Thursday, July 7, 2011

Psychopath vs Normal: Being Startled. (Part 1)

Maybe the following quote represents one of the pieces in the puzzle about normal humans and their emotions which I, as a psychopath, have missed.

Journalist and author Jon Ronson here describes how he experienced the physical reaction to a shock, a reaction which - according to Robert Hare, professor in clinical psychology - is quite common and normal. I had to bring it here because it's been in my thoughts since I read it about a week ago, and I still wonder if it really is normal, if this really is how most people react in situations like the one in this description...

On the last [day] Bob [Hare] surprised [the workshop attenders] by unexpectedly flashing onto the screen a large-scale, close-up photograph of a man who'd been shot in the face at very close range. This came after he'd lulled us into a false sense of security by flashing photographs of ducks on pretty lakes and summer days in the park. But in this picture, gore and gristle bubbled everywhere. The man's eyes had bulged all the way out of their sockets. His nose was gone.
'Oh GOD,' I thought.
An instant later my body responded to the shock by feeling prickly and jangly and weak and debilitated. This sensation, Bob said, was a result of our amygdalae and our central nervous system shooting signals of distress up and down to each other. It's the feeling we get when we're suddenly startled -- like when a figure jumps out at us in the dark -- or when we realize we've done something terrible, the feeling of fear and guilt and remorse, the physical manifestation of our conscience.

The quote is taken from Jon Ronson's book 'The Psychopath Test' which I have written about in an earlier article. It describes an event that Ronson experienced during a 3-day workshop about psychopaths lead by Robert Hare. And I just have to say his description really, really surprised me. I have never imagined or thought that anyone could react physically after being startled, and so strongly at that.

The situation in relation to which he had this reaction makes the whole thing even more strange. There was no outside factor at all, only a picture! One picture, and it startled him because it was unexpected after a series of cosy park scenery!? He doesn't say if it was accompanied by a loud sound, which would've made it more likely that he got startled so much, but the physical reaction is still unusual in my experience. I've never had any experience like it, ever.

When I get startled I sometimes feel a sudden tuck at the spot called Solar Plexus (it's right under the point where your ribs meet above your stomach), but it subsides immediately afterwards. The closest to an after reaction I've ever experienced is a quick notion of anger at the intrusion that being startled feels like. But real physical reactions when being startled? And afterwards? No, nothing like that.

So when I read this passage, it made my jaw drop, for a while I just sat there. Can this be true? Do people really feel this way? If they do, is it normal, or do only some, maybe just a few, people feel like that when they've been startled?

Maybe my Readers can fill me in on this topic? Do any of you recognize Ronson's description? Is this the description you associate with being startled?
*

39 comments:

TheNotablePath said...

The "Shock Test" is an age-old formula which has been shown in cop shows and movies for decades. It's the whole, "A person with a conscience would respond to this" shtik. It doesn't take into account people who have been numbed to such things, like say a nurse, a first responder, or a police officer (or criminal, for that matter).

Anonymous said...

Hey Zhawq,
Ma'am here.
You ask:
"Maybe my Readers can fill me in on this topic? Do any of you recognize Ronson's description? Is this the description you associate with being startled?"

I'm told I startle easily. Its true. I work with software. I can be entrenched in a task while working on my laptop and I guess I easily get into a 'zone'. I'll can be oblivious to the happenings around me. If, per chance, I happen to be working at a home office (as opposed to home, where I usually work) and a passerby puts a hand on my shoulder to ask me a question, I've been known to have an immediate physical response of either jumping or jerking! Not sure why I do that, just do. Last week, I was cooking dinner and as usual, had tunes on and was singing and bopping my hips and shoulders as enjoying the music. My kid must have walked in and I didn't notice. He asks me a question and before the 2nd word came out of his mouth, I dropped the meat I was cutting because my arm jerked.

Both events are examples of what I would call being 'startled'. Internally, I don't think I feel much except for maybe a momentary increase in heart rate. And I would not introspect that fear is involved either? In fact, I can't say fear even comes into play in these instances. Rather, I am just surprised - taken off guard - altho that doesn't imply I am always on guard either (like when simply cooking and getting down to a good tune?). Dunno. For me, startled means just that . . . startled. Suppose all people react to being startled differently. Personally, I generally will immediately laugh after being startled, as if I automatically am aware its a foolish physical response (the jumping or jerking) but always seem to jerk or jump anyway. Maybe I laugh because I know it is what it is and can't change it? I've startled easily since I was a kid and don't see it changing. I immerse in activities fairly easy and am just not one of those folks who is constantly cognoscente of his/her environment. I am more aware of environments when not in overly familiar ones, like home. Thus, I don't startle as easily outside the home, where there are less expectations of variables. If this makes sense to you?

I wonder if that is why otherwise resilient, intelligent and capable empath folk like myself have easily been taken advantage of in relationships by folks like yourself? . . . because of allowing our guards down too much when in the comfort of 'home'? Hmmmm, food for thought for me. Thanks for the 'push'.

Different types of startling events illicit different immediate physical responses for me. If shown a graphic picture (or otherwise viewing something of graphic nature - real or in a media form), I pretty much always turn my head as to stop the view completely. I do it within milliseconds. My family jokes about it and some will even warn me so I can look away in advance. That is another explanation entirely. Suffice it to say I probably process such types of visual information exactly opposite as say, you might? I DON'T like to see gore in any fashion. I don't find it interesting nor fascinating nor does it provide me with any positive means whatsoever. In fact, I will make an effort to NOT have to see it.

When confronted with something visually disturbing that I do not HAVE to immediately deal with (as opposed to something I DO have to deal with - such as a gushing wound on my child), I am a classic 'cover your eyes' gal :) If I have to see and deal with it, I will and can do so rather calmly and pragmatically.

continued . . .

Anonymous said...

. . continued
I have been in the medical field for 27 years and have seen my fair share of 'gross'. I do find that the older I get, the less capable I am to deal with the grotesque whether it be work related or not. Maybe because I am more confident in my ability to make and have choices now? Wherein I used to be able to walk in an ER room and see a stab victim (with innerds and blood spewing out) and do whatever task necessary, I now cannot. Ten years ago, I was called on the fly to assist in an ER procedure for a gunshot to the head victim. Walked in, saw the gal and remember immediately thinking to myself "happy place, goto a happy place". Started singing that old song 'Brandy' (and clueless as to why except I relate the song to memories of being a little kid playing in the streets of NYC - good times), did the task I had to and got the hell out of the room. I sat down in a chair next to a filing cabinet and BAM! I went down like a box of rocks. I remember coming to and vomiting. Last time I would ever see an ER room again.

I was blessed to be good at what I did and my employer realized I was not the best one to call on when additional staff needed in a pinch for such tasks outside of my normal job. There were always others available for such events. Have never recounted that story until just now. It was a 'gross' scene - what with all the blood and brain matter literally falling out of the half blown off head. Been there and done it and never plan on having to witness the like again. Period. Choices ;)

Here's an interesting point. 25 years ago, I worked in what (was) known as the largest psychiatric facility in the U.S. As part of my job, I assisted the pathologists in literally hundreds of autopsies. I was young then (well, I still think I am at 45), ambitious, and fascinated in learning the mechanisms of the human body. Other than the occasional formaldehyde burning of the eyes, autopsies never bothered me at all. So I am not sure it is actually seeing the gore of a human body not intact. I think it may have something to do with the fact that at autopsy, I know the person is dead - gone. With the living and injured, I'm very bothered now by extent of injuries because I guess I FEEL so bad for the living person: can they feel it? Will they remember it? If limbs are severed, how will that poor person deal with the loss of their limb? etc, etc. .
While I am usually okay at assessing situations and using logic to overcome initial emotions, this is one area I have not gotten better at. In fact, worse. Just don’t like to see people hurt or in pain. Yeah, yeah, I was abused as a kid. Maybe that is what has sensitized me to the extent it has? Who knows. All I know is that there is a time and a place to deal with such emotions and if I don’t have to, I choose not to. If I have to, I will.

There you have it. I am an empath. No doubt about it, lol.

On a last note: that ex of mine? I never once saw him startle or be surprised/scared (like say at a haunted house or something) in 30 years. Pretty sure nobody could alarm or spook him. Our kids used to try to startle him all the time once they caught on he never did startle. They once put a firecracker next to his lawn chair. He just looked in the direction it went off at and gave a grunted laugh. He knew the kids were up to trying to get his reaction again. Then he gave them a little affirmation with “keep on trying guys, one of these days you’re bound to get me”. But they never could? So I found your article interesting. Oh, and one of his favorite types of movies has always been slasher films.
Go figure.

Anonymous said...

The reaction Ronson describes seems very exaggerated in my opinion or else I may be much less "normal" than I thought.

To Zhawq's point were talking about a picture here not witnessing the gruesomeness in real life. The most an image like that would do to me would cause some feelings of disgust and possibly annoyance with the individual who exposed me to it without giving me the chance to decline viewing it.

Anonymous said...

I know the feeling, but it also is quite pleasant, like riding a roller coaster. At least the body reacts in the same way. And I find it hard to believe empaths don't like it. There wouldn't be so many horror movies then. Everyone craves it, in moderation, of course.

Marc

Anonymous said...

As I said, a visual startle of an unpleasant image causes an instantaneous turn of the head to look away. Okay, I close my eyes too. Yeah, I probably feel disgust as well initially. But have gotten good over the years at reminding myself "Its just a picture". Nowadays, with all the enhancements to graphics, its easier than ever to talk myself into the 'its not real' notion :)

Also, I'd agree with possible annoyance, but only if I am aware the image was shown to me with intent to repulse me. If I were under same test conditions as Ronson, I'd look away and accept it was part of the test and wouldn't be bothered after the initial disgust.

As for this empath, I do not like to be scared startled at all. I do like some horror films, but not slasher films or parts where something sudden and grotesque occurs. I find the latter disturbing and cheesy. Rather, I enjoy horror movies that make you ponder the existence of negative energy and whatnot. Not into immediate gratification I guess? I like my horror to slowly brew or age like a fine wine.

Anonymous said...

You want to understand emotions better? Understand this, they can be thought of as a bridge between mental thoughts and physical sensations, a hybrid of the two. Emotions can take on the form of noticeable physical sensations, but not always. Not everyone would have reacted so strongly to the picture as Mr. Ronson, but many would have some reaction, which could manifest differently from person to person, to varying degrees. Empaths can actually FEEL thoughts, this is what emotion is. Wanna know what embarrassment feels like? It actually feels warm, and uncomfortable. When people get embarrassed and blush and their cheeks turn red, they are actually feeling an uncomfortable warming sensation in their face. This is the nature of emotions. They can be overcome though, desensitization is possible, but it must be an active choice for an empath. Strong emotions can actually be debilitating for some, some people may actually pass out, or even vomit during a negative emotional reaction to a situation. Understanding this, I can see why someone with a lack of emotion would be less inhibited during certain situations that would normally arouse debilitating emotions.

Bella said...

"Strong emotions can actually be debilitating for some, some people may actually pass out, or even vomit during a negative emotional reaction to a situation. Understanding this, I can see why someone with a lack of emotion would be less inhibited during certain situations that would normally arouse debilitating emotion"

y'know, my first depression tore me up so bad think it changed me forever. I never felt anything like it. I had the nausea, I lost a crazy mount of weight. It was a such a shock to system. It took me over a year to get better, and the reaction I had to the antidepressant was immediate. Later on I had the psychotic mania. I am supposedly a textbook bipolar 1.

Now things are just different. I had become used to expecting the worst reaction; The fear of my biology has ravaged a lot of my clarity. Many years have gone by. I hadn't considered going off my medicine but I think my chemistry has changed.

I've never been up and down the way I am now. The up and down bpd stuff is fairly new. It started happening with the last social drama. It simply took it's toll. It's an insidious disease.

Bella said...

"When I get startled I sometimes feel a sudden tuck at the spot called Solar Plexus (it's right under the point where your ribs meet above your stomach), but it subsides immediately afterwards. "

I have this. I can't recall "jaw dropping" moments. I'm excellent with blood and injuries, and seeing dead people. I had an operation when I was little and woke up with blood in my underwear and no one was there when I woke up. I didn't call the nurse. i knew I'd had an operation. Later I learned they were really insensitive for letting that happen.

I had a very frightening experience in 4th grade. Two shirtless guys slowed their car down to ask me for directions. I didn't answer, I just bolted home as fast as I could. This was either the same day or the day after one of those dramatic reenactment movies they showed in grade school. One of the "this is how you get kidnapped" movies.

Those things were surprises but nothing like the surprise of having my heart ripped out of my chest and that first horrid depression.

Anonymous said...

I find it infinitely emotionally rewarding, ironically so, that not a single command in the Bible requires emotions. Not even that great and everlasting 'love' is defined as anything more than choices and actions.

Why am I laughing then? Certainly delight is an emotion. And a rewarding one at that!

Oh perhaps because I have found where both the simpleton psychopath/sociopath/insert disorder of the day here and the most wimpering, simpering, emotionally wrecked human being who uses his victim-hood as an excuse not to act on those commands have merged into one very sad individual on that great day where neither's lack nor abundance of emotions has a single thing to do with where they are going to spend all of eternity.

God 1 - everyone else 0

I find that emotionally rewarding, but I don't need to in order for it to be true just the same.

Ha! I'm hilarious to myself!

Anonymous said...

woops, I forgot to add, that standing there on that day and finding yourself without excuse whether you fall on this or that end of the emotional/emotionless spectrum and being told,

Since when did I ever say that you had to FEEL or NOT FEEL a single thing in order to obey Me?

And you realize in that split moment that you were duped, both of you kinds of humans, it will be infinitely rewarding to notice that look on your faces when you are all together forever..those that hate each other the most on the earth. Together in one place for eternity.

Each despised by the other for his weakness, and yet, the same pathetic being.

ta ta!

Anonymous said...

^^Anon,
To your above statements, I cannot speak for Zhawq, but only for myself: I do NOT hate, nor despise these psychopath individuals in the least. I may have FEELINGS and identify as an empath for the purposes of this site, but I do not identify with the victim mentality. I once WAS a victim, but now am not. Much the same as I once WAS a child, but now am not. I matured. And it is because I choose to still mature - to grow - that I visit this site. To learn.

I am sorry that you feel that certain individuals are simpletons or wrecks because they function at a level less than you determine acceptable. You somehow feel it appropriate to speak for your God on the destinations of others. If you so believe in your God, I hope to remind you that He created ALL people in His image.

I see you feel delighted at the very thought of the imagined discomfort or suffering of "those people" you described.

We are all different. I find your viewpoint sad and I just said a prayer to your God to bring you some peace. I prefer to believe that, should a 'God' exist as you see Him, then, at the time of our last breaths, He will make each of us (given the Gift of Life) 'whole'. Meaning: the blind will see, the crippled will walk, those whom cannot feel will feel and those abused and damaged will also be healed.

I'm a lover, not a hater.
But if hating works fer ya, have at it.

Anonymous said...

So sorry you think I hate the hater. Nope, I hate the way God is blasphemed by the hater. And furthermore I find it funny that those that claim to be so enlightened and make everyone's lives miserable are in the dark and will be till that last moment when they are sent away shaking their heads so to speak.

Always misinterpreting the Bible.


It's interesting that neither the emotionless nor the emotionally overcome can ever successfully combine the concepts that God is Love and God is a consuming fire.

If they did, they would obey. But instead they give complete worshipful homage to their, what???

their emotions.

how loathsome. To transfer what should be your worship of a great and powerful God of all creation to your feeble feelings.

but leave it to you and your ilk to transfer my hate for an attitude and desire to see that behavior that destroys lives be destroyed in kind as a hate for any individual.

I certainly love all mankind. But that love is not based on emotions at all. I don't think you can comprehend that can you?

My love can be interpreted this way, that you READ THE BIBLE AND DO WHAT IT SAYS and stop complaining or making excuses, namely those that involve your sordid emotions or lack thereof.

Anonymous said...

and as for the blind seeing, the lame walking, etc...

that is reserved for the righteous who have walked by faith and NOT by sight.

Not for the ones going far away wrapped in their blasphemies and idolatries.

Once again...God is Love, God is a Consuming Fire.

If you can't get those two together in your head, you are too self-willed and author of your own demise.

Good luck, hope you submit before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

and as for Zawq..the author of this site.

My point is that you are just as much without excuse as anyone else walking on the face of this earth, because God doesn't require emotions, just obedience.

When you stop being so full of yourself, you may actually see that.

oh, one more thought I almost forgot. Psycopathy? It comes AFTER the murder, not before. LOL

It's kinda like a nice little present from God for people that take other people's lives from them. You see, inside the present is the belief that you have always been this way. Consider that the bow on the present from our Dear Lord.

:)It's the strong dillusion that He sends so that you might believe a lie. Hard to grasp huh? The chief liar getting a dillusion straight from God so that you WILL believe another lie.

don't you think that is a wonderful sense of humor on God's part?

I call it just giving you what you want.

Anonymous said...

Covert narcissist alert. This guy doesn't speak for god, he thinks he IS god!

Anonymous said...

^^wow!
Who pissed in your cheerios today?

Don't see things as you do.
I am humble in that I get it that judgements of others is not MY responsibility while I walk the earth. I can only control how I am and not others. Just like how I cannot control your invalidation of anybody by saying their emotions are 'sordid'.

Do you understand why Jesus has the followers he does? He was kind and loving. He got His point across without diminishing the dignity of others. Think about that. "What would Jesus do" if He were trying to apostelize (sorry on the spelling) on a Psychopath's Website? Hmmmm?

1 Corinthians 13:
"Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable,
and it keeps no record of being wronged.
It does not rejoice about injustice {get it?} but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!
[pay attention] Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. [and again - pay attention] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love."

Just breathe. Its all okay. Don't worry about everyone else for now. Just yourself. Everything is and will be as God intends for us.

Just love ..... and try not to judge
:)
-Ma'am

Anonymous said...

hey it doesn't matter what you call me. Just don't call me late for dinner!

I do speak for God, read it right out of the Bible.

speaking hypocrisy in lies, having their consciences seared with a hot iron...hmm sounds like psychopathy to me.

and as for the poster that posted the lovely verses on love...

well you would think that you could read what you wrote.

As I recall, you judged me to be hating people rather than hating attitudes right from the start.

Pot calling the kettle? yoohoo kettle!

LOL...

You know, if you all actually read the whole Bible, it wouldn't seem so foreign to you.

Nite nite.

Oh, and as for proselytizing...Jesus was actually the one that said not to cast your pearls (of wisdom) before swine. And he also said, Do not judge LEST ye judge righteously.

Well that's enuff for tonight, I'm not trying to change your minds, or in any way teach you, just giving you fair warning so that in the day of wrath you have a remembrance of having been warned on this earth. That's all.

Anonymous said...

and this one ^ thinks the s/p's have issues?

lmao

Zhawq said...

To the one who speaks for Christ:

I'd be interested in understanding what you're trying to get across, but your phrasing is vague to someone who hasn't followed your particular religious school. The bible is being read in many ways and interpreted in just as many.

As for what you say about becoming a psychopath after I killed, I don't really see why that matters. Was I also not a psychopath before I killed the second time? What about the last time, did I become more a psychopath then? My score didn't rise between the first and the third kills.
I'm still me, I haven't changed the way I feel or think. The only thing that has changed since before the first kill is that I now have three more experiences - in that respect; in reality I have many, many more, because there're countless of unique aspects to every action.

I do know there are events that can be life changing, events like those that Ma'am speaks about (being abused as a child, f.x.) or the ones that Bella speaks about (experiencing a major depression, f.x.), but I have experienced none of that. I'm still just me and nothing I've experienced so far has really changed me in any major way.

I'm not sure feelings don't matter to those who are emotionally inclined. If they didn't matter they wouldn't have such a great impact upon people, and their choices wouldn't be ruled to such a large extent by emotions as is the case.

People should just obey your god? But what would impose on them to obey your god if not the fear of facing what you warn against (wrath of some kind)? Fear is an emotion!

Funny you mention Christ being Love and Consuming Fire. That is how I've thought of him as well. An all consuming negative fire that scorches and absorbs everything and everyone it touches.

There can be only Christ in the world of Christ. He is megalomania incarnate if there ever was one. And being a god is no excuse, thre have been gods at all times who lived in harmonic pantheons.

I'm glad his reign is over. Glad for the many who are free to seek new ways, and glad for those of you who now have a renewed mission to live for.

At least that's how I see it at present.

He's done more harm to the world and to the ways of man than any other god I know of (don't think he's cousin Allah will ever reach the same height). Of course it's not all his fault, those who follow him are just as much to blame.

But isn't that the eternal question: Who should we blame? Maybe the answer is to stop blaming and take responsibility for our own lives and choices.

If you want to tell me more, I'm interested and will listen. It is up to you now to determine if this sinner should be given that chance!


Bella,

the 'jaw dropping' experience is not a startle experience. When I write 'my jaw dropped' it is meant in a cognitive sense. I didn't actually open my mouth and sit staring at the book. It is how I describe my disbelief because there isn't any 'real' reaction I can describe. :)

Anonymous said...

You are thinking of the fear associated with punishment. You fear hell. Otherwise that would not be your first argument. Surprise there eh. LOL
To fear God is akin to respect not trembling anxiety. As a matter of fact perfect love casts out fear, the kind you have mistakenly put in place of respect.

Respect is a choice not an emotion.

It's based on reason and logic.

There are certain things you have no choice about accepting or denying. Accepting and denying neither one make something fact or fiction. In other words, if you think you have more than one choice that leads to a favorable outcome for your soul...lol..you have been duped. And you still don't get a pass.

It is what it is.

The best bumper sticker I ever read was very simple

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth . . . no matter what you believe.

facts don't change with ideological whims of the mind.

you live.
you choose.
you die.
you answer.
you leave or
you stay.
depending on your choice.

how much simpler do you need to make it.

and spending what few years on this earth you have philosophysing isn't going to change the fact that

you live.
you choose.
you die.
you answer.
you leave
or you stay
depending on your choice.

You can scream that it's not fair.
You can cry that you were raised wrong.
You can complain that you were tricked.
You can get angry that you were born this way and couldn't help it.

sigh...and still the way of your life will be

you live.
you choose.
you die.
you answer.
you leave
or you stay
depending your choice
the end.

all your words are worth nothing in the scheme of things. Give it up. Or don't. Your already living, you are already choosing, you are soon dying.

I just think it is hillarious that the very thing you claim not to have is no where needed to obey God and actually makes it easier for you to do so in that emotions lead to many a downfall. So in the end, you are going to be the most miserable little tyke of them all.

Now don't get on your band wagon like your cohorts and think that I am saying I'm finding it funny that you are going to hell.

That is not at all what I am saying. I simply am saying that I find the irony hilarious.

As for you, what a sad state of affairs.

But I know, logically, that you will never change because of your wiser than God and man commentary.

God makes fools of the wise all day long so it's not like I'm surprised. I'm delighted that He does, I'm delighted that He is doing so with you, I'm delighted to have witnessed it, only makes my faith stronger, my convictions more steadfast.

See ya on that Great Day! Hey, thanks for proving every word of the Bible to be truth just by your life.

Nope, you still don't get a pass.

lol

Bella said...

you're a hideous person. Yeah you, right above me.

Zhawq said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zhawq said...

Anonymous, Christ representative,

I see you don't understand me at all. I don't fear Hell. I actually am attracted to the scenery of the location you call hell. First argument or not, that's how it is, your prediction technique don't work in this case, and it is too simplistic anyway.

Your god uses the word 'fear' for a reason. If he only wanted respect he would've used that word.

He wants your unconditional love on the expense of all human beings. His son Jesus disowned his mother because of this and never married because of this.

That kind of love casts out fear, but it also casts out everything else that is associated with being human.

You may think I have an advantage because I don't know how empathy and remorse feels, but I'd still take the feelings I do have any time over the consuming fire of your god. That is the only hellish hell in my perception.

You don't know anymore than I do if there are true choices for our souls. I choose to believe there is, and I base that belief in the scientifically proven fact that there have been countless of cultures and religious systems, most of them long before your god ever saw the face of the earth that he claims to be sole creator of, and every culture have had it's golden era. Even now there're religious systems where people believe just as strongly in their gods as you do in yours.

The reason I think most of the so called primitive cultures are wiser and spiritually ahead of Christians is that they know they're not the only answer or the only gods or the only 'righteous' who shall judge everybody else to hell or force them to submit to their own standards.

What we see happening with minorities today is an after effect of your god's work. The elimination and demonizing of those who aren't quite as submissive and Christian as the mainstream. Psychopaths are only a temporary thing, we'll be here when it's over and you've moved on to other, less strong minorities.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth . . . no matter what you believe."

You like this so much because it confirms what you believe! Your belief is no more proved fact than anybody else's belief.

No choice is only based on logic. There's emotion involved in everything we do. Feelings compel us to get out of bed in the morning. Without feelings we'd die, because we wouldn't care about surviving or about how logically practical it is to survive, for life itself is not practical. We keep living because we feel.

Zhawq said...

"God creating earth and the heavens... no matter what I think"? How so? Because you think that is fact, or rather, you need to think this is fact.
You can't prove it anymore than you can prove Christ ever existed at all or that any other god ever existed. It is all a matter of faith, at least in times like these where gods don't walk the earth and hardly even speak to their devotees.

"It is what it is."

This is a typical statement that many prophets like to pull. But it means nothing. It just sounds good because it looks like some mysterious and deep secret that only the one who say it knows.

Listen to this, this could be my personal "truth", the deepest truth of all, it sounds just as great as what you just said, and I could add that if you grasp it then your soul shall live forever in freedom and bliss:

"It is what it wasn't!"

Voila! Ain't that grand? But you'll have to pray long and hard and be faithful and obey to my god, who - like yours - happens to also not walk among men. It is my claim, believe it or go to hell.

No? Why not? It made just as much sense as "It isn't what it isn't" or "It isn't what it was" does.

"Facts don't change with ideological whims of the mind"

Well it just may be that you're totally wrong there. A lot points to the possibility that our minds are in the end what changes things, our minds and how we use them changes how we see things. And since there is no perception outside of the human mind who perceives it, our perception is all there is.

"You can scream that it's not fair.
You can cry that you were raised wrong.
You can complain that you were tricked.
You can get angry that you were born this way and couldn't help it."


All this shows that you already have a picture in your mind about what type of person you're talking to. You don't really see me, you see a vision of something you've stored up in your own mind's imagery, and I know what it is. You see yourself, and Your Self is who you're talking to.

I'd never scream about something being unfair! Dammit I abuse the fact everyday and take advantage of it!
I'd also never argue that I was tricked! I may be tricked, but so are we all. I have no less freedom of choice than everybody else, and if I choose wrong because I was tricked, what good would it do me to argue about it after the damage is done?
No, that's not at all who or how I am! You haven't seen me, yet.

If you honestly want to talk to me - and I mean really 'me', not just to your own mind (which is what you're doing. You're streaming words that will convince you!), then you must first get an understanding of who I am and how you can get a message as important as the one you're talking about through to me. It's the only way you can reach me.

When Jesus, and all prophets, talk to people, they talk directly to their hearts, because they know it is in the heart of man that the truth lies, and it is by talking to that place you can make him understand that now is the time to let go of illusions and invite in that only One who can really save him.

You can't do that with logic. Logic is only the coating of the cake, nothing more.

What you are doing, Christ Representative, is trying to convince yourself. You don't know it, that's obvious, but believe me, it is clear to others. That is why your words fail to address me, for they are not meant for me, they're meant for yourself.

Prophets don't need to convince themselves, they're already convinced. And this is where you fail, you're here not to convince me, but to convince yourself and strengthen your own faith.

Zhawq said...

"all your words are worth nothing in the scheme of things. Give it up. Or don't. Your already living, you are already choosing, you are soon dying."

Give up my words? And yet you speak yours. I see the dramatic streak in how you speak, you like the drama of religion. I agree it carries romance. But do you like drama as much if you knocks on your front door? Is this what you seek, or is this what you were trying to escape by seeking Christ? A question for you to ponder with your own heart, you need not tell me.

"sigh...and still the way of your life will be

you live.
you choose.
you die.
you answer.
you leave
or you stay
depending your choice
the end."


Oh, but such drama, my friend.

"Now don't get on your band wagon like your cohorts and think that I am saying I'm finding it funny that you are going to hell."

My cohorts? Maybe you would introduce me to these fellas? And they accuse you of finding it funny that I am going to hell? Why then they must love me, I suppose. But this is not about them, this is about you and me. And you god of course.
No, I'm not saying you find it funny to believe that I am going to hell. You speak words that seem to state so, but I know you don't really feel it. You wish you did, for it would make things so much simpler if you had this kind of sadistic streak, the sheer relief from seeing for your inner eye in a split second what going to hell means as you do when you type those words brings with it the scent of something you'd never find laughable, it is your horror, not mine.
I'm not even sure I'll ever see that place - at least not under circumstances where your god rules and decides what happens while I'm there.

"That is not at all what I am saying. I simply am saying that I find the irony hilarious."

The irony is all in your mind, my friend Christ Representative. And yes, I see you're allowing yourself a bit of sadistic delight here, after all, it's just a damned sinner that your god will dispose of anyway, so no harm done, right?

I think you may not have understood your god so well as you think you do. But I don't hold a bit of sadistic fun against anyone, I understand that urge very well and I even condone it. And since you cannot hurt me with that, I say feel free. Whenever I see a follower of Christ indulge in a little good old fun it lightens my heart. Be it on my expense, I'll forgive that, I'm a generous opponent of your god! ;)

Zhawq said...

"As for you, what a sad state of affairs."

I wasn't aware I give the impression of being in a miserable state? I'm physically strong, I have an optimistic and light personality, a sharp intellect, and I have good interpersonal skills. So what...?

... Oh, I know: It's my writing, isn't it? You see I'm a dyslexic and not very skilled writer, yes?
That's okay.

I'm confident because I know my texts are of worth to quite a few people, they're being read by Readers from many different areas of life, both professionally, population wise, geographically, etc.

So I may be a sad state of affairs as a writer, but what I write about and what I have to say in that area makes up for what I lack in eloquence and experience, etc.

"God makes fools of the wise all day long so it's not like I'm surprised."

I can't disagree with you, there's no denying your god is indeed a sadistic prick. You like this trait in him, eh? Are you aware that you're subjected to this treatment as well?

You speak about me putting myself forth as if I know more and better than gods and men, but I have articles on this website that are so ridiculous it's hard to take anything serious after reading them.

"I'm delighted that He does, I'm delighted that He is doing so with you, I'm delighted to have witnessed it, only makes my faith stronger, my convictions more steadfast."

That's good, and I knew I was right about it.

But let's see if your conviction holds for a closer scrutiny, if you have faith enough to continue, that is.

"See ya on that Great Day! Hey, thanks for proving every word of the Bible to be truth just by your life."

Oh but you're not finished yet, Christ Representative! You first have to tell me what 'Great Day' you're talking about if your talking to me shall have any meaning and not just turn out to be an attempt at taking an easy opportunity to try and elevate yourself so you can gloat at how smart you was later.

If you leave with these words you've only proven that you're on the run, away from yourself and away from an inner darkness and despair, trying to drown it all in a fleeting illusion about Heaven, and nothing more.

To prove your statements - not only to me (I hardly matter in this respect, at least not to you), but to yourself, and most of all to your god, to Jesus Christ, then you cannot leave with these weak claims hanging after you as after a mouse running to his hole.

"Nope, you still don't get a pass."

As I say earlier, these words are meant for you and not for me! You are Christ Representative, not I. You are the one who needs a pass, not I. My pass (as Satan Representative) was given me a long time ago and it's set for a different destination.

"lol"

I am tempted to have sympathy for you, Christ Representative. This three letter abbreviation looks so sad for it has all the signs of not being a light or happy laughter. It is forced, and that is sad even if it comes from someone who would gleefully witness my downfall.

Zhawq said...

"But I know, logically, that you will never change because of your wiser than God and man commentary."

First of all it is clear that you do not know if I will or can change, you have no way of knowing anything of that sort.

But more to the point, you do not understand me at all. If you did you would not make such an assumption. I'm clearly wiser than many men, but nowhere do I suggest or say that I think myself wiser than a god.

I am here to learn just as much as I'm here to provide information for others to enjoy and/or learn from. I do not tell others what to think, I ask them to tell me what they think so that I can learn from that.

I willingly tell others what I think so that they can tell me if they find I'm wrong, or give me input that I may ponder and change my viewpoints.

How can you not have seen that?

I know how, and I will tell you once again: You don't see that because you don't see me. You see a picture of someone or something that you had with you before you came to my website, and this is what you're addressing, it's not me. Why do you address a preconceived idea of a person that is clearly not present here? Maybe because he's present somewhere inside of you! This is my claim! And I think there's another reason why you're here than what you think.

You have read the few articles in which I rant and 'let Satan talk through me'. But don't you see: In publishing these rants I am being more honest than those who choose to publish only what make them look good.

But everybody rants sometimes. Everybody have times where they rant against their authorities - in your case Christ, for a child it's dad, and for the common person it's the police or their boss, etc.. You've read my articles you say, so you know which authorities I rant against.

I do not need to seem perfect, to seem like I don't sometimes can be arrogant, to seem like I'm always perfect and consistent. I don't need to uphold such an illusion, for I have no faith to preserve.

This is your issue, Christ Representative! Your faith is not as strong as you claim, and you words are very telling in this regard.

You can choose to look at what I say as the words of your god, or you can choose to see them as the words of the Devil, but it will still be your god who sent you to hear my words. However you put it, there is something for you to learn here too.

You're not above the sinners! You are a sinner, and arrogance may be the lesson you're here to learn about, or it may just be part of it. I think the latter, but it's for you to find out. Your god will judge you either way, and that cannot change. Not for you!

Your bible has it that Satan too was created by Christ. And as such Satan sometimes help solidify Christ's position and help his sheep strengthen their faith. The most famous example of this was the exchange He and Jesus had in the desert.

Could it be that you're here to be strengthened in your faith?
Could it be that you're not here to tell me the truth at all, but to have it strengthened in your own heart?
Are you here to have your own personal conversation with the Devil?

If you are Christ's Representative, then I can tell you this: I am Satan's Representative! And I welcome you to have this debate with me! I am at your - and your god's - service!

It shall be interesting to see how strong your heart is, for I cannot allow myself to not be hard on you. I must do my utmost to dissuade you and make you see your error in following a god who wants to slay mankind and take them away from the earth (to Heaven) where they may never have knowledge (The Tree of Wisdom).

Zhawq said...

Well, now we shall see if Anonymous is a true Christian, or if he's a poser who flees at the first sign of serious conversation about the nature of his religion and the state of me as his god's opponent.

Zhawq said...

Bella,

"you're a hideous person. Yeah you, right above me."

This person is actually quite "typical" and representative of what Christ represents. Less than 100 years ago most people would've approved of this mentality and attitude. It was how almost everybody saw a truly good human being, one to aspire to be like.

It's probably only within the last 25 years or so that the so called Christian Spirit has declined and the dreamlike psychosis has begun to lift from people's eyes. Most still think they're Christian, though, but those who really are Christian - like this person - know they're more spiritless than anything.

Yet it is a good thing, a really good thing, because it precedes change, and though change is always painful to some, it does bring better times. We have a great chance to free ourselves from the kind of tyranny that Christ represented and make sure to choose better next time.

'^L^,

DasAmebas said...

Ooh, These people are always entertaining. I hope he decides to play with you Zhawq.

Zhawq said...

I think it could've been a valuable experience for him, whether or not his faith would've been strengthened or not. But it seems he eventually found the Devil wasn't quite the thing for him to take on. A distant Christ is always the more convenient, you don't get corrected and can read the words of the bible as you see fit.

A real Christian wouldn't have left such an invitation alone, since I actually opened for the possibility that I could've been convinced also.

But then, that's another flaw of these people: They think they know who can change and who can't. The truth is, of course, that everybody can change if their god really is what they say he is.

Oh well, there are still a few real Christians out there, he apparently just wasn't one of them.

Zhawq said...

Just in case - to Anon, Christ Representative:

"I do speak for God, read it right out of the Bible."

I knew this was wrong, of course, which is why I am addressing you as Christ Representative. If you're truly a Christian you should embrace that position.

To Christ Representative:

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to councils, and in theirs synagogues they will scourge you;
yea and before governors and kings shall ye be brought for my sake, for a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.
But when they deliver you up, be not anxious how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that hour what ye shall speak.
For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you.

Matthew 10:16-20

Anonymous said...

I hoped he would come back and talk to you, Zhawq. I've been thinking a lot about seeking Christian advice lately and hoped for a sign.

Now I've lost faith. Bella is right, he was just being egotistic and mean.

Thank you for your blog, it's a very helpful website, maybe you can advice me? I will send you a mail.

Anonymous said...

someone told me that when a normal person and a pshycopath are both about to shoot a shott gun for the first time the phscycopath doesnt hesitate and the normal person does... i wonder if thats true

Ettina said...

When I'm startled (eg by a loud noise) I will often physically twitch or even 'jump' if I'm startled enough, and then my heart will beat fast and hard for a little while and I'll feel kind of shaky. I might also let out a yell, or even shriek continually for a short period of time.
I don't think I would've jumped at the sudden picture of the wounded guy, but I probably would have flinched a little, had an increase in heart rate, and immediately averted my eyes. And the image would linger in my mind for a bit, making me feel a bit uncomfortable.
I'm pretty sure I startle more easily, especially to noise and touch, since both of my diagnoses (autism and PTSD) are associated with an exaggerated startle to certain things.
Regarding enjoying things because they're scary, I've never understood that. I don't get scared easily by fictional things because I know they're fictional, and if I did, I wouldn't enjoy horror movies. I like horror movies mainly because I find 'evil' characters or monsters interesting, and want to analyze them.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I wonder too zhawq.

I have watched videos designed to provoke these types of feeling/reactions you describe - I could be watching a bambi video and I would't "feel" any different.

Everyone else in the room was queasy. Most vomited. I just laughed.

it was a test, someone was on to me...hehe

Anonymous said...

The problem with being easily startled is that it can become addictive. So can any neurotic behaviour or feeling. I used to ingest incredible amounts of caffeine, amphetamines, effedrine and all sorts of uppers which makes these responses become overly reactive. Also I suffer from anxiety but it doesn´t bother me that much. It´s when I become calm when I start wondering wtf is going on. Not being on a emotional high makes me indifferent, unhappy and I can´t have fun. So I keep creating situations where I am constantly excited. The problem is being like that and trying to cope socially. Also, I can watch gory snuff movies, surgical films witch I quite enjoy. But then something regular like talking to someone, a stranger perhaps, can make me panic. So the reaction you are describing is different for everyone. You seem to react with anger which can be a good thing. The problem is when one can´t control it.

Anonymous said...

Funny you mention Christ being Love and Consuming Fire. That is how I've thought of him as well. An all consuming negative fire that scorches and absorbs everything and everyone it touches. -

beautifully written mate