I maintain that my current trajectory in life is not one of redemption. Redemption would imply that I have atoned for my sins of the past and am immune from their temptations in the future. My latent state will always be antisocial; that is what I am at the atomic level. But, as with chemistry, different arrangements of atoms result in different properties even if the atom, at its core, is of property ‘X’. No, my current trajectory is one of reprogramming. My unquiet mind will always be distraught with the internal monologue detailing the differences between the conscious and subconscious as well as the intentional versus the automatic. No matter how much I want to know whether I am conscious in my desires to be a better person these days, I must concede that there are certain mechanisms that are beyond my control. I am a subject of my own psychological experiment. As I consciously strive toward prosocial behaviors, my subconscious begins to morph. As the subconscious evolves, its call overwhelms the conscious mind. I am left with a Mobius Strip of a person, with no clear beginning or end. For a being without identity, this is especially distressing and terrifying. At some point, I have to let go. At some point, I have to concede that there is very real reprogramming that was once under my control but is no longer.
These are strange times. My intellectual grasp of the interconnectedness of the world is at peak form even if I do not hold an emotional state toward others living on this earth. Cognitively, I realize that every action I take affects someone else in some fashion and that every action another takes may affect me. In this sense, the grand dance that is life is slowly being revealed to me. What will eventually come my way from such a focus on the intertwined nature of life is yet to be seen. I do not believe in karma, but I do believe that if one seeks to be part of the world, they must respect the world. By respect, I mean that the individual must realize that others have their own unique positions in life and that they exist separate from the observer’s point of view. There are times in which my selfishness and callousness shines through, but by and large, I am morphing into a new being. This is no accident. Months and years of meditating upon my place in the world have brought me to this point and a lesser mind certainly would not reach the same conclusions that I have. These are strange times indeed.
It’s been a bit since the United Kingdom voted, democratically, to leave the European Union. Whether they actually do or not, given that the Europeans practice a bit of “democracy when convenient”, is irrelevant, though amusing to me. The philosophical question is one that was theoretically answered by the U.K. population: who owns the right to self-determination? In my belief – and I hope with yours as well – it is ultimately the people that give the government power to determine the governed’s fate. That is, the ultimate power resides within each and every individual that a democratic government derives its power from. This concept of being able to chart one’s own destiny, is ultimately what brings me to this post. The punchline may be the same, but I hope this connection to real life sheds some insight as to who ultimately holds the authority in our separate lives: the individual.
I ended therapy for the time being. The sessions as of late were incredibly one-sided, with my drive to change problematic behaviors nearing zero. Therapy is only effective if the person receiving therapy is open to change. Right now, I’m struggling to make it from day to day, dealing with the unforgiving assault of organic and environmental depression. I could change things. I could find activities and mantras that would help ease the pain that I live with currently. I could reduce my chain smoking and disdain for my health. I could change many things. However, I do not wish to at this time. I suppose on some level, chaos and a slow death is working for me, and until I come around, there is simply no point in wasting my therapist’s time or that of my own. All of this parallels the decision psychopaths have to make regarding their behaviors. If there is no desire to rein in one’s destructive behaviors, then no amount of coaching or analysis showing the benefits of such will resonate. A psychopath has free will, of course, but she must choose wisely when it comes to using that free will. She can choose to be a force of destruction, leaving lives – including her own – in the wake, or she can channel her energy into adapting to the mold that society requires. Ultimately, this decision lies solely with her.
While very few confirmed psychopaths are prototypical – that is, earning a perfect score on the primary instrument of assessing psychopathy, the Psychopathy Checklist – Revised – it would be foolish to believe that any psychopath is not prototypical in certain aspects. My impulsivity, for instance, is legendary and pervasive to the point to where I can cite examples from each waking day that interfere with my livelihood. The space between nightmare and fantasy is often one traveled by the psychopath with her wanted bloodlust. This concept extends to other areas as well and really we must think of the gray area between fiction and truth. Those that wish to white knight the psychopath often gloss over the fact that the stereotypes of psychopaths could not exist without the extreme actions of a subset of us. The only difference, in most cases, between the desire of the mind and actuality is the level of restraint that the psychopath has built up.