If there is any reality then you are real, and your choices are based on you.
Ambitious people also tend to be callous people. This has even been examined scientifically. Just as everyone has features of the autistic personality, they also have features of what they call the psychopathic personality.
There is a simple way to illustrate the psychopathic mindset. Normally, between say you and me, as I regard you I think of the interaction as myself and you. You as a self, as a person.
We just have different degrees of balance of those traits? Indeed.
The psychopathic personality thinks not of you and me, but of me and it. Viewing everyone and everything according to its function, its potential use in satisfying personal goals.
Is that why Gollum speaks in the third person? Is he a psychopath? He is, yes. It is also why he thinks so casually of killing other intelligent beings.
So our societies institutions are psychopathic? They are, yes, which denies status to any who cannot achieve agency in that system and do it through force of one kind or another. Nothing else serves as viable capital, social coercion or Machiavellian manoeuvring, or violence, but the point is, the process of seeking to fulfill these ambitions and making ambition the centre of large portions of your life, perhaps even your whole life, involves killing portions of yourself, sustaining more and more emotional scars.
It seems like the battle with gun laws is no longer about guns. When non violent people threaten death that’s psychopathic behaviour even if they probably won’t actually do any killing? It is psychopathic behaviour, and systematic analysis of our entire record and study of psychopathy shows that the majority of those who are constitutionally psychopathic also tend to be anything other than violent. Violence being likely the least effective means of satisfying their desires.
What is the most? Being listened to? Yes, commanding attention. This is why one of the primary identifying traits of a psychopath is a superficial charisma.
They are often charismatic.
Like why Bin Laden sent out tapes? He sure got a lot of power when he did that without even lifting a finger to hurt anyone directly.
They also have found that, contrary to previous belief, psychopaths can experience empathy. It’s just tangential, suppressed, likely a necessary adaption to experiencing life and the world through the psychopathic frame of mind.
We love a funny villain. Heroes tend to be psychopaths also, putting problems before empathy, even before concern for their own feelings.
So would a psychopath be better or worse navigating the transition to death? Maybe they make good Buddhists? Psychopaths are worse at navigating the death transition. This is why so many reported ghosts display psychopathic behaviour.
Because they have no feelings to provide feedback? They have no centre in feeling, yes. We need sensitivity, that ability to keep in touch, in order to exercise any finesse.
Recent FMRI studies have shown some fascinating things about the human brain. Universally, human beings register negative emotion more powerfully than positive emotion. Even those people who report never having experienced any significant traumatic events in their lives.
Verbal abuse is more damaging? Not more damaging, but I will go into that. Human experience is a subtle thing. Every change generates a hurt, a disconnect, whether it was by our own agency or not. Every time our world view must change, every time we have to incorporate some new understanding, our bodies and brains experience stress. Even an unexpected surprise, miraculously good fortune, creates an unconscious distress, something new, and in the latter case of great magnitude, that separates us from our previous state of being.
Actually, that is what I feel the most from this new Pope. A great lack of stress in his words. He forces nothing but the world listens to him so closely.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.