Sam Vaknin’s Instagram Epigrams (archive only)
Narcissism with Vaknin on Instagram (active account)
Richard Grannon's NEW DOCUMENTARY on his YouTube channel:
These videos - in preparation for the documentary - are available on Richard's channel AND on my YouTube channel:
VIDEO Be Seen - Or Be Sick (Mentally Ill) (Funzing Talk, November 2018, London)
VIDEO Malignant Egalitarianism, Technological Narcissism (Grannon-Vaknin Conversation)
VIDEO Social Media: Toxic by Design (Grannon-Vaknin Conversation)
The somatic narcissist uses other people's bodies to masturbate with, on, and in. Sex with him - pyrotechnics and acrobatics aside - is likely to be an impersonal and emotionally alienating and draining experience. The partner is often treated as an object, an extension of the somatic narcissist, a toy, a warm and pulsating vibrator.
Somatic narcissists also seek almost compulsively to induce their partners to climax. The partner's orgasms – their frequency, duration, and intensity - are a measure of virility and “success” and, therefore, a form of narcissistic supply.
Somatic narcissists are often portrayed as sex addicts or histrionic. They are thought to possess “manic defenses” (avoidance of feelings of discomfort, loneliness, and inadequacy by seeking states of hyperactivity, arousal, and excitement). They are also prone to cognitive biases such as sexual overperception (misinterpreting even innocuous female behaviors as indications of sexual interest and flirtation, a mild form of erotomania)
But really somatic narcissists derive their narcissistic supply not so much from the sex act as from the process of securing it: the conspiracies and assignations, the chase and conquest, the subjugation and habituation of their targets, and even from dumping and discarding their prey, once having extracted the attention and admiration they had sought.
These extracurricular activities endow them with a sense of omnipotence and all-pervasive control. Their sway over their paramours and would-be lovers proves to them (and to others) their uniqueness, desirability and irresistibility.
Dr. Jackal and Mr. Hide, published 2000:
Trust wisely! Be discerning, never gullible. Trust no one with everything - but trust a few with some things. To not trust anyone at all is as unwise as to trust indiscriminately.
Our natural tendency is to trust, because we trust our parents. It feels good to really trust. It is also an essential component of love and an important test thereof. Love without trust is dependence masquerading as love.
We must trust: it is an almost biological urge. Most of the time, we do trust. We trust the universe to behave according to the laws of physics; soldiers to not go mad and shoot at us; our nearest and dearest to not betray us. When trust is broken, we feel as though a part of us had died, as though we had been hollowed out.
To not trust is abnormal and is the outcome of bitter or even traumatic life experiences. Mistrust and distrust are induced not by our own thoughts, nor by some device or machination of ours, but by life's sad circumstances.
To continue to not trust is to reward the people who wronged us and made us distrustful in the first place. Those people have long abandoned us and yet they still have a great, malignant, influence on our lives. This is the irony of the lack of trust: it perpetuates the abuse long after the abuser is gone.
Some people prefer to not experience this sinking feeling of trust violated. They choose to not trust and, thereby, to never be disappointed. This is both a fallacy and a folly. Trusting releases enormous amounts of mental energy, which is better invested elsewhere.
But trust – like knives – can be dangerous to your health if used improperly. You have to discern whom to trust, you have to learn how to trust and you have to know how to confirm the existence of mutual, functional trust.
Passive-aggressiveness wears a multitudes of guises: procrastination, malingering, perfectionism, forgetfulness, neglect, truancy, intentional inefficiency, stubbornness, and outright sabotage. This repeated and advertent misconduct has far reaching effects.
Consider the Negativist in the workplace: he or she invests time and efforts in obstructing their own chores and in undermining relationships. But, these self-destructive and self-defeating behaviors wreak havoc throughout the workshop or the office.
Despite the obstructive role they play, passive-aggressives feel unappreciated, underpaid, cheated, and misunderstood. They chronically complain, whine, carp, and criticize. They blame their failures and defeats on others, posing as martyrs and victims of a corrupt, inefficient, and heartless system (in other words, they have alloplastic defenses and an external locus of control). Passive-aggressives sulk and give the "silent treatment" in reaction to real or imagined slights.
They suffer from ideas of reference (believe that they are the butt of derision, contempt, and condemnation) and are mildly paranoid (the world is out to get them, which explains their personal misfortune). In the words of the DSM: "They may be sullen, irritable, impatient, argumentative, cynical, skeptical and contrary." They are also hostile, explosive, lack impulse control, and, sometimes, reckless.
Lyconet Sensation 2019 opening lecture about the life cycle of networks and how to leverage network power for the greater good. An audience of 3000 from all over Europe. Inspiring! People can accomplish anything when they team up!
Next month, @zoran.vitanov is organizing with me a 4 hour seminar: "Network Theory: From A to Z"
More about networks:
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.
In 1997, I published a book of short stories in Israel. The publishing house belongs to Israel's leading (and exceedingly wealthy) newspaper. I signed a contract which stated that I am entitled to receive 8% of the income from the sales of the book after commissions payable to distributors, shops, etc. A few months later, I won the coveted Prize of the Ministry of Education (for maiden prose). The prize money (a few thousand euros) was snatched by the publishing house on the legal grounds that all the money generated by the book belongs to them because they own the copyright.
In the mythology generated by capitalism to pacify the masses, the myth of intellectual property stands out. It goes like this: if the rights to intellectual property were not defined and enforced, commercial entrepreneurs would not have taken on the risks associated with publishing books, recording records, and preparing multimedia products. As a result, creative people will have suffered because they will have found no way to make their works accessible to the public. Ultimately, it is the public which pays the price of piracy, goes the refrain.
But this is factually untrue. In the USA there is a very limited group of authors who actually live by their pen. Only select musicians eke out a living from their noisy vocation (most of them rock stars who own their labels - George Michael had to fight Sony to do just that) and very few actors come close to deriving subsistence level income from their profession. All these can no longer be thought of as mostly creative people. Forced to defend their intellectual property rights and the interests of Big Money, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Schwarzenegger and Grisham are businessmen at least as much as they are artists.
Economically and rationally, we should expect that the costlier a work of art is to produce and the narrower its market - the more emphasized its intellectual property rights.
I am writing a book about god that I hope will introduce new themes to a 4000 years old debate.
Download the first chapters here: https://samvak.tripod.com/godfreud.pdf
On my YouTube channel, I released 2 videos about narcissism as a new faith. Actually, it is the tip of an iceberg: the re-emergence of secular religions in distributed form with all of us as equipotent godlike nodes. God as a network. We are all equal to god & we are all gods.
Satan is merely one of god's attributes. This yields a new form of theodicy regarding god's relationship with evil, predestination, & free will.
Gnostics, Bogomils, & Cathars distinguished the world's creator - a Satanic, evil entity, the demiurge - from the Supreme Being (essence of Good). But I am reverting to strict monotheism: evil is an aspect of a single god. Creating the world was a form of "acting out", reminiscent of "breaking of the vessels" in the Kabbalah. Our reality is a projection of god's shadow, his darker side.
I follow the Kabbalah in answering the question: What is our role in all this? We are placed here to HEAL GOD & to restore the unity & integrity of the world. Peterson got it disastrously wrong in my view. It is god who is suffering. Our pains & convulsions are His, not ours.
We cannot heal ourselves before we heal our Creator. Our suffering and sacrifice are NOT the path to healing & making peace with the world because they perpetuate the rift between god & his creation & enshrine the schism alluded to in Genesis and referred to explicitly in the Kabbalah & in other mystical traditions.
Christianity understood these truths intuitively: god is in agony. He had to sacrifice his son in order to provide absolution & restore harmony to the world. But He is inconsolable if His sacrifice is rejected by His agents in this world, Mankind.
The parallels to abnormal psychology are uncanny. God is "mentally ill" & creation is his disorder writ large. We must restore him so that he can help us. It is a partnership, not a top-down hierarchy. Suffering is another name for evil, not the solution a-la Peterson.
We want and need to be seen by God.
But, God wants to be seen by us!!! The raison d'etre for God's creation is exactly that: God needed The Other's gaze, needed to be seen, so He created The Sentient Other, the Intelligent World.
By seeing God, we affirm his existence in His own "eyes". In turn, this validation allows him to sustain our being. We have intimations of this in the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics: the observer creates the world! We recreate God - and ourselves! - every time we see Him.
As the Book of Job states clearly: suffering interferes with this virtuous feedback loop! It disrupts the Cycle of Being. It sows doubt about the very existence of God, makes it impossible to see Him!!! Suffering is from the Devil.
Suffering is also the punishment for supplanting and disobeying God (the Original Sin in the garden of Eden). It signifies a breakdown in the partnership, the polar opposite of true faith! In this sense Peterson espouses a "Satanic" teaching! Goethe's devil says exactly this to Faust: that he has to suffer in order to realize his potential as a human being!
The suffering entailed in the crucifixion was a huge - almost irreparable - rupture in the cosmic fabric. Jesus understood that. On the cross he claimed that God had forsaken his Creation. And not for the first time. Remember Noah and the flood? God breaks up with humanity frequently but only when he is not seen anymore.
Peterson's creed unites the sickest aspects of Christianity (in Catholicism, asceticism, Puritanism, Calvinism). It is also very Eurocentric! No trace of such thinking in Buddhism, or in Judaism, or in Islam, or in Shinto, and so on.
Social media, such as Tumblr.com, have become the playground of narcissists, psychopaths, and sadists who post extreme and, at times, illegal porn and revel in the reactions to it, thus garnering vicarious narcissistic supply. Via such postings, they express their rabid misogyny by objectifying women and subjecting them to humiliating subjugation and to aggression bordering on outright violence.
Yahoo and Tumblr’s protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, some of the content is illegal and can land even an accidental viewer in hot waters. Relatively innocuous search terms such as “family”, “wife”, “sister”, or “daddy” often yield sleazy and actionable photo and video results, displayed automatically on the user’s screen and saved to his or her browser cache without any warning or consent. Tumblr is not alone in this. Twitter and Facebook, although to a lesser degree, also host porn on a massive scale.
Porn addiction ties well with the narcissist’s fantasy sex life. Social media enable and legitimize a host of sexual fetishes and paraphilias, including pedophilia. Via these platforms, the narcissist finds an eager audience and a sense of empowerment and immunity, aided and abetted by his anonymity.
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. Routines consume our energy and leave us dilapidated and empty.
From an early age we are taught (at least in the USA) that there is no limit to what we can achieve; that if we wish to accomplish something all we need to do is set ourselves goals and then apply ourselves to their attainment. With time and dedication, we are told, positive outcomes are guaranteed and ineluctable no matter how high we set the bar. There are no unrealistic aspirations - only insufficient perspiration and lacking inspiration!
This is a narcissistic and delusional narrative. It is counterproductive because in reality we do have limitations, we suffer defeats, and we make mistakes. No one is infallible, invincible, omnipotent, or omniscient.
But, exposed to this onslaught of propaganda, aimed at boosting our self-esteem and puffing up our self-confidence, when, inevitably, we fail in some of our endeavors - we tend to blame ourselves: "If only I had tried harder", or "I am such a loser, a lazy good-for-nothing, I never get it right!" Such inner sadistic voices tend to deplete our energy and discourage us from trying again. In hock to the official line that casts us as absolute masters of our own fate, we'd rather abstain than be proven wrong. By attributing failures to our failings, we become the reification of our own "bad fortune" or "indolence". We give up on life's challenges, engulfed by fatalism and defeatism.
Some of us choose another path: "If I botched and bungled it, surely I didn't want it that badly" (a reaction known as "cognitive dissonance"). This kind of self-deception is equally self-destructive. It teaches us that nothing really matters, everything is fun and games and should not be taken too seriously. Reality and personal history are what you make of them and are subjects to re-writing, reframing, and outright confabulation.
Gazeta Polska (February 1, 2019) on why narcissists find the internet and social media irresistible hunting grounds.
More here: https://samvak.tripod.com/journal67.html
Most patients with Histrionic Personality Disorder are women. This immediately raises the question: Is this a real mental health disorder or a culture-bound syndrome which reflects the values of a patriarchal and misogynistic society? A man with similar traits is bound to be admired as a "macho" or, at worst, labelled a "womanizer". Histrionics resemble narcissists: both seek attention compulsively and are markedly dysphoric and uncomfortable when not at the center of attention. They have to be the life of the party. If they fail in achieving this pivotal role, they act out, create hysterical scenes, or confabulate.
Like the somatic narcissist, the histrionic is preoccupied with physical appearance, sexual conquests, her health, and her body. The typical histrionic spends huge dollops of money and expend inordinate amounts of time on grooming. Histrionics fish for compliments and are upset when confronted with criticism or proof that they are not as glamorous or alluring as they thought they are.
Unlike narcissists, though, histrionics are genuinely enthusiastic, open, emotional, warm, and empathic, up to the point of being maudlin and sentimental. They also strive to "fit in", mingle, blend, and "become a part of" groups, collectives, and social institutions.
Histrionics sexualize everyone and every situation. They constantly act flirtatious, provocative, and seductive, even when such behavior is not warranted by circumstances or, worse still, is proscribed and highly inappropriate (for instance in professional and occupational settings)
It is easy to translate text in cyberspace. Various automated, web-based, and apps cater to the needs of the casual user who doesn't mind the quality of the end-result. Virtually every search engine, portal and directory offers access to these or similar services.
But straightforward translation is only one kind of solution to the tower of Babel that the Internet had become.
The Internet started off as a purely American phenomenon and seemed to perpetuate the fast-emerging dominance of the English language. A negligible minority of web sites were in other languages. Software applications were chauvinistically ill-prepared (and still are) to deal with anything but English. And the vast majority of net users were residents of the two North-American colossi, chiefly the USA.
All this started to change rapidly about twenty years ago, when the number of American users of the Net was surpassed by the swelling tide of European and Japanese ones. Non-English web sites are proliferating as well. The advent of the wireless Internet - more widespread outside the USA - is likely to strengthen this unmistakable trend.
By 2005, non-English speakers made up to 70% of all netizens. This fragmentation of an hitherto unprecedentedly homogeneous market - presents both opportunities and costs. It is much more expensive to market in ten languages than it is in one. Everything - from e-mail and posts on social networks to supply chains - has to be re-tooled or customized.
The narcissist flaunts his charitable nature as a bait. He impresses others with his selflessness and kindness and thus lures them into his lair, entraps them, and manipulates and brainwashes them into subservient compliance and obsequious collaboration. People are attracted to the narcissist's larger than life posture – only to discover his true personality traits when it is far too late. "Give a little to take a lot" – is the narcissist's creed.
This does not prevent the narcissist from assuming the role of the exploited victim. Narcissists always complain that life and people are unfair to them and that they invest far more than their "share of the profit". The narcissist feels that he is the sacrificial lamb, the scapegoat, and that his relationships are asymmetric and imbalanced. "She gets out of our marriage far more than I do" – is a common refrain. Or: "I do all the work around here – and they get all the perks and benefits!" Faced with such (mis)perceived injustice – and once the relationship is clinched and the victim is "hooked" – the narcissist tries to minimise his contributions. He regards his input as a contractual maintenance chore and the unpleasant and inevitable price he has to pay for his Narcissistic Supply.
After many years of feeling deprived and wronged, some narcissists lapse into "sadistic generosity" or "sadistic altruism". They use their giving as a weapon to taunt and torment the needy and to humiliate them. In the distorted thinking of the narcissist, donating money gives him the right and license to hurt, chastise, criticise, and berate the recipient. His generosity, feels the narcissist, elevates him to a higher moral ground.
Most narcissists confine their giving to money and material goods. Their munificence is an abusive defence mechanism, intended to avoid real intimacy. Their "big-hearted" charity renders all their relationships – even with their spouses and children – "business-like", structured, limited, minimal, non-emotional, unambiguous, and non-ambivalent.
The narcissist is not really interested in publicity per se. Narcissists are misleading. The narcissist appears to love himself – and, really, he abhors himself. Similarly, he appears to be interested in becoming a celebrity – and, in reality, he is concerned with the REACTIONS to his fame: people watch him, notice him, talk about him, debate his actions – therefore he exists.
The narcissist goes around "hunting and collecting" the way the expressions on people's faces change when they notice him. He places himself at the centre of attention, or even as a figure of controversy. He constantly and recurrently pesters those nearest and dearest to him in a bid to reassure himself that he is not losing his fame, his magic touch, the attention of his social milieu.
Truly, the narcissist is not choosy. If he can become famous as a writer – he writes, if as a businessman – he conducts business. He switches from one field to the other with ease and without remorse because in all of them he is present without conviction, bar the conviction that he must (and deserves to) get famous.
He grades activities, hobbies and people not according to the pleasure that they give him – but according to their utility: can they or can't they make him known and, if so, to what extent. The narcissist is one-track minded (not to say obsessive). His is a world of black (being unknown and deprived of attention) and white (being famous and celebrated)
Narcissists, Fame, and Celebrity
The narcissist is as much an artist of pain as any sadist. The difference between them lies in their motivation. The narcissist tortures & abuses as means to punish & to reassert superiority, omnipotence, & grandiosity. The sadist does it for pure (usually, sexually-tinged) pleasure. But both are adept at finding the chinks in people's armours. Both are ruthless & venomous in the pursuit of their prey. Both are unable to empathise with their victims, self-centred, and rigid.
The narcissist abuses his victim verbally, mentally, or physically (often, in all three ways). He infiltrates her defences, shatters her self-confidence, confuses and confounds her, demeans and debases her. He invades her territory, abuses her confidence, exhausts her resources, hurts her loved ones, threatens her stability and security, enmeshes her in his paranoid state of mind, frightens her out of her wits, withholds love and sex from her, prevents satisfaction and causes frustration, humiliates and insults her privately and in public, points out her shortcomings, criticises her profusely and in a "scientific and objective" manner – and this is a partial list.
Very often, the narcissist sadistic acts are disguised as an enlightened interest in the welfare of his victim. He plays the psychiatrist to her psychopathology (totally dreamt up by him). He acts the guru, the avuncular or father figure, the teacher, the only true friend, the old and the experienced. All this in order to weaken her defences and to lay siege to her disintegrating nerves. So subtle and poisonous is the narcissistic variant of sadism that it might well be regarded as the most dangerous of all.
The Sadistic Narcissist: https://samvak.tripod.com/faq56.html
Janusz thrusts his head through the illuminated window, deep into the house, his desperate shadow bedaubed across the wall. We shelter Dinah, a chimera of heads and bodies, protecting her from Janusz, from his love, from his contorted face, as he bawls, in his intellectual accent: "But I want Dinah, let me speak with Dinah!" Dinah's face alight, attainted red. It has been a long time since she was wooed so forcefully.
Janusz, consumed by twilight, bellowing ignominiously in public. It flatters her, evoking stirrings she can recognize. She giggles uncomfortably, a beauty framed in silky skin and pearly teeth.
Janusz sits by day on color-peeling, fading benches. His body arched with twanging dignity, his equine face buried in a thickset tome, exaggerated eyes peering through the magnifying lenses of his gold-rimmed glasses. From time to time, he chases a dogged, greasy curl away from his alpestrine forehead.
It was this expansive brow that most impressed me as a child. A swathe, pulsating in venous green, a milky desert, crisscrossed with brittle capillaries and strewn with bony rocks. Beneath this tract was Janusz: his wondering eyes, penumbral sockets, and slithering hair.
When he summoned Dinah, his face erupted into creases, as wastelands do before the rain. "Go away, crazy one" - my grandma, Dinah's mother, used to shout at him halfheartedly, as she shuttered the rickety windows. But even Janusz, who I, informed by hindsight, now know to have been really cracked - even he perceived my grandma's protests as eccentrically veiled summonses.
Grinning, he would press his face against the frozen casement, his Hellenic nose made into a bulbous offering, befogged, only his toothy smile remains, then gone.
What happened next? https://samvak.tripod.com/janus-en.html
Slide to the left for multiple photos. Listen to the seminar. Both parts are available here: https://www.youtube.com/vakninmusings
I reviewed the differences between networks and hierarchies and why the latter feel threatened by the former. I also surveyed recent, startling discoveries about networks.
For example: "weak ties" (inactive members) fulfil functions which are as important as the functions of hyperactive opinion leaders.
Or: the more irrational the memeplex (narrative) of the network, the stronger the loyalty of its members.
More about networks:
When I was growing up in a slum in Israel, I devoutly believed that knowledge and education will set me free and catapult me from my miserable circumstances into a glamorous world of happy learning. But now, as an adult, I find myself in an alien universe where functional literacy is non-existent even in developed countries, where "culture" means merely sports and music, where science is decried as evil and feared by increasingly hostile and aggressive masses, and where irrationality in all its forms (religiosity, the occult, conspiracy theories) flourishes.
The few real scholars and intellectuals left are on the retreat, back into the ivory towers of a century ago. Increasingly, their place is taken by self-taught "experts", narcissistic bloggers, wannabe "authors" and "auteurs", and partisan promoters of (often self-beneficial) "causes". The mob thus empowered and complimented feels vindicated and triumphant. But history cautions us that mobs have never produced enlightenment - only concentration camps and bloodied revolutions. The Internet can and will be used against us if we don't regulate it.
Throughout human history eras of infatuation with technologies of content delivery alternated with periods of emphasis on the quality of content. Currently, we are enamoured with smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets, rendering content a mere excuse to deploy these devices and marvel at the rapid succession of ever-escalating features.
Why am I not as well known or popular as Jordan Peterson?
I brought hope to tens of millions of victims of abuse around the world. My pioneering work in 1995 allowed them to understand their plight & I gave them a new vocabulary to express it with (including "narcissistic abuse"). Do I universally repel people because I am a fat & flabby blob of a non-man? Didn't stop Slavoj Zizek. Is it because I am a psychopathic narcissist? HG Tudor & James Fallon are widely loved & admired. Scholars even extol "high functioning" & "productive" narcissists.
There are 2 reasons why people hate, loathe, & shun me:
1. I regard the retarded eat-to-shit machines that pass for "humans" as dispensable. If 6 billion specimen of these inferior life forms were to go extinct tomorrow, the survival of Mankind will have been guaranteed.
I advocate active eugenic culling of humanity, involving euthanasia, sterilisation, & parental licensing.
I am against all expressions of malignant egalitarianism, including democracy. The role of the elites is gatekeeping: to deny to the masses access to all forms of power, technologies included. Strict meritocracy also requires exclusivity & curation.
2. Peterson offers prescriptive hope. So do the likes of Tony Robbins: follow these steps to become rich. Or happy.
My message is unmitigated gloom & doom. Narcissism is ineluctable. The stupid & insane are running the show. The great unwashed are in control. The species is doomed. I offer zero salvation & even less absolution.
Motivational speakers of all stripes are predatory psychopathic charlatans who leverage desperation & gullibility to attain riches & celebrity. They are all liars & manipulators, often masquerading as coaches & public intellectuals.
I virulently hate the subhumans that comprise the overwhelming vast majority of the global population. I wish them dead. My welfare depends on their alacritous demise. I offer no hope whatsoever to anyone, anywhere, never mind what they do or refrain from doing: the dimwitted are hopeless.
Here lies the answer to my opening question.
I hate routine. When I find myself doing the same things over and over again, I get depressed. I oversleep, over-eat, over-drink and, in general, engage in addictive, impulsive and compulsive behaviours. This is my way of re-introducing risk and excitement into what I (emotionally) perceive to be a barren life.
The problem is that even the most exciting and varied existence becomes routine after a while. Living in the same country or apartment, meeting the same people, doing essentially the same things (though with changing content) - all "qualify" as stultifying rote.
I feel entitled to more. I believe that it is my right - due to my intellectual superiority - to lead a thrilling, rewarding, kaleidoscopic life. I am entitled to force life itself, or, at least, people around me l, to yield to my wishes and needs, supreme among them the need for stimulating variety.
This rejection of habit is part of a larger pattern of aggressive entitlement: the very existence of a sublime intellect (such as myself) warrants concessions and allowances. Standing in line is a waste of time best spent pursuing knowledge, inventing and creating. I should avail myself of the best medical treatment proffered by the most prominent medical authorities - lest the asset that is I be lost to Mankind. I should not be bothered with proofreading my articles (or even re-reading them): these lowly jobs are best assigned to the less gifted. The devil is in paying precious attention to details.
Entitlement is sometimes justified in a Picasso or an Einstein. But I am neither. My achievements are grotesquely incommensurate with my overwhelming sense of entitlement. I am but a mediocre and forgettable scribbler who, at the age of 58, is a colossal under-achiever, if anything.
We kill our gods even as we worship them. In Jewish mysticism, god reduced himself ("tsimtsum") in order to create the world. The act of creation involved mayhem on a cosmic scale ("broken vessels"). Christianity is founded on the violent demise of god at the hands of mere mortals. God dies - literally, symbolically, or metaphorically - in almost all religions.
Such hate-love ambivalence characterized our relationships with our parents, especially when these parents self-absorbed, dysempathic, manipulative, toxic, and objectifying. Such parents refuse to allow their children to separate and individuate, never let go. They emotionally blackmail their offspring and engender an environment of ambient incest.
Indeed, the gods - these substitute progenitors - are often described as petulant, capricious, and narcissistic attention whores: they are clinging, needy, histrionic, rage uncontrollably when ignored or abandoned, jealous, aggressive, with poor impulse control, and with impaired judgment. They abuse their unbridled powers abundantly.
So, from time immemorial, we have been killing our gods, it symbolizes our autonomy as individuals. We need to repress to oblivion the inner representations of our parents to emerge as independent individuals. Killing god is an act of liberation and identity formation.
Right to be Brought to Life
In most moral systems - including all major religions and Western legal methodologies - it is life that gives rise to rights. The dead have rights only because of the existence of the living. Where there is no life - there are no rights. Stones have no rights (though many animists would find this statement abhorrent). Hence the vitriolic debate about cloning which involves denuding an unfertilized egg of its nucleus. Is there life in an egg or a sperm cell?
That something exists, does not necessarily imply that it harbors life. Sand exists and it is inanimate. But what about things that exist and have the potential to develop life? No one disputes the existence of eggs and sperms - or their capacity to grow alive.
Is the potential to be alive a legitimate source of rights? Does the egg have any rights, or, at the very least, the right to be brought to life (the right to become or to be) and thus to acquire rights? The much trumpeted right to acquire life pertains to an entity which exists but is not alive - an egg. It is, therefore, an unprecedented kind of right. Had such a right existed, it would have implied an obligation or duty to give life to the unborn and the not yet conceived.
Clearly, life manifests, at the earliest, when an egg and a sperm unite at the moment of fertilization. Life is not a potential - it is a process triggered by an event. An unfertilized egg is neither a process - nor an event. It does not even possess the potential to become alive unless and until it is fertilized.
The potential to become alive is not the ontological equivalent of actually being alive. A potential life cannot give rise to rights and obligations. The transition from potential to being is not trivial, nor is it automatic, or inevitable, or independent of context. Atoms of various elements have the potential to become an egg (or, for that matter, a human being) - yet no one would claim that they ARE an egg (or a human being), or that they should be treated as such (i.e., with the same rights & obligations).
Right to be Born
While the right to be brought to life (see the post preceding this one) deals with potentials - the right to be born deals with actualities. When one or two adults voluntarily cause an egg to be fertilized by a sperm cell with the explicit intent and purpose of creating another life - the right to be born crystallizes. The voluntary and premeditated action of said adults amounts to a contract with the embryo - or rather, with society which stands in for the embryo.
Henceforth, the embryo acquires the entire panoply of human rights: the right to be born, to be fed, sheltered, to be emotionally nurtured, to get an education, and so on.
But what if the fertilization was either involuntary (rape) or unintentional ("accidental" pregnancy)? Is the embryo's successful acquisition of rights dependent upon the nature of the conception? We deny criminals their loot as "fruits of the poisoned tree". Why not deny an embryo his life if it is the outcome of a crime? The conventional response - that the embryo did not commit the crime or conspire in it - is inadequate. We would deny the poisoned fruits of crime to innocent bystanders as well. Would we allow a passerby to freely spend cash thrown out of an escape vehicle following a robbery?
Even if we agree that the embryo has a right to be kept alive - this right cannot be held against his violated mother. It cannot oblige her to harbor this patently unwanted embryo. If it could survive outside the womb, this would have solved the moral dilemma. But it is dubious - to say the least - that it has a right to go on using the mother's body, or resources, or to burden her in any way in order to sustain its own life.
When we are born, we are not much more than the sum of
our genes and their manifestations. Our brain - a physical object - is the
residence of mental health and its disorders. Mental illness cannot be
explained without resorting to the body and, especially, to the brain. And our
brain cannot be contemplated without considering our genes. Thus, any
explanation of our mental life that leaves out our hereditary makeup and our
neurophysiology is lacking. Such lacking theories are nothing but literary
narratives. Psychoanalysis, for instance, is often accused of being divorced
from corporeal reality.
Our genetic baggage makes us resemble a personal computer. We are an all-purpose, universal, machine. Subject to the right programming (conditioning, socialization, education, upbringing) - we can turn out to be anything and everything. A computer can imitate any other kind of discrete machine, given the right software. It can play music, screen movies, calculate, print, paint. Compare this to a television set - it is constructed and expected to do one, and only one, thing. It has a single purpose and a unitary function. We, humans, are more like computers than like television sets.
True, single genes rarely account for any behaviour or trait. An array of coordinated genes is required to explain even the minutest human phenomenon. "Discoveries" of a "gambling gene" here and an "aggression gene" there are derided by the more serious and less publicity-prone scholars. Yet, it would seem that even complex behaviours such as risk taking, reckless driving, and compulsive shopping have genetic underpinning.
Possessing religious authority allows
the narcissist to indulge his sadistic urges & to exercise his misogynism
freely & openly. He is likely to taunt & torment his followers, hector
& chastise them, humiliate & berate them, abuse them spiritually, or
The narcissistic pastor, priest, or zealous parishioner is looking for obedient & unquestioning slaves upon whom to impose his capricious & wicked mastery. The narcissist transforms even the most innocuous & pure religious sentiments into a cultish ritual & 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 or parish, his constituency, his audience are transformed into loyal & stable Sources of Narcissistic Supply. They obey his commands, heed his admonitions, follow his creed, admire his personality, applaud his traits, satisfy his needs (sometimes even his carnal desires), revere & idolize him.
Moreover, being a part of a "bigger thing" is very gratifying. Being a particle of God, being immersed in His grandeur, experiencing His power and blessings first hand, communing with him are all Sources of unending Narcissistic Supply. The narcissist becomes God by observing His commandments, following His instructions, loving Him, obeying Him, succumbing to Him, merging with Him, communicating with Him, or even by defying him (the bigger the narcissist's enemy - the more grandiosely important the narcissist feels). Like everything else in the narcissist's life, he mutates God into a kind of inverted narcissist. God becomes his dominant Source of Supply. He forms a personal relationship with this overwhelming & overpowering entity in order to overwhelm & overpower others. He becomes God vicariously, by the proxy of his relationship with Him. He idealizes God, then devalues Him, then abuses Him. This is the classic narcissistic pattern and even God himself cannot escape it.
Was Jesus a Grandiose Narcissist? http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/journal45.html
In Hollywood, Leprechauns are exclusively asexual,
bearded, wrinkle-faced grumpy males. In Irish lore, female leprechauns are also
seductive fairies. Why the censorship?
Men feel threatened by female sexuality. Remember the medieval vagina dentata (toothy pussy)? The stoning and stigmatizing of women with a healthy sex drive? Chastity belts? Stud versus slut double standard?
The female leprechauns are promiscuous, tiny, usually red-headed, very beautiful, have tintinnabulating voices, are unbearably cute, and consequently are constantly pregnant. Very naughty and mischievous, including sexually.
Hollywood, for this reason, shows only male leprechauns, never female ones. Same sex is safe sex in the sick universe of mass entertainment.
Many myths abound about Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand
(Mahatma "Great Souled") (1869-1948). He was not born to a poor
Indian family. His father was dewan (chief minister) of Porbandar, the capital
of a small principality in Gujarat in western India under British suzerainty.
He later became dewan of Rajkot.
He married at the age of 13 (he liked them young ever since) & was a mediocre student. In his adolescence he defied his repressive environment by petty thieving, meat eating, smoking, & professed atheism.
Until age 18 he spoke Gujarati and very little English.
He wanted to be a medical doctor, a surgeon. His family forced him to study law.
His first political activity was as a member of the executive committee of the London Vegetarian Society.
He went to South Africa because he couldn't find work in India as a poor lawyer, in both senses of the word. He suffered from stage fright. Encyclopedia Britannica describes his first days there: "In a Durban court, he was asked by the European magistrate to take off his turban; he refused and left the courtroom. A few days later, while traveling to Pretoria, he was unceremoniously thrown out of a first-class railway compartment and left shivering and brooding at Pietermaritzburg Station; in the further course of the journey he was beaten up by the white driver of a stagecoach because he would not travel on the footboard to make room for a European passenger; and finally he was barred from hotels reserved "for Europeans only." But, Gandhi was not a pacifist or anti-British. When the Boer war broke out, he organized a volunteer corps of 11,000 Indians to defend the British colony of Natal.
He was about to sail to London when he read about a bill to deprive the Indians of their right to vote. He decided to stay. It is in Johannesburg, South Africa that his first civil disobedience ("Satyagraha") campaign was staged - not in India.
Gandhi's life was at peril many times. He was almost lynched in Durban as early as January 1897 & was assassinated in 1948.
"It will not
happen to me, I am different: smarter, more experienced, irresistible,
addictive, empathic ..." This is a common grandiose defense.
Your intimate partner or spouse has a history of relationships. He developed an MO (method of operation): a habitual - by now, almost reflexive - set of behaviors, reactive patterns, precedents, and choices. She is extremely likely to use the same MO with you regardless of who you are, how long you have been together, and how strong the bond is.
If in the past she dumped her intimate partners - she will dump you, too. If he cheated before, he will do so again. If she was emotionally or physically absent from her dyads, you can count on such behavior repeating itself. If he preferred distance interactions via chats and sexting to any real-life liaison, you are unlikely to ever meet him. If she deceived her former paramours, lied to them, abused them, or stole from them - you are next. If he never cohabited or shared his life - he never will.
In the phase of limerence (infatuation plus), we tend to idealize figures of attachment and ignore their predilections if they contravene the idealized image.
We also consider ourselves so unique and omnipotent that we can singlehandedly transform our beloved. It never works. It is the recipe for heartbreak and worse.
Your abuser is
likely to be provoked to extremes by signs of your personal autonomy.
Conceal your thoughts and plans, make no overt choices and express no
preferences, never mention your emotions, needs, earnings, wages, profits, or
trust money. Tell him how much you rely on him to reach the right decisions for
both of you. Play dumb - but not too dumb, or it may be provoke his suspicions.
It is a thin line between pleasing the abuser and rendering him a raving
Never give your abuser cause to doubt or suspect you. Surrender all control to him, deny yourself access to property and funds, don't socialize, drop all your friends and hobbies, quit your job and your studies, and confine yourself to your abode. Your abuser is bound to be virulently jealous and suspect illicit liaisons between you and the least likely persons, your family included. He envies the attention you give to others, even to your common children. Place him on a pedestal and make sure he notices how you ignore, spurn, and neglect everyone else.
To your abuser, you are an object, no matter how ostensibly revered and cherished. Hence the battering. He monopolizes your time and your mind. He makes for you even the minutest choices: what to wear, what to cook for dinner, when to go out and with whom. In extreme cases, he regards even your body as his to share with others, if he sees fit.
It is an onerous existence, consistently tiptoeing on eggshells. Neither is it invariably successful. The submissive posture delays the more egregious manifestations of abuse but cannot prevent them altogether. Choosing to live with an abuser is like opting to share a cage with a predator. No matter how domesticated, Nature is bound to prevail. You are more likely than not to end up as the abuser's next meal.
People pop up, make my acquaintance, avail themselves of anything I
have to offer them, and disappear discourteously. Inevitably, I trust no one
and avoid hurt by remaining emotionally aloof. But this only exacerbates the
situation. My social milieu
resembles bubbles in a stream.
When I try to press the point, when I ask "Is anything wrong with me, how can I improve?" – my interlocutors impatiently detach, seldom to reappear. When I try to balance the equation by (very rarely) asking for a commensurate service or a favour in return – I am utterly ignored or my request is curtly and monosyllabically declined.
It's like people are saying: "You are such a loathsome being that merely keeping your company is a sacrifice. You should bribe us to associate with you, however coolly. You should buy our icy friendship and our limited willingness to listen. You deserve no better than these concessions that we are granting you reluctantly. You should feel grateful that we agree to take that which you have to give us. Expect nothing in return but our truncated attention"
And I, the mental leper, endorse these terms of dubious endearment. I dole out gifts: my knowledge, my contacts, my political influence, my writing skills (such as they are). All I ask in return is not to be abandoned hastily, a few moments of make-belief, of feigned grace. I acquiesce in the asymmetry of my relationships, for I deserve no better and have known no differently since my early tortured childhood.
"Just how much do you know about lucid dreaming?"
"Not much." - I admitted - "Read about it here and there. I am
more interested in its business applications. Hence my idea of organizing a
tournament. It is doable, isn't it? I mean, I read about shared dreams and
such." If I hadn't known Jack, I could have sworn to have seen his visage
fleetingly turning derisive. But, the moment passed and he was his old anodyne
self again. He sighed and sipped from his long-stemmed receptacle: "There
are many techniques developed and used to induce lucid dreams. There's WILD,
where you go directly from wakefulness to a dream state. It's eerie, like an
out of body experience." "How would you know what an out of body
experience is like?" - I couldn't help but ask.
Jack smoothed the greasy strands that passed for hair on the shiny, bumpy dome of his skull: "I had a few when I was a kid. Doctors told me it was dissociation, my way of fleeing the horrors of my youth, so to speak." He smiled ruefully and the effect was terrifying. I averted my eyes. "Anyhow, I also tried MILD, to recognize tell-tale signs that I am dreaming while asleep and WBTB - that's: wake-back-to-bed - where you sleep for a while, then wake up, then concentrate on a dream you would like to have and then go back to sleep. I even went for supplements and devices that were supposed to help one to have lucid dreams. Some of them worked, actually." - He scrutinized the fatty residues of his fingertips on the surface of the glass and then gulped the entire contents down. "Wow!" - I said, appropriately appreciative - "I didn't know there was so much to it!". I hoped that flattery - augmented by a few more drinks - will be enough to secure the free consultancy services of Jack. "It's just the tip of an iceberg. Users and developers all over the world are now working on shared lucid dreaming and on enhanced learning techniques. It's an awesome new field."
Story continues: https://samvak.tripod.com/luciddream-en.html
I am a Member of the Organzing Committees of over 40 international
conferences in the fields of brain studies, psychology, and psychiatry.
I am also Editor in Chief of 2 academic journals in psychology and psychiatry and member of the editorial board of another 25 academic journals in neuroscience, psychiatry, and psychology.
For a list of all the conferences and academic journals: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/mediakit.html
in psychology is a defense mechanism common in the formative years (6 months to
6 years old). It is intended to shield the infant and toddler from the
inevitable hurt and fears involved in the individuation-separation phase of
Secondary or pathological narcissism is a pattern of thinking and behaving in adolescence and adulthood, which involves infatuation and obsession with one's self to the exclusion of others. It manifests in the chronic pursuit of personal gratification and attention (narcissistic supply), in social dominance and personal ambition, bragging, fantastic grandiosity, hypervigilance, insensitivity to others, lack of empathy and/or excessive dependence on others to meet his/her responsibilities in daily living and thinking. Pathological narcissism is at the core of narcissistic personality disorder.
The term narcissism was first used in relation to human psychology by Sigmund Freud after the figure of Narcissus in Greek mythology ("On Narcissism", 1915). Narcissus was a handsome Greek youth who rejected the desperate advances of the nymph Echo. As a punishment, he was doomed to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Unable to consummate his love, Narcissus pined away and changed into the flower that bears his name, the narcissus.
Narcissism at a Glance https://samvak.tripod.com/narcissismglance.html
It is safe to define narcissism as a shift of
emphasis from substance and essence to appearance and spectacle (Guy
Debord’s “Society of the Spectacle”). To do so means to render narcissism an
organizing principle of the entirety of our civilization. Even fields which
seem immune to the vagaries of the human psyche are subject to narcissism.
Take physics for example: the transition from essentialist theories – like Newton’s - to descriptive-functionalist theories – like Quantum Mechanics – is a shift from the substantial to the apparent and abstract. Quantum Mechanics has nothing meaningful to say about reality. No wonder the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics elevates the observer to the status of the Creator of Worlds (or at least of experimental results), a prime narcissistic act.
The rising tide of narcissism is compensatory: as social institutions crumble, role models are dethroned, gatekeepers are decried and derided, narratives unravel, and communities dissipate, people find themselves in the throes of disintermediated atomization within increasingly anomic societies. Existential loneliness in a senseless universe conflicts with the primordial, atavistic need to be seen. We all struggle to be noticed at any cost to ourselves and to others because the gaze of the Other affirms our very quiddity and survival.
provide us with a glimpse of the horrors that lie beneath the veneer, the
barbarians at our personal gates, and what it was like before we invented
Hitler, for instance, forced us all through a time warp and many did not emerge. He was not the devil. He was one of us. He was what Arendt aptly called the banality of evil. Just an ordinary, mentally disturbed, failure, a member of a mentally disturbed and failing nation, who lived through disturbed and failing times. He was the perfect mirror, a channel, a voice, and the very depth of our souls.
The narcissistic leader prefers the sparkle and glamour of well-orchestrated illusions to the tedium and method of real accomplishments. His reign is all smoke and mirrors, devoid of substance, consisting of mere appearances and mass delusions.
In the aftermath of his regime - the narcissistic leader having died, been deposed, or voted out of office - it all unravels. The tireless and constant prestidigitation ceases and the entire edifice crumbles. What looked like an economic miracle turns out to have been a fraud-laced bubble. Loosely-held empires disintegrate. Laboriously assembled business conglomerates go to pieces. "Earth shattering" and "revolutionary" scientific discoveries and theories are discredited. Social experiments end in mayhem.
As their end draws near, narcissistic-psychopathic leaders act out, lash out, erupt. They attack with equal virulence and ferocity compatriots, erstwhile allies, neighbors, and foreigners.
discovered in 1855, was considered by Sigmund Freud to be both a powerful
anti-depressant and an aphrodisiac. He recommended it to treat morphine
addiction in his tome, “On Coca”, published in 1884. He himself used it for a
few years and convinced at least one of his friends to become an addict.
But cocaine was popularly used long before Freud. Spanish discoverers of the New World, such as Amerigo Vespucci, tried it in Peru and reported enthusiastically back home in 1505. Both the Spanish crown and the church taxed coca production and accepted payment in coca leaves.
Cocaine was extensively used in the 19th century in throat and eye surgeries. It was so commonplace, cheap, and popular that it was not banned either by the strict Prussians or by the British in the 1868 Pharmacy Act.
People drank cocaine in wine, in Coca-Cola (hence the name), in patent medicines. Merck was a huge producer of the substance. By the beginning of last century, everyone was snorting cocaine. Celebrities from Thomas Edison to Sarah Bernhart – not to mention Hollywood – extolled the drug’s virtues. Cocaine was banned in the USA only in 1914.
Quantum House Resiliency Summit, Sao Paulo, Brazil, November 2018.
Lecture on the need to be seen as a precondition for mental health and pathological narcissism as a private religion with the False Self as its godhead and the narcissist as both worshipper and sacrificial lamb.
The lecture was followed by a 5 days seminar on Cold Therapy, Sam Vaknin's new treatment modality (psychotherapy) for Narcissistic Personality Disorder and for Depression.
The summit lectures will be released soon by @claudiariecken
The movie "Surrogates" raises numerous fascinating
questions, not the least of which is:
When the owner of a surrogate, cocooned in his den, uses his contraption to visit China, or to have sex, or to stroll along a boulevard - who does the experiencing?
Can one really say that one had been to China, or has had sex, or had strolled along a boulevard in autumn if one had never left the comfort of one's home?
If one's body is stationary and only one's mind is wandering and acting through a technological extension, does this constitute "being there" and "doing it"? In the film, it is not made clear whether the brains and bodies of the operators of the surrogates are induced to react as they would in "real"-life situations: as the surrogates go about their business, do their owners sweat, smell, and feel pressure, for instance? Do they experience non-life-threatening short breath and elevated heart rate? Do they truly ejaculate? Yet, having gone this far, it is easy to imagine a device that would stimulate the right brain centers to produce these reactions.
Once the experiences of having sex or touring China via such a machine become indistinguishable from the real thing, in which sense are they "less real"? Isn't it all in the mind, in any case? This is the famous "brain in a jar" conundrum: if one's brain were to be placed in a jar and sustained artificially, would one still be capable of experiencing life fully and in which sense would one exist in such "reduced" circumstances? Wouldn't then the brain-support apparatus constitute the full equivalent of one's erstwhile body, only far less fallible and prone to dysfunction?
The hidden and misleading assumption in all these thought experiments is that the brain and its flesh-and-blood container were once united, before science or technology had them sundered. But what about a human brain that has never had a body? A brain that was grown in a jar or rigged to a surrogate from its very inception? Would such a "monstrosity" qualify as an individual member of the human species? In other words: how important is the body to the formation and operation of the mind?
We declare artistic success when the
communicated representation succeeds to recreate and evoke 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, he 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.
is converging with Philosophy (possibly with the philosophical side of Religion
as well) and the convergence is precisely where concepts of order and disorder
emerge. String theories, for instance, come in numerous versions which describe
many possible different worlds (though, admittedly, they may all be facets of
the same Being - distant echoes of the new versions of the Many Worlds
Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics)
Still, why do we, intelligent conscious observers, see (why are we exposed to) only one kind of world? How is our world as we know it "selected"? The Universe is constrained in this "selection process" by its own history, but its history is not synonymous with the Laws of Nature. We know that the latter determine the former - but did the former also determine the latter? In other words: were the Laws of Nature "selected" as well and, if so, how?
The answer seems self evident: the Universe "selected" both the Natural Laws and, as a result, its own history, in a process akin to Natural Selection. Whatever increased order, complexity, and structure - survived. Our Universe - having itself survived - must be have been naturally selected.
We can assume that only order-increasing Universes do not succumb to entropy and death (the weak hypothesis). It could even be argued (as we do here) that our Universe is the only possible kind of Universe (the semi-strong hypothesis) or even the only Universe (the strong hypothesis). This is the essence of the Anthropic Principle.
By definition, universal rules pervade all the realms of existence. Biological systems obey the same order-increasing (natural) laws as do physical and social ones. We are part of the Universe in the sense that we are subject to the same discipline and adhere to the same "religion". We are an inevitable result - not a chance happening.
The “Lone Wolf”
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 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.
This is Sam Vaknin in 2039. Scroll to the left to see all three
photos. Be sure to read this post to its surprising end: the story of how I
obtained these images.
Eerie to glimpse photos of yourself from the far future!!! It is time travel at its most disconcerting.
I seem to be doing well, though! I look elegant, engaged in intellectual work, I draw the attention of the media (or whoever took these photos), I aged like good vintage wine.
There is still the typical grandiose tilt of the head, the mischievous wry smile, the same eyeglasses.
Right? You all agree?
These are photos of the famed psychologist and cultural theorist Jacques Lacan!
An astute follower wrote to me: "Not so long ago, being
influenced was not really seen in a good light: it meant you weren't capable of
making your own choices or standing your own ground.
Now, it is an actual job - an influencer, something people want to do and are proud of.
I see a contradiction I cannot really explain because, like you have said before, narcissism is spreading and becoming more and more global and, at the same time, being 'under the influence' has become OK, good and normal! So, less individualism - and more narcissistic? How to reconcile this?" Narcissists have role models: celebrities, influencers, intellectuals, the rich, powerful, famous and accomplished, even God himself. They also like to belong to mighty collectives.
Narcissists "possess" and "own" these role models and collectives as extensions of themselves. Their grandiosity lies in following and in belonging. They bask in the reflected glory, access, fame, accomplishments, and stature of their heroes or of the groups they belong to.
platforms regard your intimate partner, your friends, and your family as
Intimacy is about paying attention to your partner.
Social networks monopolize your attention. They package it and sell you to their advertisers.
Looking at her lovingly?
Facebook monetizes your eyeballs. It needs them. All the time.
Positive emotions? Human face-to-face connection?
Less aggression. Less repeat activity. Lower stickiness. Less conditioning. Less confirmation bias in silos.
Intimacy is bad for business. Bad for social media.
Notes of first therapy session with Edward J., male, 51, diagnosed
with Depressive Personality
Edward has a lumbering, numbed presence. He walks as if in a dream, his gait robotic, his eyes downcast. Within minutes, it is abundantly clear to me that he is gloomy, dejected, pessimistic, overly serious, lacks a sense of humor, cheerless, joyless, and constantly unhappy.
How does he react to good news? - I ask him - What if I had just informed him that he has won a million bucks in a game of chance?
He contemplates this improbable good fortune and then shrugs: "It wouldn't make much of a difference, Doc." A million bucks wouldn't make a difference in your life? - I am astounded. This time, he doesn't even bother to respond.
Let's try another tack: What would you have done with the money? "Probably fritter it away." - He laughs mirthlessly.
I am no good with finances either, I confide in him. "I am not good at anything." - He counters.
That's not what I hear from his wife and close friends who I have interviewed, I try to reassure him. It seems that you are outstanding at your work, a loving husband, and a chess champion.
What do they know! - He sneers - I am a loser. The only thing I am really good at is disguising it well.
Continue to read the therapy notes here:
Granted a 20 minutes interview to TRT World Newsmakers on the
perils of social media (scroll to the left to view multiple photos). The
interview was shot and streamed via a link from the studio of Al Jazeera
Watch Richard Grannon's groundbreaking documentary "Plugged-in", available on his YouTube channel and on mine:
TRT World just informed me that my interview, in which I discussed
the negative repercussions of social media, is subject to: "(We are sorry,
but there is) some discussion within management about the segment so it is
being held for now and out of our control"
Form your own opinion and draw your own conclusions as to what this implies and who put pressure on whom.
Is it GENERALLY immoral to kill, to torture, to pain? The answer
seems obvious and it automatically applies to animals. Is it generally
immoral to destroy? Yes, it is and this answer pertains to the inanimate as
well. There are exceptions: it is permissible to kill and to inflict pain in
order to prevent a (quantitatively or qualitatively) greater evil, to protect
life, and when no reasonable and feasible alternative is available.
The chain of food in nature is morally neutral and so are death and disease. Any act which is intended to sustain life of a higher order (and a higher order in life) – is morally positive or, at least neutral. Nature decreed so. Animals do it to other animals – though, admittedly, they optimize their consumption and avoid waste and unnecessary pain. Waste and pain are morally wrong. This is not a question of hierarchy of more or less important Beings (an outcome of the fallacy of anthropomorphizing Nature)
The distinction between what is (essentially) US – and what just looks and behaves like us (but is NOT us) is false, superfluous and superficial. Sociobiology is already blurring these lines. Quantum Mechanics has taught us that we can say nothing about what the world really IS. If things look the same and behave the same, we better assume that they are the same.
a social phenomenon with social implications. It fosters entrepreneurship and
social mobility. By allowing the countries in transition to skip massive
investments in outdated technologies - the cellular phone, the Internet, cable
TV, and the satellite become shortcuts to prosperity.
Poverty is another invaluable advantage.
With the exception of Slovenia, Estonia, Croatia and the Czech Republic - the population of the countries in transition is poor, sometimes inordinately so. Looming and actual penury is a major driver of entrepreneurship, initiative and innovation. Wealth formation and profit seeking are motivated by indigence, both absolute and relative. The poor seek to better their position in the world by becoming middle-class. They invest in education, in small businesses, in consumer products, in future generations.
The Germans - sated and affluent - are unlikely to experience a second economic miracle. The Serbs, Albanians, Ukrainians, Poles, or Romanians won't survive without one. The West is just discovering this truth and is opening its gates - albeit xenophobically and intermittently - to poorer foreigners. For what is immigration if not the importation of ambitious indigents, certain to revitalize the EU's rich and somnolent economies?
The countries of central and eastern Europe, thus, stand to benefit twice.
Their own economic Renaissance is spurred on by a striving home-grown proletariat. And they are uniquely positioned - geographically and culturally - to export destitute go-getters to the wealthy West and to reap the rewards of the inevitable spurt in entrepreneurship and innovation that follows. Remittances, returning expatriates, thriving and networked Diasporas would do more to uplift the countries of origin than any amount of oft-misallocated multilateral aid.
I spent the first 9 years of my life being adored and adulated as a
world-class genius prodigy
(Wunderkind). I learned two lessons from this period, two coping techniques
and survival strategies:
1. I must remain a kid. A precocious child is always far more memorable, awesome, and adorable than a talented adult;
2. I impress and imitate, I do not communicate or really exist.
I seek to overwhelm people with my intellect, cornucopia of new ideas, and encyclopedic knowledge - all the while maintaining a childlike charm, demeanor, and innocence.
As a pseudo-kid, I imitate adult skills, traits, and behaviors:
emotions, empathy, sex, making money. I give out no man vibe, or even neuter
vibe: only the vibe of a petulant freakish kid.
I am not a person who does imitations - I AM the imitations. There is nothing else and no one there. I am mere smoke and mirrors.
Sex with me is very pyrotechnic and accomplished, but soulless and objectifying - a virtuoso performance to an audience of one; my "emotions" and "empathy" ring hollow, and robotic; my body language is stilted and forced. It all smacks of manipulation. Watch my video on the uncanny valley.
People in my milieu - especially women in intimate relationships with me - feel that I am fake, off-key, artificial intelligence gone awry, a creepy childish emanation or apparition.
They get alarmed and recoil in loathing and horror when confronted with the shape-shifting alien being that I am, the reptilian that usurped the holographic mimetic man they thought was there. They are traumatized by the absence that is my sole existence.
she fell in love with and was the lifelong companion of a man who wouldn't grow
up, Peter Pan.
Boyish charm is irresistible. A childlike man harps on the maternal heartstrings of every woman, rendering her protective and subservient.
Like every toddler, he is delightful, innocent, funny, unpredictable, and pure. They both find Neverland: a realm of fantasy that suspends a melancholic and ugly reality.
But then life happens: adults chores and responsibilities beckon. A partnership of equal adults is the only recipe for coping with the vagaries and exigencies of life. Women then dump the thrilling but immature in favor of the staid but reliable. Commitment trumps infatuation every time.
These ineluctable breakups are traumatic: the woman feels that she had abandoned and dumped her son, the infantile man is yet again discarded as a forsaken child.
We idealize stereotypical gender roles: women are
magic embodied in beauty and strength disguised as frailty. They originate life
and sustain it through love. They are Nature. They are empathic and
communicative. They form networks facilely.
I have been observing Mankind for 24 years now. I find women to be far tougher, far less romantic, and less empathic than men. They have to be: in a majority of cases, women are still their children's primary caregivers.
Millennia of suppression by men and their patriarchies led women to resort to the weapons of the weak and the stratagems of the underdog: underhanded goal-oriented manipulation, deception, and passive-aggression. Women are transactional: they habitually trade love and sex for economic security.
Studies show that women also intensely dislike other women, regard them as threats, and compete with them overtly and covertly. In the presence of men, though, they close ranks, fake solidarity, and defer to the males.
Now, ostensibly, the paradigm is shifting: women are no longer owned (though a majority of them are dependent on men as primary or sole breadwinners). Men are fighting back, terrified of the terra incognita of feminism.
But old habits die hard and inter-generational coping strategies are here to stay. Women be women and men be men for a while longer.
Time has arrived.
Time is here.
But the snow is great.
And you, bladed stalactite,
shredded your loved ones
Into a ticker-tape parade,
confettied aftermath of distant glories.
Now that you are melting,
there is no one left
to gather your holy water
and to exorcise the demons
in the empty cave
that you had become.
Oh Sam. Oh Sam.
It is time already.
Additional Poetry of Healing and Abuse https://samvak.tripod.com/contents.html
Relationships between men and women are at an all-time nadir and
begin to border on open hostility and hatred. But people remain married to
cheating spouses (adultery is rarely given as a cause in divorce cases). And
they keep bringing children to the world. How come?
If you don't want to go single, it is rational to choose to stay with your current cheating partner: there is a 56% chance that your next partner will also cheat on you and a 73% chance that s/he will divorce you.
Cheating and deception are the new normal, trust a thing of the distant past. Marriages have become zero sum wrestling matches. Hence prenups and the burgeoning industries of couple therapists and divorce attorneys.
But why have kids with someone you cannot stand (the opposite sex)? Because of the signaling value of having kids. Parenthood is used to send a series of messages to oneself and to one's social milieu:
I am a proper man/woman;
I am not a psychosexual or social "deviant" or "pervert", I am "normal" and conform to the values and mores of my society (I am not a homosexual, for example)
I am accomplished, I have a family, I am leaving something behind me to prove that I have existed;
I am not immature or selfish, I am a responsible, functional adult.
Kids are also used as currency in transactional marriages: a way for the man to exert control over the woman and inhibit her behaviors - and a way for the woman to bind the man to her and to her offspring as a form of financial annuity.
Memory of Salt
From behind him, always
Trailing, fatigued, uphill:
The salvaged trinkets
Of a life inflamed
A good man, her husband,
On intimate terms with God.
But the minute she tried to
Capture their togetherness,
Turning her back on him for just an instance,
He made her into a memory of salt,
Gone with the first rain,
Melting seamlessly into the smoke
Of the furnace she used to call her home.
Her daughters, circling, uncorked the wine.
More poetry: https://samvak.tripod.com/contents.html
Patient: I don’t want to hear you say that about my family!
Sam Vaknin: Even if it is the truth?
P: I did not come to you for the truth! I came to you to find comfort & solace!
SV: Healing is not possible without confronting reality, by avoiding it.
P: It would definitely not be possible if you make me even more depressed than I am! Why can’t you be like other life coaches & narcissistic abuse experts? They are empathic! They love people! It is such fun to work with them! They are so much brighter than you!
SV: I don’t know if they love people but they sure love their money.
P: No! They are empaths! I can see the pain in their eyes!
SV: Via YouTube? Well done! What if they are faking it?
P: That they would go to the trouble of faking it just proves that they care about us, the great unwashed that you so loath!
SV: So, let me get it straight: if someone is only after your money, but takes the trouble to fake empathy & sympathy, it proves that he or she actually does care about you.
P: At least they work hard, even if it is only acting on their part! I appreciate that and I want to give them my money! With you, I feel bad! They make me feel good about myself!
SV: They confirm your victimhood & justify all your decisions?
P: I am the victim here! But it is good to hear it from an objective expert!
SV: You consider these people objective – or experts? How would you know that they are experts?
P: They definitely know more than you can ever hope to learn about spirituality, human connection, & the soul.
SV: They may well do. I don’t particularly like fairy tales.
P: You see? Smug! Arrogant! How would you ever understand the first thing about narcissistic abuse?
SV: Funny you should say this. I actually invented the phrase ‘narcissistic abuse’ in 1999 and was the first to describe the syndrome & the predicament of victims of narcissistic abuse in great detail.
P: That doesn’t make you an expert on narcissistic abuse.
SV: So, you don’t mind living in a fantasy, as long as it makes you happy?
Read her response to this question and others here: https://samvak.tripod.com/abusefamily24.html
Narcissists equate love
with weakness. They hate being weak and they hate and despise weak people
(and, therefore, the sick, the old and the young). They do not tolerate what
they consider to be stupidity, disease and dependence – and love seems to
consist of all three. These are not sour grapes. They really feel this way.
Narcissists are angry men – but not because they never experienced love and probably never will. They are angry because they are not as powerful, awe inspiring and successful as they wish they were and, to their mind, deserve to be. Because their daydreams refuse so stubbornly to come true. Because they are their worst enemy. And because, in their unmitigated paranoia, they see adversaries plotting everywhere and feel discriminated against and contemptuously ignored.
Many of them (the borderline narcissists) cannot conceive of life in one place with one set of people, doing the same thing, in the same field with one goal within a decades-old game plan. To them, this is the equivalent of death. They are most terrified of boredom and whenever faced with its daunting prospect, they inject drama or even danger into their lives. This way they feel alive.
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 an age of terrorism, guerrilla and total warfare the medieval
doctrine of Just War
needs to be re-defined. Moreover, issues of legitimacy, efficacy and morality
should not be confused. Legitimacy is conferred by institutions. Not all
morally justified wars are, therefore, automatically legitimate. Frequently the
efficient execution of a battle plan involves immoral or even illegal acts.
As international law evolves beyond the ancient precepts of sovereignty, it should incorporate new thinking about pre-emptive strikes, human rights violations as casus belli and the role and standing of international organizations, insurgents and liberation movements.
Yet, inevitably, what constitutes "justice" depends heavily on the cultural and societal contexts, narratives, mores, and values of the disputants. Thus, one cannot answer the deceivingly simple question: "Is this war a just war?" - without first asking: "According to whom? In which context? By which criteria? Based on what values? In which period in history and where?" Being members of Western Civilization, whether by choice or by default, our understanding of what constitutes a just war is crucially founded on our shifting perceptions of the West.
The arguments of the proponents of the esoteric
included, boil down to these:
1. That the human mind can alter the course of events and affect objects (including other people's brains) voluntarily (e.g., telekinesis or telepathy) or involuntarily (e.g., poltergeist)
2. That current science is limited (for instance, by its commitment to causation) and therefore is structurally unable to discern, let alone explain, the existence of certain phenomena (such as remote viewing or precognition). This implies that everything has natural causes and that we are in a perpetual state of receding ignorance, in the throes of an asymptotic quest for the truth. Sooner or later, that which is now perplexing, extraordinary, "miraculous", and unexplained (protoscience) will be incorporated into science and be fully accounted for.
3. That science is dogmatically biased against and, therefore, delinquent in its investigation of certain phenomena, objects, and occurrences (such as Voodoo, magic, and UFOs - Unidentified Flying Objects)
Three historic developments contributed to the propagation and popularity of psychical research:
1. The introduction into Parapsychology of scientific methods of observation, experimentation, and analysis (e.g., the use of statistics and probability in the studies conducted at the Parapsychology Laboratory of North Carolina's Duke University by the American psychologist Joseph Banks Rhine and in the more recent remote viewing ganzfeld sensory deprivation experiments)
2. The emergence of counter-intuitive models of reality, especially in physics, incorporating such concepts as nonlocal action-at-a-distance (e.g., Bell's theorem), emergentism, multiverses, hidden dimensions, observer effects ("mind over matter"), and creation ex nihilo. These models are badly understood by laymen.
The widespread use of the word "she" as the female
singular pronoun is astoundingly new.
The word "she" existed in both Middle English, where it was written as "scae", or "sche" and in Old English where it was "sio", or (as in Norsk-Viking languages) "seo", or, in the accusative, sie.
But women simply did not deserve a pronoun all their own.
Prior to the 12 century - when the English language was already 400 years old - the female pronoun was "heo" ("hye", or "hie" in Middle English). "Heo" was also was the plural of all genders. "She" as a noun (she-cousin) was not in acceptable use prior to the 14th century.
Even today, the plurals of all genders in English have no feminine forms, as opposed, for instance, to Semitic languages. "We" and "they" in English are unisex. In Hebrew, for example, "hem" is the male plural and "hen" the female plural (naturally). "He" derives from the Indo-European word for "this (here)". Hence here, her, and ... hence.
"miracle" has long been based on an artificial rate of exchange for
its currency, the yuan (RMB); on unsustainable dollops of government largesse
and monetary quantitative easing which led to the emergence of asset bubbles
(mainly in real-estate) and to pernicious inflation; and, frankly, on
Real wages have been declining in China for quite a few years now as rural folk moved to burgeoning cities, bad loans proliferated, and consumption remained subdued as savings rates reached malignant, self-defeating levels. In an effort to sanitize humungous export proceeds, China amassed trillions of dollars worth of foreign exchange reserves, mostly invested in American treasury bonds, creating a dangerous exposure to the vicissitudes of the increasingly-more decrepit US dollar and to America’s downgraded sovereign credit rating.
The Chinese authorities' attempts to clamp down on rampant speculation and price gouging are too little, too late, not to say irrelevant. The economy will screech to a shuddering halt in the mother of all hard landings. The Chinese house of cards and hall of mirrors will collapse ominously and swiftly. This will bring the entire global economic edifice into disarray with mounting imbalances and increased risk-aversion among investors. The second phase of the global crisis will resemble closely the Great Depression with massive write-offs in the values of equities, across-the-board crumbling of entire banking systems, and mounting, two-digit, unemployment rates everywhere.
How to reconcile this doomsday prognosis with China’s uninterrupted string of decades of stellar (often two-digit) annual growth figures? By seeing China for what it is: the world’s greatest-ever Ponzi scheme. Behind the hype, spin, propaganda, and outright confabulations, China’s economic miracle is founded in its entirety on a simple premise, a breathtakingly audacious prestidigitation: https://samvak.tripod.com/brief-chinausa01.html
astrological natal chart (one of many available online)
When I was 9 years old, I discovered that the vast majority of people are driven by grandiosity, insecurities, gullibility, ignorance, and sheer overwhelming and all-pervasive cretinism.
So, based on these insights, the first business I opened in my teens was a network of "Astrology Kiosks": computerized charts offered in prime retail locations. Even in 1981, with bleeding edge equipment, a basic chart required a few hours to produce.
In 1999 I co-authored an epistolary dialog about technology. It is eerie how prophetic it proved to be:
Technology and organizations are a-human. They take everything into account except their ostensible prime beneficiary: Mankind.
We must retreat, gather power to fight back, to harness and tame the apocalyptic mare of our making.
And as we withdraw into the archetypal lands of Jung, we surely will relapse to old myths and superstitions. Such recidivism has always been the case when we had failed to understand our world and to feel at home in it.
This regression has already started. Look around you: astrology, soothsaying, spiritual healing, cults, millenarian thinking. The Middle Ages have returned in full force indeed.
For the first time in human history, everyone and his dog have equal
access to feature-rich publishing and broadcasting platforms and can reach an
audience of millions with a well-crafted message.
So, if people can vent online to their hearts' content, if they can be verbally aggressive with impunity and thus achieve catharsis - why is violence exploding everywhere? Shouldn't it have declined?
Murderous acts are on the rise because frustration is increasing and has reached a tipping point. But frustration with what?
With perceived promises unkept. Again for the first time in the annals of Mankind, social media, websites, video and publishing platforms and online forums have created in their users fantastic expectations to be heard, seen, respected, and even followed and obeyed.
When these expectations are ineluctably frustrated, it generates aggressive impulses and an escalation in extreme and radical attention-seeking acts. It is all about getting the grandiose message across: You WILL listen to me, one way or another. You will hear what I have to say. And if I have to kill to get your undivided attention - so be it.
Sam Vaknin Member
of the Organizing Committee of International Conference on Neuroscience and
Neurosurgery, Beijing, September 2019
Sam Vaknin is a member in the Organizing Committees of 50 other Scientific/Academic Conferences - click here for details:
Man to a river. Both retain their identity despite the fact that their
individual composition is different at different moments. The possession of a
body as the foundation of a self-identity is a dubious proposition. Bodies
change drastically in time (consider a baby compared to an adult). Almost all
the cells in a human body are replaced every few years. Changing one's brain
(by transplantation) also changes one's identity, even if the rest of the body
remains the same.
Thus, the only thing that binds a "person" together (i.e., gives him a self and an identity) is time, or, more precisely, memory. By "memory" I also mean: personality, skills, habits, retrospected emotions - in short: all long term imprints and behavioural patterns. The body is not an accidental and insignificant container, of course. It constitutes an important part of one's self-image, self-esteem, sense of self-worth, and sense of existence (spatial, temporal, and social). But one can easily imagine a brain in vitro as having the same identity as when it resided in a body. One cannot imagine a body without a brain (or with a different brain) as having the same identity it had before the brain was removed or replaced.
What if the brain in vitro (in the above example) could not communicate with us at all? Would we still think it is possessed of a self? The biological functions of people in coma are maintained. But do they have an identity, a self? If yes, why do we "pull the plug" on them so often?
It would seem (as it did to Locke) that we accept that someone has a self-identity if: (a) He has the same hardware as we do (notably, a brain) and (b) He communicates his humanly recognizable and comprehensible inner world to us and manipulates his environment. We accept that he has a given (i.e., the same continuous) self-identity if (c) He shows consistent intentional (i.e., willed) patterns ("memory") in doing (b) for a long period of time.
March 30. Liverpool. Grannon and Vaknin. "How to Manipulate a
Narcissist or a Psychopath" seminar.
Tickets on spartanlifecoach.com
Techniques for co-parenting and co-working with this personality type.
A deeper understanding of the formation of their personality core so you understand intuitively "what makes them tick". Followed by 2 hours of public live dialog about the following topics:
Is narcissism more common among certain professions?
Should we educate our children to be narcissists?
Are there real differences - clinical and in practice - between narcissists and psychopaths?
Do religions encourage narcissism?
The False Self
has many functions. The two most important are:
1. It serves as a decoy, it "attracts the fire". It is a proxy for the True Self. It is tough as nails and can absorb any amount of pain, hurt and negative emotions. By inventing it, the child develops immunity to the indifference, manipulation, sadism, smothering, or exploitation – in short: to the abuse – inflicted on him by his parents (or by other Primary Objects in his life). It is a cloak, protecting him, rendering him invisible and omnipotent at the same time.
2. The False Self is misrepresented by the narcissist as his True Self. The narcissist is saying, in effect: "I am not who you think I am. I am someone else. I am this (False) Self. Therefore, I deserve a better, painless, more considerate treatment." The False Self, thus, is a contraption intended to alter other people's behaviour and attitude towards the narcissist.
These roles are crucial to survival and to the proper psychological functioning of the narcissist. The False Self is by far more important to the narcissist than his dilapidated, dysfunctional, True Self.
The two Selves are not part of a continuum, as the neo-Freudians postulated. Healthy people do not have a False Self which differs from its pathological equivalent in that it is more realistic and closer to the True Self.
It is true that even healthy people have a mask [Guffman], or a persona [Jung] which they consciously present to the world. But these are a far cry from the False Self, which is mostly subconscious, depends on outside feedback, and is compulsive.
Painting by @sabinabozjak (thank you)
There were two of us. I was not alone inside my body. Physiologically, I was supposed to be twins: I have two urethras, two sets of teeth, and, at an IQ of 185, probably double the brain. It’s as though, denied their birth, this duo haunts me, an inbound, coupled poltergeist.
One was an extrovert, facile, gregarious, attention-consuming, adulation-dependent, charming, ruthless and manic-depressive being. The other was schizoid, shy, dependent, phobic, suspicious, pessimistic, dysphoric and helpless creature - a kid, really.
I began to observe these two alternating. The first (whom I called Ninko Leumas - an anagram of the Hebrew spelling of my name) would invariably appear to interact with people. It didn't feel like putting a mask on or like I had another personality. It was just like I am MORE me. It was a caricature of the TRUE me, of Shmuel.
Shmuel hated people. He felt inferior, physically repulsive and socially incompetent. Ninko also hated people. He held them in contempt. THEY were inferior to his superior qualities and skills. He needed their admiration but he resented this fact and he accepted their offerings condescendingly.
As I pieced my fragmented and immature self together I began to see that Shmuel and Ninko were flip sides of the SAME coin. Ninko seemed to be trying to compensate Shmuel, to protect him, to isolate him from hurt and to exact revenge whenever he failed. At this stage I was not sure who was manipulating who and I did not have the most rudimentary acquaintance with this vastly rich continent I discovered inside me.
But that was only the beginning.
Scroll left. A big PART of the conversation between Richard Grannon
and myself ("We Need to
Heal Ourselves by Healing God First") is up on Richard's YouTube
channel as a streamed version, but with low sound quality.
A LONGER version with 15 missing minutes at the very beginning and with much better sound quality will be uploaded to his channel later this week.
Scroll left. Yesterday with Richard Grannon: What has gone wrong between men
and women? Is it to all about toxic masculinity? And what can we do about
The streamed version is on Richard's Spartan Life Coach YouTube channel.
Earlier that day we discussed Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and intimate relationship. Richard will release this segment later.
Richard Grannon (hatless) and Sam Vaknin (orange top will get you
anywhere!). Unwinding after the segment about How to Fix the Toxicity and
Conditioning of Social Media.
You can watch the live stream on the Spartan Life Coach YouTube channel.
Scroll left. Another day in sunny Liverpool with even sunnier
Richard Grannon. Today out takes and in studio interviews of both of us for the
details documentary sequel to "Plugged-in: The True Toxicity of Social
Media". The sequel is titled "Dying to be Seen".
Swipe left. Richard Grannon and Sam Vaknin are discussing the psychology of conspiracy theories. Soon on his YouTube channel.
Swipe left. Seminar: How to Manipulate a Narcissist or a Psychopath with Richard Grannon and Sam Vaknin.
Yesterday, Richard Grannon and Sam Vaknin discussed public intellectuals: their history, roles, and the corruption of this institution by money and celebrity. To be released on the Spartan Life Coach YouTube channel.
Richard Grannon and Sam Vaknin shot the last segment about the psychopathic future of the
world and the increasing role and influence of psychopaths in our
To be released on the Spartan Life Coach YouTube channel in the near future.
I feel like the
Throughout my life, I gave out the light of knowledge and the warmth of true support and friendship to everyone who came into my orbit. Like the Sun.
But no one will come near me because they are terrified of getting burned, consumed in the twin flames of my formidable intellect and disordered personality.
I am too intense, like a force of nature.
Women react the worst: having entered my circle, they soon disintegrate, decompensate, act out, cheat - they do anything and everything, even out of character, to flee my irresistible, dark, identity-wracking, soul-rending, and stifling gravitational pull.
Looking at the Sun directly blinds. So, no one really sees me, except through my works. No one even offers a surreptitious gaze.
People - especially women, including all the women in my life - avert their eyes, withdraw into secluded private havens to avoid me altogether: no sex, no intimacy, often resorting to other men.
I am lonelier than the Sun: it has the planets for companionship.
In this topsy-turvy world, women prefer and meek weak men,
weasels, and losers to alpha males who are well-accomplished and supremely
self-confident. How come?
An inferior man is far less likely to reject a woman's sexual and romantic advances - the type of rejection that, in most women, causes emotional dysregulation amidst a plummeting sense of self-worth and self-esteem.
A weakling allows the woman to occupy center stage as the life of the party, and garner attention from others to her heart's content while he remains silent, obsequious, and acquiescent.
A weasel commonly grants the woman in his life the latitude to misbehave. Owing to his abandonment anxiety and limited options, he is far more tolerant of abuse and lets the woman make all the decisions by herself - including egregiously immoral, bad, or wrong decisions -without consulting him or seeking his opinion or approval.
As a tsunami of wounded women emerge from abusive and dysfunctional relationships, they seek mates and intimate partners who would not abuse them all over and who allow them to assert control and exert dominance, do not threaten them or their cherished victim stance, their sense of unbounded entitlement, their alloplastic defenses ("I cheated, but it was the men's fault, not mine"), and their elevated narcissistic defenses.
Finally, some women choose precisely such unattractive men because they are feeling self-destructive and want to trash themselves as bad, worthless, and sluttish.
Sometimes the only way
open to me to realize how I feel about a woman is to lose her.
I have no access to my emotions, so if I wonder how deeply I have grown fond of someone very dear to me, I push her away aggressively, usually towards other men.
Then, once she had succumbed to my relentless and cruel rejection and cheated on me, if I endure the kind of pain that one associates with drowning, or with an amputated soul, I know that I love her.
It is a lot like self-mutilation or self-harm: I cut away my heart and watch the spurting blood as an augur and omen which informs me of my state of mind, my bond with her.
The vicious irony is of course that after my erstwhile woman had opted for another man, I can no longer be with her owing to my abandonment anxiety.
So, the only method available to me to tell whether I love a woman also ascertains that we can never be together if I do love her.
Prolonged abuse in an intimate relationship changes some women and
so profoundly alters their psychology and behavior that they are rendered
unrecognizable even to themselves.
Having emerged from the black hole of a dysfunctional liaison, these broken, vulnerable women are transformed into the dark mirror images of their former selves.
Having been faithful before, now they become sexually promiscuous. They avoid intimacy, trust no one, develop addictions, abuse alcohol or drugs, engage in a panoply of reckless behaviors and, generally, self-destruct.
Why is that?
A woman with a pre-existing mental health condition would internalize the abuser's rejection of her and the sentence he pronounces: "You are worthless, bad, a slut, crazy, stupid, and repellent." She would behave in ways that conform to her abuser's already internalized voice (introject) and confirm it. Such congruence is intended to avoid dissonance (an inner conflict).
The drunk person during an alcohol-induced blackout is FULLY AWARE
of WHAT s/he is doing, WHO s/he is doing it with, whether what s/he is doing is
WRONG, and if she is HURTING loved ones with her or his promiscuity, immoral,
or antisocial or even criminal acts. During the entire episode, s/he makes
multiple choices and decisions based on rational analyses and emotional states.
S/he is 100% in control and should be held accountable for the misbehavior.
Throughout the blackout, orientation, reasoning, a moral sense, short-term memory, and decision making are NOT IMPAIRED. They are all intact. The only thing affected is long-term memory: the next morning, the recovering alcoholic has zero recall of what has happened during the blackout.
This is why it is difficult to tell a drunk in a blackout state from a merely inebriated person or social drinker. They appear to be fully present and cognizant throughout the blackout - and they are! Motor functions are affected and there is a tendency to repeat the same sentences over and over again - but that is it.
Like narcissists, people wasted to the point of a blackout just DON'T CARE about anything or anyone but themselves: behavioral inhibitions are down (alcohol disinhibits); empathy towards one's nearest and dearest is turned off (or redirected at strangers!); a sense of invulnerability, invincibility, omnipotence and impunity sets in; the drunkard experiences attraction or even infatuation with all and sundry; and the high and the buzz of the drink compensate for any frustration, depression, stress, or anxiety with a heightened sense of well-being and with aggression.
Ironically, alcohol being a depressant, all these effects are viciously reversed on sobering up.
People - women especially - get that drunk in order to feel better about themselves and their lives, legitimize their promiscuity and cheating ("the drink did it to me and I cannot remember a thing"), and trash themselves in a bout of self-destruction.
Narcissists are hypervigilant and, consequently, misperceive
rejection everywhere. Not being sexually desired; not occupying the center of
attention; not garnering narcissistic supply; not being the alpha male in the
room or the most intelligent person in the group - all constitute grave
narcissistic injuries to his or her False Self.
The psychopath is goal-oriented, so he regards the very same "rejections" as mere challenges to be overcome: I am not desired? Will render myself irresistible and make her jealous by triangulating - or just move on to the next target; I am not the center of attention? If I want to, I will make sure that I am; and so on.
So, both narcissists and psychopaths are competitive and hellbent on winning and prevailing - but for different ends.
The narcissist seeks to secure an uninterrupted flow of narcissistic supply and the psychopaths aims to achieve his goals (money, sex, power, or, less commonly, fame and status).
Another facet shared by narcissists and psychopaths is their
alloplastic defenses: they are never fully responsible, accountable, to blame,
or guilty for their misconduct.
Narcissists who cheat, for example, are likely to say: "I was drunk and taken advantage of", or "You made me do it", or "I had no choice under the circumstances but to act the way I did." The psychopath will use the theory of just deserts: "They provoked or mistreated me or acted stupidly, so they had it coming", or "I deserved it, so I took it", or "This is the way of the world and I had to do what I did just in order to survive."
Alcoholism serves several psychological purposes effectively.
This is why alcoholism is so intractable (difficult to get rid of or treat) and why recidivism is as high as 60% within the first year after rehab.
Helps the alcoholic to cope with dissonance, frustration, anxiety, anger, stress, sadness, panic, and other negative emotions or mood disorders
Helps the alcoholic to restore his or her self-confidence and self-esteem, also as a man or a woman (especially when coupled with a body image issue)
By lowering inhibitions, alcohol legitimizes narcissistic traits and behaviors like: lack of empathy, extreme selfishness, a sense of entitlement.
Allows the alcoholic to express his or her repressed promiscuity and aggression: traits that s/he find ego-dystonic (traits that s/he dislikes or find denigrating or unacceptable)
Alcohol renders the alcoholic much more sociable, grandiose, and sociopathic: s/he becomes volubly defiant, hates authority figures, feels in control or in charge of others and of the situation, capable of anything s/he sets his/her mind to, irresistibly attractive, charming, or charismatic, and unfettered by rules or social mores: "I can do whatever the hell I want to, no one will tell me what to do"
As a result of these cognitive and emotional changes, the drunk person engages in reckless behaviors like unprotected sex with a stranger, or compulsive shopping or gambling.
Allows the alcoholic to accomplish goals (become goal-oriented) that s/he would never even try when sober.
In a study published in 2018 women found men with an IQ higher than 120 "unattractive".
My IQ - 190 -
is literally off any known chart. There are only 8 people in the entire world
with this level of intelligence and I am one of them.
I used to be so proud of this fact. Now I realize that I am cursed. My IQ is a rare incurable disease that scares away people - especially women - and isolates me socially, romantically, and sexually as effectively as if I had Ebola.
I have a meteoric career in my field (see the link in my Instagram profile), but my personal life is in shambles and ruination. I failed miserably and irredeemably as a husband and a lover. I have no children or friends. I am as lonely and cratered and gloomy as the darkest side of any moon.
When people - most notably women - get to know me even slightly, they recoil in horror, panic, and flee, sometimes at a great personal cost: anything and anyone else is preferable to the genius chimera that is Sam Vaknin: part artificial, part intelligence and to the sickening radiation that emanates from him.
And in this narcissistic age of oneupmanship, my IQ is also a narcissistic injury in and of itself.
When they come across me, people - men and more so women - feel instantly intellectually inferior, inadequate, rejected, scrutinized, set up for failure, like specimen in a lab founded by an alien race.
So, they avoid me like the plague, overwhelmed by the penumbral omnipresence of my superhuman mind. Or they end up punishing me viciously, sadistically, lashing out at me in what can only be described as malevolence.
My profession as a psychologist does not help: people - again mostly women - feel naked and transparent. They find this experience of demystification creepy.
But I am far from faultless.
Jeff Bezos said that people who fail are those who choose to be "clever at the expense of others rather than kind". I have been misusing my IQ to abuse people all my life. The chickens are now coming home to roost.
Scroll to the left. Lecture titled The Future of Capitalism is Neo-feudalism by Sam Vaknin in Kumanovo in the event "Cultural Studies in Business" (an Erasmus+K2 program). Download a free book I wrote about capitalism https://samvak.tripod.com/freebooks.html
Today, my blood curdled: I realized that every single person I know
- literally hundreds - is mentally
ill. Many of these people were utterly normal and healthy only 10 years
It is not only my morbid imagination or diagnostic incompetence. About 18% of all US adults have been diagnosed with a mental illness and are treated for it. And these figures do not include most personality disorders
The world has become a minefield: even the most normal-sounding and staid-looking people are liable to go haywire or bunkers. And they are triggered by the slightest real or imaginary reason.
Being poised on the precipice with human time bombs waiting to erupt is terrifying and traumatizing which, in turn, gives rise to even more psychological infirmities.
Aldous Huxley wrote in "Brave, New World": "The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does. They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.”
There are numerous myths about casual sex. Men and women
react to it exactly the same in the buildup to it, during the act, and in its
Casual sex is linked to negative mental health outcomes, but only in certain kinds of people:
People who were drunk or drugged during the encounter or acted under peer pressure (no autonomy); with conservative or traditional or religious upbringing and moral code or in societies with such mores; people who violate promises, boundaries, rules, and vows they have made to themselves (personal integrity) or to others; who get attached to sex partners or develop long-term expectations of a relationship; and those older than 40.
These profiles of participants in casual sex are likely to experience shame, embarrassment, guilt, depression, lower self-esteem, anxiety, regret, and memory gaps following the romp.
All others react with excitement, satisfaction, and even pride to their reaffirmed desirability and to the modicum of palliative affection, comfort, attention, acceptance, fleeting intimacy and closeness that is ineluctably involved in voluntary casual sex.
Casual sex allows singles to regulate their sex lives and satisfy their curiosity and need for variety. Still, it invariably involves objectifying the partner: most true casual sex is near anonymous.
Traits are not desirable or undesirable in themselves. They are
advantageous (adaptive) or detrimental, depending on the environment.
Why would women prefer men with an IQ lower than 120 to men with an IQ higher than 145? These are the results of a study published last year.
The answer is simple:
Our contemporary world is ruled by the feebleminded, dimwits are empowered by technology, and everything is dumbed down to foster mass consumption.
In such a world, lower intelligence is a positive adaptation which confers evolutionary advantages on its bearers - and on their spouses and offspring.
Women select for beta males because the current environment favors beta traits over alpha traits.
It is a paradigm shift of mind-bending proportions (for those in possession of a mind).
Why do I keep failing in business? Because I hate to do business. I
find doing business mind-numbing.
Why do I keep pushing my women to be with other men? Because I want to get rid of them for various reasons.
But why not simply abstain from doing business and breakup with these women? Why do I embark on these convoluted pathways towards my ultimate goals?
Because all my decisions are irrational. I am heavily affected by my mental illness (a toxic brew of personality and mood disorders). I keep doing business owing to my generalized anxiety. I remain in dysfunctional relationship because I become dependent on my intimate partners, replete with abandonment anxiety.
The rational and intellectual part of my mind is alarmed by my self-destructive decisions and choices. But the only way it can intervene is by undermining the self-defeating course of action, by sabotaging my self-sabotage.
Ironically, what many people perceive as self-inflicted failure is actually a dose of healthy trajectory correction.
I invest my time and attention in men only if I can make money off them or as long as they provide me with narcissistic supply: adulating attention. I am not interested in anything else men have to offer, like friendship. I am goal-oriented and value my time as a sacred and scarce resource.
I listen to women sympathetically and give them advice, act warm and empathic, engender intimacy, make them laugh and tell them fascinating stories in order to get them addicted to my presence and then use them as sex toys, fawning and admiring audience, and providers of domestic services. I have no interest in anything else women have to offer beyond access to their bodies and their subservience.
When I reach the conclusion that the usefulness of the other person is over or when my counterparty makes demands for reciprocity, I cut off all contact or absent myself in other ways, often aggressively.
So, if I lose sexual interest in a woman, or if she is no longer sexually available, I instantly become detached and distant, bored and perfunctory, more like an impatient and abrasive roommate than a tender lover. I push her aggressively towards other men.
If she becomes rebellious and defiant, demanding the fulfillment of her needs, or is herself narcissistic and competes with me, I ignore her altogether, signalling that I couldn't care less what she is doing and with whom as long as she leaves me be. She has outrun her usefulness and is past her expiry date, having become a drain on my resources.
I am gutted when my woman resorts to other men because her cheating triggers old traumas and constitutes a narcissistic injury. But I also feel relieved of the ballast of a non-functioning woman and free to pursue the next one to cater to my needs.
Similarly, if men try to transcend the transactional boundaries of our dealings, I vanish, undermine the joint work, or humiliate them brutally.
At the core of all this is that I find people inordinately boring and contemptible to boot. There is little of value in interacting with others and the price paid for such exchanges is always disproportionate.
At the beginning of a relationship with a woman, I am always very possessive and severely restrict what my women can do alone with other men (basically nothing).
I aggressively push my woman towards other men only when I want to get rid of her or as a form of preemptive abandonment (I dump her before she breaks up with me): If I find her sexually repulsive, if she stops having sex with me or otherwise rejects me, if she is interested in other men and provokes abandonment anxiety, if she is grandiose and competes with me rather than adulate me, if she is defiant, or if she makes demands on my time or money. So, I get rid of her by pushing her to cheat on me, often introducing her to her future lover.
But, why do I disintegrate when she finally succumbs to my prompting and cheats on me? Because this strategy does entail the loss of a dream or fantasy of togetherness: I revert to loneliness without my playmate.
The act of abandonment itself is very triggering for me owing to my painful personal history. It is also a self-inflicted narcissistic injury (she chooses another man over me, she does not fight harder to keep me in her life, the unique treasure that I am).
It isn't about the "cheating" woman herself - I couldn't care less about her, I pushed her to cheat because I wanted her gone!!! I disintegrate because of my incipient and impending solitude and because my own wounds are reopened by the "cheating". It is a highly dysfunctional and self-destructive (life threatening) way to end relationships: by pushing my women to cheat (rather than by talking to them, for example). Why do I use this agonizing strategy?
"You are not good enough, you are not lovable, you failed again, you should be punished" (my mother's introject) "Why can't I have a normal relationship with a woman? Why can't I simply enjoy female company, friendship, and intimacy? It makes me so sad and angry at myself! I am not a real man!" So, I need to punish myself for my self-imposed deprivation. I hate that I am like that. I would have traded my brain for a normal one any time.
I "execute" myself time and again for the "crime" of my abnormality.
There is no going back from cheating. I want to truly GET RID of these women, once and for all. Cheating guarantees that my codependency and borderline sides will not take over and make me crawl back to the woman despite all her shortcomings.
Found this interview
from early 1998. Nothing much changed over the years. Excerpts:
Q: Can you describe your appearance nowadays? How is your health?
A: I look exactly as I did when I was Bar Mitzvah. I refuse to grow up (though I did get much fatter). I have no children, am not married, don't have a driver's licence. These are things grown-ups do. I am a Wunderkind and I am simply afraid of losing this (by now, imaginary) title by growing up. I am rather healthy, except some minor problems. Because I do not exercise, I don't have one muscle in my flabby body (except my brain, of course :o))) Q: What does money mean to you?
A: Safety, the ability to extract Narcissistic Supply by showing off, the ability to do what I really want which is to accumulate knowledge and to use it to impress everyone. I don't like the process of making money. It is tiresome, repetitive and does not involve the intellect too rigorously.
Every idiot can make money, most of them do and, from my experience, most of those who do are not bright, to use a very restrained British understatement. Now I don't have a penny - but I know how to make money and I made money a few times in my life. There is nothing to it.
Q: Your biggest regret? Any other big mistakes?
A: My life is a series of mistakes. Almost all my moves have been mistakes, some of them big mistakes. I apply a mechanism called "cognitive dissonance" to this. Normally, it is very difficult to continue to live with so many errors, misses, near-misses and with so much resulting ruin.
But in my case I just tell myself that this is the way I WANT to live: turbulently, vicissitudinally, crazily, unpredictably, dangerously. It is true, though, that my life is the most interesting I have ever come across. I have done almost anything one can think of and have been almost everywhere.
This is fun, though the price in personal stability and development is steep.
I consider myself a treasure worthy of any cost and sacrifice by my nearest or dearest.
I expect my women to tolerate my acute verbal abuse and pernicious psychological manipulation, awed by my intellectual pyrotechnics and grateful to have been granted privileged access to my diamond mind.
I expect my business partners to overlook my brutish rudeness and infantile fickleness in return for my sempiternal fount of knowledge and creativity.
I feel entitled to inflict hurt and confusion all around, simply because I am a genius.
Everyone should listen with rapt attention to my boundless rants, should accommodate my most egregious whims, and should succumb with alacrity and grace to my most outrages outbursts and spoiled brat temper tantrums.
All these submissions are proof positive that I am indeed majestically endowed. My brain and mind are such unique creations that I expect worship replete with nothing less of human sacrifice.
And when a rare person in my life rebels, discards me, and gives me a taste of my own medicine or worse, I am aghast with indignation, shocked and traumatized.
I devalue the source of such insufferable frustration, pathologize them, and deny them access to the Kingdom of Intellectual Heaven: me - a cruel and unusual punishment if ever there was one.
Every scientific theory and many pillars of the scientific method are founded on metaphysical principles.
Evolution Theory hails from the metaphysical assumption that individual organisms as well as entire species aim or are geared to survive. Survival is the hermeneutic and organizing principle.
The Special Theory of Relativity is based on the Cartesian separation between observer and observed.
Popper's principle of Falsifiability is founded on a tautology (for a theory to be considered scientific, it must be falsifiable - but we can apply falsifiability only to scientific theories). Add to this the fact that the languages we use to communicate science - mathematics and geometry, for instance - are not neutral. They constrain in large measure what can and cannot be said, they shape content via context, and they provide language elements as theoretical entities.
For decades I have been telling anyone who would listen what a horrifying and dangerous monster I am and how I am both incurable and irredeemable.
Starting in 1997, close to 100,000,000 people read my work on narcissism or watched my videos. About 70% of them are women.
I understand why people who are exposed only to my public image would nervously shy away from me or even recoil in horror.
What I fail to understand is how come people who came to know me well react the same way.
Even women whose lives I had transformed for the better and to whom I extended free help, support, advice, and assistance, sometimes over many months or years - are terrified of me or hate me virulently.
These women admit that they owe me their very lives and the fact that they have survived their ordeals and yet they treat me with emotions usually reserved for the Ebola virus. Some of these women were willing to trust total strangers in very risky situations - but never me.
This I find both incomprehensible and hurtful.
Negative narcissistic supply should be distinguished from low-grade or fake supply (collectively known as spurious narcissistic supply)
Low-grade narcissistic supply comes from sources which cannot be idealized, no matter how hard the narcissist tries and to what extent he blocks out and denies reality. The type of narcissistic supply determines whether its source can be idealized or not. For instance: compliments on his intellectual achievements doled out to a cerebral narcissist by an intellectually-challenged person would never pass muster and would never qualify as narcissistic supply.
Fake narcissistic supply is tinged with ulterior motives and hidden agendas. Sources of fake supply compliment the narcissist in order to manipulate him or some third person or in order to accomplish a goal. Endowed with cold empathy, the narcissist picks up on these true motivations and feels injured and slighted. Many narcissists test their sources of supply repeatedly: they engineer situations intended to expose the sincerity or lack thereof of the supply and the consistency and authenticity of the source’s conduct.
In turn, all the above should not be confused with static narcissistic supply.
Narcissistic supply is either static or dynamic. Dynamic supply upholds, enhances, buttresses, and abets the narcissist’s grandiose and fantastic False Self. The contents of dynamic narcissistic supply and the identity of its sources conform to the narcissist’s image of himself, his “destiny”, the evolution of his life, and his place in the Cosmos. Static supply fails to do so despite the fact that it is largely positive, reliably recurrent, and abundant. Static supply is akin to “hospital rations” or “junk food”: it maintains the narcissist for a while, but, as an exclusive diet, it results in malnutrition (deficient narcissistic supply). Static supply is repetitive, “boring” because it is predictable, and pedestrian. It does not propel the narcissist into new “highs”, nor does it reinflate him when he is down.
Resilience Summit in Sao Paulo, Brazil, November 2018.
One year access to the lectures and presentations is available for sale here:
writing is too embellished and ornamental. It is so cumbersome that it
bothers on incomprehensible at times.
There are several reasons for such style of authorship:
1. Trying to impress and inspire awe rather than communicate and attempting to place oneself above the rest of humanity who are too inferior and stupid
to truly understand one's depth, insights, and erudition;
2. An inability to separate the wheat from the chafe, giving every bit an equal weight (in extreme cases because of vanity and grandiosity: "every idea and shred of thought of mine ought and deserves to be recorded for posterity because of its innate insightfulness and perfection"); 3. Perfectionism and fear of the imperfect and the imprecise;
4. Underestimating the readership and feeling the need to spoon-feed them rather than leave some space for free thought and own conclusions
5. "Stream of consciousness" recording (documentation) of every passing thought process in real-time and as it unfolds.
6. Feeling uncertain about the subject matter and disguising this deficiency (or cognitive deficit) with verbiage.
One of the more than 50 international conferences I
helped to organize in the fields of mental health, psychology, psychiatry,
A complete list is available here:
At some point, cultural and societal mores BECOME a personality disorder (Durkheim).
Narcissism is now NORMATIVE, the social NORM. We are seeing the
fruits of this new normal mainstreaming of narcissism now, and women are catching
up to men:
No delayed gratification
No impulse control
Malignant personal autonomy (antisocial defiance)
Total lack of empathy
An emotionless existence (e.g., sex as a mechanical meaningless act)
And so on.
We are now transitioning from the age of pathological grandiose narcissism to the age of malignant (antisocial) narcissism.
Add to this Negative identity formation:
Deriving a sense of identity by aggressively and proactively confronting or opposing The Other.
caricatured men into a one-dimensional stereotype and women now aspire to
become that caricature: they drink heavily, curse profusely, are "in your
face, fuck you" antisocial and defiant, promiscuously and indiscriminately
engage in emotionless one night stands, become workaholics, cheat on their
intimate partners, and, generally act as grandiose and entitled narcissists,
devoid of any hint of empathy.
When confronted about their egregious misconduct, women respond indignantly with the "double standard" standard argument: "This is what men also do, no?" The answer is: absolutely not. Only some men behave this way and they are widely frowned upon, decried, and held in contempt by the vast majority of males.
Men and women should be utterly equal when it comes to all public goods (education, healthcare), all manner of rights, access, wages paid, economic opportunities, the law, treatment by the authorities, and in society.
Equal but different.
Gender differences are the poetry and engine of life itself: sexual attraction, family formation, procreation, romantic love.
But now women want to be IDENTICAL to men, not merely EQUAL and this threatens the very existence of the species.
What is much worse:
In their attempts to emulate men, women use the feminist sexist caricature of the "typical" male as a template: a drunk and vulgar man-whore womanizer who cheats on his spouse and works himself to death in a jungle hostile universe.
Women have learned to mistrust men: about half them are bitter and broken victims of abuse, divorced, single mothers, impoverished, and hopeless.
Men Go Their Own Way (MGTOW) - a movement in the manosphere of men who renounce all contact with women - is merely a reaction to the fact that women have gone their own way a long time ago. There are no women left, only narcissists with a different genital apparatus. How tragic that we have lost each other, men and women. How heartbreaking.
Sex is dead.
No one is having sex anymore.
For the next edition of my book (2020), "The Death of Sex and the Demise of Monogamy", I conducted an informal survey of sexual practices. I interviewed 100 subjects in a variety of settings: 50 men, 50 women, ages 35-50, from 13 countries on 4 continents.
Many of the subjects can be easily described as good looking. All of them are intelligent and professionally accomplished. Only 2 have chronic medical conditions and 12 attend psychotherapy (5 for depression and anxiety, 4 for relationship issues or work-related problems, 3 for cluster B personality disorders). The shocking results:
73 haven't had any sex in more than 3 years (the cutoff in the survey). Only 17 had an intimate partner. They had sex on average once every 2.5 months, with 8 of them copulating on average once every 6 months. 3 of them were in a sexless union.
According to many studies, about 21% of the marriages in the US are sexless. But I think people are ashamed to tell the truth: the figure is probably 3 times higher.
Dating and sexual acts among teens plunged by more than 50% in the past 10 years. Teens in the UK and Japan are so uninterested in sex that they do not include it in lists of "things I would like to do". In Japan, the majority of people 15-35 are celibate.
I attribute the disappearance of sex to four developments: (1) Gender vertigo: the shifting gender roles and the ensuing gender wars which engender sexual disorientation (2) The rise of addictive social media, online games, immersive augmentative Artificial Intelligence (AI) and similar technologies (3) The wide availability of porn and (4) The emergence of casual, emotionless sex as the preferred sexual practice (the decline of intimacy)
The explosion of dating sites proves how impossible it is to obtain sex in one's milieu. People have to go online and hook up with strangers, often in other countries, in a desperate bid to gratify this most basic and natural of needs.
All animals practice sex without intimacy or
emotions and the human animal is no exception.
So, why the righteous brouhaha about it?
1. Speciesism: Humans are superior to animals and should never give in to their animal nature but rather transcend it. It is a form of grandiosity, fostered originally by religious teachings.
2. Conflating and confusing lust and love, emotional intimacy with physical intimacy. Casual sex amounts to masturbating with the body of a nearly anonymous partner, an animated dildo, a sophisticated and unpredictable sex doll, replete with smells and tastes. It has nothing whatsoever to do with sex in a committed, loving relationship.
3. Being in love with infatuation itself, being addicted to falling in love. Some people "fall in love" with their sexual partners, even after a one night stand. This complicates matters and leads to heartbreak that is best avoided altogether.
The only thing that seriously bothers and worries me about casual sex (and I have had my share) is that it has become the norm, the standard practice ("hookup culture") among those born after 1995.
It may affect their ability to form meaningful intimate relationships (the jury is out on this one). It definitely predisposes the members of these generations to regard sex as nothing more significant than other bodily functions and renders them way more prone to cheating (up dramatically among both genders) and to reckless sexual behaviors also linked to substance abuse.
The preponderance of emotionless sex is the problem - not the act itself.
I have been accused repeatedly of brainwashing people -
especially women - and making them act in ways that were alien to them and
unprecedented. Some of them blame me for deploying my vast knowledge of
psychology to manipulate them sinisterly.
My carefully selected words seem to hypnotize people (again, women in particular), create in their minds overwhelming visuals, and regress them to an infantile and often self-destructive state.
I don't buy this.
My take on it is that people use my verbiage to legitimize urges and courses of action that they have already given into long before they interacted with my toxic emanations.
Words do have power, of course. They instantly alter the brain's biochemistry and leverage its neuroplasticity. This is why talk therapy works, by and large. This is how I constructed my Cold Therapy.
But like other excuses for antisocial or immoral behavior - alcohol or hypnosis, for example - words can never coerce you into acting against your true nature, values, preferences, priorities, earnest wishes, choices, decisions, or plans. They just roll out the Real You.
My words just help people put a name to their repressed and otherwise inaccessible emotions, label their inner stirrings, act on their inhibited desires, and become who they veritably are all along.
The paranoid's conduct
is unpredictable and there is no "typical scenario". But experience
shows that you can minimise the danger to yourself and to your household by
taking some basic steps.
If at all possible, put as much physical distance as you can between yourself and the stalker. Change address, phone number, email accounts, cell phone number, enlist the kids in a new school, find a new job, get a new credit card, open a new bank account. Do not inform your paranoid ex about your whereabouts and your new life. You may have to make painful sacrifices, such as minimize contact with your family and friends.
Is your computer being tampered with? Is someone downloading your e-mail? Has anyone been to your house while you were away? Any signs of breaking and entering, missing things, atypical disorder (or too much order)? Is your post being delivered erratically, some of the envelopes opened and then sealed? Mysterious phone calls abruptly disconnected when you pick up? Your stalker must have dropped by and is monitoring you.
Notice any unusual pattern, any strange event, any weird occurrence. Someone is driving by your house morning and evening? A new "gardener" or maintenance man came by in your absence? Someone is making enquiries about you and your family? Maybe it's time to move on.
Teach your children to avoid your paranoid ex and to report to you immediately any contact he has made with them. Abusive bullies often strike where it hurts most - at one's kids. Explain the danger without being unduly alarming. Make a distinction between adults they can trust - and your abusive former spouse, whom they should avoid.
More tips: https://samvak.tripod.com/abuse16.html
Do animals feel
pain as we do?
To say that something does not experience pain cannot be rigorously defended. Pain is a subjective experience. There is no way to prove or to disprove that someone is or is not in pain. Here, we can rely only on the subject's reports. Moreover, even if we were to have an analgometer (pain gauge), there would have been no way to show that the phenomenon that activates the meter is one and the same for all subjects, SUBJECTIVELY, i.e., that it is experienced in the same way by all the subjects examined.
Even more basic questions regarding pain are impossible to answer: What is the connection between the piercing needle and the pain REPORTED and between these two and electrochemical patterns of activity in the brain? A correlation between these three phenomena can be established – but not their identity or the existence of a causative process. We cannot prove that the waves in the subject's brain when he reports pain – ARE that pain. Nor can we show that they CAUSED the pain, or that the pain caused them.
It is also not clear whether our moral percepts are conditioned on the objective existence of pain, on the reported existence of pain, on the purported existence of pain (whether experienced or not, whether reported or not), or on some independent laws.
If it were painless, would it be moral to torture someone? Is the very act of sticking needles into someone immoral – or is it immoral because of the pain it causes, or supposed to inflict? Are all three components (needle sticking, a sensation of pain, brain activity) morally equivalent? If so, is it as immoral to merely generate the same patterns of brain activity, without inducing any sensation of pain and without sticking needles in the subject?
Interview granted to Harmony (India), February-March 2011
Q: Aging is a gradual change in one’s physical structure that is apparent to others, and to oneself of course. Now what precisely do we mean by aging, or getting old or older, in terms of the mind/psyche?
A: "Old" is commonly thought of as an adjective which bundles together objective physical and mental changes (for the worse); growing dysfunctions in a variety of areas of life; and cultural and social norms and prejudices that together constitute a pernicious stereotype. Reality, however, is more complex. Aging has its positive sides: perspective and experience tend to reduce anxiety and increase efficacy; a life-long worth of networking provides enhanced access to a variety of societal and economic benefits; an extended family generate emotional (and, at times, economic) succor; as leisure time increases, one can cater to one's hobbies and fulfil one's dreams; and so on. These largely positive "externalities" are often ignored and the undeniably negative dimensions of aging are sensationally emphasized.
Q: What major kinds of fear(s) are associated with aging in its psychological sense that you just explained? Also tell a bit about the root cause of those fears
A: It is of course the fear of Death that wears a thousand guises. "Aging" is the name we give to the cumulation of irrefutable proofs that we are mortal. So, when we fear physical decrepitude, mental deterioration, illness, loss of capacities, social ostracism, and other less than savory facets of growing old, what we actually dread is our very end. The promise of an afterlife doesn't really fool anyone, including the most devout believers. No one wants to die and no one wants to be reminded constantly of the transience of his existence. Old-age is also a time of soul-searching and tallying: dreams unfulfilled; wishes denied; fantasies which have remained exactly that; wrong turns and erroneous decisions; remorse, regret, and heartbreak. The knowledge that there is no second chance imbues one's last years with tragedy.
Forgiving is an important capability. It does more for the forgiver than for the forgiven. But it should not be a universal, indiscriminate behaviour. It is legitimate not to forgive sometimes. It depends, of course, on the severity or duration of what was done to you.
In general, it is unwise and counter-productive to apply to life "universal" and "immutable" principles. Life is too chaotic to succumb to rigid edicts. Sentences which start with "I never" or "I always" are not very credible and often lead to self-defeating, self-restricting and self-destructive behaviours.
Conflicts are an important and integral part of life. One should never seek them out, but when confronted with a conflict, one should not avoid it. It is through conflicts and adversity as much as through care and love that we grow.
Human relationships are dynamic. We must assess our friendships, partnerships, even our marriages periodically. In and by itself, a common past is insufficient to sustain a healthy, nourishing, supportive, caring and compassionate relationship. Common memories are a necessary but not a sufficient condition. We must gain and regain our friendships on a daily basis. Human relationships are a constant test of allegiance and empathy.
Additional advice: https://samvak.tripod.com/faq80.html
At an early stage of the relationship, the narcissist creates a snapshot of a potential source of secondary supply ("intimate" partner), incorporates it in his mind as an internal object or introject, suffuses it with emotional energy (cathexis), and transforms it into an extension of his False Self.
From that moment, the narcissist proceeds to interact only with the internal object. Even when the source of supply is physically present, he responds to the avatar, the stored representation - essentially, an immutable and idealized (or devalued) snapshot.
The narcissist resorts to this subterfuge in order to assuage and ameliorate his extreme abandonment anxiety, the ineluctable outcome of his deficient or even absent object constancy or object permanence. Internal object never dump you.
When the supply source is nearby, the narcissist ignores her or even rejects her in order to avoid a dissonance-inducing conflict between the real person and her imago (internalized copy). When she is away, not present, the narcissist maintains a constant interaction with her image
So, if she misbehaves in any way (e.g., cheats on him), he is likely to grieve the betrayal by the simulacrum, not by the real woman!!! He would not be romantically jealous and would not mind the extramarital exploits of the flesh and blood partner. But he would be heartbroken to behold the shattered vision of her in his febrile mind! The narcissist mourns fictional narratives, not real people.
A lot of strife and heartbreak between men and women can be avoided with honest communication of values, expectations, and cultural-societal backgrounds.
This need to compare notes is rendered even more urgent by kaleidoscopic gender roles (it is called "gender vertigo")
In a recent study, a whopping 10% of British women aged 18-40 said that they are PLANNING to get drunk senseless and bed a total stranger in a one night stand whenever they are in a new city
Another 15% said that they are LIKELY to have sex with someone they got acquainted with it for longer than a few hours. A majority of them said that they will not use condoms. About 40% allowed total strangers to ejaculate inside them in a drunk one night stand.
So, while such behavior appears to have become normative among women, many men still find it unacceptable and offputting
Following a drunk bout of casual sex, most women regret the choice of sexual partner (made attractive via beer goggles). But not one woman involved in such escapades accepted that it was WRONG. These women - a growing hefty minority - nowadays consider such adventures DESIRABLE, not WRONG.
Women completely fail to see the problem if they - while in a relationship - go out alone at night, have drinks with a stranger, talk, socialize, have a good time, slow dance or just dance with him.
Put differently: women today regard it as totally acceptable to date (=have a night out alone with) other men - including strangers they have just met - while in a relationship.
All women surveyed used the exact phrase: "You have to trust your partner. I am doing nothing wrong."
And in another wide survey:
73% of women aged 18-29 saw nothing wrong or flirtatious in sharing a drink (=drinking from the same glass) with a stranger in a bar or in a restaurant. The commonest response: "It shows curiosity as to the taste of the drink sampled"
Many men find all the above behaviors wrong or even dealbreakers. They should communicate this to their partners in advance and reach detailed and mutually accepted behavioral agreements and rules.
With women, I maintain four types of relationships, depending exclusively on what I get from them.
When a woman grants me access to her body and consents to have regular and kinky sex with me and when she also adulates and admires me unconditionally and unthinkingly - I am intoxicated by her. I become her codependent slave, at her beck and call, ready to sacrifice everything, from my values to my time.
When a woman offers me only sex, I have a good time with her and trust her with the most intimate pathways of my inner world. But I am a lot more reserved and calculated when it comes to the allocation of my resources. I am businesslike and focused on the transaction: sex against a fun, adventurous time together.
When sex is excluded from the relationship, for whatever reason, the woman can still offer me unbounded attention and adulation, but I expect her to supplement these offerings with other services rendered to me as a personal assistant or a homemaker. I am likely to be less inclined to spend intimate alone time with her.
Finally, some women offer me only auxiliary services at home and at work. I treat them as I would relate to an employee: perfunctorily, as an object, provider, or prop. I am a lot more demanding, critical, and aggressive with such women.
For 15 years, I have avoided the world, cooped up in my study, among my books, shunning all human contact.
Then, owing to a confluence of circumstances, I was forced back into the world.
I found it so greatly changed that I feel that I have hibernated and landed on an alien planet, light years away, a disconcerting, disorienting, and harrowing.
Three trends of dozens bother me the most. Nay: terrify me.
1. The tidal wave of narcissism has infected all and sundry. Everyone I know now has either evolved pronounced narcissistic traits or has become an outright grandiose narcissist, devoid of empathy, delusional, and exploitative.
2. Malignant egalitarianism: the virulent hatred of experts, scholars, intellectuals, learning, academe, and books. Everything I have worked for all my life, everything that I am is now despised, decried, and derided.
3. The unigender revolution: there are no women left. We are all men now, only with disparate genitalia. Forced by a perfect storm of social trends to become men, women are now as aggressive, promiscuous, drunk, unfaithful, and dysempathic as the worst of men.
I cannot return to my books and I cannot survive in this inhospitable environment. Something has to give. It might well be me.