Saturday, August 29, 2015

Non-discriminatory love

A recent comment on an old post:

I have recently come across this blog and find this post insanely accurate. I know this love. I give this love.

I become obsessed with knowing everything about someone - every detail - and I love it whether it is good or bad or ugly. I love them so much they feel like they can't live without me. My love is intoxicating, obsessive and completely desirable. But none of that means my love isn't real - just different. The intensity within itself is enough to show that the love of a sociopath is real, cemented and totally accepting. What more could you want in love? Sure - I can't love for long periods of time because I end up breaking the person, and myself a little bit - but the love that I delivered prior to breaking them was real and intense and passionate. 

I don't think empaths are vulnerable and pathetic - I think they leave themselves open to be hurt by people like me. But that is what love is all about - give and take, ying and yang, compromise. I have recently allowed a lover (who is an empath) to move into my house with me, as she left her girlfriend (which I orchestrated, but she doesn't know that. She thinks it was her idea after years of emotional abuse. Truth is, I just like the idea of being powerful enough to rip someone out of an eight year relationship). She is now staying with me until she gets on her feet - and boy do I love her. I make her lunch, touch her in all the right places and make her feel wanted and needed and desired. I am everything she has never had. Apart from being her physical fantasy (tall, thin, blonde, green eyes, very womanly and pleasant yet edgy), I give her all of the support she needs - I listen, respond, understand - I see the REAL her and love her anyway. But I know this won't last long. Once everything has settled down, I will get bored and itch to move on. But I love her all the same. Sociopaths can love males, females, empaths, other sociopaths, intellectuals, simpletons - EVERYONE. We don't discriminate on love and that's why it's real. We can love. Regardless of what it looks like. We love. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fearing the ego assault

I have a person in my life who I am helping to be able to do well on a particular standardized test. Part of doing well on this particular test requires a high level of critical/rational/logical thinking. This person struggles in a very consistent way at this type of thinking, filling in gaps with inferences and facts of his own creation -- a sort of magical thinking, really, but not a rare struggle. We two can spend a good deal of time on a question, debating until he finally sees where he went wrong. But 30 minutes later he makes the same error. At first he came up with reasons why he might be doing it. Now he doesn't bother to come up with any explanations or excuses, he's just frustrated. More than that, he's a little afraid of what it all means. The last time it happened he said, "I just wonder, have I been doing this the whole time?" It's like when you realize that you have a piece of spinach on your teeth, and now you rewind through the whole day, mortified, thinking who must have seen it and said nothing. As much as people say they don't like change, perhaps the most difficult part of deciding you were in error and changing is to acknowledge the error and the ego death that comes along with it.

Excerpts from "Art of Living", regarding the philosophy of stoic Epictetus, via Brain Pickings:

 The wisest among us appreciate the natural limits of our knowledge and have the mettle to preserve their naiveté. They understand how little all of us really know about anything. There is no such thing as conclusive, once-and-for-all knowledge. The wise do not confuse information or data, however prodigious or cleverly deployed, with comprehensive knowledge or transcendent wisdom. They say things like “Hmmm” or “Is that so!” a lot. Once you realize how little we do know, you are not so easily duped by fast-talkers, splashy gladhanders, and demagogues. Spirited curiosity is an emblem of the flourishing life.
***
Arrogance is the banal mask for cowardice; but far more important, it is the most potent impediment to the flourishing life. Clear thinking and self-importance cannot logically coexist.
***
The first steps toward wisdom are the most strenuous, because our weak and stubborn souls dread exertion (without absolute guarantee of reward) and the unfamiliar. As you progress in your efforts, your resolve is fortified and self-improvement progressively comes easier. By and by it actually becomes difficult to work counter to your own best interest.

By the steady but patient commitment to removing unsound beliefs from our souls, we become increasingly adept at seeing through our flimsy fears, our bewilderment in love, and our lack of self control. We stop trying to look good to others. One day, we contentedly realize we’ve stopped playing to the crowd.

This is maybe just the sort of thing that someone would read and say, sociopaths are not capable understanding or thinking these sorts of thoughts, and perhaps not if the particular sociopath lacks self-awareness. But doesn't it seem more likely (at least in a way) that someone with a weak sense of self would brave the ego assault that is self-introspection than someone with a rigid sense of self?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Famous sociopaths: Lucretius?

From a reader:

This one is a long read, but I think you'll enjoy it.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/08/08/110808fa_fact_greenblatt?currentPage=all

Apparently Machiavelli was an Epicurean. Epicurean philosophy: materialist, rational, pleasure-oriented and pro-social. It is very different from Catholocism/Christianity.

Personally, Stoicism appeals to me more. It is basically the same philosophy, but with more emphasis on self-control in all situations. But if you are happy and full of joy and wonder, it is a lot easier to be nice.

If you always remember that you've only got right now to live - and that you'll be dead forever - that makes it a lot easier to be nice to oneself and others.

From the article:

Anyone who thought, as Lucretius did, that it was a particular pleasure to gaze from shore at a ship foundering in wild seas or to stand on a height and behold armies clashing on a plain—“not because any man’s troubles are a delectable joy, but because to perceive what ills you are free from yourself is pleasant”—is not someone I can find an entirely companionable soul. I am, rather, with Shakespeare’s Miranda, who, harrowed by the vision of a shipwreck, cries, “O, I have suffered / With those I saw suffer!” There is something disturbingly cold in Lucretius’ account of pleasure, an account that leads him to advise those who are suffering from the pangs of intense love to reduce their anguish by taking many lovers.
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