It is a common belief that psychopaths have an emptiness inside of us. This is most commonly expressed by people who don’t like us. We have many enemies on the internet.
Our Enemies Weigh In
- In Praise of Empty Souls. What Can We Learn from Psychopaths? Martha Stout, of all people, reviews Kevin Dutton’s The Wisdom of Psychopaths. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that Dr. Stout rejected Dr. Dutton’s book and it’s entire thesis. There is no wisdom to be found in the likes of us.
- The distinctive “look” of psychopathy: gazing into the face of evil by Lucky Otter. Here the all-too-familiar discussion of our eyes is linked to our basic soullessness
- The “empty eyes” of the sociopath. Just Not Said
- When the Mask Slips: The Empty Vessel – The Psychopath’s Language
Quora asked psychopaths who are signed up with them to answer thorny questions, “Do psychopaths feel empty inside.” Most answered “No.” They replied that they were not aware of what was missing, if anything, so how could they “feel” empty. Only one, Lore Lei, said, “It depends on the psychopath, their level of self-awareness, and if they are brave enough to take their mask off and truly look at what is lying underneath.” James, who sometimes writes on the NoPsychos blog, said about Taylor Swift’s song/video, Blank Space, “Even the title says it all: a blank space in an empty soul waiting to be filled by some unsuspecting sucker.” M.E. Thomas wrote, “Without actively spinning stories, I had no self. If I had been Buddhist on my path to seeking Nirvana, this lack of self would have been a huge breakthrough, but I didn’t feel a sense of accomplishment at having achieved that state. Instead I felt the only way anyone can ever feel a sense of accomplishment at having achieved that state. Instead I felt the only way anyone can ever feel without a sense of self—free.” Do I sense some emptiness or void inside myself? As an infant, I remember feeling that I was about to be swallowed by a void, as if there were chaos inside me trying to suck me inside. I never felt that again until my first acid trip. How about this very minute? As the psychopaths answered Quora, it’s hard to know a deficit with no standard of comparison. Is boredom a sign (as some have suggested)?
What about the fluid identity bit? As a teenager, I hardly knew what I looked like. I would see my reflection in the mirror, of course. But it seemed vague, somehow. Is a fluid identity emptiness? M.E. Thomas said, “I don’t really have ‘true thoughts,’ just good and bad performances as I attempt to say and do things that normal people say and do.”
Psychopaths have tackled the issue as well.
What Psychopaths have said
- Spiritual Void. Psychopaths and Identity
- Sociopaths, mimicry and blank slates. M.E. Thomas
- Eternal Void. Jessica Kelly on Twitter
- Eternal Void. Jessica Kelly’s website
There are also those who don’t think inner emptiness is such a bad thing.
- Feeling Empty. Don’t Try to Fill the Void. “In eastern philosophy, feeling empty is a spiritual milestone.”
Perhaps the thing that makes psychopaths seem soulless is something that is valued in Eastern tradition, presence. We are in present time more than most people. That’s probably why we are notorious for not learning from experience. Every moment is new. It also explains the lack of direction or goal in many of our lives. These qualities are stigmatized in Western thought. Everyone is supposed to have a goal. We are supposed to “grow” in a steady, linear fashion. It’s not that I’m not learning, however. I see my present circumstances as an excellent opportunity to learn what I need to learn at this point in my life. I am doing an in-depth study of mortality. People in this assisted-living center are dying all around me. Aside from the sudden disappearance of people I know, there is also the ever-present evidence of sickness, decline. What happens to meat when the spirit leaves it. It rots. While still alive, many people here experience failure of one organ or another. The most poignant loss is that of the brain. Many people here have various degrees of Alzheimer’s and dementia. I used to consider these dreaded conditions. Now I don’t fear them. There is something deeply disgusting about the physical world. I choose to deal with that by not turning away but looking at it full on (giving is the psychopathic stare?). I am also struck by the number of deaths taking place among celebrities. Bowie, Patty Duke, Glenn Frey, Alan Rickman… It’s like they’re wiping the slate clean. Out with the old, bring on the new. By the old, I probably include myself. I’m on the way out. I’m at peace with it. I am not straining at the bit to get their sooner, nor am I hoping to put it off.
As I stated in my Grandiose is My Indian Name, I’m drawn to the Platonic Ideal more than to the physical actuality. Not that I haven’t enjoyed the physical world. We have it. We damn well should enjoy it. But life is essentially spirit. Whatever that means to someone with a blank space. I guess I’ll find out.