Saturday, August 16, 2008


This entry was triggered by the discussion of psychopathic personalities. I think that the important issue is empathy. Empathy is the ability to not only understand what others are feeling, but to vicariously experience the feelings, outlook, and experiences of others. Psychopaths have no empathy. They may not be evil, they may do good things, but they do not empathize with how you feel. As Oscar Wilde said: "One can always be kind to people about whom one cares nothing."

They don't care about you. They don't feel your pain. Narcissism too is a disorder of empathy. Those of us who are wired to care have a hard time understanding that there are in fact people who do not care. The psychopath may just have been born that way, wired different from others.

Stories I hear about MMY show a lack of empathy: Come meditate with me, even if you have to leave your children. The lack of caring shown the parusha and mother devine, who get no health insurance. The willingness to lie about the Siddhis. The insistence that TM can never but ever cause problems. (Unstressing is not a problem).

Judge by actions, not by words. MMY can talk all day about heaven on earth and his desire for all to become enlightened and in perfect health. But talk means nothing.

What is especially interesting is why we are attracted to people who seem to have no empathy and no conscience.

This is an interesting article on the psychopaths among us:

The reasons we look up to these conscience impaired people are unclear. Most likely it has something to do with the confidence they exude, the ease they seem to feel in any situation—a trait that comes easily in someone essentially incapable of fear or anxiety. Maybe we’re easily suckered in by their natural glibness and charm. Or maybe on some level we envy the freedom they have, with no burden of conscience or emotion.

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