Bathtime Blogging…I am pondering a number of things at the moment. It began after my dad died…having aspergers seemed to allow me subjective and objective experience of his illness, his death, my own grief and the various ways of expressing grief that came to people around me that set me pondering…
Can a Narcissistic Mind Evolve a Conscience through Intellectualised Re-Framing of Life Experiences?
I don’t think anybody is better at life than others. All people are individual. Their potential is variable. So I don’t make observations to judge in any way, but literally as an observation. My asper brain intellectualises things and looks at the logic as if it’s a puzzle with a solution and not just a puzzle. So in articulating my considerations, I hope that they may set you pondering too!
The beginning of this train of thought was really initiated as I contemplated the different way in which I experience empathy as an Aspergirl compared to the experience of those around me. In the back of my mind was a concern that maybe I wouldn’t experience things “properly”.
When someone dies of cancer you get a warning. You take a journey with them. My dad had a very fast growing brain tumour. He lived 5 months after diagnosis. And that was WITH chemo slowing the tumour. The tumour was inoperable. It was the type that would have spread even if it could be slowed with radiotherapy and chemo. But even a non malignant brain tumour is fatal if it’s inoperable. So there was a journey of weeks for the diagnosis and then months of treatment. I am sure dad would have made the same decision about the chemo etc even if they had known it would only give him months…months instead of weeks. But even with a warning, these things feel like they happen too quickly.
My dad had home hospice care and I saw him every day throughout. That was a good thing. I didn’t realise my mind was learning to accept the inevitable…I even wondered if my mind, specifically because of my autism, was able to accept it more easily because I couldn’t take any of it personally. And that’s where my questions began…would I experience death with my form of atypical empathy or was I at risk of being TOO rational.
I also considered perhaps my spiritual beliefs and the fact I could give healing to someone who was dying (Reiki and Violet Flame – both of which I teach through Mayastar). Did that give me a sense of being able to help someone to die peacefully, rather than react as if situation was all wrong and death was unnatural?
I continued to mull these things over. Looking at different personality types and considering their limitations, experiences and unique qualities.
I came away from this with the understanding that we all have a level of higher function (the ability to be objective and self aware), and we all have an ego. And both of these are present at different levels in different people…and they change over time. But how much can they change?
The ego doesn’t have the capacity for objectivity or self awareness. The ego really is the inner narcissist. It doesn’t develop emotionally beyond childish fears and tantrums. It demands external validation. And I think in people where one or other (subjective or objective mind) is dominant, they are “atypical”. Most people experience both to a degree and most people consciously continue to strive for a more objective understanding of their experiences as life goes on.
I think this shows up increasingly as people age. If they don’t move past their ego, they tend towards bitter. Sometimes almost paranoid. But generally they become antisocial as time goes on. In people we consider well adjusted, they balance this tendency to selfishness with an increased capacity for objective understanding – whether they pursue this consciously or it happens naturally probably depends on how balanced they were to begin with. These people seem to “mellow with age” and they are less likely to take on other people’s issues as personal or to consider life events as being “bad” or “wrong”. The exact opposite of the ego which takes everything personally.
Now, my autism may mean if anything I have a tendency to over rationalise – to the extent that some people find me kind of weird. Sometimes presenting a kind of blank slate. Often asking questions that some find intrusive. People who lie or who have a tend towards a narcissistic personality often take a dislike to people like me because we don’t provide them with the external validation or feedback they need. And we very well may ask them outright why their behaviour is as it is and they very well may not have the answers!
I don’t think you have to be autistic to run into this. Those people who persist in ego consciousness seem to “clash” with people a lot! They seem to ostracise themselves. Although I find this observation interesting, I find it hard to imagine how hard getting by in life must be if you are dependent on others to reinforce your sense of self…all the while feeling that you are entitled to that kind of attention. It’s almost like an addiction and I think the capacity of people whose ego is dominant (not to the extent of being classifiable as a narcissist but just more ego centred than the average person) must live on their nerves. Their capacity for experience of higher emotions like love; their capacity to forgive; their capacity for altruism; their capacity for feeling ok with themselves in many ways, is compromised. Their fear of not being accepted or of being judged is heightened. They may seem selfish and rude and arrogant…but scratch the surface and you find it’s all surface! The ego’s reasoned response to a question like “why do you feel a need to be rude to other people” is either going to begin “because they….” or “because I do”.
It’s led me to consider…without any answer…is it possible for a psychopath, sociopath or narcissist (all ego based personalities), to evolve beyond that selfish view point? To overcome the illusion of their own importance the ego insists upon? To develop a level of emotional maturity even without the normal capacity for empathy? Is it possible for a serial killer (as an extreme example), to feel true remorse? Genuinely and not just theoretically? (And I mean remorse…not regret!) Is it possible for extreme narcissistic personalities to learn to feel genuine remorse by reframing life experiences as an entirely intellectual process?
I really don’t know. But if you observe the reaction of people to serious life events…you can see they tend to swing between ego and higher function and find some balance. It’s normal for people to go through phases as they balance out.
I know there are people close to me who want to avenge me for things that have happened to me in the recent and distant past. They don’t think I should forgive. And sometimes I find it hard to explain…I haven’t forgiven in any real sense. Meaning, I haven’t set out to. But naturally over time have ceased to consider some things less and less important, until I naturally have “evolved” to a state of forgiveness. I think most people probably do this.
I personally can’t see the point of holding grudges against people I think are unworthy of them because I outgrew my connection to that person. They stayed as they were and I moved on. For me to blame them or be annoyed would be like being angry with a puppy for peeing on the new rug. It’s a puppy. I can’t reason with it “on a level”. And no matter how annoyed I am, it won’t make the puppy become human, apologise, clean the carpet and be like me. We can’t carry grudges or hold onto anger just because other people aren’t the same as us. Well, most of us would agree on that. The more narcissistic types probably wouldn’t. It’s very immature but the ego does think other people should be like we are otherwise any problems are their fault and they cause our problems. It sounds o absurd written down that I think evwn a narcissist would deny that train of thought. But their behaviour betrays them!
People who have caused me harm deliberately…abusive people and violent people; and one I would classify as a narcissist but could equally have a serious and untreated mood disorder. In fact the person in question claimed to have an undiagnosed mood disorder. But I think that was to justify their erratic behaviour or maybe even just to make themselves seem important! In fact their anger, compulsive lying and paranoia was classic for a narcissistic personality type and not for someone with clinical depression or bipolar disorder! They also claimed to be seeing a psychotherapist about their rage…and that was a verifiable lie. You can tell if a narcissist is lying by whether they are speaking or not!
Anyway, that is only my observation. I can’t diagnose those things and whatever their problem was, there’s nothing I can do about it and I wouldn’t be involved with someone like them. But because of their extremely strange and malicious behaviour, I do have to conclude that there’s no way I can take their issues personally; they have a problem. I can see how some people would find it hard not to take another person’s issues personally. Especially given the personal nature of some of the behaviour. So I can see that from the outside it looks so bad to other people that some feel there should be some kind of justice meted out…
I believe it is though. I don’t believe I need to be judge, jury or executioner for someone whose own personality is the bane of their existence. Karma is a component…but suffering from their own personality is also a punishment to them. They are their own worst enemies in many ways. Their lives are significantly diminished because of the way they think.
It may help that I can use magick in such situations to prevent being held back from sorting myself out by negative thoughts, intentions or actions. It’s such a common situation for the more emotionally mature that reversal spells form a very large part my ritual work for others (www.mayamagickal.net). I do consider that on a spiritual level, the destructive tendencies and negative intentions are akin to a intentional psychic attack and magick is a way to prevent you being caught up and unable to move forward. The immaturity of the ego leaves some volatile personality types with a kind of “emotional incontinence” that, I believe, causes harm and hindrance to victims of abusive relationships on an energetic level.
But after weighing up my personal experience and observations, the question remains after all my pondering: Can a narcissist learn to feel through an intellectualised process?
Perhaps my autism gives me a simplistic view and I am really not “getting it” – but it does seem to me that technically it should be possible. We all have two sides…and most people change as they become older and more experienced. Perhaps a lot of choices have to be made and perhaps we need an ideal to grow towards. So perhaps the narcissist falls at the first hurdle by not having the capacity to entertain an ideal! But, I still think technically it’s possible because we all have narcissistic qualities…and usually we do outgrow them. I’ve yet to observe a narcissist develop a conscience…but I do think technically it’s possible. Just very unlikely!
So endeth my bathtime blog of the day! Xxx