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My Narcissist Cheats, Jealous, Unaware And Other Pearls

Uploaded 10/31/2020, approx. 38 minute read

My name is Sam Vaknin, and I am Hansen. Oops, wrong introduction. Sorry.

My name is Sam Vaknin. I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

I'm also a professor of psychology in several universities.

And today we open with a bit of shattering news.

The magazine New Scientist has come up with a scoop.

Paleontologists, people who study dinosaurs and other relics of the past, had finally, after 300 years of attempts, discovered a dinosaur with its genitalia intact. And they came up with an earth-shattering conclusion, having spent hundreds of millions of dollars on far-flung trips to the end of the known universe.

They came up with a conclusion that dinosaurs had penises.

Yes, dinosaurs had penises.

Here's the thing I don't understand. Why didn't they simply ask me? I could have saved them all this money and all these trips. They could have simply asked me, Sam, does a dinosaur have penises? And I would have responded from personal, first-hand, intimate experience, of course, a dinosaur has a penis. Very often the dinosaur doesn't know what to do with a penis, but he still has it.

Okay, this critical issue out of the way, I want first to dispense with three repetitive recurrent, recurrent myths, myths that permeate the YouTube sphere to such an extent that people believe them to be true, believe them to be established scientific discoveries and therefore they contest what I'm saying.


Well, first thing you should know, everything single thing I say, including good morning, I first check, I first verify with studies, with scientific scholarly literature and so on and so forth. And only then I say.

Number two, I have a database. It's the biggest database in the world. It's 1,836 people diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder. They respond to a questionnaire of 680 odd questions based upon the MMPI-2. And based on these responses and annual surveys, I tell you what are the results and the discoveries and the outcomes.

So here are three myths you should really, really, really forget about.

Number one, narcissists are not self-aware.

The right, the reality, all narcissists are self-aware. The only thing is they recast, reframe their disorder, which they perceive. They reframe it as an advantage, as something to be proud of.

So they know that they are abrasive and obnoxious and aggressive and a bit delusional, but they say, well, these are good things. That's the next step in the evolutionary ladder.

These are exactly the things that render me superior and creative. So yes, they are self-aware, but they disagree with you on whether their disorder is actually a disorder or whether the disorder is what predisposes them to become top lobster in the dominance hierarchy. What predisposes them to become pillars of the community and the successes that they aspire to be.

So if you talk to someone like, I don't know, Donald Trump, he's going to admit that he is ABC. He's going to admit all his faults, but he's not going to regard them as faults. He's going to regard them as advantages.

And frankly, he made it all the way to the White House. He may be right.

Number two, narcissists cheat.

Not true. First of all, there's no such thing as a narcissist. There are many subtypes of narcissists.

The covert narcissist has very little to do with the overt narcissist. The somatic has nothing to do with the cerebral. This is a family of disorders of the self.

Narcissism is like an extended family. Very often you have very little to do with your first cousin.

So cerebral narcissists never ever cheat. Somatic narcissists always cheat. Psychopathic narcissists occasionally cheat. Coverts depend. If they are covert cerebral narcissists, they do not cheat. Inverted narcissists very rarely cheat. If they are covert somatic narcissists, they cheat.

You can generalize simply.

And you definitely cannot generalize from your personal experience with one and a half narcissists that you came across.

You need a database. You need data, big data. This is science. Don't listen to disgruntled victims, self-styled experts, coaches who discovered life at the late stage because there's money.

These people spew nonsense the way you change your socks.

So this is number two.

Number three, all narcissists are possessive. All of them are romantically jealous. All of them compete with other men or other males.

Not true. Narcissists are romantically jealous and possessive and competitive, and they are going to restrict your freedom. They're not going to let you look at other men, let alone correspond with them.

Some of them go to the extreme of regarding your own, your brother and your father as competitors for romantic attention.

Narcissists do display these behaviors, but only when they perceive or anticipate abandonment and loss.

When they think you're going to dump them, when an narcissist thinks you're going to abandon him, dump him, he's going to lose you, you're going to walk away, you're going to break up. Or when he imagines or thinks or has evidence that you have someone else in mind, an emotional affair, a sexual affair, a cyber affair, then he becomes very possessive, very protective, very jealous, romantically jealous, and very competitive with that other person.

Now, it's true that a lot of this is imagined. The narcissist is paranoid. He has persecutory delusions. So very often he imagines that you're about to abandon him. He anticipates humiliation, rejection, breakup, and loss, whether there is none, where you get no intention of doing any of this.

So he inhabits his fantastic space, his delusional space. And he reacts because he doesn't have perception of external objects. He reacts exclusively to internal objects.

The narcissist lives inside his head, never outside, never in reality. So he may suddenly decide that you're about to abandon him. Or he may decide that one of your colleagues or co-workers is in love with you. Or he may misinterpret a very innocuous and innocent behavior on your part.

So having done all this, he becomes, having gone through this delusional, fantastic misinterpretation of reality, he suddenly becomes exceedingly possessive, very romantically jealous.


Now, some narcissists have heightened abandonment anxiety because they have anxiety disorders, comorbid anxiety disorders, depressed narcissists have separation anxiety and fear of loss. So these narcissists are permanently, all the time possessive, competitive, romantically jealous.

Somatic narcissists, psychopathic narcissists are very competitive. They're goal-oriented. They're defiant. They lack impulse control. So they're very competitive because they think everyone else is like them. They think someone is going to see you and immediately take you to bed. They catastrophize.

Somatic and psychopathic narcissists catastrophize. So they believe you are like them. You believe you won't be able to control your impulses. They believe you will take revenge or become defiant by sleeping with other men.

So somatic and psychopathic narcissists are always, always possessive, always romantically jealous and always competitive.

You see, you can't generalize. You simply can't generalize.

And what you see online is a lot of hogwash. You need seriously to decontaminate yourself, to deprogram yourself.

It's very comforting for a victim to split the world.

The narcissist is all bad and I am all good. The narcissist is evil and wicked and corrupt and hopeless and decadent and decrepit. And I'm an empath or super empath or supernova empath or galactic empath, I don't know what else, what other kind of nonsense to come up with in order to feel good.

But remember, splitting is an infantile defense mechanism. Dividing the world to all bad and all good, all black and all white, that's an narcissistic behavior, a narcissistic trait.

The narcissist had infected you, forces you to become narcissistic. And by dividing the world into good and bad, evil and good, black and white, for me, against me, saint and war, I mean, by dividing the world into dichotomies, we call it dichotomous thinking, you're actually becoming a narcissist.

For the narcissist, so another question I faced is, if there is no one there, if the narcissist is an emptiness and a void, who, why does the narcissist feel shame? Why does he feel, who feels anger if there's nobody there? Who is the one which entity is doing the angry thing, the rageful thing? Who, the envious thing, because narcissists are very envious. If there's nobody there, who is envious?

Well, it's a common misconception, perpetrated and perpetiated, of course, by self-styled experts. Emotions have nothing to do with having a self. You can have an unconstellated self, a disorganized self, a chaotic self, or a non-self at all.

And yet you have emotions. Emotions are autonomic functions. They are intimately connected to cognitions, to thinking. So emotions are autonomic functions and they are determined by a combination of biology and socialization, the way you had been taught to think and you had been taught to feel by parents, role models, etc.

Society tells you how to emote, what emotions to experience in a variety of settings. And you don't need to have a self for this. These are functions that are almost, I would say, reflexive.

And same with sex. You don't need to have a self in order to have sex, especially in today's world where sex is not only divorced from intimacy, it's the antithesis of intimacy. It's like if you have sex, you exclude and preclude and eliminate intimacy. Sex is the way to destroy intimacy.

In today's world, in the hookup culture, in the one-night stand casual sex, meaningless sex, emotional sex environment, sex had become the opposite of intimacy, makes it much easier for narcissists.


Now, people ask me about self gaslighting. So people said gaslighting is when someone else tries to challenge, undermine and falsify your perception of reality. Not true. When anyone tries to do this, when anyone tries to drive you to the point where you doubt your judgment, you doubt your sensa, your sense input, you doubt your reality testing. When anyone drives you to think that you're crazy, that you're delusional, that you're fantasizing, that what you see is not what you get, that things are not real, that you have misunderstood or misinterpreted behaviors or things you have witnessed. When anyone does this to you, he or she is gaslighting you.

And if you are doing this to yourself, I have a surprise for you. You are gaslighting yourself. Gaslighting is a process. Who initiates the process doesn't change the nature of the process. You can gaslight yourself.

Let me give an example of very common and typical gaslighting.

Idealization. When you are being groomed, when the narcissist grooms you in the grooming phase, in the honeymoon phase, when he love bombs you, you idealize the narcissist. You think that it's the best thing since sliced bread, that the narcissist is the perfect answer, the twin flame. I don't know what other nonsense I read online.

This process of idealizing the narcissist during the grooming and the love bombing phase, that is self-gaslighting. You are gaslighting yourself. You're excluding many warning signs, many red flags. You're ignoring them. You're warning them off. You're fending them off. You're repressing and denying them.

This process of selective attention, of ignoring information which is countervailing, which challenges what you want to believe. It's known as confirmation bias. This is self-gaslighting.


Okay. Next issue.

Why does the narcissist hurt or abuse his partners?

Well, I think I've dedicated something like at the very least 80 videos, eight zero videos to this question, but let me add to it another layer. It's a politically incorrect layer, but it's very, very true.

The narcissist is reduced to choosing damaged, broken, traumatized, or mentally ill women as partners.

No woman in her right mind, no woman who is strong and invulnerable, no woman who has not been traumatized, no woman who is mentally healthy would agree or choose to be with the narcissist.

He's left with the dregs. He's left with bottom of the barrel choices of women, broken, damaged, traumatized, in pain, sad, mentally ill in a variety of ways, depressed, anxious. He's left with alcoholics. He's left with junkies.

These are, this is the universe from which he can select mates or partners.

I'm sorry that I have just offended every single viewer, female viewer, but that happens to be the truth.

If you look deep inside yourself, you will see it's true.

The narcissist had picked you up when you were most vulnerable, most broken, most fragile, most amenable to renouncing reality and choosing a fantasy, his shared fantasy, and such mate selection, of course, negates and undermines the narcissist's grandiosity.

Because the narcissist needs to believe that he is the best thing in the world, God's gift to humanity and God combined.

But if he's limited in mate selection to this kind of women, it's a serious challenge to his perception of himself as irresistible, irresistible, the best offer.

Serious challenge.

So what he does, he idealizes you. He ignores who you really are. He takes a snapshot of you and then he paints over the snapshot, he imbues it with ideal tones. That way he can idealize himself.

If he sees you for who you really are at that moment, he won't be able to idealize himself. It would be a serious narcissistic injury, an insult.

I am reduced. I have no other choice but to be with this kind of woman.

That's humiliating.

But if I idealize that woman, if I render her beautiful, brilliant and amazing and so on, then it's okay. I'm on top again. I am top selection again.

But even in the throes of the shared fantasy, the narcissist has no intention to commit or to invest because he knows deep, deep, deep in the recesses, the dark recesses of his mind. He knows the truth. He knows the truth about the women he ends up with. He knows that they are good for nothing, that they are useless, that they are dysfunctional, that they can cause him pain and mortification and harm, which somehow and somewhere he wants, but he denies that he wants.

So ultimately he upsends himself. He pushes away his partner because ultimately his partner sabotages his grandiosity.

I mean, there's only that much idealization that you can do. His partner's traits, his partner's behaviors, his partner's bad habits, lack of impulse control, defiance, alcoholism, drug addiction, promiscuity. I mean, her behaviors keep challenging the idealization to the point that the idealization crumbles and the narcissist needs urgently to get rid of such apartments because she's beginning to have a deleterious effect on his precious grandiosity and being who she is, damaged goods rendered even more dilapidated, decrypted and dysfunctional by her liaison and sojourn with the narcissist.

So being who she is and who she becomes after the harrowing, painful, hurtful, damaging, traumatizing relationship with the narcissist, this kind of woman is even further reduced.

She switches from history to archaeology. She becomes a ruin and her choice in men is then confined to low life scum, to predators who further use her sexually, abuse her verbally or even physically.

It's a downward spiral. It's only worse after the narcissist.

I mean, not only, they can't generalize, but it's usually worse after the narcissist.

Ironically, her time with the narcissist may have been the high point in an otherwise impoverished and drab life.

For this kind of woman, the narcissist is Disneyland. That's why many women say when I've been alive only, I felt alive only with the narcissist.

When I've been with the narcissist, the world was in technicolor. Without the narcissist, everything is black and white.

I mean, other men are so boring, so dull, so tedious, so unattractive compared to him.

Why?

Because before she had met the narcissist, her life sucked. The narcissist was the high point of her life and it makes, of course, having been discarded very, very devastating.

Having been discarded was a momentous watershed event. It makes it difficult for her to let go of the narcissist emotionally.

The narcissist may also have been the most qualitative, intelligent, handsome and accomplishment she could ever hope for.

I mean, just look at me.

Okay. Someone asked me, if it hurts so much to be a narcissist, why don't you guys change?

Well, we don't change because narcissism is a religion. It's an ideology and narcissists are fanatics. They worship at the feet and the altar of the false self.

The false self is God-like. It's a divinity. It's a divine entity.

I keep saying narcissism is a religion and we are fanatics. You know, like Martyrs in Christianity, Christendom, Shiahada in Islam or Kiddush Hashem in Judaism, we sacrifice ourselves because by sacrificing ourselves, we're elevated to paradise.

We defend our superiority and our grandiosity with everything we have, blood and toil and earth and everything.

Okay. Linda Howell wrote to me. I mentioned her in the last minute and 20 seconds of my previous video about what we can learn from twins about narcissism, but she pointed out correctly that her work was important and seminal and I should have dedicated more time and space to her work.

So here I'm trying to make amends. She's right. I did to her what others do to me.

I did mention the name, but I did not analyze her work properly.

So she published in spring 2013, she had published a very important article in the transactional analyst volume three issue two. The article was titled Twinhood, sense of self and identity.

And I want to quote from the article, Linda Howell, H-O-W-E-L-L.

When further developing my theories of twin symbiosis, I discussed the ensuing exhibitionist and closeted narcissistic character styles. I suggest that they may arise when a twin mirroring symbiosis is present.

Understanding the interlocking nature of these twinning types of narcissism can aid recognition in therapy of the enmeshed attachments between twins and highlight their individual dilemmas regarding separation and personal identity.

When further developing my theories of twin symbiosis, I discussed the ensuing exhibitionist and closeted narcissistic character styles. And I suggest that they are somehow connected.

So I want very, very much to, the article is fully available online. I strongly suggest that you go and read it. It's a seminal article, not only about twins, because we can learn a lot from twins about narcissism.

Thank you, Linda Howell. And my apologies for not giving your work the space you deserve, definitely. You've been a pioneer of these studies.

Another, I've received other queries. I will get to them in the end.

But before I go there, I want to read to you two comments. I want to read to you two comments that I had received on YouTube, and which I think deserve full citation.

One comment was by Adam, and the other one was by Red, let's call him this way.

So I want to start with a comment by Red, and it's a heartbreaking comment. He's referring to the video that to be a narcissist hurts and it's humiliating.

And he says, Sam, this video explains my life. It's depressing to hear, but even more depressing to live.

I know deep down inside that no one is home. I don't exist. I'm usually in a collapsed state, fluctuating between emptiness and emotional turmoil, unless I have a girlfriend, which eventually she leaves me, usually rather cruelly for someone who actually does exist. And then I never hear from them again, unless they need to use me for money or something else. Anyone is better than me because they exist and I don't.

I've gotten to the point now in my thirties and my most recent collapse state that I no longer leave my house or interact with anyone. I have not spoken to anyone in person for two months now. And I'm emotionally crippled from my most recent collapse and do not want the world to see my failures, or rather for me to see my failures through the eyes of the world, which is mortification.

Yes, even more so, to avoid seeing those more successful than me, to see that other people more successful is a knife in my heart.

I also deleted all my personal social media for the same reason.

Additionally, the rapid oscillation I experienced between covert and overt thinking is maddening.

I can go from one hour bathing in grandiosity of my own goals, fame, wealth, lovers returning to me, to the next hour, completely dead inside, doing self-destructive behaviors, alcoholism, reaching out to people who do not care about me, ex-lovers and so on, calling phone psychics to help to hopefully mirror me.

And this cycle sometimes happens multiple times a day.

I do not believe I can pull myself out of this collapse this time. I cannot garner the supply I need to exist anymore.

This is due to getting older probably and my recent career failings.

I also cannot replace the quality of supply I've had in the past, model level women and high income.

So I'll probably just end up drinking myself to death in isolation over the next five years most realistically. It would be better than living in my own shadow forever.

I know I can't change. There is no need to change. I've been like this since I was 13 or so.

But my ability to garner supply and semi-successfully make my own delusions come true. I was able to feel alive up until about the age of 30, with many severe and lengthy collapses between the years but still.

So I know change won't happen for me.

So there is only two outcomes for my life.

Success and get the supply I need, wealth, women, etc. and feel my blood pump again or become completely schizoid and never leave my house again.

There are no other options for me. I know this deep inside, deep down inside.

I hope I succeeded the first one.

But even being schizoid and never leaving my house is preferable to regular life as I cannot function in it and it causes me immense emotional distress to live as a normal person.

I have to be massively successful and if I'm not, then I will hide away from the world, women, people, life itself, instead and possibly forever.

To other people reading this, having this disorder is living hell.

I personally was not big on the lying or abusing side of having the disorder, as I was usually collapsed. But having this disorder is like living in a perpetual nightmare that you can never escape.

Knowing you don't exist is horrifying. Looking in the mirror and seeing no one is there. It's even more horrifying when you realize that someone else has discovered that you do not exist.

When someone realizes you don't exist, they want to get away from you, like Sam said.

Even treat you as an object because in a way you are.

It makes it easy for people to use you.

Yes, I do feel emotions, but mostly painful ones, emptiness, anger, anxiety, depression, paranoia.

Then on a really profound day, a bottomless shame with an occasional spike of euphoria and adrenaline supply, if I'm so lucky.

But those emotions, while they make me feel like I exist, when they're absent, so am I.

They no longer cover up the glaring void of myself. Who could love someone who doesn't exist?

It is like loving an android, a programmed human, someone who will never be the real thing. You can't love an android, you can only use the android.

When people finally discover that you are this android of a man, they will begin using you, taking advantage of you without guilt.

How can one feel guilt for abusing an object?

Also because I know I'm an android, it helps them. Offering myself to someone, only myself, is of no value.

And so I must compensate with wealth, looks, worldliness, or talents. At least then, for her, she might get something out of the relationship.

For as a person, only as a person, I'm unlovable, and probably even repulsive. A complete nothing.

So this is a very, very harrowing and horrible, horrible description of what it feels like to be a narcissist.

And I wanted you to see and hear that this is not only me, because people keep thinking that when I make a video, it's about me. It's autobiographical. It's not. It's based, as I said, on thousands of interviews over the years, one billion data points.

I'm summarizing for you the total experience of all narcissists all over the world.


So don't just say, oh, that's Sam. That's not just Sam. You just heard another narcissist telling you what this is.

And this leads me to nothingness.

I propose nothingness as an antidote to narcissism.

So first of all, I made a nothingness playlist. You can go on my channel, and now you have a playlist with all the videos on nothingness.

So you can watch them start from the bottom and go up.

And someone asked me, is Heidegger's design, is it a forerunner of mindfulness and so on? Is it forerunner of my nothingness? Does it represent my nothingness?

The sign is a forerunner of mindfulness and of some existentialist concepts. And it is a Cartesian concept in essence. The sign is how we experience being, how we experience existence.

My principle of nothingness takes the sign for granted. The sign is like a foundation. My principle of nothingness is the house that stands on the foundation.

It is the next stage. It is what you do with your being, how to not let others appropriate your being, your existence, your sense of self-worth. The universe couldn't care less about you. And no part of the universe is connected to all the other parts.

Imagine if one part of your smartphone would have been connected to all the other parts, or one part of your television, or one part of your computer. When one part is connected to all the other parts, it leads to dysfunction, to a breakdown.

Parts of firework, they're walled off from other parts. You have no impact in Bangladesh. No one is aware of their existence.

And when you cease to exist, it will have zero impact in the vast overwhelming majority of this earth, which is nothing but a speck of dust in the universe.

So no, the universe, whatever it is, doesn't care about you, about your existence or lack of existence. And you are not connected to anyone or anything, let alone to a single unity.

A finite mind, which is your mind and my mind, a finite mind cannot know anything, can know nothing about an infinite mind like God's.

My view of God is that it is humanity's false self. It's a grandiose projection. It's the imaginary frame. Humanity is in a primitive, infantile state, so it had invented the false self and called it God.

But even if God were to exist, he's infinite. And he has an infinite mind. What can your mind know about it?

I keep watching evangelicals and other self-styled gurus telling you, God wants you to do this. God thinks that this God disagrees. How on earth do you know anything about God? Isn't this the epitome of grandiosity, hubris and narcissism?

And if it is unconscious, by definition, it's not known and can never be known.

All statements, every single fake con artist who tells you that you are part of the universe, part of a big unity, that God cares about you, that you can know your own unconscious. These are lies, prevarications. These people are crooks. They are using your brain-dead existence, your brain-dead design, to enrich themselves.

Wake up, people. You are being abused and exploited by narcissists who pretend to be empaths or empathic people or possessed of some special access to God, to the universe, to some occult, mysterious, esoteric knowledge. They are laughing all the way to the bank at your unfathomable, profound idiocy.

Trust me on this. I correspond with many of them.

And talking about nothingness, Iden posted this comment online.

I thought of your nothingness akin to the empty in an empty cup. The cup containing nothing, but containing nothing, but having boundaries and a fixed volume. And so the cup has a nothingness.

But while I was trying to focus on nothingness, I could not help wonder where the boundaries were going to come from. Where is the cup going to come from? Is it the acceptance of nothingness that manifests these boundaries?

And so an empty vessel, but a vessel all the same. Apart from the universe, this vessel is apart from the universe, but aware of the universe and then itself aware of itself.

But is it solely by virtue of these boundaries?

And now we're born. But how are we born? Is it magic?

I could only understand one tiny sliver of Wittgenstein's Tractatus.

In the summary, Wittgenstein writes, to his credit, by the way, in clear language, whoever understands me eventually recognizes my propositions as nonsensical when he has used them as steps to climb up beyond them. He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he had climbed up it.

That's of course the answer. Throwing away the ladder is nothingness.

Iden continues in the comment, but I do not think I have climbed the ladder. I do not think Wittgenstein climbed the ladder.

It does not matter to me to climb the ladder now because the ladder was not offered when I was nimble enough to climb it. And so it only matters now to imagine or pretend that I know what is up there. And a little pretense is not denial. You might even call it a boundary.

Well, I call it a fantasy. And fantasy is pathological.

Some questions, says Iden, can only be asked once at a certain time for wanton of an efficacious answer. Outside of this time, these questions are meaningless, but still can be asked forever and ever and only ever answered in nonsense, nothing or nothingness. Heaven is a question out of time. A hilltop is Hades or hell.

Thank you, Iden. Very interesting thoughts.


So we have discussed penises, dinosaur penises. We have discussed Nonsense Online. We have discussed the partners of narcissists. We have discussed tweens.

Let me see what else is missing in today's Cornucopia.

Right. I have received several missives from therapists. Ironically, one of them told me that she is a narcissistic abuse therapist and that I should really, really study the topic because I don't have a grasp on it.

Here's the irony. I invented the field. I coined the phrase narcissistic abuse honey in 1995. I think I have a grasp of what it is simply because it's my brainchild. Maletovar.

However, this narcissistic grandiose therapist and others referred me to a relatively new approach called interpersonal neurobiology. It's also known as relational neurobiology.

I don't know why people keep assuming that there are corners and niches of psychology that I'm not aware of. I've been teaching psychology for years, clinical psychology for years, lately also neuroscience and psychiatry. After 26 years in the field, I strongly suspect that I've read it all, but I'm always open to suggestions.

Anyhow, interpersonal psychology and neurobiology, I'm sorry, or relational neurobiology.

I am not impressed to use another statement. What these people did starting with Daniel Siegel in the 1990s, they took existing knowledge in psychology, existing theories, existing thoughts, concepts like attachment, concepts of attachment and attachment theories, like a lot of object relations theories in schools. And even they borrowed from Freud, mind you.

And what they did, they tried to find neurological correlates to each of these things. They tried to map psychological concepts onto the brain. They tried to bring together mind, brain and relationships within an overriding framework of neurocircuitry.

It's like systems theory, but systems theory embedded in hardware.

They said it's nonsensical to discuss the mind or relationships if you don't refer one-on-one, if you don't map these things onto specific neurons, specific pathways in the brain, specific activities, specific biochemicals, specific electrical impulses in the brain.

It was like the mind is reducible to the brain. Although Siegel himself was better than his followers in the sense that he did say the mind cannot be fully mapped to the brain.

But others, I mean, those who continued his work, I mean, they became totally obsessed, totally obsessed with the brain and the brain came to dominate, like hardware.

Now we're going to make a map of the hardware and we're going to understand everything.

Reminds me of geneticists. Geneticists now say, well, the minute we have a total map of the human genome and we decipher it, we can understand everything. We can understand the human mind. We can understand relationships. We can understand diseases. We can understand traits, behaviors, propensities, proclivity. We can understand race and racism. We can understand everything.

All these reductionist claims are not new. They are at the very least 3,000 years old.

There's nothing new about this.

Building theories and practical working models, trying to coalesce meta phenomena like relationships, like the mind, emergent phenomena like thoughts, cognitions, trying to correlate these with specific hardware used to be the pineal gland, the Cart. Later it became, I mean, before the cart it was the heart.

They thought that the seat of all these things is the heart.

People have been trying, people have been trying a machine-like approach to psychology for like millennia. They've been trying to find the key, the heart, the pineal gland, the brain, the something.

I mean, but now it's the intestines.

We are slowly discovering that actually many biochemicals which operate in the brain are produced in the intestines.

So now we are beginning to think of two brains, the intestinal or gastrointestinal brain and the cerebral brain or neurological brain, neural brain. So whatever it is, there's an attempt to map one-on-one.

Now as a metaphor, it's not a bad thing. It's not a bad thing to use the brain as a metaphor. Let's say as a computer metaphor, but it's very bad to confuse metaphor with reality.

If you do this, you are psychotic or you're delusional or you're fantastic, fantasizing. Metaphor is a language element.

When we say the trilateral model of FreudI mean ego, super-ego, we don't really think there's an id somewhere in our brain.

When we use the word self or personality, we don't really think there's a part that is self, I mean something tangible that we can put in a jar.

Self, personality, ego, super-ego, inner critic, all these things are metaphors. They are abstract. They help us to visualize in a kind of geometric way how the mind works.

We don't even know what is the mind. Even the mind is an abstract concept.

So you want to use the brain as a metaphor.

Why not? It's a hardware metaphor.

Other people use a software metaphor or a philosophical metaphor or a spiritual metaphor or a religious metaphor.

There are many types of metaphors and they all compete.

I happen to subscribe to the scientific metaphor and the psychological metaphor in my fields.

But these metaphors don't have any inherent embedded advantage over other metaphors.

So you want to use the brain as a metaphor, go ahead.

But to confuse the metaphor with reality, which is what IP&B is doing, this is a reductionist view, non-dualistic view, is wrong.

And it's wrong for several reasons.

First of all, all acknowledge, all theories, all concepts, previous, you know, they don't have an expiry date. This is not iPhone. This is not iPhone 9 and iPhone 12, you know. There's no version 2.

There are insights, profound, correct, verifiable and falsifiable insights in everything anyone has ever said about the human mind. And that includes Descartes, who was not a psychologist, and Freud, who was not a psychologist, and Winnicott, who was not a psychologist until later in life.

Whatever you have to say about the human mind deserves perusal and deserves the design of studies and experiments to falsify it, or to verify it.

So we, I mean, the attempt to discard everything that came before is wrong, and to the credit of IP&B, they try to integrate rather than discard any therapist, and there are a few who wrote to me, who says, you should forget about psychoanalysis, it's nonsense, it's outdated, it's out of fashion. They are, I don't know what they are, they're in the wrong profession.

Second thing, we know nothing about the brain.

Let me repeat this very clearly. We know nothing about the brain.

Now, what about all these neuroscientists and psychologists who tell you that we know a lot about the brain? They are crooks, charlatans, con-artists, self-interested, self-enriching fakes. Got it? Why?

Because we know nothing about the brain.

And now there's a question for you, kiddos and cadets. If we know nothing about the brain, how can we construct an entire psychology based on something we know nothing about?

The answer, of course, we cannot. Next, cowization is not correlation. Correlation is not cowization. We can see changes in the brain, in the flow of blood in the brain via fMRI, in the electrical activity in the brain via EEG. I mean, there are ways to see what's happening inside the brain, but we don't know what causes what. The mental condition causes the brain activity or the brain activity causes the mental condition. The abnormality is an outcome of dysfunction or the dysfunction is an outcome of abnormality. We don't know. And there's no way for us to find out because experimenting on human beings is unethical. Next, reductionism is wrong. Reductionism is wrong because we don't operate as single element units. We are systems. We need systems thinking.

Now, IPMB is imbued with systems thinking up to a point. And at that point, the divorce, systems theory, and they become reductionists.

And finally, medicalizing everything is not the wisest course of action. It's very grandiose and very rewarding. It allows the psychologist to erroneously believe that he's a scientist and everyone wants to be a scientist nowadays, but that you medicalize something doesn't make it a clinical entity, doesn't make it real, doesn't make it rigorous and valid.

So calling everything by name, I mean, labeling everything, that's very primitive. Adam did it with the beasts of the earth. That you call something by name doesn't make you a scientist. Carl Linnaeus called all the plants by name, you know, but that's not real biology.

So the diagnostic and statistical manual, the ICD, they're like grocery lists. They don't teach you much about the supermarket. Bear that in mind.

Okay, we dispensed with this one. Let's see what else we have on our plate.


What else we have on our plate?

Yeah.

People ask me, why can't we change the mind of the narcissist? We're trying so hard. We are arguing because you can't change the mind of a narcissist exactly as you cannot change the mind of a religious fundamentalist. You cannot change the mind of the fan of a specific football club. You cannot change the mind of anyone who is inside the personality cult, personality cult of Donald Trump, personality cult of Jordan Peterson. You can't change their minds. Why can't you change their minds?

I'm referring you to an article published by PBS, public broadcasting service, PBS.org. And the article was titled How to keep conspiracy theories from ruining your Thanksgiving. Look it up online.

I want to read to you an excerpt from the article, except that you probably will not change their mind.

If a conspiratorial belief is foundational to a person's identity or understanding of a certain subject, it will be extremely difficult to displace.

After debunking, we often see what we call the continued influence effect, where that original false belief persists.

A scientist by the name of Bracier said that can happen even if a person knows and can recount the actual facts.

Moreover, there is a hot debate right now in cognitive science, although whether repeating misinformation in order to correct it makes things even worse.

Because that's known as the backfire effect, and there is support both for and against it.

If the backfire effect exists, then people might forget or ignore the context of a fact check and be left with a stronger belief in a conspiracy theory.

Some recent research in neuroscience shows that people's brains can store an original piece of misinformation and a correction of that misinformation at the same time.

But the memory of the correction fades at a much faster rate than the memory of the misinformation.

Don't forget, again and again and again, narcissism is a religion. The narcissist is a fanatic, fundamentalist, adherent of that religion. He worships his false self, that's his God.

Arguing with a narcissist about the false self is like arguing with a Muslim about Muhammad. Arguing with a narcissist about his behavior or misbehavior is like trying to convince a devout Catholic to get rid of the preposterous idea of resurrection. It won't work. Don't waste your time, simply.


Okay, let me end by quoting from a book authored by the late, much lamented anthropologist David Graber. He died young, he's a brilliant mind, and like me didn't know how to drive. I'm not kidding you. He wrote a book, he wrote many books, but I'm going to quote from the book Lost People, Magic and the Legacy of Slavery in Madagascar. Trust me, this book is about anything but Madagascar. It's a stunning anthropological study published by Indiana University Press in 2007.

Everything David Graber, G-R-A-B-E-R, anything he has ever written is worth reading. This was a deep man who, unlike me, was able to communicate very, very profound ideas in a very accessible manner.

And so from this book, I want to quote, to offer you the following quote, avoiding topics people didn't want to talk about did not mean I only got the official version of events.

To be honest, I often found authoritative accounts rather boring. They interested me in so far as they were full of holes.

I always assumed that when you see hesitation, confusion, tension, ambiguity, when people seemed to want to talk about something and not to want to talk about it at the same time, I always assumed that this was the surest sign there was something important going on.

It was usually easier to explore such territory with women. Women may have regularly deferred to men as the authoritative voices for representing the community, but as often as not, women would push the men on stage only to subvert their message as soon as they were done with it.

Even the old woman who took me to her son to narrate village history, that old woman ended up interacting her son as soon as he was drawn to a clause to tell the story of a notorious local witch completely shattering the image of solidarity that her son had just done his best to convey and causing much consternation among the assembled menfolk.

Things like this happened again and again. At times, it seemed to take on an almost ritualized caste.

In the end, I came to the conclusion that it was this very process, men building up the placid surfaces that women would then mischievously puncture and expose, this process that history and moral discourse really consisted of.

The object only existed when it had been halfway raped apart.

Graber continues, many argue that all societies distinguish between a public sphere identified especially with men and domestic sphere identified especially with women, and that one way that women are suppressed is by being denied full access to the public arena.

Bloch argues that Madagascar is no exception, but one extension of the ritualized nature of public discourse in Madagascar is that, as I've already pointed out at some length, authoritative men tend to avoid displays or references to conflict so that it is especially women who voice it, just as it is especially women who are publicly critical of established verities.

1-0 to women.

Author David Graber, title Lost People, Magic and the Legacy of Slavery, Madagascar, 2007.

Hope you had fun in this video. See you next time.

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