad environment can bring out this behaviour. If so, how come other siblings with the same genetic makeup or biology and environment do not have the P's [psychopath's] traits? The other question is this then, why is it that some of these Ps come from really good homes?”
2. “As far as I've been able to tell, it's not inherited. It just strikes at random. I've been in a discussion and it seemed that people with Ns or Ps in their family have ancestors who may have had schizophrenia, although it's not scientific and it's not at all the same thing. I don't know why, but it just seemed to be present in a lot of the extended families of Ps. They've done MRIs on Ps and the prefrontal cortex of their brain has little color or activity. In many cases, it seems like they were born that way. That's an interesting point that both the Dad and Grandpa to this girl have had P-ism.
3. “My view (and it is just an opinion, not something that I can back up with many facts) is yes, there is a genetic component, but that is not a simple single gene / two allele case like blue eyes / brown eyes. I think it's likely to be a whole suite of genes, which interact with the environment in a complex way, which will be very difficult to disentangle.”
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GENDER AND AGE DISTINCTIONS
Red Flags / Clues of Narcissism:
1) Catching them in lies or inconsistencies – yet we behave as if nothing happened, rather than questioning this behavior.
2) When your date bowls you over with romantic novel-type conversation, telling you how incredibly special/wonderful/sexy/ etc. you are.... and leads up to making you feel like you are THE most magnificent person in the world - practically overnight ... without even really knowing you yet.
3) When your date has horrible awful negative things to say about others – ex's/co-workers/friends/family etc., as if there is no grey zone about them – just black or white).
4) When you realize that your date takes no blame at all for any of his failed relationships or marriages. He/she was always the victim.
5) When you realize his favorite topic is HIM. And when you veer from that topic, it always comes back to HIM. (or her).
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1. “We met on the internet. When I read his profile I remember thinking 'Boy, is this guy a cocky bastard.' He was saying how handsome he was and that he would be a good catch basically. Well, he contacted me first - I almost didn't respond after reading his profile but I did. We talked for about a week on the phone and then met. One of his first comments to me when he met me was `You've got potential.' Should have gotten up then and ran.”
2. “They mix people up by screwing up the issues up so we get confused. Then they reprioritize everything for us by getting angry so we have to look at them first, we think and we worry about them first. It becomes all about them. Everything else, especially ourselves, and things once important to us, becomes second fiddle. No wonder we feel something isn't right and we don't realize how we got ourselves into such a predicament.”
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1. “In my case [my] husband of 12 years, is not exactly malicious. He doesn't set out to hurt me just for kicks, in my opinion. He hurts me as little or as much as it takes to achieve his goal: to make me dependant on him in as many ways, obey him, give him all the [attention, admiration, etc.] he demands, abdicate control. So, while his primary goal isn't to hurt me, it becomes a goal if that's what it takes to get [attention, admiration, etc.] out of me.”
2. “My father was violent, controlling, and childish at home, and a total charmer in public. He was a philanderer, a misogynist, a hater of children and anyone not directly under his control.”
3. “ ...Now he's resorted to note-leaving, telling me how he sacrifice for our family, slaved away, and he is not selfish (just a control freak in what he considers his domain), I am etc. How I took and took from him. How I pursued my crafts while he slaved (never mind that I paid some bills though he makes easily 20 times what I do) and he never minded.....what was I supposed to do instead....CLEAN BETTER, MAKE BETTER DINNERS!!!!”
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1. “My son is a psychopath. The doctors and psychologists and counselors he's seen since the age of 4 were never able to confirm the diagnosis until he turned 18 – and my research confirms it takes that long. He had been in and out of mental facilities and medicated for many years and when he turned 18 he quit his meds –which didn't work too well by that time. He would whisper to my daughter in her bed at night that he was going to kill her before morning. I took tough love classes and was finally able to put him out of our house -- all the locks were changed – we'd been robbed blind and in fact he also broke in and robbed one of my dearest friends who lives on my street. That was over 10 years ago and to this day -- I have little or no contact with any of my neighbors. As time went on he continued to commit crimes but was always able to con his way out. He did do time in jail but always got out early. I always felt that my son wouldn't reach his 30th birthday before something really serious happened - he's soon to be 26.
“I want to urge all of you who suspect their son is 'out of control' to research the life of a Psychopath. As ugly as it is, it's really helped me to deal with all of this.
“Do you recognize your son or daughter with these symptoms:
- No regret or remorse for what they've done to anyone.
- The blame is always on someone else.
- Unable to hold a job - my son had over 60 jobs in one year.
- Pathological liar - we kept hoping to believe him but it's never true
- Masterful con artist - my son not only conned his family and friends but also detectives who
were able to reduce his sentences because they believed he could testify as a witness
against someone in jail with him - although he never did.
- unable to accept “no” as an answer
- abusive – we urged my sons girlfriend for years to leave him and he always convinced her
he'd change so she came back.
- they will chew you up and spit you out, time after time.
- their eyes are usually dead or angry looking.
“The list goes on and on and I can recommend websites for those of you that want to research this. So many of our children are never diagnosed as a Psychopath or Anti Social so we keep wondering if things will get better.
“The sad truth is that there is little or no cure for these poor tortured souls. While they can be placed on meds in a controlled environment they rarely if ever change – I've read that they may settle down a little after the age of 40.”
2. “My [P] never hit me in the 18 months we were on/off. He did however hit his dog whenever she didn't 'listen.' Made me cringe....He would justify by saying it was for her own good because she was a 'gun' dog... WHATEVER!!! I truly think he broke that poor dog's spirit. The 'light' in her eyes seemed to just go out sometimes. My therapist says it would have been just a matter of time before he hit me.”
3. “My brother's violence certainly escalated over the years – at least to the extent that he was able to get away with it. He was often in fights, and beat my younger sister once (chipping a tooth) because she didn't do something he asked. He always had a strong sense of self-interest though (an understatement), so he always knew exactly how far he could go without jeopardizing himself.”
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“In reading some of the literature about psychopathy I've seen statistics that state how the percentage of male psychopaths is greater than that of females. I wonder how the studies were done to come up with that information. For example, did they study women prison populations like they did men?”
Women Pathics In General
1. “You should have met this woman. She was the epitome of mother earth tender-hearted gentle wisdom. I just could never understand why the things she said hurt me so much. She was SO sweet! (and she said these things sweetly, with an air of tender mother earth wisdom)”
“You can't evaluate what is going on by the impression people make. You have to look deeper.”
2. “It took nothing short of a criminal mind to come up with the things she did. Her timing was always when things seemed great, often 3 days or so following my own expression of how glad I was that we were getting along so well. JUST when things seemed normal.”
3. “I forgave her lies for years and always tried to rationalize an answer for her. How could anyone who professed such undying love for me be covertly trying to destroy me financially, emotionally, reputationally, and any other way she could devise. My head told me many, many times to leave but my heart would always make me stay(so she could stomp on it some more) It wasn't until I made up my mind to GET AWAY and started seeing things from “outside the bubble” that I realized that I had literally wasted ten years of my life. These people NEVER change. Make plans for your escape and never look back.”
... [4 more entries]
WOMEN PATHICS IN PARTICULAR
1. “My ex girlfriend said I was perfect. She made me feel so special and I tried so hard to make her feel loved. After the first year, nothing was ever good enough. On every holiday, she found a way to cheapen the experience and say it was my fault. It was like looking into the abyss. She did the most horrible things to me to make me feel like garbage. When she left me, she just acted like everything I did was nothing to her. It was my fault because she wants a man who will give her 80% of their time to nurture her needs while giving 20% in return because she said she deserves it, and intends to have it. Her lies were unnecessary and she never seemed to be able to have an in-depth conversation about much of anything. I miss the person she claimed to be. The facade was so great. I don't know how what happened to her, but I wish I could find her again. I know its over, but god it hurts to know you spent two years together and it meant nothing.”
2. “I realized that talking to my ex-fiancée was futile. Anything she would say would either be a lie or so erratic that it would change in the blink of an eye. She could not be trusted. So, talking to her, or trying to relate to her, was an exercise in frustration and confusion. I have been able to resist talking to her, responding to her emails, or contacting her because I am absolutely certain that there is nothing she can say that I can believe. Anything she would say would just hurt me. Even if she said everything I want her to, I wouldn't be able to trust it or believe it. Even if she were telling the truth (which I firmly believe is impossible for her when talking about her feelings in a relationship – she is so damaged and disturbed that I don't think she even knows what is true), I wouldn't be able to trust her because the truth for her is so ephemeral, so capricious, so changeable, that in a moment her truth becomes something else.”
3. “For as long as I remember, she has always had a need to be center of attention. Because there are only us girls in the family, there has always been some underlying competition. Sometimes she can be the sweetest person alive, but she can suddenly turn and become very aggressive. She insults my appearance, my friends, my career choice and just about everything else about me. It is mostly verbal abuse, but it has been physical and because she is stronger than me now (even though she is a couple of years younger) she always threatens to beat me up.”
“She can twist the most innocent things to make me look really bad. She can lie so well and is so convincing.”
“This is beyond petty sibling rivalry as sometimes I feel scared of her. I have to live with her day in, day out and can't wait for her to move out for college.”
“Since reading up on P's, I feel kinda sorry for her, she just comes across as shallow and manipulative. My advice for anyone living in a situation similar to mine is:
“I just keep myself busy with my life and just try and ignore her (but anyone living with a P knows how difficult it is to ignore them, especially when they want something).”
... [3 more entries]
1. “My mother expects constant attention, admiration, my 'dropping everything' to visit her, have her over, etc. whenever she feels like it. When I had my own children, things came to a head because I couldn't take care of my children and her at the same time.”
2. “First red flag: I met NP for coffee after matching up on an internet dating site. She was drop-dead gorgeous, dressed to nines, and appeared normal to a naive small-town guy like me. But looking back I can see that during that first hour together she talked of her past failed marriages and how she had been taken by her husbands. Of course, the opposite is true, she milked them for all she could.”
3. “From the very beginning she had control in the relationship. Maybe it wasn't forceful at first because I remember thinking it was cute but she definitely had control. She dictated when we talked and for how long. It was up to her when she wanted to come over my place. I think in the 6 months that we dated I probably ended a phone conversation 2 or 3 times. I felt bad telling her I had to go.”
“Most of what we talked about was her life or her work. At first I didn't mind this because I figured she had a new job and it was normal to be excited and to talk about it. But as days went by I started feeling dejected that she would rarely ask how my day was going or what my plans were. I don't know that I tried enough to tell her about what was going on in my life but I do know she didn't seem interested. She knew that I was there to be with when she wanted me. We rarely ever made plans as she would go home after work and then text me that she was on her way over.”
“I started to notice that when she came over she wouldn't seem very interested in how I was doing or how my day was. She would jump into what happened to her and tell me stories about her past and things like that.”
“Early I was interested to hear it but for some reason it wore on me. I would start to express my feelings not in conversation but in reaction. When I was really annoyed I would lean back, stare at the TV and not pay attention to her. I guess I was hoping that she would realize this and pay some attention to me. The opposite happened. She would get mad at me, tell me that I don't pay attention to her and multiple times stormed out of my house. It just felt one-sided to me and I've never been able to figure out if this was true or if it was my insecurities getting in the way of things.”
“Everything always had to be about her. I remember her specifically telling me that I need to pay more attention to her. Very often told me that she didn't feel that I loved her enough. I was baffled…I put my entire life on hold and never did anything with friends or coworkers over hanging out with her. She told me in a very serious tone that I should treat her like a princess. She told me on more than one occasion that she was my boss.”
“Sometimes she'd accuse me of being insecure and it was hurting our relationship. I agree that it was but it was impossible not to feel insecure with what we had.”
“In actuality she was also extremely insecure. She told her sister that if I even looked at another girl at work she would kill me (exaggeration, not a real threat). She questioned me about taking a girl I took out to lunch years before we dated. We had sex probably 100 times and she never took her shirt off. She was embarrassed by the size of her breasts.”
“I also noticed how she treated her father and it amazed me. I was sitting in their living room with her father watching a game on TV and she screamed from her bedroom, 'PA…BRING ME A SODA WITH ICE.' I was shocked that she could be that demanding of her father.”
“So as I started to notice these things along with her obsession with how she looked, it started me trying to figure out if there was something more than just attitude going on. She would check the mirror and check her hair about twice every hour. Never let me see her without makeup but tell me that I should think she's beautiful without makeup on. How would I ever know that???”
... [9 more entries]
1. “I married a psychopath and believe me it is not gender-specific. She kicked me repeatedly in the head with her boots on and otherwise displayed all the symptoms of psychopathy. I never touched her yet she assaulted me repeatedly. Yes it really happens. In 9 years of marriage she kissed me briefly 4 times and rarely had sex with me but did with others. I am ashamed to play the victim – I don't like it. This woman was cunning ruthless unfaithful, thieving and a pathological liar. I have a wonderful wife now who actually smiles, kisses me and acts like a human being. She snapped me out of the shocking dependency and gullibility and took me far away. Believe me psychopathic females are very capable of committing atrocities akin to brutal wife beating and spouse abuse. More men than women statistically are psychopathic (3% against 1% of women). Let's not make it a gender issue. Females are quite capable of having this severe mental illness.”
2. “Soon, she who could make me the happiest person could also make me feel like unlovable scum. So when I was hit, as she told me, I deserved it. If only I could not be so tired and stay awake all night with her and do the shopping, cleaning, DIY, cooking, and earn more and spend more time with her and drive her everywhere but not drive so badly, and tell her something interesting and listen to her more and be like her ex (who had left one day without saying bye after four months) and always be there for her and get out when she told me, she wouldn't get angry with me. Soon the eggshells were so scattered that it was difficult to walk anywhere.”
... [10 more entries]
1. “Eddie only loves me when he wants to – on his own terms. Once I was stooping over the oven and he ran up behind me full tilt and threw his arms around my legs. He was great at wanting to hug me at very inconvenient times. Well, I practically shot right into the oven. I told my husband, 'This is like Hansel and Gretel and guess who I am! And I don't like the part of being a witch even a little bit!'”
2. “The detective confronted me...'You'd con your own father, Frank.' I already had. My father was the mark for the first score I ever made. Dad possessed the one trait necessary in the perfect pigeon, blind trust, and I plucked him for $3,400. I was 15 at the time.”
3. “My son could walk up to perfect strangers and within 5 minutes have them wishing that he was their child and that they could take him home with them.”
“[Just three weeks before this 'loving child' had poked another little girl's eye out with a pencil at school after she hadn't gotten her way.]”
... [22 more entries]
27. “Laurie entered the room and immediately took control, but it was so subtle the doctor didn't recognize it. At first, she hung her head and acted frightened, so when he attempted to coax her out, she pretended to be resistant, bashful, and shy (which she isn't at all).
“Then, after a few minutes, she said that it was easy to talk to him: 'Much better than those doctors at school' While the doctor was taking this in, she commented on how pretty the designs on his tie were, and asked to sit on his lap. Then she proceeded to tell him what he wanted to hear, about how she had gotten into some trouble in school, but it was because no one understood her and how it felt real good to be with him…in fact, she asked him if he would be her new daddy! She said all her father ever did was yell at her.
“Afterward, the doctor told me that he had established a perfect rapport with Laurie and that she was a loving child who was just misunderstood! He said we should be giving her more love. I couldn't believe it. Our 8-year-old daughter had conned a psychiatrist.
“[Just three weeks before this `loving child' had poked another little girl's eye out with a pencil at school after she hadn't gotten her way.]”
28. “I tried to kiss Katie when she was small, but even when she was very little she moved her face away. You can't kiss a baby who is jerking away from you all the time. It got worse as she got older. Sometimes I just broke down and cried because my beautiful little girl seemed to hate me. I'll tell you, I told my baby doctor about it and I know he thought I was going crazy.”
29. “It was so hard for me to feel warm toward this child. I felt cold. I felt so bad feeling that way. I wondered what on earth was wrong with me. But…inside…I felt so uncomfortable, so strange. I knew this child wasn't like our other children. She had this plastic, phony smile. It wasn't like a real smile at all.”
29. “At times, Nancy is good but it's only when she wants something or she's being threatened. And she does such weird things to be the center of attraction. Once, we had a group of relative strangers over and John (Nancy's foster brother) had been sharing one of the things that he had done that really pleased him. Well, this group of strangers was talking and laughing about John's experience, and Nancy marches into the middle of the room. Clear as a bell she says, 'Last week Kenny took me down into the basement and pulled my pants down and played with me.' Well, you can imagine the conversation just came to a sudden, embarrassed, violent halt!”
... [22 more entries]
1. “There are some very few of us who actually seek out relationships with narcissists. We do this with the full knowledge that we are not wanted, despised even. We persist and pursue no matter the consequences, no matter the cost.
“I am an `inverted narcissist'. It is because as a child I was `imprinted/fixated' with a particular pattern involving relationships. I was engulfed so completely by my father's personality and repressed so severely by various other factors in my childhood that I simply didn't develop a recognizable personality. I existed purely as an extension of my father. I was his genius Wunderkind. He ignored my mother and poured all his energy and effort into me. I did not develop full-blown secondary narcissism…I developed into the perfect `other half' of the narcissists molding me. I became the perfect, eager co-dependent. And this is an imprint, a pattern in my psyche, a way of (not) relating to the world of relationships by only being able to truly relate to one person (my father) and then one kind of person – the narcissist.
“He is my perfect lover, my perfect mate, a fit that is so slick and smooth, so comfortable and effortless, so filled with meaning and actual feelings – that's the other thing. I cannot feel on my own. I am incomplete. I can only feel when I am engulfed by another (first it was my father) and now – well now it has to be a narcissist. Not just any narcissist either. He must be exceedingly smart, good looking, have adequate reproductive equipment and some knowledge on how to use it and that's about it.
“When I am engulfed by someone like this I feel completed, I can actually FEEL. I am whole again. I function as a sibyl, an oracle, an extension of the narcissist. His fiercest protector, his purveyor/procurer of [attention, admiration, etc.]; the secretary, organizer, manager, etc.. I think you get the picture and this gives me INTENSE PLEASURE.
“So the answer to your question: 'Why would anyone want to be with someone who doesn't want them back?' The short answer is, `Because there is no one else remotely worth looking at.'”
2. “I am BUILT this way. I may have overstated it by saying that I have `no choice' because, in fact I do.”
“The choice is – live in an emotionally deadened monochrome world where I can reasonably interact with normal people OR I can choose to be with a narcissist in which case my world is Technicolor, emotionally satisfying, alive and wondrous (also can be turbulent and a real roller coaster ride for the unprepared, not to mention incredibly damaging for people who are not inverted narcissists and who fall into relationships with narcissists). As I have walked on both sides of the street, and because I have developed coping mechanisms that protect me really quite well, I can reasonably safely engage in a primary, intimate relationship with a narcissist without getting hurt by it.”
“The real WHY of it all is that I learned, as a young child, that being 'eaten alive' by a narcissist parent, to the point where your existence is but an extension of his own, was how all relationships ought to work. It is a psychological imprint – my `love map', it is what feels right to me intrinsically. A pattern of living – I don't know how else to describe it so you and others will understand how very natural and normal this is for me. It is not the torturous existence that most of the survivors of narcissism are recounting on this list.”
“My experiences with narcissists, to me, ARE NORMAL for me. Comfortable like an old pair of slippers that fit perfectly. I don't expect many people to attempt to do this, to make themselves into' this kind of person. I don't think anyone could, if they tried.
“It is my need to be engulfed and merged that drives me to these relationships; and when I get those needs met I feel more normal, better about myself. I am the outer extension of the narcissist. In many ways I am a vanguard, a public two-way warning system, fiercely defending my narcissist from harm, and fiercely loyal to him, catering to his every need in order to protect his fragile existence. These are the dynamics of my particular version of engulfment. I don't need anyone to take care of me. I need only to be needed in this very particular way, by a narcissist who inevitably possesses the ability to engulf in a way that normal, fully realized adults cannot. It is somewhat paradoxical – I feel freer and more independent with a narcissist than without one. I achieve more in my life when I am in this form of relationship. I try harder, work harder, am more creative, think better of myself, excel in most every aspect of my life.”
3. “It depends on the non-narcissist, really. Narcissism is a RIGID, systemic pattern of responses. It is so all-pervasive and all-encompassing that it is a PERSONALITY disorder. If the non-narcissist is co-dependent, for instance, then the narcissist is a perfect match for him and the union will last…”
... [18 more entries]
AN INTRODUCTORY PASSAGE
“The psychopath is a vessel of hate masquerading as a vessel of love. Sex, to him, is a weapon of destruction, a hateful act, a means of penetrating to the victim's innermost being, and doing violence to her soul.
“The victim cannot protect herself because the very nature of sex is surrender, opening the self, and surrendering it to the other.”
1. “All too soon I began to hear about all his past relationships with other women, especially his ex-wife. I never could quite measure up to her. I had to hear about their sex life and how great it was and how good she could cook and how wonderful her children (not his) were and on and on and on. The first really cruel thing he did to me was one afternoon he was going to bed (he worked odd hours) I thought I would slip in beside him thinking it would be nice time for intimacy. Just as I touched him he turned his back and snarled at me to leave him alone. That's pretty much how it was for ten years. He refused to have sex only when he wanted and that was far and few between.”
2. “While having sex (never did make love) he was rough and abusive.”
3. “P used to close his eyes when he was making love to me which basically made me feel like a `thing' and not even there. There was no tender look, tender caresses or soul connection. There was a deafening quiet and absence of intimate pillow talk that connects souls as well as bodies. No compliments, no discussion, no playful interaction, just the act itself. In some ways I thought it was a comfortable silence of two people sharing deeply; but that was just my projection. He felt nothing emotional while I was deeply in love with him. To him, it was a skin thing, further evidenced by his penchant for wanting to do it with the lights out. No need for eye contact or connection. Can only say this in retrospect. At the time I was pleased as can be that he was interested in pleasuring me but that became less important to him as the months rolled on. And then after I had the baby and weeks had passed he was disinterested. I know now because he was getting it somewhere else.”
... [15 more entries]
[Good Guys vs. Bad Guys]
The passages in this chapter are responses on an internet forum which discuss the merits and demerits of the following article:
Bad Guys Really Do Get The Most Girls
18 June 2008, New Scientist.com news service, Mason Inman
NICE guys knew it, now two studies have confirmed it: bad boys get the most girls. The finding may help explain why a nasty suite of antisocial personality traits known as the "dark triad" persists in the human population, despite their potentially grave cultural costs.
The traits are the self-obsession of narcissism; the impulsive, thrill-seeking and callous behaviour of psychopaths; and the deceitful and exploitative nature of Machiavellianism. At their extreme, these traits would be highly detrimental for life in traditional human societies. People with these personalities risk being shunned by others and shut out of relationships, leaving them without a mate, hungry and vulnerable to predators.
But being just slightly evil could have an upside: a prolific sex life, says Peter Jonason at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. “We have some evidence that the three traits are really the same thing and may represent a successful evolutionary strategy.”
Jonason and his colleagues subjected 200 college students to personality tests designed to rank them for each of the dark triad traits. They also asked about their attitudes to sexual relationships and about their sex lives, including how many partners they'd had and whether they were seeking brief affairs.
“High `dark triad'” scorers are more likely to try to poach other people's partners for a brief affair.”
The study found that those who scored higher on the dark triad personality traits tended to have more partners and more desire for short-term relationships, Jonason reported at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society meeting in Kyoto, Japan, earlier this month. But the correlation only held in males.
James Bond epitomizes this set of traits, Jonason says. “He's clearly disagreeable, very extroverted and likes trying new things – killing people, new women.” Just as Bond seduces woman after woman, people with dark triad traits may be more successful with a quantity-style or shotgun approach to reproduction, even if they don't stick around for parenting. “The strategy seems to have worked. We still have these traits,” Jonason says.
This observation seems to hold across cultures. David Schmitt of Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, presented preliminary results at the same meeting from a survey of more than 35,000 people in 57 countries. He found a similar link between the dark triad and reproductive success in men. “It is universal across cultures for high dark triad scorers to be more active in short-term mating,” Schmitt says. “They are more likely to try and poach other people's partners for a brief affair.”
Barbara Oakley of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, says that the studies “verify something a lot of people have conjectured about.”
Christopher von Rueden of the University of California at Santa Barbara says that the studies are important because they confirm that personality variation has direct fitness consequences.
“They still have to explain why it hasn't spread to everyone,” says Matthew Keller of the University of Colorado in Boulder. “There must be some cost of the traits.” One possibility, both Keller and Jonason suggest, is that the strategy is most successful when dark triad personalities are rare. Otherwise, others would become more wary and guarded.
1. “…It appears that, although you read the article, you haven't ploughed through the hundreds of contributions to this blog (understandably enough!).
“I am still checking out the hundred or so that have appeared on Sunday, but certainly if you HAD done so on Sat night you'd have found that all but one of the female contributors up 'til then were CONFIRMING this phenomenon of the attraction to bad boys. AND (consistently) coming up with the same rational explanation for it too.
“I fully agree with the rest of your post. But it seems likely that, in order to protect their 'honour' or reputation, most women would hotly deny all this stuff in any situation where they are identifiable (i.e.: in 'normal life').
“But it is very interesting (and instructive) that, when freed from that traditional social constraint by the anonymity of the web, the majority are much more open and honest about their REAL attitudes and motivations.
“Come to think of it, even the one dissenter yesterday wasn't entirely denying the existence of this behaviour; but, as she had posted a link to a blog-site, she may also have been restrained by being more readily 'identifiable' than the others!”
2. “The dark triad behaviors may hold as attractors because in times of severe risk from outside dangers, men who indicated a bawdy self-confidence – instead of an overarching fear of the world – at least `looked' as if they could handle anything (and maybe they could). This is an evolutionary holdover, with the great irony being that offspring from these types have less an opportunity to flourish, because they're not nurtured for modernity. Evolution, in this case, is still at work. ...”
3. “Being one of those sociopathic/narcissistic men I have to admit: I hate you emotionally healthy women with high self-esteem. I hope your numbers don't increase. Nothing like a self-assertive, confident woman to screw up a perfect opportunity. What about gals who feign weakness to attract a man? It's a mixed-up, jumbled-up world. I like mine hot, thank you. My girlfriend disdains the nice guys. Does this say more about her or the nice guys? Hmmm, I wonder. I take my hat off to you, my common sense lady. Do you have any sisters that are a little off-kilter?”
... [29 more entries]
1. “These types of men keep being born in the population obviously because they spread their seed more successfully. But also, I proffer, because their female partners, the women who fall for these men, are also passing on their genes in the process. Mating is a two-way street. I never cease to be exasperated at the stupidity and shallowness of women who are attracted to the 'bad boy' types.
“I also believe that this dark triad is a type of genetic parasitism. I had a flatmate once who fit this triad rather well, and he was an adopted child. He had a marauding, psychopathic and self-centered approach to women and he had no shortage of them. I knew one of his partners too, who was a wild type and very manipulative towards the decent people. Once I pondered what his off- spring would be like, probably without him even being around to see their birth, and how would their genes show through in their behaviour. He turned out the way he did despite being brought up in a decent family, which got me wondering about genetically-endowed behaviour. Then it dawned on me that his offspring would be just like him if they were male, and like his female 'partner' if they were female. And I realized that his parents must have been the same way too (hence him being given up for adoption by a single mother). He was already an offspring of this 'dark triad' lineage that had been going on for some time, probably for many generations.
“Since those days whenever I'm around a 'bad boy' type I try to find out about his parentage. Very often they come from a line of dark triad types.”
2. “Dude, it's not that other types of guys aren't fun, it's that badasses are more fun. They are sexually attractive by virtue of their dominant nature. We need not debate biology on that fact.
“So let's talk about why a normal girl might want to hook up with an a-hole.
“Consider: a 'bad boy' is unlikely to feel nervous in bed – they'll do what they want, and in all likelihood they'll seek to please their partner with that same undivided attitude, if only because they see an advantage in doing so, or because it makes things [more arousing].”
3. “Sociopathic/narcissistic men have more sex because they are sexual predators, treating sex like a recreational sport and women as "game". They only manage to pull the wool over women's eyes temporarily, and it's because they're skilled actors lacking a conscience. Let's not forget that women who do fall prey to these men are generally naifs with low self-esteem. Let's feel sorry for their prey and stop putting 'bad guys' up on pedestals. Emotionally healthy women want genuinely nice guys for partners.”
... [19 more entries]
1. Do you know that many evangelical pastors are N's? It's actually a great place to get the N-supply. The members love you, think that you actually are superior to them because of the misconception that a pastor is greater than any other member of the body of Christ. This misconception would never be revealed by an N pastor. Then there is the money issue which actually steals from widows, lies about 'the more you give the more you will receive,' cons people about legality of tithing which is not a new covenant teaching. Convincing others how to dress, how to wear your hair and other insidious teachings (does this sound Taliban-ish?), that are not biblical. It's a prime place, a breading ground for NS.”
2. “The pastor is ok, but at times I felt odd when I did Bible study with him. I can't explain it. I never told my ex about it because he would not have believed it. He thinks that his church and the pastor are perfect. The entire time that I attended his church (about 4 months) I felt strange. Maybe it is because I am Catholic. It's like they wanted me there but I did not have long hair and I wore makeup and pants. They did not. They tried to tell me that the Bible says women need to dress like them. My ex was always saying that I did not read the Bible right or go to church enough, etc. I think that he uses his strict religious beliefs to make him feel superior to others. He also would treat people mean, have sex with me, take items from work (supplies), and con people. That to me is not Christian. Reading the Bible is great, but if you're acting like an ass in your daily life, what's that about.”
3. “She has been in trouble with the law; well, hasn't gotten caught is more like it; and the threat of that looms over her constantly which I like to remind her of on occasion. She has tried to rip me off of money before, stolen half my possessions; as a kid, she set a fire in my cousin's bedroom and blamed their older brother for it and only showed remorse when she got caught. All of us who watched this were dumbfounded. She likes to pretend she is my younger brother's mother (she has 14 years on him and I am somewhere smack in the middle). If she doesn't get exactly what SHE wants on the pizza, when there are 14 other people to consider, she will scream and cry on the floor literally. She is a religious zealot but doesn't even OWN a bible! She wants kids and can't have any and openly admits she would'`probably abuse them.' She only wants them for the attention they can bring her among family and whatnot.”
... [16 more entries]
IN THE WORKPLACE
The workplace is a hotbed for pathics to manipulate their way to the “top”. All that is needed to secure their position “in the firm” is their particular expertise that contributes to profits. Once entrenched in their position, they can let loose their pathic ways over subordinates with practically full impunity. At bottom they are not so much concerned with the firm as they are with their own self-aggrandizement, with manipulating and dominating, with abuse. The emotional devastation they cause their victims is more than one can imagine.
1. “There are wolverines in organizations who are critical and negative about everything. But they are not in any way trying to improve the organization. Their motive is not even to advance some agenda for personal gain. Their only apparent motive is to destroy what others have/do/achieve.
“They like to tear down, not build. They're more like organizational vandals than anything else. Whatever someone proposes, reports, or achieves, they pick it apart and torpedo it – sometimes very tactfully.”
“To an outsider it can look at first like the need for additional information in order to be convinced or a preliminary analysis prior to giving support. Or it may just seem like being picky about the details. That's the case with some people, but not wolverines.
“Wolverines always find fault, pick things apart, nay-say and criticize without finding anything positive or proposing an alternative. The game is that others hold up ideas, and they shoot them down. And the pattern never really changes. When you see that pattern, you know you're probably dealing with a wolverine.
“Such folks are largely guided by their own chronic envy. They deeply resent others' positive ideas and achievements because, in their pathological narcissism, they see those as assaults on their own fragile self-esteem. They gain stature in their own eyes only by reducing the stature of others. What they don't have, others can't either.”
2. “He [His former boss] was replaced by a notorious bully who was humourless, inflexible, a workaholic, a perfectionist and a grudge-bearer. Because of this, he had not had any direct management of staff but even those he came into contact with indirectly complained of his manner. However, he was the only person who was able to take on the top job immediately and he relished it. For one thing he had hated my previous boss with a vengeance and had taken every opportunity to denigrate him professionally and personally. For another reason, it gave him a power base he had craved for, with control of hundreds of thousands of pounds. To control that, he felt that he had to control me – I was an obvious target and I knew this.”
3. “My last boss was a psychopath. We all knew it. We watched our backs. Several of us who had been with the company many years with outstanding performance lost our jobs. She'd been in her management position just five months at that time. She is still there. I'm still unem- ployed, almost ten months later.”
... [29 more entries]
IN THE CLASSROOM
34. “My youngest son is very sensitive and he cannot cope at school at all, he is on Distant Education at the moment on psychological and medical grounds. It's not just when he is bullied and/or treated unfairly that is the problem, but also when other children are targeted – he cares so much. He found school so stressful and depressing, he became sick. He says that the teachers do nothing and many are psychological bullies especially to the students that they don't particularly like. There is a lot of favoritism and discrimination going on. Students with ADHD and the like are targeted as are those of certain ethnic backgrounds. Children like mine who stand up for themselves and publicly complain, even though they know that they will be victimized and bullied for it, and who cannot sit back and do nothing are also targeted. My children have been to 5 different schools and the younger one says that it isn't getting better - it is getting markedly worse.”
35. “My 9-yr-old had a year from hell with his 3rd grade teacher. She called him names in front of the class, always singled him out; made him feel like he was worthless!! She is a teacher that doesn't belong with children, she belongs with PROZAC!! I tried speaking with her; is/was a waste of time. I went to the principal; that was waste of time as well. Finally, I just told my son, not to disrespect her, but just ignore her. Don't let her upset you. Needless to say, it really didn't work. She hurt him so much that by the end of the year, he has not one bit of self esteem left. I want to still knock her on her butt!! Some teachers just have no business being teachers; they don't understand that they are an example to these impressionable little minds, and that they could really do some heavy duty damage. I say take whatever action works; sue if you can. I spoke to many educators and lawyers, they say this is a definite case, but who has the time??”
36. “In 6th grade my son had a teacher who would call the LD kids 'baby', `rug rat', `rodent', and would have them beg on their hands and knees for papers if they forgot to put their name on it. In this class there were two Michaels and my son always only put his 1st name on the paper – if she only received an assignment from one of them she gave the credit to the other kid ' this happened for half the year until she got an aide. The aide pointed out that my son was the only one who still reversed letters and that the papers where his. At my sons IEP meeting she told us the boy needed 'major counseling and to be medicated.' She also said he was very lazy and refused to do work. Her complaints lead to some more testing that determined he had a language disability and was only reading at a 3rd grade level and had fine motor issues. We and 4 other sets of parents submitted a formal complaint, the result was she had tenure and there was nothing we could do. They did monitor the class the rest of the year though causing her to `behave' herself. My son to this day still has terrible memories of this class.”
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TRAUMATIC EFFECTS ON PATHICS' VICTIMS
This chapter focuses in on the physical, mental, and emotional trauma that pathics cause their victims; which justify the stigma `pathic' applied to their type. They are like a deadly virus infecting everyone vulnerable to their influence. At their worst, they cause the disease that breaks down the homeostasis of the mind-body causing grave suffering to the victim.
1. “I lost myself and my purpose in life, and I became a victim, and eventually as sick as the abuser, by allowing myself to be pulled into an elaborate manipulation.”
2. “I'm constantly torn between bitterness-blame-anger and the desire to wrap my arms around her because I feel so sorry for her.”
3. “I too got so sick that I finally had to go to the doctor. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. My hair was falling out, I was throwing up after every meal; and I was forcing myself to exercise three times a day
- since I was the oldest women he had been with he likes them young. I was killing myself, and it was never enough. Why do we hate ourselves so much?”
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TWO AUTHORS' TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCES OF THE PATHIC CHARACTER
The following two excerpts from published books are from the step-daughter of a famous movie actress, and from a famous 19th century playwright, Oscar Wilde. The former excerpt relates how a pathic mother violently distorted the life of her step-daughter; and the second excerpt relates how a pathic friend/lover pathetically destroyed Oscar Wilde's life and career.
As a side note, the former excerpt highlights how all three pathic traits can run through one individual (self-aggrandizement, manipulative-control, and violent abuse); and the latter excerpt highlights how a sensitive soft-natured man of the highest caliber of intelligence and artistic genius can be so unremittingly captivated by another person despite knowing all the pitfalls - disastrous, as it turned out for him - involved in being with such a person.
No Safe Place
Cristina Crawford (daughter of former movie actress Joan Crawford)
No safe place. Nowhere to hide. No way to escape the terror. No one to tell. No one to go to for help.
Is this a war zone? A ghetto? A natural catastrophe? No, this is the violence of day-to-day family life in many American homes. It is how I myself lived as a child, a teenager, and even as a young adult.
I did not grow up in a poor or blighted environment. I was a blonde, white child, my adoptive parent was a placeHollywood movie star, and we lived in what many believed were luxurious surroundings. Still I carry deep and permanent scars from the violence of my childhood and developing years.
This was not violence from the outside world, from strangers or the streets, from gangs or muggers, but violence from those I, as a child, had been taught to love and trust, violence from those who were supposed to be safe and warm and filled with kindness but were not.
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From De Profundus (selections from an epistle to Alfred Lord Dougles)
If I write to you now as I do it is because your own silence and conduct during my long imprisonment have made it necessary.
I cannot reconstruct my letter, or rewrite it. You must take it as it stands, blotted in many places with tears, in some with the signs of passion or pain, and make it out as best you can, blots, corrections and all. As for the corrections and errata, I have made them in order that my words should be an absolute expression of my thoughts, and err neither through surplusage nor through being inadequate. Language requires to be tuned, like a violin: and just as too many or too few vibrations in the voice of the singer or the trembling of the string will make the note false, so too much or too little in words will spoil the message. As it stands, at any rate, my letter has its definite meaning behind every phrase. There is in it nothing of rhetoric. Wherever there is erasion or substitution, however slight, however elaborrate, it is because I am seeking to render my real impression, to find for my mood its exact equivalent. Whatever is first in feeling comes always last in form.
I will admit that it is a severe letter. I have not spared you. Indeed you may say that, after admitting that to weigh you against the smallest of my sorrows, the meanest of my losses, would be really unfair to you, I have actually done so, and made scruple by scruple the most careful assay of your nature. That is true. But you must remember that you put yourself into the scales.
I saw quite clearly that my position in the world of Art, the interest my personality had always excited, my money, the luxury in which I lived, the thousand and one things that went to make up a life so charmingly, so wonderfully improbable as mine was, were, each and all of them, elements that fascinated you and made you cling to me: yet besides all this there was something more, some strange attraction for you: you loved me far better than you loved anybody else.
It did not occur to me…that you could have the supreme vice, shallowness.
You must see now that your incapacity of being alone: your nature so exigent in its persistent claim on the attention and time of others….Your interests were merely in your meals and moods. Your desires were simply for amusements, for ordinary or less ordinary pleasures. They were what your temperament needed, or thought it needed for the moment. I should have forbidden you my house and my chambers except when I specially invited you. I blame myself without reserve for my weakness. It was merely weakness. One half-hour with Art was always more to me than a cycle with you. Nothing really at any period of my life was ever of the smallest importance to me compared with Art. But in the case of an artist, weakness is nothing less than a crime, when it is a weakness that paralyses the imagination. I blame myself again for having allowed you to bring me to utter and discreditable financial ruin.
I remember one morning in the early October of '92 sitting in the yellowing woods at CityplaceBracknell with your mother. At that time I knew very little of your real nature. I had stayed from a Saturday to Monday with you at CityplaceOxford. You had stayed with me at Cromer for ten days and played golf. The conversation turned on you, and your mother began to speak to me about your character She told me of your two chief faults, your vanity, and your being, as she termed it, "all wrong about money." I have a distinct recollection of how I laughed. I had no idea that the first would bring me to prison, and the second to bankruptcy. I thought vanity a sort of graceful flower for a young man to wear; as for extravagance - for I thought she meant no more than extravagance - the virtues of prudence and thrift were not in my own nature or my own race. But before our friendship was one month older I began to see what your mother really meant. Your insistence on a life of reckless profusion: your incessant demands for money: your claim that all your pleasure should be paid for by me whether I was with you or not: brought me after some time into" serious monetary difficulties, and what made the extravagances to me at any rate so monotonously uninteresting, as your persistent grasp on my life grew stronger and stronger, was that the money was really spent on little more than the pleasures of eating, drinking, and the like. Now and then it is a joy to have one's table red with wine and roses, but you outstripped all taste and temperance. You demanded without grace and received without thanks. You grew to think that you had a sort of right to live at my expense and in a profuse luxury to which you had never been accustomed, and which for that reason made your appetites all the more keen, and at the end if you lost money gambling in some Algiers Casino you simply telegraphed next morning to me in London to lodge the amount of your losses to your account at your bank, and gave the matter no further thought of any kind.
There was on far too many occasions too little joy or privilege in being your host. You forgot - I will not say the formal courtesy of thanks, for formal courtesies will strain a close friendship - but simply the grace of sweet companionship, the charm of pleasant conversation…and all those gentle humanities that make life lovely, and are an accompani- ment to life as music might be, keeping things in time and filling with melody the harsh or silent places.
[M]ost of all I blame myself for the entire ethical degradation I allowed you to bring on me. The basis of character is will-power, and my will-power became absolutely subject to yours. It sounds a grotesque thing
to say, but it is none the less true. Those incessant scenes that seemed to be almost physically necessary to you, and in which your mind and body grew distorted and you became a thing as terrible to look at as to listen to: that dreadful mania you inherit from your father, the mania for writing revolting and loathsome letters: your entire lack of any control over your emotions as displayed in your long resentful moods of sullen silence, no less than in the sudden fits of almost epileptic rage: …You wore one out. It was the triumph of the smaller over the bigger nature. It was the case of that tyranny of the weak over the strong which, somewhere in one of my plays I describe as being "the only tyranny that lasts."
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AGAINST EVIL IN GENERAL
Yes, it is possible to surmount, to protect oneself from, the evils facing us in one way or another, but first we must un- derstand them, then have the courage to face and challenge them. The former chapters in this book have contributed to the understanding of evil in general and in particular (the pathics); this chapter encourages the reader to face and challenge them through the thoughts of eminent and perceptive persons.
The Book of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)
1. Bring not every man into your house, for many are the snares of the crafty one; though he seem like a bird confined in a cage, yet like a spy he will pick out the weak spots.
2. The talebearer turns good into evil; with a spark he sets many coals afire.
3. The evil man lies in wait for blood, and plots against your choicest possessions.
For never, never, wicked man was wise.
All concerns of men go wrong when they wish to cure evil with evil.
There is some soul of goodness in
Would men observingly distil it out.
For our bad neighbour makes us early stirrers,
Which is both healthful and good husbandry:
Besides, they are our outward consciences,
And preachers to us all, admonishing
That we should dress us fairly for our end.
Thus may we gather honey from the weed,
And make a moral of the devil himself.
If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being, and who is willing to destroy his own heart?
George Bernard Shaw
If a man cannot look evil in the face without illusion, he will never know what it really is, or combat it effectually.
What's true of all the evils in the world is ... it helps men to rise above themselves.
7. The world is all the richer for having a devil in it, so long as we keep our foot upon his neck.
1. That a man is lying, we should pretend to believe him; for then he becomes bold and assured, lies more vigorously, and is unmasked.
1. Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Overman – a rope over an abyss.
2. Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.
I can say with conviction that the struggle which evil necessitates is one of the greatest blessings. It makes us strong, patient, helpful men and women. It lets us into the soul of things and teaches us that although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it. My optimism, then, does not rest on the absence of evil, but on a glad belief in the preponderance of good and a willing effort always to cooperate with the good, that it may prevail.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it.
My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.
We frail humans are at one time capable of the greatest good and, at the same time, capable of the greatest evil. Change will only come about when each of us takes up the daily struggle ourselves to be more forgiving, compassionate, loving, and above all joyful in the knowledge that, by some miracle of grace, we can change as those around us can change too.
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[In Particular: Courage]
Cowardice, as distinguished from panic, is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination.
Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.
Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave.
It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.
Life expands or contracts in direct proportion to one's courage.
Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.
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You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I've lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
Diane de Poitiers
Courage is as often the outcome of despair as of hope; in the one case we have nothing to lose, in the other everything to gain.
Mary Tyler Moore
Pain nourishes courage. You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.
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AGAINST PATHICS IN PARTICULAR
This chapter carries further the purpose set forth in Chapter 15 in facing and protecting oneself from evil; but the target here is the evil specific to pathics.
Protective Suggestions Against Pathics in the Household
1. “To anyone feeling emotional and vulnerable and self-reflective…call a close friend. Visit a loved one you haven't seen in years. Write heart-felt letters to anyone who means anything to you…but don't give in and show remorse or regret over a narcissist. You'll only leave the encounter still hurting and they'll have their NS-fix for the week.”
2. “I can only say to those with doubts, with ideas of 'fixing it' – just don't. Move away and try to cut your losses. Why sit down to the table again to be dealt another bum hand?”
3. “Then, fool that I was, I tried to become a crusading Pollyanna, armed with books, clinical data, case histories - I valiantly tried to cure him; [but it was just] magical thinking. I gave up. It's useless and a total waste of my time when I needed to concentrate on getting me better and getting on with my life.”
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Protective Suggestions Against Pathics in the Workplace
1. “I also had psychopaths for bosses. I was struck by three excellent suggestions for dealing with them.
(1) Document, Document, Document! Find a way to use your PC to work for you so you don't get stuck doing double work. The witch I worked for tried to dump as much work as possible on me so I'd be too frazzled to contest her. I had the blessing of being
trained in PC software and light programming and my home PC and laptop (never trust the PCs on the job!) were my workhorses. Keep the laptop or PDA that you are using a complete secret, even from your friends! Secure your workspace by keeping your desktop clear - lock your desk every time you leave it. Whenever I was distracted away from my desk, her stooge had the opportunity to ransack it so I bought one of those $1.00 plastic wrist coil key chains that made it possible to lock my desk in a hot minute. Remove ALL personal information from your desk. These creeps will search your desk after hours - managers DO have the right to search your desk, locker and PC! Get in the habit of maintaining some kind of daily journal that accounts for the jobs you're working on and the time you took to work on them - even if you're working for the best boss in the world.
(2) Network – Enlist friends inside and outside your department. Friends outside your department aren't known by your psycho manager so they can help you store info in desks, lockers, etc. out of the reach of your spying saboteur of a boss. My working buddies let me use a desk on another floor to type my notes into my laptop on my lunch hour. They can keep you posted on job openings in other departments and serve as your eyes and ears. Your family and non-company friends can suggest and work on any legal avenues you may need in future. The suggestion to question your next employers about psychopaths is priceless!
(3) CALL ON FATHER GOD. Psychopath/Sociopath ain't nothing but a $10.00 word for DEVIL. You can't fight what you don't know and can't see. Often these minions are working for higher ups that know exactly what they're doing and have ordered them to eliminate you, especially if you are an older worker that they wish to deprive of vested benefits. You cannot defeat that kind of organized evil alone. God CAN see and defeat the tricks of the Devil.
“I would warn `Dennis' not to use the same weapons and tactics psychopaths use. They are the masters of black-bagging/back alley tactics; they've used all their rotten lives to fine-tune dirty fighting. You'd be fighting them on their terms and territory - they would win – hands down!
“One suggestion from me: If your job is a union shop, JOIN YOUR LOCAL: They're another outside agency you can appeal to if your rights are violated. As a former union steward from a family of union stewards, Trust me; union dues are worth it!"
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A PHILOSOPHY AGAINST MALICE:
1. Philosophy in its etymological root, means “love of wisdom.”
2. In which case, a philosophy against malice is “a love of wisdom” against malice; which in other words means the love of wisdom is for good to prevail over evil.
3. This good includes both wisdom and justice; this evil includes both injustice and ignorance. In which case, a philosophy against malice would direct the ascendancy of justice and wisdom to prevail over injustice and ignorance.
4. “Love of wisdom” has two main senses: love as being attracted to wisdom, and love as being the source of wisdom.
5. Wisdom is both practical and contemplative (Aristotle): practical in the sense that when we know what is right we act accordingly with appropriate judgment; contemplative in the sense of reflecting upon the nature of reality in both its human and transcendent aspects.
6. Philosophy, as the love of wisdom, deals with truth and right as a way of life.
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11. This philosophy covers not only the dark side of our nature, but the light side as well; and it is the light side of our nature - our transcendence - that is our salvation, our hope, our redemption, our “resurrection,” so to speak, our glow.
12. And speaking of “glow,” this is where we arrive at the name, the meaning, of this philosophy not only against malice, but for justice and wisdom; and it is the case for justice and wisdom to gradually take the ascendancy over injustice and ignorance.
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HARD-NATURES IN CONTRAST TO SOFT-NATURES
“I have a spotted placeBengal cat who was named Muscle Man by my daughter when she
was a toddler, because even as a kitten he looked like a professional wrestler. Grown now,
he is much larger than most other domestic cats. His formidable claws resemble those of
his Asian leopard-cat ancestors, but by temperament, he is gentle and peace-loving. My
neighbor has a little calico who visits. Evidently the calico's predatory charisma is huge, and
she is brilliant at directing the evil eye at other cats. Whenever she is within fifty feet, Muscle
Man, all fifteen pounds of him to her seven, cringes and crouches in fear and feline deference.
Muscle Man is a splendid cat. He is warm and loving, and he is close to my heart. Nonetheless,
I would like to believe that some of his reactions are more primitive than mine. I hope I do
not mistake fear for respect, because to do so would be to ensure my own victimization. Let
us use our big human brains to overpower our animal tendency to bow to predators, so we
can disentangle the reflexive confusion of anxiety and awe. In a perfect world, human respect
would be an automatic reaction only to those who are strong, kind, and morally courageous.
The person who profits from fright- ening you is not likely to be any of these.”
- Martha Stout, author of The Sociopath Next Door
This chapter, and the last two chapters that follow, take a positive upswing to the good in men and women in opposition to pathic evil. This good is delineated through the concepts of love and wisdom, and descriptive of the type of persons who are receptive to the ways of these two concepts; namely, the soft-natured persons. Section 1 of this chapter explores, in outline mostly, this type of person in contrast to his opponent, the hard-natured individual. Section 2 explores the soft-natures exclusively; again, in outline mainly. Some of the remarks may seem as generalities without current scientific backing; but they are meant as exploratory, though meaningful, thoughts that others can debate, refute, or expand on.
HARD AS DISTINGUISHED FROM SOFT NATURES
1. Two concepts that are crucial in understanding the pathic character, and especially one's own character, as well - which is the main purpose of this chapter – are “hard” and “soft” natures. I name them “natures” insofar as individuals, I believe, are born either predominantly hard or predominantly soft; it is their nature, their particular physiologi- calÛpsychological make-up (disposition, temperament) to be one or the other, and all the variations thereof. These distinctions are crucial in understanding human nature inasmuch as hard-natured persons are disposed to pathic, predatory behavior in the extreme; whereas soft-natured individuals are disposed to neurotic, victimized behavior, in the extreme. And since this book has so far emphasized understanding pathic-predatory behavior against the victim, it is the purpose of this chapter, and the two other chapters that follow, to emphasize the victims' (as either potential or actual victim) perspective so as to understand and ward off predation.
As for the nature vs. nurture distinction, I opt for nature being the predominate factor that determines an individual's natural temper- ament, much as is witnessed with the higher animals that we are familiar with, such as cats and dogs. There is no way, other than chemically, that a cat or a dog that is born aggressively mean-spirited (hard-natured) or passively-gentle-spirited (soft-natured) can be essentially modified to its opposite. Yes, it's true that by abusive force (environment) a naturally aggressive, mean-spirited dog can be forced into submissive behavior; but it is his behavior that has been modified, not his nature; fear has modified the chemistry of his brain and glands so that he acts submissively under certain conditions. But fear cannot modify his genetic network that was invariably patterned upon conception. Similarly with a naturally soft-natured dog. It's hardly imaginable that under normal living conditions, that such a dog can be
One other point in the fixed nature of animals, taking certain breeds of dogs as a species, do not breeders over the years breed certain dogs to be sheep dogs or guard dogs, or lap dogs, or whatever else? Does not this fact in itself provide conclusive proof of the fixed nature of animals not only individually but as a species?
Certainly, humans are far more complex than dogs or cats; but I'm sure that anyone who has observed brutish conditions facing a man or woman would recognize similar patterns in human beings. An innately soft-natured person who is mistreated in her childhood, or simply is not affectionately loved as her particular being needs to be, tends to become dysfunctional, excessive, extreme in one way or another that, from one perspective, is self-protective; yet on another perspective, is self-destructive, because she is not living according to her natural propensities to love and be loved moderately or immoderately. In such
circumstances, her self-identity is askew, off kilter, unknown to her, absorbed in others' expectations, values and beliefs.
I, of course, speak in the extreme, more or less; since no one can be loved nor express love consistently, continually, as one would prefer; since life situations and people can never come up to what we idealize them to be. I speak rather from the position of a serious lack of such love in a person's life that can throw, or tip, him over to abnormality or oddity, or self-destruction, and the like. Such love needed in a loving person's life includes expressions of affection, sympathy, compassion, understanding, concern, patience, helpfulness, togetherness, freedom to be oneself, guidance, and so forth. Such love I define as an affectionate bond of compassionate unity. Such love is an essential aspect of a soft- natured person, or simply a soft-nature. A person who significantly lacks these love expressions in his/her makeup can be considered as hard-natured, or simply, a hard-nature. In the extreme, at the point of being deliberately and consistently inclined to hurt others, such hard-natured persons are considered as pathics, as this book well describes them.
2. Put simply, a hard-natured person is less impressionable than a soft-natured person; which means that social values and rules, concern for other people's feelings and rights do not make much of an imprint upon him/her as they do for soft-natures. Analogously, we might say that a soft-natured person is like warm wax in which a thumb impression goes deeply; whereas a hard-natured person is like cold wax in which little or no impression is possible. Of course, there are degrees of heat that make wax more or less impressionable; and the less heat applied to the wax the harder it is to make a thumb impression; in which case, we have t a hard-natured person in the extreme, as pathic; inasmuch as a narcipath is not as hard-natured as a sociopath, nor a sociopath as hard- natured as a psychopath.
In other words, the more impressionable a person is psychologically, the softer natured he or she is; and conversely, the less impressionable a person is psychologically, the harder natured that person is.
3. A further extension of this wax analogy: An analogy with soft and hard natures could be seen with wax. The warmer wax becomes, the more impressions can be made with it; the harder it becomes, the less impres- sions can be made on it. A knife flakes a hard candle; that same knife cuts through a soft candle. Soft = warm or hot; hard = cool or cold. The hotter wax becomes the less pliable, impressionable, it becomes, so that it melts rather than receives an impression made upon it. Hence,
analogously speaking, we have what I term, the neuropath: the person who tends to be inwardly destructive, against himself, or simply self-destructive. The cooler, then colder, wax becomes, the less pliable, impressionable, it becomes. Again, analogously speaking, we have the pathic (psychopath, sociopath, narcipath), who tends to be outwardly destructive against others, or other-destructive.
4. Loosely speaking, a hard-nature is hard wired physiologically, temperamentally – that is, psychosomatically; and a soft-nature is soft-wired physiologically and temperamentally – that is, psychosomatically.
5. We tend to think that soft-natures are good only, loving only, considerate only, helpful only, compassionate only, and so forth, without considering that they too have their extremes as do hard-natures; and can be, and are, destructive in their own ways.
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SOFT NATURES IN PARTICULAR
1. Some basic inclinations - despite good or poor judgment - of the fairly balanced soft-natured person:
Is inclined toward moral idealism - right, goodness, integrity, and the like
Is inclined to consider the better of people rather than the worst
Is inclined to be more on the defensive than on the offensive
Is inclined to guilt, or remorse, when he or she hurts another's feelings
Is inclined to be affectionate
Is inclined to be compassionate
Is inclined to be passionate
Is inclined to shame
Is inclined to love intensely and / or deeply
Is inclined toward variable neuroses
Is inclined to forgive others both discriminately and indiscrimin- ately
Is inclined to become hardened by adverse environmental condi- tions
Is inclined to knowledge and understanding
Is inclined to spirituality, wisdom, philosophy, metaphysics, aesthetics (art, literature, poetry, film, dance, music, etc.)
Is inclined to the love of natural and sensuous beauty
Is inclined to self-reflection, introspection, contemplation, medi- tation, etc.)
Is inclined to monogamy
Is inclined to humility
Is inclined to self-improvement
Is inclined to help others
Is inclined to “save the world”
Soft-Natures And Conscience
2. A guilty conscience: – That we don't do right by another person or others, or ourselves. It preys on us; and because of it, hard-natures prey upon it.
2:1 My mind tells me that something is wrong, and if I do it – or not do it – I will feel ashamed or remorseful, or guilty, or blameworthy.
2:2 I prefer not to hurt another's feelings; but when I do because of my self-will gone astray, I try to make amends.
Soft-natures and Love
2:12 As soft-natured persons are deeply and intensely, impressionable to human feelings and relationships, it is understandable why they would be especially bonded to intimates (their spouses, lovers, children, parents, friends, extended family) as well as humanity as a whole. This bond can be considered the love that draws them to others; and so to do good for and by them, to alleviate their suffering, to embrace them. Love, then, in this human sense, can be considered an affectionate bond of compassionate unity.
2:13 Soft-natures are given to caring-love – often excessively – so that the hard-natures make sure that their partner - their “victim” – falls head-over-heels in love with him/her. Once that love is cemented, the bond remains so tight that it would take an equal or stronger bond to break it (a splitting of the atom, so to speak). That is why the hard-natured ones make sure no other such bond occurs (other than for him/herself) by his victim; hence, his victim's weakening and breaking ties with old friends, family members, God, Jesus, and whoever or whatever else that would threaten the hold, the grip, he has on her, or she has on him.
Soft-natures and Neurosis (a continued extension, from section 1)
3. Neurosis: “any of various mental or emotional disorders, such as hypochondria, arising from no apparent organic lesion and involving symptoms such as anxiety and depression.” (American Heritage Dictionary)
3:1 The softer one is, the more receptive he is to neurosis; and the more neurotic one is, the more receptive he is to destructive - mostly self-destructive - behavior. And why is this? because soft-natures are more impressionable emotionally, sensitively, intellectually, than hard-natures; and being more impressionable, they are more subject to, more sensitive to, and so, more vulnerable to, the aura of others' various states of mind; that is, their moods, their body language, their pretenses, and so forth. They somehow identify with these conditions, and so, by transference, are affected by them; they “pick up on the vibes,” so to speak, and consequently, are intensely vulnerable to anxiety at the other person's negativity, or are favorably receptive to the other person's positivity. Sympathy, compassion, empathy, for others are as natural to them, as the lack of these qualities are as natural to pathics.
3:2 The neurotically soft-natures have had their self-identity so inhibited, devalued, to such an extent that their self-worth is minimized to the unwarranted control, expectations, and influence, of others.
Basic Characteristics of Soft-natures
5. The following catalogue is a spectrum of characteristics natural and habitual to soft-natures, on the whole. These characteristics are dia- metrically opposed to the characteristics of hard-natures as shown in chapter three. Let these be a stronghold against those.
THAT GOOD MAY PREVAIL OVER EVIL
1. Having read the previous chapter, the soft-natured reader is most likely more familiar with the range of his particular characteristics in contrast to those of the hard-natures. The next step is to apply that knowledge as a wisdom in defense of his psychological well-being when threatened by a pathic intrusion. A strategy is needed, a strategy in keeping with the integrity of one's character - soft-natured, in this case. Morality (doing the right, just, thing) must be part of this strategy; but not in a narrow sense of a situation being right or wrong, good or bad; but rather right and wrong, good and bad.
2. The moral side of our character sees a situation as right or wrong; the transcendent side of our character sees a situation as possibly right and wrong. Our moral character sees a situation within the field of good and evil; our transcendent side sees a situation within and beyond good and evil. It is our transcendent side, including our morality, but in extension, that has to deal with the pathics.
3. Morality is certainly part of our transcendence – beyond the particular to the universal, beyond the self to selflessness, beyond self-love to selfless love, etc. – but not the totality of the transcendent field.
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THAT GOOD MAY PREVAIL OVER EVIL
A Fictional Dialogue
Sharon. Having read all your material on wisdom and love and meaning and self-freedom, and on your human-transcendent wisdom in particular, I still fail to see how it all can successfully and consistently combat evil; or how it will ever take the ascendancy over it, as you have so confidently asserted elsewhere. As I see it, the cards are too stacked up against you.
Joseph. Maybe so, if it is just a matter of “combating” evil; but the wisdom of human-transcendence - that is, the balance between our transcendence and our humanness - is not about combating evil, but about surpassing it.
Sharon. What do you mean by “surpassing” evil?
Joseph. Human-transcendence leaves evil as it is; it simply goes beyond it; that is, it transcends, evil's limitations and propensities.
S. And how does human-transcendence propose to do that?
J. By beating evil at its own game, so to speak.
S. You mean learn to be evil so that you can be more evil than the evil one himself? Like a game? A play?
J. Not exactly; rather by good learning evil's ways; then disguising itself as evil intent – not evil in action – without suspicion, then infiltrating it; and finally flushing it out, exposing it, and having it slink away, tail between its legs, or eliminating it if necessary in the given situation. Good can no longer be on the defensive against evil if it is to surpass it; but has to take the offensive; but an offensive not obvious to evil.
S. And how would good take this offensive?
J. By being sly, in a word.
S. But, normally we associate “sly” with evil – that is, undermining with unjust intent - rather than good.
J. Right. And that's what I mean by playing and beating evil at its own game.
S. Well that sounds all very well in theory; but I think a person would have to be fairly wise to be sly for the sake of good; and you know how rare a person that is.
J. You might be wrong on that score. For consider this, is it difficult for an evil person to pretend to be good to attain his or her ends?
S. No; that's understood.
J. Then why would it be difficult for a good person to feign evil?
S. Somehow it's different and much more complex. To feign evil one would have to come off as evil; and how could a good person be able to stomach that; his conscience would do havoc to him.
J. There are two matters we have to consider here on this topic. First, when we say an evil one pretends to be good, what exactly does that imply? And second, as has been firmly established about human nature, evil resides in us as does good; it is a matter of degree that we call one person evil and another good; in which case, in feigning evil a good person is only enacting the potential evil aspect in himself.
S. Well, let's start with the first matter: what does it imply to say that an evil person pretends to be good?
J. That a distinction has to be made between an act of goodness and the intention behind that act. In which case an evil person can very well do an act of goodness but with an evil intention; as in telling the truth to a person that unknown to him, will do him harm.
Or another situation is in which money is lent to help a person in need though knowing full well that that poor victim will use the money to his detriment. In both these cases, both acts are seemingly good for the other; yet the intent behind them is meant to harm him.
S. That's clear; and this device by the mean ones is known as one of their more masterful ploys. But how is even the wise, good person supposed to glean that intention to harm him; especially if his need is so great that all he can see is the appearance that the imposter means well by him?
J. The wise person recognizes the signs that underlie the seeming good of the imposter.
S. Such as?
J. The signs of character. All the subtle and not so subtle indications that reveal an imposter's character: his tone of voice, his facial expressions, his manner of speaking, his seeming too good to be true, his obsequiousness, his presumption, his flattery, his overall superficiality, and so forth, through the network of his scenarios.
S. I see that; and recognizing these indications can help a person be wary of such individuals; but I can't help thinking that those traits are just a “drop in the bucket,”; there's so much more to their makeup.
J. I agree with you. We certainly can't detect all the ways of duplicity; we would have to be all-knowing for that. However, these basic traits are so patterned and ingrained in such person's character that they can no sooner modify them than a dog its manner of barking. They do give the culprit away; they do send out the signs that something is amiss with this caricature of good; and the perceptive man or woman picks up on these signs as an antenna does radio waves, and shies away from such posturing. So, though an evil one can feign goodness, he cannot be good because of his contrary intentions – which bastardize the good that he does. And furthermore, since he or she is not naturally good, the “put on” is readily detected by the sensitive, wise person.
S. Well, such wisdom and sensitivity certainly do throw a curve into those “dastardly” ones; that's for sure; but certainly not infallibly; that is just as sure.
J. Of course; but then what is infallible in the matter of human beings?
We are talking about minimizing evil's sway, not eliminating it.
S. In that case, I concede that wisdom, as you have laid it out in your writings, surely does contribute to that minimizing. Now as to your second point, regarding the good feigning evil; I'm not sure the same reasoning or psychological maneuvers hold in this case.
J. Why don't you think so?
S. Well, for one thing, the good, as soft-natures, are far more impressionable than the evil ones; and so, though they may feign evil all right, yet there remains the peril of their becoming evil, and of thrilling to it, if only in a given situation.
J. I see that. Very well said. And for that reason, I'm sure that is why so many of the good natures dread to even consider evil in relation to themselves lest they themselves fall into its seductive traps. They can vicariously read about it, watch, and listen, to it through the various media; but would never think of it as a reality as close to themselves; or if it happens to them violently, they are rendered traumatized. So what is comes down to is that the good cannot so easily feign evil for the reasons we mentioned.
S. Where, then, does that leave us? How do the good ones protect themselves from the bad ones?
J. Well, they surely cannot commit evil with a good intention, as can the evil ones commit a good act but with a bad intent; nor can they feign evil in act or in intention, except in small matters, such as lying to them to protect themselves; but they can take on the mask of evil, as though they are one of them, or in favor of them, when in their company; and in that way the good can draw them out as to their intentions and designs. Much like a spy, or undercover agent. A spy, or undercover agent, does not have to be a sage in order to flush out his prey; he just has to understand his ways and means, and use well thought-out strategy.
I know this may sound over-simplified; but just as the evil ones know what buttons to press to get their way with the unsuspected, so the good ones can do the same. They just have to be strong-willed enough to play their game to a certain extent, and not be concerned when dealing with them with their familiar moral ideals such as breaches of truthfulness or honesty, or sincerity. They have to relax them in order to follow the rules of the dark ones if they are going to win their game. You have to play their game, as I said in the beginning.
S. I see what you're saying. Yet how does your wisdom of human-transcendence teach you this game?
J. And what I have added to this meaning of love is that love is a unifying force, or more to the point, bond, that binds all things together in function, form, and purpose.
S. By “function and form” you mean what?
J. Very simply, take our hands. They are unified into their particular form in order to function in a certain way, as with all parts of our body. Now you can extend this perspective to anything that exists, whether we are aware of it or not.
S. You're making a sweeping generalization, but overall, I see that.
J. So, love, as I see it, is an attracting power that binds all things into unity. This binding, this bond, is the Oneness, the Meaning, that underlies everything.
S. God, you mean.
J. If you like. And good draws people together of like mind. Right?
J. And this drawing together, is another way of saying good attracts?
J. And, so synonymously, we can say that good is a form, or aspect, of love?
S. I see that.
J. A good person then we might say is a loving person?
S. I can't deny that. But let me ask you: by a “loving person” do you mean loving toward others?
J. The good, loving, person because he or she is in constant touch with love that goes beyond self to other selves, creatively, he is especially in touch with Transcendent Love – the basis of all human love – and so is unconsciously, or more to the point, transconsciously, in accord with Its meaning and so is receptive to the truths of human nature in general.
Accordingly, in relation to our topic, such a person is able to intuit, identify with, the evil in human nature as well as the good. He recognizes, intuits, senses, feels, the signs of evil; though he may not be fully conscious of them, nor be able to articulate them, nor unfor- tunately, to protect himself from them. That is why he must understand both the good and evil in himself and others so that he can protect himself and others from the harm of the evil ones. Recognizing, intuiting, sensing, are the first steps toward this self-understanding. The next step is to study the psychology (our humanness, in particular) and transcendence of human nature and relationships so as to raise the truths of our humanity to the surface, to our consciousness; and so, to fruition. Self-understanding must prevail.
And for self-understanding to prevail, wisdom, human-transcendent wisdom, in particular in our sense of the word, is the guide, the path, the teacher, the guru. And the first prerequisite of this self-understanding is to shed the myth that everybody is basically good, and that it is mainly environment that turns one from their goodness to evil. Not that there is no truth to environmental influences, because environment certainly can and does corrupt good-natured persons by the numbers.
S. And where does the evil one stand in relation to this human-transcendent wisdom?
S. If all that you say is true, and I think mostly it is, then it is possible for evil to be at a disadvantage for the first time in our history. All that is needed is a “course,” so to speak, in human-transcendence.
J. Well, not so much a “course” but a lifetime study, a lifetime aware- ness, a lifetime of human interaction. It is a lifelong struggle; no time to let one's guard down, to be bored. There is no short-cut to, no six-week seminar, no prescriptions, to this way of gaining the ascendancy over evil, or more particularly, over injustice and ignorance; It is a “long row to hoe,” so to speak; but one that is replete with discovery and adventure, and advancement.
S. I realize that.
J. My closing words, then, are: Let us be warriors of love than of hate, of peace than of war, of good than of evil - our own evil as well as others' evils; and that is how we can “give peace a chance,” to quote John Lennon.
S. Yes, let us. And you know what comes to me in this regard?
S. We are to reverse the well-known dictum of the unjust: “Might is right” to “Right is might.”
J. It couldn't be better stated. Onward to the conscious transformation in which wisdom and justice will take the ascendancy over ignorance and injustice!
S. And how does one attain this wisdom of human-transcendence?
J. By putting its concepts, principles and precepts into practice. Simple – and complex – as that.
S. So we'd have to be very familiar with this wisdom.
J. Without question.
S. Well, I'll have to follow it up….Before we close, I'd like to add a thought that came to me as you were discussing love as an attractive force that the binds all unity. You said, and I believe it, that we can't escape loving something or other, since essentially we are love.
J. That's right.
S. Well, it brings to mind a statement Thoreau made about evil, which is, if I remember correctly, “There are thousands hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”
J. Yes, I've read that.
S. Well, I think you yourself have struck at the root of evil, perhaps without knowing it.
THE PLAY'S THE THING
1. Having determined that love (as the bond of unity) and wisdom (human-transcendence) are inclusive of a philosophy against malice (auroralism), we have next to apply this Love / wisdom paradigm to the practical affairs of dealing effectively and consistently with the pathic individual. Accordingly, we must employ a tactic, a course of action, that works in our favor instead of in theirs.
2. This course of action requires that we relax our moral strictures that we normally live by so that good and justice prevail over pathics' abusive agenda. In which case, we must feign sincerity, feign concern, feign moods - as they do; we must lie, fabricate, manipulate – as they do. Our prime intention and goal, however, is not to use or abuse pathics, but to thwart them from using and abusing us. Better they're hurt or harmed than we are, so long as it is a matter of either them or us with no other choice.
3. This course of action against malice I call, assertive-passive resistance; that is: now resist passively, then assertively, or now resist assertively then passively, depending upon what the pathic and/or situation calls
for. In either case, we are asserting our rights and our integrity.
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The following notes start off in the usual advice-to-the-reader pattern, but then unexpectedly (for the author) veers off into the concept of playacting; which in hindsight, proves to be the perfect platform in opposition to the pathics, since they themselves are the consummate play-actors among us. In which case, we soft-natured individuals learn to play their own game, if not as well as them, then surely as protective of us.
“Perhaps one never seems so much at ease as when one has to play a part.”
THE PLAY'S THE THING
Assertive-Passive Resistance against the Pathic
by the Author
1. Be civil to them, but subtly remote.
2. Be polite to them, but in passing.
3. Be courteous to them, but busily.
4. No looking at them except momentarily to be civil, polite, or courteous.
5. No replies to them except what they want to hear.
6. No comments to them that reveal your true feelings, beliefs, or values.
7. Listen agreeably to what they say; like, “That's very interesting,” etc..
8. Act as though you're ignorant of the topic they're discussing; like: “I'm not sure I understand what you mean; can you explain it.” Etc..
9. Don't be concerned about being aloof – you're in your own thoughts; you're very busy, no time to talk… and the like.
10. Hold your anger in check; they feed on it.
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A SUBPLOT: THE PATHIC SIBLING IN THE FAMILY
The following note-like, “stream of conscience,” thoughts fairly much answer my troubled concern for all the poor unfortunate soft-natured children who are subject to, victims of, their hard-natured siblings. That answer is mainly in the lap of parents: parents who fairly much understand the pathic character and their ways, and can articulate and deal with them in defense of both themselves and their other children.
The pathic in your life is in your household; he's your child against his/her sibling.
You live in the day-to-day proximity of his wretchedness.
But now you know his ways and means of hurting, harming, and disrupting.
Armed with this knowledge, how do you protect your child from his sibling out to hurt and harm him?
Forget the family “blood is thicker than water” cliché with the hard-natured child. She certainly forgets it against you.
Such hard-natures may be family in blood, but they certainly are not family in love. And love, in all its variant expressions, is everything, is it not? that holds people together, families together.
No love comes from her except her love of hurting and harming and disrupting her sibling – Love to see you squirm! Love to see your feelings hurt! Love to see you cry! Love to see you caught!
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In closing this bleakly disturbing, yet hopefully encouraging, book, I have these few forward-looking words to add. But first: Yes, the pathics are with us for good; and yes, there will always be their victims to exploit; and yes, they will always add to the pool of sorrow and suffering upon mankind, and always pollute and infect the innocent and unwary. So much, then, for the “bleakly, disturbing” side of the human condition – its dark side. What of the “hopefully, encouraging” side of the human condition – its bright side?
The underlying theme of this book: that justice and wisdom take the ascendancy over injustice and ignorance, serves as a preface to the conscious transformation occurring in our times and leading to the gradual ascendancy of justice and wisdom over injustice and ignorance. This conscious transformation is further explored and studied in my forthcoming book, Human-Transcendence: Of Love and Wisdom.
With the publication of these two related books, I will have completed my major contribution to this conscious transformation. What more is needed is to transfer words into action – into a movement, or more to the point: a quest, against injustice and ignorance.
Research it; it is all about us. Reflect upon it; it is within us. Let it happen; live your share.
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Of Pathics and Evil
By Joseph Sguigna with Sharon Sguigna
Published: June, 2009
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*Of Pathics and Evil ends on a high note of optimism and freedom through the projection of an ideal to reach for; namely, that justice and wisdom will one day
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