Thursday, May 23, 2013
Book responses (part 3)
I read your book on Kindle - you remind me of someone I love but haven't seen for ages. I am neither sociopathic nor normal.
Who is normal? I would list Buddha, Lincoln, Isaac Newton, Leonardo. Most would probably think of these luminaries as beyond normal. For me they represent 'true normal' - 'normal' in a non-statistical sense, a kind of normal having more to do with what is possible than with what is probable. "I shall urge that there is here [in the genius] no real departure from normality; […] but rather a fulfillment of the true norm of man." (FWH Myers) 'True normal' also has to do with self awareness, self mastery, and moral agency. Moral agency requires some degree of self mastery, which in its turn requires self awareness. "The differentia of genius lies in an increased control of subliminal mentation."(FWH Myers)
How close is ME to this true norm? She has a high degree of self awareness, a degree moreover not considered typical for sociopaths. The liar's paradox lurks here. That is, she may be faking it. But I don't think so. Be that as it may, the higher the degree of self awareness, the closer one is to this true norm. So, in my judgement, ME is going in the right direction, the direction of increasing consciousness.
Interestingly, she sees her sociopathy as the motivating force behind her quest for greater self awareness. Perhaps then it is by fulfilling her sociopathic tendencies that she will ultimately outgrow them.
What else? The ability to concentrate is crucial for the development of self awareness, self mastery. To be without guilt, remorse, empathy, depression, can be helpful in this arena. We see this insight expressed over and over again in popular fiction where the cold or emotionless character has greater powers of mind (e.g. of observation or deduction) than his fellows. So here ME has another advantage when it comes to developing greater awareness and therefore, I should stress, a greater range of moral choice.