140728 My comments on Sam Vaknin’s essay “For the Love of God; Narcissists and Religion”
By: Dr. Sam Vaknin
Was led to watching a good video off YouTube recently, of an interview with the author of the essay above, Dr Sam Vaknin, which addressed “Narcissism”, after seeing Pat Coleman’s own vid going to the same subject. So, I was inspired to comment, and here it is…
Skipping down your Narcissism and religion essay, Sam, I can’t say I have any of those interpretations as you see them, which is a relief.
But the first thing that strikes me is how beggared we are as a people, of the dominant western judaic-christian culture, because I do see so many of these traits you describe throughout the society, as far removed as I’ve been from it, for the last 20 to 30 years.
It’s a valid question, “how can we have survived as a society with these traits so obvious and so common?”
And worse, that these malignant traits are basically what all christian cults, ‘religions’, depend upon for their own sustenance! ‘Cloaked’ though they most often are, at least overtly in the pleasantries and smarmy condescensions.
And there too, it beggars belief that so many people have been so duped, so spell bound for so long, to have anything to do with the churches, the priesthood, the beliefs systems, to return Sunday after Sunday to services, year on year, for generations, and to also maintain a ‘faith’, in anything the clergy preaches!
What crimes have been committed, as you title your essay, in the name of…., “for the love of god”!
However, being the ultra-cynic I’ve become, I do ask just how many so-called “faithful’ do actually believe in any deity, let alone in the messiah concept?
From my life’s hard and honest lessons, I’ve perceived that most ‘religious’ people, professing a faith to any one cult, or creed, are beneath those facades, quite cynical themselves, and really just ‘play-along’.
Because an organised group like the large cults, for that, also amass material wealth. And that, always translates, at the end of the day, down to being ownership and rights to land, upon which we all must live.
But, in these we also find terrible, perhaps typically ‘religious’ deceits and corruptions. For the western, judaic-christian cults are always ahead in the crude businesses of global colonisation, and have led in dispossessing the Indigenous Peoples of their own lands. Yet what do we see from the western cults, but silence or denial of Indigenous Land Rights!
So, were we able to have a mass honesty session, of whole nations, we might be pleasantly surprised by the facts, which would, I maintain, have millions indeed, billions, ‘come-out’ and admit to being Atheists. As well, we would, in that hypothetical, also have those billions admit that their allegiance to the cults, with all the traps of professing when necessary, ‘faith’ etc., merely so-as to secure in the ‘security in numbers’ raw and simple truth, somewhere safe to live, socialise and earn an income.
But, I AM an Ultra-Cynic!
Your descriptions of the mental traits and habits of these religious narcissists, seen from my distant points of view for decades, but also in so many fanatics who themselves are completely unaware of their psychoses, and, in my own family [while ‘god’ was never in their dialogue or general beliefs systems], still now, with my ongoing, if reluctant, interest in psycho-pathology, I’m shocked as to how the society can function at all.
But, alas! It isn’t functioning very well at all, now, is it?
We, who are victim to these traits of mind, and so are constantly aware of their existence, see it in most all ‘driven’ business folks, in enthusiasts of money making, in the emphatic, and ambitious, always, and in as this essay goes to, the religious. Most so in the evangelical, no doubt.
Damn what a mess the world is in!
Having had some 25 to 30 years, plus many years prior living alone in society, to myself, and with the definite subtle, covert guidances [I struggled to become aware of] by the Theosophical Society, to play their puppet prophet, since my earliest days, ‘self-examination’ has been almost, though too often, annoyingly, depressingly, ‘normal’.
So with many years of having the mind going off on it’s own, and me having to tag along, I did come used to hearing the stupid, the false, the unnecessary thoughts, and early came to be ever ready to notice the errant thinking patterns. That was helped by my finding good schools, which addressed these very things, habits, traits, etc., and gave the best guidance, from eclectic coverage of the world’s religions and philosophies, etc. So they also assisted me enormously in finding a regime of mental practices which worked on cleaning out the bad aspects and habits of thought. But, as said, the cult behind my very existence, had led me covertly into seeing other ways, such as mum being led to becoming a Hatha Yoga teacher, from when I was but a 10 year old. So all things “Eastern” began into my formative years, until I was ‘well read’, well above most westerners, especially from government schoolings, in the subtle arts of mental health, etc, as known and retained in their collective consciousness, by “the East” for millennia. Indeed, ‘forever’!
So it all has me look down on others, especially those who try to exert authority and power over other people, when I see/hear them being irrational and unwarranted in their assertions, making fools of themselves. I don’t mean ‘look down’ as if I am superior. If one is better informed about something, after a while it becomes absorbed into the unconscious,. And, if it’s about these matters, of mind, I think it becomes ‘subconscious’ such that they do not influence the egoistic part of the thinking, and thus of seeing others as lesser beings.
[Forgive me here, because I’m going through this again, before posting it, so edits add paragraphs on a preceding point, and thus the congruency of the whole piece can be a little disrupted and not as fluent. I’d guess you’re familiar with this unfortunate aspect of writing?]
It’s simply that when we see people being stupid, but perhaps especially overly dominating, but without good, intelligent cause, we’re all disgusted I think, and so ‘look down’ on them?
It seems so few people are ‘natural’ at hearing and discerning the veracity or not, of their own thoughts? So, this begs the question how can they discern errant thoughts, words in others? Especially in their alleged ‘leaders’? For if people cannot recognise stupid thoughts, untrue and evil thoughts in their own minds, nor then the dangers of them, how can they know when others are talking rubbish, and when some people must be avoided? Then, in either situation, they’re dangerous, and more so if they are asked to assess and judge who should lead the society and nation!
No wonder we’ve heading down hill so fast!
But, in familiar, secure and trusted situations I do think we are more natural.
And then, crucially, our naturally better mind, as-it-were, is freer, more relaxed, and so can function. It, or we, can say what it would, truer more intelligent and balanced things. [That in itself is an whole tome to expand upon, in terms of what conditions are necessary for us to think, thus speak, aright? And.., whence come our thoughts, and knowledge, etc? The levels of importance of “nature, nurture, preparation, formation, nurturing, etc”?]
But when pressure, especially of proving ourselves, is on us, unless we’re pretty astute and experienced, which has to be or include that same ‘self-awareness’ and being adept at self-examination, until we’re naturals at ensuring our thoughts and words are accurate, we fall to being errant.
If that isn’t examined within, and is or should be demanded of us constantly, such as in any position of management, or authority, too often people are free to invent, fabricate whole theories, of untested merit, and thus deep and seriously dangerous fallacies, and often because they’re under pressure to come up with the right answers too quickly.
So whatever they can think of to say, enough to maintain their stature, status, job, income, career potential, etc., escapes their own examination, critique and correction, and, escapes other’s critique, if they aren’t questioned, and appear to get away with it, if only for that ‘superior leadership’ position of unquestioned authority and rectitude.
As said, I recall reviewing myself even as a teenager, after social events, which was bloody depressing more than enlightening, so that process has been driven into me.
Therefore it annoys me and even disgusts me when I see others not even aware of the rubbish they talk, and that they don’t seem to have that ability, that self-respect, I guess it comes down to, of being self-critical in ensuring they are not talking bullshit. This also, or perhaps should, apply to trivia?
As well, another reason I’m far happier well out of all social networks today, is that people are forced, as much, by social demands, to keep their conversations and thus their general level of considerations so parochial, so myopic, and in the end, conversation is trite garbage.
Sure, ‘small talk’, gossip and local chatter gets to over-the-back-fence issues, which can be as important as global politics often, if, say, neighbour nut-case has a gun and wants to abuse it.
And those small issues do keep a local suburb in some sort of order I guess.
But, being one out of the bag, having never had that since my youth, and for over 40 years now, not having had any constant social mateship and familiar network, it’s alien to me, so I get my jollies in politics, and larger objective, non-personal affairs.
More tragic that is, than any ‘broadmindedness’ of character, or natural benevolence.
But it has had me inquire into these larger things, like ‘cultural psychoses’, as per religion, etc.
I just finished reading your essay Sam. It has me conclude I was a narcissist.
Well before I had the slightest clue that I was being set-up by the Theosophical Society and my mum.
Looking back, and this might again be some still unrecognised sub-character in me, denying for it’s own self-defense, culpability, but I can see the traits as you go through the characteristics of Jesus.
I’ve known for perhaps 8 years, perhaps longer, that I was from my conception, hypnotised, and so have never really had any of my own personality. A great ‘escape clause’, yes?
I do maintain that as an escape from being guilty of a personal or personally developed psychosis. I wish I could escape the damage to my psyche that’s come with the bad magic imposed upon my mind though? But I also maintain, that our psychoses are never ‘self-inflicted’, but are always ‘imposed’ upon us, by some external and usually sadistic or malicious other. Person, or perhaps ‘spirit’ from other dimensions? So ‘blame’ and ‘guilt’, and ‘shame’, etc., are falsities, again, imposed upon us by as usually is the case, those damned religions! This being a fact, I assert, also damns the whole modern, western, and other, justice systems surely? But clean, simple intelligent, science, determines that as so anyways. That the legal world is drowning in ‘blame’, and it’s opposite of rewarding individuals for accomplishments, that whole cultures run on that/those general tenets, shows just how successful the pernicious and wildly astray religions have been.
So, with what I’ve written above, about seeing in others these traits you describe, I must say, even now, looking back, I see my old self as being different to the flawed narcissists I too describe watching, but how different I actually was to, or in the yes of others, I can’t say. What I can say, is that they saw me as a bad apple eventually, and I was put through the grinder, now, for over 25 years.
For several years I’ve said that Jesus was a puppet, like myself, or vice-a-versa, of course. That he was hypnotized mainly first, by his mother, and by the rabbis, he was sitting with down at the temple, etc, and obviously, “John the Baptist” had him by the baptismal from whenever they were together.
I haven’t seen, or ‘identified’ any of those narcissistic traits as you point out in the New Testament books, in Jesus, and it surprises me that they are there, and that you see them as narcissism.
I can’t disagree with you, but I have my own doubts about the veracity of the NT, what with it being written with a definite agenda in mind in the 4th century AD, by the paid scribes of the corrupting Councils of Nicea. So I think we have to be careful what we accept as said by Jesus. Whether he even actually existed, and so what was written to either fit-him-up, or make him out to be more godlike than he might have actually been? He may have existed, but may also merely have been a puppet, totally hypnotized, which I do believe, and so had many personal troubles and inner conflicts, which he had no chance back then, of ever divesting himself of.
But, yes, I accept in the main, your attributing narcissism to his character. But I also insist, that if he did exist and in anything like we’ve been led to believe of him, as some prophetic personage, he was mostly a victim of a desperate cult. And it is the case that judaism was in shit street in his time, so would have been ready to resort to anything to save itself.
It strikes me as a surprise that you do deduce as you have, his character. The surprise is that the books were written in the way they were, such that someone up the track could have deduced and discerned these failings in his character.
Because, if you’re right, then the scribes, or their dictators, were consciously intending to write-in these flaws, and thus, the dangers and errors of the whole “Jesus” phenomenon.
THAT! Is a very interesting twist to the whole story!
I was made aware decades ago that it was written with many ‘coded’ references and perhaps understatements in it, almost as if waiting for a future time when wiser minds would see it’s secrets as they were intended.
Sure, ‘allegory’ metaphor and other means of secreting messages. But this, that he was so flawed a personality, and, indeed, such a dangerous one?
Brilliant! What a joke it makes then, of all the christians!
I’ve lived homeless and exiled from all society here in Australia now for over 19 years. Finding that I’m this false character, set-up by a combination of mad cults, has shattered me, really.
Yet, still, I soldier-on, as-it-were, from forests away from ‘the throng’, yet stalked and haunted by all manner of peoples, from near and from overseas. And part of my DEFIANCE against being made this mad cult’s puppet, and that their propaganda mill mindlessly persists in forcing me to be what I refuse to be, their “Jesus”, makes it a miserable Duty of mine to keep pumping out essays and assaults against their delusional ideologies.
But, they’re quite insane, and for that quite ceaseless in trying to prove they’re right. So after certain periods, when I still maintain my rage, and refuse to acquiesce, the pressure is re-applied.
Each day I expect to be set-up, again, and accused of false crimes, so they can incarcerate me, as mum [THE leading narcissist of my life] herself has done more than once. This maternal narcissism topic, as brought into my awareness by the G+ connection to Pat Coleman, is something I’ve posted essays on to my blog, and I even sent a JPEG description, I got from Pat’s page, about maternal narcissism, to my older sister, who I do think is also one of them.
She’s again cut-off email communications to me. And, as they’re psychotic, if only forced into so being by the demonic Theosophical Society cult, it would linger in their minds and they’d be plotting more to force me to doing what they want.
So, this morning, I was forced to leave my ‘allowed’ little forest hid-out, by a forest worker and truck and piece of heavy machinery, the one I think that drove me out a few months ago. So, I don’t know if I’ll still be ‘a free man’ by the end of the day? Therefore I don’t know if I’ll be able to hit the internet on this topic from here forward?
It’s a sick world. Perhaps wherever you’re abiding, living, things are not so oppressive? But perhaps they are everywhere nowadays/
But here, in Australia, it is unbearable mostly, for someone, some ‘freak’ like me.
Maybe I’ll have a “lucky break”? I guess one would have to believe in ‘luck’ though, for that to happen? Ha!
Max N Cook
Brayakooloong Gunai Indigenous Outlaw
Brayakooloong Gunai Indigenous Outlaw
All Praise the Immortals!
All Praise the Warriors who have fallen
Fighting for a Just World!
Bleck – Green – Red
Wisdom – Intelligence – Honor