Buddha is a Psychopath: Siddhartha, Sociopathy and the Middle (Psycho) Path

 

“None the less, from Hannibal Lecter to Morgan, Dexter: etcetera… nada… formalis.” JR

Psychopath/Buddha

1.        Abundant glib superficial charm/Love for all things.

2.        Poverty of emotions, flat affect/Let it go, all is as it should be.

3.        Unable to form strong emotional bonds/ ‘Spiritual detachment’.

4.        Impulsive/Live for this moment.

5.        Less fear, guilt, remorse/ ‘At peace’

6.        Manipulative, change story to fit situation/ ‘Zen’.

7.        Usually men/ Buddhas’ can only be men. Bodhisattva and higher ranks for females are a late edition. Oh yeah. Put that in your spiritual pipe.

8.        Grandiose, arrogant, narcissistic/ ‘Enlightenment’, svakkhatdo (excellent beginning, middle and end; ‘Higher’ mind, wisdom and virtue ect).

9.        Use others to feel powerful/ ‘Holy’.             (also temples, progressive rank hierarchy ect)

10.     Behaviourally prone to violate social norms/ Orange robes with sandals, a shaved head and extensive wooden beads: yeah that’ll about do it at most clubs. Especially after 6pm.

11.     Parasitic lifestyle/ ‘Monk’.

12.     Lacks realistic long term goals/ ‘Monk’.

13.     Failure to accept responsibilities/ ‘Monk’.

14.     Decreased startle response/ Meditation.

15.     Shallow or flat affect/ Balance, centred.

16.     Lacks true empathy, self serving/ reincarnation and Karma.

Introduction

CONSIDER if you will the power of stillness. The gift that mastery of the detached self can bring over the waking mind. Ceaseless tides quelled. Over reaction reined in. All spiritual masters talk of this. Even in spiritual teachings it is called ‘detachment’. But do you know where emotional detachment is frowned upon?

That’s right. The law courts. And in the consultation clinic of the prison psychologist or psychiatrist.

Buddha was a psychopath. And Buddhism is nothing but an ancient path to breed sociopathy.

Section1 Teachings of the Dharma and Psychopathogenesis

I was raised next to a Buddhist temple with a prominent spiritualist for a mother. Add to this a bit of a background in psychology and you are left with someone in a unique place to comment on this very topic.

The author thinks in pictures. Just some trivia there. But was this born or bred? Is it not possibly so that early exposure to intense meditation training is akin to producing Hares’ absence of “inner speech”: a missing requirement crucial for the development of conscience?

If any language or instrumental education holds more lifelong gravity when begun before age 7, is the power of non-speach not then equally likely to carry such power? Well, one could argue. And one does.

Section 2 From Hervey to Hare: the Psychopathy checklist

Hervey Cleckley, unbeknownst to most, was one of the first to coin the term ‘psychopath’ in a diagnostic sense. Taken from his now out of print 1940’s  book ‘Mask of Sanity’, ‘psychopath’ was the resurrection of the old German word for people who B. Rush suggested b-rush emotion aside by natural tendency.

It was to be replaced by the term ‘sociopath’ in the 1930’s by Partridge. All are adapted from Pinels’ manie sans delire (insane without insanity) and both terms sociopath and psychopath are unequivocal historically; despite the abundance of those all too happy to muddy the waters, from academia to the Hollywood walk, they are in fact identical in meaning. Point of fact; psychopath was chosen to be less stigmatising. Interesting huh?

In any case, the more contemporarily famous Hare merely provided the checklist revision to move away from the analytic flavour which was no longer in favour; with DSM (diagnostic/statistical manual for mental disorder) leading the way on this point. That being said: I know of nowhere where psychopathy is considered a formal diagnosis per se. At all. Anywhere. Ever.

Yes, despite the volumes of supposed research which extend from your boss when he is driven but you don’t like him to the partialpath, the path-next-door, the threefourthspath with a cherry on top: (with Anti Social Personality Disorder a distinct condition) nowhere is being a ‘psychopath’ an illness in any recognised manual. Sorry.

The funding is real enough. Thanks to Law and Order, CSI and the like. The 1-3% of the population claims, the nonviolent, the violent, the in-between, the only on Thursday-path, the once a monthopath, the postnatalpath, the not-now-not-during-glee-its-my-show-and-you-know-that-you-freakin-know-that-its-my-show-yes-you-do-yes-you-do-I-told-you-can’t-this-wait-till-the-adds-what-is-it-no-I’m-not-snapping-at-you-but-you-know-this-is-my-show-I-told-you-this-is-my-show-yes-I-did-um-excuse-me-yes-I-did-a-path… well, I don’t have to tell you. Not twice. Certainly not 3 times. Certainly not again.

None the less, from Hannibal Lecter to Morgan, Dexter: etcetera… nada… formalis.

Is it as strong a case as any other disorder actually in the DSM? Probably. Though one could argue that really isn’t saying a great deal. Wait till next May when DSM 5 with its ‘Probably insane later’ pre praecox diagnosis (further investigation suggestion) which rates a mention, pending temporary suspension, hits the press. Yet, still no psychopathy. It’s just not there. Subsumed in ASPD? Kinda, sorta. Not really. In 5 to have its own APSD subtype? Maybe, probably, what does it matter? Point is up until (and including) right now: it’s just not there. Doesn’t exist.

None the less, from amongst all aforementioned the most modern convention  conception can be derived. And before I add one more, let us review the Hare low-tech list side by side JR-B-Path-list with a forward-slash betwixt lists function, for comparison in turn:

Psychopath/Buddha

1.        Abundant glib superficial charm/Love for all things.

2.        Poverty of emotions, flat affect/Let it go, all is as it should be.

3.        Unable to form strong emotional bonds/ ‘Spiritual detachment’.

4.        Impulsive/Live for this moment.

5.        Less fear, guilt, remorse/ ‘At peace’

6.        Manipulative, change story to fit situation/ ‘Zen’.

7.        Usually men/ Buddhas’ can only be men. Bodhisattva and higher ranks for females are a late edition. Oh yeah. Put that in your spiritual pipe.

8.        Grandiose, arrogant, narcissistic/ ‘Enlightenment’, svakkhatdo (excellent beginning, middle and end; ‘Higher’ mind, wisdom and virtue ect).

9.        Use others to feel powerful/ ‘Holy’.             (also temples, progressive rank hierarchy ect)

10.     Behaviourally prone to violate social norms/ Orange robes with sandals, a shaved head and extensive wooden beads: yeah that’ll about do it at most clubs. Especially after 6pm.

11.     Parasitic lifestyle/ ‘Monk’.

12.     Lacks realistic long term goals/ ‘Monk’.

13.     Failure to accept responsibilities/ ‘Monk’.

14.     Decreased startle response/ Meditation.

15.     Shallow or flat affect/ Balance, centered.

16.     Lacks true empathy, self serving/ reincarnation and Karma.

Section 3 What does it all mean?

Buddhists are all psychopaths, that’s what it means.

And Buddhists, like all psychopaths, learn to justify their position as well as mirror the behaviour of those around. All in just the right mix to fit the current social climate. There are examples of this throughout history. It is this that also saves it in some respects from being classified pathological across the board.

This gratitude is more chiefly owed to the weak minded however (ie if practiced properly with true commitment it would not be so flexible and as such persons truly ‘Buddhapathic ’, to use my term, would be more readily discovered).

Thank goodness it has become more of a cultural norm in the west, as a religion I mean, because that means you stop being crazy with exactly the same symptoms. That’s science.

Conclusion

Now I am not commenting on whether this is good or bad. It’s probably good. OK I am commenting. It is good, it’s right. It’s a better way to live. But then I would say that, wouldn’t I? And do I mean it? Do I FEEL it?

How would I know. I just know it’s reasonable on paper and beyond that: you can’t tell the difference anyway. Whoever you are. So who cares (except me, deeply. For all you know).

At best this paper highlights the importance of framing in theory of mind presumption. At worst: you don’t want to fight an army of Buddhists (and of course there have been many such blessed armies through history like any other religion. Look it up.)

Arguably, the only intelligent conclusion one can reach is that if ones’ feelings remain in tact after years of Buddhist or similar meditative training, especially from a young age, then one must not have been doing it with commitment.

Feign compassion for all, for next life self interest, yes, sure, absolutely. Hope for a world with your own personal version of what peace should look like but feel no hypocrisy in doing this: definitely.

Lie to yourself if you like, or find a variant more personally applicable to success in your current situation. Whatever that may be.

But the crux of it is if you genuinely ‘feel’ anything beyond this and think that position to be legitimate: well my friend you just ain’t been doing it right. You are not a Buddhist. You are a poser.

But worry not. There are plenty of other pseudo-pious religious institutions to choose from and each one as full of pretense, narcissistic self involvement posing as charity and righteous power over others, as the last.

But always follow trends and go for what is vastly popular but pretends to be underground or edge. This is by far the best base position for access to across the board mass manipulation to transcend both culture and sub-culture.

For example, maybe you could try atheism next.

JR

Philosophy/BioPsychology/Forensics

(Adaptation). First published: J Chron Int. (2012). “Buddha is a Psychopath”, Issue 21, vol (7), pp. 78.

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About J.Chron.Ltt.&Sci. [JRR]

~CogSc (Humour); NeuroPsych; Philosophy (Death/Identity); Methods (Research); Intelligence/Investigation (Forensic); Medical Error~
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71 Responses to Buddha is a Psychopath: Siddhartha, Sociopathy and the Middle (Psycho) Path

  1. Lana Leah says:

    you just profiled a “buddhist” psychopath!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hannelore Grill says:

    Yes Lana Leah, I agree with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pulkit Singh says:

    “The difficulty is that there must be as much power of attachment as that of detachment. There are men who are never attracted by anything. They can never love, they are hard-hearted and apathetic; they escape most of the miseries of life. But the wall never feels misery, the wall never loves, is never hurt; but it is the wall, after all. Surely it is better to be attached and caught, than to be a wall. Therefore the man who never loves, who is hard and stony, escaping most of the miseries of life, escapes also its joys. We do not want that. That is weakness, that is death. That soul has not been awakened that never feels weakness, never feels misery. That is a callous state. We do not want that.”
    – Swami Vivekananda

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is true, people often misconstrue that the removal of suffering does not get replaced by some universal peace or compassion – that is a later Christian injection, and can not work. None the less, perhaps some suffering and a middle ground is worth reflecting on, thank you.

      Like

      • Isn’t it that the understanding of the causes of psychological suffering ( attachment, desire, revulsion, ignorance,etc. ) as opposed to material ( famine, torture, ageing, sickness etc.) can alleviate mental suffering… the physical causes of suffering are slightly different as it is not predominately how you view ( subjectively) the situation but possibly on the extent one can mentally detach from the physical pain and in the acceptance of the “now” .

        Like

    • Sid says:

      how convenient that you forget ramakrishna paramahamsa realized buddha himself.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Steve says:

    Wow, the amount of emotion and ad hominem attacks in this article is jaw-dropping, and I’m not even Buddhist. First off, Buddhism and psychoanalysis are starting to form a well established connection, as well as in the secular world, but certain sects of Buddhism certainly have spiritual and prejudiced views, depending on which sect you’re talking about

    1. Abundant glib superficial charm/Love for all things

    I don’t see how you can equate those two statements. This comes down to if the person tries to realize love for all things. If so, good on them, if not, that’s a shame. If I wish to love my neighbors, am I superficial in your eyes?

    2. Poverty of emotions, flat affect/Let it go, all is as it should be.

    This is called being emotionally stable. Assuming emotion is inherently good is just childish and naive. Emotion has its place, in context. Furthermore, if you are equating the capacity for emotional extremes to being moral, then again, you are naive. Emotional extremes are almost never a good or moral thing.

    3. Unable to form strong emotional bonds/ ‘Spiritual detachment’.

    Yes, Buddhism emphasizes that strong emotional bonds are a form of narcissistic attachment, not true acceptance of another being. If you can’t let it go, you do not truly accept it.

    4. Impulsive/Live for this moment.

    Impulsiveness can manifest itself in ideas and thoughts about the past or future — it does not have anything to do with accepting the present, as you are falsely implying. I can impulsively decide to kill myself on past guilts, wrapped up in my own mind so much that Im not even aware of the present. Living in the moment, in the Buddhist context, is about letting the past and future go, and appreciating the present moment.

    5. Less fear, guilt, remorse/ ‘At peace’

    And less anger, judgement hate and prejudice. Cherry-picking out of one set to equate it to another set is never a honest thing to do, my friend.

    6. Manipulative, change story to fit situation/ ‘Zen’.

    I don’t think this warrants a response.

    7. Usually men/ Buddhas’ can only be men. Bodhisattva and higher ranks for females are a late edition. Oh yeah. Put that in your spiritual pipe.

    I agree. The aspects of certain Buddhist sects that aren’t part of a psycho-analytical philosophy and are of very little interest and are perhaps morally questionable.

    8. Grandiose, arrogant, narcissistic/ ‘Enlightenment’, svakkhatdo (excellent beginning, middle and end; ‘Higher’ mind, wisdom and virtue ect).

    That’s a big stretch. Equating those ideas seems to be very dishonest and intellectually evasive. I believe there is a established structure of education from primary, secondary to tertiary, which i buy into. I also believe that some people are wiser than I am, and I am wiser than some others.
    Am I a sociopath?

    I’m not going to respond to every item in this article, as I would need another 4 hours of free time.
    Anyway, cherry-picking items out of two different sets to establish equality is just wrong, on so many levels.

    That said, Buddhism, depending on which sect you’re referring to, has its flaws — but don’t try to establish false equality and throw the baby out with the bathwater. If this article was written as tongue-in-cheek, then by all means, ignore my post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thoughtful comments. Oh, I love Buddhism, the western watered down version. But the teachings of most forms, much like psychological science, is all down to the interpretation the person brings to the table.

      At the end of the day, they are both just religions to make you feel good; with some useful elements mixed in, almost by accident. Your comment is great! Even tongue in cheek is taking aim at something.

      As for point 6: There is a lot I could add about the religious sides of Buddha that most don’t know about. & research design theory that most do not understand. The influence of Zen during the wars of history (including WWII for detachment to aid in human medical research & Kamikaze). The truth is everything is glib unless it is seen in actions. Do you love your neighbours or do you HELP your neibours? Does the Dali Lama and Khen Po’s et al charge a minimum to cover costs – or an industry of books, videos and speaking tours through the Ivy league and beyond? Building pillared temples to detachment, with giant statues of Buddha?

      They teach flat affect, that is the middle path. Im not saying it is not a way, I’m just saying culturally, if you werent protected by the free religion clause, it would be psychopathological in our tick box during the clinical interview.

      In fact leaving people to suffer is better for their next life; as Kama only applies in the next life, so the more you suffer now the better your next life will be. There are Zen proverbs to that effect, but not just the Zen traditions. It is almost unethical to help people, some argue – because it isn’t “help” in the grandest sense.

      Point 7, given the state of equal rights and equal pay: the fact that enlightenment was reserved for the men’s club only is kinda relevant for all those Berkley liberals funding the popularization of their whimsical interpretation of what they want to hear in this stuff, that the speakers they bring do not believe – but are only asked in Chinese by real Buddhists. I was talking to a Khen Po earlier this month about how a monk, when I was growing up, had told me if I meditated wrong my soul would get stuck in a Hell dimension, and was that true: he said “Yes, yes that is correct”. And he wasn’t being metaphorical. It is this kind of thing people do not know. Or the mutilation rituals ect.

      As for what makes “good and moral” – there is no time in comments. Do points 3 & 5 contradict? And that is a western mindfulness interpretation you appear to host, it is a bit of a dodge.

      But Buddhism is far from secular. We agree on the key things it seems, but id say perhaps you’ve only had experience with the watered down “it is a way of life, it is a philosophy, AND it is a religion” so every one can buy my books and stay Christian version.

      Or not.

      Either way, great response. It is not ad hominem, unless it is against both psychopathy as a discrete entity, and Buddhism – then I’d have to say that that is almost certainly true. I had hoped to be more subtle though.

      Of course we’d both need more time to cover positions properly, and it was written to be inflammatory, you are right about that. But without overly exaggerating. Or perhaps without exaggerating at all – though at the time I’d wager I was less cynical then I am today. If you can believe that.

      I still get more personally from both my interpretation of Buddhism, and the psychiatric/cognitive sciences, than any other fields. Just nothing can ever go unchallenged as gospel.

      Nice one.

      JJR.

      Like

      • Steve says:

        ‘Nothing can go unchallenged as Gospel’ — this I absolutely agree with. I’ve tried reading both Eastern and Western interpretations of Buddhism, the former with more skepticism than the latter to be honest. The original message of the Buddha was passed down through oral traditions for roughly 300 to 500 years before it was written down (and I assume we both know how 500 years of oral tradition can muddy a message or philosophy).

        At least in Theravadin Buddhism — the oldest sect of Buddhism I am led to believe — deprivation for its own sake is not valued. Even the Buddha himself abandoned acts of deprivation and self-mutilation, to find another path, The Middle Way… at least that’s how the story goes.

        However, my main interest in Buddhism stems from meditation and the psycho-analytical traditions that have accompanied meditation in this tradition of Buddhism. From personal experience, I know meditation works in its ability to calm the mind. There is a wealth of scientific research going into meditation and its effects on the body and mind. For me, this was reason enough to inquire more about Buddhism.

        However, what I take issue with in your article is that the facets of Buddhism you attack, if attack is the right word, are ones that have nothing to do with the supernatural components of Buddhism. You take issue with the fundamental messages (or maybe you don’t), such as to live in the moment and be at peace. To take issue with a message like this and to compare it to psychopathy just seems really bizarre on a fundamental level. Again, you cannot logically equate two ideas if you cherry-pick select items from each idea — yet you do this over and over throughout the article. Do you take issue with the supernatural components emphasized in Buddhism? I assume the answer is yes, and so do I. On this there is no disagreement. If you exposed yourself to Buddhism expecting some kind of purely rational all-encompassing framework for reality, then you were very misguided in what you expected out of it… it is a religion for the vast majority of practitioners in the end.

        You fail to distinguish between the philosophical views and supernatural claims in Buddhism, then proceed to turn all of it into a soup born of misrepresentation and ambiguity and pass the final product off as proof of … psychopathy? If the comparison is an intellectual exercise, I accept it, although I don’t wholly understand the reasoning. If you are passing it off as, somehow, proof that Buddhism breeds sociopaths and has nothing to offer in a Western secular context, then you are simply spouting opinions born from ambiguity and misrepresentation. Please see the growing secular Buddhist community that is emerging in the West.

        If you think that this secular grouping are not really practicing Buddhism, then you need to really define what is and isn’t Buddhism. If Buddhism is a singular idea, then there wouldn’t be different sects with different interpretations. I believe that Buddhism can exist in a secular context. To define what is and isn’t Buddhism is to jump into the abyss of semantics and philosophy, which would take hours. As such, I do not know what this article attempts to accomplish. If it is an intellectual exercise is drawing comparisons, then let it be — if it is an article written to somehow draw a moral landscape in which Buddhism as a entire entity should be thrown to the wolves, then that was done very, very poorly. Buddhism does offer a particular psycho-analytical philosophy which the West previously did not have. For this I am grateful.

        I’ll be honest: my gut reaction to this article is that of a lot of bathwater and babies are being thrown around. If I am misrepresenting your views on Buddhism, then I apologize and hope you clarify your position. Perhaps we largely do agree on this topic, but writing-style is creating discord where there is none. Although the fact that you think that you might not be exaggerating at all makes me doubt that. If this is an article with a hidden West vs East agenda, then that deserves an entire article on its own.

        “I’m just saying culturally, if you werent protected by the free religion clause, it would be psychopathological in our tick box during the clinical interview.”

        Well, thank god I don’t take opinions of psychologists and psychiatrists as Gospel — anyone who does needs to develop their critical faculties a bit more. As a mathematician, the amount of data required for a psychologist or psychiatrist to profess a view is laughable. To have those views professed as being completely rational, is frightening.

        I’m sorry if this post comes across as inflammatory in its own right, but your article has stirred a fire within, so lets allow the flame of debate to burn as it needs to.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Hi,
        Here some things many people do when they want to defend Buddhismen:
        1. They defend the Buddha by saying that people do not understand the Buddha accurate. It has not been written down until very late after his death and so forth.
        2. Buddhists often confuses and mixing “grapes with raisins”. Peace in Buddhism comes from giving up life. If you give up life peace arises.
        3. People meditated long before Buddha. The Buddhist meditation has not the same intention than the one in the Western world. Buddhist meditation is ment to turn away from life. It is not ment to make life more liveable to live.
        4. The Buddhist’s put totally different meanings in words as: happyness, love and emphati than Westerners do. To be happy in Buddhismen means to be separated from the “I” and “self”. It is to say: nothing can hurt me anymore. The ideal of Buddhismen is to be free from all bindings and desire in this world. Buddhismen is a kind of mass suicide by obliberating oneself to Nothingness or Nirvana. Buddhist compassion is not the same as in the western world. It is not to identify with the suffering. To identify with someone outside of the self is to invite suffering. Buddhist compasion is to say: Poor you, life is suffering. Compassion in Buddhismen is to contempt life.
        5. The Buddhists themselves love to mix grapes with raisins and even confuse by this. Everything depends on the moment. This is just another psychopathic trait.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hannel, some fine observations in parts, thank you.

        Perhaps the new interpretations “to make life more liveable” are not without merit though.

        One thing I have observed it that dropping the world is fine and staying empty in this moment is gr8, Until next week comes and one is cold and hungry.

        Again, what it really comes down to is – what the hell would Buddha know. And whats more, I bet he didnt claim to know anything. Unless he was selling classes or needed a temple to sleep in. Dont forget all travelling monks got free food and a bed wherever they knocked.

        In any event, the core truths of what it is to grasp Nirvana you have obviously glimpsed. And they work – absolutely – but as you rightly point out, no one said anything about bringing happiness or well being.

        The claim was remove attachment and remove suffering. & on this Buddha delivers.

        You are quite right that removal of suffering and becoming blissful was a bate and switch at a few points along the way.

        You once identified as a Buddhist I presume?

        Thanks for writing ^^

        JJR.

        Like

      • @Steve: Oh, word of mouth; original language, original CONTEXT, original CONTENT meaning – dont get me started. With any philosophy.

        To suffice is to say: the older a tradition the LESS venerable, except in that it is almost certainly not “that” tradition at all and may have ironed out some universal kinks along the way. So it may have that going for it. May not.

        “The oldest sect says”, tut – appeal to authority. It has been a long time since I scrubbed temple pillars with a toothbrush, so tradition names and buzz words I’ll bow to your word. And I must say; your version of the middle path sounds lovely >, so Ill drop it).

        Anyway, it is also meditation in basic practice -CBT. Plus, James (William) and that other lad, Lang? Probs Skinner too and all that behaviourist crowd were on to the body side far before this advent of fMR and even early mod western beatles-esk, counterculture, look to the eastern vogue (*sorry for the mnr tangent – Im passionate (Y). About research design).

        RE living in the moment and attacking Buddhism, I should make three additional points clear:
        1. You talk as though psychopathy is inherently bad, this is not so;
        2. I am fine with living in the moment, or at least with what the machine’s best approximation of what the moment is. I’ll grant that. Equating it with psychopathy may simply be true, not bad; &
        3. I do not believe in psychopathy.

        I dont take issue with anything, I just do not believe in much that isn’t contextually constructed in a pseudo collaboration of feigned understanding for dominance. That is all there is. The powerful are healthy, the weak are sick. & It is all definitional.

        There is work, within Buddhism, and some in the academy (though getting funding would be like getting funding to explore climate change without coming up with a human cause, or to argue that some street drugs are far safer than nearly all the pharms we prescribe) that talk about it being generative in what you would identify as sociopathy, or psychopathy, or APD (or ODD is a kid – tho there is a major push to just give kids the same adult Dx & Rx now – but again, another story).

        But once again, as to is that mad, sad or bad – or none of the above? Context and definition dependent.

        RE west praticioners can call themselves whatever they want, Christian Buddhists, “Buddy’Philosophers” – idc. If theyre happy, Im happy. Also, if they are not, I a equally (not) impacted. To say it was or wasnt Buddhism we’d have to define our terms. But detachment with compassion is not detachment – it may be better; that is context dependent. Starving in India and retreat owned by first worlds are pretty different contexts,

        But what aspects are psycho aalytic that were not already here? They took a lot of their ideas from the East too! You couldn’t write an original dissertation or manuscript if someone else hadn’t said it first, more or less. & a lot.

        re writing style: Haha well that is the gut reation this writing style is aimed to engender, so that’s pretty OK.

        Haha if something came across as inflammatory, that creation would be on my side, in the interpretative pseudo shared construction I spoke of earlier =D. And no, not at all. You are very congenial. ^^

        I do still think we agree on most things. Maybe all, if we had time.

        A theoretical mathematician? Oh, well, Ive already lamented about the state of research: but knowing that about your background, I hasten to add – just because things are difficult to set up in a lab, does not mean we give up, or simply do not try at all. Especially when you see what mental disease can be at its worst.

        And even that aside, how can we not try when, as far as we know: these things are all of everything that we are that we label as relevant. ❤

        Thanks for the rely. You seem very thoughtful ^^.

        Like

      • @ Steve: It cut some para’s out when I posted, or some such thing, but I think it was just in saying that i have a lot of time for the analysts (tho then read eastern material – but so did the western philosophers, the “good” ones, I think it can be argued).

        And that your “middle path” from your extremes and the Siddhartha Buddha’s middle from his extremes seem like they just maybe, might possibly, perhaps, it might be worth concidering, that there is a chance that they are different middles: but that doesn’t mean your’s isn’t better. For your selfish context. And his for his.

        Anything else that was lost will just have to stay lost.

        All the best.

        JJR

        Like

    • yodawg_Iheardyoulikecocks says:

      lol, you’re miss reading the poster’s intention. You maybe able to semantically argue that his argument is cherry picking, but the communication that the poster desire is a pragmatic communication. I mean, I love psychopathic traits, I love Buddhism, and I’m a nihilist, but, that doesn’t mean that I would be offended by this post. His way of communication is full of paradox. He seems to be regarding Buddhism as a bad thing by saying that it’s a psychopathy. He even rejected the idea of psychopathy being a pathology. For me, I would think that he identifies himself as a psychopath himself without saying it in a conventional method, and instead choose a more pragmatic method. Read more books and be less judgmental toward “psychopaths” as it’s just a social stigma for people who possesses different brain physiology. Be more open minded and you’ll be fine when you cross your way with a psychopath.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Steve says:

    @JJR

    I do largely agree with you, now that positions have been clearly articulated. I have no gripes with psychotherapy — I went through psychotherapy during my early to late teens and it did help me, to an extent. However, I’d had some particularly nasty experiences with those in psychiatry who possessed unjust confidence in their methods. Perhaps I’m responding to a select few in the field that give it a bad name. I hope so. For mental diseases at their worst, I’m fully on board with you. For run of the mill depression and social anxiety, perhaps not.

    I think ultimately this is just a debate about “how much” we should be adopted from Buddhism into our lives, in order to achieve well-being. My threshold for this is perhaps greater than yours, since we are different people with different goals in life. As a mathematician, I love forming axiomatic models of life, in terms of conduct, morality and well-being — and Buddhism offers a framework which I find very interesting. However, I am not a Buddhist and never will be — I certainly hope I wont be.

    However, what I do take issue with is your comparisons of things like ” Less fear, guilt, remorse/ ‘At peace’, then equating that to a psychopathic trait. Fundamentally, do you believe this is an honest comparison? This is perhaps where the discord between our views started and perhaps where it can end.

    I hope to hear from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Psychotherapy is incredible, like good philosophy, but it does have its limits. Not just at the severe mental health ends of the spectrum, but even more moderate functioning “maladaptations” that may be OK in a vacuum – if artists made money easily, say – but will lead to impairment in the world. & like it or not, there is a world here. I am hesitant with most medications in children, think the antidepresssants are garbage (some exceptions) and diverse as the classes are – the neurolepts are CAUSAL in psychotic illness. Most medications best be avoided, so long as there is enough function to participate in study/work, social, personal exploration ect. Kids can be given more of a free reign. Environment is a drug, as much as the internal environment (meditation/cognition) is. And environment experiments are at least possible with children.

      However in later life, when control over the environment is less complete and control over the internal can not feed you or keep the heat on – I think certain medications can play a role. If not, people will self medicate anyway: and all of those choices are worse. The illegal because of the people that must be dealt with and the penalty of a criminal record. Alcohol et al legal drugs – well, they are just some pretty poisonous insidious compounds. Tho, that being said, almost all of the prescription are pretty bad at what they are suppose to do, if they do it at all: and all have a trade off. Addiction is rarely a problem in the ones that work (long acting benzos used properly, opiates for pain used properly), stimulants are not addictive (that would take to long). But when they hide it, like with the anti depressants – that kind of addiction it really no good, because IF you can get off them, the rebound will not be pleasant, even without withdrawal. Again, lumping a lot of subtle differences together here. I’ll try to get back on track.

      Psychiatrists who do not work with you as an ally, where you choose the best medication together, agree on goals and objectively measure them together, while allowing patient self efficacy – they can only cause harm. Same with most specialties.

      In psychiatry, indeed all medical specialties, it is easy to run in to problems. Not the least of which stems from money and research being a bit of a mess, and the clinic/academy chasm that really means neither side is “right” more than ~20%, but both think they have closer to 100%. That is without outright fraud or identity threat.

      Why there is this obsession with “can we cure your pain without making you feel good tho? Can we cure your depression without making you feel happy?” is gosh darn bizarre. The scheduling system makes no sense. Gosh, now youre depressing me. It is overwhelming.

      Cliche as it sounds – arrogance is the biggest problem: but mostly because 1) they are busy, doctors, and can not treat every case as uniquely as it deserves simply due to time constraints; 2) They can not take every patient thru a mini medical school (but then what is informed ethical consent…again, off topic); 3) Crucially – They are not scientists, most of them, and finished their training 15+ years ago – they can not keep up to date and practice; and 4) The vast majority of patients could not have even a low level conversation about what the reasoning was behind a given doctor’s actions – an extension of point 3: plus a lot of them want to be lied to.

      So, as a result, doctors get out of practice in dealing with patients as quasi equals – it make them face the reality that they have a hard job and forces them to reflect on the things they were taught before they were reflective, that keep getting reinforced whether right or not, and if you have to question your “tried and tested” daily methods – well that sucks. One could argue tht is why they get paid so much, but it still sucks. And so it makes them angry when people challenge them because “they’ve been doing it for donkeys” which is just a way of saying they are afraid for all their daily choices, if they admit they just don’t know. Learning to live with tension and take risks, while letting the patient properly own there half of the risk, is the trick. But that is too far afield and not as easy as it sounds.

      I do not know what youre particularly nasty experiences where – but Ive seen horror movie bad, so I can imagine. And all because they become routinized, and sub culture self reinforcing. Ive seen a lot of physicians and specialists create self fulfilling prophecies and then point at the patient and say “look at their lack of insight!”; when they are predominantly the cause of the majority of harm. But there are also “standards of care” that you have to be pretty savvy to go against.

      And you are right to be cautious, it is not a select few, it is endemic, systemic – but they arent bad. They aren’t even bad doctors, most of them. They just do not always take the time, or do not have the energy to try anymore. And mix that with some left over paternalism and … what good can come of that? Medical degrees are woefully inadequate training in logic, critical theory, research design and general science investigation – especially qualitative. But you can not tell them they have not taken a single logic course in their life, and now run on habit, not a career of documented reflective experience; because they have been held in reverence so long. The vast majority are conservative, afraid of death or going crazy themselves – and have the same drinking et al problems as the rest of the population. I’ll spare the essay any further, and of course this is generalisations – but not that general. Creativity is lacking.

      & the truth is practitioners do not need much of that high order thinking skill set in day to day operation. A robot or monkey could practice one procedure or tool set and do it all day. They aren’t as special as they once were, & naturally still like to think they are. Most people have at least one degree now, certainly in the family. Doctors just aren’t that specialized a field anymore, like say cf even 50yrs ago. & they dont like that. But it is simply the case. & psychiatrists still could be, of all the specialties – but the creative skill is largely farmed out to social work, psychologists, OT’s, Pth’s, counsellors ect – and with them taking the thinking part: they become overprescibing pseudoneurologists. Or underprescibing of the drugs that work – it all becomes about the drugs. And we are not good at drugs. There are no real targeted drugs. We have a tool box full of slightly different sized hammers.

      re the serious bipolar 1’s and schizophrenias, not that the treatments are that gr8: obvi something has to be done. But the OCD/PTSD/Anxiety disorders and depressions are no joke either. Again, if we could change the environment, most of most conditions could be handled more easily – but we cant. And just because we can not see it on a scan does not mean it is not organic. We can’t see most things until youre about to die. But someone with an agoraphoboid panic disorder or depression can not engage in life. And we habituate to everything. Meditation is amazing. Psych and behavioural techniques never stop working, not entirely. But They just arent enough either. This gets back to goals and trade offs. And self honesty. And arogance – you can not tell someone meditation is working for them, they just aren’t doing it. You see the same thing with diabeties – these readings dont makes sense therefore you are not sticking to your diet. No your not no youre not. Arrogant. Ive seen kids die from this attitude. Ive seen things not be investigated except post mortem because the doctor, with their years of (equally never verified experience) made them just so sure. And they teach it to others and clap for each other. Not “we’re right”, but “we came up with the same answer” subtly becomes the mantra.

      This has gone on too long, sz. Malpractice when it is genuinely unintentional … i do not know what to do with it. Yet. Or even how to label it.

      re Buddhism, I am vice president of our schools philosophy association, so things like morality are spurious terms to say like they have intrinsic meaning. And taking only what you like from what you call Buddhism is great – Christians who do not go to church and Muslims who go to strip clubs do a similar thing. I do not like following anyone, as much as that is possible (it isn’t). The truth is, whatever works for as long as it works =D.

      It is strange to say you “hope you won’t be” – but this too will be definitional as to where you have split your personal “Buddhisms”.

      But people are not that different – we all want to be the most powerful, beautiful, youngest, healthiest, with the most well being – forever. That’s all. Call it what you want.

      But the only way to peace is detachment, yes, I believe that to be correct. And if that is to be truly maximised – that means no remorse, DEFINITELY no guilt (gosh people love their guilt), and again, you have missed that I do not believe in psychopathy particularly.

      (Actually it still is has never formally been included in any of the diagnostic manuals – not that that is here nor there, but in case that was never mentioned in mathematics. Some variants, arguably, but never psychopathy. Not in DSM).

      And most of all, assuming it is a discrete entity identifiable in 12 or so mix match jumbled points, any combo will do after a few core: even if we take that as read; you are still reading psychopathy as an “evil” when it need not be, if you leave Hollywood out of it.

      Finally, the psychopathic traits are set – it is literally a checklist. Literally. It is in the title PCL(R).

      Thank you for the engagement, sorry if it is a little verbose, Im on my way out the door.

      Till next time.

      JJR.

      Like

      • Hi,
        Buddhismen wants to BEE as psycopats. Westerners have a romantic Picture of Buddhismen.

        There are different directions in Buddhism but the BASE OF ALL DIRECTION IS THAT LIFE IS SUFFERING. In some literature life is also a dream – a mare dream. Suffering is constantly repeated by the transmigration of souls. The basis of suffering is that we have wishes and desires. The only way to break this bad cycle is to put an end to the willingness to live. Therefore, one should be unconcerned to life. To reach this stage, one has to destroy its own personality and its own self. When the person has achieved that stage, one will get “enlightened”. After the physical death, the person will reach “Nirvana”. He broke out from the cycle and managed to put an end to suffering. “Nirvana” means neither state nor place, neither being nor non-being. In Nirvana there are no contradictions. Nirvana means Nothingness. The technology to reach Nirvana (Nothingness) is with Buddhist meditation.

        BUDDHIST MEDITATION is in Pali called “Sati”. “Sati” contains the “right” consciousness. “Sati” is like a gate guardian who protects the mind from developing a pleasant condition. Buddhist meditation is therefore not the same meditation that westerners practice. The meditation and mindfulness westerners practice is in Pali called “manasikara” and is not the same “Sati”. Westerners meditation leads – seen from a Buddhist perspective – to “micca Sati” (wrong mindfulness) and through this ends up in an immoral state. Westerners mindfulness stimulates desire for enjoyment. The intention is to take a break from a hectic and over-stimulated life and then go back to real life. It contribute to make life more meaningful to live. Buddhists meditation and mindfulness is to walk away from life. The purpose is to bring the consciousness to an end, which in turn is meant to lead to the dissolution of the personality and to human annihilation.

        In Buddha’s own teachings, there is NO GOD, but in fact Buddha is worshiped as a God in the countries were Buddhism exist. One can see Buddhist statues, great temples and monks just every were.

        When a Buddhist monks smiles, it does not mean that he feels any kind of love, it only shows that he is separated from himself and from the world. Real happiness means to be in the stage of “Nothingness”. When the monk smiles it means: „Now I am accepting the evil that happened. Nothing can hurt me anymore. There is nothing I am afraid off”. (There is actually no “I”. Instead they say “Tathagata”, “the one who is coming and going” and beyond the endless cycle of suffering, rebirth and death.)

        BUDDHISM PROCLAIMS NO LOVE. Buddhism proclaims that love is an illusion and delusion which makes people confused. This must be overcome. Love means that we get upset when we face suffering. Love defends the victim. Love brings food to the hungry and water to the thirsty. Love defends the suffering. Love says: You simply cannot see people starving, being thirsty and see when women get raped. True love wants to put an end to the misery by concrete action. The one who loves is not immune of fear or to get injured but overcomes his fears and get into a battle for truth and righteousness.
        The Buddhist´s unconcern is the absence of action.
        The unconcerned just smiles to it all. The unconcerned stands there and watches with a smile. The unconcerned would even stand and watch the torture of his own child and still react with a mystic smile.
        The ideal of Buddhism is to become free from all bindings and desires in this world. Buddhism is a kind of mass suicide by obliterating himself in Nirvana or Nothingness.

        When Buddhists teaches compassion it is no real compassion. It is a teaching without feelings, like sitting in a bubble. It is not the kind of compassion where the person feels and identify with the suffering person. To identify with someone outside of the person itself, is to invite suffering. Compassion in Buddhism means “pity”. Buddhist compassion is to say: “Poor you. Life is suffering.” Buddhist compassion is to contempt life.

        Trough the always smiling Dalai Lama with his skilful public relations administration, some well known Hollywood stars, the “New Age movement” as well as the Buddhist believers themselves, who only gradually inform about their believe; westerners think of Buddhism as a mind- and peaceful religion. However, westerners view is not the real, “hard” Buddhism. Westerners Buddhism is a mixture of western thinking and Buddhism. Westerners Buddhism is more like “Buddhism soft”. Westerners Buddhism is a searching for a meaning with life, as well as a longing away from materialism and stress. But be careful, so you do not end up from a cool and calm person to a frozen, emotionless, passive and indifferent psychopath or a self sacrificing masochist.

        The real Buddhism is no “soft” religion. THE WAY OF THINKING IS RADICAL AND CRUEL AND IT IS AS FAR AWAY FROM SOLUTIONS TO HUMAN PROBLEMS AS ONE POSSIBLY CAN GET!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Steve says:

    @JRR
    It’s refreshing to see your perspective on the matter. I’m of the opinion that many, not all, mental disorders, particularly in the western world, stem from a culture that is ill (in my case a family which is ill on an interpersonal level). But really, I do see it largely as a cultural issue. That is not to say that the East offers anything better. I see how people behave and what is deemed socially acceptable — and I recoil, perhaps unfairly. As a person, true distress in others causes me more pain than anything else — which is why I am a mathematician haha! To work in the fields of psychiatry or psychotherapy would kill me, literally.

    The thing is, I cant go to a psychologist or psychiatrist and ask the question: “How am I ought to live my life?”, since many of them don’t know how to live their own. For me, this is a deeply important question, since our existence as humans is the aggregate. Everything is treated symptomatically, and the fundamental angst still sits there. Normally this should be addressed by by one’s parents and culture, but sadly that is not how things work for many people. As unique individuals, we require unique solutions to our angst.

    In terms of guidelines for living our lives, we have Religion as a semi-cultural solution. However, as a secular humanist, atheist, (fill in the blanks), … I can’t accept religion. The other message comes from the capitalist West is to get that new house, new car, new degree, more money, more this, more that, and when you’re finally got that, you’ll be happy — so the story goes, haha!

    I’m sorry for misinterpreting your stance on psychopathy. The general gist of the article painted a picture, for me at least, of some kind of heavy moral judgment, and this stuck with me. I now see that I really misinterpreted your aim.

    However, realize that for the layman, such as myself, psychopathy is more than what you presented in your article. I had a look at the PCL(R) you were referring to. Even this model, which we both do not put much trust in, I don’t see how Buddhism qualifies as psychopathy. I’ll grant you aspects such as Grandiose sense of self-worth and the four Affective attributes, as well as parasitic lifestyle, but the rest of the attributes really don’t apply. This gives it a total of 12/40 – not sufficient to qualify as psychopathic … so the model says. Even if I granted you all the points you make in your article, it just hits 20 to 22, not sufficient for a diagnosis of psychopathy. So I’ll be honest, this model seems silly. If anything, I’d grant you that the Buddhist you are describing is machine-like, at best – maybe a machine with some faulty supernatural software in the mix, haha!

    @hanneloregrill

    Please realize that I am not a Buddhist and do not buy into the religious, supernatural Dogma side of it – I take information from the tradition that I feel is helpful – there is nothing wrong with this. I am a firm believer in extracting kernels of wisdom from any medium. To throw things away outright is a sign of intellectual stubbornness and perhaps you have personal issues with Buddhism, and those are your issues to carry, not mine. Buddhist want to be as psychopaths? I’d say no – machines, perhaps. You keep on saying that the Buddha said life is suffering – this is where translation from one language to another causes problems. What he said was that life was Dukkha (which includes happiness). Dukkha can be described as:
    1. Suffering or pain (dukkha-dukkha)
    2. Impermanence or change (viparinama-dukkha)
    3. Conditioned states (samkhara-dukkha)

    This is very different to the English word “suffering”. But this is semantics and you seem firm in your interpretation of it, but I do not hold your views. Your interpretation and experience of Buddhism is yours alone and do not represent Buddhism as a whole. To speak on behalf of it as if it is a singular entity, practiced in the same way, everywhere, is wrong. Your interpretation is yours alone – lets not get wrapped up in dogmatic definitions here.

    “The purpose is to bring the consciousness to an end, which in turn is meant to lead to the dissolution of the personality and to human annihilation “

    As far as I can tell, almost all texts say that the point is to reach Nibbana, which is defined in many ways: It is a consciousness which is not subject to birth and death; pure consciousness; Luminous consciousness” is nirvāṇa; and on and on. So I do not agree at all with your statement.

    Again, your definitions are yours alone. In fact, the way you define many words in your post I take great issue with. But, I am not here to discuss semantics and theology. I sense a deep routed emotion in your comments and views when it comes to Buddhism, which I don’t really want to engage with, since I feel it won’t lead anywhere. Sorry to brush your comments off due to a perceived emotional undertone in them, but I don’t feel you are open to the idea of interpretation here. What you see in an image and what I see might not be the same – this is a wonderful thing; embrace it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi I Chron,
      there is nothing wrong with the translation. IF SUFFERING would be something positive, there would be no need to turn away from life. But the Buddhist want to brake the cicle of suffering. So suffering is nothing positiv, not in any language. This is logical, right Mr. I Chron. Psychopaths have no emphaty. Buddhist theach not to identify with anything outside themseleves, in order NOT to invite SUFFERING. Buddhist empathy is therefore not the same as those in the western world. To be unconcerned TO suffering will never make the world rid OF suffering. To meditate WITH the ego, in order to get RID OF the ego is also unlogical. The religion is filled with contraditions and yes, to me, the religion is silly. To get rid of identification and to run around in yellow litting clouths as the monks do, so that they stick out from the crowed is a clear a identification, just to mention one more of the contraditions. To teach to live here and now and at the same time urge People to get rid of bad Karma from last life time and to make good karma for next life time, is one more contradition. The Buddhists pick out what is the best for them at the very moment. It is a confused, unlogical religion, that takes the light from people and that gives them a candle instead. No thanks! I do not need to be a doctor to understand that Buddhismen as securely many psychopathic traces.

      Hanna

      Liked by 1 person

      • @Hannah
        On suffering, I assume you mean “not positive” to mean not a welcome addition to life, and that seems definitional, but accurate.

        As to PPath having no empathy, that is really a Hollywood idea, tho it is a key feature often played up – it is not a necessary or totality of the criteria.

        As to if Bdst detachment is to break the cycle of suffering – well as you point out, no, it is to pay Karmic debt so that you can not be reborn even as a Buddha-type.

        As to your comments on their costume, that all sounds right. But they are on a path, not perfect. But still, like all religious folk, the status and money and outfits dont really add up.

        As for empathy, in the Buddhist sense it is not empathy like in the west, also correct. If you detach from everything, deleting selfness (I think what you mean by ego) to awareness, so there is only oneness with the everything of the given internal constructed representation – correct. This will remove suffering of the individual, not the world. It may even increase it!

        And a keen observation that to use selfness to remove selfness doesnt quite flow either. There is some technical detail you mat find once you wander in your head a bit; but at it’s core, to use your wording, saying you are “rewriting the ego” would definitely be if not more accurate, as accurate.

        Nice one!

        JJR

        Like

      • Steve says:

        I knew I said I wouldn’t reply to this post, but I really need to clarify he misconceptions you are stating as Dogma in Buddhism. Perhaps you’d be interested in my comments here too, JJR.

        When the Buddha said “Life is Dukkha”, you are not understanding the word by simply calling it ‘suffering’. Sometimes dukkha is used for our notion of suffering (pain). But the deeper notion is that they are unable to give us final and complete rest for all our anxieties. “The unsatisfactoriness of the conditioned is due to impermanence, its vulnerability to pain and its inability to provide complete and lasting satisfaction” This is something much more profound than just ‘suffering’. It does not either imply that life is terrible, and you aught to not enjoy anything. If you can enjoy your life as it is, then good on you — all the Buddha offered is a way to avoid suffering. One description of the Buddhas path: “It takes lane discipline to stay safe on the road, even if one may argue true freedom is to drive the car on whichever side of the road one wants.” Please see the word in context.

        “”Buddhist theach not to identify with anything outside themseleves, in order NOT to invite SUFFERING.””

        This is simply wrong. if you understand the quality of metta (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mett%C4%81). Metta-meditation is composed of these four cultivated states: he four Bramhaviharas or Bramha abodes – namely, karuna (compassion), maithri (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy at the well being of others, or the opposite of schadenfreude) and upeksha (equanimity). For an example of it in practice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rg5fSjehETk.

        The picture of Buddhism you paint certainly does not include the above.

        “To meditate WITH the ego, in order to get RID OF the ego is also unlogical.”

        We use desire to not smoke, to let go of a cigarette which we desire to smoke. There is nothing illogical about this. What you see as illogical here is just smoke and mirrors.

        “The religion is filled with contraditions”

        Certainly. As is any tradition. I’m sad you have such a reaction to this tradition in general. But as with all things, people will face nasty aspects of it — same goes for psychiatry, psychology, medicine, relationships etc.

        I wish you the best.

        Like

      • @steve
        Your points on Dukkha are valid. But neither of us can know.

        And the ego quote is true to – though inescapable. But that gets pretty advanced.

        Like

    • I will reply to everything, I am just project ridden at the moment. But I will make a note there are comments still to respond to.

      JJR

      Like

    • @Steve
      re I’m of the opinion that many, disorders stem from a culture that is ill *
      I agree. I think many at base get that in the field, but it is hard to treat a sociaety. Not always easy to treat a single patient, but when you leave the cause what are you treating? How to live with the disease, at best.

      re I cant go to a psychologist or psychiatrist and ask the question: “How am I ought to live my life?”*

      No, you need a philosopher for that haha. Seriously tho, it is about having a team to work with, the fact they do not have their own answers is not a bad thing. But I think there is a limit, after you know the core techniques, as to what can be achieved. Unless you are talking to no one else on those kind of issues.

      re we require unique solutions to our angst.*

      Personalised medicine. Actually all medicine, not just the mental health professions, are pretty much centered around helping you cope or survive long enough for you and your body to heal themselves. We really are not that good at much. Only stalling.

      re guidelines for living*
      We do benefit most in taking what we need from each, and the philosophers. Russell. Frankl. Emerson. Heck, Plato, the Stoic, the Epicureans, the Existentialists. Altho I have long felt if one was not likely to come to those conclusions on their own, no amount of reading or dialogue can help, but marginally. There is a comfort in not being alone tho. Not being alone in knowing everyone is alone. There is no happiness but what we make. And a few tricks we can use on the machine.

      re I’m sorry for misinterpreting your stance on psychopathy.*
      It was made to be misinterpreted. I have only really explained my position to you.

      re realize psychopathy is more than what you presented in your article.*
      Can a clinical entity be more of itself to the laymen than the clinician, and still be talking about the same entity?

      re PCL(R) model & Buddhism*
      Well, im afraid if we are going to get into the full model and body of literature – neither psychopathy nor Buddhism can be represented by those terms. You also need to be trained in how to apply the model: you cant just have a crack at scoring. At least in the ideal of psychological science. It is additional training even if your specialty is already forensics.

      But even leaving that aside, have a quick look how many forms of Buddhism are recognised today. So what is “Buddhist”?

      And so clinical diagnosis is not about checklists, it is about clinical judgement, past history, medical and police records from childhood on, family interviews. To profile a Buddhist or a psychopath is a big job and case specific (and highly culture specific, as you point out).

      But as general models, I still believe it can be argued that Buddhism can generate the same entity as is described in psychopathy. But, that also means psychopathy can generate Buddhism!

      The critical point is: we made both lists up, and neither matter unless we say they do.

      Nice work on going through the model tho, above and beyond. And thank you again for the exchange.

      JJR

      Like

  7. Steve says:

    @JRR

    There were a few other points I wanted to address in your post above.

    “But people are not that different – we all want to be the most powerful, beautiful, youngest, healthiest, with the most well being – forever. That’s all. Call it what you want.”

    If you’re saying that the reason people want to have well-being stems from some competitive state, then I don’t really know where you’re going — this really depends on the person. As for power, youth and beauty, those are values that perhaps you hold dear, and wish to aspire to. I have very little interest in those things — that’s me.

    People are different, and to imply that the set of values you listed above are somehow universal in their strength in the human psyche is a big claim without much backing. As for the words ‘different’ and ‘same’, those are personal definitions and we draw those lines at ‘different’ places. What is relevant here is the strength of these ‘values’ in ones psyche — that determines what we want out of life. This ‘one size fits all’ mentality causes big problems. Buddhism might help some, maybe not others. Secular interpretations of Buddhism might help some, not others. Such is life. I find that my culture offers very little in the way of addressing my questions — thus I find it necessary to find answers elsewhere, while maintaining a skeptical eye. The kind of longitudinal study needed to find a model of ‘living ones life’ that maximizes well being must be nightmarish in terms of complexity. To propose such models would be akin to social and cultural engineering — I’m sure there is a academic stigma attached to this kind of work. I know of no such academically verified studies, and as such, I need to find my own way to address this personal issue.

    “I am vice president of our schools philosophy association, so things like morality are spurious terms to say like they have intrinsic meaning.”

    My personal morality is just based on the concept of well-being, and as such, moral actions are dependent on the individual and their particular psycho dynamics, in order to minimize suffering. I make no claim as to any kind of ‘truth’ behind my sense of morality. This is the axiomatic framework I choose to follow. I think you’ve set up a bit of a straw man to somehow imply that I think morality has an ‘intrinsic meaning’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will reply to everything, I am just project ridden at the moment. But I will make a note there are comments still to respond to.

      JJR

      Like

    • @Steve

      reIf you’re saying that the reason people want to have well-being stems from some competitive state, then I don’t really know where you’re going — this really depends on the person.*

      I am talking about death. And it does not depend on the person. It may be the one true universal. But anything is possible, as a scientist. It is the only unifier Ive ever seen, so far.

      re As for power, youth and beauty, those are values that perhaps you hold dear, and wish to aspire to. I have very little interest in those things — that’s me.*

      I could prove with reasonable certainty from your behaviours, probably even just in replying to blog posts, that you may not know yourself like you believe you do. But those are all death proxies, so unless you see no difference between illness and health – I would be willing to bet all apply to you, and completely. But I can only leave that for your meditations.

      re People are different*

      See, I dont think they are. They behave differently, but in a series set anchored in those attributes. If you can find how a person frames death thru their interpretation of those proxies, you can understand the most unintelligible behaviours and positions/dispositions. And agree with them.

      re strength of these ‘values’ in ones psyche*

      Hmm. There may be something in this. I’ll have to meditate on it. Yes, I think so. I think this is perhaps a form of what I said in the previous para. Whether or not that counts as a one size fits all, or a multitude of individuation, only comes down to how large you want to sew your bag or bags. There is no real ontic difference in the positions.

      re Buddhism (etal) might help some, maybe not others.

      We’d have to define help. Without my universals, how do you do that? But sure. Such is life.

      re I find that my culture offers very little in the way of addressing my questions — thus I find it necessary to find answers elsewhere*

      This one is difficult to argue, and is a bit of a puzzle. Altho, to say there is a shortage of religious or secular institutions doesnt make sense either. In a way, trying to solve these questions is all any ever do. If you concede, as you have one calls that hekp, one calls this help – maybe we have it all and there are just no answers. Or you ask the wrong questions. There is only one question, really.

      It can be framed a few different ways. How do I get to heaven. Where is my Soma. How can I be the youngest, most beautiful and powerful forever?

      Or, they can be all shortened to simply: ‘give me all the power’.

      This is the meaning of life.

      re longitudinal study n.. maximizes well being .nightmarish.complexity.*

      Which cheese sandwich, of the two on my lab bench, maximizes my utility now and across the lunchspan is hellishly nightmarish and complex. What you describe is beyond even the phrasing of semi adequate RQs. But it is cute they try.

      All science is a relative of this flourishing question.

      re cultural engineering…no such academically verified studies

      Are you serious? Oh, depends what you want to call academically verified. As a mathematician, have you had much cause to get into design, frequentism, bayesianism, intuition, qualitativism, logic (applied/decision theory), fuzzy logic, inferential probability theory, central limit theorem et al? Academically verified, HA!

      It is why I do not sleep.

      But if you want, as I suspect you mean, nobel pirze, ivy run, global, longitudinal – there are plenty! Some they remeasure every year. Stanford has one I believe (although your time is better spent in the METRIC lab, imo). Harvard has one, Seligman is there last I looked. Berkeley. Probably others. WHO probably run a series.

      re Morality and straw men*

      “well-being” is another one of those terms. Define your terms, or your short hand, and anything that comes from it, is meaningless. Has to be. And confused. Self honesty is required too – which seems the hardest part for people, well before we talk about going to the lab. People do not pass a pub pilot test. Or a sitting silently alone test either, again in my experience. And the concepts are difficult to hold on to.

      And people wonder why I am constantly writing things down.

      re “particular psycho dynamics, in order to minimize suffering. I make no claim as to any kind of ‘truth’ behind my sense of morality. This is the axiomatic framework I choose to follow.” *

      That is all gr8 stuff, I like it =D! Further than most people get.

      Just define “suffering”, and, regarding strawmen, elaborate on why you follow them then, it if you have no “truth” anchor to argue for (not that it matters, one path is as good as another).

      But I like rules and frameworks – it goes to power. Gives the illusion of more certainty and control. Predictability of action, for swifter response to the appearance of unknown antagonists – power.

      Another pleasant exchange.

      Glad to see you are seeking at least. Something in that seems likely better for everyone.

      Of course, you don’t know my criteria – and do not know if I know them myself. And who is everyone? Only likely one answer to that. Or at least that is how it seems.

      Till next time.

      JJR.

      Like

      • Steve says:

        @JJR

        “I am talking about death. And it does not depend on the person. It may be the one true universal. But anything is possible, as a scientist. It is the only unifier Ive ever seen, so far.”

        With reference to your comment on it being universal, well … I believe that claim to be completely unfounded, given my experiences of the world. The quest for well-being, and what drives it, deserves a book on its own. In my opinion, the only thing that can be said is that we do ‘desire’ to have well-being — what ultimately drives us to it could be competition, fear, anxiety, curiosity, depression, (insert what you wish).

        “I could prove with reasonable certainty from your behaviours, probably even just in replying to blog posts, that you may not know yourself like you believe you do. But those are all death proxies, so unless you see no difference between illness and health – I would be willing to bet all apply to you, and completely. But I can only leave that for your meditations.”

        I sense that this comes down to a difference in our interpretations and associations of the words “youth, power. beauty” — this seems to be happening with many words in our dialogue haha! What is youth – (vitality, enthusiasm, naivety, arrogance, helplessness, crapping in a diaper, being bullied, puberty)? Do power and youth overlap? Yes. No. Maybe….definitions? Sometimes language is such a incomplete tool, filled with ambiguity.As for proving something when I suspect our definitions are different is pretty mad — but you can try. The words ‘proof’ and ‘interpretation’ used together makes my skin crawl a bit — nothing personal (maybe its just a character defect on my part — lets not define what ‘defect’ truly means now though…). Lets just say that we are seeking well-being, and leave semantics alone as much as we can.

        “re cultural engineering…no such academically verified studies”

        I think I phrased that poorly — my mistake. I meant to say that I personally know of no research into social engineering, in terms of the concept of maximizing well-being. It was a poorly phrased statement, which was actually a question about whether there is or isn’t such research. Either way, I guess the answer is a yes then.

        “”But I like rules and frameworks – it goes to power. Gives the illusion of more certainty and control””.

        Without frameworks, the human mind wouldn’t exist as a thinking thing. As far as you feel you wish to liberate yourself from forming frameworks of reality, you will always be bound to them — you will never escape your frameworks, at least not until you die. How can anything be understood without something in mind? Control and certainty only make sense as far as they can stand up to the tests posed by your reality. Also, certainty comes with the ‘cognitive’ understanding and a ’emotion/feeling’ of certainty. As such, to call certainty an illusion begs the question: are you talking about cognitive certainty or felt certainty. These are very distinct states. I can find great beauty and certainty in the fact that I currently have two socks on — I can meditate on this for hours — that is, I can remain in a state of certainty for hours, not only cognitively, but emotionally. There is no illusion here. The words certainty and control only make sense in terms of the scope of what you allow into your mind.

        “Just define “suffering”, and, regarding strawmen, elaborate on why you follow them then, it if you have no “truth” anchor to argue for (not that it matters, one path is as good as another).”

        Largely, I’d define suffering as a state in which we are not content with the present moment. I guess this though begs the question of what ‘content’ means — and so down the rabbit hole we fall again. On a much more fundamental level, we can dissect these terms into their atomic parts and walk away saying nothing, while we are still filled with anxiety, rage, fear, hopelessness etc. — isn’t the analytical mind such a nasty little thing sometimes? HAHA! As I said, I’ve been through the worlds of psychotherapy and psychiatry and came out more confused (but perhaps with a little more well-being). Sometimes we just need to sit down and stop negotiating with our fears and anxieties — stop thinking that they have any inherent meaning. To be machine-like about it: some things feel good, some things feel bad — I wish to maximize the good, minimize the bad, given my psychology and physiology.

        As for addressing your question above directly: my path is not better — I just see the most light at the end of that tunnel. Some might follow MBCT or MBSR, I like to borrow from Buddhism where I feel these approaches are somewhat deficient.

        There comes a time when the analytical mind offers nothing in the way of simply ‘feeling better’. The mind is a tool — there is a time to put it down — this is my approach.

        I hope your studies are treating you well. I hope you can afford some time to STOP thinking — I know how academia can cause hair loss, at the best of times, haha!

        Have a good day.

        Liked by 1 person

      • @steve
        haha yes, well: the point, pursuant to my last point, is there is no stopping thinking. You can make ulmost no noise in the ways we a re use to being aware of, but I argue generating silence is noise. Ego to remove ego.

        Like

  8. Steve says:

    @JJR

    Just one more thing I forgot to address in your post

    “Or, they can be all shortened to simply: ‘give me all the power’.”

    I’d argue from my perspective, and the Buddhist perspective, that fundamentally we just want to be happy,content, free of suffering. The quest, as you put it, for ‘all the power’ is, as far as I am concerned, a misguided clutching at the deep need to just be satisfied and happy — that is, not wanting anything more.

    Its about the ability to say “I have it all”, while realizing that a new car and million dollar house is never truly going to give you what you truly want: unbounded happiness, satiation, contentedness.

    Fundamentally, I’d say its about being satiated fully and completely. To quench that deep thirst.

    Like

    • @steve
      re‘all the power’ is, as far as I am concerned, a misguided clutching at the deep need to just be satisfied and happy — that is, not wanting anything more.*

      That’s right. Same.

      On the rest, no, I dont think more than the removal of suffering, or the accepting of suffering maybe more correctly, is any of the things you claim it is, nor is it intended to be.

      But no suffering beats suffering. You can not have bliss on the middle path except by that definition.

      Like

      • Steve says:

        “That’s right. Same.”

        Except no, not really. This has been sufficiently covered, so I am not going to repeat it for a third time.

        “But no suffering beats suffering. You can not have bliss on the middle path except by that definition.”

        Perhaps you need to acquaint yourself a bit more with Buddhism before taking this issue on. As I’ve said, you’re not understanding or acknowledging the totality of these terms, and not understanding the cultural associations with these terms. But since you said: “It has been a long time since I scrubbed temple pillars with a toothbrush,” I take it that you have no real interest in deeply reading the material that you criticize, so perhaps this debate is a little bit pointless. Curse my attachment to debate!

        Like

  9. Steve says:

    @JJR

    I realize now that there were a few points in your earlier posts (ones from a few weeks back) that I failed to address/acknowledge — I’d like to address those points now for the sake of completeness.

    *re Buddhism and Western Buddhism: “At the end of the day, they are both just religions to make you feel good; with some useful elements mixed in, almost by accident.”

    If you define the secular Buddhist approach as religious, then I think you are missing the point of the word secular. Secular Buddhism takes traditions and practices out of Buddhism and applies them in very much a social or cultural environment — ignoring the appeal to the supernatural. If you do not include secular Buddhism as a part of Western Buddhism, then I have somewhat more sympathy for your view.

    As to ‘useful elements mixed in almost by accident’ — I don’t like the word ‘accident’ here and the unfounded implication that almost all useful elements from the tradition are inherently accidental — how the hell does ‘accidental’ tradition even make sense in the context of a tradition? What you feel is accidental, I feel is central. Feel free to argue your stance, but I fear this particular question is a non-nonsensical one to even ask.

    *”There is a lot I could add about the religious sides of Buddha that most don’t know about. & research design theory that most do not understand. The influence of Zen during the wars of history (including WWII for detachment to aid in human medical research & Kamikaze). The truth is everything is glib unless it is seen in actions. Do you love your neighbours or do you HELP your neibours? Does the Dali Lama and Khen Po’s et al charge a minimum to cover costs – or an industry of books, videos and speaking tours through the Ivy league and beyond? Building pillared temples to detachment, with giant statues of Buddha?”

    I sense an appeal to authority in this paragraph above 😉 — maybe though that is not what you intended. Ignoring that, with reference to Zen and WW2 — sure, I can certainly see how Buddhism can be used in inhumane ways when mixed with politics. Same with Christianity — crusades anyone? How about the Capitalist Western big-daddy America — the indiscriminate use of bombs by the US, usually outside a declared war situation, for wanton destruction, for no military objectives, whose targets and victims are civilian populations, or what we now call “collateral damage.”: Japan (1945) China (1945-46) Korea & China (1950-53) Guatemala (1954, 1960, 1967-69) Indonesia (1958) Cuba (1959-61) Congo (1964) Peru (1965) Laos (1964-70) Vietnam (1961-1973) Cambodia (1969-70) Grenada (1983) Lebanon (1983-84) Libya (1986) El Salvador (1980s) Nicaragua (1980s) Iran (1987) Panama (1989) Iraq (1991-2000) Kuwait (1991) Somalia (1993) Bosnia (1994-95) Sudan (1998) Afghanistan (1998) Pakistan (1998) Yugoslavia (1999) Bulgaria (1999) Macedonia (1999). Never mind the US Use of Chemical & Biological Weapons, US Perversions of Foreign Elections, and on and on we go.

    So please, we can both play this game. The world is sick: let’s not not sift through and separate the urine from the crap. And never, never fall into the trap of an inherent loyalty to your culture, whatever that may be. As a white South African, apartheid is just an example of this, and not that long ago.

    ““The oldest sect says”, tut – appeal to authority.”

    This is merely a statement of fact — any appeal to authority here is setting up a strawman on your part (time to get out the logical-fallacies bible…). However, I can’t expect you to know what my motivation is, so I’ll excuse this as a misunderstanding. I have an interest in early Buddhism; Therevada happens to be an active tradition that is widely practiced today that uses the Pali Canon (first written record of Buddhism) as its reference material. I find the material very interesting (given that it is 2000+ years old). Also, I find the Therevada approach very interesting. I also have a deep interest in what spawned this culture. Simple as that. As a matter of curiosity, here’s excerpt from the Kalama-Sutta states the following:

    1. Do not simply believe what you hear just because you have heard it for a long.
    2. Do not follow tradition blindly merely because it has been practised in that way for many generations.
    3. Do not be quick to listen to rumours and hearsay.
    4. Do not confirm anything just because it agrees with your scriptures.
    5. Do not foolishly make assumptions.
    6. Do not abruptly draw conclusions by what you see and hear.
    7. Do not be fooled by outward appearances.
    8. Do not hold on tightly to any view or idea just because you are comfortable with it.
    9. Do not accept as fact anything that you yourself find to be logical.
    10. Do not be convinced of anything out of respect and deference to your spiritual teachers.

    I find that pretty darn fascinating for a view that’s 2500 years old, and what motivated a man to articulate those thoughts at that time (which appear to be rather secular in nature) — never mind the insights into the nature of non-self.

    *“And I must say; your version of the middle path sounds lovely ”

    In the Pāli Canon of Theravada Buddhism, the expression Middle Way is used by the Buddha in his first discourse, the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, to describe the Noble Eightfold Path as the way to achieve nibbana instead of employing extremes of austerities and sensual indulgence. My version? — perhaps not. I really have no interest in defending Buddhist practice as a whole (I’ve said this many times), but I need to clarify where you have clearly misrepresented the practices- blanket statements and such.

    “Anyway, it is also meditation in basic practice -CBT.”

    As I’ve said before, meditation is but one aspect of Buddhism (and meditation in Buddhism is far more rich than what is practices in MBSR and MBCBT). I am also interested in the deep routed ideas of non-self in Buddhism, particularly from the perspective of philosophy-of-mind. The union of philosophy and psychoanalysis in a meditative tradition is fascinating to me. Hooray for being different.

    “But detachment with compassion is not detachment – it may be better; that is context dependent.”

    Viraaga literally means the absence of raaga: the absence of lust, desire, and craving for existence. Hence, it denotes indifference or non-attachment to the usual objects of raaga, such as material goods or sense pleasures, which are prone to impermanence. Non-attachment is an important term here if the Paali is to be meaningful to speakers of English. It is far more appropriate than “detachment” because of the negative connotations “detachment” possesses in English. Metta meditation notes that all mind states come with a stinger of unwholesomeness when they are conditional. The four mind-states radiated by metta are not conditional (the states are radiated to all beings, enemies or friends). The four Bramhaviharas or Bramha abodes – namely, karuna (compassion), maithri (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy at the well being of others, or the opposite of schadenfreude) and upeksha (equanimity). The mind needs to be parked somewhere, and rather than park it in a state where it can be tempted by a more ‘exciting’ desire, if we park it in these four areas the mind will remain at peace, occupied and not easily distracted. This I believe has something to do with the regulation of the default-mode-network (if you buy into that idea). I’m sure you’re acquainted with some studies into metta, but just for completeness: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mett%C4%81#.22Compassion_meditation.22_research

    “But what aspects are psycho aalytic that were not already here?”

    In terms of a formalized practice, many. The five hindrances in Buddhism: sensual desire, ill-will, restlessness and worry, Sloth-torpor (dullness of the mind/ disabling inertia / thick depression) and Doubt. These get in the way of our meditation and ability to calm the mind. The ability to see these states is incredibly important. Not only that, but when the five hindrances arise, we recognize, accept, investigate and non-identify with them. Metta, just a form of Samatha meditation, places the mind firmly in a stable state, free of aversion to others. Vipassana meditation (insight meditation) observes the ebb and flow of things in ones mind to see them for what they truly are.

    The five aggregates or heaps of existence are: form, sensation, perception, mental formations and consciousness. We must realize that none of these are essentially ‘self’. Daniel Dennett has a deflationary theory of the “self”. Selves are not physically detectable. Instead, they are a kind of convenient fiction, like a center of gravity, which is convenient as a way of solving physics problems, although they need not correspond to anything tangible — the center of gravity of a hoop is a point in thin air. People constantly tell themselves stories to make sense of their world, and they feature in the stories as a character, and that convenient but fictional character is the self.
    I could go on and and on. The type of discussion and insight above is not likely to be discussed in an average household, never mind a visit to a psychologist or CBT practitioner. So no, many of these practices and viewpoints are not present in any real sense in MBCBT or MBSR. We can have Linux and Windows: both do distinct but similar jobs with varying degrees of efficiency. These traditions and practices are unique in their own right. If you think there is nothing to offer, and the Western model has it all, odds are you’re pretty close to certainly being wrong. I know you say you like certain elements in Buddhism, but you then proceed to make comments which are hard to interpret as to whether they are sincere or tongue-in-cheek. This leads to an inability on my part to truly understand your motivations/intent/position. I sense you like doing this, but it doesn’t allow for a easy back and forth.

    ” Seriously tho, it is about having a team to work with, the fact they do not have their own answers is not a bad thing. But I think there is a limit, after you know the core techniques, as to what can be achieved. Unless you are talking to no one else on those kind of issues.”

    Is a team a social grouping? Sometimes intellectuals are not the best company, haha. As for going to multiple practitioners in various fields, sigh (I’m not going to get myself into debt). I am searching for something holistic in its scope. Hence my interest in secular Buddhism.

    “re cultural engineering…”

    I kind of took it on authority that when you said such studies exist, that they do. Can you point me to studies that highlight aspects of what creates a ‘good life’. Studies on what truly makes people happy. I’m not questioning if such studies exist, its just that I cant seem to find any online that aren’t opinion pieces. If there is really high quality research into this, please share some links and resources. Thanks.

    Regarding my sense of morality: I believe the issue stems from ideas of ‘self’ and ‘other’. You’re right, there is never a rational argument as to why I ought to be moral. However, if we start playing with the illusionary notion of “I”, we can start to change how we define ‘self’ and ‘other’ — and thus ‘other’ can become a matter of ‘self’ interest, depending of how we define “I”. I’ve written a 50 page document on this particular issue, filled with thought experiments, personal ramblings and belly-flops onto the philosophy of mind. I don’t think there is enough space for me to clearly articulate my positions on this matter, so I’ll leave it.

    Lastly, on the issue of what ‘drives’ us. You keep on referring to these things (youth, beauty, power …) being used as death-proxies. I kind of see where you are coming from, but that view is myopic. From a biological perspective, death is irrelevant in the face of being able to propagate genetic material. Many animals will gladly sacrifice their lives for a chance to create offspring. Some even get cannibalized, have sex till the point of heart failure. There’s a quote: “Life is a sexually transmitted disease”. If sacrificing oneself for the herd maintains the genetic adaptability of the species. that is evolution — what works, works. Whether its death, procreation or psychological phobias stemming from a malfunctioning brain… its all perspective. Fundamentally though, what can be said is that whatever perspective you take, there is a constant deviation from complete satiation in the present moment. Desire, desire, desire (the Buddha talked about it for a reason).

    Like

  10. When Buddhist’s get confronted and cannot explain propaly they often say: “you do not understand the deep meaning of the text”. If we do not understand, it either depends on that the Buddhist’s are bad teachers or all the others are stuped. But please, do not make people believe that you can jump over your own shadow!

    Buddhismen is in my opinion a radical and cruel religion and it is as far away from solutions to human problems as one possibly can get! The religion is filled with contraditions. One picks out that suits the best to person.

    One of the religions greatest weaknesses is that you cannot get rid OF suffering through beeing unconcerned TO suffering. In one hand the religion is against selfishness, but on the other hand has baked in selfishness in their concept.

    An other of the contradiction is that you can never get rid OF your ego through meditationg WITH your ego.

    Buddhismen is also an unsocial relgion. Everything depends on Karma and “the universal law of dharma”. Fits like glows in the hand of fascists. This was also clearly understood by the Nazi mass murderer Heinrich Himmler, when he shouted: “As soon as we won the war we will introduce Buddhismen in Germany.” Unequality can easy be defendet with Buddhist arguments.

    People who live in countries were Buddhismen dominates and were the religion has deep influence on people’s mind are countries with slow development. Those countries have the worlds biggest Prostitution market. Almost 60 percent of all Thai men are visiting a prostitued every day. About 450.000 men are going to a prostitute every day! They have alo the worlds greatest sex slavery, Every minute a women becomes a sex slave! The Buddhists unconcern together with their loveless believe were “true love is withouth bounds and behind the mind” contributes to this situation!

    NO THANKS TO BUDDHISM!

    Liked by 1 person

    • kjc says:

      Hannelor, you people lack the psychological complexity to understand that detachment from desire is meant to stifle addiction. You are taking socio-cultural extensions of Buddhist majority countries and attaching it to the religious viewpoints.

      How was Buddha a narcissist when he instructed his followers not to worship him, unlike the Abrahamic prophets? You are interpreting buddhist teachings as YOU would follow them perhaps. Just because you need an angry, jealous, vengeful God spying on your every action to

      Vipassana meditation has helped me increase my empathy and has even civilized murderers. Check out this documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkxSyv5R1sg

      Liked by 1 person

      • kjc says:

        Christian theology laid the foundation for far more future hostilities and terror than did Buddhism. Buddhists did not perform crusades or ethnic cleansings with the same fervor as Charlemagne, the Portuguese, the Catholic Church against Pagan Europeans and other groups. You can also compare the comparatively dry record of violence with Muslim Jihadists from history and see that it was not as severe.

        Look at Asoka’s Buddhist Kingship in India:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashoka#Contributions

        http://www.cs.colostate.edu/~malaiya/ashoka.html#FOURTEEN

        Like

      • Women in Buddhist countries have very low Status and many are prostituteds. Buddhismen do not believe in love and their “let go” attitude helps the bad to grow. This is also very clear in Thailand. The Religion is misaganistic!!!!! Further, of course the do not often create war. They do not Need to! The People are oppressed anyhow! If they are poor they think it depends on their Karma! Buddhismen is a very bad Religion!
        Hanna

        Liked by 1 person

      • To command others to act in anyway is exactly as the one God religions. Even to say do not follow me. The master leads from behind.

        When the master acts, the people say “look at what we have accomplished, and on our own!”.

        That’s still going to be $5 though.

        Like

  11. The theravada Buddhist Monks do not even shake Hands with women! Handshaking is considered as mutual respect. Please do not post me any stuped thinks any more. It just make me angry!!!! I do not like the false Religion. This religious hipocrats just make me angry!.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. JJ says:

    The Buddha was many things that are not palatable by today’s standards:

    He was a misogynist, through and through. He refused the ordination of women initially, on the grounds that his brotherhood was mainly male, and that women would be encroaching on a new “fad” he had created.

    He was most definitely spoiled, due to his sheltered and pampered upbringing, which he describes over and over again—

    Just FYI, a lot of what I’m saying is coming from revelations from my own personal life, regarding:

    Trauma, P.T.S.D.
    Attachment theory
    Psychopathy
    The Reich and Lowen Tradition
    and what Victor Langheld writes on his Victoria’s Way website regarding the Tathagata (the epithet of the Buddha)

    Unfortunately I’m not a psychologist, so this is just me putting stuff together from the Internet, and attachment theory was recommended by my psychiatrist.

    Anyways continuing on.

    The Buddha, up to the moment he saw the “four sights” (the old, sick, dead and reclusive man), was fine in his little oasis (his “nirvana” if you will, or shelter, or refuge), until he was shocked, utterly, by those four sights.

    Until that point he was doing fine, obviously his father’s plan actually backfired. Because those sights set his hair ablaze, and for the next six years in an utter emotional frenzy he sought to the put out the fire that was engendered by seeing those things.

    To this end he performed all sorts of austerities (well documented in the Pali Canon), until one day he succeeded in extinguishing the fire, and reaching “nirvana”.

    Notice how in his formulation of his doctrine, he calls the No. 1 problem (dukkha, meaning friction or heat): birth, old age, death, and possibly sickness, etc

    This obviously all accords in the sights he saw, the Buddha suffered an unexplainable and shocking sight that set his hair on fire, that’s the entire story, literally

    The Buddha, as a psychopath, also suffered from the incoherency of his doctrine, which really just centered around him as the arbiter, this is why Buddhism has evolved so much over the century: there isn’t really a thing or doctrine to it, there is no common thread, what the Buddha said in response to each querent was literally arbitrary, even the Buddha’s “no-self” or “anatta” doctrine makes zero sense, he says that a bunch of aggregates are not self, but then goes on to say that he does not say “there is not a self”, oh well

    Anyways, it’s obviously because the Buddha was traumatized, and a large variety of people were attracted by his charisma and wisdom, and for this reason they asked him how he resolved the problem he found and his way of rationalizing it or explaining it was obviously by using faulty reasoning

    Let me put it straight: the Pali Canon is not coherent, we do not know what makes Buddhism Buddhism, this is why over the centuries and millennia, Buddhism has literally become an infinitely different amount of things, because on the death of its arbiter or founder, who never really defined many of his terms or doctrines clearly, and often used hidden and implicit assumptions that were not agreed to upon by his interlocutors, the preservers of the Canon realized that they didn’t know what made their doctrine their doctrine (the small, glib and convenient rationalizations of one very smart man), so they sought to memorize all the content

    The Buddha never named his doctrine
    He never explained why he called himself the Tathagata
    He never explained what atta was, and what anatta meant
    He never defined dukkha
    He never explained how birth began

    He also, since he was born northern India, just went along with the climate of using memes like rebirth and karma, had he been born in the Middle East, he might have been talking about God or whatever religion they had there

    Literally, when the Buddha died, the doctrine was lost, because he was the only person that could arbitrarily create more suttas in response to whatever situations there were, and no one understood where he was coming from, or how he rationalized what he was saying

    Either way, it would appear that it’s the mark of a psychopath to use convenient truisms and whatever that don’t actually form a coherent framework, in order to explain themselves, and that might have been what he did

    Lastly his narcissism is evident, for example he believed that he was born in some miraculous fashion that caused the earth to quake several times, and that there was a painless birth, etc

    Only a narcissist would believe he was born “flawlessly”

    And finally, yes, he was a psychopath and a sexual misogynist, he denied the pleasure of eating food, dancing, listening to music, laughing, having sex, sleeping, and all these kinds of things, in order to possess a morally plausible higher ground, with which to seduce followers into his itinerant, homeless, useless life of stupidity (and zero fun)

    Literally his followers ate other people’s food, used their medicine, stayed in lodgings built by them, and most of them were from the upper-middle class, they left behind their friends, wives, kids and families, to become homeless

    And their goal was to sit around all day

    The Buddha condemned desire, the driving force of life (the libido), because, the Buddha did not want to live, since birth = suffering, he wanted to live never again, so he “killed” all desire

    He did not explain how dukkha begins, and how the unconditioned is the escape from dukkha, he did not even define what the unconditioned was

    And of course, since he was a psychopath, he had to invent a new doctrine to explain himself, and his charisma is evidently why his new recruits were so easily taken with him

    He hated life, really, he even sought to extinguish all forms of normal human emotion, and function, include greed, envy, stress, anger, which are really all motivators to do things

    And then he died, after claiming he could live for an eon, at the age of 80, from food poisoning, gg

    Anyways most of this comes from my thoughts on piecing together things, yes, Buddhism is harmful, especially if undertaken in a serious way, but I wouldn’t say all Buddhists are psychopaths, nominal Buddhists who like the views and read about it sparely are okay (like most monks I suppose), but the ones who actually practice, often go haywire (long story)

    But then again it’s often shown that Zen masters are sexual predators, and that a lot of monks treat the monastery like a business, with which they build a website for and accumulate luxury cars

    The background and trauma play an important role, notice how the Buddha shunned all sensual pleasure, after living a life of indulgence primarily

    Notice how he sought the solution to old age, sickness and death, after seeing an old, sick and dead man

    Basically, a person’s background express itself in unseen ways, that’s the most of what I can say now

    Notes for later:

    Chögyam Trungpa
    Wilhelm Reich
    Richard
    The DhO
    The seduction community, PUA, NLP
    U.G. Krishnamurti
    Jesus of Nazareth
    St. Paul
    The red pill

    Cheers,

    JJ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fantastic. Self taught is the only way, or at least as good and avoids some pit falls in the academy.

      Everything you say is true. The nature of religions the world over have these things in common: “Im pious and holy and humble…which is a dam sight better than you, so get to building me a giant palace on the side of a mountain with huge pillars and gold, where I can sit and practice detachment and being holy, then get out! Sit in silence somewhere till I need you”.

      The other common thread, as you point out, is “if you dont get it – you arent holy enough” or some variant.

      The intentional Zen confusing proverbs, or other doctrine later claimed to be aimed at inducing x or y – seems just as likely half texts mistranslated. And doesnt the misogyny stand out? Jarring esp when next to some of the great items.

      The truth is, most of what works in cognitive psych comes from here. Same for the Western philosophers – their writing at core came from trade routes dealing in these teachings. And the good stuff is good. Useful. Powerful. Like all things, when applied correctly and personally at the correct time.

      UG is great for what he went through, JJ was towards the end as well. But I’ll leave those stories if you dont know them. But the occult in any form, besides the most striped down personal, is not a positive force. Religion poisons everything, as Hitch use to say.

      It really does. Anything that says give me your power is not the way. Letting go, becoming empty – these things have a place. But dont need names. & can likely do w/o the price tags as well. Like Chopras $20k per day day spa to sit in a room, or his enlightened self yelling at neuroscientists and physicists before retiring to his collection of cars, 3rd only after Seinfeld’s and Leno’s.

      Removing desire will remove suffering. But at the price of not living. & a middle path, it is possible, can not be maintained – for reasons I think locked in the machine. The way the brain rewires appears to make beingness an all or nothing endevour and the benefits and drawbacks of each position the same side of 2 coins.

      Thanks for your sharing of your exploring. =)

      J.

      Like

  13. jameshyen says:

    Anyways I’m not sure how this all started for me, my therapist thinks something happened with attachment in the 0-2 years of age regarding my mother

    I personally think it’s PTSD, and an unresolved trauma response from the ages of 15-16

    I’m not sure how Buddhism figures into this, since I was a Buddhist mainly from the age of 11-12 onward, but showed a fleeting interest in it, even earlier

    I never seriously practiced ever, because: I didn’t have my hair on fire

    Until of course the trauma occurred for me at the ages of 15-16, which is when I started practicing, and in a blaze, ended up here, in this emotionally dead place

    So for me it’s kind of eerie how this all figures in, another hypothesis I had was that involvement with Buddhism for a long time eventually causes the unconscious absorption of its doctrines, until you literally see the world through the lens of the historical Buddha, i.e. a horrible place

    But who knows

    Cheers,

    James

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not lost, sorry, I may have said. It can just be a while in between having a chance to reply. =). Attachment theory is big again, it just got its own place in DSM5 from memory. It is interesting work. Our base print for the world pre constructive comparison certainly comes from there.

      But that is definitely not the whole of it.

      But interesting (im still reading from the bottom, so am in reverse order I think).But this is one of those questions that can only be approached by proxies and correlations.

      Is it possible an interest in these practices before ~22yo changed your brain – absolutely.

      More over, most adult, not only lack the neuroplasticity, but do not commit like a youth does. It is not a horrible place.

      But a dead place, yes maybe. I can understand that this falls along the spectrum of what I call “dark dharma”. In truth, many would consider this state “peace”, “contentment”.

      Medically they would say “organic affect flattening” or “repression” or “PTSD” or “disassociation”. It is really much of a muchness.

      All that really matters is finding a way to bring back as much of the emotion for drive and joy, and maybe even some sadness – w/o letting too much in.

      But it is far easier to master the other way, than generate, say, the compassion meditations. We are machines that define the world by what we exclude. The brain is wired that way. & once those pathways dominate, to do anything else may not be easily achievable.

      You’d need a commitment that not only is it difficult to have from that place, but also: are you sure you would want it all back? It is a difficult answer.

      Like

  14. jameshyen says:

    I think my original comment was lost, here it is:

    The Buddha was many things that are not palatable by today’s standards:

    He was a misogynist, through and through. He refused the ordination of women initially, on the grounds that his brotherhood was mainly male, and that women would be encroaching on a new “fad” he had created.

    He was most definitely spoiled, due to his sheltered and pampered upbringing, which he describes over and over again—

    Just FYI, a lot of what I’m saying is coming from revelations from my own personal life, regarding:

    Trauma, P.T.S.D.
    Attachment theory
    Psychopathy
    The Reich and Lowen Tradition
    and what Victor Langheld writes on his Victoria’s Way website regarding the Tathagata (the epithet of the Buddha)

    Unfortunately I’m not a psychologist, so this is just me putting stuff together from the Internet, and attachment theory was recommended by my psychiatrist.

    Anyways continuing on.

    The Buddha, up to the moment he saw the “four sights” (the old, sick, dead and reclusive man), was fine in his little oasis (his “nirvana” if you will, or shelter, or refuge), until he was shocked, utterly, by those four sights.

    Until that point he was doing fine, obviously his father’s plan actually backfired. Because those sights set his hair ablaze, and for the next six years in an utter emotional frenzy he sought to the put out the fire that was engendered by seeing those things.

    To this end he performed all sorts of austerities (well documented in the Pali Canon), until one day he succeeded in extinguishing the fire, and reaching “nirvana”.

    Notice how in his formulation of his doctrine, he calls the No. 1 problem (dukkha, meaning friction or heat): birth, old age, death, and possibly sickness, etc

    This obviously all accords in the sights he saw, the Buddha suffered an unexplainable and shocking sight that set his hair on fire, that’s the entire story, literally

    The Buddha, as a psychopath, also suffered from the incoherency of his doctrine, which really just centered around him as the arbiter, this is why Buddhism has evolved so much over the century: there isn’t really a thing or doctrine to it, there is no common thread, what the Buddha said in response to each querent was literally arbitrary, even the Buddha’s “no-self” or “anatta” doctrine makes zero sense, he says that a bunch of aggregates are not self, but then goes on to say that he does not say “there is not a self”, oh well

    Anyways, it’s obviously because the Buddha was traumatized, and a large variety of people were attracted by his charisma and wisdom, and for this reason they asked him how he resolved the problem he found and his way of rationalizing it or explaining it was obviously by using faulty reasoning

    Let me put it straight: the Pali Canon is not coherent, we do not know what makes Buddhism Buddhism, this is why over the centuries and millennia, Buddhism has literally become an infinitely different amount of things, because on the death of its arbiter or founder, who never really defined many of his terms or doctrines clearly, and often used hidden and implicit assumptions that were not agreed to upon by his interlocutors, the preservers of the Canon realized that they didn’t know what made their doctrine their doctrine (the small, glib and convenient rationalizations of one very smart man), so they sought to memorize all the content

    The Buddha never named his doctrine
    He never explained why he called himself the Tathagata
    He never explained what atta was, and what anatta meant
    He never defined dukkha
    He never explained how birth began

    He also, since he was born northern India, just went along with the climate of using memes like rebirth and karma, had he been born in the Middle East, he might have been talking about God or whatever religion they had there

    Literally, when the Buddha died, the doctrine was lost, because he was the only person that could arbitrarily create more suttas in response to whatever situations there were, and no one understood where he was coming from, or how he rationalized what he was saying

    Either way, it would appear that it’s the mark of a psychopath to use convenient truisms and whatever that don’t actually form a coherent framework, in order to explain themselves, and that might have been what he did

    Lastly his narcissism is evident, for example he believed that he was born in some miraculous fashion that caused the earth to quake several times, and that there was a painless birth, etc

    Only a narcissist would believe he was born “flawlessly”

    And finally, yes, he was a psychopath and a sexual misogynist, he denied the pleasure of eating food, dancing, listening to music, laughing, having sex, sleeping, and all these kinds of things, in order to possess a morally plausible higher ground, with which to seduce followers into his itinerant, homeless, useless life of stupidity (and zero fun)

    Literally his followers ate other people’s food, used their medicine, stayed in lodgings built by them, and most of them were from the upper-middle class, they left behind their friends, wives, kids and families, to become homeless

    And their goal was to sit around all day

    The Buddha condemned desire, the driving force of life (the libido), because, the Buddha did not want to live, since birth = suffering, he wanted to live never again, so he “killed” all desire

    He did not explain how dukkha begins, and how the unconditioned is the escape from dukkha, he did not even define what the unconditioned was

    And of course, since he was a psychopath, he had to invent a new doctrine to explain himself, and his charisma is evidently why his new recruits were so easily taken with him

    He hated life, really, he even sought to extinguish all forms of normal human emotion, and function, include greed, envy, stress, anger, which are really all motivators to do things

    And then he died, after claiming he could live for an eon, at the age of 80, from food poisoning, gg

    Anyways most of this comes from my thoughts on piecing together things, yes, Buddhism is harmful, especially if undertaken in a serious way, but I wouldn’t say all Buddhists are psychopaths, nominal Buddhists who like the views and read about it sparely are okay (like most monks I suppose), but the ones who actually practice, often go haywire (long story)

    But then again it’s often shown that Zen masters are sexual predators, and that a lot of monks treat the monastery like a business, with which they build a website for and accumulate luxury cars

    The background and trauma play an important role, notice how the Buddha shunned all sensual pleasure, after living a life of indulgence primarily

    Notice how he sought the solution to old age, sickness and death, after seeing an old, sick and dead man

    Basically, a person’s background express itself in unseen ways, that’s the most of what I can say now

    Notes for later:

    Chögyam Trungpa
    Wilhelm Reich
    Richard
    The DhO
    The seduction community, PUA, NLP
    U.G. Krishnamurti
    Jesus of Nazareth
    St. Paul
    The red pill

    Cheers,

    JJ

    Liked by 1 person

  15. jameshyen says:

    Sorry for the spam,

    I think the insidious way Buddhist views (this only occurs if you continually read the source material over and over again and internalize it) can creep in to your mind and frame the way you look at the world, without knowing it, is actually quite scary

    For example, since I was a Buddhist from an early age, my aspiration was to be a monk (never mind the fact that I was born into an upper-middle class family, that lived in an expat community in Hong Kong, with a bright future ahead of me)

    My goal was nirvana

    Eventually, after practicing a few sits of Vipassana, and abandoning all Buddhist practice entirely, I think it reached a point where I genuinely became afraid of whether or not my “good life” would continue (impermanence)

    So I deliberately sabotaged my life, to find some sort of lower settling ground, I’ve always felt a lot of trepidation, which emerged in my earlier life as anxiety and depression

    Funnily enough, the big roller coaster I experienced, and subsequent closing up allowed me to actually practice Buddhism, but I’m not sure if I did that on purpose

    And in regards to the life trajectory I was set on from birth (which all seemed pretty mapped out and ordained, or at least made sense), I’m not sure if that came from some sort of attachment problem early on (perhaps that’s why my shrink suspects that)

    But it’s just funny because later on in my life (adulthood), I read a lot of red pill stuff, and perhaps that was damaging too, but I somehow was able to view sex, and red pill things, and money, possessions and hedonism, and life and death, and rebirth etc

    All within a sort of, “do away with it” framework

    Anyways my point is, I somehow (possibly), unconsciously absorbed a lot of Buddhist doctrine, without even being aware of its effects, because it’s now a part of me, and I wasn’t even aware that viewing the world the way I did, was so ridiculous to others

    The good news is I can literally start following another idea that can determine what I want in life, such as:

    Life is supposed to be fun

    Or, women are cool, or whatever

    But it’s all in good fun I suppose

    -James

    Like

  16. The buddha himself revealed to me he was a psychopath. I have telepathy I was able to talk to him. Now this isn’t a bad thing. See there’s a reason why your body is a certain way. In spirituality certain things need to die off for you to advance. Perhaps being a psychopath helped the buddha achieve what he achieved.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Dan says:

    You are completely right. I was a happy, innocent, loving and trust person, whose life got ruined after two psychopathic sisters, one of them being a Buddhist nun (Sayalay Anuttara) coerced me to join them on a four month meditation retreat in Burma, making it impossible to leave.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, the dark side of meditation is starting to get more attention. Now that business types are shoving mindfulness down there employees throats; forcing it in prisons for early parole ect.

      I still think silence and reflection are important – but like any intervention, there is no one size fits all.

      And, as your story points out, anything with a religion behind it that is poorly understood by most, one best be extra careful.

      Thanks for your story.
      JJR.

      Like

  18. Tom Arrow says:

    Interesting article. I am not a Buddhist, but I consider it to be a very plausible thing.

    Have you considered that the symptoms you bring up are merely indicators, but not evidence of what you call ‘psychopathy’?

    To elaborate, those symptoms may look similar on the surface, without actually being a manifestation of the same thing. These behaviors are, so to speak, the surface that springs forth from the core of the person. But it is thinkable that two completely different people emit very similar ‘surfaces’.

    Like ‘four limbs, two eyes, nose and teeth’ can represent a human. Or a crocodile.

    Obviously, these symptoms aim to distinguish something particular – psychopathy. I suppose my question is: In the jargon, are these symptoms ‘helpers’ that are to help pointing at a real thing (psychopathy) or IS psychopathy simply the name given to the sum of these symptoms? In that, is psychopathy even a real thing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely. There are only indicators, and both self exploration and laboratory psychiatric science is plagued by trying to isolate what comes from where are how to tell if there is an ontic stability within itself, let alone as a universal.

      But to answer your question – no, psychopathy is not a real thing. None of the diagnostic entities are. In the abstract sciences (cognitive science, psychology, psychiatry) they are barely even stable indicators. But similar things occur in Dx cancers or viral illness or toxidromes.

      We make it all up. But it doesnt take much self honestly, or much time, comparing the text books we memorize w/the real world cases to see that science is taught in a very misleading way. & not enough statistical mathematics, research design theory, and philosophy of science and logic pure.

      But none of those tick box DSM style conditions are even worth discussing w/a straight face, unless a billing code is needed. If some one asks for help, you offer it best you know how. That should be enough of a diagnosis. & in reality is the way most ppl practice w/provisional unending differential DDx, or in the behavioural sciences “X general category of condition – NOS (not otherwise specified)”.

      Like

  19. Dan says:

    I hope my story can help others. The teacher there, Pa Auk Sayadaw, was a prideful, conservative man who had psychopathic traits, in terms of lack of empathy. All the Buddhist converts there were messed up in some way, and thought opting out of life was the best way to live. The retreat banned all entertainment and discouraged writing. I’ve since developed severe mental illness and depression from the retreat, after the teacher just recommended more meditation when I said I felt I was developing mental illness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am very interested in the dark side of Dharma. Yes, these things can certainly happen. & not from a “disposition” that was latent – it is not safe to follow someone else’s path and force yourself to that shape. But of you take only the aspects that are useful to you, and apply then only when they are – you can find your way, that is also true.

      But anytime you are asked to give your power away is a mistake.

      Like

  20. rigden says:

    strange comparison, how love is equal whit “abundant glib superficial charm”, or Impuls with response, or meditation with “Decreased startle response”, or Shallow or flat affect” with Balancing and centering…..most i like “Manipulative, change story to fit situation/ ‘Zen’”…seems poor man who write this article has never fall in love, try to use meditation to know himsef and dont really understand what zen is – it is religion, but has no god, teology or dogma, in fact original budism is first pure ateism…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Except if that were true, there would be nothing to either correct, nor endorse. This would just be whatever it was. Also, meditation, the Sutras, the Buddha’s, Zen – it all means different things, by different brands of Church, and even then within them different things to different people. To claim to know is not to know.

      Like

  21. durgadas says:

    “the only intelligent conclusion one can reach is that” shows the erroneous pseudo-logic misrepresenting intelligence for obvious bias. I’m not a Buddhist, but this article contains so much ad hominem that we’d be best suited to comment by our disregard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ad hom implies both psychopathy & low intelligence are net negative. It would be definitional, and position context dependent.

      Like

    • Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh says:

      The Buddha was a professional homeless person who taught other people how to be professional homeless people. He was definitely a genius and a saint or whatever, but being a saint doesn’t necessarily preclude someone from being a psychopath.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, the laws at the time meant you had to take wandering homeless people in for the night and feed them, if they were philosophers or holy men. & I agree, being a saint far from precludes. A “universal” love is impersonal enough to allow all kinds of genocides. Millions had to die so that future billions would be healthier or “x better” (add personal views here) ect. & pure selflessness gives you the Zen kamikaze pilots of WWII. But I do not really believe in psychopathy as a Diagnostic entity. Most diagnostics in medical science, behavioural science and psychiatry in particular, fail on most independent review and replication (and just about every other) test for rigor. But again – all of the “hard” sciences fair no better.

        Like

  22. Sid says:

    J chron , forget about enlightenment .Start with the question “Who am I ?”

    Are you your body ?
    You gathered your body from outside .It is a piece of this planet and soon you will lose it. If you dont understand what i mean , the maggots will remind you one day.

    Are you your mind ?
    Your mind was also gathered from outside. It is a heap of impressions and influences that accumulated over a period of time.

    What you gather can be yours at most. You cannot claim it is you.

    So start with the question . WHO AM I ? dont make assumptions or belief’s about who you are. Dont assume you are nothing. Because you dont know what nothing is. Dont assume you are something. Because your mind is telling you that , and your mind cannot be you.

    Until you start with this question , and be honest enough to admit to yourself what you know and dont know , there is no question of you even beginning to approach what you confuse in this article for enlightenment.

    What you call the state of nirvana, which you have mistakenly attributed to a child’s state of mind here is by definition outside the scope of the intellect. When gautama the buddha talks of the mind he speaks of 16 different aspects, not just the intellect , simplified here into 4 :

    Buddhi – intellect , is like a scalpel . It dissects everything . cuts all into smaller pieces and further divides those smaller peices depending on how sharp your intellect is.

    Ahankara – ego/identity – your religion , race , country , gender , nation , mother , father , space , time : your identity controls the intellect. whatever you identify with your intellect will revolve around that.
    for ex : if you identify with a nation , even the simple waving of a flag will bring tears to you.
    and other nations can generate hate.
    Identity is the hand that wields the knife called intellect. If you have limited identifications, like your body or mind, what you like and dislike will be a slave to those entities. And everything else seems detestable. Remember that walls of identity that you build today are also the walls of self imprisonment tomorrow. It is vital you expand your identity before life breaks those walls someday. Iv learnt this the hard way. Its not so pleasant.

    manas : a huge bank of memory. not just in your brain .but across your body . Your body contains a million times more memory that your brain . Memory all the way to the origin of life is stored.Your ancestors nose is on your face right now . It is not the capability of your brain’s memory.

    Citta : the most important aspect of your mind. An intelligence within you unsullied by memory. A form a pure intelligence. When you eat some bread , it is converted into you . if i eat the same bread it becomes me. This is not your brains doing. There is a type of capability in your system that can manufacture a human brain using a piece of bread.

    It is my fervent wish you explore deeper parts of your mind apart from accumulated information that you call the intellect before trying to understand what enlightenment is. I assumed this article was a genuine attempt at understand buddhism and not a troll who was being intentionally provocative. If it is the former , trying to understand what nirvana entails using your intellect is like an ant , having tasted a grain of sugar , dreaming of growing sugarcane (sugarcane is the crop from which sugar is manufactured). In case this was an intentionally provocative article , ignore my comment here and sorry for wasting your time.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. nowve666 says:

    Reblogged this on CLUSTER B and commented:
    It’s just like Kevin Dutton said in his book, The Wisdom of Psychopaths. Take that, Martha Stout!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin Dutton I dont know, 700k survey tho – assuming thats the number that came back – even uncontrolled is pretty impressive. It is still not a good Dx. APD w/ some clinical insight is better. I think an empathy deficit could be bio-trained/genetic at core; and that is what we are talking about. Ppl who do not understand death enough yet to understand empathy, or ppl who have been hurt too badly to help others, as no1 helped them. And spectrum that. Pure biology determined and un-interjectable is going to be virtually unheard of. And the tick box checklists like Hare are nonsense. Thanks for engaging! =)

      Like

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