This is a guest post by ‘Reality,’ a reader of this blog.
After contemplating narcissism and psychopathy, and reading Adelyn’s post about what is at the root of psychopathy, I came to some illuminating conclusions.
We know that the core feature that characterizes both narcissists and psychopaths is the complete lack of emotional empathy. I believe this leads to their lack of a conscience, as well as to their inability to love or to connect emotionally with other people.
The way I see it is that the root of their lack of empathy is the absence of a normal ‘Self.’
When there is no ‘Self,’ or identity, there is no fundamental base to begin building a personality with traits determined by genes and life experiences, and so it is impossible for them to connect with other people as there is nothing really there in the first place to do the connecting with.
To give an analogy of Self from physics, it is like trying to give shape and certain morphology to something that is not solid but is pure gas; it is impossible to do. The gas can fill the inner space of a bottle but it cannot shape the bottle, ever. It will always be gas, smoke.
So as I give it further thought, narcissists and psychopaths, in essence, can never really be self aware because they don’t have a Self to become aware of.
The narcissist has a parody of a Self, which is very primal, while the psychopath has no Self at all. This means they cannot even connect with themselves, let alone to connect with other people. The fact that they don’t care about others is, in my humble opinion, the outcome of having no real connection to themselves, as in reality they exist only on a physical level.
All his life, the narcissist stays attached to the pseudo-persona that he created and tries to retain it at all costs for the people around him. But the psychopath morphs himself into a new facade as needed, according to the personality of his target, just like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in the film ‘Terminator.’
This thought that I had now comes in symphony with something that the psychopath in my life told me at the time when I was starting to ‘wake up.’ I was fighting with him after a confrontation and I was angrily defining to him who I am and what I want and how I act in life. And he said “WOW! You can define yourself?” I looked at him astonished and I asked, “What?” And he said, “I can never really define myself; I find it too difficult to do.” At that time I did not realize the true meaning of his words, as I was very early in the devaluation phase. But now I can fully comprehend it. Now I fully grasp it: This person really does not exist — there are no authentic fingerprints of a soul, a self, an authentic identity or personality. He does not care for others because he doesn’t care for himself, as there is nothing — no Self –behind his facade to care for. He uses people and everything around him for amusement good or bad (not in the way a normal human defines good and bad, because for them it is all the same), just to temporarily fill his emptiness.
Another thing that the psychopath told me in one of the last conversations we had after I unmasked him is that he is in a constant battle to fight a feeling of “ice” that he perceives inside him. Then I though that maybe he was telling me that just to play on my empathy, and perhaps that is true, but now I see it probably does contains some element of truth.
The information and the interaction I see in this blog leads me to some very illuminating conclusions. Maybe my hypothesis is not correct, but it works for me as everyone with humanity and a conscience has their own way to perceive such an ‘extraterrestrial’ creature as the psychopath seems to be. And by no means does this personal explanation I reached give these individuals any white flag of absolvement, because they live in society and know right from wrong cognitively, so they always have the choice even if they are unable to feel it. No pity comes from me for them after they have enacted their monstrosities on unsuspecting targets.
I feel it is incredibly insightful the way ‘Reality’ has connected the lack of Self to empathy, conscience, and the ability to connect with others. Many thanks to ‘Reality’ for this thought-provoking post that expresses these concepts in a different — and very clear — way.
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