Moss-covered Monk

Moss-covered Monk

Translate

Friday, January 11, 2013

Psychopathic Fascination - Ted

Psychopathic Fascination

image taken from Twenty-Four Frame Da Vinci


Why does darkness draw us in, capturing our attention as easily as a flickering flame catches the eye of a moth. We flutter around, seemingly unaware of the ever-present danger lurking just beyond the floodlights of intuition. Our curiosity provides the initial push, while the desire to be entertained keeps us enthralled throughout. At the climax, we may feel more alive than we ever have before. Soon after, however, we are left empty, confused, and conflicted about what we have just seen or experienced. If we happen witness such an atrocity, our lives will be forever altered by the sudden appearance of extreme animosity, made flesh.

I think that society should be able to protect itself, from people like me. Ted

Ted is a likeable guy. He's handsome, articulate, and well-dressed; the epitome of a successful and desirable man in the modern age. He drives a Beatle, works as a crisis counselor, and has a bright future ahead of him in law or politics. Whichever path he chooses, Ted is focused on the fast-track; patience and humility are in short supply. Ted could be your brother, friend, or something more, and yet, you do not know the real Ted. The only glimpse you may receive is through the soul's window, opened for an instant during the brief periods of antagonism.

You didn't do anything to piss me off. Personally, I have nothing against you. I don't know you. The fact that I am going to end your life has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with me.  The way I am...you couldn't understand if I told you. I have to do this. Ted

 Do you still wish to help your fellow man? On the streets, when engaged in conversation by a stranger, would you trust the content of the message? Doubtful. The dubious nature of some individuals has convinced me, personally, to distrust the entirety of humanity as a preemptive defense mechanism. I do not give people the time, I refuse them cigarettes and spare change, and I no longer engage in conversation. A simple no, a keen eye, and a quick gait have saved me a great deal of trouble thus far. I have had my share of issues, but they were largely the result of not following better sense, or disregarding sense entirely. In the wake of such realizations about the depths of human nature, I began to isolate myself. I did not hate the world, but I began to hate myself. I could not understand. I lacked the necessary emotional intelligence to temper my disgust; the appreciation I had once felt for the world was but a distant memory, not applicable to the miserable present I found myself in.

Possessed of insufficient ego, I nearly ended my participation in existence. A lack of success came as a tremendous surprise. I did not find love for myself, but I lost a bit of self-loathing. I finally understood that my weaknesses were potential strengths, and that my strengths had become crippling hindrances to my mental health. A purely intellectual, analytical approach to life had been unsuccessful thus far, as I had not been able to achieve any sort of objectivity in the immature state that I lived. I was too kind-hearted, too naive, too critical of myself, as believed to be seen through the eyes of others. I had presented enough internal negativity to overwhelm other's opinions, and thus rendered discussion moot. Attempts to pry open the door Beyond provided insight that could not have been gained otherwise. I was lucky to fail.

Around this same time, I became fascinated with the world of the psychopath. I wondered if I could be one. After further study, I found myself blessed (or cursed) with empathy and a lack of egocentricity. I did not derive satisfaction from duping others; instead, I was filled with self-loathing as a result of such lies. I lied as a defense against myself, to deny the depths of my depression. So long as I was able to paint a believable fantasy setting, I could keep it moving. I did not have a destination in mind, but I developed an attuned attitude towards death. I sought it out, as a means of studying the next stop on my planned tour.


***

Mindless evil is never mindless, and rarely simply evil. Evil is an easy excuse, but rarely understood. What is evil, except a relative relationship between desired conduct, and undesired? For the psychopath, society's undesirables, the wiring has been re-worked. Desire is still a key component, but the object is entirely different from the average man or woman. Control, characters, and captive imagination; I found myself drawn into the web, wondering why some people were dedicated to death. I was also dedicated, immaturely seeking out my own end unsuccessfully.

Every road to success is paved with failure. Ted

That last one is my own, but I could have seen Ted saying it. He had to work out his technique, before implementing it. The young girl in Washington, a test run, denied to the end but a necessary stepping stone. Ted did not want to think of that child, his only unmentionable. Perhaps she was different, young as she was, and he did not want to be considered a pedophile. He never explained himself, and will never know the truth. He started on the path early in life, and his first forays were guidance, developing the confidence games that would prove quite adept later in his life. Ted knew exactly how to let our guard down, releasing the tension that inevitably built up in his presence. His disarming nature drew me to studying the subject, only to realize that Ted was not alone in his perversion, and that scattered around the world, other people like Ted were indulging their appetites just as freely.

***

The issue is not an American problem, nor is it a British, Indian, Japanese, Chinese...it is a Human problem. Humanity has always faced issues with individuals who are particularly devoid. The Japanese religion of Shinto has long spoken of how man is composed, from soul, mind/spirit, and body. Shinto priests have identified a subset of society which seems to be devoid of soul, composed merely of mind and body. Although psychopathy is a term of modern psychologists, the similarities between the shinto soul-less and the psychopath are very striking.

Philippe Pinel, a 19th century French psychiatrist, identified certain traits in his patients, such as impulsivity and self-damaging attacks, and coined the term manie sans Délire, madness without delirium. The individuals were completely coherent and conscious of their behavior, and yet, did not feel any compulsion to change or modify said behavior. There was no foreign infection or nutrient deficiency which caused the disorder; the individual's personality was the disorder.

Benjamin Rush, an American physician from the same time period, also noticed similar patients. He wrote:

The will might be deranged even in those persons of sound understandings...the will becoming the involuntary vehicle of vicious actions through instrumentality of the passions. Persons thus diseased cannot speak the truth on any subject...

The will is the key, but so is the lack of inhibition. Nothing stands in the way of enabling the will, almost invariably in the pursuit of pleasure. But one person's pleasure, may be another's pain...The overlap is overlooked, and the victim becomes merely an object. How is it that we enable the objectification of human beings while being unaware of the disastrous consequences? I guess it is the same way we are so entertained by modern entertainment, in which human beings are merely objects of lust or derision, to be enjoyed or eliminated, depending on one's current desires.

I find it eerie to think back to when I first watched Silence of the Lambs, and when I realized I liked Hannibal Lecter. I identified with the mental realm which Hannibal occupied, experiencing a much similar fantasy environment during my own dark period. I found myself cheering him on, against the corrupt guards and psychiatrists, and even against Clarice. He became the hero, although he never changed his way of being. His authenticity spoke to me, and made me question my own authentic experience. I found myself lacking. I believe I have found a part of what was missing since that fatefully dreary, hazy day. The darkness had to find a place within my soul, I could not excise the void and hope to move forward. I need the void , even though for what, I do not know.