Moss-covered Monk

Moss-covered Monk


Friday, March 8, 2013

The Bad Sleep Well

Would you prefer a different life than the one you're living? Are you constantly hung up by circumstance, tied down by conscience? If so, follow these three steps to success:

Stop caring about other people.

Stop caring about what they think.

Stop caring about how they feel.

Wouldn't it be nice to be unencumbered by fear? Instead of being gripped by fear, would it not be beneficial to be fueled by it? Not necessarily your own, but that of others, a source of astounding energy which goes unnoticed.   

Aggression and assertiveness go hand in hand; success and serenity can only be achieved through subversion of the normal instincts we all take for granted. Compassion is a crutch, sympathy is a set-back, and empathy, an empty goal. Do not expect reciprocation from those incapable few; wake up to the sad fact that some people are simply different.

"The world has never been safer."
Don't believe what you hear on the news.

Does any statement relieve the tension in the wake of random shooting sprees, gruesome murder-suicides, and terrorist attacks? Will we simply change the channel, finding something mindless to pass the time until the next breaking story interrupts the regularly scheduled programming. One man dies in a cabin in Big Bear, another on the streets of Orange County, but these are acts of random violence are not restricted to California. An argument at a hotel escalates into gunfire at a stoplight in Vegas. A pair of teens are arrested for triple-murder in Wyoming. Kenya is torn apart by violence as people try to vote. Murder is in our human make-up, and anyone is capable.

Every country is inhabited by good people and bad people. The differences between cultures lies in the expression of violence, and the degree to which the culture supports, glorifies, and enables said violence. In a country like Switzerland, every adult man is required to possess a rifle for national defense. Critics of gun-control point to the Swiss, a relatively safe society considering the number of guns owned by the public. However, these critics may not take into account Switzerland's relative isolation, low incidence of drug abuse, and a lack of urban deprivation. Even so, the Swiss have had to cope with workplace shootings, such as this case from a week ago.

In America, cracks have been forming over the past hundred years which have provided a niche to narcissism - a malignant force which can turn malevolent in an instant.

I would like to start with a few terms that seem to refer to the same kind of people, in different ways.

Psychopath- is a personality disorder characterized by shallow emotions (including reduced fear, a lack of empathy, and stress tolerance), cold-heartedness, egocentricity, superficial charm, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity, criminality, antisocial behavior, a lack of remorse, and a parasitic lifestyle. The main diagnostic tool used by prisons and parole boards for identifying psychopaths is the PCL-R, a checklist designed and revised by Dr. Robert Hare.

Sociopath- A term that is used synonymously with psychopath, referring to individuals displaying the largely the same characteristics as above. Theories may differ on the genesis of sociopathy/psychopathy, regardless of which definition is used.

Malignant Narcissist- (from Wikipedia) - Social psychologist Erich Fromm first coined the term malignant narcissism in 1964, describing it as a "severe mental sickness" representing "the quintessence of evil". He characterized the condition as "the most severe pathology and the root of the most vicious destructiveness and inhumanity" Edith Weigert (1967) saw malignant narcissism as a "regressive escape from frustration by distortion and denial of reality"; while Herbert Rosenfeld (1971) described it as "a disturbing form of narcissistic personality where grandiosity is built around aggression and the destructive aspects of the self become idealized". Not currently in the DSM-IV; considered too experimental at the moment.

Antisocial Personality Disorder- The only DSM-recognized condition, described as such by the Mayo Clinic and the DSM:

Antisocial personality disorder is a type of chronic mental illness in which a person's ways of thinking, perceiving situations and relating to others are abnormal — and destructive. People with antisocial personality disorder typically have no regard for right and wrong. They may often violate the law and the rights of others, landing in frequent trouble or conflict. They may lie, behave violently, and have drug and alcohol problems. And people with antisocial personality disorder may not be able to fulfill responsibilities to family, work or school. Antisocial personality disorder is sometimes known as sociopathic personality disorder. A sociopath is a particularly severe form of antisocial personality disorder.

A psychopathic individual is much more likely to be considered anti-social than an anti-social individual to be classified as a psychopath. It may be easier to think of ASPD as a broader descriptive grouping, while psychopathy, also a spectrum disorder, is a more extreme and serious personality disorder. Even so, psychopathy is a spectrum disorder, a range of linked conditions with varying singular symptoms and traits. If you were to think these disorders on a color spectrum, then different individuals fall on the scale according to the severity of the disorder.