Good evening ME,
Thank you for an interesting blog.
Lately you have been writing quite a bit about your religion. I am curious , do you REALLY believe in any of your religion? One of the basic traits of sociopaths is, according to Hare and others, “free from delusions” and I dare say that anyone who is not delusional cannot believe in any religion since they by definition require you to believe something that clearly cannot be true (mostly because there never is any real evidence at all, just books and pastors but also because if you look at any religion with a clear mind it is quite obvious that people believe it because others have told them to believe it in combination with that reality(there is no heaven etc. ) is unbearable for empaths).
I am not saying there cannot be grains of truths and/or wisdom in any religion but the basic tenets cannot an are not true. Do you see this?
Yeah, I realize that a lot of people don't understand, or don't like, or don't like reading about how I relate to religion. And I'm sorry if it seemed like I over-posted about it before. I don't mean to inundate readers with anything they'd rather not hear about. I started posting more about religion when the book came out because I was no longer as worried about hiding certain aspects of myself from being used to identify me. Before that, I intentionally kept most of what I posted generic, both for the identity purposes and so people who shared those traits could project their own experiences onto what I wrote to be able to relate better. After doing that for several years, I thought that it might be interesting to change it up by giving people a more fleshed out portrayal of someone who has been diagnosed with this disorder. I know some of you didn't like that change, just like someone of you didn't like any of the other changes that I've made or things that I've done in the public eye. But I don't really know what I'm doing or have a master plan. I just try things out and sometimes they work ok and sometimes they are disasters.
But yeah, after the book came out I started talking more about things I had been quiet about before: being female, more about being in my particular profession, and more about some of my other specific formative life experiences. Because I do feel like a lot of the way I think and present to the world is influenced by these things: growing up in a big, smart, (a little trashy) Mormon family; being female; studying and practicing law; being American and a Californian; being a classically-trained musician; etc. I don't think those things necessarily have much or anything to do with sociopathy, but they do have something to do with the sorts of choices I make in how I live my life. And I realize that a lot of people (most?) are not interested in me as a person, and I realize a lot of you believe that I am a narcissist for various reasons (maybe even narcissistic personality disorder? which I definitely show signs of), including that I talk about myself a lot (and use the word I and me a lot and seem delusional, or as my friend puts it, like a megalomaniac). But thanks everyone for your feedback and I hope to do better. But also sometimes I wrote posts more for niche audiences (or at least hope to), because although I understand that not everyone is interested in certain topics or certain aspects about me, I think others are? Maybe other Mormons, other musicians, other INTJs, or other people who have been diagnosed as having Asperger's (as my most recent therapist suggested, funnily enough). And often I just use this blog as sort of a journaling project to write about the things that are on my mind, not knowing whether they will appeal to outside audience or not. So feel free to skip the posts you find boring or inapplicable, and hopefully we'll pick up with something more to your liking in a later post.
But here is what I replied to this reader:
This is an interesting question. First, I think that everyone suffers from delusions because we cannot correctly perceive or understand reality. So when they say free from delusions, I think they are largely making the distinction that sociopaths do not suffer from psychosis. There may also be a small distinction between other personality disorders like narcissism, which seem to be a little more out of touch with reality than sociopathy manages to be?
In response to religion being delusional, we are always being delusional in some unknown way. We used to believe that homosexuality was unnatural and a mental illness. We used to bleed people. We used to think the world was flat. I do not flatter myself that I would have been immune to any of those delusions had I lived in those times and with that knowledge. I'm aware that the things we don't know vastly exceed the things we do know. So believing, perhaps delusionally, in religion is not a problem for me.
If anything, it has helped me to manage having a personality disorder. For instance, although I don't really feel like I am any particular person or have a strong sense of self, my religion teaches me that I am, I have a soul, and so does everyone else, and our main job in life is to become more perfectly who we were meant to become and to help others to do the same. My religion teaches me that just because I have done bad things does not mean that I am a bad person who is incapable of ever changing or doing good things (or my dad, or anyone else who has hurt me in the past). My religion teaches me that my brain and other physical defects can distort how I see the world, who I believe myself to be, and how I act in a way that is not really "me", and I can do things to minimize those effects and (eventually) become free from those. My religion also teaches me rules of morality are not determined by consensus and that I shouldn't worry about the judgment of other people so much as the judgment of a more perfect arbiter, so I try to focus on the big stuff, like achieving enlightenment, and not necessarily on the small bad stuff that currently happens to be most controversial in the world. My religion teaches me that although I can change, I have been given certain gifts that are essential to humanity, that no one is trash or sans value, and that all of us have a specific role to fulfill as part of the body of Christ. I'm sure some or all of this sounds ridiculous, but the net effects of believing it are good for me, and so I (like everyone else in this world?) maintain certain beliefs that are good for me that may otherwise seem entirely specious.
"if free will didn't exist we'd still be better off believing in it."
— M.E. (@sociopathworld) April 11, 2014
Sorry for all of the recycled posts. I'm on vacation.
Also, this Brene Brown video on returning to religion as a researcher.