Now, all this is the culmination of a historical process.
Now, there's a whole field of social psychology and psycho history and so on. And there are groups of scholars, like De Maus and others, who seriously claim, and pretty convincingly sometimes, that mental health disorders are culture-bound, they're reflections of the period in history, culture and society.
I largely share some of these sentiments. I think, for example, narcissistic personality disorder, and more generally, narcissistic disorders of character and self, do reflect a modern and postmodern civilization.
And so if this is true, everything that's happening to you as a victim is largely determined or at least heavily influenced by the period in history you live in, culture and society you inhabit, and the technologies you use, which leads me to the metaverse.
Bear with me, as I'm going to close the circle at the end of the video, but we need now to step back and ask ourselves, why this phenomenon of narcissistic abuse? Why narcissistic personality disorder?
These are hallmarks of the 20th century. Why did it come into being, or come to be recognized at least, in their current form in the 20th century? Why not in the 17th century or the 10th century?
And to understand that, I think we need to talk about technology.
And I want to go from the future to the past, the metaverse.
The metaverse Web3 is the future of the Internet. It is an immersive environment. It is an artificial environment. The metaverse is supposedly a universe on the Internet that would provide you with anything you need. All your activities, including work, sex, public ratification, entertainment, all would be catered to fully within an artificial environment, the metaverse.
Now, the metaverse wouldn't be the first time that humans have transitioned from reality to an artificial environment. It is not an unprecedented instance of what I call virtualization.
Now, it's a bit surprising because people think the metaverse is unprecedented. Never happened before. That is not true. Thousands of years ago, there was a process called urbanization.
Urbanization started. It's still ongoing, by the way. Thousands of years ago, urbanization, the move from village or farm to city, the move to cities, the habitation of cities, is called urbanization. Thousands of years ago, urbanization drove millions of people from nature to cities. What are cities? Cities are artificial environments. Cities are virtual environments. They're not natural. Cities are not natural. Cities are not farmland. They're not forests. They're not lakes. They're not habitats or natural habitats. Cities are artificial virtual environments.
The transition from the farm or from the village to the city is the exact equivalent of the transition from reality to the metaverse. Thousands of years ago, urbanization drove millions of people from nature to cities.
Cities are the reification and the quintessence of fantasy rendered in bricks and mortar.
Backpedal to agriculture. Agriculture requires an intimate acquaintance with nature. It requires a relatedness to nature. Agriculture is embedded 100% in nature.
But agriculture also fosters non-narcissistic traits. Agriculture, for example, engenders, encourages the capacity to delay gratification and to prepare for the future.
You put a seed in the ground today, you have to wait a few months until it becomes food or additional seed. This period of waiting trains you to be patient, trains you to observe, to be observant. This period, the inevitable period of waiting, there's nothing you can do about it. It's the natural rhythm of nature. There's nothing good about it. So you develop a capacity to delay gratification and you develop a view of the future. You develop a concept of time and the consequences of your own actions. If you misbehave, you will have nothing to eat. You will go hungry. You need to tolerate adversity and you need to have humility in the face of the elements.
How do we call all these traits and behaviors? Put them together.
This is one word. Maturity. Agriculture forces you to grow up, forces you to be mature, forces you to have traits and qualities that encourage and enhance collaboration with others and with nature, integration with nature.
These are all worthy parameters of human conduct and human character. Agriculture cannot tolerate narcissism. If you're a narcissist in an agricultural society, you're bound to end up as a hungry or a dead narcissist.
The agriculture tolerates no vanity, no egotism, no exploitativeness, no lack of empathy. Agriculture expects you to behave in ways which are conducive to your own benefit as well as to the benefit of all others.
In other words, agriculture is the antonym of narcissism. All these benign traits and behaviors have been lost in the transition to cities.
When people move to dense, non-natural dwellings, they lost all this. They became increasingly more and more narcissistic in a desperate attempt to be noticed, to be seen and to kind of muscle in on scarce resources.
Allocation of scarce resources within cities required ambition, competitiveness, relentlessness, lack of empathy and other traits which are typical of narcissists.
The city had infantilized its inhabitants because it had rendered them dependent on the country. They no longer grew their own food. They had to wait for other people to grow their food for them.
The city had rendered its denizens narcissistic, psychopathic and or codependent. All these malaises, all these diseases are the diseases of modernity starting a few thousands years ago with urbanization.
Megalopolises also precipitated and facilitated the environmental calamities that enshroud the planet today and that threaten our very survival as a species.
Ultimately, cities had created adverse dynamics between genders, between people. Cities led to the disintegration of communities, families, other institutions.
The challenge to authority structures and hierarchies and cities.
All in all, I think as far as the psychology of human beings, cities have been an unmitigated catastrophe, unmitigated disaster. I think also environmentally the adverse outcomes of the metaverse will far outweigh the adverse outcomes wrought by the mass migration to cities.
In other words, the next transition from reality to virtuality is going to be much worse.
The first transition from reality, from nature to the virtual and the artificial, the city had its horrible consequences, most notably the rise of narcissism.
The second transition from cities to the metaverse will have much, much worse outcomes.
The reason is this.
In physical human habitations, societies, institutions and other individuals constrain each other via intricate and ever-evolving webs of checks and balances, not so in cyberspace. Cyberspace is solipsistic, self-sufficient, self-contained, a-social, competitive, self-centered and aggressive.
The transition from nature, from agriculture to the cities, was a transition from communality and benevolence to narcissism. And the transition from the cities to the metaverse will be a transition from narcissism to psychopathy.