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Morality is irrational. It requires us to suspend reflexes, emotions, and self-interest. It is not an appeal to our "higher nature" - it is simply not natural.

Consider one's behavioral options in a sexless and loveless marriage: to divorce the withholding partner (the ethical and right thing to do) - or to engage in serial adultery and cheat on him repeatedly (the rational thing to do). Divorce carries enormous personal costs: financial, social, in reduced access to one's children, in terms of the lost companionship and friendship of the partner. Important psychological functions are disrupted: one's intimate partner often fulfills the roles of parent, child, guru, rock, and the object of one's pity. The fabric of togetherness woven out of calendared rituals and rites is torn asunder.

It is much easier and cost effective to stray and promiscuously seek love, intimacy, sex, and adrenaline pumping excitement, lust, and adventures with others while preserving the emotionally dead bond for practical reasons.

That so many people choose honesty, openness, and morality over deception and elect to divorce their spouses is notable and amazing. Counterintuitive, really - if not outright miraculous. It is a testament to how far we have come as a species that we adhere to abstract principles - good and bad - never mind how steep the price we have to pay.
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[IMAGE] Sometimes we stand poised on the cusp of happiness, we look at the camera, and we smile confidently simply because for the first time in a long time we can. And then life happens.

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Is it wrong to marry just for money? Gigolos & goldiggers are roundly condemned by their envious & less fortunate peers. But, ethically & rationally, there is nothing amiss in choosing your life partner based on his or her bank account.

Good looks, intelligence, an agreeable or reliable personality, even one's domicile or abode & other personal attributes are all deemed acceptable as mating criteria. But they are all mutable & passing. Good looks fade, one's personality changes. Panta rei. Nothing lasts.

The capacity to make money is directly & strongly correlated with innate intelligence, resilience, perseverance, gregariousness, curiosity, creativity, educational level, good mental & physical health, generosity, & a host of other excellent personal traits. It is a useful shorthand & proxy for the entirety of the (rich) individual. Rich people are indeed superior quality material in many ways: they are the fittest survivors. Money also often comes with power which guarantees personal safety & access to critical goods & services, such as healthcare.

It, therefore, makes a lot of sense to choose someone as a spouse or intimate partner based on how much money they have made. Their wealth is an integral part of who they are, their identity. It is an attractive feature precisely because it tells us so much about the potential mate. It is much more salient than any other evaluative criterion.

Finally, the poor console themselves with the thought that the rich may have lucre but are not happy. Studies show exactly the opposite: by virtue of their dollops, the wealthy are much more content than the less endowed.

Even if you are not in love with your intimate partner & the sex sucks (or is absent altogether), there is nothing that a stay in a truly luxury hotel or a yacht cannot fix. Shopping is a potent form of self-medication as is travel. And lovers are never in short supply when you can afford them. Both the poor & the rich end up stuck in dysfunctional marriages - but the rich can do something about it!

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The narcissist rates people according to their capacity to provide him with Narcissistic Supply (including money). Those who fail this simple test do not exist. They are two-dimensional cartoon figures. Their feelings, needs and fears are of no interest or importance to the narcissist.

Those he identifies as potential Sources of Narcissistic Supply are then subjected to a meticulous examination and probing of the volume and quality of the Supply that they are likely to provide. The narcissist nurtures and cultivates these people. He is all over them. He caters to their needs, desires, and wishes. He considers their emotions. He encourages those aspects of their personality that are likely to enhance their ability to provide him with his much needed supply. He love bombs them.

In this very restricted sense, the narcissist regards and treats potential sources of money, power, attention, sex, and admiration as "human". This is his way of "maintaining and servicing" them. Needless to say that he loses any and all interest in them and in their needs when they cause him narcissistic injuries or once he decides that they are no longer able to supply him with an audience, attention, money, power, sex and the witnessing of his accomplishments and moments of glory (as his external memory). Does the narcissist ever help someone or supports her?

The narcissist gives a helping hand, consoles, guides, provides succour, and encourages another person only if that person is important, powerful, has access to other important or powerful people, or to the media, or has a following - in other words, only if she can provide the narcissist with benefits or narcissistic supply.

The same applies if helping, consoling, guiding, or encouraging that person is likely to win the narcissist applause, approval, adoration, a following, or some other kind of Narcissist Supply from on-lookers and witnesses to the interaction. The act of helping another person must be documented and thus transformed into narcissistic nourishment.

But WHO is a true narcissist? https://samvak.tripod.com/1.html

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When a woman with mental health issues is sexually or otherwise rejected by her intimate partner she acts out in one of two typical ways. This is especially true if the husband also justifies his sadistic cruelty by adding abuse & overt humiliation to injury: "You are ugly, you do not turn me on, you do not know how to be a woman, you are stupid & repulsive, you are whorish, you do not understand my sexual & psychological needs." The union then devolves into a power match. The personality disordered (narcissistic, histrionic, borderline) woman seeks to obtain two goals to redress her grievances & her sense of offended justice.

The first goal is to disprove her partner's evaluation of her & restore her self-esteem & self-confidence by proving mainly to herself how other men desire her. This she accomplished by becoming a flirtatious, promiscuous & seductive cockteaser.

The second goal is to punish her (non) intimate partner by rendering "his woman" (herself) a slut - or by transmogrifying into a non-woman.

By sexually egregiously misbehaving with multiple men, the rejected woman transforms herself into a "whore". This is her way to penalize her abuser by devaluing & debasing herself (his "property"). But some women choose the exact opposite solution: they passive-aggressively stop being women altogether. In a way, they unconsciously adopt the abuser's view of them as repellent & validate it. They neglect their appearance, abandon their personal hygiene, dress in tattered & shabby garb, put on no make up, are physically inert, and neglect their duties - including in business, childbearing & childrearing. This is their way of defying their mean and nasty partner: "You say that I am not a woman? Well, here you are, I stop being one". These women eradicate their femininity & womanhood as a way of getting back at their mistreating spouse.

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Nazi doctors conducted medical experiments on prisoners in a variety of concentration & extermination camps throughout Europe, most infamously in Auschwitz. The unfortunate subjects were coerced or tricked into participating in the procedures, which often ended in agonizing death or permanent disfigurement.

The experiments lasted a few years & yielded reams of data on the genetics of twins, hypothermia, malaria, tuberculosis, exposure to mustard gas & phosphorus, the use of antibiotics, drinking sea water, sterilization, poisoning, & low-pressure conditions. Similarly, the Japanese conducted biological weapons testing on prisoners of war.

Such hideous abuse of human subjects is unlikely ever to be repeated. The data thus gathered are unique. Should they be discarded & ignored, having been obtained so objectionably? Should they be put to good use & thus render meaningful the ultimate sacrifices made by the victims?

There are three moral agents involved in this dilemma: the Nazi Doctors, their unwitting human subjects, & the international medical community. Those who conducted the experiments would surely have wanted their outcomes known. On a few occasions, Nazi doctors even presented the results of their studies in academic fora. As surely, their wishes should be roundly and thoroughly ignored. They have forfeited the right to be heard by conducting themselves so abominably and immorally.

Had the victims been asked for their informed consent under normal circumstances (in other words: not in a camp run by the murderous SS), they would have surely denied it. This counterfactual choice militates against the publication or use of data gathered in the experiments.

Yet, what would a victim say had s/he been presented with this question: "You have no choice but to take part in experiment (E) & you will likely die in anguish consequently. Knowing these inescapable facts, would you rather that we suppress the data gathered in experiment (E), or would you rather that we publish them or use them otherwise?" More here: https://samvak.tripod.com/nazimedicine.html

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The narcissist's unrealistic expectations of himself ineluctably lead to failure, depression, asexuality, & acting out.

The narcissist often strikes people as "laid back" - or, less charitably: lazy, parasitic, spoiled, & self-indulgent. But, as usual with narcissists, appearances deceive. Narcissists are either compulsively driven over-achievers - or chronic under-achieving wastrels. Most of them fail to make full and productive use of their potential & capacities. Many avoid even the now standard path of an academic degree, a career, or family life.

The disparity between the often meagre accomplishments of the narcissist & his grandiose fantasies & inflated self-image - the Grandiosity Gap - is staggering &, in the long run, insupportable. It imposes onerous exigencies on the narcissist's grasp of reality & social skills. It pushes him either to seclusion or to a frenzy of "acquisitions": cars, women, wealth, and power.

Yet, no matter how successful the narcissist is - many of them end up being abject failures - the Grandiosity Gap can never be bridged. The narcissist's fantastic False Self is so unrealistic & his Superego so sadistic that there is nothing the narcissist can do to extricate himself from the Kafkaesque trial that is his life. The Narcissist explains away the yawning abyss between his omnipotent & omniscient self-image and his drab, pedestrian life by attributing it to outside forces which conspire to keep him down – or by regarding it as an inevitable, albeit unwelcome phase in his ultimate ascendance & self-actualization.

The narcissist is a slave to his own inertia. Some narcissists are forever accelerating on the way to ever higher peaks & ever greener pastures. Others succumb to numbing routines, the expenditure of minimal energy, and to preying on the vulnerable. But either way, the narcissist's life is out of control, at the mercy of merciless inner voices & internal forces.

More about overachiever and underachiever narcissists: https://samvak.tripod.com/grandiositygap.html

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The narcissist's lies are not goal-orientated. This is what makes his constant dishonesty both disconcerting & incomprehensible. The narcissist lies at the drop of a hat, needlessly, & almost ceaselessly. He lies in order to avoid the Grandiosity Gap: the gaping abyss between fact and (narcissistic) fiction. E.g., he plagiarizes, pilfers, and purloins in order to appear original, brilliant, a genius. But he also lies in order to not hurt or shock his sources of supply lest he loses them.

The narcissist lies in order to preserve appearances, uphold fantasies, support the tall (and impossible) tales of his False Self & extract Narcissistic Supply from unsuspecting sources, who are not yet on to him. Confabulation and prevarication are not merely his way of life - but life itself.

Lies serve to make him interesting or attractive & thus secure Narcissistic Supply (attention, adulation). The narcissist refuses to believe that he can be of interest to anyone as he is. In his childhood, he was “loved” only when he had achieved something. He flaunts his achievements or invents ones. He feels certain that people are more interested in his fantasies than in the real him.

This way the narcissist also avoids the routine, the mundane, the predictable, the boring.

The narcissist is good at convincing people to participate in his scripts. It is movie-making. Every narcissist is a film director.

Pseudologica Fantastica is the compulsive need to lie consistently and about everything, however inconsequential, even if it yields no benefits to the liar.

Some narcissists love to see people excited, filled with wonder, bedazzled, dreamy, starry eyed, or hopeful. They are inveterate myth spinners, legend tellers like the troubadours of yore. They know that at the end of their ephemeral rainbows there is nothing but a broken pot. But they so want to make people happy! They so want to feel the power of a giver, a God, a benefactor, a privileged witness. So, they lie and fantasize.

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The narcissist’s False Self requires constant dollops of narcissistic supply (attention.) The narcissist’s sense of entitlement and innate superiority collide painfully with his unmitigated dependence on other people for the regulation of his labile sense of self-worth and the maintenance of his grandiose fantasies. Narcissists who are also psychopaths (antisocial) or schizoids (asocial loners) choose to avoid the constant hurt and injuries entailed by this conflict by withdrawing from society – physically as well as psychologically - into a cocoon of self-delusion, confabulated narratives, and vivid dreams of triumph and revenge. They become “lone wolf” narcissists and prey on society at large by indiscriminately victimizing, abusing, and attacking any of person unfortunate enough to cross their path.

Inevitably, the lone wolf narcissist is in a constant state of deficient narcissistic supply, very much like a junkie deprived of access to his drug of choice. This overwhelming, unquenched, vampiric hunger coupled with an almost-psychotic state render the lone wolf narcissist dangerous to others. His aggression often turns to outright violence; his frustration to vindictive rage; his addiction to narcissistic supply drives him to coerce people – often randomly selected – to serve as sources of adulation, affirmation, and support; his detachment evolves into a loss of touch with reality, cognitive deficits, and utter misjudgement of his environment and milieu; he seeks fame and celebrity by all means available to him, even by resorting to crime and terrorism. “Purebred” schizoids shrug off their disorder: they simply don’t like being around people and they resent the pathologizing of their lifestyle “choice” to remain aloof and alone.

Narcissists, as usual, tend to rationalize and aggrandize their schizoid conduct. They propound the idea that being alone is the only logical and heroic choice in today’s hostile, anomic, and atomized world.

A lot more here: https://samvak.tripod.com/faq67.html

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Newton held a job and was a politician. Three centuries later, Einstein largely confined his life to studies, theorizing, and teaching. Modern intellectuals hold money and work in contempt. It is beneath them. It distracts them from their earth-shattering and paradigm transforming discoveries. It absconds with their invaluable time. It sounds like narcissism because it is. Modern academe is narcissistic to the core and modern day intellectuals are narcissists through and through.

Othodox Jewish men in yeshivas are fully supported financially by their hard-working women. These institutionalized gigolos study the Torah 16 hours a day. Or so they claim. Until recently, they were even exempt from military service in Israel. The irony is that public intellectuals in Israel vehemently criticize this parasitic arrangement - not realizing that it is merely a more overt precursor of their own establishments! Like the very yeshiva students they so love to hate, university professors also spend their time studying while fully financially reliant on others!

And so the hypocrisy and denial go. Economists, for example, do little useful for a living and get paid for it lavishly. Their discipline - economics - is nothing but a rarefied and glorified pseudo-science. Yet, they feel comfortable and justified in castigating the unemployed and insist on substituting work or even forced labor for social welfare.

Anti-intellectualism is a bad and dangerous thing. But forcing the hordes and herds of millions of parasites in the endlessly metastasizing landscape of academic institutions to flip burgers, or haul a shovel, or teach in primary schools, or provide free psychotherapy, or pro bono legal counselling as a part of their civic duty and a condition for their laid back lifestyle may not be such a despicable thought. Mao may have gotten at least this idea right: we need a Cultural Revolution, replete with naming and shaming.

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Who and what is NORMAL? what constitutes normal behavior, a normal personality?

There is the statistical response: the average and the common are normal. But it is unsatisfactory and incomplete. Conforming to social edicts and mores does not guarantee normalcy. Think about anomic societies and periods in history such as Hitler's Germany or Stalin's Russia. Model citizens in these hellish environments were the psychopath, the criminal, and the sadist.

Rather than look to the outside for a clear definition, many mental health professionals ask: is the patient functioning and happy (ego-syntonic)? If he or she is both functioning and ego-syntonic then all is well and normal. Abnormal traits, behaviors, and personalities are, therefore defined as those traits, behaviors, and personalities that are dysfunctional and cause subjective distress.

But, of course, this falls flat on its face at the slightest scrutiny. Many evidently mentally ill people are rather happy and reasonably functional.

Some scholars reject the concept of "normalcy" altogether. The anti-psychiatry movement object to the medicalization and pathologization of whole swathes of human conduct. Others prefer to study the disorders themselves rather to "go metaphysical" by trying to distinguish them from an imaginary and ideal state of being "mentally healthy". I subscribe to the later approach. I much prefer to delve into the phenomenology of mental health disorders: their traits, characteristics, and impact on others.

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Narcissists exhibit the cognitive bias known as the “Dunning-Kruger effect”: they are grandiosely deluded about the true level of their abilities, knowledge, and skills. They hold themselves all-pervasively and innately superior to everyone else.  But, narcissists tend to sustain this delusion of transcendence also by devaluing and underestimating others.

Grandiosity can be conceived of as a set of cognitive biases constructed on an edifice of cognitive deficits which emanate from a profoundly flawed reality test. The narcissist cathexes his grandiosity: he invests in it emotionally and "gets attached" to it.

More about the multifarious manifestations of fantastic and delusional grandiosity here: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq3.html

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Narcissistic Supply is exciting. When it is available, the narcissist feels elated, omnipotent, omniscient, handsome, sexy, adventurous, invincible, and irresistible. When it is missing, the narcissist first enters a manic phase of trying to replenish his supply and, if he fails, the narcissist shrivels, withdraws and is reduced to a zombie-like state of numbness.

Some people – and all narcissists – are addicted to excitement, to the adrenaline rush, to danger, to drama or even panic. They are adrenaline junkies.

When unable to secure "normal" Narcissistic Supply – adulation, recognition, fame, celebrity, notoriety, infamy, affirmation, or mere attention – the narcissist resorts to "abnormal" Narcissistic Supply. He tries to obtain his drug – the thrills, the good feeling that comes with Narcissistic Supply – by behaving recklessly, by succumbing to substance abuse, or by living dangerously.

Such narcissists become criminals, or race drivers, or gamblers, or soldiers, or investigative journalists. They defy authority. They avoid safety, routine and boredom: no safe sex, no financial prudence, no stable marriage or career. They become peripatetic, change jobs, acquire lovers, swap vocations, or avocations, or residences, or friendships.

But sometimes even these extreme and demonstrative steps are not enough. When confronted with a pedestrian, mundane existence these narcissists compensate by inventing thrills where there are none.

They become paranoid, full of delusional persecutory notions and ideas of reference. Or they develop phobias: fear of flying, of heights, of enclosed or open spaces, of cats or spiders. Paranoia is grandiose ("I am sufficiently important and unique to become the target of conspiracies"). Fears are stimulating.

Anxiety leads to a frenetic search for Narcissistic Supply. Obtaining the supply causes a general – albeit transient – sense of wellbeing, relief and release as the anxiety is alleviated. This cycle is addictive.

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Like the optimal toilet paper, men should be both strong and soft. It is here that narcissists fail: they are brittle and aggressive rather than soft and strong. There is no balance - only an ever-swinging pendulum.

The narcissist's personality is precariously poised, his access to and intimations of his positive emotions restricted and ambiguous, and his overpowering negative emotions so rampant that he needs to compensate for his vulnerabilities with a pyrotechnic display of dominance and abuse ("alpha male" and bullying). But such antisocial maltreatment of others - especially of his "nearest and dearest" - does not render the narcissist strong either in reality or in the eyes of others. It does however endow him with a reputation for obnoxiousness and even repellent clownishness.

Similarly, when the narcissist does his thwarted imitation of "being soft", the thespian effort strains the seams of his affected conduct. He becomes maudlin, exaggerates, goes over the top with demonstrations of gratuitous and smarmy courtesy or feigned pity, goal-oriented charity, and his version of deformed pseudo-empathy.

The narcissist comes across as a badly programmed humanoid robot with an insufficient table of data on how to act human. He immediately fosters unease and trepidation in people around him (the uncanny valley). He is incapable of true intimacy and emoting because deep inside, where a human being should have been, the abode is empty, the flag at half mast. The narcissist walks and talks, but otherwise he is long dead, like the zombies and vampires of yore.

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Life's downward spiral is inexorable: small but relentless losses; imperceptible tragedies that gnaw and nibble at the fragile fabric of an already frayed being; the profound sadness that accompanies the mourning of your discernible and imminent denouement as all hopes wither under reality's unforgiving glare. Rendered an incremental and inescapable black hole with no events and no horizon.

You tell yourself: "I can take it! Surely it cannot get much worse than t-h-a-t!" And then, ineluctably but never incredibly, it does. Misery and misfortune as steadfast and staunch companions.

And so, life seeps out of an increasingly more permeable existence. It drains away into a sinkhole with your contours.

You stare with incredulity at the stratified cataclysms, the archaeology of pain and hurt and mental infirmity and doomed relationships. The weight of cumulative failures and fatigued defeats and mutilated dreams and carcassed hopes.

And you trudge onward in this march towards nowhere in particular. Bent by the years, moulded by forgotten loves and absent loved ones and by the nightmares of your biography, the surrealistic resume of what you could have been and never will be now that it is way so late.

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Banks are the least safe institutions in the world. Worldwide, there were more than 40 major banking crises in the past 100 years alone.

That banks are very risky - is proven by the inordinate number of regulatory institutions which supervise banks and their activities.

The word "BANK" is derived from the old Italian word "BANCA" - bench or counter. Italian bankers used to conduct their business on benches. Nothing much changed ever since - maybe with the exception of the scenery. Banks hide their fragility and vulnerability - or worse - behind marble walls. The American President, Andrew Jackson, was so set against banks that he dismantled the nascent central bank, the Second Bank of the United States.

Banks operate through credit multipliers. When a depositor places her hard-earned cash with a bank, the bank puts aside about 20% of the money. This is labelled a reserve and is intended to serve as an insurance policy cum a liquidity cushion. The implicit assumption is that no more than 20% of the total number of depositors will claim their money at any given moment.

In times of panic, when ALL the depositors want their money back, the bank is rendered illiquid, having locked away in its reserves only 20% of the funds. Commercial banks hold their reserves with the Central Bank or with a third party institution, explicitly and exclusively set up for this purpose.

More about banking crises: https://samvak.tripod.com/nm07.html

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We all try to replicate and re-enact our successes. We feel comfortable and confident doing what we do best and what we do most often. We enshrine our oft-repeated tasks and our cumulative experiences as habits.

Asked to adopt new skills and confront unprecedented tasks, we recoil, procrastinate, or delegate (read: pass the buck). Performance anxiety is common.

Someone who keeps failing is rendered very good at it, he becomes adept at the art of floundering, an expert on fizzle and blunder, an artist of the slip. The more dismal the defeats, the more familiar the terrain of losses and botched attempts. Failure is the loser's comfort zone. He uses projective identification to coerce people around him to help him revert to form: to fail.

Such a loser will aim to recreate time and again his only accomplishment: his spectacular downfalls, thwarted schemes, and harebrained stratagems. A slave to a repetition compulsion, the loser finds the terra incognita of success intimidating. He wraps his precious aborted flops in a mantle of an ideology: success is an evil, all successful people are crooks or the beneficiaries of quirky fortune.

To the loser, his miscarriages and deterioration are a warm blanket underneath which he hides himself from a hostile world. Failure is a powerful and addictive organizing principle which imbues life with meaning and predictability and allows the loser to make sense of his personal history. Being a loser is an identity and losers are proud of it as they recount with wonder their mishaps, misfortune, and vicissitudes.

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The narcissistic parent may single out one of his children and encourage the “golden” or “sunshine” child to idolise the parent, to adore him/her, to be awed by him/her, to admire his/her deeds and capabilities, to learn to blindly trust and obey him/her, in short to surrender to his/her charisma and to become submerged in his/her follies-de-grandeur. The remains of the litter – the chosen one’s brothers and sisters - are ignored, neglected, left to fend off for themselves, or worse: relegated to the role of much-maligned, ridiculed, thwarted, stunted, and hated scapegoats.

Such discriminatory conduct emanates from the narcissistic parent’s projected splitting: a confluence of two psychological defense mechanisms (projection and splitting). The narcissistic parent splits her personality into good and bad traits, qualities, and dimensions. She projects the good aspects, the ones she finds to be acceptable (ego-syntonic) or even desirable onto the golden child who then embodies and reifies everything that’s right and proper in the parent’s personality, an extension of the parent’s grandiosity.

In contradistinction, the traits and qualities of himself or herself that the narcissistic parent finds bad, unacceptable, rejected, or shame-inducing are projected onto and attributed to the scapegoat child, the black sheep of the family, the reject and the outcast who is then rendered a constant reminder of the parent’s shortcomings, a challenge to her fantastic self-perception and, therefore, a permanent narcissistic injury.

Splitting and projection are "primitive" defense mechanism. Watch: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=C5HO-Ogd-2c

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Western psychotherapy is centered around and focused on the restoration of the individual’s functionality and autonomy and the attainment of happiness.

I have lived in 15 countries on 4 continents and have discovered that only a small minority of humanity adhere to these values and principles. The majority emphatically and often vociferously reject them. Western psychology is vehemently castigated as decadent and a colonial instrument.

Consider the most basic social unit: the family.

In most societies and cultures in the world, the family is sacred and centred around procreation, not recreation: children and property are by far more important than the pursuit of happiness which is considered both selfish and risky.

Why risky? Because to pursue contentment and gratification is to assiduously avoid making the long-term sacrifices required to maintain a harmonious and productive cooperative.

Everything is secondary to these long-term goals. Women tolerate abuse and domestic violence and act meek and subservient to accommodate their bullying husbands. They undergo harmful medical procedures to conform to their ideals of beauty. Spouses - both wives and husbands - accept extramarital affairs and infidelity as inescapable: you are permitted to secure love, intimacy, and sex outside the marriage as long as you sleep at home and make children and business only with your spouse.

Everyone in such societies mocks the more individualistic and rebellious as egotistical exceptions, or casts them as sacrilegious or insane. To maintain the status quo, reactionary forms of medieval religion (the Church) join forces with oppressive patriarchy, inane "psychiatry", and stifling political authoritarianism in most of these territories.

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"When work is a pleasure, life is a joy! When work is a duty, life is slavery."
Maxim Gorky (1868-1936), Russian novelist, author, and playright


Airplanes, missiles, and space shuttles crash due to lack of maintenance, absent-mindedness, and pure ignorance. Software support personnel, aided and abetted by Customer Relationship Management application suites, are curt (when reachable) and unhelpful. Despite expensive, state of the art supply chain management systems, retailers, suppliers, and manufacturers habitually run out of stocks of finished and semi-finished products and raw materials. People from all walks of life and at all levels of the corporate ladder skirt their responsibilities and neglect their duties.

Whatever happened to the work ethic? Where is the pride in the immaculate quality of one's labor and produce?

Both dead in the water. A series of earth-shattering social, economic, and technological trends converged to render their jobs loathsome to many - a tedious nuisance best avoided.

There are 13 reasons why the work ethic is dead. They are enumerated here: https://samvak.tripod.com/workethic.html

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Why did butt-ugly, far from intelligent, and septuagenarian Trump end up with drop dead gorgeous considerably younger Melania? Because he could.

There are two major lies in modern education: 1. If you only put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything (not true: most people are between retards and average); and 2. There are no leagues and, therefore, no one is out of your league.

News flash: there are leagues and you are likely to end up being married to someone who is as ugly and impoverished and ignorant as you are. Your children will wind up even worse off. Social class and status are uncompromisingly harsh and rigid cross-generational realities.

This is known as the matching hypothesis: people end up in committed relationships with partners who are equally socially desirable - or undesirable. This politically incorrect tenet of social psychology has been around since 1966.

The whole phenomenon is natural (read: genetic). It is called assortative mating. Like mate with like: the rich, powerful, and well-educated tend to intermarry. Look up homogamy.

So, if she is a traffic-stopping beauty, has money, and her shoes cost more than your annual income - don't bother. You may end up banging her as her entertainment du jour - but it will never amount to anything more serious. And she will dump you the second you ask for more - or begin to bore her. Toys and pets should never aspire to usurp their owners. Know your place, boy!

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I guess I am a throwback to the men of the 18th or 19th century: patriarchal and transactional. I have had several serious relationships, including two engagements to be married and two marriages.

The pattern had always been the same: having selected a woman far inferior to my position in life (and, thus, less likely to abandon ship) and following a brief period of rampant sex (to demonstrate to her that I am ‘normal’ and to make her look forward to years of great physical and emotional intimacy – false advertising, I admit), I subside into this recluse, interested only in my studies, reading, writing, and the universe of the mind. Zero sex, no love, no intimacy, physical or emotional, no children, no home (lived in rented flats most of my life), and no family. Take it or leave it and minimal nuisance value.

Her roles are: (1) to admire me; (2) to remind me of my past accomplishments and ‘glory’; (3) to act as a glorified housemaid and do the chores; (4) to serve as my companion, available on the spur of the moment to do my bidding and adhere to my plans and decisions; (5) to reflect well on me by not shaming me in public with her ignorance, promiscuity, or idleness.

As long as she fulfilled the aforementioned functions, I didn’t really care what else she did with her time and with whom. Nothing stirred in me, not even a hint of jealousy, when my women told me that they had cheated on me with other men, some of them multiply. Women went to incredible lengths to extricate themselves from their addiction to me. To no avail: I never cared.

But, when they showed clear signs of bolting, when they became disenchanted, bitterly disappointed, disaffected, disillusioned, cold, aloof, weary, demonstratively absent, lost all interest in me and my work, verbally and psychologically abused me, and refused to do things together anymore, I panicked because I was afraid to lose their valued services.

How did I behave then? Read about it here: https://samvak.tripod.com/faq6.html

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Depression is another label for hopelessness. When we see no prospect for a happier, hope-filled future, our present is rendered unbearable.

Why no such hope for the future? Because we refuse to let go of the past, because we try to keep our past alive. The present is merely the name we give to the results of our past choices.

Both the past and the future are mere dreams. But you cannot have two dreams simultaneously. Either you wake up from your past and then dream your future - or you have no future.

So: let go! It is over! You can be happy! Choose the future and its happiness over your past and its misery.

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A report published in March 2010 by Amnesty International and the Omega Research Foundation and titled “From Words to Deeds” accused European companies of manufacturing and selling “tools of torture”. Among these were fixed wall restraints, metal "thumb-cuffs", and electroshock "sleeves" and "cuffs" that deliver 50,000V shocks.

These commercial activities run contra to a 2006 EU-wide legislation which bans (and, for some types of equipment, merely regulates) the sale of policing and security implements and devices that can be used to torture and maim. But the law remains a dead letter in many countries in the Union.

On January 16, 2003, the European Court of Human Rights agreed - more than two years after the applications have been filed - to hear six cases filed by Chechens against Russia. The claimants accuse the Russian military of torture and indiscriminate killings. The Court has ruled in the past against the Russian Federation and awarded assorted plaintiffs thousands of euros per case in compensation.

As awareness of human rights increased, as their definition expanded and as new, often authoritarian polities, resorted to torture and repression - human rights advocates and non-governmental organizations proliferated. It has become a business in its own right: lawyers, consultants, psychologists, therapists, law enforcement agencies, scholars and pundits tirelessly peddle books, seminars, conferences, therapy sessions for victims, court appearances and other services.

Human rights activists target mainly countries and multinationals.

In June 2001, the International Labour Rights Fund filed a lawsuit on behalf of 11 villagers against the American oil behemoth, ExxonMobil, for "abetting" abuses in Aceh, Indonesia. They alleged that the company provided the army with equipment for digging mass graves and helped in the construction of interrogation and torture centres.

Detailed accusations against many multinationals and firms: https://samvak.tripod.com/brief-torture01.html

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One's body is the sole place in which one's privacy, intimacy, integrity and inviolability are guaranteed. The body is a unique temple and a familiar territory of sensa and personal history. The torturer invades, defiles and desecrates this shrine. He does so publicly, deliberately, repeatedly and, often, sadistically and sexually, with undisguised pleasure. Hence the all-pervasive, long-lasting, and, frequently, irreversible effects and outcomes of torture.

In a way, the torture victim's own body is rendered his worse enemy. It is corporeal agony that compels the sufferer to mutate, his identity to fragment, his ideals and principles to crumble. The body becomes an accomplice of the tormentor, an uninterruptible channel of communication, a treasonous, poisoned territory.

It fosters a humiliating dependency of the abused on the perpetrator. Bodily needs denied – sleep, toilet, food, water – are wrongly perceived by the victim as the direct causes of his degradation and dehumanization. As he sees it, he is rendered bestial not by the sadistic bullies around him but by his own flesh.

The concept of "body" can easily be extended to "family", or "home". Torture is often applied to kin and kith, compatriots, or colleagues. This intends to disrupt the continuity of "surroundings, habits, appearance, relations with others", as the CIA put it in one of its manuals. A sense of cohesive self-identity depends crucially on the familiar and the continuous. By attacking both one's biological body and one's "social body", the victim's psyche is strained to the point of dissociation.

The psychology of torture victims: https://samvak.tripod.com/torturepsychology.html

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The narcissist hates women virulently, viscerally, & vehemently (a misogynist). To him, love is a dangerous pursuit, fickle and labile. He believes only in fear & hate as immutable, reliable motivations. He professes "love" only to secure the services of his “partner” as homemaker, audience, personal assistant, & companion. His "love" lasts only as long as his needs & expectations are impeccably met. Intimacy demands reciprocity &, thus, a waste of his scarce and precious resources on the tedious chore of maintaining a relationship when all he wants is a business-like, contractual arrangement.

When a woman tries to pick up a narcissist, flirt with him, or court him, he reacts by contemptuously humiliating her (cerebral) or by discarding her having conquered her sexually (somatic). The abusive message is: you have no power over me because I am unique, omnipotent, not your typical run-of-the-mill sap; you are nothing to me but a pitiful though useful parasite or an object to be violated. Your very attempt to seduce me is proof of your imbecility & blindness for how could you not have noticed that I am different and superior to you?

Being loved means being known intimately. The narcissist likes to think that he is so unique and profound that he can never be fathomed, that he is above being understood & empathized with, one of a kind (sui generis). To say to him "I love you", means to negate this feeling, to try to drag him to the lowest common denominator, to threaten his sense of uniqueness. After all, everyone is capable of loving & of animalistic lovemaking. Even the basest human beings fall in love.

The narcissist knows that he is a con artist, a fraud, an elaborate hoax, a script, hollow and really non-existent. The person who claims to love him is either lying (what is there to love in a narcissist?), or a self-deceiving, clinging, and immature codependent. The narcissist cannot tolerate the thought that he has chosen a liar or an idiot for a mate. Indirectly, her declaration of love is a devastating critique of the narcissist's own powers of discernment.

More https://samvak.tripod.com/faq74.html

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These three amazingly mature and accomplished works were painted by a 12 years old. They deal with three compounded emotions in a masterly way: rage, tenderness, and sadness.

We declare artistic success when the universally communicable representation succeeds at recreating and evoking in us the original emotion (felt by the artist). It is very much like teleportation which allows, in sci-fi yarns, for the decomposition of the astronaut's body in one spot and its recreation, atom for atom in another.

Even if the artist fails to faithfully recreate his inner world, but succeeds in calling forth any kind of emotional response in his viewers/readers/listeners, she is deemed successful.

Every artist has a reference group, his audience. They could be alive or dead (for instance, he could measure himself against past artists). They could be few or many, but they must be present for art, in its fullest sense, to exist. Modern theories of art speak about the audience as an integral and defining part of artistic creation and even of the artefact itself.

But this, precisely, is the source of the dilemma of the artist:

Who is to determine who is a good, qualitative artist and who is not?

Put differently, who is to measure the distance between the original experience and its representation?

After all, if the original experience is an element of an idiosyncratic, non-communicable, language, we have no access to any information regarding it and, therefore, we are in no position to judge it. Only the artist has access to it and only he can decide how far is his representation from his original experience. Art criticism is impossible.

The artist's private language https://samvak.tripod.com/artist.html

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I have written the bible about psychopathic narcissists twenty odd years ago. Yet, when I come across one, I am shaken to my foundations. There is something utterly reptilian or alien about them.

Psychopathic narcissists - and histrionic and borderline women - are driven by primitive urges, unrequited needs, raw negative impulses (like rage and vindictiveness) and psychological defense mechanisms run amok and awry. It is not so much a lack of empathy as it is a one track mindedness that renders them robotic and zombie-like.

You cannot contract with a psychopathic narcissist or with a histrionic borderline woman: they recognize no rules, have no deep emotions, get attached to no one, play mind games with everyone, and lie incessantly. They will not hesitate to hurt you fatally if it gtatifies the triflest of their wishes. They are not sadists: you are mere collateral damage.

Where a human being should be, there is a vast deep space of emptiness with howling, primordial winds.

These defective renditions of humans have no spouses and know no children, maintain no friendships and keep no families. They plough through their lives and the lives of their "nearest and dearest" like unstoppable and unconscionable wracking balls, swinging apathetically between compulsions and obsessions and the ever more dimming awareness of the stirrings that pass for their consciousness.

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Tableaux (on Van Gogh)
By: Sam Vaknin

Listening to a scarlet sink, detached

an ear, still glistening wax,

in bloody conch.

The gaping flesh.

Wild scattered eyes

fiercing the mirror.

Light ricochets from trembling blade (it's gaslight evening and the breeze ...)

Behind his stooping shoulders,

a painted room ablaze

the dripping composition of his blood.

The winding crowd

inflates the curtains inwards,

sails of a flying Dutchman.

Additional poems: https://samvak.tripod.com/contents.html

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Why would the likes of Weinstein and Cosby - rich, famous, and powerful - sexually harass babes? Because they cannot get consensual sex. "Gimme a break!" - you collectively exclaim - "These folks must be besieged by willing partners!" You don't know how wrong y'all are.

I have been rich and a mini celebrity on and off all my life. It was easier to get laid in the periods in between, when I had been poor and a nobody. Goldiggers aside, women felt intimidated and even repelled by my public exposure and intellectual prowess. Many of them grew envious of me or embarked on all manner of power plays and mind games, aiming to demonstrate their superiority, invincibility, and irresistibility by winning these one-sided delusional competitions.

When I am in the limelight, I am reduced to a one-dimensional cartoon figure, a mere function, a symbol, or a caricature. "You are my guru, my teacher, my savior, a genius. I love your mind, your brain. I can listen to you for hours, I have dreamt of having the opportunity to talk to you, I have had a crush on you since the first time I heard you speak, you are a legend." But, really, I am objectified and dehumanized by these acolytes. If I dare to confess any emotion or mood (for example: that I am depressed), if I express a wish, chat someone up and flirt, if I appear human in any way, shape, or form - my erstwhile fans reject my humanity aggressively: they feel "betrayed". Henceforth they devalue me for having debased my ostensible sublimity with the filth of carnal desire & lucre and for having disgracefully revealed my vulnerabilities & weaknesses. They resent me and are furious that I robbed them of their superman and substituted for it a mere mortal. They cannot forgive me the disillusionment and disenchantment. The Wizard of Oz is, after all, more of a villain for his frailty than for his misdeeds.

Why we hate our celebrities and mistreat them https://samvak.tripod.com/faq19.html

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Happiness is different things to different people: money, power, intimacy, love, sex, children, intellectual accomplishments, a rewarding career. Few people need ALL of these to be happy - one or two usually suffice. Each of these can be a necessary condition for happiness (can't be happy without IT), a sufficient condition (if I have only IT, I am happy, I don't need anything else), or both.

But what if happiness is the outcome of a delusion, insanity, or shared psychosis? Denying reality and living in a fantasy make some people elated. People collude to create imaginary spaces - like nations, or cults, or religions - where they feel safe, optimistic, and content.

Is such felicity which is divorced from reality - real? Do we have to intervene with psychotherapy to wake up these deluded souls and reintroduce them to the world? Or should we leave them to their bliss, however outlandish?

The surprising answer is that people who are both joyful and functional require no help, healing, or behavior modification even if their well-being is based on a patently fictitious narrative. If people are made cheerful by believing in the existence of a god, or that their nation is superior, or by harboring a grandiose view of their talents and qualities - good for them. As long as it does not interfere with their functioning in any way, it is not harmful to themselves or to others, they can sustain the fiction financially and psychologically, and as long as they feel at ease with who they are (ego syntony) - all is well. Placebos are often more effective than real medication.

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Western civilization is now global and is less ideologically pluralistic and more ideationally monolithic than ever. Liberal capitalism is the only game in town. The principle of the Rule of Law guarantees the state a monopoly on violence and all its uses.

The label "terrorist" is misapplied liberally to stigmatize and penalize a variety of nonstate actors which compete with the state and challenge its hold on power. Liberation and freedom movements, ersatz anarchists and social activists, as well as territorial crime organizations are lumped together with echt terrorists.

Not surprisingly, true terrorists are dedicated to one goal: to terrorize civilians. They have no other or ulterior motives: not money, not power, not crime.

But why would anyone in their right mind terrorize others for no other benefit? Because terrorists are not in their right minds. They are mentally ill and deviant. They are usually psychopathic narcissists who failed at garnering narcissistic supply in all the socially acceptable ways and are, therefore, aggressively acting out their frustration. Most terrorists are lone wolves or members of tiny cells or death cults.

As is the case with the sadistic serial killer, when the terrorist induces fear in people, it restores his or her feeling of godlike omnipotence and buttresses his or her fantastic grandiosity. The terrorist regulates his or her labile sense of self-worth by terrorizing. It is that simple. Real terrorism is a psychopathology, not a radical form of social, religious, or political activism.

More https://samvak.tripod.com/terrorism.html

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Crime is a growth industry - but not only for the criminals.

Millions of professionals - judges, police officers, criminologists, psychologists, journalists, publishers, prosecutors, lawyers, social workers, probation officers, wardens, sociologists, non-governmental-organizations, weapons manufacturers, laboratory technicians, graphologists, and private detectives - derive their livelihood, parasitically, from crime. They often perpetuate models of punishment and retribution that lead to recidivism rather than to to the reintegration of criminals in society and their rehabilitation.

Organized in vocal interest groups and lobbies, they harp on the insecurities and phobias of the alienated urbanites. They consume ever growing budgets and rejoice with every new behaviour criminalized by exasperated lawmakers. In the majority of countries, the justice system is a dismal failure and law enforcement agencies are part of the problem, not its solution.

The sad truth is that many types of crime are considered by people to be normative and common behaviours and, thus, go unreported. Victim surveys and self-report studies conducted by criminologists reveal that most crimes go unreported. The protracted fad of criminalization has rendered criminal many perfectly acceptable and recurring behaviours and acts. Homosexuality, abortion, gambling, prostitution, pornography, and suicide have all been criminal offences at one time or another.

But the quintessential example of over-criminalization is drug abuse.

More about the state as the ultimate crime organization: https://samvak.tripod.com/crime.html

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The profoundly disturbing film “We Need to Talk about Kevin” is told from the mother’s point of view. Kevin is a maladjusted kid with a conduct disorder who blooms into a full-fledged blood-curdling psychopath in his teens. His mother is one of his victims. Kevin ends up killing his entire family (his mother being the sole survivor & witness to the massacre) as well as numerous schoolmates before he is apprehended.

The film ends with his mother, now reduced to a dysfunctional shell & shadow of her former self, visiting him in prison on a regular basis & hugging him for good measure.

Some victims never learn. You hear them saying: "It is true that he is a chauvinistic narcissist, that his behaviour is abusive & obnoxious, thar I catch him in lie after deception. But all he needs is a little love & he will be different. I will rescue him by giving him the love that he lacked as a child. Then his narcissism will vanish & we will live happily ever after." I often come across sad examples of the powers of self-delusion that the narcissist provokes in his victims. It is what I call "malignant optimism". It is magical thinking: the dysfunctional antithesis of a useful coping strategy known as defensive pessimism. People refuse to believe that some questions are unsolvable, some diseases incurable, some disasters inevitable. They see a sign of hope in every fluctuation. They read meaning and patterns into every random occurrence, utterance, or slip. They are deceived by their own pressing need to believe in the ultimate victory of good over evil, health over sickness, order over disorder, love conquers all. "If only she tried hard enough", "she is lying in order to not hurt me" "she really wants to get better", "If only we found the right therapy", "If only his defences were down", "There MUST be something good and worthy deep inside her, NO ONE can be that evil and destructive", "He must have meant it differently" "God or Jesus is the solution and the answer to our prayers".

More https://samvak.tripod.com/journal27.html

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Prophets and scientists both are in the business of making predictions. Both resort to metaphysical frameworks as the source of their knowledge: God and the scientific method, respectively. Both vehemently deny the role of intuition in their output. The prophet claims to possess privileged access to a transcendental being and to be merely serving as a conduit to the latter’s thoughts and intentions; the scientist insists that his work is objective and rational and can, in principle, be emulated by a computer.

Yet, both actually transform deep-set, unconscious processes into structural sentences, laws, and statements.

The Three Intuitions

1. Eidetic Intuitions

Intuition is supposed to be a form of direct access. Yet, direct access to what? To "intuitions"? Are intuitions the objects of the mental act of Intuition? Perhaps intuition is the mind's way of interacting directly with Platonic ideals or Phenomenological "essences", without the intellectual mediation of a manipulated symbol system, and without the benefits of inference, observation, experience, or reason?

2. Emergent Intuition

When the intuiting person has the impression of a "shortcut" or even a "short circuiting" of his usually linear thought processes often based on trial and error. This type of intuition feels "magical", a quantum leap from premise to conclusion, the parsimonious selection of the useful and the workable from a myriad possibilities. It is like a dreamlike truncated thought process, the subjective equivalent of a wormhole in Cosmology. It is often preceded by periods of frustration, dead ends, failures, and blind alleys in one's work.

3. Ideal Intuition

These are thoughts and feelings that precede any intellectual analysis and underlie it. Empathy may be such an intuitive mode applied to the minds of other people, yielding an intersubjective agreement. Moral ideals and rules, mathematical and logical axioms and basic rules of inference ("necessary truths") may also turn out to be intuitions.

Much more https://samvak.tripod.com/intuition.html

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Narcissism brushes off. It is contagious. Our reactions to the narcissist: the initial ridicule, the occasional rage, or the frustration tend to affect and deform us. Gradually, the narcissist distorts the personalities of those he is in constant touch with, casts them in his defective mould, limits them, redirects them, & inhibits or disinhibits them. When sufficiently cloned, the narcissist uses the people he affected as narcissistic proxies, narcissistic vehicles of vicarious narcissism.

The narcissist provokes in us emotions, which are predominantly negative & unpleasant. The initial reaction is likely to be ridicule. The narcissist, pompous, verbose, incredibly self-centred, fantastically grandiose, self-indulgent, entitled, and odd, often elicits smirks in lieu of admiration.

But the entertainment value is fast over. The narcissist's behaviour becomes tiresome, irksome & cumbersome. Ridicule is supplanted by ire and, then, by overt anger. The narcissist's inadequacies are so glaring and his denial & other defence mechanisms so primitive that we constantly feel like screaming at him, reproaching him, or even striking at him literally as well as figuratively.

Ashamed at these reactions, we begin to also feel guilty. We find ourselves attached to a mental pendulum, swinging between repulsion & guilt, rage & pity, lack of empathy & remorse. Slowly we acquire the very characteristics of the narcissist that we so deplore. We become as tactless as he is, as devoid of empathy and of consideration, as ignorant of the emotional makeup of other people, as abusive, aggressive, negativistic, and as one track minded.
Exposed to the sick halo of the narcissist, we are "infected". The narcissist invades our personality. He makes us react the way he would have liked to, had he dared, or had he known how to (a mechanism known as "projective identification"). We are exhausted by his eccentricity, by his extravagance, by his grandiosity, by his constant entitlement.

How else are we infected with narcissism? https://samvak.tripod.com/faq42.html

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In “The Best Offer”, Virgil Oldman is an auctioneer: he helps to determine the price of art in public, rule-based jousts. He is rich, middle-aged, well-respected, if somewhat eccentric & misanthropic. He is an avowed bachelor, the kind of man who has transformed his firewalled reclusiveness into a prideful ideology. He adores women – but only of the two-dimensional kind, in captive portraits which he suspends in a vault in the recesses of his gloomy mansion. He is also a con-artist: he knows the correct prices of all items, but profitably misleads others.

When Virgil meets the agoraphobic Claire, he is smitten with her despite - or because - her extreme approach-avoidance games. She professes her love & then colludes with his only two friends in the world to rob him blind.

Many would say, what Claire did to Virgil was unfair: she took away his prized possessions, having manipulated his emotions cruelly. I disagree. Claire gave Virgil 2 years of happiness and in return took all his paintings. It strikes me as a balanced trade. Better a short period of bliss in an arid life than none at all. Virgil got the better deal methinks: money and property come & go and, when the ineluctable moment is upon us, we leave them behind like so many pieces of colored glass. Happiness is the treasure that keeps on giving for as long as our memory holds. Claire gave Virgil a lasting gift – and took from him crumbling canvasses and peeling paint. She gave Virgil access to a real woman in lieu of the dead ones whose portraits he morbidly collected and revered.

Was Virgil truly conned? He should have seen through Claire, he should have known better, uniquely equipped as he was with his experience. His gullibility appears contrived: as though he wanted Claire to devastate the penal colony that his life had become. Don’t we often invite others into our lives in order to disrupt them because we feel trapped and incapable of growth? Claire was Virgil’s agent of change. She transformed his life by ruining it. She sprang him from his vault by emptying its contents.

Full review mid page here: https://samvak.tripod.com/conman-en.html

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Most of the women I shared my life with cheated on me with multiple men.

From my short story "Harmony": https://samvak.tripod.com/harmony-en.html

"Noa changes her posture. I contemplate her body and wonder what it knew & not with me. A foot flashes, she bends and a swathe of milky breast, a nipple, his hand between her thighs.

I feel nothing, not even pain or fury. But I sense the distant echoes of a remote battle, behind the fortified hilltops of my self. It will arrive, this ruinous war, it will exact the price. Like everything else in life, it is only a matter of time.

I repeat to Noa her choice. She can remain here & we will try together, she can depart & we will separate, one year alone, maybe it's better that way. Maybe I am her undoing. And I keep reiterating silently: Noa, please ignore these monstrous alternatives offered by an alien, a stranger, not me. I love you. I love Noa. Throughout I want to hug her and make my love in her, but I just sit there, stony-faced, a scientist sifting through the formulas for a particularly complex experiment.

Now Noa is quiet, still rocked from time to time by mournful tremors, her fingers flutter and combine, a leg swings across the wide-brimmed, tattered arm of our sofa. She regards me tenderly.

I pour more wine. The halogen lights are blinding. We are so close, Noa and I, up there in the large screen of our TV. But really we are divided by glass & marble.

Noa takes her wine & toys with it. Suddenly she lays it down & bursts into bitter, convulsive whimpers, face buried in both hands, shoulders unruly. "I can't leave you" - she sucks the words out of the thinning air - "I love you so. You are a wizard and I am hypnotized. I am staying here with you. Oh, let's try again!" I let the words sink in. the words sink in. A rainbow ricochets from the glasses to the table. The light is piercing & in it I witness Noa making love. Like an unwanted child, this deed is with us, like an accident. Only it left me quadriplegic, breathless for all eternity, long after Noa is gone, and she will be gone. I now know that this, too, is only a matter of time."

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Jesus was a malignant narcissist & a dismal loser. Did deficient narcissist supply drive him to delusional insanity - or was he a mere Jewish con artist?

Early on, Jesus developed magical thinking, compensatory grandiose delusions, & fantasies of omnipotence & omniscience. A firstborn & a bastard, he was much pampered by his doting & anxious mother.

When he was a mere 12 years old: "(T)hey found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, & asking them questions." (Luke 2:46)

Even at this tender age, he showed a marked lack of empathy & a full-fledged case of pathological grandiosity: "His mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" ("My Father" being God - SV). (Luke 2:48-49)

Contrary to his much-cultivated image, Jesus, like the vast majority of cult leaders, lacked empathy & was a heartless & irresponsible manipulator whose magical thinking ruined the lives of many. He instructed his followers to commit acts that must have had harshly adverse impacts on their hitherto nearest & dearest. Jesus monopolized the lives of his disciples to the exclusion of all else and all others: "For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, & the daughter against her mother, & the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." (Matthew 10:35-36)

Here is how Jesus, the lowly, unmarried, and itinerant son of a carpenter - an abysmal failure by the standards of his society - viewed himself: "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, & all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: & he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats ... And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." (Matthew 25:31-32 and 25:46)"

Much more http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/journal79.html

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The presence of pets activates in us two primitive psychological defense mechanisms: projection and narcissism.

In the case of pets, projection works through anthropomorphism: we attribute to animals our traits, behavior patterns, needs, wishes, emotions, and cognitive processes. This perceived similarity endears them to us and motivates us to care for our pets and cherish them.

But, why do people become pet-owners in the first place?

Does pet-ownership revolve around self-gratification? Does it all boil down to the pleasure principle?

Pet-keeping may, indeed, be habit forming. Months of raising pups and cubs and a host of social positive reinforcements and expectations condition pet-owners to do the job. Still, a living pet is nothing like the abstract concept. Pets wail, soil themselves and their environment, stink, and severely disrupt the lives of their owners. Nothing too enticing here.

If you eliminate the impossible, what is left - however improbable - must be the truth. People keep pets because it provides them with narcissistic supply.

Even the most balanced, most mature, most psychodynamically stable of pet-owners finds such a flood of narcissistic supply irresistible and addictive. It enhances his or her self-confidence, buttresses self esteem, regulates the sense of self-worth, and projects a complimentary image of the parent to himself or herself. It fast becomes indispensable.

The key to our determination to have pets is our wish to experience the same unconditional love that we received from our mothers, this intoxicating feeling of being adored without caveats, for what we are, with no limits, reservations, or calculations. This is the most powerful, crystallized form of narcissistic supply. It nourishes our self-love, self worth and self-confidence. It infuses us with feelings of omnipotence and omniscience. In these, and other respects, pet-ownership is a return to infancy.

More about the psychology of pet ownership https://samvak.tripod.com/animal.html

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The sentence "all cats are black" is evidently untrue even if only one cat in the whole universe were to be white. Thus, the property "being black" cannot form a part of the definition of a cat. The lesson to be learnt is that definitions must be universal. They must apply to all the members of a defined set (the set of "all cats" in our example). Let us try to define a chair. In doing so we are trying to capture the essence of being a chair, its "chairness". It is chairness that is defined – not this or that specific chair. We want to be able to identify chairness whenever and wherever we come across it. But chairness cannot be captured without somehow tackling and including the uses of a chair – what is it made for, what does it do or help to do. In other words, a definition must include an operative part, a function. In many cases the function of the Definiendum (the term defined) constitutes its meaning. The function of a vinyl record is its meaning. It has no meaning outside its function. The Definiens (the expression supplying the definition) of a vinyl record both encompasses and consists of its function or use.

Yet, can a vinyl record be defined in vacuum, without incorporating the record player in the definiens? After all, a vinyl record is an object containing audio information decoded by a record player. Without the "record player" bit, the definiens becomes ambiguous. It can fit an audio cassette, or a compact disc. So, the context is essential. A good definition includes a context, which serves to alleviate ambiguity.

Ostensibly, the more details provided in the definition – the less ambiguous it becomes. But this is not true. Actually, the more details provided the more prone is the definition to be ambiguous.

Learn how my work on definitions affected the architecture of modern computing devices - download the first report of the Enterprise Architecture Research Group https://samvak.tripod.com/define.html

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God is everything the narcissist ever wants to be: omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, admired, much discussed, and awe inspiring. God is the narcissist's wet dream, his ultimate grandiose fantasy. But God comes handy in other ways as well.

The narcissist alternately idealizes and then devalues figures of authority, especially with God, the quintessential authority figure.

Even when disillusionment and iconoclastic despair have set in - the narcissist continues to pretend to love God and follow Him. The narcissist maintains this deception because his continued proximity to God confers on him authority. Priests, leaders of the congregation, preachers, evangelists, cultists, politicians, intellectuals - all derive authority from their allegedly privileged relationship with God.

Religious authority allows the narcissist to indulge his sadistic urges and to exercise his misogynism freely and openly. Such a narcissist is likely to taunt and torment his followers, hector and chastise them, humiliate and berate them, abuse them spiritually, or even sexually. The narcissist whose source of authority is religious is looking for obedient and unquestioning slaves upon whom to exercise his capricious and wicked mastery. The narcissist transforms even the most innocuous and pure religious sentiments into a cultish ritual and a virulent hierarchy. He preys on the gullible. His flock become his hostages.

Religious authority also secures the narcissist's Narcissistic Supply. His coreligionists, members of his congregation, his parish, his constituency, his audience - are transformed into loyal and stable Sources of Narcissistic Supply. They obey his commands, heed his admonitions, follow his creed, admire his personality, applaud his personal traits, satisfy his needs (sometimes even his carnal desires), revere and idolize him.

Moreover, being a part of a "bigger thing" is very gratifying narcissistically. Being a particle of God, being immersed in His grandeur, experiencing His power & blessings first hand, communing with him yield narcissistic supply.

More https://samvak.tripod.com/journal45.html

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The cerebral narcissist renders himself unattractive to his partner by gaining weight, neglecting his body and personal hygiene, not attending to his rotting teeth and crumbling health, and dressing shabbily. This self-inflicted and ostentatious abuse has the effect of bringing sexual and physical intimacy to a screeching halt and forcing his mate or spouse into patterns of behavior and lifestyle alien to her nature: if she is a codependent and fears abandonment she abjures sex altogether (becomes asexual) and if she is not, she is forced into adultery and promiscuity.

This kind of narcissist is afraid of encounters with the opposite sex and is even more afraid of emotional involvement or commitment that he fancies himself prone to develop following a sexual encounter. In general, such a narcissist withdraws not only sexually – but also emotionally. If married – he loses all overt interest in his spouse, sexual or otherwise. He confines himself to his world and makes sure that he is sufficiently busy to preclude any interaction with his nearest (and supposedly dearest). He becomes completely immersed in "big projects", lifelong plans, a vision, or a cause – all very rewarding narcissistically and all very demanding and time consuming. In such circumstances, sex inevitably becomes an obligation, a necessity, or a maintenance chore reluctantly undertaken to preserve his sources of supply (his family or household). The cerebral narcissist does not enjoy sex and by far prefers masturbation or "objective", emotionless sex, like consuming porn, or, much more rarely, group sex, or visiting prostitutes. “I practice the safest and most thrilling sex there is: masturbating to pornography”. Actually, he uses his mate or spouse as an "alibi", a shield against the attentions of other women, an insurance policy which preserves his virile image while making it socially and morally commendable for him to avoid any intimate or sexual contact with others, ostentatiously ignoring women other than his wife (a form of aggression I call “ostentatious fidelity”).

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Psychology of School Shootings

Healthy narcissism is common in adolescents. Their narcissistic defenses help them cope with the anxieties and fears engendered by the demands and challenges of modern society: leaving home, going to college, sexual performance, marriage, and other rites of passage. There is nothing wrong with healthy narcissism. It sustains the adolescent in a critical time of his life and shields him or her from emotional injuries.

Still, in certain circumstances, healthy narcissism can transform into a malignant form, destructive to self and to others.

Adolescents who are consistently mocked and bullied by peers, role models, and socialization agents (such as teachers, coaches, and parents) are prone to find succor in grandiose fantasies of omnipotence and omniscience. To sustain these personal myths, they may resort to violence and counter-bullying.

The same applies to youths who feel deprived, underestimated, discriminated against, or at a dead end. They are likely to evoke narcissistic defenses to fend off the constant hurt and to achieve self-sufficient and self-contained emotional gratification.

Finally, pampered adolescents, who serve as mere extensions of their smothering parents and their unrealistic expectations are equally liable to develop grandiosity and a sense of entitlement incommensurate with their real-life achievements. When frustrated they become aggressive.

This propensity to other-directed violence is further exacerbated by what Lasch called "The Culture of Narcissism". We live in a civilization which condones and positively encourages malignant individualism, bad hero worship (remember "Born Killers"?), exploitativeness, inane ambitiousness, and the atomization of social structures and support networks. Alienation is a hallmark of our age, not only among youngsters.

When societies turn anomic, under both external and internal pressures (terrorism, crime, civil unrest, religious strife, economic crises, immigration, widespread job insecurity, war, rampant corruption, and so on), narcissists tend to become violent: https://samvak.tripod.com/9.html

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Some people - men and women - enjoy sex only when they cheat on their spouses. They were molded in their formative years to associate pleasure and intimacy with risk, deception, and adrenaline. They are aroused by their own immorality (or amorality) and whorish promiscuity, by the chase, the mind games, the power plays, and the conquests.

The less socially acceptable the act, the more illicit, the higher the degree of betrayal and self-debasement, decadence and deviance, perversion and shock value - the greater the resulting carnal titillation.

This type of compulsive behavior is a variety of role play. Such people need a narrative, a story, a confabulation, a script in order to get sexually aroused and enjoy the encounter. The role they assume is that of a promiscuous and treacherous prostitute. But the very fact that they take on this personality in a cinematic rendition makes them feel removed and distant from their own misconduct, absolved: "It was not me who did it, I was not myself, I felt dissociated, on auto-pilot, like an observer". When asked why they behaved the way they did, they typically shrug it off: "I don't know".

Ironically, these cheaters are inordinately attached and bonded to their emotionally thwarted, masochistic, codependent, financially generous, and enabling spouses. To fully enjoy sex, they need to remain married, they need someone to cheat on and torment, someone to lie to, betray repeatedly, and blame for their misbehavior. They fiercely defend their spouses and their families to anyone who would listen and make clear to their lovers and fuck buddies how temporary the arrangements with them are.

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The wise know when to stop suspecting and start trusting. There is a thin line separating the paranoid from the moron.

To suspect all the time is counterproductive. It inhibits and retards. It consumes scarce resources. It prevents collaboration and progress. It constricts one's life and limits it. And it impairs one's reality test. Constant vigilance is a long name for the anxiety and fears induced by stupidity and ignorance.

Paranoia is a form of grandiosity: "I am important enough to be the target of conspiracies and the epicenter of critical events." It is an element of narcissism.

At some point, you have to say: "Enough is enough. I am willing to lay a bet on this person, invest in this business, go on this trip". In hindsight it may prove to have been a wrong decision. But any decision is better than lifelong paralysis.

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At the age of 9, I was sent to study in the Technion - Israel's leading technological university. I have been diagnosed with 180 IQ. It was my lowest score in 3 IQ tests I have taken over the decades. There started my love affair with physics.

By 1982 I completed my theory of chronons ("time" "particles"). Very much like my work on narcissism in 1995, I had to invent a whole new language to describe my ideas and observations. Newton and Einstein both used linguistic conventions that were handed down to us from the ancient Greeks.

In my Ph.D. thesis I tried to avoid this entire tradition. I asked: what if the universe is made only of what we call "time"? What if all its manifestations are interactions in a "time field": from "spacetime" through the various forces and down to "elementary particles"? Decades later, Eytan H. Suchard and other physicists around the world picked up the thread and carried it forward immeasurably. Their results were published recently in some mainstream venues.

The Chronon Field Theory easily unifies quantum mechanics and relativity, electromagnetism and gravity. It gives rise to all the known phenomena, forces, and "particles" and to all their properties while dispensing with many unnecessary assumptions, conventions (like the existence of mass or particles or spacetime), boundary conditions and other mouldering luggage from the teeming attic of physics.

Those of you who are inclined to physics: https://samvak.tripod.com/time.html

You can download Suchard's various papers there as well.

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I have been filthy rich and dirt poor several times in my life. Let me tell you: being rich beats being poor hands down. But to have a lot of money is not an unadulterated alloy. It has its many negative aspects and drawbacks.

Money is like blood in the water: you attract sharks and predators, not least of which are golddiggers - spouses or intimate partners who are bound to cheat on you in every bed of every hotel in between bouts of burning your hard earned cash on compulsive shopping.

It is not easy to fend off the tax authorities, law enforcement, myriad regulatory agencies, service providers, business associates, lawyers, investment advisors, medical doctors, psychotherapists, masseurs, loyal and trusted employees, accountants, and assorted gurus who conspire to abscond with your money often in cahoots with your nearest, dearest, friends, and family.

Sharks are well-designed and insatiable predators. Sometimes you don't even realize that the shark is a shark until it is way too late. They bite you and bleed you for your dough and then dump you when you have run out of it. Poor people do not face these problems at least.

In many parts of the world it is dangerous to be rich owing to kidnappings for ransom. The rich live in gated compounds with security and stroll along restricted paths with burly bodyguards, like in a maximum security prison. Their children are inmates.

And when the people rebel, the rich suffer first (like after the French and October revolutions). When regimes change or you fall out of political favor with the powers that be, you lose everything, your freedom included.

The rich are much more at risk than the poor. To be rich is not to be safer - it is to be more vulnerable because you have a lot more to lose. I had been much more anxious and worried when I was rich than when I was poor. Money has good sides - but also many bad aspects. In life, it is always advisable to maintain a balanced view of everything - especially of money.

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Abandon your comfort zone. Try new things. Challenge yourself. Western psychotherapies and life coaching are predicated on these romantic-individualistic ideas of life as a voyage and the client as an intrepid argonaut.

This is an extension of the psychoanalytic techniques of rendering unconscious repressed content conscious and thus liberating the patients and unleashing their potential.

But mental energy is never wasted. Repressed memories and drives are buried deep for excellent reasons. Similarly, we create the comfort zone over decades of trial and error in order to minimize anxiety and enhance performance. Hence"comfort". While in the comfort zone we feel that we are in control, less vulnerable, happier, our needs and wishes, both material and emotional, satisfied and catered to. The comfort zone is the way we structure life, what we seek and shun, habits, routines and rituals, patterned repetitive behaviors, even compulsions. Two people or more can inhabit the same comfort zone in a shared psychosis or a cult.

My comfort zone is sitting all by myself at home and writing or reading. Forever. Every other type of activity and any encounter with people - men and women - makes me anxious and depletes my energy. I don't belong. I am out of my natural habitat. Men - and especially women - sense my distress and oddity and avoid me like the plague.

Every single time I have tried to exit my comfort zone - to fall in love, to make friends, to collaborate with others, to give services, or to sell products - it ended in life-threatening heartbreaks (major depressive episodes) and in orgies of furious self-destruction.
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People remain in abusive relationships because they lack self-confidence, their self-esteem is shot, not least by their "loving, intimate" "partner", and because they are unable to regulate their sense of self-worth.

There are four common fallacies:

I AM LUCKY

I am worthless, damaged goods. I am lucky to have found even my abuser. If I leave the relationship, who else would want me and where will I find another partner?

THE BEST OF ALL WORLDS

Life is harsh and it doesn't get much better than this. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, but that is merely as an optical illusion. This is as good as it gets.

MY PARTNER IS NOT WORSE THAN OTHERS

Every other partner I may find will have flaws and quirks that I will have to get used to and accommodate all over again. Better stick with what I know. No one guarantees that my next partner will not be even worse than this.

HAPPINESS? BAH!

Life is a serious business. It is not about the selfish pursuit of elusive "happiness". It is about meeting your obligations and getting on with it. At best one can expect companionship and mutual support in old age. Anything more than that is self-defeating and destructive wishful thinking.

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There are two types of art: immersive and trigger.

Immersive art invites you into the creator's mind, provides you with privileged access and keys to his or her inner landscape and private language and thus leverages empathy and intersubjectivity to new heights. It engenders a joint theory of mind.

Immersive art is explicit and detailed. It leaves little to the imagination. It fosters resonance via immersion in alternative worlds whose contours and content are provided and controlled exclusively by the artist. The art consumer is a tourist.

In contradistinction, trigger art is sketchy and skeletal. It evokes in the art consumer associations, imagery, and psychological insight by describing usually familiar situations in a journalistic or perfunctory or abstract style.

The art consumer is left to construct his or her own work of art from his or her reactions to the trigger art. The original work of art is therefore purposefully ambiguous and equivocal.

Most modern art and some strands of modern writing are trigger art.

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In love - and to some extent in sex - we "undress": remove protective layers and expose vulnerabilities and weaknesses to our partner.

This information about the chinks in our armor can and will be used against us even by the most loving of mates. We must take this fact into account when we decide what to share.

In a healthy relationship, secrets are an essential ingredient. Unmitigated, unalloyed truth telling is never a good idea. Couplehood and intimacy wither on the vine of total openness.

Of course, not all secrets are created equal. Some information if held back festers and poisons any liaison. Fundamental issues have to be aired, dissected and resolved. Emotions and conflicts require communication and closure. Expectations and hopes are best expressed. Behavior modification is predicated on good communication.

But not every mood should be reported. Not every lapse and transgression need be confessed. Not every fear articulated. Let Time, the Great Healer, do its job.

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Are narcissists EVIL? Their actions shock us less than the WAY they act. To capture the spectrum of narcissistic depravity, we default to habitual adjectives such as "good" & "evil". This does this pernicious phenomenon & its victims little justice.

To qualify as evil a person (Moral Agent) must:

1. Consciously and consistently prefer & choose the (morally) wrong;

2. Act on his choice regardless of the consequences to himself & to others.

Clearly, evil must be premeditated.

Francis Hutcheson & Joseph Butler argued that evil is a by-product of the pursuit of one's interest or cause at the expense of other people's interests or causes. But this ignores the conscious choice among equally efficacious alternatives. Some people (sadomasochists, vindictive) often pursue evil even when it jeopardizes their well-being & obstructs their interests.

Narcissists satisfy both conditions only partly. Their evil is utilitarian. They are evil only when being malevolent secures a certain outcome. Sometimes, they consciously choose the morally wrong – but not invariably so. They act on their choice even if it inflicts misery & pain on others. But they never opt for evil if they are to bear the consequences. They act maliciously because it is expedient to do so, not because it is "in their nature". The narcissist is able to tell right from wrong & to distinguish between good & evil. In the pursuit of his interests & causes, he sometimes chooses to act wickedly. Lacking empathy, the narcissist is rarely remorseful. Because he feels entitled, exploiting others is second nature. The narcissist abuses others absent-mindedly, off-handedly, as a matter of fact.

The narcissist objectifies people & treats them as expendable commodities to be discarded after use. Admittedly, that, in itself, is evil. Yet, it is the mechanical, thoughtless, heartless face of narcissistic abuse – devoid of human passions and of familiar emotions – that renders it so alien, so frightful & so repellent.

Are narcissists just another destructive force of nature, like viruses or tornadoes? https://samvak.tripod.com/journal65.html

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There is a surging global subculture of misogynism (woman hatred) that women have been ignoring at their peril: incels (involuntary celibates), MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way), pickup artists, redpillers (men who "realize" that women rule the world and are cruelly manipulating men), blackpillers (men who give up on ever having any sexual or romantic relationship with women), and so on.

Many in these groups espouse militancy and even violence against women.

Such strident misogynism is new. Woman hatred is not (see the works of Otto Weininger and August Strindberg a century ago).
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I wrote this when I was 19 anticipating recent developments by more than four decades:

"I think that there is a schism between men and women. I am sorry but I am neo-Weiningerian. I fear women and loathe them viscerally - while, in the abstract, I recognize that they are members of the human species and eligible to the same rights as men do. Still, the biological, biochemical and psychological differences between us (men versus women) are so profound that I think that a good case can be made in favour of a theory which will assign them to another (perhaps even more advanced) species. I am heterosexual, so it has nothing to do with sexual preferences. Also I know that what I have to say will alienate and anger you. Still, I believe - as does Dr. Grey - that cross-gender communication is all but impossible. We are separated by biology, by history, by culture, by chemistry, by genetics, in short: by too much. Where we see cruelty they see communication, where we see communication they see indifference, where we see a future they see a threat, where we see a threat they see an opportunity, where we see stagnation they see security and where we see safety they see death, where we get excited they get alarmed, where we get alarmed they get bored, we love with our senses, they love with their wombs and mind, they tend to replicate, we tend to assimilate, they are Trojan horses, we are dumb Herculeses, they succumb in order to triumph, we triumph in order to succumb."

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"Love", "cruelty" and "impotence" are three sides of the same coin.

We love in order to overcome our (perceived) impotence.

We burden our love with impossible dreams: to become children again.

We want to be unconditionally loved and omnipotent.

No wonder love invariably ends in disappointment and disillusionment. It can never fulfil our inflated expectations.

This is when we become cruel. We avenge our paradise lost. We inflict upon our lover the hell that he or she fostered in us. We do so impotently because we still love, even as we fervently hate (Freudian ambivalence). Thus we always love cruelly, impotently and desperately, the desperation of the doomed to Sysiphean repetition.

Love as a psychopathology http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/lovepathology.html

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At a very early age I discovered that I lack the most basic life and social skills. I had only one thing going for me: my formidable intellect (there are only 6 other people in the whole wide world with my IQ). So, I deployed it to construct a shelter, a bubble, replete with its own rigid rules and defenses intended to shield me from the life-threatening hurt that the world was inflicting on me daily. This bubble was a self-constructed mental asylum with me as the sole inmate.

From within my bubble, I observed life passing me by and other people. But these folks did not like being observed. They felt threatened when they found themselves the targets if intense scrutiny by Sam Vaknin, the Evil Genius, a self-admitted sexually deviant (asexual? really?) psychopathic narcissist.

Fight, Freeze, Flight. They couldn't fight me: they didn't stand a chance against my inhuman superior intelligence which rendered me both incomprehensible and unpredictable. We currently fear that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will enslave us. People feel the same way about me: that I am some kind of malevolent robot (uncanny valley). So, unable to fight me, the overwhelming majority of people I have met - especially women - froze, froze me out, or fled.

No one wanted to share my bubble with me because, confined to it for many unventilated years, my exhalations rendered the environment within it toxic and lethal. All the women I dragged into my psychedelic cave abandoned me one way or another, suffocated and heaving for breath.

So, overwhelmed by loneliness and profound existential sadness, over the next few decades of my life I tried to exit my bubble several times: to love a woman, to find friends, to do business, to teach. Every time ended in rending heartbreak. I am back in my disintegrating bubble now, defeated after the latest such foray. I don't know whether and if I will ever be out again.

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Attractiveness is gender-neutral. Of course, depending to the genders involved in the interaction, it may lead to sex, romance, bromance, or any other outcome on a spectrum of friendship and collaboration. But both men and women react with attraction or repulsion to other men and women.

Attractiveness is a composite of character traits and behaviors. But to be deemed attractive, these have to conform to social and cultural mores, prejudices, and preferences. What would be considered attractive in one civilization would be judged off-putting in another.

Language plays a role. Stinginess can also be described as frugality. Eloquence as verbosity. Self-care as vanity. Self-confidence as narcissism.

The context is influential. Peer consensus is crucial: women find more attractive men who are always in the company of other women. The time of day, alcohol consumption, events immediately preceding the encounter all matter.

Surprisingly, body shape and good looks are less crucial and far more variable than they are made out to be by evolutionary biologists. In different parts of the world, opposite body shapes (lanky versus fat, for example) attract and criteria of beauty are disparate.

It seems that the mind plays the biggest role: the brain is indeed the largest sex organ. Intelligence, resourcefulness, optimism, charisma, self assurance, sense of humor, kindness, creativity, generosity are all far more critical than possessing the right kind of body.

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Countess Erszebet Bathory was a breathtakingly beautiful, unusually well-educated woman, married to a descendant of Vlad Dracula. In 1611, she was tried - though, being a noblewoman, not convicted - in Hungary for slaughtering 612 young girls. The true figure may have been 40-100, though the Countess recorded in her diary more than 610 girls & 50 bodies were found in her estate when it was raided.

The Countess was notorious as an inhuman sadist. She once ordered the mouth of a servant sewn. It is rumoured that in her childhood she witnessed a gypsy being sewn into a horse's stomach and left to die.

The girls were not killed outright. They were kept in a dungeon & repeatedly pierced, prodded, pricked, & cut. The Countess may have bitten chunks of flesh off their bodies while alive. She is said to have bathed and showered in their blood in the mistaken belief that she could thus slow down the aging process.

Cases like Barothy's give the lie to the assumption that serial killers are a modern - or even post-modern - phenomenon, a cultural-societal construct, a by-product of urban alienation, Althusserian interpellation, and media glamorization. Serial killers are, indeed, largely made, not born. But they are spawned by every culture & society, molded by the idiosyncrasies of every period as well as by their personal circumstances & genetic makeup.

Still, every crop of serial killers mirrors and reifies the pathologies of the milieu, the depravity of the Zeitgeist, and the malignancies of the Leitkultur. The choice of weapons, the identity and range of the victims, the methodology of murder, the disposal of the bodies, the geography, the sexual perversions and paraphilias - are all informed and inspired by the slayer's environment, upbringing, community, socialization, education, peer group, sexual orientation, religious convictions, and personal narrative. Movies like "Born Killers", "Man Bites Dog", "Copycat", and the Hannibal Lecter series captured this truth.

Serial killers are the quiddity and quintessence of malignant narcissism: https://samvak.tripod.com/serialkillers.html

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"The brain is like a computer and the mind is like its software or a network of neurons like the Internet". How many times have you heard this comparison being made?

The brain (and, by implication, the mind) have been compared to the latest technological innovation in every generation: telegraph, phone exchange, TV, or even to a typewriter!

Such metaphors are not confined to the philosophy of neurology. Architects and mathematicians, for instance, have lately come up with the structural concept of "tensegrity" to explain the phenomenon of life. The tendency of humans to see patterns and structures everywhere (even where there are none) is well documented and probably has its survival value.

Another trend is to discount these metaphors as erroneous, irrelevant, deceptive, and misleading. Understanding the mind is a recursive business, rife with self-reference. The entities or processes to which the brain is compared are also "brain-children", the results of "brain-storming", conceived by "minds". What is a computer, a software application, a communications network if not a (material) representation of cerebral events?

A necessary and sufficient connection surely exists between man-made things, tangible and intangible, and human minds. Even a gas pump has a "mind-correlate". It is also conceivable that representations of the "non-human" parts of the Universe exist in our minds, whether a-priori (not deriving from experience) or a-posteriori (dependent upon experience). This "correlation", "emulation", "simulation", "representation" (in short : close connection) between the "excretions", "output", "spin-offs", "products" of the human mind and the human mind itself - is a key to understanding it.

This claim is an instance of a much broader category of claims: that we can learn about the artist by his art, about a creator by his creation, and generally: about the origin by any of the derivatives, inheritors, successors, products and similes thereof.

Metaphors of the Mind https://samvak.tripod.com/meta.html

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He is stingy, she - profligate. He is a recluse, she is gregarious. He is asexual, she is promiscuous. Glaring incompatibilities in grossly mismatched couples. Why do people trap themselves in long term relationships with their exact negations and polar opposites?

For three reasons:

1. The new inappropriate partner is chosen after a failed relationship precisely because he is the mirror image, the photographic negative of the previous, disastrous choice. Contrast overshadows all other considerations: a sense of relief and safety.

2. The mismatched partner provides an external locus of control and outsourced regulation of traits and behaviors that are perceived as undesirable, a check of unwanted aspects of the personality. In the examples above: the profligate partner delegates money management to her frugal counterpart; the recluse uses his partner's gregariousness to meet people; and the promiscuous husband restrains himself by remaining faithful to his frigid wife.

3. The mismatch and obvious incompatibility put paid to intimacy and usually, in the longer haul, to sex and love. These lacunas and lacks provide the partners with a moral justification to misbehave: cheat on one another, deceive each other, even steal from each other. Socially unacceptable conduct is legitimized. We sympathize with a long suffering intimate partner or spouse and tend to be more lenient in our judgment. People who fear intimacy or loathe will make sure that their primary relationship never has any and strive to lead separate, parallel lives.

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Elon Musk. Stephen Hawking. Even Bill Gates. Artificial Intelligence (AI or, more precisely, AGI) is a threat to the continued existence of the human species and a demon recklessly rubbed out of its digital lamp.

Puerile, sensationalist, and Luddite nonsense ignored - not much is left of such dire warnings. Still, there is a core of truth to some of them.

Sigmund Freud said that we have an uncanny reaction to the inanimate. This is probably because we know that we are nothing but recursive, self aware, introspective, conscious machines. Special machines, no doubt, but machines all the same.

It was precisely to counter this wave of unease, even terror, that Isaac Asimov, the late Sci-fi writer (and scientist) invented the Three Laws of Robotics:

A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
Many have noticed the lack of consistency and, therefore, the inapplicability of these laws when considered together.

First, they are not derived from any coherent worldview or background. To be properly implemented and to avoid their interpretation in a potentially dangerous manner, the robots in which they are embedded must be equipped with reasonably comprehensive models of the physical universe and of human society.

Without such contexts, these laws soon lead to intractable paradoxes (experienced as a nervous breakdown by one of Asimov's robots). Conflicts are ruinous in automata based on recursive functions (Turing machines), as all robots are. Godel pointed at one such self destructive paradox in the "Principia Mathematica", ostensibly a comprehensive and self consistent logical system. It was enough to discredit the whole magnificent edifice constructed by Russel and Whitehead over a decade.

Detailed analysis here: https://samvak.tripod.com/robot.html

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Islam is not merely a religion. It is also a state ideology & a socio-political subversive revolutionary movement. Contrary to all other revolutions, it started in cities and ended empowering the Lumpenproletariat, the outcast, & the underdog. It is all-pervasive & missionary. It permeates every aspect of social cooperation & culture. It is an organizing principle, a narrative, a philosophy, a value system, & a vade mecum. In this it resembles Confucianism &, to some extent, Hinduism. Total ideologies are both prescriptive & proscriptive: by prohibiting certain kinds of activities & types of conduct, they cohere the pent-up energies (“libido”) & narcissistic needs of their adherents & channel these forces towards predetermined goals, both constructive & disruptive (or destructive). Judaism & its offspring, Christianity - though heavily involved in political affairs throughout the ages - have kept their dignified distance from such carnal matters. These are religions of "heaven" as opposed to Islam, a practical, pragmatic, hands-on, ubiquitous, "earthly" faith.

Secular religions - Democratic Liberalism, Communism, Fascism, Nazism, Socialism & other isms - are akin to Islam. They are universal, prescriptive, & total. They provide recipes, rules, & norms regarding every aspect of existence - individual, social, cultural, moral, economic, political, military, & philosophical.

At the end of the Cold War, Democratic Liberalism stood triumphant over the fresh graves of its eradicated ideological opponents (Fukuyama's premature End of History). But one state ideology, one bitter rival, one implacable opponent, one contestant for world domination, one antithesis remained: Islam (Huntington's clash of civilizations). Militant fundamentalist Islam is not a cancerous mutation of "true" Islam, but the purest expression of its nature as an imperialistic religion which demands unmitigated obedience from its followers & regards all infidels as both inferior & as avowed enemies not only of Muslims but of humanity itself.

More: https://samvak.tripod.com/islam.html

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The manic phase of Bipolar I Disorder is often misdiagnosed as a Personality Disorder.

In it, patients exhibit many of the signs and symptoms of certain personality disorders, such as the Narcissistic, Borderline, Histrionic, or even Schizotypal: they are hyperactive, self-centered, lack empathy, and are control freaks. The manic patient is euphoric, delusional, has grandiose fantasies, spins unrealistic schemes, and has frequent rage attacks (is irritable) if her or his wishes and plans are (inevitably) frustrated.

Bipolar Disorder got its name because the mania is followed by - usually protracted - depressive attacks. A similar pattern of mood shifts and dysphorias occurs in many personality disorders such as the Borderline, Narcissistic, Paranoid, and Masochistic. But whereas the bipolar patient sinks into deep self-deprecation, self-devaluation, unbounded pessimism, all-pervasive guilt and anhedonia - patients with personality disorders, even when depressed, never lose the underlying and overarching structure of their primary mental health problem. The narcissist, for instance, never foregoes his narcissism, even when down and blue: his grandiosity, sense of entitlement, haughtiness, and lack of empathy remain intact.

More: https://samvak.tripod.com/personalitydisorders61.html

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Women should be all over me. I am borderline handsome, very entertaining & lively in company, & kinkily creative in the sack, I am told. More often than not, I have money & am well-known.

Yet, all women avoid me like the plague. Many react to my advances with apoplectic hysteria & palpable terror. Others with gleeful derision. If I hit on a woman, she invariably hits back where it hurts.

Women - whether they have met me or not - find me creepy, freakish, & repulsive, often merely based on my reputation as a predatory Asexual (read: deviant) Evil Genius. There is also my murky bio replete with a spell in prison & other unsavory, shadowy titbits.

Women who do meet me in person find my mind & intellect irresistible. They get hooked. But all of them without exception - my girlfriends & wives included! - are unnerved by the fact that I treat them as genderless objects, functional servants, thus defeminizing them. "You are not a man, not fully human, more like an emotionless robot, a weirdo child. You are demanding, selfish, & exploitative. You do not make me feel like a woman", they all exclaim with exasperation before they proceed to cheat on me or break up. I am a childless misogynist & loner misanthrope.

This extreme unease is justified. I treat all women as either an interchangeable captive audience to my rambling monologues (when in my cerebral mode); multi-orificed sex dolls to masturbate on, in, & with (when in a somatic phase); or fodder for my Cold Empathy (my uncanny ability to read people & leverage these insights sadistically to discomfort & depress them thoroughly). Women also feel inferior & inadequate faced with my 190 IQ. They are afraid to be judged & found wanting, to disappoint, to look & sound stupid. The more manipulative among them resent the fact that they have no sexual or other power over me: I checkmate them in their own game every single time.

No wonder that ALL WOMEN find the prospect of being with me or even just fucking me about as attractive as a visit to a deranged dentist.

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A woman wrote this to me in response to my post today: "You say that you are a handsome genius. Hannibal Lecter was a handsome genius, rich and famous, dapper and connoisseur. But he was Hannibal Lecter! If he gets in touch with me, never mind how irresistible I find him, I will quake in my boots!

I was shocked: "Are you seriously comparing me to Hannibal Lecter, the sexually sadistic serial killer???"

She answered: "No, you are far more dangerous! He was a classic body slashing psychopath. You slash our minds! Much worse!" She added: "But he is more intelligent than you." How come? "He never publicized the fact that he is a lethal psychopath. You made documentaries about your sickness."

She continued: "What did you expect? YOU taught us that narcissists are monsters and to stay away from them and to go No Contact! You gave us the language to articulate our fears and disgust. Now you are saying: Game over? Let's start afresh? I have been lying or exaggerating all the time? I am not asexual, I love sex and women? This somersault only makes women fear you and distrust you even more as a deceitful inconsistent manipulator and con artist!

At least have the spine to stay on message and not to whine when you pay the price for decades of telling us how horrible you are as the world's number one psychopathic narcissistic monster. We believe you and this is why we are all avoiding you."

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Why We Abuse Celebrities - Interview granted to Superinteressante Magazine, Brazil.

Q. Fame & TV shows about celebrities usually have a huge audience. This is understandable: people like to see other successful people. But why people like to see celebrities being humiliated?

A. As far as their fans are concerned, celebrities fulfil two emotional functions: they provide a mythical narrative (a story that the fan can follow & identify with) & they function as blank screens onto which the fans project their dreams, hopes, fears, plans, values, & desires (wish fulfilment). The slightest deviation from these prescribed roles provokes enormous rage & makes us want to punish (humiliate) the "deviant" celebrities.

But why?

When the human foibles, vulnerabilities, & frailties of a celebrity are revealed, the fan feels humiliated, "cheated", hopeless, & "empty". To reassert his self-worth, the fan must establish his or her moral superiority over the erring & "sinful" celebrity. The fan must "teach the celebrity a lesson" and show the celebrity "who's boss". It is a primitive defense mechanism: narcissistic grandiosity. It puts the fan on equal footing with the exposed & "naked" celebrity.

Q. This taste for watching a person being humiliated has something to do with the attraction to catastrophes & tragedies?

A. There is always a sadistic pleasure & a morbid fascination in vicarious suffering. Being spared the pains & tribulations others go through makes the observer feel "chosen", secure, & virtuous. The higher celebrities rise, the harder they fall. There is something gratifying in hubris defied & punished.

Q. Do you believe the audience put themselves in the place of the reporter (when he asks something embarrassing to a celebrity) and become in some way revenged?

A. The reporter "represents" the "bloodthirsty" public. Belittling celebrities or watching their comeuppance is the modern equivalent of the gladiator rink. Gossip used to fulfil the same function & now the mass media broadcast live the slaughtering of fallen gods.

Rest of the interview: https://samvak.tripod.com/faq19.html

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Was this painted by a child? Answer: no, it is a masterpiece ("Goldfish" by Matisse, 1912). We are all acquainted with the tales - many apocryphal, some real - of how art critiques, curators, collectors and buyers were fooled into purchasing "works of art" created by monkeys. The animals "painted" by dipping their paws in pigments and running to and fro over empty canvasses.

There are numerous such striking examples of the fluidity of what constitutes art and the dubious expertise of art "professionals". There is no other masterpiece so studied, analyzed and scrutinized as Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Yet, when it was stolen from the Louvre in Paris in 1912, forgers passed 6 replicas as the original, selling them for a fortune. The painting was rediscovered in 1915.

Henri Matisse is revered as the father of Fauvism and of modern painting in general. Yet, one of his more famous tableaux, Le Bateau (The Boat), hung upside down for 2 months in 1961 in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Not one of the art critics, journalists, 116,000 visitors, or curators has noticed it.

Perhaps the most famous case of artistic misjudgment involves Vincent van Gogh whose work has hitherto fetched the highest prices ever paid in auctions. Despite his connections with leading painters, gallery owners, art professors and critics - his brother owned a successful art dealership in Paris - van Gogh sold only one piece while alive: "Red Vineyard at Arles." His brother bought it from him. By the time he died he had painted 750 canvasses and 1600 drawings.

Factoids: https://samvak.tripod.com/factoidsindex.html

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In this Trumpian age of "alternative facts", we need to ask: Are all facts necessarily true? And is the truth always factual? The surprising answers are "no" and "no". Imagine that a mad scientist has succeeded to infuse all the water in the world with a strong hallucinogen. At a given moment, all the people in the world see a huge flying saucer. What can we say about this saucer? Is it true? Is it "real"? There is little doubt that the saucer does not exist. But who is to say so? If this statement is left unsaid – does it mean that it cannot exist and, therefore, is untrue? In this case (of the illusionary flying saucer), the statement that remains unsaid is a true statement – and the statement that is uttered by millions is patently false.

Still, the argument can be made that the flying saucer did exist – though only in the minds of those who drank the contaminated water. What is this form of existence? In which sense does a hallucination "exist"? The psychophysical problem is that no causal relationship can be established between a thought and its real life correlate, the brainwaves that accompany it. Moreover, this leads to infinite regression. If the brainwaves created the thought – who created them, who made them happen? In other words: who is it (perhaps what is it) that thinks?

Back to our opening question: What is the relationship between fact and truth? https://samvak.tripod.com/fact.html

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When I coined the phrases "somatic and cerebral narcissist" in 1995, people naturally assumed that I am referring to mutually exclusive types.

It is a mistake to assume type-constancy. In other words, all narcissists are BOTH cerebral and somatic. In each narcissist, one of the types is dominant. So, the narcissist is either OVERWHELMINGLY cerebral - or DOMINANTLY somatic. But the other type, the recessive (manifested less frequently) type, is there. It is lurking, waiting to erupt.

In the case of the cerebral narcissist, there are several triggers that facilitate the transition from the dominant to the recessive type (to somatic narcissism) and back:

I. A life crisis that causes the narcissist to hit rock bottom and to exhaust all his options. In need of a quick fix of narcissistic supply, the cerebral resorts to sex with its immediate gratification and palpable, measurable outcomes (“conquests”). Sex is also the narcissist’s way of roping in a new intimate partner and of maintaining her presence and loyalty to him;

II. Deficient narcissistic supply: When the cerebral’s source of secondary supply (his intimate partner) “quits” and no longer fulfils her functions as a repository of and a voluble witness to the narcissist’s past triumphs and accomplishments, when she becomes critical of him or disagrees with him, no longer follows his leadership and ignores his commands - the narcissist switches from somatic to cerebral. In the narcissist, narcissistic supply is intimately linked and directly proportional to his libido (and more particularly to his sex drive): the dwindling of the former results in the abolition of the latter and in depression;

III. When the narcissist’s partner refuses to partake in his sexual fantasies and to collaborate in their execution, he experiences it as rejection, the most extreme form of narcissistic injury and he withdraws and becomes cerebral.

Read about my life experience here: https://samvak.tripod.com/journal21.html

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"If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal. If he would strictly follow the teachings of the New, he would be insane" (Robert Ingersoll)

Is ours a post-religious world? Ask any born again Christian fundamentalist, militant Muslim, orthodox Jew, and nationalistic Hindu. Religion is on the rise, not on the wane. Eighteenth century enlightenment is besieged. Atheism, as a creed, is on the defensive.

First, we should get our terminology clear. Atheism is not the same as agnosticism which is not the same as anti-theism.

Atheism is a religion, yet another faith. It is founded on the improvable and unfalsifiable belief (universal negative) that there is no God. Agnosticism is about keeping an open mind: God may or may not exist. There is no convincing case either way. The issue can never be settled. I am an agnostic, not an atheist.

Anti-theism is militant anti-clericalism. Anti-theists regard religion as an unmitigated evil that must be eradicated to make for a better world.

One anti-theist's position: https://samvak.tripod.com/atheism.html

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Life ends with a whimper, not a bang.

Regardless of age, you know that you have reached the last station when you survey the journey and discover ineluctable patterns of self-defeat and self-destruction: no matter how hard you tried, how you varied your behavior, in different periods throughout your life, you kept imploding in identical ways. Your age and experience and environment made no difference. It was you - your essence, your hangups, your blind spots, your personality - that you carried everywhere like a dirty bomb.

The end of the line is a lonely, desolate place. There is no one there but you: no "friends", no wives, no past. It is just you and the stench of decomposition that had become your existence. It is littered with the scavenged corpses and bleached bones of hopes and dreams and plans and schemes. Your skeleton is no longer in the cupboard: you are outed as a failure and a loser, besieged by catapulted poignant memories and the wreckage of dead relationships.

Some people cry. Others ignore the signposts and trudge on, disheartened but defiant, yet others maintain their increasingly more pathetic and pitiful attempts to put up a front of indifference or even success. Contrary to received opinion, you can cheat everyone all the time - even and especially yourself.

Your mind betrays you first: a sense of overwhelming grief for the lost potentials and missed opportunities, for what could have been and now never will be. You stall, like a device singed by a surge of mournful current or bricked by that malicious hacker, your brain. Then your body succumbs: at first in a thousand little ways and then in a furious burst of pernicious, pulverizing energy.

And then the darkness.

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Cold Therapy

Developed by Sam Vaknin, Cold Therapy is based on two premises: (1) That narcissistic disorders are actually forms of complex post-traumatic conditions; and (2) That narcissists are the outcomes of arrested development and attachment dysfunctions. Consequently, Cold Therapy borrows techniques from child psychology and from treatment modalities used to deal with PTSD. It is proving to be effective in the treatment of major depressive episodes as well.

Cold Therapy consists of the re-traumatization of the narcissistic client in a hostile, non-holding environment which resembles the ambience of the original trauma. The adult patient successfully tackles this second round of hurt and thus resolves early childhood conflicts and achieves closure rendering his now maladaptive narcissistic defenses redundant, unnecessary, and obsolete.

Cold Therapy makes use of proprietary techniques such as erasure (suppressing the client’s speech and free expression and gaining clinical information and insights from his reactions to being so stifled). Other techniques include: grandiosity reframing, guided imagery, negative iteration, other-scoring, happiness map, mirroring, escalation, role play, assimilative confabulation, hypervigilant referencing, and re-parenting.

Paper in the Journal of Clinical Review and Case Reports http://www.opastonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/cold-therapy-and-narcissistic-disorders-of-the-self-jcrc-18.pdf

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One of the most important symptoms of pathological narcissism (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is grandiosity. Grandiose fantasies (megalomaniac delusions of grandeur) permeate every aspect of the narcissist's personality. They are the reason that the narcissist feels entitled to special treatment which is typically incommensurate with his real accomplishments. The Grandiosity Gap is the abyss between the narcissist's self-image (as reified by his False Self) and reality.

When Narcissistic Supply is deficient, the narcissist de-compensates and acts out in a variety of ways. Narcissists often experience psychotic micro-episodes during therapy and when they suffer narcissistic injuries in a life crisis. But can the narcissist "go over the edge"? Do narcissists ever become psychotic?

The narrowest definition of psychosis, according to the DSM-IV-TR, is "restricted to delusions or prominent hallucinations, with the hallucinations occurring in the absence of insight into their pathological nature". Granted, the narcissist's hold on reality is tenuous (narcissists sometimes fail the reality test). Admittedly, narcissists often seem to believe in their own confabulations. They are unaware of the pathological nature and origin of their self-delusions and are, thus, technically delusional (though they rarely suffer from hallucinations, disorganised speech, or disorganised or catatonic behaviour). In the strictest sense of the word, narcissists appear to be psychotic.

But, actually, they are not. There is a qualitative difference between benign (though well-entrenched) self-deception or even malignant con-artistry – and "losing it". More about psychotic narcissism here: https://samvak.tripod.com/journal91.html

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Morning coffee. A habit. In a famous experiment, students were asked to take a lemon home and to get used to it. Three days later, they were able to single out "their" lemon from a pile of rather similar ones. They seemed to have bonded. Is this the true meaning of love, bonding, coupling? Do we simply get used to other human beings, pets, or objects?

Habit forming in humans is reflexive. We change ourselves and our environment in order to attain maximum comfort and well being. It is the effort that goes into these adaptive processes that forms a habit. The habit is intended to prevent us from constant experimenting and risk taking. The greater our well being, the better we function and the longer we survive. Habits can be thought of as obsessive-compulsive rituals intended to reduce and fend off anxiety and provide cognitive closure. They also have a pronounced social function and foster bonding, attachment, and group interdependence.

Actually, when we get used to something or to someone – we get used to ourselves. In the object of the habit we see a part of our history, all the time and effort we had put into it. It is an encapsulated version of our acts, intentions, emotions and reactions. It is a mirror reflecting that part in us which formed the habit in the first place. Hence, the feeling of comfort: we really feel comfortable with our own selves through the agency of our habitual objects.

Because of this, we tend to confuse habits with identity. When asked WHO they are, most people resort to communicating their habits. They describe their work, their loved ones, their pets, their affiliations or friendships, their hobbies, their place of residence, their biography, their accomplishments, or their material possessions (Sartre calls this propensity: “bad faith.”) In other words: people refer to their “derivative or secondary identity” rather than their “primary or autonomous identity”, the stable sense of one’s kernel of self and of one’s self-worth. Surely all these externalia and paraphernalia do not constitute identity! Removing them does not change it: https://samvak.tripod.com/habit.html

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Democracy & capitalism failed the average person. They were hijacked by rapacious, condescending, & smug elites to further their own interests at the expense of the masses. Aided by egalitarian & empowering technologies, the masses hit back - most visibly with the implausible Donald Trump.

Trump’s supporters and fans are frustrated. Frustration always leads to aggression (Dollard, 1939). Legitimate grievances against a dysfunctional, corrupt, and compromised polity, a deceptive ethos, an American Dream turned nightmare, a broken system that no longer works for the overwhelming majority and appears to be unfixable lead Trump’s base to feel that they had been betrayed, abandoned, duped, exploited, abused, ignored, disenfranchised, and trampled upon. They are in the throes of dislocation, disorientation, and trauma. Their declining fortunes and obsolete skills render them insignificant and irrelevant, and their lives meaningless. It is hopelessness coupled with impotent helplessness.

Trump’s adulators seek to bypass the system and even to dismantle it altogether – not to reform it. This is the stuff revolutions are made of and the pronouncements of Trump’s cohorts are inadvertently copy-pasted from the texts of the French Revolution, The October Revolution (which led to Bolshevism), and even the Nazi Revolution.

Such conditions often give rise to cults, centered around a narcissistic or psychopathic leader-figurehead. In Trump’s case, the abyss between his life’s circumstances and his followers’s is unbridgeable and yet, they hope that by associating with him, however remotely, some of his glamour and magical, fairytale success will rub off on them. Voting for Trump is like winning the lottery, becoming a part of a juggernaut and of history. It is an intoxicating sensation of empowerment that Trump encourages by telling his voters that they are no longer “average”, they are now, by virtue of following him, “great” & “special”, even if only by proxy.

Read about the psychology and sociology of Trump's supporters: https://samvak.tripod.com/faq19.html

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To say that emotions are cognitions is to say nothing. We understand cognition even less than we understand emotions.

To say that emotions are caused by cognitions or cause cognitions (emotivism) or are part of a motivational process does not answer the question: "What are emotions?". Emotions do cause us to apprehend and perceive things in a certain way and even to act accordingly. But WHAT are emotions?

Granted, there are strong, perhaps necessary, connections between emotions and knowledge and, in this respect, emotions are ways of perceiving the world and interacting with it. Perhaps emotions are even rational strategies of adaptation and survival and not stochastic, isolated inter-psychic events. Perhaps Plato was wrong in saying that emotions conflict with reason and thus obscure the right way to apprehend reality. Perhaps he was right: fears do become phobias, emotions do depend on one's experience and character.

As we have it in psychoanalysis, emotions may be reactions to the unconscious rather than to the world.

Yet, again, Sartre may be right in saying that emotions are a "modus vivendi", the way we "live" the world, our perceptions coupled with our bodily reactions. He wrote: "(we live the world) as though the relations between things were governed not by deterministic processes but by magic". Even a rationally grounded emotion (fear which generates flight from a source of danger) is really a magical transformation (the ersatz elimination of that source). Emotions sometimes mislead. People may perceive the same, analyze the same, evaluate the situation the same, respond along the same vein – and yet have different emotional reactions. It does not seem necessary (even if it were sufficient) to postulate the existence of "preferred" cognitions – those that enjoy an "overcoat" of emotions. Either all cognitions generate emotions, or none does. But, again, WHAT are emotions?

Read how I derive emotions from the fact that we all have BODIES with senses and sensa (sensory input): https://samvak.tripod.com/sense.html

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"My husband is a misunderstood and much envied genius" (really he is an abject failure and loser). "The CIA is spying on us" (why would they waste resources on a couple of sedate third-rate accountants?) "My wife is good-hearted and kind"(a harridan in fact). A delusion is "a false belief based on incorrect inference about external reality that is firmly sustained despite what almost everyone else believes and despite what constitutes incontrovertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary" (DSM IV-TR). Sometimes, the member of a family, especially spouses or lovers, share a delusion and aid and abet each other in sustaining it in a cult-like setting: there is a primary inducer and a suggestible acceptor.

In "shared psychotic disorder" or folie a deux (no longer a diagnosis in the DSM 5), the delusions are persecutory (paranoid), grandiose (narcissistic), or manic ("we are going to make big money soon, so let's splurge now"). The line between steadfast support for your partner and believing in him and shared psychosis is not clear. In many ways, all long-term intimate relationships end up incorporating pronounced delusional elements which are fiercely defended by the couple.

Shared psychoses are also common in other settings involving emotional intensity and stress: business, political activism, ideological movements, even in academe.

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The narcissist's aggression wears many forms. The narcissist suddenly becomes brutally "honest", or bitingly "humorous", or smotheringly "helpful", or sexually "experimental", or socially "reclusive", or behaviourally "different", or find yet another way to express his scathing and repressed hostility. He often labels such thinly disguised aggression: “tough love”. The narcissist's favourite sadistic cocktail is brutal honesty coupled with "helpful advice" and "concern" for the welfare of the person attacked. The narcissist blurts out - often unprovoked - hurtful observations. These statements are invariably couched in a socially impeccable context. Akin to "anger management", the sadistic narcissist also requires "truth management" to teach him how to contain his impulsive and offensive "honesty" and "directness". For instance, "Do you know you have a bad breath? You will be much more popular if you treated it", "You are really too fat, you should take care of yourself, you are not young, you know, who knows what this is doing to your heart", "These clothes do not complement you. Let me give you the name of my tailor...", "You are behaving very strangely lately, I think that talk therapy combined with medication may do wonders", and so on.

The misanthropic and schizoid narcissist at once becomes sociable and friendly when he spots an opportunity to hurt or to avenge. He then resorts to humour - black, thwarted, poignant, biting, sharpened and agonizing. Thinly disguises barbs follow thinly disguised threats cloaked in "jokes" or "humorous anecdotes". Another favourite trick is to harp on the insecurities, fears, weaknesses, and deficiencies of the target of aggression. If married to a jealous spouse, the narcissist emphasizes his newfound promiscuity and need to experiment sexually.

Of course, most narcissists are also plain aggressive, even violent: https://samvak.tripod.com/journal50.html

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There are three types of women: homemakers, backpack adventurers, and luxury cruisers. All women, including career women, belong to one of these three encampments.

The homemaker derives happiness from home and hearth, children and kitchen. Recent studies show that ever more women revert to these traditional roles as a refuge from an increasingly more menacing world. They value stability and intimacy more than success, thrills, and wealth.

The backpack adventurer is itinerant and peripatetic. She dreads stagnation and feels suffocated in familiar settings and with too much intimacy. She travels light and sometimes alone. She is frugal and abstemious. She may choose professions such as war correspondent, diplomat, sales executive, or volunteer in a charity. She answers to no one. She is very curious and cherishes her liberty and autonomy above all else. Many of these women are single or single mothers.

The luxury cruiser loves comfort and opulence. She can be vulgar or have a refined taste. She can run her own business empire or be a serial golddigger. But her happiness consists in the freedom and safety that unlimited dollops of money and what it can buy afford her. She is into brands and status symbols and is very competitive and envious. She climbs the social ladder one bed at a time. She is a huntress and a predator, often s femme fatale. Family, emotions, attachment, and other such trappings pale in significance besides her addiction to sumptuous consumption.

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We believe that the more marked the differences between people, the more pronounced the resultant racism. White hotheads attack black folks. Liberal whites often harbour averse racism (unconscious racist attitudes). But, this is only half the truth. The ugliest manifestations of racism (up to genocide) are reserved to folks who look, act, & talk like us. The more they try to emulate and imitate us, the harder they attempt to belong, the more ferocious our rejection of them.

Freud coined the phrase "narcissism of small differences" in a paper titled "The Taboo of Virginity" that he published in 1917. Referring to earlier work by British anthropologist Ernest Crawley, he said that we reserve our most virulent emotions – aggression, hatred, envy – towards those who resemble us the most. We feel threatened not by the Other with whom we have little in common – but by the "nearly-we", who mirror and reflect us.

The "nearly-he" imperils the narcissist's selfhood & challenges his uniqueness, perfection, & superiority – the fundaments of the narcissist's sense of self-worth. It provokes in him primitive narcissistic defences & leads him to adopt desperate measures to protect, preserve, & restore his balance. I call it the Gulliver Array of Defence Mechanisms.

The very existence of the "nearly-he" constitutes a narcissistic injury. The narcissist feels humiliated, shamed, & embarrassed not to be special after all – and he reacts with envy & aggression towards this source of frustration.

In doing so, he resorts to splitting, projection, & Projective Identification. He attributes to other people personal traits that he dislikes in himself & he forces them to behave in conformity with his expectations. In other words, the narcissist sees in others those parts of himself that he cannot countenance and deny. He forces people around him to become him and to reflect his shameful behaviours, hidden fears, & forbidden wishes.

But how does the narcissist avoid the realisation that what he loudly decries and derides is actually part of him? https://samvak.tripod.com/narcissismsmall.html

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Social media and the devices that they run on are designed to be addictive, as many industry executives have confessed. Addiction is always punctuated by periods of withdrawal and its “cold turkey” excruciating symptoms. The correlation between all manner of addictions and suicide, or lesser self-destructive and reckless acts is well documented.

College freshmen are “overwhelmed” more than ever (41% in 2016 compared to 18% in 1985). But teens also experience performance anxiety when on social media. This is because these are competitive ecosystems where one’s social ranking is objectively determined by quantitative yardsticks, such as the number of “likes” or “friends” – and also publicly available, for all to see and opine on. Diagnosed anxiety among teens shot up 20% since 2007 and one sixth of all case are classified as “severe”. Peer pressure is ego-dystonic and is often expressed as bullying or mobbing or in other forms of aggression (such as black humor or brutal honesty). Such a toxic environment engenders a lot of destructive envy as well.

Studies show that teens nowadays are more insecure than in previous generations. They are especially concerned about their economic future. They are asocial: they prefer surfing to socializing with friends their age. Both dating and sexual activities have declined by more than 50% since 1985. Today’s teens are not used to privacy and, therefore, to intimacy. They are itinerant, peripatetic, and mature slowly (they are 3 years behind on every scale of personal development). Medically, contemporary teens are obese and have body image problems. Many more of them are on mind altering medication or drugs. These are all hallmarks of pathological narcissism. Twenge discovered that MMPI scores evince a fivefold increase in psychopathology in 2007 compared to 1938. Anxiety and depression have shot up sixfold.

Social media is amenable to mass hysteria, shared psychotic disorders (now no longer a diagnosis in the DSM 5), and the emergence of cults, including nihilistic cults, suicide cults, and death cults (such as ISIS which is a child of social media). This Proclivity is aided and abetted by two attendant phenomena: (1) Catastrophising: an end of days presentiment which is enhanced by (2) Unmooring: the profusion of fake news, truthiness, reality TV, and the narcissistic tide of anti-expertise and anti-intellectualism). Studies are unequivocal: beyond a certain level, more screen time leads to reduced levels of happiness, life satisfaction, and self-esteem and to increased manifestations of anxiety and depression. All other off-screen activities had the opposite effects: sports, interpersonal interactions, religious services, consuming legacy print and electronic media, and doing homework.

Social media reflect our values: we prefer efficiency to quality or quiddity. Ours is a quantitative world. But some things do not lend themselves to speed or quantity: family life, romance, or friendships, for example. Modern technology was invented by schizoids: asocial, asexual, somewhat autistic recluses. Businessmen then took over from the engineers and stripped the outcome of anything that stood in the way of monetizing the maximum number of eyeballs. The result is a psychogenic chimera.

The ever-diminishing size of screens (from the cinema screen to the smartwatch) tracked the atomization of our ever more anomic and narcissistic societies. In his book “Suicide”, Emile Durkheim predicted that suicide rates in anomic societies will tend to increase. Since 2010, suicide among teens skyrocketed by 31% and became the leading cause of death among people younger than 24.

Sources listed here: https://samvak.tripod.com/suicide.html

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In the 1990s, consumerism reached a breaking point: the market for consumer goods was saturated. Everyone had everything, including the middle classes in emerging economies such as India and China.

Major manufacturers and service providers came up with three strategies:

1. Incorporating obsolescence: lowering quality control and frequently changing standards so as to render devices and machines unusable. Coming up with incremental spurious "improvements" in consecutive must-have versions was a part of this strategy.

2. Fostering malignant individualism (narcissism): designing products for individual rather than multiuser utility and modifying advertising and marketing messages to reflect this new emphasis on social atomization ("you" or "I", instead of "we"). Of course, 10 individuals consume much more separately than the same 10 individuals in a collective and are far more wasteful and fad-prone.

3. Engendering addiction: products - especially digital - were designed so as to create and then maintain addictive habits, practices, and state of mind. Addiction guarantees repeated consumption.

Now the consumer industries are introducing these three toxic and fraudulent strategies in new, virgin territories such as Africa and Southeast Asia.

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Finnish TV (YLE) documentary with Risto (filmmaker) and Antti (cameraman and de facto director). We started seated on the stairs facing the picturesque river quay. I talked for 6 straight hours, even throughout the delicious - and filmed - lunch. I am a narcissist, what can you do? 😩

We discussed on camera our narcissistic culture and narcissistic trends in our societies: from social media through atomization and malignant individualism, interpersonal relationships, and even conspicuous consumption. Very intelligent and refreshing experience. My 15th documentary, but the most agreeable so far.

Lidija, my long-suffering wife (@reframingtheself ) joined us midstream and gave insightful answers to difficult questions. We had a huge fight in the middle of it all (as we did in previous documentaries) and we made up after I apologized for my abrupt aggression (as we always do in documentaries). We all got a bit tipsy and it was great fun all around.

I can't to wait to meet Richard Grannon (@richard_grannon) next week. Lidija is away on a well-deserved solo vacation, so there will be no one to shield Richard from my stream of consciousness. I pity him, but, hey, I need an audience!
😤 Plus, I keep reminding myself that I don't have empathy.

Will post photos of me and what is left of Richard in this space. Stay tuned.

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Marriages are never damaged by a love affair. Love affairs are frequently damaged by marriages.

For a love affair to have occurred, the marriage must have already been in serious trouble. The affair, the act of cheating, only brings the rot to light.

So, a love affair rarely harms a marriage more than it is already hurting.

But marriages do put an end to love affairs. Surprisingly few cheaters actually divorce. When forced to choose between their lover and their spouse, the overwhelming majority choose the spouse, regardless of how dysfunctional, dead, and acrimonious the marriage is.

Moreover: even on the rare occasions that an affair leads to a divorce, it is even rarer for the illicit liaison to survive the divorce. The erstwhile paramours drift apart and find new partners, untainted by memories of deceit and heartbreak.

So: extramarital dalliances are nothing but symptoms of an already dying marriage. But even a dying marriage has the power to decimate the most exciting and happy dalliance.

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Men come in a bewildering array of shapes, sizes, and colors. Yet, they relate to women in one of four ways:

1. The Idealizer-Mystifier

Regards women as mythical, mystical, magical creatures, endowed with supernatural powers to mother, mend hearts and break them. These men, when rebuffed, become stalkers and erotomaniacs.

2. The Woman Lover

Loves and adores everything feminine. Truly interested in women as persons: their lives, interests, emotions, and thoughts. Considers women exotic and alluring but not alien and irresistible.

3. The Woman Hater (misogynist)

Regards all women as rapacious, merciless, dangerous, and narcissistic predators, devoid of true emotions and loyalties. Fears women and loathes them or holds them in unmitigated contempt. All women are for sale to the highest bidder (whores) and best avoided or enslaved as a precautionary measure.

4. The User

Considers women as mere utilitarian functions: uses their bodies to masturbate with; demands and expects to be worshipped by them; absconds with their money; leverages their business contacts. Their role in his life is to serve obediently and unthinkingly in a variety of roles: sex slave, cook, maid, punching beg, witness to glorious accomplishment, acolyte, student.

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Look at the photo. What do you see? A triangle. Ten fingers. If your mind is not in the gutter, these would be your first associations. Geometrical and mathematical.

Mathematics is the most efficient language ever invented. Why?

1. It is a universal, portable, immediately accessible language that requires no translation. This may be because mathematics somehow relates to a-priori structures in the human mind.

2. It provides high information density, akin to stenography. Just a few symbols arranged in formulas and equations account for a wealth of experiences and encapsulate numerous observations. This is because mathematics is not confined to describing what is, or what is necessarily so - it also limns what is possible, or provable.

3. Mathematics deals with patterns and laws. It can, therefore, yield predictions. Mathematics deals with forms and structures: some of these are in the material world, others merely in the mind of the mathematician.

4. Mathematics is a flexible, "open-source", responsive, and expandable language. Consider, for instance, how the introduction of the concept of the infinite and of infinite numbers was accommodated with relative ease despite the controversy and the threat this posed to the very foundations of traditional mathematics - or how mathematics ably progressed to deal with fuzziness, chaos, fractals, and uncertainty.

5. Despite its aforementioned transigence, mathematics is invariant. A mathematical advance, regardless of how arcane or revolutionary, is instantly recognizable as such and can be flawlessly incorporated in the extant body of knowledge. Thus, the fluidity of mathematics does not come at the expense of its coherence and nature.

6. There is a widespread that mathematics is certain because it deals with a-priori knowledge & necessary truths and because it is aesthetic and parsimonious (like the mind of the Creator, some say). 7. Finally, mathematics is useful: it works. It underlies modern science and technology unerringly and unfailingly. In time, all branches of mathematics, however obscure, prove to possess practical applications.

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Whenever I am mean and nasty (which is often), someone writes with an air of knowing sympathy: "What did you expect? He is a narcissist!" This nonsensical type of commentary just serves to show to what extent the field has been corrupted by a tsunami of trashy misinformation promulgated by self-styled "narcissistic abuse experts" flying by the seat of their badly frayed pants.

I am nasty and mean not because I am a narcissist - but because I am a sadist. I enjoy it orgasmically when I make other people squirm and writhe in extreme discomfort bordering on agony. I am brutally, unflinchingly honest and I give my interlocutors no hope and no quarter. Words are my favoured torture implements. I hone them religiously.

This is also why I am into nonviolent BDSM (sado-maso) and group sex: I derive sexual gratification from mildly hurting my intimate partner (ritualistically) and from humiliating and objectifying her or watching her being violated by others.

By and large, narcissists are not sadists (though, of course, some narcissists are sadists and some sadists are narcissists). They do not derive pleasure from the pain and discomfiture that they cause others. They do not attempt to torture or hurt anyone for the sake of doing so. They are goal-oriented. They seek narcissistic supply. Whoever gets in the way and frustrates or obstructs them in this sempiternal quest gets trampled on: not with glee or joy - but with rage or, more likely, absentmindedly and offhandedly, as an afterthought.

Learn more about the intricate dance between narcissism and sadism here: https://samvak.tripod.com/faq56.html

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Shoreditch, London, October 1, Sam Vaknin. Funzing Talk.

Details and BUY YOUR TICKET (£12) here: https://bit.ly/2BXBtYR

Vain, egotistic & self-obsessed, have you ever felt like someone in your life or perhaps even yourself shows these characteristics a little too often to ignore? Join Sam Vaknin, a narcissist and professor of psychology who dedicated his life to understanding and educating people on this personality
disorder.

What is pathological narcissism? Is it a mental health disorder - or an adaptation to our anomic, sick, and, yes, narcissistic civilization? Where is the demarcation between assertiveness, self-confidence, and self-esteem - and grandiose fantasies? Is leadership enhanced by narcissism - or diminished by it? Should we encourage our children to be more narcissistic? How are narcissists made? Is early childhood abuse in the family really the precursor or is the aetiology far more complex and involves an interplay with peers, role models, and the prevailing culture? I coined the phrase "narcissistic abuse" in 1995. But what does it mean in an age when narcissism is no longer a diagnosis but a pejorative? Are the victims somehow complicit in their own maltreatment? Is codependence just another form of pernicious malignant narcissism?

Details and BUY YOUR TICKET (£12) here: https://bit.ly/2BXBtYR

FULL ADDRESS: https://uk.funzing.com/funz/funzing-talks-do-you-have-a-narcissist-in-your-life-19205

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The Beauty and the Beast. In the photo, @richard_grannon Richard had just emerged from 11 hours of conversations with me, over two days (plus another 8 hours in 2 dinners). He is making a valiant effort to smile but he is visibly shaken, poor thing (just kidding). I always knew that Richard had a versatile, lively intellect. But I was positively surprised by his breadth of interests and erudition. If there is a topic he did not touch upon, I have never heard of it.

Of course narcissism and narcissistic abuse featured dominantly. But also highly personal matters: my early child abuse, for example, or why the MILLIONS of people whose lives I helped save or at least change for the better with my pioneering and much copied work since 1995 - why such people universally hate, fear, and loathe me rather then being grateful if not love me for my contributions. I have made all my work, all my articles, books, videos, tips and advice available FREE online since 1997. No one else in the field has been 1% as generous as me.

But we also discussed Einstein and God (in this order), physics, the Devil, Catholicism, the end of sex, teenagers, Marx, Stalin, and lots of Hitler and Donald Trump. Phew!

Richard is so highly intelligent and endowed with such a zany, wry, and black sense of humor that I already miss him badly. He is a good man struggling to do good in a world that has decidedly turned to evil. And isn't this what each and every one of us should aspire to do?______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Healthy narcissism and self-love are the foundations of mental health: proper regulation of a sense of self-worth and the maintenance of realistic and evidence-based self-esteem and self-confidence.

What are the differences between self-love and pathological narcissism and how do they affect the capacity to love others? (a) In the ability to tell reality from fantasy, and (b) in the ability to empathise and, indeed, to fully and maturely love others. The narcissist does not love himself: he has very little True Self to love.

The narcissist loves an image which he projects onto others who reflect it to him: the False Self. This process reassures the narcissist of both the objective existence of his False Self and of the boundaries of his Ego. It blurs all distinctions between reality and fantasy.

The False Self leads to false assumptions and to a contorted personal narrative, to a false worldview, and to a grandiose, inflated sense of being. The latter is rarely grounded in real achievements or merit. The narcissist's feeling of entitlement is all-pervasive, demanding and aggressive. It easily deteriorates into open verbal, psychological and physical abuse of others.

Self-love is a precondition for the experience and expression of mature love. One cannot truly love someone else if one does not first love one's True Self. If we had never loved ourselves – we had never experienced unconditional love and, therefore, we do not know how to love.

If we keep living in a world of fantasy – how could we notice the very real people around us who ask for our love and who deserve it? The narcissist wants to love. In his rare moments of self-awareness, he feels ego-dystonic (unhappy with his situation and with his relationships with others). This is his predicament: he is sentenced to isolation precisely because his need of other people is so great and he resent his dependence on them for narcissistic supply.

More: https://samvak.tripod.com/faq23.html

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Unlike psychopaths and like borderlines, narcissists suffer from extreme abandonment anxiety. In most narcissists it is unconscious. It is channeled via various self-defeating and reckless behaviors, deteriorating impulse control, and acting out.

The narcissist is terrified of losing his source of secondary narcissistic supply, usually his spouse. One of her roles is to serve as his external memory: to record, recall, and replay his moments of glory ("You looked so great up there on the podium last year!"). She also buttresses the narcissist's grandiosity by colluding with him in a shared psychosis ("You are a misunderstood and much envied genius, honey"). Her personality perfectly matches his pathologies and resonates with them: if he is a masochist, she hurts him; if he is sadistic, she submits; if he is a paranoid, she concurs with his persecutory delusions; if he is power-crazed, she envies him and competes with him - only to succumb time and again.

To allay his anxiety over the impending and ineluctable loss of the relationship, the narcissist pushes his intimate partner away: "preemptive abandonment". This counterintuitive behavior fulfills two psychodynamic needs: 1. To regain control and mastery of the relationship ("She did not abandon me! It is I who discarded her!") and 2.To resolve the cognitive dissonance of being so utterly dependent on an inferior person and thus exposed to possible hurt and rejection: "I didn't really love her or need her - so I got rid of her!"

Having rejected and humiliated his partner (counterdependence), the narcissist is mortified by the possible consequences of his actions. He tries to make amends, compensate, hoover, and reacquire his better half. He suddenly becomes romantic or sexual or generous or kindly or caring or helpful or supportive or protective. This is especially discernible when the injured partner is in bad mental and physical shape or in need of assistance. It is the infamous "approach-avoidance repetition compulsion"

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Deepfakes are videos that appear to be completely authentic but are actually forgeries. The heads of celebrities are superimposed & juxtaposed into the bodies of porn stars amidst the scintillating action.

This raises the question: what is a copy and what is the original? This conundrum was first raised in 1935 in a seminal, groundbreaking tome: "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" by Walter Benjamin.

Consider these mindbenders:

1. A brilliant geek invents a 3D printer which replicates flawlessly the Mona Lisa. Leonardo’s masterpiece and the copy spewed out by the machine are indistinguishable even under an electron microscope: they cannot be told apart. In which sense, therefore, is the artist’s Mona Lisa superior to or different from its identical clone?

2. An ancient letter unearthed in the archives of the Church in France proves beyond any doubt that the Mona Lisa was not painted by Leonardo da Vinci, but by an obscure apprentice of his. The painting’s value drops overnight even though it has undergone no physical or chemical transformation.

3. A world-renowned photographer uses the latest in digital photography equipment to shoot the Mona Lisa in a thought-provoking, fresh manner. The resulting oeuvre becomes a sensation overnight. He then proceeds to attach the photo to 15,000 e-mail messages and sends them to his entire voluminous addressbook. In which sense is the photo that he had shot more worthwhile than its numerous digital replicas?

Intuitively, we feel that Leonardo’s Mona Lisa is not the same as its clones and that its monetary value and intrinsic worth depend crucially on its provenance: its authorship, the historical background, and its proven “biography.” The concepts of originality and authenticity, therefore, have little to do with the work of art itself and everything to do with its context and pedigree.

More: https://samvak.tripod.com/context.html

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No, it is not what you think. This is not an unusually delicate vagina. These are vocal cords.

We often see faces where there are none ( pareidolia ), discern spurious patterns and rules, hear hidden messages in vinyl records played backwards (backmasking), and, since time immemorial encounter shadow persons, spirits, fairies, demons, and ghosts.

Why do we discern forms, patterns, and order everywhere? Because this ability to reorganize our perceptions of reality into predictable moulds and sequences bestows on us untold evolutionary advantages and has an immense survival value. Consequently, we compulsively read configurations and patterns even onto completely random sets of data. The way we perceive holes and other immaterial disruptions as structured entities attests to our “addiction to order and regularity” even where there is only nothing and nothingness.

Why do we all seem to spot essentially the same forms, patterns, and evolving order? Simply because we are possessed of largely identical hardware and software: wetware, our brains. We function well on the basis of these shared perceptions. Even so, the limitations of intersubjectivity mean that we can never prove that we experience the world in the same way: observers may perceive the colour red or the sensation of pain identically or differently. We simply don’t know.

Moreover: beings equipped with other types of processing units, or even different eyes (with a much faster or slower blink rate, or an extended exposure to light), or creatures which use other segments of the electromagnetic spectrum for information gathering are bound to descry the world entirely differently with none of the forms, patterns, and order that we impose on it.

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Now, in view of my previous Instagram post, I am dubbed a "sexual pervert". Only one problem: there is no such thing as "perverse" sexuality. Victorian middle-class values aside, if the sexual behavior harms no one (including oneself) and is consensual (between consenting adults), then it is considered by psychologists and psychiatrists alike to be utterly both healthy and normal.

 

Homosexuality, bisexuality, BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadomasochism), cross-dressing, water sports (golden showers), role playing and fantasy, and group sex or threesomes - all these are nowhere to be found in the two bibles of psychiatry: DSM 5 and ICD 11. I have done them all and they have enriched my sex life and rendered it a pleasurable pursuit and an adventure. Looking forward to more one day.

 

So, next time someone tells you that you or your sexuality are perverse - tell him to get rid of his hangups and inhibitions with the help of a good sex therapist, like my friend, Marty Klein.

 

Ironically, taken to extreme, such a judgmental, puritanical, and restrictive-normative attitude towards sex IS a sign of mental health problems, IS in the DSM, and is the hallmark of backward societies and arrested personality development or sick upbringing ("some sex is dirty"), or, commonly, both.

 

What about pedophilia? No consenting adults. Coprophagia? Medically dangerous. But even these are not "perversions". They are paraphilias.

 

More: https://samvak.tripod.com/pedophilia.html

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If you are afraid of intimacy you will choose a partner who is equally afraid of intimacy. We all seek love or at least companionship, but some people dread them even as they look for them (ambivalence). The intimacy-averse members of a dyad will both make sure to travel alone a lot, keep exhaustingly busy, be absent from home, withhold sex or abstain from it, cheat on their mates (have emotional and sexual affairs with others), and so on. But, most importantly, they abuse and sadistically torment each other.

Why the compelling need to hurt the partner?

The obvious answer is that abuse and intimacy are mutually exclusive. In an abusive relationship, there is little risk of intimacy and lots of avoidance. But there are two additional reasons:

1. People with fear of intimacy have intense and overpowering emotions of shame and guilt. They choose abusers as their partners because being abused is their comfort zone and affirms their self-perception as bad and worthless, whorish, dumb, and deserving of punishment. They force their mates to abuse them (projective and introjective identification).

2. Abuse legitimizes and justifies cheating, adultery, infidelity, and extramarital dalliances ("he is abusing me, so he deserves what I am doing to him"). Sex addicts, adrenaline junkies (like psychopaths), labile people with emotional dysregulation (borderline and histrionic personality disorder), and somatic narcissists are all in need of sexual novelty and constant conquests to regulate and stabilize their sense of self-worth, self-confidence, and self-esteem.

So, these kinds of partners need abuse as an excuse: "Of course I am promiscuous and am cheating on my partner all the time with many others! It is all his fault: he is abusing, rejecting, mistreating, and humiliating me! He deserves his punishment - and I need to feel desired, wanted, loved, and cared for again!"

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The One and Only Richard Grannon (aka in police circles as Sport-tanned Live Couch or Spartan Life Coach or just the 13:48 coach to Liverpool) has just committed the suicidal act of releasing the first of several conversations we have had in Skopje on his furtive and illicit visit here.

This interview deals with the death of capitalism, was communism a form of feudalism, and why I think that humanity is reverting to the Middle Ages and to narcissism in more than one way.

I apologize for inflicting my face on you for more than an hour - but it is the only one I have. I tried to poison Richard's coffee early on in order to prevent exactly this kind of travesty, but imbibing the purloined libation only seemed to invigorate him. There I go again with my convoluted vocabulary whose aim is not to communicate - but to shame and humiliate you into submission to my vastly superior intellect.

Anyhoo, have fun, laddies and lasses. Grannon is a ladykiller (in more ways than you care to know), but he is also a stimulating, inordinately intelligent, and incredibly erudite interlocutor.

He is so much of a competition that I am considering to embark on an underhanded smear campaign against him and also to serve him next time with the poison alone, without the coffee. It is not fair that he got all the intelligence, sense of humor, and good looks and all I got was old age and the ineluctable eyeglasses that go with it (the hearing aid I left at home which explains why my responses have nothing to do with Richard's questions). In the meantime, get to work, will you? I need me a dose of narcissistic supply!

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Her throat appears to be slit, blood oozes over her naked body, and her hands are raised in a clearly defensive posture. She is shielding her eyes from the horror. I find this painting by @navalny_inmate revolting and without one redeeming feature. But there are those who see in it an aesthetic, or even find it arousing ("it is like she is wearing a delicate silk lingerie or lace"). Her nakedness is the ultimate vulnerability and predators would deem it irresistible. Her breasts are exquisite as are her fingers and her tongue is extended erotically.

Aesthetic judgment is never objective, but idiosyncratic: the beholder's specific psychology is critical. Aesthetic values sound strikingly like moral ones and both resemble, structurally, the laws of nature. We say that beauty is "right" (symmetric, etc.), that we "ought to" maximize beauty & this leads to the right action. Replace "beauty" with "good" in any aesthetic statement & one gets a moral statement. Moral, natural, aesthetic, & hedonistic statements are all mutually convertible. Moreover, an aesthetic experience often leads to moral action.

Works of art and beauty evoke in us associations with nature (aesthetic resonance): white marble is strongly evocative of the naked human form, for instance. The resonance is both qualitative and pertains to intensive aesthetic properties, such as texture, color, “warmth”, or shape and quantitative (as when aesthetic pieces refer to and enhance each other and yield an emergent whole.) This deeply-felt resonance may be at the heart of aesthetics’ affinity with morality, especially with the “natural law”. Nature is beautiful - symmetric, elegant, and parsimonious. Aesthetics is the bridge between the functional or correct "good" and "right" - and the hedonistic "good" and "right". Aesthetics is the first order of the interaction between the WORLD and the MIND. Here, choice is very limited. It is not possible to "choose" something to be beautiful. It is either beautiful or it is not (regardless of the objective or subjective source of the aesthetic judgement).

More https://samvak.tripod.com/ethics.html

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The second conversation between Richard Grannon and myself is available on both our YouTube channels. I initiated the field of narcissistic abuse 22 years ago and recently I am witnessing three very disturbing, even terrifying trends:

1. Women have become at least as narcissistic as men if not more so. Few women are malignant and psychopathic: this is still the preserve of men. But in terms of raging grandiosity, hypervigilance, referential ideation, delusional fantasies, impulsive behavior, confabulating, and lack of empathy - women now best men. The DSM and textbooks require some major revisions and theories about the genetic or hormonal etiology of pathological narcissism. Narcissism is evidently a sociocultural and interpersonal impairment, though, of course it reflects highly deleterious psychodynamics and a detrimental childhood and personal history.

2. More and more narcissists are becoming psychopathic or antisocial. They leverage their cold empathy more sinisterly, are goal-oriented, malignantly grandiose, and even crimininalized. I explore this doomsday scenario in depth in my part of the aforementioned second conversation.

3. Until about 10 years ago, people - even narcissists - had role models they sought to learn from and emulate and ideals which they aspired to. Today, everyone - never mind how unintelligent, ignorant, or unaccomplished - claim superiority or at least equality to everyone else. Armed with egalitarian equal access technology like social media, everyone virulently detest and seek to destroy or reduce to their level their betters and that which they cannot attain or equal. Pathological envy had fully substituted for learning and self-improvement. Experts, scholars, and intellectuals are scorned, derided, and threatened.

My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/samvaknin

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This is the Jewish New Year, a time for introspection and reflection.


So, What Does it Feel Like to Be a Narcissist?

The Toxic
waste of bottled anger
venomized.
Life belly up.
The reeds.
The wind is hissing
death
downstream,
a river holds
its vapour breath
and leaves black lips
of tar and fish
a bloated shore.

Strolling in the boneyard of my life:
bleached dreams,
mementoed ossuary of my insights.

On flaking fenceposts, impaled the child that I had been.

Peering from desiccated sockets, the Plague that’s me:
dust-irrigated, arid tombstones,
a being eclipsed.


Stage 1, receding, jettisoned, stage 2, exiled velocity, stage 3, stage 3 ...
The armoured carapace.
A-tremored.

In glinted envelope, pulsating, rarefied,
A fiery launch that crumbles into
velvet silence.
No comm.
On impact, just a
star rush,
the pullulating milky veins,
expired, crater-ridden scars.
"What's in your call sign? Freedom? Friendship? Faith?"
None, I think. I am over, out,
an iron shell,
tons in a matchbox,
frenetic revolutions,
ray bursts,
the stellar remnant
of collapse.

Attend my woods,
part shadow, part man that
I have been.

The textured leaves.

More poems that I wrote: https://samvak.tripod.com/contents.html

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Death threats have been flooding my email inbox, mobile phones, & social media since last night, when Richard released the third segment in our interminable ramblings. It is bound to get much worse as I discuss God & his love-hate relationship with the Devil.

The brouhaha is about my SARCASTIC opening statement that had I been a German worried about the purported "Muslim invasion" of my civilization, I would have preferred Adolf Hitler to Angela Merkel because at least I could rest assured that he will do away with 6 million Muslims in newly opened - or reopened - concentration camps.

Of course I meant to DISPARAGE such sick sentiments among the alt-right, white supremacy, white rights, & more rabid immigrant circles in Europe. Immigration is what kept the West alive & vibrant throughout the centuries, both economically & culturally.

Still, comparisons between European intolerance of the Jews in the 20th century & European rejection of the Muslims nowadays are spurious.

First: while Muslims had surely contributed substantially to the emergence of European medieval culture, they had nothing to do with the ethos and philosophy of modern liberal-democracy, with current scientific and technological achievements, and with modern culture, both high- and low-brow. The Jews, by comparison, have been founders of the modern world as we know it today. Muslims are true aliens to European civilization while the Jews are its fountainhead and mainspring.

Second: Nazism amounted to a resounding and brutal rejection of the values of the Enlightenment and of liberalism as reified by the Jews. Similarly, Muslim hostility towards Judaism has early roots and is manifest in numerous parts of the Qur’an and Hadith. As Jews increasingly came to symbolize modernity, Muslims, both moderate and fundamentalist, came to abhor the Jews. The establishment of the State of Israel and the Jewish prominence in the world’s new superpower, the USA, only cemented these negative and sometimes murderous attitudes.

More: https://samvak.tripod.com/europemuslims.html

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The Eye and the Storm - The Photography of Tomislav Georgiev

Tom Georgiev shot me. Not literally, of course, yet, with a weapon as formidable as any gun: his camera.

The photographer's worst enemy is his ego. A good photographer needs to learn to step aside, fade, as it were, and let the confluences of imagery and circumstance do the talking through his lens. It, therefore, impressed me that Tom was willing - eager, even - to suspend his preconceptions and consider some of my ideas for locations and staging.

Tom was wide open to me, as his subject, and to the world. Throughout our session, with amazing panache and lightning speed, he incorporated into his work elements from kaleidoscopic street scenes: overpasses, railway stations, cars, peeling posters, glazed windowpanes, rickety, abandoned furniture, and even a donkey made it into his photos. He captured the essence of all these objects - their uniqueness - as well as their interconnectedness. He leveraged these instant, serendipitous, and fortuitous assets and molded them into artifacts and art pieces.

Indeed, this is Tom's forte: his ability to use angles, designs, height differentials, gradients - the shifting geometries offered by his (mostly urban) locales - to highlight and point out the quiddity of his topic and subject matter. By combining the mundane (e.g., objects such as bicycles) with the abstract, the human with the mechanic, the emotive with the geometrical, Tom succeeds to convey irony without malice, insight devoid of cynicism, sad love without bathos. He is a poet that knowingly subjects himself to the rigorous discipline of the scientist.

Confronted with Tom's photos, I am always left breathless by their implied audacity and deep penetration.

More about Tom and his work: https://samvak.tripod.com/narcissismphotos.html

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The Supernova System: Explode Your Sales is a revolutionary approach to sales, marketing and advertising developed by Sam Vaknin and based on decades of studies and experiments in Behavioral Economics. The first seminar worldwide will take place at the end of November 2018 in Macedonia, sponsored by the Association of Managers of Macedonia (AMM). It will be followed by seminars in 6 other countries and then a global launch.

Over the past 20 years, the discipline of Economics has been revolutionized. We discovered that people make economic and financial decisions - including and especially purchasing decisions - based on emotions, anxieties, fears, insecurities, fantasies, cognitive fallacies and biases, and total irrationality.
This means that everything we thought we knew about sales, marketing, and advertising is largely wrong!

In this seminar, you will discover the secrets that behavioral economists are sharing only within the walls of academe: Dozens of experiments with mind-boggling results; How to use the new information on decision-making processes to explode your sales; How to foster addictive loyalty and repeat sales in your clients based on new discoveries regarding the mind of Homo economicus; How to design your sales pitch, marketing message, advertising, and routines to yield maximum outcomes; How to convert every interaction into an evidence-based sales encounter: a job interview, a marriage proposal, a product or a service on offer, a school assignment, soliciting an investment, managing your staff. The same psychological rules apply. Memorize these rules and rule your market, your business, your workplace - and your life!!!

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Was 9-11 an inside job? I interviewed the sanest conspiracy theorist I could find. You can read the entire interview here: https://samvak.tripod.com/911.html

In 1983, I was an up and coming young Vice-President in a closely-held and secretive Jewish family multi-billion USD group of companies. I was transferred to New-York and given a corner office on a high floor in one of the Twin Towers. I hated the glass-encased building: it was ugly, massive, impersonal, badly maintained, and it swayed with the winds. I asked to be reassigned to our Park Avenue outfit and my wish was granted.

Fast forward 18 years. On September 11, 2001 I entertained a couple of house guests, senior journalists from Scandinavia. I remember watching in horror and disbelief the unfolding drama, as the United States was being subjected to multiple deadly attacks on-screen. I turned to the international affairs editor of a major Danish paper and told her "This could not have been done by al-Qaida." I am an Israeli and, as such, I have a fair "sixth sense" as to the capabilities of terrorists and their potential reach.

Enter David Ray Griffin. I was introduced to him by a mutual acquaintance. He is emeritus professor of philosophy of religion and theology at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University. He has published over 30 books, including eight about 9/11, the best known of which is “The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé.” On the face of it, his credentials with regards to intelligence analysis are hardly relevant, let alone impressive. But, to underestimate him would be a grave error. Being a philosopher, he is highly trained and utterly qualified to assess the credibility of data; the validity and consistency of theories (including conspiracy theories); and the rationality and logic of hypotheses. These qualifications made him arguably the most visible and senior member of what came to be known as the 9/11 Truth Movement.

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Russia protests against increases in the pension age turn ugly. The government is right to increase the age of retirement: the current model is unsustainable and with nary a parallel in the world. But free speech is suppressed brutally in this vast country , misgoverned by a hopelessly corrupt, unintelligent and thuggish kleptocracy. Russia always veered between anarchic ochlocracy and murderous authoritarianism.

Still, democracy is not the rule of the people. Democracy is government by periodically vetted representatives of the people. Democracy is not tantamount to a continuous expression of the popular will as it pertains to a range of issues. Functioning and fair democracy is representative and not participatory. Participatory "people power" is mob rule (ochlocracy), not democracy. Alas, while participatory democracy often leads to the elevation to power of demagogues and dictators, representative democracy invariably mutates into oligarchy and plutocracy. It takes a lot of money (“campaign finance”) to get elected and this fact of political survival forces politicians, up for sempiternal re-election, to collude with the rich in a venal quid-pro-quo.

Granted, "people power" is often required in order to establish democracy where it is unprecedented. Revolutions - velvet, rose, and orange - recently introduced democracy in Eastern Europe, for instance. People power - mass street demonstrations - toppled obnoxious dictatorships from Iran to the Philippines and from Peru to Indonesia.

But once the institutions of democracy are in place and more or less functional, the people can and must rest. They should let their chosen delegates do the job they were elected to do. And they must hold their emissaries responsible and accountable in fair and free ballots once every two or four or five years.

Democracy and the rule of law are bulwarks against "the tyranny of the mighty (the privileged elites)". But, they should not yield a "dictatorship of the weak".

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[IMAGES] Swap to the left to see 2nd photo.


Richard Grannon released yesterday a segment of our interview where I discuss in details the horrific physical and psychologic abuse I had suffered as a child. You can watch it on his channel and on mine.

Here are photos of my parents and little me, just before I turned into what I am today.

My childhood in the section about me here: https://samvak.tripod.com/archive01.html

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Screens are metaphors and reflections of the isolation and atomization in our increasingly more anomic societies.

The cinema screen fostered a communal, shared experience of thousands (the movie), replete with extracurricular social interactions. It was superseded by television, the PC, and the smartphone whose diminishing screens forced us apart and fractured, fragmented, and individualized our experience of the world.

Screens have been with us for centuries now: paintings are screens and so are windows. Yet, the very nature of screens has undergone a revolutionary transformation in the last decade or so. All the screens that preceded the PDA’s (Personal Digital Assistant) and the smartphone’s were inclusive of reality, they were AND screens: when you watched them you could not avoid (“screen out”) data emanating from your physical environment. “Screen-AND-reality” was the prevalent modus operandi.

Consider the cinema, the television, and the personal computer (PC): even when entangled in the flow of information provided by these machines, you were still fully exposed to and largely aware of your surroundings. The screens of the past were one step removed: there was always a considerable physical distance between user and device and the field of vision extended to encompass copious peripheral input.

Now consider the iPhone or the digital camera: their screens, though tiny, monopolize the field of vision and exclude the world by design. The physical distance between retina and screen has shrunk to the point of vanishing. Google glasses and 3-D television with its specialty eyeglasses and total immersion are merely the culmination of this trend: the utter removal of reality from the viewer’s experience. Modern screens are, therefore, OR screens: you either watch the screen OR observe reality. You cannot do both.

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Can a man interact with a woman without invoking sex? If he is not attracted to the woman or if he had initiated intimacy and had been rejected, he can. But then he no longer regards the woman as a woman - but as The Other.

For a man to perceive The Other as a Woman, to react to her femininity, the promise of sex, the potential for sex, or actual sexual acts must exist. In their absence, the man recognizes merely the Otherness of the woman: it has a different body, distinct cognitive and emotional processing, eccentric decision-making procedures. It is exotic, enigmatic, and mysterious. But to the man, it is not a woman anymore.

Every person - man or woman - is The Other: an entire universe, accessible only via language and empathy. Sex is a third mode of communication and accessibility which, alone among all other modes of interaction, renders us men and women.

If course, well-mannered men, especially in certain cultures and societies, go through the motions: they open doors, give flowers or gifts, court chivalrously, and listen rapturously. But these are all routines intended to disguise the yawning lack of interest that arises when the spectre of sex is gone. Gradually, the parties drift apart.

If to start with, the man does not find the woman attractive, there is the potential for friendship or companionship or collaboration. Sex does not get in the way. But even then, the relationship is among equals but different - not between a man and a woman.

This is why in sexless marriages, men and women end up being companions, roommates, partners in business, merely parents, or good friends, if they are lucky. But they no longer see each other as man and woman (which only exacerbates the sexual aversion).

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Try as I may, I see Spiderman! I am perplexed! Am I a latent homosexual? Nope. Not a hint or trace of it. I am a die-hard heterosexual: women turn me and men turn me off big time.
So, how to explain this visual aberration of mine?

An oft-overlooked fact is that recreational sex and homosexuality have one thing in common: they do not lead to reproduction. Homosexuality may, therefore, be a form of pleasurable sexual play. It may also enhance same-sex bonding and train the young to form cohesive, purposeful groups (the army and the boarding school come to mind). Furthermore, homosexuality amounts to the culling of 10-15% of the gene pool in each generation. The genetic material of the homosexual is not propagated and is effectively excluded from the big roulette of life. Growers - of anything from cereals to cattle - similarly use random culling to improve their stock. As mathematical models show, such repeated mass removal of DNA from the common brew seems to optimize the species and increase its resilience and efficiency.

It is ironic to realize that homosexuality and other forms of non-reproductive, pleasure-seeking sex may be key evolutionary mechanisms and integral drivers of population dynamics. Reproduction is but one goal among many, equally important, end results. Heterosexuality is but one strategy among a few optimal solutions. Studying biology may yet lead to greater tolerance for the vast repertory of human sexual foibles, preferences, and predilections. Back to nature, in this case, may be forward to civilization.

Read more about homosexuality https://samvak.tripod.com/sexnature.html

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This is the Inner Narcissist: a mischievous infantilized pseudo-adult among what he regards as hordes of sheeple & herds of meeples. In constant need of narcissistic supply, he waves in a friendly gesture - but beware his teeth. And it is alien: distinctly nonhuman. "Puer Aeternus" (eternal adolescent or youth, sempiternal Peter Pan) is associated with pathological narcissism. People who refuse to grow up strike others as self-centred & aloof, petulant & brattish, haughty & demanding – in short: as childish or infantile.

Childhood involves the acquisition of new skills & adaptation to change. Modern life continuously challenges us to do both and thus we remain in a perpetual state of “infancy”. But, while a normal adult seeks to confront these challenges head on, the narcissist is hell-bent on avoiding & evading them.

In an abusive environment, the child finds it difficult to assert his personal boundaries, to separate from his parents, & to individuate. Consequently, it chooses either of two solutions: to internalize & introject the abuser (to become a monster), thereby siding with the strong & winning party – or to remain a child forever, thus securing empathy, compassion, & pity in a heartless, hostile universe. The typical narcissist chooses to adopt both solutions at once and is, therefore, simultaneously a monster & a child.

The narcissist is a partial adult. He seeks to avoid adulthood via infantilisation: the discrepancy between one's advanced chronological age and one's retarded behaviour, cognition, and emotional development. Some narcissists even use a childish tone of voice and adopt a toddler's body language.

They reject or avoid adult chores, commitments, and functions. They refrain from acquiring adult skills (such as driving) or an adult's formal education. They evade adult responsibilities towards others, including and especially towards their nearest and dearest. They hold no steady jobs, or never get married, remain childless, cultivate no roots, maintain no real friendships or meaningful relationships.

More: https://samvak.tripod.com/journal92.html

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Narcissists and psychopaths dissociate (erase memories) a lot (are amnesiac) because their contact with the world and with others is via a fictitious construct: the False Self. Narcissists never experience reality directly but through a distorting lens darkly. They get rid of any information that challenges their grandiose self-perception and the narrative they had constructed to explicate, excuse, and legitimize their antisocial, self-centred, and exploitative behaviors, choices, and idiosyncrasies.

In an attempt to compensate for the yawning gaps in memory, narcissists and psychopaths confabulate: they invent plausible "plug ins" and scenarios of how things might, could, or should have plausibly occurred. To outsiders, these fictional stopgaps appear as lies. But the narcissist fervently believes in their reality: he may not actually remember what had happend - but surely it could not have happened any other way!

These tenuous concocted fillers are subject to frequent revision as the narcissist's inner world and external circumstances evolve. This is why narcissists and psychopaths often contradict themselves. Tomorrow's confabulation often negates yesterday's. The narcissist and psychopath do not remember their previous tales because they are not invested with the emotions and cognitions that are integral parts of real memories.

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There are two types of romantic love: consonant and dissonant.

In consonant love, reality aligns well with perceptions, beliefs, cognitions, and emotions related to the loved one

But what to do when the person you love is dimwitted, ignorant, stingy, bigoted, repellent, asexual, obnoxious, ugly, abusive, deceitful, cheater, narcissistic, exploitative, or otherwise as far from perfect as possible?

If you acknowledge these deficiencies and shortcomings, even only to yourself, you are bound to imperil the relationship. This is where cognitive dissonance kicks in and yields five solutions:

1. You can reframe the relationship and relabel it ("This is not love, it is a mere infatuation or physical attraction");
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2. You can undermine the relationship passive-aggressively, thereby putting an end to the dissonance;

3. You can develop and take part in a shared psychosis, thereby deceiving yourself into believing anything about your lover, however implausible;

4. You can displace your ego-dystony (discomfort) or sublimate it: devalue critics of your loved one or engage in activities that take your mind off the conundrum;

5. You can project your good or desired qualities into your loved one and idealise him and then proceed to interact with the idealised figure, not with the real person.

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In my speech today, I warned against governments which abuse anti-migrant sentiments and paranoia to curtail civil and human rights of their domestic populations.

To my right, my good friend, Prof. Dr. Zlatko Nikoloski, author of several books on immigration, the latest of which is titled "Immigration and Security".


From my speech today: six parameters that we should use to gauge the security risks posed by each wave of migration.


Giving a speech about migration and security.

Migration challenges the supranational organizational principle in international affairs and enhances nationalism and the nation-state model of sovereignty.

Migration poses some real risks and numerous imaginary ones.

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The mad glint in his eyes is likely to be nothing more ominous than maladjusted contact lenses. If not clean shaven, he is likely to sport nothing wilder than a goatee. More likely an atheist than a priest, this mutation of the ageless confidence artist is nonetheless the direct spiritual descendent of Rasputin, the raving maniac who governed Russia until his own execution by Russian noblemen and patriots.

They are to be found everywhere. Wild and insidious weeds, the outcome of wayward pollination by mutated capitalism. They prey on their victims, at first acquiring their confidence and love, then penetrating their political, social and financial structures almost as a virus would: stealthily and treacherously. By the time their quarry wakes up to its infection and subjugation - it is already too late. By then, the invader will have become part of the invaded or its master, either through blackmail or via tempting subornation.

Poor and backward countries provide for fertile grounds. It is a Petrie dish upon which cultures of corruption and scandalous conduct are fermented. The typical exploiter of these vulnerabilities is a foreigner. Things foreign are held in awe and adulation by a populace so down trodden and made to feel inferior in every way, not least by foreign tutors and advisors. The craving to be loved, this gnawing urge to be accepted, to be a member of the club, to be distinguished from one's former neighbours - are irresistible. The modern Rasputin doles out this unconditional acceptance, this all encompassing affinity, the echoes of avuncularity. In doing so, he evokes in the recipients such warmth, such relief, such fervour and reciprocity - that he becomes an idol, a symbol of a paradise long lost, a golden braid. Having thus completed the first phase of his meticulous attack - he moves on to the second chapter in this book of body snatching.

Armed with his new-fangled popularity, the crook moves on and leverages it to the hilt. He does so by feigning charity, by faking interest, by false "constructive criticism". Continue: https://samvak.tripod.com/pp42.html

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Recording a 3 hour interview for a documentary series. Talked about my personal friend, former student, co-author (the book of dialogs, "Macedonia at a crossroads"), client (in my capacity as Economic Advisor to the Government), Minister of Finance and long-serving Prime Minister of Macedonia, Nikola Gruevski: his personality, economics, and legacy in Macedonia. Interviewed by the veteran journalist and columnist Sasho Ordanoski.

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The Misanthrope's Manifesto

The survival of the species depends on the establishment of an IQcracy, a Platonic Republic of the Intellect. At the top, serving as leaders and decision-makers, would be people with 150 IQ and higher. A high IQ, by itself, is insufficient, of course. Members of this elite of "philosopher-kings" would also have to be possessed with a high emotional quotient (EQ) and sound mental health.

The next rung in the social ladder would be comprised of those with an IQ of between 100 and 150. They will form and constitute the managerial, bureaucratic, scientific, and entrepreneurial classes. People with IQs between 80 and 100 will replenish the blue-collar skilled and trained working classes. Unfortunates with less than 80 IQ will be confined to simple, repetitive menial jobs and denied access to healthcare and voting to achieve culling.

The unbridled growth of human populations leads to:

I. Resource depletion;

II. Environmental negative externalities;

III. A surge in violence;

IV. Reactive xenophobia (owing to migration, both legal and illegal);

V. A general dumbing-down of culture (as the absolute number of retards rises and their access to enabling technology increases); and

VI. Ochlocracy (as the mob leverages democracy to its advantage and creates anarchy followed by populist authoritarianism). The continued survival of the species demands that:

I. Eliminate the welfare state;

II. Prioritize medical treatment so as to effectively deny it to the terminally-sick, the feeble-minded; the incurably insane; those with fatal hereditary illnesses; and the very old. This will restore the mortality of the defective gene stock and improve the gene pool (eugenics);

III. Deny procreation to those with fatal hereditary illnesses, the extremely feeble-minded, and the incurably insane;

IV. Make contraception, abortion, and all other forms of family planning and population control widely available.

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Women regard all men as raw materials: coarse, at times fatuous, unnecessarily aggressive, and invariably puerile. Inevitably, they end up being frustrated, disappointed, and enraged when they fail to shape, mould, educate, reform, direct, manipulate, or teach the men in their lives.

Men regard all women as hopelessly finished products, beyond logic, growth, or transformation. They accept the women in their lives as frivolous, flawed, inexplicable, enigmatic, irrational, manipulative, and capricious beings. They do their best to work around the true, rigid, and fully-formed nature of their females.

Both misperceptions yield inefficient coping strategies and lead to erroneous decisions. The hostile gap between men and women has never yawned bigger. As women encroach on traditionally male territory and adopt male roles and behaviors, the misunderstandings multiply. We are very near a tipping point of a total disconnect between men and women. This is one thing our species will not survive.

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Victims are now fully aware of narcissistic abuse. Why do they keep falling for it? Why don't they resist, recoil, regroup, & retreat?

Because repeat victims share two things with their abusers: a partially latent pathway of mental processing & impaired object constancy.

A healthy person reacts to someone they have just met on a "gut level": a biochemical-emotional exchange followed by a layering of cognitions which lead to either the deepening or the negation of the initial reactions.

Victims & abusers react to each other almost exclusively viscerally. They suppress their cognitions & experience them as threats. Theirs is a bonding of resonating pathologies, sometimes way beyond their awareness.

But why do victims refuse to face their abusers down? What do they stand to lose?

Most abusers and victims are LONELY. They fail to internalize (or introject) significant others. When their nearest are away, they cease to be their dearest.

Healthy people interact with internal representations of their loved ones in the absence of the originals. They cognitively recall the absentees and are flooded with emotions which evoke & elicit memories of the departed.

Habitual victims and their abusers also start by cognitively dwelling on the missing person. But then they have to resort to memories to experience a dim and diffuse nostalgia which passes for emotions. There is a void where an avatar of the ostensibly beloved should have been, replete with attendant memories & feelings. Abusers & victims fulfil each others' voids.

These two idiosyncrasies are at the heart of trauma bonding & dysfunctional attachment styles, often culminating in a shared psychosis.


The victim feels that only the abuser can truly understand her, is her soulmate & twin. And, in these two ways, he really is. He provides external object constancy & simulated emotions and like his target, agrees to suspend introspection & judgment. It is an intoxicating offering of merger & fusion that is not mediated or scrutinized cerebrally & which no victim can resist.

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All societies, collectives, and social units use shame, guilt, and fear to regulate the conduct of their members. Ruth Benedict got it partly wrong.

Societies differ from each other only in:

1. The locus of these three emotions: are they externally enforced and based on social coercion (such as ostracism and incarceration) - or are they internalized (in one's conscience and aspirations, cognitions and emotions, for example)?

2. Are these emotions acknowledged and codified (in law and traditions) - or are they implicit and open to idiosyncratic interpretation by role models and authority figures?

3. Some societies offer routes, rituals, and mechanisms for recovery from inappropriate conduct and rehabilitation - while others enshrine in one's reputation the actions, behaviors, and choices that led to the shame, guilt, and fear and render them a permanent part of one's identity.

Nietzsche taught us that societies are either rational and rule-based (Apollonian) or hedonistic and ostentatious (Dionysian). This is true to some extent. Every society has groups and collectives which are either and there is no type-constancy: societies pendulate between the two poles of this dichotomy. A much better distinction is between collectivist and individualistic societies.

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The network is one of two organizing principles in business, the other being hierarchy. Business units process flows of information, power, and economic benefits and distribute them among the various stakeholders (management, shareholders, workers, consumers, government, communities, etc.) Within networks, timing determines priority and privileged access. First movers (pioneers) benefit the most from network effects. In hierarchies, positioning is spatial, not temporal: one’s slot in the pyramid determines one’s outcomes. But this picture is completely reversed when we consider interactions with the environment: The spatial scope and structure of the network (e.g., the number of nodes, the geographic coverage) determine its success while the storied history of the hierarchy (its longevity, in other words: its temporal aspect) is the best predictor of its reputational capital and its capacity for wealth generation.

Counterintuitively, access to information and the power it affords are not strongly correlated with accrued benefits. In networks, information and power flow horizontally: everyone is equipotent and, like a fractal or a crystal, every segment of the network is identical to the other both structurally and functionally (isomorphism). But benefits accrue vertically to the initiators of the network and are heavily dependent on tenure and mass: the number of nodes “under” the actor. Thus, the earlier participants or members enjoy an exponentially larger share of the benefits than latecomers (MLM commissions, ad revenues, etc.) In hierarchies, benefit accrual is also closely correlated with one’s position in the organization and, less often, with one’s tenure.

Read more about networks and hierarchies https://samvak.tripod.com/nm062.html

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Even the most ingenious and well-informed mind can get it devastatingly wrong.

In the early 1980s, at the age of 19, I held 3 public debates with the greatest genius of the Jewish people in the late 20th century: Yeshayahu Leibowitz, Chief Editor of the Hebrew Encyclopedia, polymath with professorships in multiple fields, author of numerous seminal works in all fields of philosophy (the wizened dude in the photo above). The Israeli media celebrated "The Battle of the Geniuses" and declared me the winner.

One of the debates revolved around intelligence: natural vs. artificial. I argued that the very distinction is wrong, that both types of intelligence are very new, and that, starting 20 years hence, an alien visitor from outer space will be unable to tell them apart except by the fact that humans smoke.

Leibowitz argued that computers will never be able to think, only compute. There will never be "artificial" intelligence.

He gave the example of a dilemma: should I die for my emperor - or should I eat ice cream? A Japanese computer would do the former - an American device would choose the latter.

I thought that it was a particularly dumb thought experiment because humans would bifurcate in exactly the same way: the collective-minded Japanese would sacrifice himself even as the hedonistic American guzzles down ice cream.

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The sometimes severe crises experienced by persons of both sexes in middle age (a.k.a. the "midlife crisis" or the "change of life") is a much discussed though little understood phenomenon. It is not even certain that the beast exists.

Women go through menopause between the ages of 42-55 (the average age of onset in the USA is 51.3). The amount of the hormone oestrogen in their bodies decreases sharply, important parts of the reproductive system shrink and menstruation ceases. Many women suffer from "hot flashes" and a thinning and fracturing of the bones (osteoporosis). The "male menopause" is a more contentious issue. Men do experience a gradual decline in testosterone levels but nothing as sharp as the woman's deterioration of her oestrogen supply.
No link has been found between these physiological and hormonal developments and the mythical "midlife crisis". This fabled turning point has to do with the gap between earlier plans, dreams and aspirations and one's drab and hopeless reality. Come middle age, men are supposed to be less satisfied with life, career, or spouse. People get more disappointed and disillusioned with age. They understand that they are not likely to have a second chance, that they largely missed the train, that their dreams will remain just that. They have nothing to look forward to. They feel spent, bored, fatigued and trapped.

Some adults embark on a transition. They define new goals, look for new partners, form new families, engage in new hobbies, change vocation and avocation alike, or relocate. They regenerate and reinvent themselves and the structures of their lives. Others just grow bitter. Unable to face the shambles, they resort to alcoholism, workaholism, emotional absence, abandonment, escapism, degeneration, or a sedentary lifestyle.

Another pillar of discontent is the predictability of adult life. Following a brief flurry, in early adulthood, of excitement and vigour, of dreams and hopes, fantasies and aspirations, we succumb to and sink into the mire of mediocrity. The mundane engulfs us and digests us.

More: https://samvak.tripod.com/faq62.html

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Old technology (both me and the TV set). It started with such a big promise and led us astray, left us atomized, lonely, narcissistic, miserable, and addicted.

Modern communications and information technologies amount to a slow-motion revolt of the masses against the elites that let them down, the gods that failed them, and the discarded ideologies to which they gave their lives in vain. The very same elites, gods, and intellectual systems that brought the species to the verge of extinction; that suppressed a majority comprised of countless minorities; and that usurped the power of the people and yet failed to deliver on the well-being they had promised.
With the aid of technology, democracy was rendered ochlocracy; consumerism, materialism, and malignant individualism (narcissism) became the sole values worth fighting for; and all erstwhile elites and social institutions were made redundant or obsolete. Everything is up for grabs and for negotiation, nothing is cast in stone.

Past technology-induced social dislocations led to colonialism and global conflicts. This time around, the outcomes are ostensibly more benign: as collectives melt down, people are denied the choice to belong; as the institutions of family and marriage disintegrate, people can no longer safely love, or truly care for each other, trapped as they are in dysfunctional relationships and failed, dead-end, sexless unions. Aided by increasingly solipsistic technologies, a schizoid world emerged, where choice and, therefore, existence, have shifted from real life to cyberspace.

More: https://samvak.tripod.com/lawtech.html

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So, you decided that your marriage is over, or that a long-term relationship is not working for whatever reason. You remain married (financial dependence, common children), but you are back in the dating scene, scouting for a replacement, for a new intimate partner. You fall in love repeatedly & have prolonged affairs (you cheat) - only to discover that you have chosen badly time & again, as the costs to your reputation soar & you are branded a slut or a manwhore. The longer you make yourself available, the more you attract predators, golddiggers, & other unsavory characters. Why do you keep failing? What are you doing wrong?

Perhaps for emotional, economic, religious-cultural, or social reasons, or for the children's sake, you do NOT really want to dismantle your old marriage or relationship. So, you keep choosing paramours who are wrong for you: a mismatch (too poor, too uneducated, too kinky, too something or not enough of the other); lovers with whom you are incompatible: extremely avoidant (commitmentphobes), immature (childlike fantasists), mentally disturbed, geographically removed, stalkers, stingy, clinging or emotionally dead & absent partners; & so on.

Maybe all the good, reliable, rich, educated, gorgeous potential partners are already taken & those who are available are the rejects: the defective, the sleazy, the creepy, the depressed losers, the very old, or the sad & damaged refugees of repeated failed relationships. Indeed, the rates of divorce in second and third marriages are far higher than in first ones & the probability of producing offspring much lower.

Frequently, after a marriage disintegrates, the erstwhile partners devolve into living alone, as singles. Many of them end up being poorer, lonelier, & involuntarily celibate. The costs in emotional & physical health are also very high. Studies demonstrate, counterintuitively, that the optimal strategy is to remain stuck in a bad relationship & hope for it to get better as you brave it out. All other alternatives yield far worse outcomes.

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Catastrophizing is a form of habitual thinking informed by several interlocking cognitive deficits. It often leads to emotional dysregulation.

But, to simplify matters, catastrophic thinking can be broken down to two escalating components:

1. If something BAD is possible then it is probable and likely to happen. This leads to anxiety responses and disorders and dysregulates one's sense of self-worth, self-esteem, and self-confidence.

2. If something BAD is probable then it is certain, it will occur for sure. This strand results in hypochondriasis, phobias, traumas, and post-traumatic conditions and responses (such as CPTSD and PTSR).
😢

Both hidden assumptions are utterly irrational, of course. Most possible things are very improbable and most probable things never materialize.

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This was the ideal of beauty in Persia 120 years ago. Or so they say. In Russia, women are supposed to look anorectic. In the Arab world, full, curvaceous, and saftig. The aristocracy well into the end of the 19th century regarded chalk white skin as the ideal because it was proof positive that you were not tilling the fields all day. A century later, a suntanned hide was de rigueur because it indicated that you were well-off and could afford your leisure time in the sun.

Evolutionary explanations of our aesthetic standards are dead wrong. If they were right, the ideals of beauty in the same place and civilization would have remained by and large constant over extended periods of time. They do not.

A far better source is sociocultural. Different mores and expectations, fads and circumstances yield changing beauty practices and discourses.

Women and men alter their looks to conform and belong, wield influence and manipulate, buttress their self-esteem and self-confidence, or signal to peers and potential mates. As the language between genders changes and as social, cultural, and technological winds blow hither and thither, so do the ways we see and then mold ourselves. It is all one gigantic, everlasting body dysmorphic disorder.

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What happens when a male narcissist targets a female psychopath as his source of secondary supply ("intimate" partner)? He ends up being traumatized by her. Why & how?

The psychopath challenges & obliterates the narcissist's grandiose self-perceptions & assumptions, especially his fantasy of being unique.

The psychopath's promiscuity, risk-seeking reckless behaviors, & addictions to novelty & thrills ("adrenaline junkie") render the narcissist just one of her many sexual conquests. She never gets emotionally attached to him or misses him. To her, he is just another notch in her belt, a mere casualty of her cockteasing power plays with men, road kill. He is soon forgotten as she moves on - often by cheating on him as she had done to all her previous men.

The narcissist believes in his unique ability to detect lying & takes pride in his intelligence & resistance to being duped. But narcissists are very gullible. The psychopathic female uses their thirst for narcissistic supply to manipulate them with half-truths & outright lies. She tells them what they want to hear, flatters them, rewrites her own history to render them unique, & deceives them repeatedly, faking everything from emotions through tears to orgasms. The narcissist gets taken in. When he discovers the truth, his grandiosity is devastated.

Finally: the narcissist holds himself to be irresistible. But the psychopath is not interested in him! She is goal-oriented: she wants his money, contacts, protection, or prestige. She is a golddigger, or a social climber, or sleeps her way to the top. When the narcissist finds out that he had merely been used as an instrument, he is wounded to the quick.

These narcissistic injuries often evolve into a form of ruminative obsession or stalking as the narcissist tries in vain to integrate the painful experiences into his view of himself as godlike, omniscient, and desirable. The psychopath gives the narcissist a taste of his own medicine and it is bitter and sometimes threatens what is left of his sanity and even life.

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The narcissistic stalker stalks the source of his narcissist injury in order to restore his grandiose, inflated, and fantastic self-image. Once he deems his grandiosity (superiority, irresistibility, omnipotence, brilliance, entitlement) re-established, he lets go of his victim.

The narcissist feels entitled to your time, attention, admiration, and resources. Interprets every rejection as an act of aggression which leads to a narcissistic injury. He reacts with sustained rage and vindictiveness and can turn violent because he feels omnipotent and immune to the consequences of his actions.

But Borderline Narcissists react differently: they love bomb, beg forgiveness, buy gifts, send photos and mementos, cry, prostrate and, generally disintegrate in full view as they attempt to hoover the target and reacquire her.

How to cope with various types of stalkers: https://samvak.tripod.com/abuse18.html

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Is this classic painting by Courbet pornography or erotic art? Where does one draw the line?

The answer is that there is no line.

Scholars say that porn creates arousal and results in action. But I have frequently masturbated to erotic literature and paintings and even sculptures. And most porn leaves me utterly cold.

Porn is supposed to be goal-oriented. But lots of porn is not (example: homemade videos). Not all porn is objectifying and degrading - yet, this patently erotic painting is the former and many would say the latter.

Porn is harmful, they protest: it involves coercion, exploitation, wrongful depiction of lovemaking (no foreplay), and causes addiction. But in the previous centuries erotic art - in word and image - had the same effects (read the Marquis de Sade). And how do we account for feminist pornography?

But porn is primitive and one-dimensional, you evince. Yet in the past 200 years, philosophers used porn in the service of a variety of social, political, and cultural causes. And frankly, Courbet's vaginal masterpiece (pompously titled "The Origin of the World") has depth (pardon the pun), but little else.

Erotic art is porn designated by self-appointed elites as legitimate and high-brow. Porn is what fails to obtain the sanction and blessing of the cultural establishment. No one is this clearer than in film where the boundaries are so blurred that censors the world over fail to concur: the same movie is categorized as porn in one locale and high art in another. Ask Polanski.

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I was born on and grew up by the sea (here painted by the gifted @_.elena_b_ ). The surf's soothing sounds lulled me to sleep. Its smells permeated my every day and night. Its colors - serene blue, ominous grey, raging black - came to reify my inner, tortured landscape. I was growing up to become The Old Man and the Sea.

Gazing out at this interminable azure expanse, I learned that there are two types of people: 1. Those who value safety and security above all and 2. Those who would give up everything to maintain their personal freedom, who value liberty even above life itself, and who are fiercely independent, even counterdependent.

We are a social species. Our accomplishments depend on huddling together, on collaborating, and on seeking reassurance in numbers. We are animals of herd and pack.

But we are also individuals who cherish our uniqueness and idiosyncrasy. Who rebel. Who stand out, call for attention, desire to be seen.

And it is conflict between our two natures and between these two types of persons that constitutes the tale of Humanity - and the more limited, personal stories of each and every one of us.

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Romantic jealousy is a form of abandonment or loss anxiety. Brain studies show that even a one night stand can lead to a full-fledged, emotion-laden love affair. So, spouses are right to be worried about infidelity. Adultery - even the most casual fornication - can lead to a loss of the mate and the disintegration of a couple.

But how about emotionless sex? Just the mechanics and the fluids, with no bonding or attachment? Definitely possible and even common. But it is playing with fire because it can result in a deeper involvement even in the wake of a single lustful consummation. Sex can lead to love exactly as love leads to sex: it is a two-way thoroughfare.

But more often intimacy leads to sex - not the other way around. Sex is a mode of communication, a bodily way of saying "You make me feel ... (good, safe, curious, warm, happy, self-confident, desired, empowered, and intimate)". So, I consider emotional affairs to be a far more serious threat to the integrity and longevity of a couple than the merely sexual ones.

In the age of smartphones and social media, the potential for infatuation and falling in love with a third party is far more pervasive and greater than the threat of actual, physical cheating. Relationships are based on the perceived scarcity of eligible partners ("Where will I find another one like him? He is so rare!"). But transport and communication technologies made possible abundant access to multiple compatible mates, dissolving the very glue that once held couples together.

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There are numerous myths about promiscuity. Men find the female sex drive vaguely menacing, so they reserve this epithet to women. But, of course, there are many promiscuous men as well.

Promiscuity has little to do with the intensity and frequency of one's sexual urges, especially when it is associated with personality and mood disorders.
Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that histrionic women, seductive and flirtatious, provocative and ostentatious as they are, regard actual sex as a bit of a chore. Borderlines are prone to promiscuity as a form of reckless behavior or when they act out. Poor impulse control is a part of the equation. Somatic narcissists are more calculated and their promiscuity is goal-oriented: they seek narcissistic supply. Bipolar patients are promiscuous in the manic phase.

Promiscuity is intimately connected to cockteasing in women and cuntteasing (pardon the neologism) in men: driving a potential partner insane with desire by tantalising him or her with verbal, visual, and tactile implied promises and hints of sex - and then withdrawing abruptly and frustrating the unfortunate target.

Promiscuity is a dysfunctional way to regulate a labile (fluctuating) sense of self-worth and restore one's self-esteem in the wake of a narcissistic injury (rejection, humiliation, being cheated on, and so on). Like rape, promiscuity is about power, not about sex. It is about reassuring oneself that one is still considered irresistibly desirable and has the wherewithal to frustrate, enrage, and hurt others by withdrawing oneself. It is also about thrills and risk (in "adrenaline junkies").
😲

Promiscuity is, therefore, situational and reactive. It is not a personality trait, but a learned coping strategy in the repertory of one's behaviors. It is compulsive but has to be triggered by external events. Promiscuous people go through long periods of strict monogamy as long as they get their fix from their "source of narcissistic supply" (intimate partner or spouse).

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How to Divorce a Narcissist or a Psychopath? By attending the Grannon-Vaknin seminar of course! On November 4 in London. BUY YOUR TICKETS from @richard_grannon:

http://spartanlifecoach.com/london-seminar-with-sam-vaknin-plus-dialogues-november-5-2018/

Also watch the relevant video on my YouTube channel where I explain the differences between divorcing a normal person and divorcing a narcissist or a psychopath: https://www.youtube.com/samvaknin

Plus buy tickets to the DIALOG between Grannon and Vaknin in front of a LIVE AUDIENCE! Well, live at the beginning, at least
😉

Someone wrote to me: "I finally mustered the courage and determination to divorce him. But he refuses to let go, he threatens me and stalks and harasses me. I am sometimes afraid for my life. He is also a convincing pathological liar. I am afraid he will turn the judge against me..." My answer:

We are not divorce attorneys and, therefore, cannot relate to the legal aspects of your predicament. But we can and will elaborate on three important elements:

I. How to cope with your narcissist throughout the prolonged process and its aftermath? Custody? Alimony? Child Support? The System? WHAT IS GOING ON THROUGH HIS MIND?

II. How to expose the manipulations of the narcissist in court?

III. What to expect of the narcissist as your divorce unfolds and afterwards? Will he become violent? Stalker? Gaslighing, Abuse by Proxy?

Divorce is a life crisis – and more so for the narcissist. The narcissist stands to lose not only his spouse but an important source of narcissistic supply. This results in narcissistic injury, rage, and all-pervasive feelings of injustice, helplessness and paranoia.

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Narcissists are eternal Peter Pans, children or, at the oldest, adolescents, who refuse to grow up ("Puer Aeternus"). In 1995, I described a subspecies of such perpetual youth who I dubbed "Wunderkind Mask"

The Wunderkind Mask is a narcissist who was idolized & put on a pedestal in his formative years, usually by his adoring & pampering parents who coerced him into realizing their unfulfilled dreams & quelling their frustrations. He could do no wrong & was entitled to everything without commensurate effort.

Usually a gifted child, when he grows out of his hallowed childhood, at least chronologically, such a narcissist wants three things in his relationships with women (even in marriage):

1. A playmate or a toy. He treats the woman's body as a sandbox to masturbate in & with. He wants to travel & have incessant fun with her. He wants her to be available at his instant beck & call and respond to all his whims enthusiastically & forthrightly;

2. An admiring, adulating audience to applaud him & marvel at his ossified precocity. His woman should be his greatest & unthinking fan, available interminably to listen to his rants & ramblings and remind him of his glories & triumphs, past & present (constitute a source of secondary narcissistic supply);

3. Serve him hand & foot and fulfill the multiple roles of mother, personal assistant, butler, personal manager or agent, chambermaid, cook, & dog-walker.

Apart from these three infantile & immature roles & interactions, the Wunderkind Mask has no interest whatsoever in women and in many cases is a rabid & virulent misogynist. No wonder women shun & avoid him like the plague.

After a brief spell of initial acquaintance & succumbing to his charms, women withdraw in horror & repulsion, mildly traumatized, unable to verbalize their experience with this alien creature: "He looks like a man, but he is not, no man vibe! He is like a child, a machine or an adolescent. It is eerie & he is creepy". They are shocked that they fell for him & angry at themselves for having fallen prey to this clunky imitation of an adult.

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Romantic rejection is total: in a relationship you offer you all and, when dumped, you are dispensed with in your entirety. Your thoughts, emotions, memories, values, sexuality, intimacy, vulnerability, and hopes are dashed and trampled on, usually cruelly. It is not like other experiences of rejection - in a job interview, say, or an audition - where only your skills or talents are depreciated.

The decline of sex in modern society has to do with skyrocketing rates of and opportunities for rejection. But this is only one of the costs associated with pursuing intimacy and love via sex. Casual sex carries the risks - almost certainty - of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or infection (STI). And increasingly more so, meaningful, repeated sex with a significant other involves Herculean efforts.

Most potential mates today - both men and women in the cesspool that is the dating scene - are damaged goods. In the West, about 15% of the population are officially diagnosed with a mental illness. People are narcissistic, entitled, dysempathic, spoiled, immature, brattish, inconsiderate, unable to commit and attach, and selfish. It is a miracle than any relationship survives at all. Indeed, divorce rates are as high as they have ever been and fewer folks than ever are getting married or bear children. Ours is a world of porn-consuming, sempiternally dating, perpetual adolescents, consumed with hedonistic self-indulgence and celebrity-fuelled delusions of grandeur. In an anomic and atomized and solipsistic asocial landscape, we pull the drawbridges and repose in our digital castles, screens flickering, until we die.

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As a cerebral narcissist, I use sex to acquire (hoover) new mates. My sexuality reflects my mind: exuberant, inventive, creative, experimental, kinky, well-informed, & sometimes deliciously forbidden & shocking. It is addictive & hooks the woman. She keeps craving sex with me & coming back for more.

But, for me, sex is a tool. I enjoy not the sex itself but the exhibition of skill & prowess, techniques & games. Displaying my sexuality to a potential partner is the equivalent of the peacock spreading its multicolored tail. I expect applause for every orgasm, admiration for every role play I construct, amazement at my stamina (which is truly formidable). It is all about narcissistic supply & nothing to do with intimacy.

Consequently, women complain that sex with me may be virtuously accomplished & pyrotechnical - but also very mechanical & impersonal, even faintly sadistic. They feel objectified & dehumanized, even as their bodies & brains want ever more of me in bed (really, everywhere
😉). Once the woman is secured as a source of secondary supply & a service provider, I lose all interest in sex & become utterly asexual & celibate. My partner finds the transition from a sex addict to a monk unnerving, creepy, & eerie.

I miraculously regain my sex drive when I need to transition from one spouse to another or when my intimate partner cheats on me. Inevitably, all my women end up having multiple emotional & sexual affairs of which I am fully aware & acquiesce with as a way to get rid of their nagging presence in my life. But if the cheating becomes blatant & indiscreet & involves emotions (if my partner falls in love with another man), my sex drive is reawakened & I engage in brief spells of reclaim sex. Having secured her return to the fold, I turn off again.

The only way for me to remain sexually interested in my woman in the long run is to share her with other men in threesomes & group sex. There is a complex psychology behind that & you can read about it here, in the section on swinging: https://samvak.tripod.com/pedophilia.html

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Malignant egalitarianism is threatening our existence as a species. Until about 10 years ago, people - even narcissists - had role models they sought to learn from & emulate & ideals which they aspired to. Today, everyone - never mind how unintelligent, ignorant, or unaccomplished - claim superiority or at least equality to everyone else. Armed with egalitarian equal access technology like social media, everyone virulently detest & seek to destroy or reduce to their level their betters & that which they cannot attain or equal. Pathological envy had fully substituted for learning & self-improvement. Experts, scholars, & intellectuals are scorned & threatened. Everyone is an instant polymath & an ersatz da Vinci.

This is made possible in part because we have lost our collective, institutional memory. Cyberspace is timeless: everything is simultaneous & synchronous. There is no timeline, timestamp, history.

Consider my case: People insist that I am imitating HG Tudor, that he came first. Or that I plagiarized Malignant Self-love from Ross Rosenberg. Or that I copied my work on CPTSD from Pete Walker. But my book preceded all three of them by more than 15 years!

Many tell me that I do not understand inverted, cerebral, or somatic narcissists and refer me to "experts" on all three types. Only problem: I invented all 3 concepts in 1995!

Or the repeated slander that I have no academic standing & my work is fringe. Visit this page: https://samvak.tripod.com/mediakit.html to witness how mainstream my work had become. I am a professor of psychology in 2 universities. Last night I was appointed Editor in Chief of Journal of Psychology and Psychiatry Studies. I am a member of the Organizing Committees of 12 (!) international conferences in my field. My work is cited 47 times in Psychology Today alone and in well over 200 papers in all major academic journals and in 3400 (!) books. I published several academic papers only in the past 3 months alone! I am far more legit than all the other self-imputed experts on narcissistic abuse (a term that I coined in 1995).

 

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