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Sat, 23 Sep 2023
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Science of the Spirit

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Marxcissism Is Real: New Paper Links Left-wing Extremism, Psychopathy, and Narcissism

fist protest
Lobaczewski called it in 1984. I've been writing on it here for just over a year now. John Carter gave it a snazzy name: Marxcissism. Now the research psychologists are catching up: "Antagonistic narcissism and psychopathic tendencies predict left-wing antihierarchical aggression, study finds."

Here's what the authors, Ann Krispenz and Alex Bertrams, write in the abstract to their new paper, "Understanding left-wing authoritarianism: Relations to the dark personality traits, altruism, and social justice commitment":
... as individuals with leftist political attitudes can be assumed to be striving for social equality, we expected left-wing authoritarianism to also be positively related to prosocial traits, but narcissism to remain a significant predictor of left-wing authoritarianism above and beyond those prosocial dispositions. ... The results of multiple regression analyses showed that a strong ideological view, according to which a violent revolution against existing societal structures is legitimate (i.e., anti-hierarchical aggression), was associated with antagonistic narcissism (Study 1) and psychopathy (Study 2). However, neither dispositional altruism nor social justice commitment was related to left-wing anti-hierarchical aggression. Considering these results, we assume that some leftist political activists do not actually strive for social justice and equality but rather use political activism to endorse or exercise violence against others to satisfy their own ego-focused needs. ...
I began this Substack with another vindication of Lobaczewski's work: Hare et al.'s article on political psychopathy and human rights atrocities. It's nice to have another, thirteen months later. So let's dive in.

Eye 2

Left-wing extremism linked to psychopathy and narcissism: study

Portland protesters
© AP
Left-wing extremism can be rooted in very unhealthy and selfish mental behavior, a new study suggests.
Left-wing extremism is linked to toxic, psychopathic tendencies and narcissism, according to a new study published to the peer-reviewed journal Current Psychology.

"Based on existing research, we expected individuals with higher levels of left-wing authoritarianism to also report higher levels of narcissism," the authors wrote.

As result of the new data, study authors Ann Krispenz and Alex Bertrams have coined a new term for such psychological behavior: the "dark-ego-vehicle principle."

"According to this principle, individuals with dark personalities — such as high narcissistic and psychopathic traits — are attracted to certain forms of political and social activism which they can use as a vehicle to satisfy their own ego-focused needs instead of actually aiming at social justice and equality," they told PsyPost.

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Dr. George Simon on chronic bitterness and ingratitude


Comment: Here is the video for the below transcript, of Dr. George Simon discussing two very important impediments to growth of spirit and character - bitterness and ingratitude.

Welcome to another edition of the new Character Matters program. I'm Dr. George Simon and we will be continuing our discussion on gratitude, the obstacles to it and the benefits of it. Today, we will be focusing on the chronic ingratitude that can lead to the phenomenon known as bitterness.

As you may know, we've been exploring some topics that I'm currently producing a book about, namely what I call the 10 commandments of good character. We've already explored the issues related to ego-centricity and overcoming it, realizing that we are all connected and that we, and everyone else that exists is connected in very sophisticated ways. It behooves us to understand our place and the many ways we are connected so we can take our appropriate place and be a part of the solution instead of part of the problem, with respect to many of our concerns.

And the 2nd commandment, having to do with overcoming a sense of entitlement is what we've been talking about over the last few episodes. Coming to realize that there are no real entitlements in life. That life itself is a totally unearned gift and it behooves us to be grateful for this gift, even though there are many reasons for folks to feel un-obliged to be grateful.

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MindMatters: Women Who Love Psychopaths - A Retrospective and Introspective with Sandra Brown

sandra brown
Psychotherapist, educator, researcher, and author of the books Women Who Love Psychopaths, How to Spot a Dangerous Man, and many others, Sandra L. Brown's insights have helped many face - and heal from - the damage inflicted by psychopaths and the personality disordered. Expanding on her work as a therapist and author, Sandra Brown has developed the training for thousands of therapists who now understand, and are better able to treat, cognitive dissonance, PTSD, and the neurocognitive damage to executive brain function that many victims suffer.

Join us this week on MindMatters as we look back at Sandra Brown's influential writings, what she's been working on since the release of her books, and how her views and perspectives since then might affect what she'd focus on if she were writing these books today - more than 18 years later.

Running Time: 01:04:40

Download: MP3 — 88.8 MB


Reality-blindness, and Ethics as Practical Reason


Are moral standards real, relative, or both?

Reading through Hill's overview of the history of western philosophy in After the Natural Law, I was reminded of a thought: that this history and development has largely been an ongoing battle between two opposing worldviews, with land lost and regained over the millennia. Materialism and idealism. Absolutism and relativism. Atheism and theism. Their seeds are all there in the ancient Greeks. But the land itself remains largely the same.

And perhaps therein lies part of the answer: it is all the same land. As in, both positions occupy some ground, but like changing borders they miss the wider truth: that the land itself encompasses both. Reality can tolerate either extreme position, to a degree, because each takes into account a part of reality as a whole. But they are incomplete on their own, and when either demands exclusive worship like some tribal god, they commit a form of philosophical blasphemy. Borrowing somewhat from political epithets, I'll call these positions, rather than radical left and far right, the extreme up (mind or spirit) and the far down (base matter), or: uppers and downers.


Einstein researchers discover how long-lasting memories form in the brain

Brain and consciousness
© The Institute of Art and Ideas
Helping your mother make pancakes when you were three...riding your bike without training wheels...your first romantic kiss: How do we retain vivid memories of long-ago events? As described in a paper published online today in Neuron, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have found the explanation.

"The ability to learn new information and store it for long periods is one of the brain's most remarkable features," said Robert H. Singer, Ph.D., co-corresponding author of the paper. "We've made a startling discovery in mice regarding the molecular basis for making those long-term memories." Dr. Singer is professor of cell biology and in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience, chair emeritus of anatomy & structural biology, and director of the Program in RNA Biology at Einstein.


Don't live in your head

Don't Live in Your head
Know thyself!

Who could possibly be against the Socratic maxim?

Well, the ever-insightful Goethe, for once.

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MindMatters: Knee-deep in the Weird: Science, the Paranormal, and Popular Belief

After some brief comments on classical worldviews, natural law, populism, the genesis of leftist and postmodern thought, and the history of ideas, we settle on today's topic of topics: the paranormal. What societal structures exist (in academia, the media, the marketplace, etc.) that make the paranormal both in demand as a subject worth learning about - and yet deeply suppressed as something to take seriously in "official culture". What does the Church and orthodox materialist science have to say about the acceptance of the so-called supernatural? And how do we come to know anything even remotely objective about such a topic when the rigor and open-mindedness required to study it is so lacking in officialdom? Join us for this fascinating discussion!

Running Time: 01:38:00

Download: MP3 — 135 MB


State Covid propaganda destroyed public's ability to consent to vaccines - Chairman of UK Council for Psychotherapy

covid propaganda
There follows an open letter from Dr. Christian Buckland, Chairman of the Board of the U.K. Council for Psychotherapy, to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak condemning the "use of unethical psychological techniques and behavioural science on the unknowing and non-consenting U.K. public". Among numerous harms are that the use of techniques to increase fear, shame and guilt "materially undermined, if not removed, the U.K. population's ability to give valid informed consent to taking a COVID-19 vaccine".

April 28th 2023

Dear Prime Minister,

I am the Chairman of the Board of the U.K. Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), one of the UK's foremost psychological governing bodies. However, I write this open letter in my own capacity. I believe I have a professional obligation to write to you in an attempt to protect the public from any further harm caused by the unethical application of psychological research and practice.

I unreservedly condemn the U.K. Government's use of unethical psychological techniques intended to elicit feelings of fear, shame and guilt, under the guise of behavioural science and insights which were designed to change the public's behaviour without their knowledge and conscious participation. It is now clear that in 2020 the U.K. Government deliberately chose to artificially inflate the level of fear within the U.K. population by exaggerating the risk factors of COVID-19, and concomitantly downplaying the protective factors. We also witnessed the Government's promotion of social disapproval and guilt messaging. These techniques were embedded into a multi-channel, co-ordinated public health campaign designed to change the public's behaviour without their knowledge. Moreover, in tandem with the mainstream media, the Government also proactively suppressed, censored and ostracised any healthcare professional or scientist who suggested alternative responses to COVID-19, or who simply questioned the messaging and measures being implemented by the Government.


Mind, matter and the danger of subjectivism

Mind Matter
It has often been claimed that the material world plays a subordinate role and must take a back seat — behind mind and spirit, or even behind the supernatural world.

However, this move carries dangers since it threatens to steer the gaze inwards a little too much. Thus, Goethe rightly remarked that "Know thyself" is often no good advice: rather, he argued, we urgently need to look into the mirror that other people hold up to us. The trick here is to distinguish between those individuals who are well-disposed toward us and who themselves are far along in their development, and those who are pursuing their own destructive agenda and threaten to draw us into their downward spiral.

No, withdrawing into our own minds is not a solution and quickly leads to irrationality and subjectivism.