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Thu, 29 Sep 2022
The World for People who Think

Science of the Spirit

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Origins of sociopathy: the etiology of guiltlessness

sociopath (bigger size)
© Men's Health
I'm returning to Dr Martha Stout's book The Sociopath Next Door as a basis to explore the origins of sociopathy (antisocial personality disorder).

Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is a deeply ingrained and dysfunctional thought process that focuses on social exploitive, delinquent, and criminal behavior most commonly known due to the affected individual's lack of remorse for these behaviors.1

As I've mentioned before, the causal factors for sociopathy are likely to be a combination of genetic predispositions and environmental factors. In other words it's both "nature" and "nurture". Heritability studies have found a very strong correlation2 between identical twins who show psychopathic traits in contrast to fraternal twins who do not demonstrate the same degree of correlation. This doesn't mean we can test for a certain "sociopathic gene" as personality traits are underpinned by a complexity of genes in conjunction with the unique neural architecture of the individual that's partly shaped through experience (the environmental factors). But we do have some hints at what is happening at a neurobiological level.
...sociopathic subjects showed increased blood flow to the temporal lobes, relative to other subjects, when they were given a decision task that involved emotional words. To enable our concentration, you or I might exhibit such an increased cerebral blood flow if we were asked to solve a mildly challenging intellectual problem. In other words, sociopaths trying to complete an assignment based on emotional words, a task that would be almost neurologically instantaneous for normal people, reacted physiologically more or less as if they had been asked to work out an algebra problem. (Stout, 2021, p.125)

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MindMatters: Beyond the Schizo-Autistic Worldview: Introducing the Matter with Things

brain matter things
Our understanding of each other, ourselves, the world, science and philosophy is in a sorry state. Ratiocentric, transactional, materialistic, and narcissistic assumptions dominate over a more coherent and understanding. We're living in the left hemisphere. But what is the alternative? And if the left-hemisphere view of the world is so often destructive, what place does it hold in the broader, right-hemisphere picture? And what does this imply about the nature of man, and of reality? Iain McGilchrist has written a remarkable book in which he answers these questions: The Matter with Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World. Today on MindMatters we are again joined by Lucien to introduce the book's many important insights.

Running Time: 01:14:16

Download: MP3 — 102 MB


The colors of Ukraine stay mainly in the brain

Color Revolution
© Substack/The Good Citizen
The social engineers are everywhere. We are ruled by psychopaths who use teams of behavioral psychologists to nudge society in one direction or another. Those charged with this grotesque duty in Britain even apologized for using totalitarian methods of propaganda to create fear and hysteria to subdue the population during the plandemic. This UK government psyop group is known as the "Behavioral Insights Team" or the "nudge unit". Laura Dodsworth, a fellow Substacker wrote a bestseller on this: A State of Fear: how the UK government weaponised fear during the Covid-19 pandemic

These psychological managers have piles of research and data on what's effective in moving the masses. Sometimes this happens through intentionally coordinated lock-step political policies like lockdowns and social distancing, other times through intentional economic pain like high gas prices to alter consumer behavior (buy EVs), and the most obvious nudging, if one is capable of seeing it, occurs with intentional lies and propaganda to manipulate thoughts and feelings about events that are also often intentionally prepared in a way to affect our view of them.

The lesser known manipulation happens at the subconscious level.

Twenty years from now a retired British man will sit at a park bench next to a young couple he overhears talking about the great pandemic of 2020-2022 and how they had to wear masks in preschool. He will eventually interrupt them and say:

"I remember those years. I remember them very well. Those were the blue and yellow years." They will look at him suspiciously before he asks them, "What do you young lovers know about colors?" He will not offer them chocolates or ask about bus schedules.


Acceptance of and Commitment to Freedom

commitment to freedom
There are many things we can do to liberate ourselves, and each other, from the tyranny of government. Unfortunately, for generations, we have been educated to believe we are powerless. Supposedly our voice can only be heard through the ballot box, through our extremely limited ability to lobby and through whatever protests we are allowed.

This is a deception. We have all the power, government has none and we can change the world whenever we choose.

All we need to do is realise our collective agency and strength. The good news is that if we consistently work toward freedom, achieving it is a nailed-on certainty. The bad news is that very few of us are even aware of the need to change our behaviour and fewer still know how to do it.

Our broad lack of awareness leaves us at the mercy of those who do understand how to misuse behaviour change techniques and applied psychology for nefarious purposes. This mistreatment has led a sizeable minority to rail against applied behavioural psychology. Yet, should we decide to use these strategies ourselves, the potential for positive social change is immense.

This article is written in the hope that we can all learn how to use behaviour change techniques for our benefit. Behaviour change is a skill that can be learned and, with practice, become a powerful tool for personal development. We can use it to defeat the plans of those who would use it against us and construct a free society.


Creative Imagination and Mystical Experience in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabî, by Henry Corbin

God as Imagination: the Image and the Imaginer in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabî

angels mural
michaelangelo 1
da vinci man
angels mural

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MindMatters: The New Unclean: How Our Psychology Was Hijacked to Make Us See Each Other as the Enemy

needle points
Are the vaccine hesitant really deserving of being called irresponsible conspiracy-minded nationalists who are ignorant of science - or other denigrating and pejorative mainstream media characterizations? Is it possible that many who are wary of, or outright resistant to, getting the jab - actually have some very legitimate reasons for thinking and feeling in the ways that they do? Is there, in fact, a whole set of values and 'moral tastebuds' that a rather large part of the left-leaning population and political class are being dismissive of out of hand, and out of all proportion? And what facets of human psychology are at hand when others are seen as potential vectors of disease? In short, why are some vaccine hesitant, and why are others so keen to demonize them?

This week on MindMatters we look at an in-depth examination of these issues as they're explored in Norman Doidge's seminal essay "Needle Points". No stranger to the study of how people think, and why, Doidge, a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and author of The Brain That Changes Itself and The Brain's Way of Healing, examines the foundations of vaccine-hesitancy, and why, far from being "fringe" or "paranoid", they have a legitimacy that simply cannot, and shouldn't be, ignored by anyone taking a position on this highly contentious subject matter. He also discusses the "behavioral immune system" and what it can teach us about what is going on. Doidge so successfully outlines his needle points in his work that colleague Jordan Peterson encouraged him to produce a video narrating the text which may be watched here.

A PDF of the essay may be obtained here.

Running Time: 01:39:43

Download: MP3 — 137 MB


Dogs grieve the death of a loved one too

cute dog
The death of a dog is devastating for any owner, but if you have multiple pups, a new study suggests the loss is just as hard for them.

Researchers have revealed that dogs show key signs of grief after the death of another dog in the same household.

This includes an increase in attention seeking, eating less and whining, according to the team from the University of Milan.

While grief has previously been reported in other animals including birds and elephants, this is the first time it has been confirmed in dogs.
Key signs of grief in dogs

The study found that the dogs displayed many key signs of grief, including:
  • More attention seeking (67%)
  • Playing less (57%)
  • Less active (46%)
  • More fearful (35%)
  • More sleep (35%)
  • Eating less (32%)
  • More barking and whining (30%)

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Are Psychopaths Attracted to Other Psychopaths?

© Sydney Shaffer Getty Images
In 2005, Scott Peterson was convicted of the murder of his wife Laci and her unborn child. During the first hour on death row, he received a marriage proposal, and within a day the warden's office was inundated with over 30 phone calls from women asking for his mailing address as well as letters from women professing their love for him.

This is not an isolated incident, and there is even a clinical term for it: Hybristophilia. On sites such as PrisonPenPals.com, WriteaPrisioner.com, ConvinctMailbag.com, and Meet-an-Inmate.com, there are thousands of dating ads from "prisoners who are waiting to hear from you!" Kyon in New York writes "Send a picture of yourself so I may be able to see the beautiful rose in your friendship garden." Joel in Wisconsin writes, "My favorite subject is revisionist history." Eugene from Oregon-- who is sentenced to jail for life-- writes, "I have a very good sense of humor." And there are plenty of women who respond.

What is the source of the attraction to dangerous people? There is no shortage of speculation, ranging from a drive to feel like a rebel, to a drive to become a celebrity or increase one's popularity, to a drive for a more exciting and adventurous life, to self-esteem issues typically resulting from past abuse, to the drive to be a caretaker, to the drive to control and have power over a person which can result from dating a person who needs you more than you need them.

Comment: See also:

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MindMatters: Schizo-autistic Philosophy, Ponerology and the Deranged View of Humanity

Many of our most basic assumptions about life, values and reality itself come to us from the thinking and writing of some of our best known philosophers. But what if some of those leading figures were only ever capable of understanding reality with what Andrew M. Lobaczewski called a schizoidally impoverished worldview, or what Ian McGilchirst calls a left-hemisphere-dominant mode of cognition? How would we even know? What may be some of the signs to look for? And what are the implications for a largely unsuspecting society that eats, breathes and lives in such a psychological environment?

Today on MindMatters we discus the "schizo-autistic" worldview - hyper-rational, cynical, detached, technocratic - its flaws, and how it has dominated the intellectual life of humanity for at least the past 200 years. From Descartes and Kant to Freud, Marx and Ryle, this style of thinking has its uses, but can never provide an adequate picture of reality and how to act within it. If that isn't enough to burst your bubble of illusions, we also discuss Machiavelli and what he may actually have achieved in bringing to light the true intentions, workings and dynamics of the political class.

Running Time: 01:22:39

Download: MP3 — 114 MB


The Nice Revolution, Canada's (second) populist movement?

truck protest convoy ottawa
© AP / Adrian Wyld / The Canadian Press
Protesters walk past trucks parked in downtown Ottawa. February 2, 2022.
In recent years, there has been the Velvet Revolution, the Orange Revolution, the Cedar Revolution, and even the Singing Revolution.1 Leave it to Canadians to create the Nice Revolution. As though driven to live up to their national stereotype, the Canadians who have gathered in Ottawa to protest their government's draconian COVID measures have displayed a massive outbreak of niceness, kindness and hugs. As some of the signs say, it has been the winter of love. Yes, this is what a populist insurgency looks like in today's Canada.

Now, it hasn't always been quite like that. As it happens, I wrote my doctoral thesis (for all the good it did me) on the Canadian populist movement of the early 20th century. In large measure beginning as a spillover event from the U.S. populist insurgency of the late 19th century. That was a movement fueled by farmers, rather than truckers. And when I pick up the occasional signal from the trucker protest suggesting that it may not be enough to simply have the mandates repealed; that the political system which allowed these draconian measures to be initiated must be reformed; I reflect fondly upon the agrarian populist movement of a hundred years ago. A sterner bunch than those joyously dancing for freedom at Parliament Hill in recent weeks, they were laser focused on the need to reform the very core of Canadian governance to create a more grassroots democracy.2 How that farmers populist movement eventually failed is an interesting and instructive story, which I will explore in a future post. For today, though, I want to reflect upon the lessons I've learned of value to contemporary populism, seen through the lens of more recent study on the circulation of elites and the dangers of pathocracy.

Comment: For more insightful analysis from the author, see: Also check out SOTT radio's: MindMatters: The Managerial Revolution and the Circulation of the Elites