Tuesday, November 30, 2010

About this blog.

As always, everybody are welcome to leave comments at my blog. It's a work in progress, and there' lots of things to discuss and explore in the topic realm of psychopathy/sociopathy.

I attempt to present topics from the psychopath/sociopath view - as opposed to the views of mainstream society, of psychopath/sociopath 'victims', and (even) of official psychiatry and research. To my knowledge there are only a small handful of people who do this, and now I am one of them.

You will find that my personal stand point and the ways I see and interpret things are highly controversial, and not least so because I do not consider myself a psychopath (or a sociopath, i.e.). But OTHERS consider me a psychopath - some are ordinary people who disagree with my ways or whom I've hurt in some way or other, and some are individuals who represent professional (and clinical/forensic) psychiatry.

I will be pleased to hear from you all. Mail me or post your ideas, and tell me if there's a topic you want me to write about. - I'm looking forward to hear from you!...

Let's start discussing!...

Zhawq.

How they prove you're a Psychopath.

As silly as it may sound there is a way that is frequently used to 'spot' psychopaths. The methods are Pet and MRI scans.

All you need is to show consistent flat affect, and voila: You're a psychopath/sociopath.

The problem I have with this is that in the very definition of the word Psychopath (and in later years, Sociopath) you must have some consistency of harmful behavior as well. But where is the line? How harmful must you be, and in how many ways?

There are empathic people who portray just as harmfully as sociopaths and who get the label because it's just easier and cheaper to not give them a thorough scan.
On the other hand there're neurologically verifiable sociopathic people who somehow manage to not harm others. It's all linked to circumstantials in our upbringing.

I am not arguing that there is no such thing as sociopaths, that would be silly. But I am arguing that there are people with the same neurological make up who can in fact be contributing to the survival and progress of our species. 'Empaths', the so called 'normal people' in our societies, are too heavily focused upon what THEY think is good and right, and what they think is good and right usually is a status quo that will kill our species along with the rest of the planet if we don't change our ways very soon (yet that may be too late).

Those that I call psychopaths are mindlessly helping the empaths do their damage. But some of those the empaths call psychopaths could be their saviors!

Monday, November 29, 2010

To Patch an Outdated Program.

Again I have found inspiration in something NotablePath wrote. This time I didn't find the text on The Notable Path blog though, but instead as a comment on another blog ... also about Sociopathy/Psychopathy.

I haven't done much editing, and I'm aware that I probably would do well in getting some done. But at this point I find it more important to simply get it posted, for the eventuality that some of those it is mainly addressed to will be happening to read my blog today ... or tomorrow. As a matter of fact, I do know they will be reading it, but I hope it may also reach a few individuals who have a slightly more open mind that most of the people in powerful places today.

At some point it is my plan to edit this and other texts that I have posted (as well as many that I haven't posted). But at present I am very much hung up, I have many projects running, several of which are gaining momentum ... in a good way, I might add ... and to the pleasure of many an acquaintance who's support I am lucky enough to have. But it means I can't be quite as attentive to my Psychopathy Project at present as I had planned.

Yet, this is not to say I will not get around to it. I haven't given up just yet, and I definitely plan on continuing what I have started, in one way or another! 

I appreciate the mails of support, your stories and input, there're some great texts and great thoughts in here that I have saved already!...


And now to the article itself, here goes...


TheNotablePath wrote:

My opinion of society is that it's sort of like sluggish, buggy, outdated software on your new computer. Problem is there are rarely patches and no one really seems to have an alternate product. It is what it is.


This is a good analogy. Notice how it's not that no one has an alternate product, but that alternate products are being turned down because they implement new programs that are unfamiliar, and which - despite they are clearly more efficient - will bring along some discomfort until they've become familiar and their use has been understood and rehearsed.

That just doesn't happen, partly because the owners of the old system (Comal 80, f.ex.), don't have any interest in loosing their position as sole provider with a productive machinery that almost runs itself ... and where it doesn't work anymore, there's nothing anybody can do. For a period people wrote petitions to Tech Support, but with time they gave up and learned to live with it. "The experts knows best, it can't be any better, we just have to be thankful and pay willingly!"

There will always be someone who has an alternative. The problem arises in times like these where people have been conditioned to not even consider the possibility of something better, maybe a system that incorporated features that allowed the individual computer owner to influence how his system behaved, maybe even what kind of results he could get, and - 'Good Morals forbid!' - what he would -do with/learn from/create out of- the results!!

Creativity can only take place in an active mind which dares to walk on path ways no one else have tread. Action begets action. Creativity begets creativity. An active mind begets and active-r mind. Action begets effect, effect begets reaction, the reaction of an active mind begets awareness, awareness begets creativity, and this circle begets thought, understanding, deduction, logic reasoning and decision, and eventually personal emotion once interference is introduced.

A creative mind which is being given mainly negative responses, but no reason, will develop dislike, antipathy.
In the face of overwhelming presence of negativity on an ongoing basis will eventually result in a state of immunity towards same.
It is a survival strategy of the species, of the human race. If creativity is impossible while being emotionally on level with one's fellow beings, there will usually be a few that reacts by becoming immune to that which to everybody else is at the center of being a Human Being, of being One of The Human Species, it's a sacrifice for the sake of survival of the species, which might otherwise not survive (and much seems to speak for this actuality).

The "side effects" are obvious, and not agreeable. It's not hard to agree that some of the results are ugly. But when we on top of it all begin to blame those who carry the 'burden', when we throw away all responsibility and call the few 'evil', deem them unwanted and scheem on how to eliminate them before they come into being (genetic "therapy", f.instance), then we're closer to being provoking the one confrontation between Life (creativity, Change, etc.) and Death (Status Quo, stagnation, 'living death' where only Morals and laws gives us direction ... a direction which is really a circle like that of prisoners who are exercised temporarily until they die from all sorts of other causes) ... Then it's getting close to the point where it's too late to even discuss the possibility of making peace with people on the Neuro-Diversity Spectrum!


It is not really the psychopaths who are destroying society! It is our insitence upon creating them in the most unforgiving version possible as a result of our unwillingness to learn, develop, progress, and let Life run it's creative wonders!

I see all the horrors everybody else, and expert researchers, see in psychopaths. But I do also see the aspects that could have been, and I acknowledge our state of guilt and responsibility in having allowed such a situation within our own species to arise!

We speak of Guilt and look at the Psychopaths. How can we expect them to acknowledge any guilt when we ourselves denies even the obvious!

We speak of empathy and look at the Psychopaths. How can we expect them take us serious or even have a chance at understanding when the Empathy that we ourselves exhibit is little more than a postulate and the norm is poorly hidden small minded hatred and envy towards anyone who has anything that we have not.

We speak of fear and look at the Psychopaths. But when we've made sure that only the most tenacious can excape a life that shields us from the slighest emotionally challenging and/or maturing event and abide to a normset of taboos that allows us only to experience one side, but not the other, of that which is life and death, day and night, sadness and joy, etc., an emotional prison we willingly subject ourselves to.
How can we expect those that we call Psychopaths to develop an ability to feel fear at the prospect of the one thing that may make a difference ... The extreme event, at the edge of life and death, given the fact that all there is inside the picture we present to them and call life, is really no different from death... Because Life and Death have only meaning when seen in the perspective of their opposites: Each Other!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What is Love?

How do we measure feelings?...

There is a way which is used to scientifically measure feelings in an individual, and there will be an upcoming article about how this is done. Here in this article the word 'measure' relates to how we, as individuals, evaluates and communicate, put into words how we experience our feelings.


We hear again and again that psychopaths do not feel, or they don't feel the whole range of emotions that normal people feel.

I've had a hard time with getting to terms with this. How can some people 'not' feel f.ex. Wonder, or find something funny?

I know these two feelings are not the feelings we hear psychopaths do not feel, but they are feelings I have observed being absent both in some psychopaths and in some neurotic people. When seeing things from this point of view I can understand statements like "Life is boring", and strange as it may seem, I feel that way myself much of the time.

But I guess I should go on to the absence of the feelings that we always hear are absent specifically in psychopaths: Love and Remorse. I've touched on Remorse elsewhere and will take it up again in coming articles, so let's touch a little on Love and associated feelings here.


What is Love?


When we hear that psychopaths can't feel Love I believe we're generally thinking about the feeling as it pertains to other human beings ... though there are people who feel no attachment or warmth toward anything, be it things, animals or members of their own species. Again, it's a spectrum.

Does it sound as if I'm beating around the bush?...


A fellow blog owner, Notable Path, has written an article about emotions where he lists a scoring system measuring feelings from 0 - 20. The article can be read here, and this Wiki is it's origin.
It consists of two groups of each 10 kinds of feelings, and you give yourself 1 score for each of the feelings that you recognize and 0 for those that you don't.

NotaPath himself seems to have had some issues with the system and added asterisks to his scores to emphasize how little or how much he feels each emotion.


My thoughts on the suggested feeling score system is that I would need way more than 1 score for each feeling, and it would have been easier to apply a system with a range of scores rather than leaving it up to the individual to attach a personally invented system (f.ex. asterisks) to the procedure.

At the end of the day for me the meaning of Love is something I'm still pondering. It's an emotion that is so hard to 'nail'.

In connection with NotaPath's article I wrote this:

Haven't you ever impulsively proclaimed when you saw or experienced something of a certain nature "I love this!!"?
I know I have, and lately - because I've been thinking more about feelings in the context of psychopathy/sociopathy - I've made a note to self when doing so, so that I might think it over later and find out if perhaps that was really love I felt at the time. And I think it actually was!

The point where I too may be lacking to some extent is in that my love, when it is directed at people, usually doesn't last very long....except for a very few exceptions. But isn't that the very nature of deeper love, that it is reserved for a very few?

Then again, where does the line go between fascination and admiration and love?

I haven't met anybody who could explain this, and this is despite the heavy body of poetry and art that deals with exactly this feeling: Love.


How do you describe Love?

Maybe some of my readers can help me out with this one? Thoughts from psychopaths/sociopaths and normal folk/empaths alike are all welcome!..

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thrill Seeking.

Some time ago I thought I was through with researching Psychopathy. At the time I felt I had a good understanding of what Psychopathy is, that it had nothing to do with my reality at present, and that there was nothing really I could learn from looking further into it.

As it turned out I came back to look for more information from time to time, and I looked up the debates on certain fora as well to see if any of those I had been debating had posted anything new that might be interesting. So ... interesting how?, if I thought I already knew what there was to know of interest, why expect that anything interesting could come up? To be honest I think it wasn't as much about intellectual understanding anymore (and in part it never was), I was looking for something else that has to do with "emotions", with feelings ... and perhaps feelings of the type that some describe as "trhills".

'Thrills' is a downgrading word in this context; it describes a type of person who have no depth, and that is what it is ... on the surface.

But to me it is a lot more, it is a portal to a Wider Reality, or to what some call Religious Experience. I will write more on this topic later.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Remorse, Regret & Guilt.

On the topic of...

Regret, Remorse & Guilt.


Psychopaths are said to not be able to feel Remorse. They are also said to not feel Guilt. But can they feel Regret?

.....

Regret.

I have in the past done things which at the time when I did them seemed to be the only right thing to do, but in hindsight I can see I overlooked important details and as a concequence ended up doing something that was wrong in some way or another. Doing something wrong can pertain to almost everything in existence, from making the wrong bet because you didn't know the stakes were fixed, firing the wrong employee because you had been fed the wrong information for a long time, or by causing pain to someone because you either didn't know they would be able to retaliate later or because your impression of them as a person was wrong and later you learned that you liked them well enough to not wish the pain on them that you inflicted. ..Etc. etc. etc...

Though there are cases where I have felt regret without a shadow of a doubt, mostly I would say 'regret' is perhaps a strong word for how I feel about having done something wrong. After all, what's the point in regret when I can't change it anyway?! I think that's the word 'regret' means to 'SEE', or 'THINK', I was wrong/stupid(naive/inexperienced)/etc., whereas remorse has a larger emphasis on dwelling on what I did wrong, and on feeling the embarrassment/sadness/etc. this generates.

.....

Remorse.

The Oxford Dictionary reads: 'Deep regret for wrongs committed, compunction, compassionate reluctance to inflict pain (especially without remorse).'

Okay, remorse is a form of strong regret. I think it's what I mean when I say: Remorse is the same as Regret, but with emphasis on focusing on the past wrongs committed rather than on doing better or good in the present. I acknowledge that it is not a question about wasting energy on feelings that can't change anything, because the person who feels remorse does not choose to do so. They simply cannot help it! A person who feels true remorse had no choice or say in the matter. And I bet most people, if they could choose, would choose not to feel remorse. It's horrible feeling where the "victim" accuses themselves, feel embarrassed, feel stupid or bad, and are not able to shake this devastation of their self-esteem.

In my view, remorse is good for punishment on individuals who's energy cannot be put to better use in any way, and provided the society can affort to indulge in letting an individual suffer solely for the sake of retribution.

That said, my true feelings about punishment are that punishing a wrongdoer should be done by the wronged, not by any society or coercive enforcement of law - provided the wrong deed was targeted at an individual or group of individuals, or a minority. But then, this is probably always the case, expcept for actions of war.

.....

Guilt.

I believe Guilt is an abstraction, it is not a feeling, but an adjective that applies to people who act in certain ways in certain situations according norms and rules in their society at the time.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ethics vs. Morals.

Ethics differ from morals by it not being possible to create rules or programs based on ethics.

This is also why we'll never be able to find the final answer as to how to ensure ethics are maintained in every setting, research program, experiments, schools, etc..

Ethics is also the very point where I think some people get wrongly diagnosed as psychopaths or sociopaths.
The mistake is being made because there are the rare individual who does have certain things in common with psychopaths - on a superficial level, that is.

But again - and as I stated in one of my earliest comments - sociopathy and psychopathy are diagnoses designed by and for society in it's present form ... a society that bases it values upon the notion of maintaining status quo, or enhancing a status quo.

Any somewhat intelligent person with a mediocre level of schooling will know that this isn't possible. But it's convenient and gives mainstream society a scapegoat when things begin to change, because change hurts.

.....

Right off I would say I agree with you (M.E.) in that it certainly is best, and good, to provide means by which people can learn about their own nature, and specifically in this case, about some of the ugly sides to their nature.

But because of the ethical perspective, I can't say for sure that I believe people will actually learn even when confronted in such a direct way as in the Milgram Experiment.

There is much that speaks for it being a fact that people generally learn only when they experience things on a personal level, and we can't put a high enough number of individuals through such an experiment to produce that result.

Furthermore, people will always return to the beliefs that their society enforces. And no society enforces a conscious awareness of being capable of doing what is commonly agreed to be evil or bad. No society will do this, because it will represent a weakness in times where exceptions call for exceptional behavior.

If you have a public with strong ethics, you have a society with an enormous weakness. This is why Ethics are generally speaking reserved for the 'higher classes' (or the "leading class" ... in old times 'The Aristocracy').

An ethical person is hard to control and he'll not follow rules or laws just because they're rules and laws. But it is essential for society as a whole that the majority of people DO follow rules and laws, and that is what we have Morals for.

Monday, November 8, 2010

On the Topic of Guilt.

I thought it might be a good idea to take up some of the issues often associated with psychopathy, but which - in my opinion - are also often misunderstood.

I will start with a trait I think is not necessarily the trait of a psychopath, but which I am also not sure about how to categorize:

The lack of Remorse or Guilt.


We often hear that lack of guilt, or lack of feeling guilty, is a central trait of a psychopath. But does 'lack of guilt' mean they don't think they're guilty, or does it mean they they're guilty but they just don't care? - To me Guilt is an awareness, not a feeling. If I steal my neighbor's lunch, I know I am guilty. It's not something I feel, it's something I know, something I am aware of.

Is guilt supposed to make you feel a certain way? How does 'Guilt' feel? Quite honestly, 'Guilt' doesn't make me feel anything one way or another, unless I have a reason for wanting to redeem an action I have undertaken. It may sound cold, but I can very well find a reason to redeem an action that has consequences for somebody else, though it does usually imply myself in some way. But isn't this the case for us all? I think it is, though I'm aware that many disagree.

Sometimes in cases where I want to undo or change something I have brought about, it gives me a nagging, uneasy, feeling. But even so this is more linked to what I do not want to happen than to what I have actually done.

I can under special circumstances be pushed into doing something I don't want to do, but it doesn't make me "feel guilty", it makes me angry. Angry at those or that which made me do it, and angry at myself for not having been stronger so that I could abstain despite the circumstances (like torture, f.ex.).

But I haven't been in many such a situations as far as I recall. Why not? I think it's because I am not easily pushed, and I generally don't do things to others that I don't want them to have the consequences for. I ususally make very sure to not harm or otherwise affect others in a negative way, unless I really don't care for those people and I have a very good reason to be wanting to go through with the activity anyway, or unless the reasons to do such things simply outweigh the negatives.

I don't feel bad about being guilty of something, because I make sure I can live with the consequences before I do whatever I do.

When somebody feels guilty and tell me about f.ex. how they can't sleep because of something they did, my thought is: "Why did you do it if it makes you feel so bad!?". When I sometimes ask people this question I usually get a vague answer about something they felt at the time, or they simply don't know what to say.

That's a topic for another article: "The psychopath doesn't consider the consequences of their actions".