Sunday, November 8, 2015

Not caring to act like caring (part 2)

Reader (cont.):

About that psuedo-authorities, like Morpheus said: "I know exactly what you mean."

I remember my feelings when I wrote this letter. I don't know where to start or how to explain myself, but I'll give it a try.

Before answering your question about Dostoyevsky I feel like I need to describe my way of thinking and my perspective to the other's feelings. I see myself as a computer thinking logically all the time. My main purpose is protecting myself and second one is protecting my stuff(money, family etc.). I can understand a human whose thought is pure logical. But usually, some parts of their thoughts are corrupted by the feelings. I consider these feelings as hypocrisy because nearly always these feelings blind them from seeing the truth, they know the truth but somehow they don't want to see it. But to be honest, I also see my flaw, that is lack of understanding of human feelings. I mean, I can understand if someone is sad or feeling something else but with no emotional response. Well, I sometimes giving a response to that but not the right one. Once, I hurt some girl emotionally because he was playing with my friend. But, I do it because I want my friend to be like he was before that girl (OK, I also enjoyed it but that was not the main reason.). But that didn't help and he was frustrated for a long time. So, I got bored, even angry and moved away from him.
And there is that example that I love to use; when I think someone being executed and try to understand the feelings of him/her, I always find myself thinking about the physiology of that death, I can only consider the feelings as some impulses in brain, I am somehow materializing all the feelings. 

Sometimes I have some of my friends watch an execution and ask them how they feel, what they think about convict's feelings and they usually say they feel sorry but can't explain that feeling with words and objectively.

So, what is my point. Dostoyevsky is sentenced to death once, after forgiven. In his book Idiot he can describe a convict's feelings objectively and purely with words and I can absorb that feelings thanks to him. Here is that part of the book if you want to read it:

Long before, I remember I constructed some emotional fake responses to some particular emotional reactions like anger, sadness.. of other peoples via processing these with environmental factors. Well, my father (he is an indulgent man) help me construct that basic stuff. (You should do that, shouldn't do that..) But with his guidance I didn't reach a point that I can say sufficient but my expectations from life was low (just going home after very boring school and just playing some computer games, masturbating..) and it was enough for the moment.

But after I went to college my expectations get more complex and that emotional responses wasn't enough for my desires. With some other things happened, this is where I noticed something is different with me. I started to do everything to get what I want with intense impatience mostly caused by inadequate mask of mine. I was like "I just want what I want, I don't want to act a role to get it." Soon, the mask fell. After that, my relationships with friends started to collapse and they didn't leave with no harm. They were hostile. They left me with too many questions and anger. In a short time, I found out that I am a sociopath. After that, my questions were answered and I relieved hugely. But I didn't know what to do, I was lost. This is when I sent you the first mail. But after that, I found my way out and I need to thank you for that and your followers that comment to the posts. It was enough to know that some other people been through what I experiencing and survived. I know what to do now.

I need to construct a brand new emotional response system that can meet my needs. I need some insignificant guys to test that responses and improve myself. But first I need to stay low with lesser effort. This is where Dostoyevsky help me mostly. He can somehow describe daily human behaviors and their emotional responses so good and he is doing it often in books (And I need to admit, I admire him for that). I need to feel secure before I can pass a new tact for fulfilling my desires (not harmful desires btw. just sex and money and a controllable environment...). I am trying to find a way to seem normal while I respond my desires with the least effort. I need to avoid emotional nonsense unless there is no other way.

About one thing you said, that people think that we wear masks just to manipulate and get what we want, it happens sometimes to me. Also physical fights happens sometimes. But it is impulsively happens. I mean, I just do it suddenly and I realize what I did after the act. I don't feel sorry about them. Actually, I enjoy it but I try to stop myself from doing these unless I have to. I don't need to create enemies. I try to find the adrenaline rush from some crazy but not harmful things like sky-diving, hunting etc. but still sometimes it happens.

Seriously, what is up with Dostoevsky appealing to sociopathically minded folks? Are there any exceptions out there? But I do think it's true, he walks you through the mental and emotional processes of people so well that you feel like you're actually in there head. This, by the way, is what I think sociopathically minded folks mean when they say that they can imagine and understand the emotions that others feel, they just don't feel them themselves. But I also think there is something to the vantage point that Dostoevsky takes with his characters. I want to say that it is a little amoral, because there is none of the conventional morality seeping through as judgment of anything the characters do. But Dostoevsky is not amoral. It's more like the perspective of humanity transcends the particular moral era he was socialized in. And although his writing still reflects a deep sense of morality, it has more the feel of a timeless, almost platonic form of morality. If there is a God, you would expect that sort of transcendent morality to be more in line with God's macro morality as well. I think? So I like that aspect as well. Dostoevsky is not heavy handed with right and wrong, although he is quietly insistent about it. But he explains it so well and the stances he takes on it seem to have the ring of Truth (capital T) to them, so I find myself actually buying into a lot of it.  


  1. I haven't read Dostoevsky but have him on my shelves. An ex-friend, a wanna-be sociopath (really manic-depressive) was enamoured with him, though.

    "But he explains it so well and the stances he takes on it seem to have the ring of Truth (capital T) to them, so I find myself actually buying into a lot of it. "

    A characteristic of skilled social artefacts. One can take such transcendental experiences from churches or artworks. They resonate with humanity.

    But I caution from understanding them as Truth (capital T). How can there be such a thing? We have evolutionary tendencies that play out in very specific contexts, often in perceivable patterns. Like fractals, arising from a common process.

    The human experience is greatly diminished and constrained when crystallised by categories, and especially by those binaries True or False and Right or Wrong. Naturally, there are contexts where these distinctions are useful, but you will find these contexts are human systems or models such as the legal system, the university system, and even mathematics. These systems emerge from the tendencies of human psychology (yes, I posit, even mathematics is a model of human reasoning.)

    I used to be a Platonist. The concept of forms is so appealing, firstly because I am a very abstract thinker, but also because it offers some sort of grounding, a focal point, an aspiration. But it didn't work. Which is always the test. Instead, I offer Matthew Arnold's Dover Beach:

    "The Sea of Faith
    Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
    Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
    But now I only hear
    Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
    Retreating, to the breath
    Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
    And naked shingles of the world.

    Ah, love, let us be true
    To one another! for the world, which seems
    To lie before us like a land of dreams,
    So various, so beautiful, so new,
    Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
    Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
    And we are here as on a darkling plain
    Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
    Where ignorant armies clash by night."

    and William Gibson's Pattern Recognition
    "Fully imagined cultural futures were the luxury of another day, one in which 'now' was of greater duration. For us, of course, things can change so abruptly, so violently, so profoundly that futures like our grandparents' have insufficient 'now' to stand on. We have no future because our present is too volatile. We have only risk management. The spinning of the given moment's scenarios. Pattern recognition."

    and finally, Epicurus' Tetrapharmakos:
    Don’t fear gods
    Don’t dread death
    It’s easy to get good things
    Pain can be endured

    1. *A characteristic of skilled social artefact construction

    2. Oh, and of course, my own cure (Tetrapharmakos meaning four-part cure):

      Grow into your own nature and live according to it (taking risk management into account, naturally).

      Of all the things I observed and learnt from my socio ex, this is the greatest treasure. Doesn't solve the OP's problem, of course.

  2. Sociopaths do have feelings, particularly fear of being found out, caught, punished etc. i feel that all the time. It doesn't get me to stop transgressing or otherwise change my behavior to be less antisocial. but to say i don't feel Anything is wrong. Similarly, i feel desire - an irritable feeling, coupled with the knowledge (ignorance really) that if i just act and get X, then I will be content. That desire might even be the desire to help another, esp if they are suffering for stupid reasons.

    so no, I do have feelings. they just don't make me look all that nice. c'est la vie.

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