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By June 11, 2008 52 Comments Read More →

The psychopath as anti-saint

Consider this extract from a piece by Anthony Daniels in The New Criterion:

In his essay, The Empire of the Ugly, the great Belgian Sinologist and literary essayist Simon Leys recounts the story of how, writing one day in a café, a small incident gave him an insight into the real nature of philistinism.

A radio was playing in the background, a mixture of banal and miscellaneous chatter and equally banal popular music. No one in the café paid any attention to this stream of tepid drivel until suddenly, unexpectedly and inexplicably, the first bars of Mozart’s clarinet quintet were played.

“Mozart,” Leys says, “took possession of our little space with a serene authority, transforming the café into an antechamber of Paradise.”

The other people in the café, who until then were chatting, playing cards, or reading the newspaper, were not deaf to the radio after all. The music silenced them, they looked at each other, disconcerted. “Their disarray lasted only a few seconds: to the relief of all, one of them stood up, changed the radio station and re-established the flow of noise that was more familiar and comforting, which everyone could then properly ignore.”

Here is the conclusion Leys draws:

At that moment, I was struck by an obvious fact that has never left me since: that the real philistines are not those people incapable of recognizing beauty – they recognize it only too well, with a flair as infallible as that of the subtlest aesthete, but only to pounce on it, and smother it before it can take root in their universal empire of ugliness.

Thus philistinism is a positive, not merely a negative force.

In the article Daniels mentions other examples including that of Liberian rebels sawing off the legs of the only Steinway grand piano in the land, thereby rendering it useless. Now maybe this is just about snobs objecting to the blue-collar tastes of regular folks. But let’s take Ley’s thought about philistinism seriously for a minute and then apply it to psychopathy. So,

IF real philistines are not those people incapable of recognizing beauty – they recognize it only too well, with a flair as infallible as that of the subtlest aesthete, but only to pounce on it, and smother it before it can take root in their universal empire of ugliness,
THEN real pychopaths are not those people incapable of recognizing good – they recognize it only too well, with a flair as infallible as that of the saint, but only to pounce on it, and smother it before it can take root in their universal empire of sin.

I have never bought the idea that psychopaths cannot empathise with others; that they’re radically other, either brain-damaged or animals. To me the psychopath’s exquisite ability to know exactly how to hurt others suggests that he is brilliantly attuned to the inner worlds of others. Nor does the idea that psychopaths can’t tell the difference between good and evil stand up. Their infallible nose for doing wrong is evidence that the psychopath is an anti-saint.

One definition of saint is “persons eminent for holiness….those who distinguish themselves by heroic virtue during life”. Turn that on it’s head and you have the psychopath.

In my humble opinion, that is.



52 Comments on "The psychopath as anti-saint"

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  1. iradessa says:

    I am in a huge awakening and it’s mind blowing. I can see my own recovery. I can see where what used to put me into bed depressed is now giving me strength. I see what I used to think I deserved or I was too confused to see that it was really happening, is actually happening and it is not getting through to me. My x husband sees me growing geting better and he is going crazy. Getting meaner..I can’t say I am not afraid for my children…I am and I am watching for any signs of harm mental and physical. He sees the beauty in me getting away and he’s trying to cut me at the knees and I am not going to let that happen. I don’t know how God works, I am not supposed to know I am only asked to have faith. ANd I do. ANd God’s justice will prevail.



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  2. OxDrover says:

    CLANK, CLANK, CLANK–that’s the sound of your chains falling loose Iradessa! You are becoming free of the mind-chains of P-slavery.

    Be careful though, that you don’t provoke him to violence with your freedom! They are so VENGEFUL when they see that we have broken free, that we are no longer bound by the chains of their lies. Because I declared my freedom, my P-son decided to have me KILLED.

    So though you are FREE, NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON THEM, or underestimate the EVIL that is in them, or their capacity to DO EVIL. While God has given us Freedom, Satan is not yet bound on this earth, and can still wound us—and so can his anti-angels, the psychopaths—BE CAREFUL! (((hugs))))



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  3. iradessa says:

    I have that 6th sense. He planned to have you killed — were you able to prove it? I wouldn’t put it past him. I won’t let my gaurd down. I won’t fl;aunt ther freedom. My plan was to speak to him as little as possible. Give him no information. He has his allie his new wife and they wanted to pretend to be friends. His actual words were I should be able to beat the shit out of you and you should still be my friend in public. My jaw dropped. ANd he is livid that I won’t talk to them.

    Tell me everything I need to know to stay safe.



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  4. patriotdad says:

    A note on OxDrover’s first comment on this article, “Sometimes I think the psychopaths “feed” the energy of our pain. The more pain for us, the more joy for them.”

    Once my ex finally let her mask drop, she would visit with her sister (another s/p-path) and they would openly laugh share and talk about the pleasure they derived from hurting innocent and unsuspecting people who had the misfortune of coming into contact with either of these two. Saying they had no boundaries in the evil these adult women did for no gain other than fun is trite at best. Not only did they have no boundaries, they understood boundaries, good and evil, right and wrong, and would look for opportunities to turn those opposites on their head to make evil look good and vice versa. The more helpless, innocent or incapacitated the victim more they were uplifted and ecstatic.

    They did this in front of me, knowing that I was on the hook with a child by my ex. They were predatory in all acts and deeds. How could I run without leaving my child to an admittedly abusive ex wife and her family. It was the rubbing of salt in my wounds.



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  5. OxDrover says:

    Dear Patriotdad,

    My heart goes out to ALL the parents of children by these people, you are chained to the Psychopath by your love and duty to your children. It to me is the most painful kind of enslavement one could even imagine. I pray for all such parents, but your bravery and self sacrifice are the marks of a REAL HUMAN BEING, and I applaud you heartily!

    Yes, they DO enjoy the pain they cause, and glory in their successes. When I read the letters my P-son wrote to his Trojan Horse-P co-conspiritors it was so apparent at the glee he got in making life miserable for me even before they had accomplished their ultimate purpose which was my death!

    Iradessa, as close to NO contact as you can get is best, absolute NO contact is the ideal, I am not sure what your situation is (have a child with him? or whatever) but if it is possible to TOTALLY avoid any contact this is the best way.

    His statement IS CHILLING, for sure.

    I would LOVE to write my P-son and TELL him ‘”I AM FREE OF YOU” BUT–it would only provoke him to renewed efforts to hurt me, ditto the Trojan Horse-P—I would just LOVE to tell him that I finally got title to the vehicle he stole the money by fraud from my mother to purchase—and that his X-GF, my X-DIL used the power of attorney he gave her to clean out his bank account and close it–which contained only money he and she had stolen from my mother–and that he is BROKE. I would LOVE to tell him that I am the one that got his PAROLE CANCELED, oh HOW I WOULD LOVE TO GLOAT–but there is no point, it would only PROVOKE him to more VENGENCE and WRATH—-so I have to “gloat” on these VICTORIES only here on this blog where it is SAFE to do so, and where I won’t provoke more violence on their part.

    BUT, I DO KNOW, from the letters my P-son has written to everyone who knows us, and to my mother, that NO CONTACT–which means NO INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON—is roastiing him over a spit, turning him like a piece of meat over the fire, and he is FEELING THE HEAT, it is so FRUSTRATING to him to not get any answers to his letter, his pity letters, his anger letters, his guilt letters, his blame letters, his repentence letters—THEY ALL GO UNANSWERED AND HE HAS NO INFORMATION. It is driving him bat chit! with frustration!!!!

    Plus, his source of money, which is status and priviledge in prison is cut OFF.

    All ****ALL****information we give them is like giving them ammunition to shoot back at us. I advise everyone who has even limited contact to keep your “cards close to your chest.”

    Iradessa:

    I wish I could tell you “everything you need to know to be safe”—it depends on the situation, the particular P, where you live, a lot of things. The best advice I can give you is to ALWAYS BE CAUTIOUS—don’t trust anything they say, keep your doors locked, never (if possible) be ALONE with him even for a second. Always have a WITNESS present when you must make contact of any kind. Keep all e mails or any documents he sends you, (IN A SAFE PLACE) and NEVER NEVER UNDERESTIMATE HOW EVILL HE CAN BE.

    The tiny micro-video cameras are coming down n price, if possible have them installed in your home and around the outside of your house, so that if he comes around you have proof.

    JUST BE CAREFUL. and DON’T PROVOKE him verbally no matter how much you want to “tell him off.” I told my son “off” and it provoked him horribly. If you have money that would go to your minor child after your death, make sure that money will NOT be controlled by the psychopath so that it can go to the CHILD not the Psychopath. I suggest that you consult an attorney for that.

    Keep your faith in God, but use good sense as well “God helps those who also help themselves.” (((hugs)) to you both.



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  6. nottakingitanymore says:

    So many excellent comments here. I agree that you can’t let the P know that he has had any effect on you, good or bad. Although they take great pleasure in inflicting pain, what they mostly want is a reaction. I think that maybe these people have learned that it is much easier to get a negative reaction than a positive one, so they have made it a habit to take the “easy” route and get the bad reaction.

    Base on decades of experience with my P, I think that he actually does have a conscience. His pleasure in hurting others is like drugs for an addict. The pleasure of hurting others, like the high for an addict, lasts for a while. Then he actually has some shred of conscience that kicks in and he feels bad/guilty for what he did. This is like the addict going into withdrawal. So then he does the only thing that he knows to give himself a quick “fix” and that is to hurt someone again.

    I don’t believe that my P could ever be rehabilitated. He had so many chances with me, but the lure of the “drug” was too strong to let him join the human race and behave like a normal person. He would have short bursts of “acting nice,” but it was only a last ditch effort to keep me connected to him. I would think, oh, he’s being nice, he really does love me, and as soon as he got me to think that, he would be back to the mental torture. He would only squeak out the minimum effort needed to fool me or whoever was watching.

    The short bursts of “nice” were like an addict who stays clean just long enough to pass the drug test, or fool the parole officer, or whatever. There was no recovery and I don’t think that there was even any desire for recovery.

    I wholeheartedly agree with the advice to stay as far away and have as little contact as possible. My P’s first wife moved overseas to escape him!

    I still live in the same area, but I do not have any contact unless it is absolutely necessary. In those cases (legal issues, etc.) I keep it to a complete minimum. He still tries to see me and makes excuses to come to my house. I think now that he is much older, he is having trouble finding a new victim.



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  7. lizj132000 says:

    I certainly have gained a lot of knowledge by reading this website and all the comments.

    I was involved myself with an educated, successful sociopath who works at a major university and is quite outstanding in his field.

    When I first met him, I thought I had met Prince Charming. He was absolutely wonderful….dinners, gifts, trips, dinners, etc… he always knew exactly what to do to win me over. His physical appearance and charisma were lacking, so he used his charm, flattery, and professional position to win women over.

    Yes, I was lured in, hooked, hoodwinked, and then he “struck.” I fit perfectly into his game plan. I was just one more additon to his ever-growing harem. He had to have a constant influx because as some became aware of his false ambitions, they would drop off. Then all he had to do was pick up with the next one.

    I, now, truly believe he enjoyed the thrill of the chase, became excited with each new conquest, and truly got off to juggling such a variey of women. He almost seemed at times that he deliberately left clues, so that doubt would be raised in the minds of the victims. It was and is a big, hilarious game for him where he is also the winner. He destroys peoples lives, sanity, and stability and walks away scot free… and falls right into someone else’s arms. He is never left without…in fact, I believe, this is his greatest fear….being alone.

    Time, trusting in friends, research, reading, and many more self-improvement techniques have been used by me to get to where I am now. I still question myself, and what I could have done, should have done, etc…. but, in reality, no matter what, the outcome would still have been the same. It was not me, it was him.

    Please trust your female intuition, listen, watch, ask questions, so that you do not also fall prey to such a character.

    I love this site and always look forward to the next mailing.



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