Monday, December 30, 2013

Sociopathic Buddhism: tautology or contradiction?

One of the most sought after sociopathic traits by normal people is the ability to be "zen" in the face of stress or danger. I've always suspected there may be a connection to the sort of consciousness that sociopaths experience and that sought to be attained by Buddhists, so I was glad when a reader took the time to explain the connection to me:

Consciousness is something that has always fascinated me, but until recently I've only explored it intellectually, not directly. I've been experimenting with Zen meditation for a few months now, and it occurred to me one day that there are some interesting parallels between sociopathy and Zen Buddhism, such as emotional detachment, no strong attachment to a self, not buying into belief systems, and having a focus on the present. Also, Buddhists, like sociopaths, can appear to outsiders as unemotional, or emotionally cold. However, Buddhists do appreciate emotions and actions that are spontaneous, and from the gut, just not those arising from the intellect. Given the above, I wonder if Buddhism, in spite of being a religion, would hold a special appeal to the sociopathic mind?

Is it possible even that the sociopathic mind is closer to enlightenment? Empaths identify so closely with emotions and find emotions so compelling, that I wonder if they would have a harder time attaining Buddhist awareness than logical, less emotional individuals, and might be more likely to fall into the trap of merely chasing after a spiritual high? Or would sociopaths, in spite of their detachment and greater awareness, have a harder time letting go of the scheming?

Being fully in the present requires letting go of the attachment to all thoughts, including concepts such as empathy, sociopathy, conscience, power, control, good, evil, and most importantly the self. It also requires letting go of the attachment to feelings, which are also a type of thought. You have to stop both thinking and feeling. As long as we are thinking (or feeling), we are busy either reflecting or anticipating. We're making a story from what is happening around us, and caught up in some illusion or other. Buddhists maintain that we suffer because we live in such states of illusion perpetuated by our thoughts. Giving up attachment to our thoughts brings awareness, and with awareness comes freedom from illusion, and thus freedom from suffering. With awareness also comes compassion. The compassion arises from experiencing directly, through meditation, our connection to everything and everyone. It doesn't matter if you are an empath or a sociopath. According to Buddhists, we all have this Buddha nature, even if we don't know it. We are all the same.

Looking at it this way, the difference between a sociopath and empath is only an illusion.

Here is a quote from "No self. No problem" by Anam Thubten, that I liked, that puts it well: "When one illusion doesn't work then we become disillusioned and we go around with our antennae up looking for another illusion. We look for one we don't associate with any memories of being disillusioned, one with no sense of disappointment. We look for something new, something different, something better. When we don't find an illusion we like, we make a big deal out of it. We say we're having a spiritual crisis. We're going through the dark night of the soul. We feel that the ground beneath our feet is shaky. We don't like being in darkness, in emptiness. We want to find an illusion that gives us comfort, that gives us what could be called a psychological massage. Soon we find another illusion, one that is full of promise."

You could say that, in a way, the sociopaths give empaths a psychological massage.

And from the other side of the fence, here is an excerpt from an article criticizing Buddhism (quoted here): "Even if you achieve a blissful acceptance of the illusory nature of your self, this perspective may not transform you into a saintly bodhisattva, brimming with love and compassion for all other creatures. Far from it—and this is where the distance between certain humanistic values and Buddhism becomes most apparent. To someone who sees himself and others as unreal, human suffering and death may appear laughably trivial. This may explain why some Buddhist masters have behaved more like nihilists than saints. Chogyam Trungpa, who helped introduce Tibetan Buddhism to the United States in the 1970s, was a promiscuous drunk and bully, and he died of alcohol-related illness in 1987. Zen lore celebrates the sadistic or masochistic behavior of sages such as Bodhidharma, who is said to have sat in meditation for so long that his legs became gangrenous."

The darker side of Buddhism, or the misunderstanding of an unenlightened mind?

208 comments:

  1. Being fully in the present requires letting go of the attachment to all thoughts, including concepts such as empathy, sociopathy, conscience, power, control, good, evil, and most importantly the self.

    I've seen no one here who identifies as sociopath-like, even the very intelligent and aware ones, who have truly let go of the "self". They may say "oh I'm just picking a personality for this blog" or whatnot, but I don't buy it, as I've witnessed all of them become reactive or subtly self-defensive at one point or another.

    I certainly haven't completely let go of the "self" either, though I've been asked on several occasions if I've studied Buddhism because for some reason I come off as all Zen or whatever. Usually it's just from superficial observation. I have not studied Buddhism in great depth, nor have I ever really felt compelled to.

    It also requires letting go of the attachment to feelings, which are also a type of thought. You have to stop both thinking and feeling.

    Letting go of the attachment to feeling is quite a different thing than not feeling. Again, I haven't studied Buddhism with any real depth, but from what I gather it isn't the feelings that are bad in and of themselves. It's the suffering from them that is the problem. Which comes from the attachment to them.

    Looking at it this way, the difference between a sociopath and empath is only an illusion.

    I dare say it is.

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  2. The darker side of Buddhism, or the misunderstanding of an unenlightened mind?

    I'd say the latter.

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  3. 'it isn't the feelings that are bad in and of themselves. It's the suffering from them that is the problem. Which comes from the attachment to them.' - absolutely, you've got it in a nutshell!

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  4. Release from Samsara, the cycle of life and rebirth, would require to destroy karma.

    Karma, is the fruit of our deeds in life. Bad seed, good seed - depending on your actions, so it will be the fruit, but the chain of birth and rebirth is there - forever, forever suffer.

    So the primordial detachment is from material things, that bind the suffering - causing anxiety, frustration.

    Try to convince anyone nowadays, that one doesn't need shoes to walk.

    So comes the path of the ascetism to train the body and mind to fight desire or cravings.

    The wants and shoulds, become less and less important at the sacrifice of each illusion - thus becoming free from the cycle, and attaining Nirvana.

    I don't think sociopathy is on the darker side of Buddhism or enlightened ones, since frustration is still so sensitive and intrinsic.

    It is for the individual to find it's path of acceptance of the world - as much to allow the world to accept him, afterall we live all in the same sandbox.

    It doesn't matter how glorious the Mandala can be - it still stands for impermanence and ephemeral.

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  5. No contradiction from my non pedagogical experience. Asian societies as in Chinese, Japanese and Korean are well known for their Zen type philosophies in conducting Business, Military strategies and bringing up families. Hence the popular stereotype of asians as stoic, clannish, outwardly cooperative practical people with rather bland personalities. Only difference is they always keep an eye on the usefulness of others in getting towards their goals. So yeah, you won't likely see many Gordon Gecko types in businesses and the number of dysfunctional families might seem comparatively lest than in the west. But thats more likely due to a kind of rule by an inner iron fist and intricacies of power plays within family/social structure conditioned to play by such rules.

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  6. Argueably it might be said, if successfully mastered, it could be a kind of collective quasi-sociopathic discipline that could be systematically handed down from generations to generations and be easily adapted to suit any conventional "moral" structures. The Yin and Yang symbol in Taoism might even be an apt motif for socios if you care to study its meaning.

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  7. "no strong attachment to a self"

    "Being fully in the present requires letting go of the attachment to all thoughts, including concepts such as empathy, sociopathy, conscience, power, control, good, evil, and most importantly the self."

    "Is it possible even that the sociopathic mind is closer to enlightenment?" = FAIL.

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  8. GJ Aerianne, I was starting to get worried until I scrolled down until the end and found you disabled me.

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  9. Interesting. I have thought of the possible connections as well M.E. A few scattered thoughts:

    I have had glimpses of satori thanks to my studies/experimentation with Eastern schools of thought, like Zen and Dzogchen. It was fascinating and yes, liberating. But they were only glimpses. They did not become permanent states for me. But they did make it impossible for my mind to ever quite settle into any one belief system again. At least, not in a dogmatic way.

    I suppose certain Buddhist practices might be appealing to those of us who are already on the colder side of the emotional spectrum. These practices could be very helpful in managing one’s response to impulses, which the aware sociopathic type might find appealing. Hell, it would be appealing to anyone who is a slave to their impulses and/or emotions.

    I don’t think freedom from illusion brings awareness. Awareness is present at all times. It is the focusing of awareness on thought/emotion that blinds it to its own clarity.

    I’d also agree that enlightenment, whatever it really is, might very well push one past ALL emotional entanglements, compassion included. That’s the irony. Consciousness would of necessity transcend and all include all values, even the good ones. Consciousness would see itself as all values simultaneously. Whatever appears within consciousness is consciousness. From the nondual point of view, that is.

    And no, I don’t know if sociopath types are any closer to so called enlightenment than anyone else. Attachment to thought (which is really nothing more than simply labeling thought/emotion as REALITY) is what we all do by nature. It has practical value, hence its ubiquity. Plus, the detachment I experience for instance, is really more like attachment to a smaller range of thought/emotion than the norm. I’m guessing that’s not what the old Buddhist mean by detachment.

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  10. OSHO (Buddhist teacher) said.... "do so that as you wish, so long as you are aware of that which you choose". that statement changed my life.

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  11. Osho, like Trungpa, was another naughty Eastern guru/teacher, who nevertheless, came out with some very insightful and dare I say, 'enlightened', teachings.

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  12. "do so that as you wish, so long as you are aware of that which you choose", is somewhat similar to the Thelemic, "Do as thou wilt".

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  13. Daniel Birdick said...
    I don’t think freedom from illusion brings awareness. Awareness is present at all times. It is the focusing of awareness on thought/emotion that blinds it to its own clarity.


    you are correct as always, daniel.

    for me personally, freedom from illusion starts with freedom from the compulsion to think. when i'm not thinking, the awareness emerges, or rather i become aware of being aware, if that makes sense.

    but if i have these two states, one where i am aware of being aware, and the other where i am not aware of being aware, is it fair to say that awareness is present all the time? there are these two states after all.

    it may be more correct to say that freedom from illusion brings awareness of awareness. but if there is no awareness of awareness, is there actually awareness? can you be awake and asleep at the same time?

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  14. i find this stuff a load of rubbish. any real detachment from the self is a denial of the self, which only leads to other problems. you can deconstruct yourself (change the superego) but you can't remove impulses, like the impulse to feel suffering or anger. they make us what we are.
    it's all a load of baloney.
    i scoff when ever anyone suggests i meditate. they must be the dullest people in the world.

    as long as you know what you are, physically, the rest follows.
    as a predecessor for self understanding, it has its merits. but now that we are understanding things more on a neurological level, it serves no purpose.

    B

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  15. Aerianne said...
    "Is it possible even that the sociopathic mind is closer to enlightenment?" = FAIL.


    do you just not like the possibility or does it not make sense?

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  16. B said...
    i scoff when ever anyone suggests i meditate. they must be the dullest people in the world.


    why dull? how can you dismiss something until you try it? thinking is like talking. while you're talking, you're not listening. meditation is kinda like listening with your mind

    B said...
    but now that we are understanding things more on a neurological level, it serves no purpose.


    "understanding" is just playing with concepts. you're only playing around in a virtual reality which you create from what you perceive and what you believe. awareness is beyond understanding, pure experience.

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  17. I agree with B, there is a point to which we can take even this too far.

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  18. the anonymous ego resists

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  19. zoe

    the reason i find it dull is the same reason i find anything self-deceptive dull.
    when i was younger i used to pray, in a ritualistic way, five times a day, cos of my muslim upbringing. that was definately meditation. so i know what it feels like.

    i just think that when you understand yourself to a sufficient degree, the only thing left is to act upon the world.

    if you use meditation to take some moments out of a hectic life, then fine, but if you do it to try to gain an insight into some 'truer' self, you're sort of looking in the wrong place. thinking, and the awareness from experience will get you that.

    incidentally, (and i know this sounds obvious) it was only years after i stopped praying that i realised i was praying to myself, that my inherent drives were calling me to fulfil them.

    B

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  20. Medusa,

    What is your foolish definition of what a sociopath "is"? A completely nonreactive shell? Completely untrue. Sociopaths like Empaths make up a wide spectrum of 'personalities', just because we lack empathy does not mean we are emotionless. The difference is we care about no one but OURSELF. So, something un-sociopath like would be defending a cause, something VERY sociopath-like would be defending one's SELF.

    And for the record it is extremely difficult to have an interesting conversation with someone without feigning some kind of personality, some character for which you have designed both appropriate thoughts and feelings for.

    I must say though, I can't imagine why anyone would care about the halfbaked beliefs of any religion without an ulterior motive. Why prostrate yourself before inferiors because they can read to you pretty words from a book any literate donkey could recreate? That being said, I've been considering becoming a preacher. Which church do you people think I should join?

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  21. Somewhere there
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Parthenon-2008.jpg

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  22. Funny that most of those who are defending the Buddhist doctrine are the ones who are intellectualizing it the most, which is the complete opposite of its intention.

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  23. Anon @ 11.19 I somewhat agree with you to an extent. I only say this because I enjoy the way others look at one another and even themselves. You must appear pink to me! You're not allowed to appear red! I mean yeah I do it too but I'm aware of it. This does not mean I want Medusa to stop being Medusa though. I would stop reading if it were not for the lively discussions here.

    On a side note, I suggest anything but Catholic. Working without a net is more rewarding.

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  24. No one: I've made it a habit to NOT be a robot, I would assume that's common sense to some here.
    I could not waste such a unique outlet, where I can expect others to possess a mind sometimes, every day of the week now could I?
    Your observation stands, but at the cost of realizing your observation's direction cannot be entirely accurate.

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  25. @B, praying, no matter how fervent, is different from say, focusing all one’s attention on the breath or even more difficult, simple alertness with no object at all. I won’t bother with the true self/false self distinction. But I can say that while your actions can reveal facts about yourself, they don’t necessarily exclude introspection as a viable means of insight. To focus on behavior and even thinking, without turning one’s gaze onto the thinker itself is probably as good a definition of self delusion for the masses as any.

    @Zoe, practically you could say that if you aren’t aware of awareness, it isn’t there. But in reality of course, awareness is always there. How could it be otherwise? Awareness would have to have always been there to believe that it wasn’t there to begin with. And several nondual schools teach that ultimately no one is asleep, only the dreamer dreaming that he is. They’d say that in reality, there is nothing but awakeness.

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  26. Zoe said, "Aerianne, do you just not like the possibility or does it not make sense?"
    Zoe, M.E.'s reader talked about there being parallels between sociopathy and the enlightenment of Zen Buddhism. One of the parallels they listed was "no strong sense of self".
    They also went on to say that being "fully in the present", which refers to the enlightenment of Zen Buddhism, requires letting go of the concepts of "power" and "control".
    I don't see having no strong sense of self, no concept of power, or of control, as being traits associated with sociopathy.
    For those reasons, I think asking if sociopaths are closer to the Zen Buddhism concept of enlightenment is a "Fail".

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  27. No one: I've made it a habit to NOT be a robot, I would assume that's common sense to some here.
    I could not waste such a unique outlet, where I can expect others to possess a mind sometimes, every day of the week now could I?
    Your observation stands, but at the cost of realizing your observation's direction cannot be entirely accurate.


    I don't see how your response is relevant to my comment. Perhaps you've misinterpreted.

    My point was that some of you have mistakenly amalgamated conceptions of the mind and the spirit. Buddhism does not stress the cultivation of intellect and rationality, but rather that of the spirit. Rationality and intellect is yet another veil of logical construction in addition to emotions.

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  28. What is your foolish definition of what a sociopath "is"? A completely nonreactive shell? Completely untrue.

    Where oh where did I say that? Didn't I say the opposite more than once over the past couple of days?

    My point was that it would false to assume that sociopaths have let go of a "self", and it would be false to assume that sociopaths are by nature more "enlightened".

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  29. Funny that most of those who are defending the Buddhist doctrine are the ones who are intellectualizing it the most, which is the complete opposite of its intention.

    Touché.

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  30. No it wasn't. Your point was a comparison, and I conceded legitimacy of an observation but advised accordingly. You are however making a point now by allowing more of your thoughts to appear as shared for others to see.

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  31. Well I've been trying to refrain myself from posting this, but here goes:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzm8kTIj_0M&feature=related

    :)

    Anon320

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  32. ME compared sociopathy to Buddhist enlightenment, it started with him, and I continued the theme with my response.

    I fail to see why this is this a problem.

    You are however making a point now by allowing more of your thoughts to appear as shared for others to see.

    So what if I'm sharing my thoughts? Isn't that what a comments section if for? What is your point?

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  33. And since you have successfully baited me to responding to you even further, a weakness of mine, I might as well go on:

    I must say though, I can't imagine why anyone would care about the halfbaked beliefs of any religion without an ulterior motive. Why prostrate yourself before inferiors because they can read to you pretty words from a book any literate donkey could recreate?

    You seem top be missing the big picture, and it's clear you aren't understanding the "pretty words" you are so quick to denigrate, simply because they sound religious to you. I don't think anyone here is talking about "beliefs" or any religious aspect of Buddhism. Nothing inherently religious about awareness, enlightenment (or whatever your term of preference) or philosophy.

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  34. Aerianne said...
    I don't see having no strong sense of self, no concept of power, or of control, as being traits associated with sociopathy.
    For those reasons, I think asking if sociopaths are closer to the Zen Buddhism concept of enlightenment is a "Fail".


    you might want to reread the post. the idea with buddhist enlightenment, the way i understand it, is that you detach from identification with thought. period. do you experience yourself existing outside of your thoughts, Aerianne? or are you your thoughts?

    sociopaths are not driven by emotion (as much as empaths) but by logic. so, would it be easier to give up attachment to logic than emotion? ...hmmm, this is actually the wrong question.

    emotion drives all of us. surely attachment to logic, our concepts and beliefs, and compulsive thinking are all emotion driven, whether we're empaths or sociopaths, otherwise some of us would be logical robots? the difference is that empaths identify with their emotions. the sociopaths do not. some do not even have a strong attachment to a "self", hence the flexible personality. so i'm guessing uber sociopaths may not identify with concepts, logic or any beliefs all that much either.

    keeping all of this in mind it's conceivable that they may be "closer" to enlightenment. they'd still have to let go of attachment to the need for power and control.

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  35. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzm8kTIj_0M&feature=related

    cute video.

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  36. What I understand about Buddhism is that it is about transcending all these things that have been listed. If you are organically deficient of a sense of self and all else that stems from it, then you haven't achieved Zen by transcending.
    You can't lose what you never had, in other words.

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  37. Daniel Birdick said...
    And several nondual schools teach that ultimately no one is asleep, only the dreamer dreaming that he is. They’d say that in reality, there is nothing but awakeness.


    then he wakes up and realizes that he was never asleep, only dreaming of awakeness.

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  38. Zoe, ME compared sociopathy to enlightenment (though he questions whether it's an apt comparison at the end of the post).

    Enlightenment, within a Buddhist framework (and any other truly spiritual framework, really) consists of and is preceded by "letting go of the attachment to all thoughts, including concepts such as empathy, sociopathy, conscience, power, control, good, evil, and most importantly the self".

    Hence, by transitive property, sociopaths cannot be enlightened. Once they become enlightened, they cease to be sociopaths. Because, by definition, how can you be a sociopath without power, control, attachment to the concept of sociopathy and empathy, etc etc.

    What Aerianne said is only logical.

    so i'm guessing uber sociopaths may not identify with concepts, logic or any beliefs all that much either.

    I would not call those people sociopaths at all. (Nor would I call them empaths, obviously.) They would be beyond both.

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  39. If you are organically deficient of a sense of self and all else that stems from it, then you haven't achieved Zen by transcending.

    I do not for a second believe that those who identify as sociopaths are deficient in a sense of self. It's only that their concept of the "self" is different, and perhaps more open than the average person. But it's still a "self".

    If they truly had no self, they would not be calling themselves sociopaths.

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  40. As there would be no need to do so.

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  41. "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzm8kTIj_0M&feature=related

    cute video."

    Maybe you like this one too:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFTFnLsflVc&feature=related

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  42. Aerianne said...
    What I understand about Buddhism is that it is about transcending all these things that have been listed. If you are organically deficient of a sense of self and all else that stems from it, then you haven't achieved Zen by transcending.
    You can't lose what you never had, in other words.


    if who i am changes depending on who i am with or where i am, who is doing the changing?

    who i am is who i think i am, and who i think i am is just a concept. attaining awareness is about letting go of attachment to all concepts. if i don't have a concept of a self, who is it that lacks this concept? if you let go of your concept of a self, how are we different?

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  43. Gee, Zoe, I don't know; you've got me.

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  44. "do so that as you wish, so long as you are aware of that which you choose", is somewhat similar to the Thelemic, "Do as thou wilt".

    I'd say the Thelemic "Love Is the Law, Love Under Will" is even more fitting.

    Though looking at Crowley's life, it's clear that he had a faulty interpretation of his own wisdom for the most part.

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  45. Crowley was known to be a "tongue in cheek" kind of guy.

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  46. Reminds me a little of Glenn Beck, actually.

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  47. Medusa said...
    "Reminds me a little of Glenn Beck, actually."

    Just, Ewwww.

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  48. Glenn Beck is the ultimate sociopath, actually.

    I find it hilarious that people still take Glenn Beck seriously even after he admitted that everything he does is tongue-in-cheek. It's obvious even just by looking at his history. He's not the idiot, it's the people who take him seriously that are the idiots, conservative followers as well as the liberal reactions to him.

    He deserves some respect for fooling such a massive amount of people, at least. He has changed the world by doing so.

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  49. Zoe,

    Have you ever listened to Echart Tolle? Your ideas remind me of his teachings.

    Grace

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  50. I'm not siding on the whole Buddhist issue, for or against, as I find little comfort in the words of men wearing robes and folding their legs, trying to empty their minds to let something magical fill them, instead of proactively filling them on their own. I've done my bit of meditation at a younger age, and although I found it was hardly a waste of time, focusing on the material world was more productive and peaceful. It's enough that I'm detached from this small, emotional part of life. To detach from reality on a conscious and subconscious level is just too much to bother.

    If I can run 24/7, 365 (sans leap years!) being my typical, paranoid, analytical self, what need, what fulfillment is there in 'enlightenment'? I do not seek internal knowledge, but external, for with observing the external from others, I therefore learn the internal of others, and in learning that, and analyzing such data, I attain my own enlightenment and advice. I speak a bit about this here.

    I recently spoke with a friend of mine, and she was being a bit abstract with an issue she was having, posting it on a social networking site, so I gave it the old college try. Several of the people who replied thought I grabbed it from somewhere, so I dug around and found out that is paralleled a Buddhist teaching from Sogyal Rinpoche, a Tibetan Dzogchen Lama.

    Pardon the arrogance but I think I was around the curve before they were, age-wise. The power of observation and deduction can sometimes trump 'enlightened wisdom', at least in matters of speed.


    Friend:
    Not sure anymore...Is this really what I want?

    My Response:

    Let me spell this out in abstract, as I'm not sure what you are talking about.

    Doubt is a not a disease. It is a symptom. If you feel that it is not what you want, it Probably isn't.

    You go through life with expectations beset upon you from friends, family, and even the media. The trick is to remove their filters and expectations, and examine what actually makes you tick, what makes you wake up in the morning and Not say, "F*** it, I'm sleeping in."

    You are your own person, and although not exactly unique, your needs and desires are your own. Ignoring them harbors resentment. Resentment breeds disgust and self-loathing. Disgust and self-loathing spawn a consuming cancer that will devour your hopes, aspirations, and decay your true self.

    It is not selfish to preserve what makes you You. It is self-denigrating to let other elements erode you from the inside out. Although possibly painful at first, the best course of action is to examine the issue and what bugs you about it, and think, if I could do this different, how would I?

    That little piece of advice will empower you to be the person you Deserve to be. Just, for a moment, care about You more. Do not wear the masks that have been handed to you. If you must don one, let it be one of your own crafting.


    No religious malarchy. No ooey, gooey feel-good teachings. Just straight advice. No Buddha, no enlightenment, just observation from a cold, calculating sociopath.

    So this begs to ask the question. Who is truly enlightened, and who is truly dreaming?

    I personally couldn't give a rat's ass about some religion's definition, but I've learned everything that I know about life from opening my ears and my Two eyes, not the third.

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  51. lol Medusa @ Glenn Beck. He actually is really good for having done so, I think. Now that we're on this subject, his impact is probably a good reference point to gauge someone's awareness. I used the word of the day in a sentence, awareness.

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  52. I like meditating. It's both physical and mental for me. I like the "empty" feeling I get when I do it and I feel like a part of everything or no..maybe I feel like a part of nothing. It's very refreshing for me.

    Grace

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  53. You all realize that this will end in tears, do you not?

    Lets kiss and make up before it's too late :)

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  54. (by the way, the term "Zen" is exclusive to Zen Buddhism, not the Mahayana or Theravada schools of Buddhism--of which there are more--so it might be apt to delineate which school of thought you're referring to when making claims about the doctrines that are taught to avoid confusion and unnecessary argument)

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  55. Ugh... I think I got diabetes reading all this.

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  56. Don't forget your dia-beetus testin' supplies.

    I think I'll grow a Walrus mustache for Christmas.

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  57. Is it time for more muppet videos?

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  58. Yes, Muppets and maybe some coffee.

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  59. Hah I posted that somewhere (maybe here?) last week. Hilarious.

    I love that we are watching muppet videos while the Empire burns!

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  60. Heh. Yeah, I'm sort of bored with today's post too, not that there wasn't anything good, just, meh.

    So I decided to write about hunting human beings to pass the time.

    <3

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  61. :)

    Grover is awesome. Such a free spirit. He just doesn't give a crap about how much of a fool he is.

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  62. I'm sorry but the comments and article here are complete rubbish. The buddahist sociopath? Do sociopaths fit the criteria of someone who has enough inner peace to meditate? I don't mean obsess on something, because that is what sociopaths consider meditation.
    Notable is up here blogging his life story in a comment section with a link, which I am assuming is to another blog with equally drab details of his dreary conversations that are pointless nonsense. Honestly I figured after two days of shamelessly advertising your pathetic diary you would quietly fail. However like everything else in life you want us to see your failure loud and clear.

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  63. It's always reassuring to know you don't actually read my comments :)

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  64. Speak of the Sweet Satan, himself!

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  65. I can't get through them. I have really tried but its the tediousness of it all. I thought I might burn through your comments like I usually do and use them against you. Alas you have found my true weakness. Boredom.

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  66. I skip over your posts myself, TNP, a rare thing to get me to do, as I'm the sort of person to torture myself by finishing books that I know are crap before I even finish the first chapter.

    Self-indulgent walls of text, dude.

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  67. I liked the first one he ever posted, where he said that the only women that could resist his charms must have a pathology. Every women here has resisted you're charms, though this is a bad lot when making examples of people without pathologies.

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  68. This is good stuff, really enjoying it. You guys keep sending me back to Wikipedia to read about things I'd never heard about before.

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  69. Like thelema. Never heard before except in passing, and now I can't stop reading about it.

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  70. UKan said, " this is a bad lot when making examples of people without pathologies."
    He knows how to charm the women ;)

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  71. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  72. A slightly better approach there, UKan, if I actually had doubts with my assertion.

    Self-indulgent rambling walls of text?

    Bing-effin'-o

    I aim* to please (me).

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  73. It's always reassuring to know you don't actually read my comments

    +

    I aim* to please (me).

    =

    FAIL.

    Cognitive Dissonance ≠ Enlightenment

    Though I fully expect you to say, "obviously your sarcasm detector is faulty, don't take everything so seriously," because that's the easy way around a FAIL around here.

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  74. notablepath said:
    "You go through life with expectations beset upon you from friends, family, and even the media. The trick is to remove their filters and expectations, and examine what actually makes you tick, what makes you wake up in the morning and Not say, "F*** it, I'm sleeping in."

    You are your own person, and although not exactly unique, your needs and desires are your own. Ignoring them harbors resentment. Resentment breeds disgust and self-loathing. Disgust and self-loathing spawn a consuming cancer that will devour your hopes, aspirations, and decay your true self."

    I wrote a letter yesterday saying just that. Nicely put.

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  75. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  76. @Medusa: Well, the first one was definitely sarcasm, to which I forgot PS's established (~). The second one, more joking than sarcastic, but factual. I don't think I do this sort of thing for any other reason than my own enjoyment. If I don't enjoy it, why would I do it? You say self-indulgent like it's a bad thing.

    And your own footnote is a a halfway decent trap for a novice to cover your own ass in case of screwing up, yet instead of simply acknowledging the possibility of both factors, you choose one and try to set up the other as a shameful alternative. Tricky, but not terribly effective if you think about it for more than two seconds.

    Then again, I guess you do have a handicap.~

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  77. No Notable. She is only predicting what you will say, based on every other blowhard that's come on here. Constantly contradicting yourself and then covering your tracks.

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  78. Also, I can get away with the possibility of both factors by simply posting my Autism Spectrum Score.

    ;)

    My real handicap is arguing with fools, which I'm well aware makes me a fool myself.

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  79. It would seem we share a similar handicap.

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  80. Just found this site. Amazing. Love it. A little skewed, but all in all, nice to know I am not alone. I am a "sociopath". Although thats not actually a medical term.

    I have always thought it would be benefitual to study people like me. Or use us. I'm freakin brillant, and love group dynamics. In fact, dream job would be to work for Pixar just making things run smoothly. Stroke an ego here, fill a need there... I'd be so good at it.

    I live two lives. One normal, and one that I hide. Its getting harder. I have a young son. Worst mistake of my life. I think he is like me. I never wanted to pass this on. I didnt realize how bad I was.
    He is two. And like me, he doesnt have a pain indicator. Its actually an issue when I take him into the Drs, and have to argue that he really is in pain, he just doesnt know it. I once split my knee open and asked for a bandaid. 27 stitches later...
    He also enjoys inflecting pain, and has no empathy.
    I am who I am because of my Dad. And now I have created another. Again, I didnt know.

    This site is kind of amusing in that there are people called Empaths. I am assuming thats all the lucky ones who get to love their kids and families. Somehow they think they are victims. Haha. You're alive arent you? I'd call you a survivor. You dont go to a zoo, climb in with a predator, and then whine when you get mauled. If you are an empath, I would lay very low. This would be the lions den. Self preservation skills people.
    Sol

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  81. Totally off-topic here and digressing to comments from a few blogs ago, but we were talking about Natural American Spirit brand cigarettes. I was checking out the wiki and ran across one of their selection types, Medium with a Charcoal filter. I hadn't heard of a charcoal filter before and briefly looked into it, running across this, and thought it was an interesting skim. Have any of you NAS smokers tried the Medium/Charcoal pack, of charcoal filters in general, and if so, did you like/dislike it?

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  82. @Anonymous: I think you'll find several of the regular 'empaths' here to be quite thick skinned :P And Welcome, (I'm also a newbie)

    You wouldn't happen to smoke NAS, would you? Ha.

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  83. Not a smoker myself, but on the subject of cognitive dissonance, my late-night Thelema readings just led me to the double bind, which I'd read about before, never in context of Bateson. I'm an empath who's lived most of his life as a sociopath and this did a good job of laying some things out for me. Anyone read this stuff before? And as a newly out empath (with thick skin--thank you sociopathy!) thanks for the heads up. May as well try to sleep. Night fellow 'paths!

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  84. Before I go, just realized you guys might have been talking about me when you mentioned sarcasm. Sarcasm is bullshit in my opinion, like irony--too easy so I never bother with it. Don't get me wrong--I love a good joke, but only the dark ones. Sarcasm and irony are for hipster twits who have never suffered. For real, just learned a lot from you guys tonight.

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  85. Now I'm awake reading about Bateson and thinking about my mother. Describes my childhood and adolescence to a T. when I was a kid i wanted to be just like my dad instead, to be the strongest and toughest dude around, but that was so he'd notice me (which he didn't.) Wonder if that was also a double bind--be tough like me if I'm gonna notice you, but once you get tough you should know that tough dudes never notice each other. My mom--it was all double binds. God. The worst part was that I just blamed myself for being so sensitive. It's like jumping into the cage and thinking you're the predator after getting mauled. Kinda explains why I spent so many years gnawing my tail to stop the phantom pains in my tail.

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  86. Perhaps you ought to get that checked out, Anon.

    Is it just me or do most people here take themselves much too seriously?

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  87. I would vote for Buddhist Republicans.

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  88. Comes with the territory.

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  89. Is that sarcasm? :)

    How can we not take ourselves too seriously when we're so sleep-deprived??

    Apologies to you guys for the off topic, but just got to vent. Another dreaded, fuck the sun's coming up and I'm STILL AWAKE. Two in a row for me. And so many decisions! Do I eat cereal? Is it too early or too late to drink wine? Should I try the couch? It was either death or childhood, so I chose childhood, but I also had some nice memories from more recently.

    Tired empasocios make for off-topic commentors. Sorry folks.

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  90. Not sarcasm, if it's me you're asking.

    Empasocio. I like that. The psychological equivalent of an Umpaloompa.

    I'm not sleep-deprived, just an extreme night owl. Always have been, despite my best efforts to be otherwise.

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  91. First fuck all Buddhist Republican Utopia on the planet.

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  92. well, i think notable path is charming. ;)

    and sarcasm is brilliant. i use it all the time, and yes i've suffered. sarcasm is an emotional defence mechanism for me when i can't stomach verbalising an oh-so-clear opinion i hold.
    basically, it means, 'you reeeally need me to answer that question!?...here, have some sarcasm instead.'

    B

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  93. Love the guy who wrote that book. Read his stuff when I was a kid. Unless umpa is different from oompa?

    Me too, extreme night owl always. Took years to wean myself off pattern recognition and speed scrabble, because it made it worse, but now the insomnia's pretty ok, don't mind it. So when do you sleep??

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  94. I don't think I ever use sarcasm. I'm dark, but only about things I care about, so I don't think that counts. Plus it's meant to point out how serious the subject is, but people don't like it. I offended someone today, in fact, and I didn't even think it was offensive!

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  95. I go to bed around 4 a.m. on average, but it varies quite a bit.

    I go through brief periods where I get addicted to Boggle or Scrabble or mindless games of Solitaire (to the point where I'm playing on subconscious auto-pilot) while my head goes elsewhere. Meditation, almost.

    I often can't tell when something I say might be offensive or bizarre. It can be stressful at times.

    BTW there is totally an empasocio patient in this season of In Treatment.

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  96. Online Scrabble gets me too competitive in this one very particular way in which I'm competitive, a kind of fast-twitch muscle way that will keep pressing the button pressing the button until the monkey falls over and dies. (Erving Goffman on gamblers:addiction to the nanosecond after you've thrown the dice and before you know the results.) Plus too many lonely women in India and Pennsylvania that would want to chat while we played just because they saw a man's name.

    Solitaire: endless, mindless, endless games. Like a soliaire fugue state. I find it very soothing. I would also recommend, though it requires at least two players, bananagrams and set, both excellent.

    I adopted a new 'fuck em' defense mechanism for when I say bizarre/offensive things, when I realized with almost 100% accuracy that I only offend people I already find utterly tedious and conventional, and the ones I like like it. Good feedback loop but unchecked the gallows sensibility frightens all but the hardiest.

    Thanks! Will check out IT. I heard the show started in Israel. Figures. A country of empasocios..

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  97. 'I adopted a new 'fuck em' defense mechanism for when I say bizarre/offensive things, when I realized with almost 100% accuracy that I only offend people I already find utterly tedious and conventional, and the ones I like like it.'

    lol, brilliant.
    therein lies the secret.

    B

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  98. Like a soliaire fugue state.

    Exactly.

    I adopted a new 'fuck em' defense mechanism for when I say bizarre/offensive things, when I realized with almost 100% accuracy that I only offend people I already find utterly tedious and conventional, and the ones I like like it. Good feedback loop but unchecked the gallows sensibility frightens all but the hardiest.

    This is exactly what I do as well, unless I get into some kind of regressive state.

    "Fuck 'em" is the answer to most of life's questions, really.

    When in doubt, just fuck 'em!

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  99. ..in a sociopathworld.com fuque state

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  100. Open-ended comments and the possibility of double/triple entendres can drive anyone nuts. Whenever I see a good one, I grin and become somewhat jealous that I didn't think of it first.

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  101. just to say, i like notable path's contributions so i don't know what you guys are on about.

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  102. Medusa, I agree: when in doubt, fuck 'em! ('Em being carefully distinguished, in my opinion.)

    Yeah, NP, I know what you mean on the entendres.

    On the off-topic conversation of this morning, the news is that I fell asleep straight away after asking what I should do next. Thanks folks for this lively discussion, and for welcoming me into the comments section. I trust there will be more to keep me writing in. Now for another ten minutes of sleep, then to work!

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  103. Did I say ten? I think I meant twenty..

    Hey, whatever happened to that girl someone mentioned earlier (I'm lying in bed and can't scroll up to check), the one her friend gave some advice to. Did she end up resolving the problem?

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  104. anon<8:09>: We don't care what anonymouses cheerlead about. 9/10 they are the exact person they are cheering for.

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  105. 'We don't care what anonymouses cheerlead about. 9/10 they are the exact person they are cheering for'

    ???

    i'm B, i just didn't bother signing it.
    i'm not notable path cheering for notable path. duh.
    you're a suspicious freakazoid.

    oh,

    B

    don't worry hun, i'll cheer for you next time you say something good.

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  106. A good cheer for everyone here!! Especially the "Villians" who dared to be who they are.. encore! Without sarcasm; Please, please don't ever say anything remotely sounding good

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  107. Grace said..
    Have you ever listened to Echart Tolle? Your ideas remind me of his teachings.


    i've read his books. his teachings are similar to buddhist teachings.

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  108. UKan B Amazed said...
    I'm sorry but the comments and article here are complete rubbish.


    i wrote that rubbish.

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  109. Zoe said, "I wrote that rubbish."
    During the time that I've been here, I've learned to pick up on clues that a particular commenter wrote the initial reader email to M.E. I can usually tell who is heavily attached to the point of view in the discussions.

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  110. ok, how about in this case?

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  111. (I repeat) Gee, Zoe, I just don't know; you've got me.

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  112. Whats going on here. ESP?

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  113. i have no idea, but i'm suddenly feeling bored.

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  114. I think Aerianne thought you were saying that you wrote the original post?

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  115. that is exactly what i was saying. i thought she was implying she knew that, but she didn't care to elaborate.

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  116. i never get bored. i think i'm getting sick, crap.

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  117. Did Zoe say she "wrote that rubbish" or that UKan wrote it?

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  118. Medusa,

    "Where oh where did I say that? Didn't I say the opposite more than once over the past couple of days?"

    You didn't 'say' it, you insinuated it by saying that people here were 'non- sociopath-like' because:"I've witnessed all of them become reactive or subtly self-defensive at one point or another."

    Which is why I stated that being self-defensive is VERY sociopathic and many of us DO purposely cultivate personalities to communicate with others, whether they be fellow socios or not. I have argued 'passionately' for and against a plethora of different issues. In reality I could care less, that is WHY I can argue for any side.

    Most everything we do socially is very conscious. Right now I'm writing in an irritated, perhaps argumentative tone. In reality I am actually quite indifferent. It is habit. There is one person who knows I am a sociopath and that doesn't stop me from portraying a variety of differing personalities to them when we talk.

    Plus, I suppose it's just mentally stimulating to debate with an intelligent person. The psychopathic equivalent to a play date- how fun.

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  119. Buddha said...
    rub my belly.


    will you grant me a wish, if i do?

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  120. OH, I forgot to respond to the rest of your comment.

    I do not believe in "enlightenment". That is Empath hogwash and I must admit I'm a bit surprised a few people here seem to buy into it. I think the motivation behind a sociopath buying into themselves being more "enlightened" has to do with it feeding into our sometimes overblown egos. A common trait among sociopaths is a feeling of superiority, so of course the idea that we are naturally more 'enlightened' than empaths is an appealing concept because of the positive connotations it represents.

    However, I have been told many of my beliefs do coincide with 'enlightenment'. I am to a degree very honest to a small segment of my family about my apathetic nature. I of course pretend to love them but allow my lack of attachment to 'things' and many social constructs to show. So in that way I suppose we can be considered 'enlightened'. I don't need love, acceptance or objects. I don't desperately cling to life or my past, and I don't cry for change in my future. I'm "in the now" as some Spiritualists might say.

    So perhaps I have just argued with my argument. Oh well.

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  121. enlightenment is just a word. it's like that old saying: "If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha". trust only the experience.

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  122. You didn't 'say' it, you insinuated it by saying that people here were 'non- sociopath-like' because:"I've witnessed all of them become reactive or subtly self-defensive at one point or another.

    Please re-read. Never said that. I said people here were not without self because of said reactions and defensiveness.

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  123. Yes, enlightenment is just a word. Other words/phrases can be used instead. Honesty with regards to reality, honesty with self, lack of bullshit within one's mind, awareness of self-created delusions, etc. etc.

    Don't get caught up in semantics.

    I don't buy or not buy into anything. Just saying stuff relevant to the discussion, as I think most people here are doing.

    I think the motivation behind a sociopath buying into themselves being more "enlightened" has to do with it feeding into our sometimes overblown egos. A common trait among sociopaths is a feeling of superiority, so of course the idea that we are naturally more 'enlightened' than empaths is an appealing concept because of the positive connotations it represents.

    Exactly.

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  124. "If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha"

    A million times YES. That's what it is.

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  125. Grace said...
    I like meditating. It's both physical and mental for me. I like the "empty" feeling I get when I do it and I feel like a part of everything or no..maybe I feel like a part of nothing. It's very refreshing for me.


    me too, but i much prefer active mediation to sitting. sitting meditation always feels a bit like punishment at first.

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  126. I use meditation to transition from the activity of the day into sleep.

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  127. I know..lol. I can get irritated at first but after a few minutes I settle down. That's just my mind fighting it though.

    Grace

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  128. Assuming I'm the type of sociopath that this type of therapy would benefit, I think it would be difficult. The rewards of being good are only there for the privilidged. The lot of us need to get dirty to get what we want. The risks are worth it and the rewards are plenty more. You would need to provide opportunities to these sociopaths where they could use their skills in a legitimate manner. Providing jobs to inmates in general has been problematic is most countries. U.S.s prison population is out of control in proportion to the rest of the world. This type of therapy would only work in a more liberal global climate than we have now.

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  129. I call it "pulling back the veil". It was a really painful process for me and I'm still trying to come to terms with the transitory nature of our faith and the fact that we have to create reasons to justify our choices. I had Socrates' "I know that I know nothing" permanently inked onto my skin because I truly feel that nothing can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, and that lack of foundation makes life a very difficult process for an empath. That's a hard pill to swallow, and I can't seem to put the veil back.

    It must be lovely to look at your own ignorance without absolute terror attached, because I'm sure you can make psychological progress much more quickly than those of us weighed down by the consequences of stripping away our layers of self-deception. In my case, it's been a process that's taken a lot of pain and an intense growth of compassion that's threatened to swallow me more than once. For you, it sounds like you're just enjoying the process the way you'd enjoy a good book.

    Lucky bastard.

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  130. For you, it sounds like you're just enjoying the process the way you'd enjoy a good book.

    Pretty much.

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  131. I have often questioned this, but not been certain how to word it... there are some ideals (dogma) of Buddhism that has often come off to me as very patriarchal and even more so contradictory (compassion vs. detachment) & offering an out to not feel guilt. It kind reminds me of the conclusions of a discontent adolescent. Buddhism is self centered rather than humanity centered. "In order to secure that extinction of desire which alone could lead to Nirvana, Buddha prescribed for his followers a life of detachment from the comforts, pleasures, and occupations of the common run of men. To secure this end, he adopted for himself and his disciples the quiet, secluded, contemplative life of the Brahmin ascetics. It was foreign to his plan that his followers should engage in any form of industrial pursuits, lest they might thereby be entangled in worldly cares and desires. Their means of subsistence was alms; hence the name commonly applied to Buddhist monks was bhikkus, beggars. Detachment from family life was absolutely necessary. Married life was to be avoided as a pit of hot coals, for it was incompatible with the quenching of desire and the extinction of individual existence." I find detachment from family & not honoring the union of love through marriage (commitment requires attachment) lacking in: 1. responsibility for our creations, 2. acknowledgment of our connection to each other, 3. honoring nature & 4. self enlightenment,(by avoiding any attachments to what might inspire such). Just might take on it... something about modern day Buddhism pings in my gut as "off"

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  132. There are forms of Buddhism which place much greater emphasis on emotion, and do not advocate personal ignorance of ones own emotions as Zen appears to at times.

    Tibetan Buddhism especially is famous for its practice of compassion meditation, and the belief that ones own happiness is inseparable from the happiness of others. I think this is why you see the Dalai Llama often weeping and laughing.

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  133. Buddhism and Sociopaths: Interesting....

    Buddhism's main focus is controlling yourself, and letting others find their own way. Sociopaths do control themselves, but their main focus is to do this so they can control others.

    Buddhism and sociopathy differ on one important point: non-aggression and not harming others. From what I've seen, sociopaths go after what they want with little regard of the effect on others.

    A good way to describe Buddhist meditations is to focus on the moment as much as possible, not getting lost in discursive fantasies or scheming thoughts. Letting the feelings and thoughts happen to you, but watching them and not acting on them. Acknowledging your agendas and also not acting on them. Sitting with your vulnerability. This is a sociopathic nightmare - the last thing they would do.

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  134. Loving kindness =/= sociopath.

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  135. I want to have a date with zoe's mind.

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  136. The more I read on the subject (and the deeper I delve into this thread), the more I want to say, "what does it even matter?" The fact that we are even discussing this is just ego masturbation. We haven't proven anything; we haven't got a clue. I'm beginning to think that reality is simply what you make it, and that (if quantum physics is any enlightener), the nature of reality is paradox. So what is the difference between Buddhism and sociopathy? Is there one? Once again, the answer might be that the two are one and the same; the other that they are complete opposites. Personally, I believe that everything comes full circle, and that all things are more connected than they seem.

    But if I'm going to take a stance on this, I will say this: the ONLY real difference (yet despite how small this difference is, it means ***everything***) between a "sociopath" and a "Buddhist" would be that a Buddhist feels absolute compassion for everything -- something that a sociopath does not feel whatsoever. A Buddhist/enlightened being/whatever-you-wanna-call-it is not "detached from everything." That is just a Western misconception, and also a mistranslation. A Buddhist is still a human being who feels, thinks, wants and needs. They just have better awareness and control of those things. Also, sociopaths are only fooling themselves with their so-called "I'm so detached" attitude. They are actually far more in the grips of ego and self-delusion than the average person. In fact, I believe that they are so far gone that they are no longer aware of what they feel. For instance, why would anyone without any solid attachment want to murder a person, or manipulate someone? For sheer fun? The fact that there's a "reward" at the end of the mission is an ego-trip, and therefore an attachment. If we were not "attached" to anything or anyone, we would want nothing more than to extend ourselves to others. There would be no ill wishes. After all, what would be the point? We have already surrendered ourselves; now we can surrender ourselves to the world.

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    1. Very apt and truthful.

      Delete
  137. I've read many comments here from people who critique Buddhism, and I can appreciate a critique. However there are some misunderstandings clearly on their part, let me address a few. You critics, feel free to respond to each or any of these :

    1) Buddhism is a Religion? Are you sure. Ok, define the word "Religion". Disprove me that Buddhism is not a Religion, I'm pretty sure you'll fail. If you understood Buddhism/Mindfulness its clear it is not Religious. Spirituality is not necessarily Religious.

    2) Meditation is to "detach" from thought and feeling? Detachment does not mean that you push thought and feeling out! No you've got it mixed up. In meditation, nothing, nothing at all, and I stress nothing, is forced out of the mind. It is precisely this non-forcing that thoughts begin to slow down and feelings are experienced in a way where you can not be dominated by them.

    How many of you non-Buddhists have ever been dominated by fear, hatred, anger, sadness? Buddhist alike and Non-Buddhists alike are dominated by these at times, we are all human. The Buddhist approach is a commitment to not be dominated by them. Only by embracing these feelings do you take the power out of them.


    3) Meditation is an escape to provide peace from a chaotic world, to be more peaceful? You've really got this one wrong! Buddhism is meant to experience happiness, peace, anger, sadness, fear, suffering, yep all of the above. This decreases their power (yes even happiness). Happiness transforms to joy, or what Buddhists would call a "joyless joy".

    You should understand "non-dualism" to appreciate Buddhism. Meaning "not-two". This doesn't mean "one", just "not-two".

    In this practice "peace" and relief from "suffering" is a by-product, not a goal, big difference.

    4) Some of you have "meditated" at church, or prayed to God, so you've tasted what Buddhist meditation is like. (I respect prayer and other forms of Western Judeo/Christian meditation).

    Meditating in the Buddhist way is centered on non-judgement and being in the moment. There are many other ways to meditate and if you had no knowledge of Buddhist meditation, but just meditated via a Christian way the chances your meditation would be non-judgemental would be slim. In fact its so difficult to meditate non-judgmentally Buddhists never become perfect.

    What I mean is this : Buddhism claims that there is a natural tendency in the human condition that is so strong that we are "pulled" back to judgmental states every second. We can only work out our meditation to become free of it. But don't get it wrong, we are still pulled back to it when the meditation is stopped (even during it!). So its not like you are non-judgmental for 24 hours until your next session (even less so if you practice once a week, or month!). Unless your a monk, you'll be pulled back to judgmental states very quickly.

    You miss the point! All you need is a very short time of awareness (non-judgmental) for very very powerful effects. You really don't appreciate how powerful this is. You think its a bunch of hog-wash, but you've never really tried it. So your judgment is in high swing. I got an idea, how bout being non-judgmental about Buddhist meditation for a change. Ironic, try being Buddhist about Buddhism!

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    1. Is Buddhism a religion?

      TRUTH is the highest religion.

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  138. Buddhists are what sociopaths mimic.

    Very simple.

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  139. lol they massaged your ego by comparing socio's to buddhists, while thru no fault of your own, you lack the cognitive ability to feel as deeply and fully as the rest of humanity, I would not consider that a + asset lol. Also, knowing two individuals over long periods of time a low functioning socio and a high functioning socio.. I would say my depth and breadth of forced knowledge on your condition, your 'self' is your greatest and most treasured object, that goes against this philosophy and you control yourself to control others.. which misses the point entirely, The only thing I do agree with is that socio's don't subscribe to any belief system.. you do that well, if you could work on bettering yourself with this philosophy I would recommend grounding your knowlede on the zen side more and try to not do anything that would incur self loathing and self destructive behaviors..

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  140. I'm a Buddhist, yet I do not completely agree with this. I can confirm the fact that Buddhist monks do also have to let go off their feelings and self while meditating. Although I say this, I do not practice Zen Buddhism, which is different from the other branches of Buddhism; Zen Buddhism takes everything to a larger scale. Zen Buddhists meditate more, pray more, and are more concentrated and focused on Buddhist teachings than monks and followers of other Buddhist branches.
    In the branch I follow, meditating for extreme lengths of time until you have starved so much that you are only skin and bones is not encouraged; in fact, quote another Buddhist, "even though meditating is good, to the point that you starve is incorrect. The essence of Buddhism is, yes, to let go off all the greed, feelings, emotions, and self, but no, it is not to kill yourself."
    However, as I have mentioned, since Zen Buddhism is different, Zen Buddhism may indeed celebrate this, on the other hand.

    All in all, perhaps it is not Buddhism in general that is similar to sociopathy, but just Zen Buddhism instead.

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  141. Oh yes M.E. is very correct! Most empathy is the result of conditioning,
    and most of the negative emotions and entanglements people get
    into are to feel a pusedo sense of life.Like M.E."s father who had to
    "act the part." It's like phoney politicians and hot-shot defense attornies
    who give lip service to "motherhood."
    Just the same, we must NEVER leave M.E. with any doubt that she IS
    loved. I don't want M.E. to wake up to a "daymere", where people
    treat her with coldness and indifference. Did you ever see those old
    "Twilight Zone" episodes where a man wakes up in his own bed and
    his wife and associates don't know him? They think he is mad. Then
    the eposide concludes, he wakes up in his bed and HE doesn't know
    his wife and associates! Many of those shows were like yin and yang.
    One minute the world is burning up. The next minute the world is
    freezing.
    Remember the eposide when the last man and woman are on Earth?
    An empath MAN meets a sociopathic WOMAN. She gives up her hate.
    I want something like that for M.E.

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  142. I think Buddhism and sociopath qualities could not be further apart. The key is attachment to the self. This could not be harder for someone with narcissistic personality traits on overdrive. If you go into that zen place during times of danger or stress you're doing it to protect yourself (or to ruin someone for your benefit?).

    But the real key to this is love. The Buddha, Jesus, etc., are all very different from the rest of us for one reason: they have the capacity to love everyone equally. They love you, me, Osama bin Laden....equally. They have no attachment to one person (including themselves) more than another. Could you imagine loving a homeless person you don't know or a drug addict just as much as you love your husband, partner or child? It's an impossible task for us because of our attachments. How would your spouse react if you woke up one day and treated strangers exactly the same way you treated him or her?

    MelissaR

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    1. As a sociopathic zen practitioner, yes, I can.

      you start out treating everyone, including oneself, like an object. because that's how you view yourself and everyone else.

      if you practice a bunch, your brain changes, and you see that other people have subjective experiences too, and that a lot of them are suffering. the urge to help them spontaneously arises - and sociopaths are great at acting on impulses.

      look at the life of St. Paul - clearly a sociopath. fearlessly confrontational. hypermanipulative. ruthless. driven.

      the difference between Paul and Saul of Tarsus is that Saul had a self.. Selfish concerns. petty concerns. he gave it up and became Paul.

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  143. I agree with MelissaR- the sociopathic brain may lend itself to less ego-driven motivation but the sad reality is that most sociopaths manifest behavior that is primarily malignant and narcissistic and profoundly destructive.

    Instead of using their innate talents for compartmentalization, understanding of human nature, and ability to achieve emotional detachment so that logical thinking prepares, most antisocial personalities have no capacity to transcend self. The common ground that sociopaths and Buddhists have of not perpetually seeking validation from others is something that does not carry over into the real world manifestation of similar behaviors.

    Buddhists seek to give up a personal need to control their environment as a means of locating inner peace (non attachment). Sociopaths want to control everything in their path.

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    1. giving up the need to control everything is a powerful move. when you have to control everything, that need rules you.

      sociopathic awareness is similar to enlightenment, i think, with respect to detachment from emotions. but there are all kinds of other attachments that can turn you into a human automaton.

      ego = sheeple

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  144. A man said to the Buddha, “I want Happiness.” Buddha said, first remove “I”, that's ego, then remove “want”, that's desire.
    Many sociopaths have a big hollow where ego should be, and it has nothing to do with their upbringing- at least in my case. It’s really easy to not care about what others say, do, feel,… is a double-edged sword, though. High functioning socios are good in managing the hollow toward certain goals. Since, all the feelings are extremely transients unless constantly being reinforced.

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  145. I don’t know what’s wrong with me (nothing), but I for some reason I’ve always thought of myself and my religious attitudes as ‘better’ than Buddhism and looked down on Buddhists as being all wishy washy. Maybe it is only certain individuals though that I feel that way about. But I can agree I’m not much into ‘thinking’ since I know there are easier ways to solve problems. There is a lot of absurdity in the thought process. Also I see a lot of stupidity in the way we care for eachother, in the sense of ‘compassion’. But now I’m re-learning that compassion is about how we identify with others. Not some wishy washy way of ‘there there’ness. I guess I do like Buddha as someone to talk to. He would be one of the common folk, like me!, who was able to attain enlightenment.. but he loses my interest really easily because he doesn’t reflect any sort of religious ecstasy that I’m into most of all. But he’s into calm, and that’s a good place to start. True that, the difference between a sociopath and an empath is an illusion! Why identify with one, and not the other? But honestly when it comes to Zen, I’m more elitist and in my own personal view Taoism is better, it being about the reconciliation of opposites and it’s a lot more fun, allows for more spontenaeity and it is more foolish but who cares? Buddhism is about getting calm and enlightened, Taoism is what you do afterwards.

    Although I identify more as a sociopath now than as an empath, in being an empath, I do find sociopaths comforting, since there is really nowhere left to go.

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    1. it's all about awareness, no matter what the religion.

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    2. how are buddhists wishy washy Carlos?

      to me compassion feels expansive, like a feeling of connectedness where no one is better or worse than you, a feeling where we're all in it together... just like a drug high but without the drugs. compassion makes me want to paint or write, create art. or freely give you money as if i'm giving it to myself. and that's cool 'cause we're one. : )

      empathy feels tight and urgent, like a toothache. it's personal, in its own tight little space, and more about filling my needs even though i'm actively filling yours. i may be feeling with you, but not WHAT you're feeling. and the whole point is to calm my own feelings. if i give you money, it's because things aren't okay and i'm hoping the money will change that. empathy that has no outlet just makes me want to get drunk.

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  146. Zen Buddhism and Buddhism are big difference.

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  147. I really hate the idea of people trying to remove the ego. The ego is where its at.

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    1. What do you mean when you say ego, Carlos? Do you mean the core identity? Or are you speaking in a Freudian sense?

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    2. Good question. I mean the part of us that feels pride, wants things, is greedy, cares about self-gratification above all, cares about brand names, and being the best of the best. We should encourage the expansion of the 'self' not the destruction of it.

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    3. The ego is not a problem if a realistic self appraisal is also present. However, things become problematic when foolish and impulsive individuals have rage fits when reality inevitably intrudes upon their grandiosity gaps. Then it's a BIG problem for those in the path of the self sabotaging entitled moron.

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    4. carlos, until you remove it how do you know?

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  148. you are just a dreamer
    and i am just a dream
    (neal yong like a hurecain)

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  149. This is a bit off topic, but I wanted to know other's thoughts here. Although I can't say for sure, it seems like the artist, Tinkebell, has some sociopathic tendencies, and I was wondering what others think?

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    1. From wikipedia: "The extremes in her personality are explained in-story by the fact that a fairy's size prevents her from holding more than one feeling at a time, so when she is angry she has no counterbalancing compassion."

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    2. Carlos, there is no "r" in the artist's name. Google Tinkebell.

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  150. Here's a link to one of her lectures:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlIV-utTMnY

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    1. Weird and disturbing. not sure i want to keep watching lol. Personally I like to use animals in a more mutual way. But to each his own.

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    2. You get more out of it, when you use the animal as the animal uses you.

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    3. But it all comes down to who takes credit. And that person is me.

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    4. She didn’t seem that bright. She didn’t use her time wisely. She could demystify her business much better, saying how much contribution she made to economy by clearing all those road kills, or how her sick/dying cat is with her always, or... In reality, she is turning the wastes into money, but she didn’t pass the message.
      But still she is getting publicity...

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    5. I would encourage her to try to approach things more subjectively and less objectively.

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    6. She keeps saying she "euthanized" the cat, but she has changed her story numerous times on how she actually killed the cat.

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    7. Here's some more demonstrations and art work with dead animals:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sq2kW5plU8o

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    8. I probably should have specified, it's her artwork.

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    9. I can’t bash her. People leather the skin of cows, lambs, deer, buffalo, goats, alligators…Just no one thought about using cats and dogs yet! Or maybe it was just too taboo - no market demand there.

      I think she is just hoping to make a name for herself. I can’t see much profit in it.

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    10. Well the point of posting it was to get others opinion on whether they thought she had sociopathic tendencies or not. She says in interviews that she likes to violate social norms. One doesn't have to be sociopathic to violate social norms, but often sociopaths don't feel the need to adhere to social norms. Also, she refuses to talk to psychologists. I have tried to get her to talk to me in the past, and there is a psychologist named Hal Herzog who I was corresponding with about a year ago about human-animal relationships (he specializes in the area), and apparently had a debate panel set up with her in Norway, but when he got all the way over there, she refused to even show up to the scheduled debate.

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    11. I would agree with the sociopathic tendencies thing. I mean when she says she LOVES animals, she means it in a very different way than most people would expect.

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    12. Carlos, you are into beastiality?

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    13. Dr. Ginger, google bart jansen. He made his dead cat into a toy plane. I wonder if he got hate mail.

      I thought this tinkebell was serious abt taking the eyes out of her hamsters and letting g2r cats play with them for amusement all day. I wasnt expecting her to say the tale was false and that she was the victim of slander via youtubes made by militant animal rights activists .
      I did not look at anything other than her ted talk and one youtube vilifying her.

      She loved her cat.

      I know a guy who rescues animals and works with them, who also put his dead dogs in jars so the skin would fall off them. Yeah, he goes around rescuing and caring for animals. Hes also an anorexic alcoholic, AND stalker type (so says his ex) id broker an interview for you with him but its completely on the dl.

      People are very weird when they are animal people. Thats why if you want to rescue, the organizations do huge background checks. Theyre really suspicious of their own kind.




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    14. Anonymous, I have to wonder what you think after watching her demonstrations and seeing some of her artwork. Make sure to also watch the other link that I provided.

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    15. I will watch later. I saw some stuff that was pretty morbid ..ii didnt look like those animals were meant to seem like they were loved and cuddly..they didnt look like teddy bears. They looked dead, not alive, which is different feeling I got from the guy who made the plane out of the cat. I actually like that guys cat. His cat looked happy. Then again, that was HIS cat. I didnt see her cat purse. Was the face misshapen or did she preserve a sent7ment she had for it.

      I cant help but think she is doing the "look how dead they are..no, really, this one choked on its own tongue" bit just to shock. I always think this kind of art is for attention and shock, and to CAUSE the public outrage. I think she got what she bargained for.

      No, there was something grotesque about the way she treated them, as if to purposely causee a shock value. She was not brinhing them back to life. Was she objectifying them and degrading their souls? That is how it feels, a bit. I used to think about my dead cat i had and wished I had her body, but the way normal taxidermist do it..like they are the same as in life.

      No, there was nothing warm about the work.

      Do I think she is a sociopath? Have no idea. She sounded off to me. Though i I cannot tell whether or not it looks as if she tortured them or got a rush from mutilating them, she certainly did a lot of animals. To enjoy this kind of thing, it would take a normal person so much compartmentalization. If that is how she got to that place, then that is normal. If it took her 2 seconds , then she sees dead flesh the same as hammer and nails, if she e n j o y e d it, idk.

      How animal farmers watch half dead lambs get shoveled into grinders, I will never know. And am sure they have a pet dog. Does she look like she suffers for her art or they suffer for their living, no.

      My gut was a little sickened though. It looked inhumane on a whole, yes.

      However, I saw humour. Morbid humour. Shock value humour. So instead of posting pics on twitter of her dog's
      bleeding anus, like sarah silverman, this one does this..(no, I know ss is a big animal person. Im just talking about what kind of attention this is. ) but artists will look to their audience as their own entertainment. They objectiify the audience.

      She wants attention but I cannot tell if she likes to torture.

      How much of a rush a surgeon gets when he cuts?

      I hear that the same area in the brain lights up when you squeeze a bahy with delight as killing.

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    16. I cannot edit on this device. Sorry for all this annoying redundancy

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  151. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  152. "Know that the Self exists." Seek to learn more about it directly through meditation. When thought has ceased, and even the intellect does not stir...THIS is the highest state. This is Yoga, the state of Union.

    Established in the Self, one overcomes sorrows and suffering.
    Chhandogya Upanishad, 7.1.3

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    Replies
    1. What is going on in me that I am experiencing this? I would like to make amends.

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    2. i meditated and my Self vanished!

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  153. why is it that so many empaths expect the sociopath to unfailingly feel things the way they do, no matter how much effort is required, yet are unwilling to put the same amount of effort into managing their own emotions?

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    1. "why is it that so many empaths expect the sociopath to unfailingly feel things the way they do, no matter how much effort is required, yet are unwilling to put the same amount of effort into managing their own emotions?" - Zoe

      Thank you Zoe lol, this is one of my biggest annoyances with humanity, specifically empathic people. If I can make the effort to try and understand where empathetic people are coming from, to view things from their point of view, and to give lenience because I know often they can't help their initial reactions, why can't they take the little extra effort to think before they act, or take better stock of their emotions.

      In my opinion, empathic people have set a bad standard for behavior, enabling people to act as dramatic and extreme as they want (within society's reason), whenever they want, because they know and expect to receive sympathy for their behavior from an equally empathetic society. When everyone tells you it's "o.k" that you just threw temper tantrum, because they do it from time to time as well, you aren't just being empathetic, you are preventing them from developing proper emotional standards, and enabling them to just whimsically act on emotion whenever they see fit, because they know they will be forgiven for it.

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  154. Buddhist quote:

    He who loves 50 people has 50 woes; he who loves no one has no woes.

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  155. Buddhist quote:

    In life, I have had 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows.

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