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How Toxic Romanticism Ruined Intimacy, Relationships (Interview in Bronson Men)

Uploaded 10/24/2022, approx. 52 minute read

So you say that if people would be more individuated, more conscious of their emotions and more comfortable being alone, a huge percentage of narcissistic abuse would be avoidable.

And if yes, how so?

How do you come to this conclusion?

Narcissist leverage your unresolved conflicts, the leverage your cravings and needs, I've recorded a section about the falsettoism.

Narcissists are absent, exactly like the falsettoism. They are about absence. It is the narcissist's absence that allows you to become anything you want within the narcissistic shared fantasy.

The narcissist lets you idealize yourself and project yourself into him and then lets you see yourself through his gaze and fall in love with yourself in the idealized form.

Any affair with the narcissist is autoerotic, is masturbatory, is self-love, self-infatuation and self-limage because there's nobody there. The narcissist doesn't exist. It's a shape shifting void. It's a simulation of a human being and not a very good one at that.

So clearly you're interacting with yourself, you're in a hole of mirrors.

But people tend to self-deceive because they have no boundaries, because they're terrified that if they don't please others, something horrible may happen. This is called catastrophizing. Because they have been wounded in childhood and they need to be wounded again and again and again because they've learned to identify pain with love.

The narcissist gives you all these services, free of charge, often, gives you all these things.

The narcissist is a pathological playground or a playground for your pathologies.

And so healthy people, after a while, a short while, they would walk away. They would never bond with the narcissist or a touch. They would not fall for the idealization phase. They would not want to see themselves idealized with a narcissist gaze because they've had a functional childhood with a loving mother.

They don't need to be loved again as an idealized baby. They don't have to replay. They don't need to have a second chance at life.

The narcissist comes to you and says, if you give me your life, I will give you a second chance at life.

As we said, a Faustian deal.

So I realize all your wishes and make all your broken dreams come true. I will heal you. I will mend you. I'll put you back together. And I will put you back together in a much better version of yourself. I will better you. I'm the path to improvement. I'm the path, I'm the progressive path.

All you have to do is promise to give me full control over your life. Promise me to let me own your life. You just need to be owned and then I will take care of all the rest.

Now, this is of course the implicit or the explicit contract between people and dictators. The dictator sends a similar message. All you have to do is give me full control and then you don't need to worry about anything. You will have no responsibility. You will never be guilty for anything because all the decisions are mine. You're going to suspend both your disbelief and your agency. By doing this, you will also get rid of shame and guilt and responsibility and accountability. These are burdens.

Jean-Paul Sartre said that the reason for angst, the reason for the existential type of anxiety is because you're forced to make choices. He said, in life you have to make choices. You have to choose.

And this is very, it creates anxiety, very sounds.

The dictator and the narcissist, who is a cult, narcissist is a leader of a cult. Thank you very much.

A narcissist is a dictator. Only his kingdom is new, the intimate partner.

So the dictatorial message, the authoritarian messages, if you stop to, if you suspend your being, you will gain happiness or at least you will avoid negative emotions like guilt and shame.

And it's an irresistible proposition in a world which fosters anxiety, negative affectivity, envy, hatred, rage, anger. It's in a world that constantly provokes you to feel bad. Here I come and tell you, give me your life, give me control over you. And I guarantee you that you will never feel bad again. Even if you wish, I will, you can regard me as a reflecting pond or a mirror and you can see in me whatever you want. So why not?

So people fall for this time and again. We have a democratic wave which lasts 30 years and then people fall for it again. We go from one relationship, relationship which lasts seven years and we fall into another one, which is a replica of, we learn nothing because learning is, is not involved in this process. It's far more basic, it's far more primitive, it's atavistic and also parks back to early childhood.

Then all this self-help industry and psychology and the above, they will teach you. You can learn from your experience. You can learn from your experience on how to make coffee. Yes, maybe.

Many people don't even manage this, but you absolutely cannot learn from your experience when it comes to your relationships, to your psychological dynamics, to mistakes that you make in life, to wrong mate selection, to bizarre choices, to self-destructiveness.

So there's no learning in any of this.

So what is the path of recovery if there is any?

There's no recovery also and that is why people don't like what I have to say.


The question about recovery is an American question. Americans think that every problem has a solution and every disease is a cure. So they were pissed off that there wasn't a cure for COVID immediately. Why should I put a mask? You should find a solution for me.

The truth, the sad truth about life and reality is that extremely few problems have solutions. Most problems do not have solutions and most diseases don't have a cure.

What happens to you gradually is you get habituated so you suffer less or you avoid. So you have a bad relationship and then the second bad relationship you suffer less and then maybe you will say I'm not going to have relationships again and you'll remain with Netflix and two cats and that's the rest of your life. That's the truth. 31% of adults in the industrialized world have chosen to not have relationships. They're lifelong singles.

Gradually this is becoming more and more common. People are atomized, they are self-sufficient, technology allows them to need no one so they don't need anyone and they close the doors and they disappear into their own bubbles. This is a practical way to cope.

But to say I've had one bad relationship with a narcissist, now I know how to identify a narcissist, how to avoid a narcissist, how to manage a narcissist, how this is counterfactual. That is not true. You didn't end up with a narcissist because you didn't know things, because there was a lack of learning or some ignorance. You ended up with a narcissist because this is who you are. There is no such thing as a bad partner. No such thing as a bad partner. Every partner, never mind how bad, is responsive to your psychological needs. Otherwise they would not become your partner, end of story.

So that brings me to another question about the responsibility of the victims.

I'm not answering anything before I have my coffee. Let's go.

Do you want to put it on pause? No. We're drinking coffee live. It's performance.

You notice my boundary setting, assertiveness.

Wonderful. Healthy, healthy. I was very healthy.

I know we're men.

We're not supposed to men.to men. Let's see. It's something.

We're switching gender roles here.

Right.

It's very feminine coffee. We'll see.

I didn't cook the coffee. I'm just serving it.

Yeah, yeah. Here's the six years old.

You don't want coffee?

No, no, just for you. Okay.

You're welcome.

The only time I become nearly religious is when I drink coffee.

There must be a God.

There's a question for your spirituality later on.

There must be a God who has created this.

Well, if he created coffee, then he created everything. Let's see.

I'm not sure about everything, but we definitely must have created coffee.

Okay. He just jumped in to do the coffee bit, right? Anything you guys need, you don't have coffee.

Don't forget the tip.

Yeah.

Where were we?

Okay.

So this was live, you know, the follows.

Coffee service by a man in Budapest.

So anyway, about the responsibility of victims. Do they have any, because remember you saying once you're in the net, there's not much you can do, but then you also talk, it's a really beautiful and inspiring monologue of yours about individuating. And yes, there is a certain kind of hope that you're not definitely going to be drowning in the well.

So where's the truth?

When I said there's no learning and there's no solution, it simply means that you cannot approach the same situation or recreate the same situation and expand, expect a different outcome because you will have gained some knowledge before.

In other words, knowledge and learning will not change the outcome of identical situations. End of story.

However, you can work on yourself rather than work on other people or for example, to say from now on, I'm going to choose partners who are not narcissists. That is the wrong orientation. That is outward orientation.

You must never attempt to change the environment. Not even your actions in the environment. This is wrong orientation. The only thing you can change if efficaciously to some extent is yourself. You should change yourself. Naturally, what will follow is different choices, different outcomes, and so on.


Sure.

Now some of the self-help industry tell you to change yourself, but the orientation is still outward. Like I will change myself in order to make more money, or I will change myself in order to choose the right mate. And this is still outward orientation.

If you are goal oriented in the process of self-improvementals or self-change, this is an orientation which will guarantee failure. The only reason to improve yourself is yourself. Nothing external, not money, not work, not other people, not your mates, not your children, not your nation, none of us, only you.

So victims are not responsible because responsibility implies an interaction with an external entity of some kind. You're responsible to the state, you're responsible to your children. So they're not responsible for anything, but they would do well to work on themselves without any goal in mind.

And one of the things they can do is they can individually. They need to work on separation and then become who they were meant to become. This can be done, there are techniques, well-known techniques, they work well, and so on and so forth.

But here we come again across hindrance or an impediment. People are terrified of separating. We live in a society where people are enmeshed, enmeshment is the common form of relationship management.

Enmeshment can be in many forms, it can be financial, it can be emotional, but there's always some form of enmeshment going on.

People seek to merge and fuse. And this is the outcome of the wrong messaging sent by the Romantic movement in the 19th century. Up until the 19th century, the concept of love and relationships was transactional on the one hand, but was much healthier in many other ways.

The Romantic movement starting more or less in the beginning, at the beginning of the 19th century, and more or less in Germany, of course, where else, and then spread to the United Kingdom, this Romantic movement broadcast to you, said to you that if you don't experience a highly specific type of love, it's not love. And this highly specific type of love requires your disappearance, requires your annulment or even annihilation and reappearance or rebirth through the agency of the loved one.

So it was a highly religious approach to love, because it was the story of Jesus Christ.

You needed to crucify yourself so that you can be resurrected through your love and the loved one. He was your agent of liberation and so on.

And this is, we got stuck with this. We got stuck with this.

And so today, Romantic love is about murder and fusion.

And so people are terrified if you come to someone, when you need to learn to separate, you need to learn to individuate, you need to learn to put firm boundaries and healthy boundaries, you need to impose them firmly, but not aggressively. You need to be hidden or the implicit messages, you need to be left, you need to stay alone. You need to be lonely, which is of course not true, yes, but they don't dare to go there, because they're terrified that the end result will be left alone.

So they prefer dysfunctional, hurtful, damaging relationships to the alternative of being a strong person, but a lonely one.

And he didn't tell the extensions of the Romantic movement. For example, Nietzsche broadcast exactly the same message.

Nietzsche said, if you heal yourself, if you become a Superman, but then you will be alone. He said, loneliness or aloneness prove that you are now a Superman.

So the message was, there are two options. Either you're weakling, spineless, societally controlled idiot, and then you have relationships and, or you work on yourself, you work, you work on a new morality, you evolve, next stage in evolution, you become a Superman, but then you're alone. That means you will never have a relationship.

That was a message of Nietzsche. There was a message of Kierkegaard actually.

Kierkegaard said you, if you want to, to attain happiness or you need to make a leap of faith. Kierkegaard was religious. He suggested God as the alternative.

You need to make a leap of faith.

But Kierkegaard said that a leap of faith would put you apart from humanity.

The first thing Kierkegaard did after he wrote about a leap of faith, he went to his fiance and he said, I cannot marry you. I'm sorry, I'm calling off the engagement because I discovered a new principle of a leap of faith and it requires that I be alone.

And then you have the existentialist who told you that man is alone. Man has the need, the condition of being human is that you need to make choices and so on, alone. No one can help you. You need to be authentic. And authentic means to set yourself apart from society, totally apart, to never emulate any role, to never fulfill expectations of other people.

So in other words, for 150 years, the message that we're receiving from philosophy, from religion, from you name it, the message is either you work on yourself, you improve yourself, you evolve as a human being, grow and develop, but then you must be alone. Or you give in and give up.

And that would guarantee your integration in society, but you have to, the price is, you're struggling.

Right, but then this would say, in the contrast is so extreme, that this would mean that there's no such thing as a healthy relationship because you're either dependent or completely autonomous and there's no middle ground.

Which clearly there is, I mean, for some people there is.

The wrong message of all these disciplines was that relationships require not compromise or negotiation, but sacrifice. The core word that underlay all relationships was sacrifice. And that is a religious thing, of course. So that's why I'm saying the model was Jesus. In a relationship, you need to sacrifice something, something small, big, but it's based on sacrifice.

Well, of course, a good relationship is not based on giving, it's based on taking. No, that's a no-no. You're not supposed to say this. This is selfish. This is narcissistic. This is entitled. You're not supposed to say this, but a good relationship is not about giving. It's about taking.

And what do you take? You take the separateness of your partner.

Good relationships are based on pushing the loved one away, not on merging with the loved one. A good mother pushes her child away. If she doesn't push her child away, he will never separate. He will never become an individual and never be happy in his entire life. He will be stunted. He will be a narcissist.

I don't know why. A mother's main role, main number one, and two and three is to push the child away.

All our love relationships are recreations of the primordial maternal interaction. Our role within relationships is to push the other away.

When we push the other away, we allow that other person separateness, boundaries, and self-actualization of potential. We give the other person the impetus to walk away into new experiences and to develop, to evolve.

But we are told exactly the opposite. We are told that in relationships, we should pull the partner towards us. We should give all the time, actually bribe, bribe the partner. It's corruption. These are corrupt relationships.

What should we take from good relationships?

We should take the partner's separateness. The partner's partner goes out to the world and brings the world to us. His separateness guarantees the richness of the relationship. The partner contributes her private non-couple experiences to the couple. And each partner takes these experiences.

It's all about taking. It's like the two partners go out to the world and bring the world to the table, and then each one of them takes the other's experiences.

They share, basically.

It's sharing, but it's sharing that is based essentially on taking.

So how has been true intimacy created then in this situation?

There is nothing more intimate than having access to another person's experience. Nothing more intimate. Even sex is an experience.

So when done properly, it is the most intimate, the pinnacle of intimacy. When done wrongly, then it can separate, actually.

So we see, for example, that the attitude to sex today is wrong because sex is cast as giving.

So when we interview women who participate in casual sex and one-night stands and we ask them, what were you doing there?

They say they wanted to give to the partner, to the male partner, even in one-night stands. They wanted to give to the male partner.

And so even this is based on giving. It's a wrong orientation, but none of this can be said out loud. None of us, no mainstream media will publish this. No one will think of it. Even you will be, you will lose your job and your tenure as a professor. None of it.

There's enormous censorship everywhere. Enormous censorship everywhere. And you could ask, why? Why would we send the censors to speak?

Because the concept of giving is intimately linked to consumerism. It's a capitalist concept.

The concept of taking is essentially free agency.

So in the concept of giving, the partners consume each other. They become each other's commodity.

You know, it's like, what can you give me? Why should I stay in this relationship? What am I getting out of it? You know, it's a transactional attitude of you're a product to me and I'm a product to you. And we both consume each other. It's integrated in the psychology and philosophy of consumerism. So consequently, if you offer an alternative model, you would be undermining the foundations of capitalism.

Capitalism started off, I'm sorry, I'm meandering all over the place, but it's interesting to link all this together.

Capitalism started off, capitalism started in probably, if you want to go very far, let's say in the 13th century, the 13th century, there was a new arrangement, new group of states or pseudo states. And they created something called Sulfurine. Sulfurine was a regional custom area, exactly like the European Union. And the Sulfurine included the Baltic states and Netherlands, today's Netherlands and so on, so forth.

And so because there was a unified customs area, trade flourished and exploded and required finance. In come the Jews and the Lombards and so on, so forth. And they opened the first banks.

Marco Polo used a bank. When he was traveling, he used a bank. He had checks, the equivalent of today, you know, checks.

Anyway, so capitalism initially was about facilitating exchange of goods and services via common means of exchange. It had no philosophy behind it. None. None says capitalism is gold, capitalism is bad. There were alternative methods of economic organization and they were perfectly acceptable and they co-existed and they were not competing. There were no politics attached to any of this.

But then capitalism got poisoned and corrupted. It started with the Industrial Revolution.

The concept of growth, economic growth was introduced into capitalism. And capitalism became focused on securing economic growth, more or less in the 18th century.

You read Ricardo, you read Smith. They begin to discuss economic growth. Why is growth bad?

The concept of growth is very poisonous, very toxic. Why?

Because in order to secure growth, you must increase consumption all the time. So consumption became the organizing principle of economics. And together with it, there was a new ideology intended to interpolate.

Interpolation was a concept invented by Louis Althusser, who was a neo-Marxist philosopher.

And Althusser said the advertising industry is intended to interpolate us, intended to push us to consume.

And this was the birth of consumerism.

Create needs, right?

Create artificial needs in us via essentially brainwashing.

And there was Guy Debord and many other philosophers, but the main one was Althusser.

And so consumerism became the ideology of consumption, which became the foundational pillar of corrupted malignant capitalism.

I'm a capitalist by conviction. No misunderstand. But this is malignant capitalism.

But you can't in human psychology, you can't entertain more than one organizing principle at a time. That's a maxim in psychology.

If you have an organizing principle, you will apply it everywhere.

Just to explain what is an organizing principle. An organizing principle is a way to interpret life and reality so that it gives you a sense of meaning, purpose, direction, goal orientation, and makes sense of the world. This is called an organizing principle.

When you have an organizing principle, you can't entertain two because they would automatically compete.

The minute people adopted consumerism as an ideology, an organizing principle, they applied it everywhere and they applied it to relationships, of course. And so they converted, they objectified their intimate partners and rendered them products.

Consumption had infiltrated human relations and then took over human relations.

And today we consume each other, like commodities.

And the minute you consume, the minute you consume each other, it's about what you give me. It's about giving. What do you give me? What can you give me? Why should I stay in this relationship?

And so the threshold of tolerance in relationship collapsed.

My grandmother would have tolerated a lot from my grandfather. I'm not talking about abuse.

There doesn't have to be abuse. Certain traits, certain quirks, certain personality, idiosyncrasies. She would have tolerated much more.

But if it's all about consumption, what can you give me? You're just a product, then I will change to version 14 of you or I'll replace you with Android. You're an iPhone, I'll replace you with Android.

So the level of tolerance in relationship collapsed completely. It was her trigger to replace bubbles.

A better problem. And we need to go back. We need to go back and de-commoditize people.

Stop regarding people as products.

And the only way to do this is to separate. The only way for me not to see you as a product, not to see you as a source of giving, is to realize that you are separate from me and to let you separate.

How to do that? Push you away.

There's no other way. I push you away. I give you personal space. I give you personal time. I give you the opportunity to explore, to develop. And you will be so grateful to me that your love will increase and you will come back to me and share with me the new riches that you had found.

The Marco Polo. Your Marco Polo travels. And this would make our togetherness even more flourishing and wonderful.

And Rumi said it long before me, when he said that if you want the bird, you should set her free.

That's exactly what came to my mind.

Also, there's a guy here that's trying to tune us up.

Just for you to understand, the only word I got was again.

What they're saying is that we need to vacate the room. They need to vacate. We can continue in another office if we want. Is that okay with you?

I'm not telling anything off because I discovered that people like to have a view behind the scenes.

Okay, now they will.

You're the audience.

Do you find what we're talking about interesting?

Yeah, that's pretty vast.

Are we going to consume the coffee because it's free and then we don't know there's some no, maybe with the water and coffee, but the rest is okay.

So here we are moving to another room.

You can see my neck because this is my neck. It looks much better than my face might do.

Thank you. Sorry.

Okay, so for this, that is the room.

We are your guests. We are sorry that we are bothering you. It's a beautiful fireplace.

Okay, so that was a nice deep dive into relationships and capitalism and exchange.

I don't know. I like to connect things. I think one of the major problems of today is that people remain pigeonholed. They never connect things, but everything affects everything.

Philosophy affects economics, economics affects relationships. Everything is interconnected. We just pretend that we are isolated. We are never isolated.

Also, I think pop culture is brainwashing us into this enmeshed, I can't leave without you or the air that I breathe, you know, all these wonderful TV love songs. There are hymns of codependence. So no wonder people.

Of course, mass culture always reflects mores and conventions of the time. It's never deviant. It's never revolutionary. So it always reflects the current thinking.

So mainstream culture.

Mass culture. I'm not talking about subcultures. You always have subcultures where the revolutionary ferment starts, but the mainstream and so on.

But you know, this 18th century, 19th century, you had similar songs. So they were not on radio or something, but they had similar songs. Troubadours.

We'll be jumping around subjects, which I think are important, going a little bit back to narcissistic abuse.

And then when you realize you are in that situation and you have given perhaps a full interpretation, 360 degree interpretation to when you know you go, there's no real, there's no saving, there's no really saving the situation.

Why is this no contact rule which you have defined so important and what does it mean in its fullness?

No contact is not.

People say my grandmother invented no contact, not you, because my grandmother walked out on my grandfather. What good for your grandmother, but that's not no contact. No contact is a set of 27 strategies, which all together are intended to totally insulate you from any dimension and vector of narcissistic abuse.

Narcissistic abuse is a chimera, it's a hydra. It's like water. It would find a path of least resistance.

So if you block one area, it will come through, you block the door, it comes through the window, you block the window, it'll come from under the floors. You need to block everything.

So there's 27 strategies on how to do that. And you must implement all of them simultaneously and uncompromisingly. It's about keeping the narcissists away from you and away from anyone who matters to you.

And if there's no other choice, because for example, you have children together or something working only through intermediaries. So he's allowed to talk only to your lawyer or to your accountant. And they have instructions on how to filter his messages. So they should get rid of all the emotional side and so they should just convey.

So it requires training professionals around you. And it's a lot of work. No contact is a lot of work. It's not just walking away.

There's another issue, of course, you can get rid of the narcissist or the narcissist much more often get rid of you. But he's still in your mind. You have an introject of the narcissist, you have his voice in your mind, speaks to you.

There is a period of prolonged grief after the narcissist is gone because you are grieving multiple dimensions and aspects of the relationship. You're grieving him, of course, you are grieving the broken dream, the shared fantasy. You're bringing grieving yourself through his gaze. You will never see yourself again the same way. You are grieving who you could have been or you could have become had you not met him. The damage is enormous. So you're grieving this, etc.

So there are so many aspects of grief that in most cases the grief is phenomenal. Prolonged grief syndrome has been just included in the DSM and there's a text revision of the DSM published a few weeks ago and they included finally prolonged grief syndrome. It's being engraved for a period longer than one year. That's prolonged grief.

All relationships with narcissists end with prolonged grief. I have never, I haven't come across a single exception and not only is it prolonged grief, but you continue to interact with the introject of the narcissist in your mind and you can't shut it off. There's no effective way to shut it off. There's no effective way to shut it off because the narcissist creates a mind mesh.

Because he actually is upset, he's able to infiltrate you. He's able to render you the totality of the relationship. So because there's nobody there, you kind of flow into all the spaces of the relationship. You invent the narcissist.

I'm trying to, how to communicate absence is very difficult. You invent the narcissist. There's nobody there ever. There was never anybody there. This is something the victims must understand. You were not chosen because there was no one there to choose you. You were not special because there was no one there to appreciate your specialness. There was nobody there. It's an absence. It's a void. It's a howling. It's a black hole, but exactly like a black hole around the black hole, all the objects are affected by the black hole's gravity.

So similarly, you change your trajectory. You change your mass. You become a different type of object. It is his absence that shapes you.

And because normal, healthy human beings don't know how to cope with absence, you invent him. You simply come up with him. He is, in other words, a figment of your mind.

And so because it is you interacting with you, then you can get rid of you. The only option, it seems, to get rid of the narcissist in your mind is to go out of your mind. Your mind is gone, and he's gone.

Otherwise, no, it's an infestation. He's in all empty spaces. He's in all spaces of your mind.


Another solution, which is a little more benign than going out of your mind, is to separate an individual. That's another solution. That's a lengthy and super difficult process because it's very frightening.

Separation, you need to separate not from any real person, but you need to separate from maternal introjects in your mind. You need to separate from your mind. Elements of your mind, known as introjects, you need to separate from them.

And then once you have separated from them, you need to become something distinct from them.

It feels a lot like developing schizophrenia or multiple personality. For a while, it feels that way.

But at the end of this process, you will have gone through something known as constellation or integration. All the elements of your mind come together, and they form a unity, which is then known as the authentic self.

Most victims of narcissists have deficiencies and deficits in separation and individuation.

Narcissists takes advantage of this, and he forces them to merge, of use and mesh.

And so you need to reverse the process.

So basically, if you try to put a positive spin on this, coming out of such an abusive situation is a chance for you to be reborn or return to your original self.

It's a growth-inducing experience if you handle it properly.

So some victims will tell you it was a blessing because I changed. I grew up, I became mature, now I have boundaries, I discovered myself. It's a small minority of victims, but these victims were because they had a much bigger healthy core.

This healthy core protected them.

But many, many victims don't have this.

So what a narcissist does, he regresses you. The minute you meet, you come across a narcissist and you become his intimate partner. He regresses you to early childhood. He becomes your mother, as we said. So he regresses you to early childhood and he leaves you stuck at an infantile stage. You're an infant.

When narcissist is gone, you're an infant.

And you need to grow again. You have to go through all this process again.

We've talked about a bit of spirituality before, and I was wondering, I've watched many, many other videos, not at all, it's impossible, but do you have any spiritual quality of aspect of your life? Have you had any metaphysical experience during your life, during your life journey?

Or?

Luckily, I didn't take the smart one. You know, I once gave an interview and there was a guy there and he asked me, so what do you think about consciousness? I said, I don't know. I don't know what he's conscious.

No, no, no. But what do you think about? I can't think about something, I don't know, which I cannot define. It's not in the absence of terminology, there's no meaningful discourse.

Similarly, I have no idea what is spiritual. So it would be very difficult to answer your question.

If by spiritual you mean non-scientific or non-irrational or illogical or something, I don't engage in such things. I don't have time, I'm 62.

If by spiritual you mean religious, then of course I don't engage in this. Religion is an institutional practice, and religion is a particularly poisonous, toxic and abominable institution in all its forms, no religion accepted.

So definitely I don't engage in this. It leaves, if I push people who claim to be spiritual, spiritual, if I push them to define it, they would have an extremely, and so finally they revert to vague generalization.

It's something I cannot explain, it's a personal experience, it's a mystical experience, it's an oceanic feeling.

Okay, nice, very nice. I don't do this. I do this when I write poetry. I wrote award-winning poetry. This I do when I write poetry or fiction, not when I give an interview about rigorous disciplines such as science or even pseudosciences like psychology.

There's no place for indeterminate phrases like spirituality or consciousness or even God. Even God is ill-defined. That's the best I can do to answer.

I adhere to the scientific method. Of course it requires faith. You have to have faith in something. So some people have faith in God. I have faith in reason. It's unsubstantiated. There's no way to prove that it works. I mean it works in reality but there's no way to prove that it's always correct.

So it requires a leap of faith. My faith is reason and rationality.

Some other people's faith is Allah or God or whatever. That's it.

Okay, thank you.


Is feeling empathy towards a narcissist a dangerous luxury no one can really afford?

A narcissist is a vector of destruction. The equivalent I think of a virus or a hurricane is a force of nature because we're all part of nature.

The distinction between human and natural is of course idiotic, counterfactual. We're all part of nature. This tray and this kettle, they're natural, totally natural because everything humans create is natural because they're part of nature. A beaver builds a dam. The dam is natural.

So everything is natural. The narcissist is a part of nature and exactly like other destructive vectors should be avoided.

I don't know the last time I read about something who empathizes with viruses or has great sympathy for hurricanes and I don't understand why would anyone empathize with narcissists or there is the underlying presumption or assumption that narcissists are human and that leads to a very complicated issue known as the intersubjectivity agreement.

I'll try to summarize it in two or three sentences even if you don't want me.

I'm a narcissist. I don't care.

So I'll try to summarize in a few sentences.

How do I know that you are human? How do I know that you're human?

I have no access to a mind. I have access only to one mind and even that is very limited and that mind is mine.

I have no access to a mind and even much worse. I have no way to prove or disprove that you have a mind.

So I'm forced to rely on your self-reporting but there's a problem there. Self-reporting is mediated by a language.

When you say red and I say red we can objectively agree on a frequency which corresponds to red but there's no way for you to communicate to me your inner experience of the color red.

So what we do we create a deception? The biggest deception by the way which underlies all other deceptions.

This deception is known as empathy. It's a deception.

The philosophical term for empathy is intersubjective agreement. Intersubjective agreement relies on a set of underlying assumptions.

One because you look like me outwardly you are like me. Of course immediately you can see it's a nonsensical claim.

In a hundred years time there would be robots or androids or humanoids or I don't know what you want to call them who would look exactly like you.


The second underlying assumption is because you look like me and you are me according to assumption number one your inner processes are identical to my inner processes. I have no way to substantiate this.

And the third assumption is because of all the above your experience of your inner processes is identical to my experience of my inner processes. All these are of course idiotic assumptions and the intersubjective agreement is an idiotic agreement.

Empathy is another word for a set of behaviors and experiences that emanate from the intersubjective agreement.

Empathy has three components reflexive, cognitive and emotional and supposedly empathy develops as we age starting at the very early age as we age and then finally we reach the pinnacle of emotional empathy.

But empathy is never about you. Empathy is always about me. Even if I were to possess empathy and I'm proud to say that I don't, even if I were to possess empathy it would still be about me and not about you. And the reason it would always be about me is that I have no access to you. I have no idea who you are. I don't know what's going on in your mind. I cannot describe. I know nothing about you zero. How could I empathize with you? I empathize with my projections. That's what I empathize with. It's about me. It's always about me.

Empathy in other words is by far the most narcissistic act by far. It is totally solipsistic. It's totally isolated from other people. It's assuming for you how you must be feeling. Telling you what are your inner experiences and reacting as if I'm right. I'm always right.

When I empathize with you I'm always right.

Because empathy is supposed to be non-verbal or pre-verbal. I'm always right.

I will not go now into academic analysis of empathy and so on and so forth. It is not an accident that empathy was invented by Germans. I'm not kidding you. The concept of empathy was invented by Germans.

Empathizing with the narcissist has two problems. The narcissist does not exist. It's a force of nature. It's largely inanimate. The narcissist has no internal processes, actually.

Therefore, empathizing with the narcissist, even if it were possible, which I claim that is impossible, but even if it were possible, would be empathizing with a non-entity.

And that is definitely agreed by everyone to be nonsensical. But even if the narcissist were an entity, empathizing with the narcissist implies that empathy is possible. And I'm saying that empathy is a line, a deception that we all engage in. Pretending that we have knowledge or access to other people, which we don't ever. Not in the least. Not even one percent. Not even zero one percent. Nothing. Zero. I know nothing about you. I have no idea if you're not a robot.

Nor can I prove it or disprove it. Nothing. I have to rely on yourself. Reporting and the fact that you look like me. Well, you don't look like me. I don't want to insult you, but you're not much better.

So it's basically a false simulation of the other person.

We would not have survived. Had we not invented these deceptions, these fantasies, these lies, we would not have survived.

The religion, for example, is a must deception.

But still, it does regulate social interactions to some extent. It does modulate psychological processes to some extent. It has some value. So we engage in it.

Empathy is a lie, is a deception. End of story. But we accept it. We engage in it.

If I were to talk to you strictly as a clinical psychologist, anyone who believes that a Jew was the son of God, died and then rose from the dead, has delusional disorder and must be treated urgently with medication. Anyone.

But we don't dare to say this because there is value in religion. Political value and economic value, of course, a lot of money, but also social value. It's social capital of some kind.

Same with empathy.

But also that's taking metaphors work to work, which is simply not a theory.

Christians believe that Jesus really was the son of God and really rose from the dead.

If you go to a Christian, a true Christian, angelic, for example, and tell them that he's a metaphor, he will tell you that you are sacrilegious and you are blaspheming.

Even in Catholicism, the Eucharist, the wafer and the wine, they don't symbolize or represent the flesh and blood of Jesus. They become the flesh and blood of Jesus.

This process is called transubstantiation.

Yes. Well, cannibalism is. Exactly.

In the church.

Okay. Let's go for one last one.


What have we missed out on something that's important?

Take a time.

But I love the sound of my voice. Plus, the view is magnificent.

Both views.

Yeah, this is important.

When you discuss narcissism, narcissistic abuse in their behavior, so you talk about clinically diagnosed people, but many of us meet people who are somewhere on this spectrum, maybe higher or lower.

How much of this content of your advice is interpretable in these situations? We don't know.

Many people are not clinically diagnosed.

Here, two scholars, the authorities of the New Question, one of them is Lynn Sperry and the other one is Theodore Millon. Both Sperry and Millon suggested that we should distinguish between narcissistic style, narcissistic personality, or also known as narcissistic personality organization and narcissistic personality disorder.

Narcissistic style is being an a-hole, being a jerk. So many people are like that. They're obnoxious. They're arrogant. They're not malignant. They don't have the pernicious effect, the bad effects that I'm describing in my world.

Similarly, very few people with narcissistic style, which is the next phase, next level. Narcissistic style simply means that your misbehaviors would characterize all your interactions in all fields of life. They will not be limited, let's say, to the workplace or to intimate relationships, but they will be who you are. Even there, only a small minority would have such a horrible impact on the lives of their nearest and dearest.

Only people with narcissistic personality disorder have this, have manifested these outcomes. That's why a lot of the content online is rubbish. A lot of it. You had a fight with your husband. He's a narcissist. It's a lot of it is rubbish.

Many, if not, I would say almost all, the self-styled experts and their self-styled dogs are wrong, often wrong, catastrophically wrong. It reached the point where a group of academics felt the need to go public on the Washington Post and say that we should ignore, and I was not among them, they said that we should ignore everything online on Gaslight because all of it is wrong. Let's not stand back, let's Washington Post and preeminent scholars and so on. We are terrified in academia and teaching in universities and so on, teaching in the outreach program of the SIAS consortium of universities, which include, among others, Harvard and Princeton, you know, minor universities.

So I'm in touch with all this, with this milieu, international conferences. We are terrified of what's happening. Terrified. Every concept has been corrupted beyond recognition. Every clinical entity has been utterly demolished by nonsense.

And you have people with academic degrees in psychology who go online and declare themselves to be experts on narcissism, and yet the only thing they've ever published was about receptivityvaccines. That's the only record of anything they've ever published.

And yet they claim to be experts on narcissism. We have people online who, with academic degrees, who have never, ever participated in any international conference on Cluster B personality disorder, and yet they claim to be experts.

This is really bad, what's happening on top.

But I'm also angry at my colleagues, because they won't go on YouTube. It's beneath them. You know, they don't dirty their hands. They remain stuck in academia. Ivory tower. At least I dirty my hands. I go online, I go online, and I try to find this tsunami of misinformation and disinformation and nonsense and victimhood identity. But it's hopeless, of course. I'm tilting at windmills. There's no way to stop this, to stem this type. And anyone who tries is de-ranked by the YouTube algorithm, because the victimhood guys, or narcissists, they get a lot more traffic and generate a lot more advertising for YouTube. So YouTube tends to encourage, foster, and disseminate misinformation and disinformation.

Had YouTube and the likes, social platforms, not been subjected to political pressure, to this very day, you would have conspiracy theories, terrorism videos, and so on, on these platforms, because they bring a lot of traffic and they can monetize the eyeballs.

No one puts pressure on YouTube to, to ban or block channels with wrong information about narcissism. They put a lot of pressure to ban and block Donald Trump. So he was banned and blocked, but that's a result of political pressure.

For most of the businesses of YouTube, there were open channels of ISIS on YouTube with decapitation videos for years, for years, for years, at least.

Only huge pressure to get rid ofDavid Icke was on YouTube for well over 10 years. Alex Jones was on YouTube and elsewhere with Sandy Hook conspiracies and so on for well over eight years. So they have no incentive.

On the contrary, they have incentive to have the kind of toxic, venomous, poisonous, destructive content that attracts viewership because they monetize it by selling advertising. And so we don't send a chance, even if all the academics in there, by the way, if you go online, for kidding you know, I saw videos by Kohut with 2000 views, that I saw videos by Kernberg, the biggest number of views was 20,000. I saw videos by Campbell, who is the current authority on study, experimental studies of narcissism with Sean Twench and so on. Campbell got the biggest, the highest number I've seen was half a million, but most of his videos were like 70,000, 20,000, 10,000. No one watches these people. They are the authorities. No one watches them, humans, many. No one watches them. They want to watch.

Once I mentioned Kernberg in one of my videos and a woman wrote to me, Kernberg really has no idea what he's talking about. He should watch some videos by Romani. I'm kidding or not. I invented most of the language and I invented many of the diagnoses in use today, for example, inverted narcissist.

The main test for covert narcissism is built on my work. I mean, I can show you references after the session and yet I'm receiving comments. You have no idea about inverted narcissism. You are getting it all. It's a diagnosis I invented here. You're getting it all wrong. You should watch less, or worse. This is how bad it is.

So it's a loss fight, exactly like misinformation about vaccines or missing conspiracy theories and so on.

People despise expertise, reject authority, want nothing to do with anything establishment and anything institutional.

The irony is no one can be less establishment than me. I'm a rebel. I do time in prison, if you wish, call me criminal. No problem. You're a punk. I'm a punk. I'm an antisocial. I'm everything.

And yet I'm now, because I have a title, professor in front of my name, I'm now the establishment. I'm punished for being the establishment.

Is it maybe also simply people wish to have very simple and easy answers? Not really, because science does provide simpler.

For example, if you have COVID, you should get the vaccine. It's extremely simple, but they don't want anything to do with institutions, experts, authorities and so on.

This is a rebellion against the foundations of civilization. There's a wish to undermine and destroy the foundations of civilization because there is a perception that civilization has left many people behind and does not provide the solutions anymore or that civilization is out of control.

Like why do we need physics? We ended up with nuclear weapons. Okay. So physics is nice, but now we can all die because crazy Putin would drop nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

But maybe we should, maybe we would have been better off not having smartphone, but not dying.

You know, there is an emulator. We mismanaged as elites as members of the elites. We mismanaged a lot. We mismanaged world peace. We mismanaged technology. We mismanaged science. We did a bad job.

Women today have every right to get rid of men because men misangled and mismanaged history for long enough, I think.

It is not an accident that not a coincidence that feminism started to its ascendance after the Crimean war, the war in Crimea, which was a botched war, horrible war for Florence Nightingale and so on.

And of course, exploded after the first and second world war when it was evident how stupid men are and how they can't do anything right.

So women said, the hell with it, we're taking over. And of course, they're taking over. Men just, men are fighting back, but we don't realize they lost the war. We are headed to a matriarchy.

So common average people, they say, we don't trust anymore. Doctors, scientists and so on, because the same people who gave us smartphones gave us nuclear weapons. And the same people who gave us vaccines gave us thalidomide or other medication that killed, killed people.

I mean, we can't trust anymore, anyone.

Also, there is a presumption, just not far from the truth, that money corrupted everything irrevocably and inextricably. I know it from the DSM. The DSM is utterly corrupted by money, utterly corrupted by money. I don't trust the DSM. I don't trust the DSM. I now resort to the ICD, which is the alternative to the DSM in the rest of the world.

The DSM in the United States is a product of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. It's heavily corrupted by money.

So there is this corruption that you can buy anything, and that you can't trust anything, because, you know, who paid for it behind the scenes, or directly?

Most tobacco studies were financed by the tobacco industry, the tobacco industry. So should we believe other studies about other issues? I don't know.

Even I don't know. In other words, we've entered the age of distrust. It's the age of distrust.

In this environment, it's very easy for con artists. Anyone who claims to be an expert on narcissism and published nothing about narcissism and did not participate in any international conference on narcissism is a con artist.

And I don't care how many PhDs he or she has. It's a con artist. It's a crook.

So there is open space for crooks and con artists and crazy people, reptiles, and I don't know what else.

So it's getting worse, worse and worse, because people, as an act of rebellion, even, they say, in your face, I'm going to believe that reptiles came from another planet and became Queen Elizabeth. I'm going to believe that, not because I believe that, but because it's my way of showing kind of resistance, that's my way of showing.

So people are adopting irrational positions, account positions, conspiracy theories, not always because they truly believe, but because this is the last stand. This is the last, the only remaining way to fight the encroaching establishment.

The state, a typical nation state, a hundred years ago, consumed 3% of gross domestic product in the early 20th century. Typical state consumed 3%. Today, a typical state consumes 60% of gross domestic product. A typical tax code in Bismarck's time, Bismarck was the first to introduce a tax code and social pension, social welfare and pension system. A typical code at that time was about 100 pages. The IRS code is 87,000 pages. There is a cancerous growth of the nanny state, of establishments, of institutions and people resent this and reject this. They want to have some space.

What can you do to fight off this encroachment, this gradual infestation?

You're not a physicist, you're not a scientist, you're not, so you say I believe in reptilians.

But then this is also a form of individuation, isn't it?

Yes, it's part of malignant individualism. Individualism became an ideology, not individuation. Individuation is healthy. Individualism is a malignant ideology which is attendant on individuation. It's like when you become an individual, you suddenly acquire entitlement and rights at the expense of others. That's individuals. So yes, it's part of malignant individuals.

I'm going to inflict damage on my neighbor, I'm going to infect my neighbor with Covid, just to prove that I'm independent, I'm autonomous, I have agency. I'm going to kill 10 people in the process but I'm going to do that because I'm an individual and no one will tell me what to do. It's an example. And similarly, people think that if they spread the wrong information about narcissism, it's not really damaging. It sounds like you're infecting someone with Covid. No, it's much worse. Much worse than infecting someone with Covid. Statistically speaking. And if they spread a conspiracy theory about reptilians, okay, tough joke, not joke. But it wouldn't have real life repercussions until someone kills someone.

So there was the incel community, the involuntary celibate community. These are men who claim that they have a right to sex. And if women refuse to give them sex, they should be raped. And you can say, okay, you know, losers, until several of them raped and killed women. There are consequences to every utterance, every speech act as consequences. Nothing is stronger than words. Not nuclear weapons. Nothing is stronger than words. Words should be used very responsibly and sparingly, and every word should be measured. Even though my videos are strolling and I seem to, actually, every word is measured and I invest hours of research before I say anything. And I never say anything. I'm not sure.

And having checked, cross checked from a dozen angles. You have a responsibility the minute you open your mouth.


But people regard speech acts as inconsequential. People even regard facts as inconsequential. I was on the phone, I've been on the phone, and someone said the battle of Hastings was in 1066. Correct, by the way. And then another guy says, no, I think you're wrong. I think it was 1039. The first guy says, no, no, no, it was 1066. Here is a reference from the Britannica. And the second guy said, that's your truth. That's your fact. That doesn't have to be mine. Fact or facts or opinions. Facts are a subspecies of opinion. This is so catastrophically dangerous. That's all. It's life threatening. It'sthe species, even in gender studies.

Oh, I wonder if you're okay with life. Even in gender studies, even in race studies, self censorship in academia, and so on is such that it borders on deception.

So if I want to introduce a study, for example, what is the distribution of IQ among self identified people in different races, I self identified as African American. So okay, you will be included in the stuff.

And now I want to check what's the distribution of IQ. It's a legitimate research question. End of story. But you will never be allowed to do this.

And those who tried and they were on the bell curve. They were penalized.

Similarly, I want to check whether the brains of women are substantially different to the brains of men. Hint. Yes.

But this is not that you will never be allowed to study this.

I want to check whether women really really kind of involve emotions in sex. I want to see if it's true this myth, or this assumption that women become more emotional in sex, even in one night's tense, even in order to test this.

I will not be alone. I will not be alone. Self censorship is so tremendous in academia, that is, and on the other hand, totally unfounded nonsense, like race theory or totally unfounded. Counterfactual nonsense. You know, I read a study with this old fiction. I read a study about slavery and so on and so forth. And the study said that the white man projected an image of the black man and all kinds of nonsense. And then the study said that this was a specifically white phenomenon, white race phenomenon.

Listen, the laws to be a racist or supremacist or this, these people are nuts. And many of them should be in prison, not on the streets.

I also am a member of a minority in my own country. I'm a safari Jew. And for a very long time, we were the blacks of Israel. No one can accuse me of being a racist in any way, shape or form.

But I want to tell you this, this was not a white phenomenon.

The minute slaves were freed, many of them became slaveholders. When slaves were sent to Liberia, Liberia was a country which supposedly was a new country for freed slaves. That's why it's called Liberia liberation.

The minute they went to Liberia, the overwhelming vast majority, 80% of freed slaves sent to Liberia started to raid the locals and to ship them to slavery. That was actually the main economic activity of freed slaves in Liberia. 100,000 of them were sent, 87,000 were engaged in slavery, ships, kidnapping, everything. It was not a white phenomenon because most of slave traders were Arab. They were not white. They were not English. England was the first to abolish slavery. It was the white race that actually stopped slavery.

Slavery, I lived in Africa. Slavery was the predominant trade in Africa for centuries before any white men set foot on the continent. Of course, white men enslaved people, not saying they didn't, not an idiot. Of course they enslaved people. Of course they did horrible things. But it was not an exclusive white phenomenon.

But if you dare to say this, you will lose your job, your tenure, your pension, you'll be penalized, ostracized. You will be subject to death threats and there is a good, a fair chance that you'll be assassinated.

This is the word we're living. Famous last words. Famous last words. It's been a pleasure to know the good of it.

Bury me in the next of the magazine. Thank you so much for this wonderful interview. Thank you, my pleasure. Thank you for having me and suffering and tolerating it.

Thank you. It says here, stop taking video. I swear to you, my computer. It said Jesus. Stop taking video. Stop taking video. Oh, God. No, it wasn't God, just my computer.

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