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UNEDITED Why We Prefer Narcissism or Psychosis to Mental Health? (RAW WA Real Convo)

Uploaded 8/29/2020, approx. 1 hour 52 minute read

And now I'm going to make you the host so that you can record as well.

It seems both of us can record only through me for some reason.

Here, now you're the host, you can record. Presumably.

Yep. Right.

So I'm going to click it now.

Hello, I'm back to Vaknin.

I'm your host.

Today, I have the great pleasure of welcoming back Professor Sam Vaknin. Sam.

You're a very brave man, I must say.

Yeah.

Well, Richard Grannon suggested that I, what did he say?

May God have mercy on your soul.

If you talk to me, yes.

So just under four weeks ago, we had an extraordinary enlightening conversation about narcissism.

It was for me and many other people who've watched it.

In that we went into the mechanics and dynamics of it.

You put forward and explained how it's the organizing principle of society and our culture at large. You gave a very chilling description of the design that underpins social media. And you also put forward that it's the one true religion.

Since then, as I mentioned, I have spoken to Richard Grannon as well to try and understand other parts of the puzzle.

But in that conversation between you and I, you were putting forward how we need to ask better questions. And at the end of that, you put forward, why do we choose narcissism? Why do we collectively choose it?

And that has sat with me for the last three or four weeks. And that's what I would like us to explore today.


Yeah, well, thank you for having me again.

Had narcissism been a Western phenomenon, limited to Western civilization, it would have behooved us to use, perhaps, anthropology, cultural studies theories, and so on and so forth to understand it.

But it's not. It's as common and rampant in China and India as it is in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Right. It therefore stands to reason that it has to do with human psychology.

And so we should focus on developmental psychology, on the individual level. The collectives are made up of individuals. And in many respects, the collective psychology is individual psychology writ large.

So we can make this transition from individual psychology to collective psychology pretty seamlessly.

So the two sort of almost interchangeable.

One is an amplification of the other, I would say.

It's a little like the test for the virus, you know, we amplify the virus.

Essentially, there's a single virus and then we amplify it. And then we learn about its existence. This virus is narcissism. And there's a pandemic of narcissism. And it is as global as the coronavirus pandemic.

And we need to we need now to apply the PCR test. We need to apply this amplification test. And we can do, we should start definitely the departure point should be individual psychology.

So first of all, I want to say that all human beings go through what I call a double rejection, double trauma model.

Right. The first rejection is birth. When you're born, you could conceive or reconceive of birth as a rejection by the mother. The mother rejects you from her body. The mother ejects you.

Many scholars have suggested that the expulsion from the Garden of Eden is a metaphor for birth.

Right.

At any rate, there is a process of rejection and rejection. And this rejection is coupled with the first trauma.

So you remember, I said double rejection, double trauma. So this is the first rejection, rejection by the mother and her body.

And it leads to the first trauma.

And the first trauma is the development of a point of view. When you're inside the womb, you have no point of view. When you're expelled from the womb, you immediately adopt a point of view.

It's very primordial. It's very rudimentary. It's very unrecognizable to adults.

But it is a point of view. Suddenly you have a view. It's exceedingly traumatic.

So there's rejection and trauma.

The second rejection comes a bit later. And it's called separation individuation.

In the first rejection, mother had rejected you, expelled you from her body.

In the second rejection, you reject mother. You push mother away. You reject the mother in order to become an individual. You separate from the mother so as to become an individual.

And the second trauma involved in this is the formation of selfhood.

So to summarize this module, hint hint, there's the first rejection, the birth.

That's the first rejection coupled with the first trauma, which is the point of view.

The second rejection is separation individuation, where you separate from mother. You push her away. You explore the world. You are the one doing the rejection this time.

And it involves the formation of selfhood, which is exceedingly traumatic.

Now try to explain why the formation of selfhood is traumatic.

And I swear to you, all this leads to an answer, finally.

So you're going to be delivering this answer in almost small pockets of modules, aren't you?

Yes.

So this is the first module.

Double trauma, double rejection, double trauma.

But why is selfhood a trauma?

Selfhood is a trauma because until you develop a self, until you have a self, your external objects and internal objects are unitary. They're indistinguishable. There's no mother in you. There's no world in you. There's no other.

There are no others in you. There are not even physical objects in you. There's only one single object which incorporates and compasses everything.

So there is a unitary state where you are mother. Mother is you.

Objects is mother. Mother is object. Everything is one.

Everything is intertwined.

Everything is one, not intertwined because to say intertwined implies separateness.

Yes, yes. Everything is one, absolutely unitary.

And of course, all mystical traditions aspire to return to this unitary state.

Yeah, unity consciousness.

But then as you begin to interact with mother, for example, there are frustrations.

You want to eat, mother is not there. You're wet. You feel bad.

I mean, frustrations accumulate.

Melanie Klein called it the bad breast.

Frustrations accumulate. As frustrations accumulate, you begin to withdraw.

You don't want to be frustrated. You don't want to feel uncomfortable.

So you withdraw and you withdraw inside.

You withdraw inside through a process called narcissistic introversion.

It's a Jungian term.

So you introvert. You withdraw. You draw your bridges. You cut off contact with a frustrating object, which is mother.

Mother represents the world. You say the hell with this world. It keeps frustrating me. So pleasant.

I'm going to withdraw inside where I'm safe, where I can safely invest my energy and so on.

It is exactly this process of narcissistic introversion that leads to the formation of what Jung calls a constellated self.

So the self, the self is an outcome of frustration.

And the minute you create a self, the universe breaks down.

Until the very minute you had a self, everything was one. You were one with the world. The world was one with you.

And there was no world. You were the world. There was only one thing, one entity.

And then the minute there is a self, suddenly there's you and all the rest.

So the formation of a self is an enormous trauma because the universe becomes non-unitary, becomes broken.

It's a schism. It's a chasm. It's an abyss. It's a fault line. It's an earthquake. It's by far the most horrible trauma you can go through.

Selfhood is a trauma. Possessing a self is a traumatic process. The universe breaks to pieces and you are one of the pieces.

Now there's a privileged object, which is you, and there are all other objects.

And so now we come to existentialism.

And if you bear with me, because I'm just providing right now the language. A bit later we'll make use of this language to understand why humanity had actually opted for narcissism.

Humanity is comprised of individuals. We need to understand individual psychology.

So there was the trauma of selfhood.

So the world had frustrated you. You said, the hell with it. I'm going to divorce the world. I'm going to separate. I'm going to become me.

There's a privileged observer, privileged entity, which is the self, and there's all the rest.

Now existentialist philosophers were aware of this. Philosophers like Kierkegaard. And there was a Jewish philosopher by the name of Buber, Austrian philosopher, Martin Buber. And Martin Buber postulated said that we have two types of interactions.

The first one is encounter, and he called it the I-thou interaction, encounter.

He said that when we go through encounter, we interact with others, we interact with our environment, mainly human environment, in a holistic way, totally. We are immersed, and we do this via empathy.

But he said, it's very difficult to maintain encounter in the long term with other people because of the privileged position of the self.

The entities involved in any encounter between people are not equal entities.

When I'm talking to you, we are not equal.

And it's not that we are not equal because I'm superior to you, or you are superior to me. We are not equal because I have a privileged position. Myself has a privileged position.

And your self...

It's not what you mean by privileged. Privileged means that my self is known to me, I trust it, I feel safe with it. Myself has a position within my inner universe that no other object can have.

You can never be the equal of myself in your universe, in my universe. And I can never be the equal of yourself in your universe.

So in each of the universes that we call human beings, there is a privileged entity, which is the self, and all other entities with whom the self interacts.

And so Booger said, we cannot maintain an equal interaction because there's a privileged entity.

He said the only way we can maintain a non-privileged interaction, an egalitarian interaction, is through God because God is the eternal vow.

In other words, the self has a privileged status and God has a privileged status.

So only two privileged entities can communicate properly.

But of course, this is a psychotic point of view.

Yes.

It's a religious point of view. All religions have this, including secular religions like communism and so on.

In religion generally, there is a privileged entity.

The privileged entity can be God in Islam, Christianity and so on. The privileged entity can be the working class in communism. The privileged entity can be race in Nazism.

These are all religions, and you have a privileged entity that resonates with the other privileged entity that is inside each and every one of us with a self.

Yes.

Because these privileged entities can establish a permanent channel of communication, we tend to mistakenly identify the external private entity with our own internal private entity.

In other words, if I'm talking to you and when I'm talking to you, we can't maintain a truly egalitarian discourse or interaction for long because at some point, my self is privileged.

Myself has access to information that you will never have. Myself, I'm invested emotionally in myself, not in you, etc.

So my self is privileged to you.


And therefore, how can we have an equal communication?

We can't.

Yes.

That's when you sort of mentally retreat away from an argument or something like that back into...

To put it bluntly, I always prefer myself to you.

Yes.

But if there's a God, God is an equally privileged entity.

And so, my self can interact with God on an equal basis forever because he's privileged, I'm privileged.

But at some point, I will get confused.

I will begin to think that my privileged entity, the self, has something to do with that external privileged entity, God.

Right.

And this is, of course, the power of religion.

The power of religion is that it creates yet another privileged entity.

And this is the only experience of communication with a privileged entity that you could possibly have.

We are very lonely. We are existentially lonely.

We can't really communicate with other people. And we can't communicate meaningfully with other people because we are privileged.

We have this self. We broke the world to pieces when we created the self.

It is God or equivalents of God in secular religion that restore the universe, that heal the universe by allowing our privileged segment, the self, to interact with another external privileged segment, in the case of religion, God.

In other words, religion restores privilege to privilege communication.

Yes.

Whereas outside religion, and when I say religion, I also mean communism, Nazism, fascism. I mean, they're all religions.

Outside religion, every communication you have is by definition deficient and incomplete because your self isolates you from the world.

Your self tears you apart from the fabric of existence.

That's the role of yourself. That's why you have a self.

We should ask ourselves, and very few bothered, why do we need this self? What is it good for?

Because I think everyone, if you asked yourself deep down, would agree there's a sense of loneliness.

Yes, and the sense of loneliness, ironically, is because of yourself.

Had you been selfless without a self, you would have had an immersive experience, a total experience. You would have had what Buber calls an encounter, an I thou.

But Buber says, because we have a self, we have another type of encounter, the I eat.

He calls it the experiential encounter, the experiential dimension, experience.

So we have these two possibilities to interact with the world.

Either we limit ourselves to interactions with other people, and then we feel lonely.

We feel incomplete. We feel broken. We feel separated. We feel isolated. We feel alienated. We feel estranged. We feel bad.

Marx describing, Kierkegaard describing, Buber describing, Sartre describing, numerous other philosophers.

Or the alternative type of communication is with a privileged entity.

This privileged entity is actually a reflection of yourself. It's exactly like your self.

It's privileged.

But this means that we have exactly two choices.

Shortly we will see that we have a third one.

But ostensibly at this stage, we have two choices.

Either we become psychotic, we invent a privileged entity, and then we interact with it as though it does exist.

So we invent God. We say that God has a privileged position. It's a privileged entity.

And then we begin to communicate with God as though it exists.

That's an excellent description of psychosis.

Or we limit ourselves to materialism. We limit ourselves to observable phenomenon and observable people.

People we can touch, people we can have sex with, people we can talk to.

But then we feel incomplete. We feel lacking. We feel deficient in something.

Because there's always an entity inside us, the self, that keeps saying, I am privileged.

Yes. I am the being. Everything outside is inferior or suspicious or deficient or maybe illusory, delusional.

Selfhood is very traumatic because selfhood is a break from the world, but it also implies alienation and estrangement. And it implies to some extent a loss of control.

Because why did you create yourself? You created the self because you could not control the primary object. You couldn't control mother. You tried to control her. You cried through a temper tantrum, but you couldn't control.

This realization is a point that as a child, as a baby, that you cannot control the adults around you is extremely terrifying. Because your life depends on these adults. Your survival depends on these adults. If you can't control them, you're at risk.

So selfhood is compensatory.

It's like, okay, I cannot control an external object. I'm going to create my own object, and I'm going to control that object.

Yes.

And this is the self.

But of course, the self has been created in sin. The self has been created in pain, in trauma, in frustration, in terror. It's a terrifying thing.

We all have inside us this core, this self, which is imbued with negative emotionality, was born in a maelstrom of negativity.

The self is not born out of positivity, out of optimism, out of love. The self is born because you failed, because you lost control, because you're traumatized, because you're terrified, because you're afraid to die.

I mean, the self is a reactionary, compensatory way to somehow, hysterically and psychotically reassert control of a world that is spinning out of control.

It's important to understand this.

Why is it important to understand this?

Sorry?

And this is module two.

Yes. And why is it important to understand this?

Because whenever you will come across a world that is spinning out of control, your automatic reflex would be the self.

You have learned to associate the self as a solution to a world that is potentially hostile, unpredictable, arbitrary, threatening.

So whenever you come across a similar world, you already have a ready-made solution of the shelf, the self, end of module two.


Want to say something before we proceed?

No, so we have module one.

Let's summarize the first two modules, because this is really, really, really new territory and very difficult to assimilate.

Even for me, by the way, I'm reading from notes. So it's not that I'm pretending to be mastery of everything I'm saying.

Let's summarize the first two modules.

We start life with a rejection. We are expelled from our mother's bodies.

That is rejection.

I mean, this is the ultimate rejection. Can you be more rejected than this?

No.

So we start life with a rejection, which creates a trauma, because once you're rejected, you suddenly are separate and you have a point of view.

Then there is a secondary, a second rejection. This time, you're rejecting mother because you want to become an individual.

Yes. And there is a trauma associated with these two, because once you become an individual, you have a self. And once you have a self, suddenly the world breaks apart.

Until you had developed the self, the world was one. The minute you have a self, there is self and world, of course. So there's a breakup of the world.

The world is a schism. The world breaks apart, and it's an absolutely terrorizing experience.

And so gradually over time, you have the self, and you develop the self because of the frustration with mother, and because you withdraw inside.

And you withdraw inside, you become more narcissistic, you become more introverted, and by developing an inner core, which is called the constellated self, by developing an inner core, you engage in a trade-off.

On the one hand, you say, okay, I will give up the unitary universe. I will give up being one with everything. I will give up being one with mother. I will give up being one with others. I will accept existential loneliness. My self dooms me to existential loneliness.

And this is the price I'm going to pay, and I will pay it.

Why will I pay this price?

Because by having a self, I have an object that I can control. I have an object that restores my sense of safety, my sense of security, my optimism, my trust, my hope. I have a best friend, if you wish.

So I'm not alone anymore, in a way.

So I'm going to give up the rest of the world in order to find myself, my self.

This is the trade-off.


At some point in childhood, you have to choose.

You want the world, or you want to become you.

The minute you make the decision, and absolutely everyone makes this decision, except people with mental health disorders.

But healthy people, at some point, as children, make this decision.

Bye-bye world. I'm forgetting the world. Why?

Because I'm becoming my self.

But still, it's traumatic and so on.

And every time you come across situations which are stressful, which are traumatic, which are unpredictable, which are terrifying, you have already made off-the-shelf solution.

You tend to repeat what you had done before. You tend to resort to your self.

Enter narcissism.

But before we come to narcissism, there's module three.

So again, let's hop in.

All right.

Now we have a situation.

The child is about two years old. The child is a self.

This self is immersed and imbued with narcissism. It's a narcissistic phrase. It's called primary narcissism. The child is a self.

The self is a privileged position, in the sense that the child realizes that there's a self and there's the rest of the world.

The child has access to the self, good relationship with the self, trusting the self, feels safe with the self, etc.

So self has a privileged position.

There's the rest of the world, which is by definition inferior.

And that's where the child stands.

And now the child essentially has to make a choice.

Because the self is a machinery. You need to maintain it.

It's exactly like a car. You need to put fuel to drive somewhere. Every psychological construct consumes energy, including narcissism. Everything inside you consumes energy all the time.

By the way, medically speaking, the brain consumes 35% of all your energy. There's a lot going on in the background that you're not aware of.

One out of three calories that you consume every day go to the brain.

So at some point, there is this self.

The child needs to invest in the self.

Now he can invest in one of two ways.

He can invest in the self constructively, or he can invest in the self destructively.

Now Freud called it Eros and Thanatos, libido and destudo. Libido is much more well known. It's the force of life. It includes sex, that's why it's well known. And destudo is the opposite of libido. It's the destructive force, self destructive force.

But both of them involve investment of energy.

What we call cathexis. Both of them involve investment of energy.

Why?

How does the child decide whether to invest the force of life or the force of death?

According to which type his mother is.

The type of the mother determines whether the child turns left or right.

To construct a constructive, productive, happy life. Or to a destructive, disturbed, disrupted life. The mother determines this.

Now there are two types of mother.

There's the dead mother.

Dead mother is a phrase invented by Andrei Green, psychologist in 1983. The dead mother is a self-centered, narcissistic, non-responsive, emotionally dysregulated, mood lablele.

Who is unable to provide the child with a safe, stable, predictable environment.

Now Green called it the dead mother.

But it applied to some extent to fathers as well, of course.

One could say dead parent.

But the mother has a disproportionate contribution, definitely.

So dead mother.

And the dead mother is one type.

The second type is what Donald Winnicott, who was a pediatrician and psychologist, called the good enough mother. The good enough mother provides safe base.

Safe base is a clinical term. It means it's like a military base. The child can go outside to the world, raid the world if you wish. And the child does this with grandiosity because he takes on the world.

But he knows that he can always come back to mommy. He can always hug mommy's leg. She will always be there for him. She's there, stable as a rock.

So that's the good enough mother.

Dead mother, good enough mother.

The dead mother continues the rejection that started with birth. She rejected the child from her body and then she rejects the child in her life, in her emotions, in her cognitions, in her existence. That's the dead mother.

The rejection continues a pace without any interruption.

The good enough mother...

Sorry. I'm getting this picture already with...

It's the mother that chooses whether you go left or right.

Yes.

Is there almost like a wave of dead motherhood, as in one follows another follows another?

Even like intergenerational?

Yes.

Yeah, we have studies, massive studies that show that abuses intergenerationally and lack of emotional availability, unpredictable behavior, mood lability, emotional dysregulation, they're all passed on the generations.

The correlation is so extremely high that we started to believe that genetics are evolved or even brain abnormalities because correlation is seriously high.

For example, your chances of contracting borderline personality disorder, if your mother had it, are five times higher.

Yes. It's even more predictive than cancer. So it's absolutely intergenerational.

A dead mother generates a daisy chain of dead mothers.

Yes.

And the second type is the good enough mother, as you recall, Swinecote's good enough mother. And the good enough mother provides life.

She accepts. She accepts and she provides life.

And depending on your mother, you choose whether to affect, whether to emotionally invest in yourself the force of life, if your mother is good enough or the force of death, if your mother is dead, because you want to please mother. You want to reflect mother and you emulate and imitate mother.

Obviously, a dead mother would encourage you to die, to be dead. Obviously, a life mother would encourage you to leave.

Yes.

And so at some point, the child has a self.

The self separates him from the world, isolates him from the world.

That's the meaning of self. There's a privileged position.

And then we have two types of self, life-oriented, libidinal self, and death-oriented, fanatic self.

Right.

Okay.

So we then proceed and as we are still discussing individual developmental psychology.

Yes.

But shortly you will see that it's all 100% applicable to collectives and therefore to humanity at large.

So at some point, we are settled with the self.

I mean, there's a self. We invest energy in it. There's nothing more to do. It runs on automatic biode, autopilot.

So now we can pay attention to our environment.

And in the environment, there are objects.

It's very interesting, I think, that in psychology, we use the word objects to describe people.

Yes.

So we say primary object, that's mother.

It's interesting that there's a discipline that supposedly purports to deal with human beings, with empathy, with love, with this, with that.

Yeah, and cause an object.

And the first thing that they do is to call people objects.

Yes.

That's like human resources.

Yes.

It's very telling in my view.

Yes.

All these so-called humanities, the first thing they do is dehumanize people.

Dehumanization.

Management theory, psychology, anthropology.

The first thing they do is dehumanize people.

It's very telling.

Anyhow, so now the child, having settled the issue of the self, can emerge from the self, can launch himself from the self.

So the self became the safe base where previously the child would resort to his mommy, having explored the world.

Now he can explore the world and resort to his self.

He doesn't need mommy anymore.

Mommy is part of his self.

And we call this process introjection.

So now he can explore the world.

And he sees that there are other people in the world.

Each of these people have their own privileged self.

He realizes that people have their own privileged selves, and that therefore everyone is kind of a privileged position in communicating in a non-privileged manner with others.

It's also a major traumatic discovery.

It's a major traumatic discovery because the child is a solipsist.

Up to that point. Up to that point, the child tends to assume that only he exists.

And all other people are extensions, projections, avatars, representations, functions, anything.

But he does not countenance the idea that they have the same existence like him.

It's trauma number three.

And this is the phase where narcissists get stuck.

They can't make this transition.

So children apply the same schemas to objects.

Remember that as far as the child is concerned, there is a self, and there are others, and they're all objects.

There's an object universe.

Yes.

And so he applies to all these objects, himself included, the same schema, scheme.

Yes.

There are dead objects, exactly like dead mother.

So this is the sequence.

Dead mother, dead self, or self invested with death, dead objects.

And good enough mother, self invested with the force of life, good enough objects.

Now, people who see objects, who regard objects as dead, as inertial, they tend to become mentally ill. They tend to become disordered, and they have disorganized personalities.

The objects they see, including other people, are materialistic. They are also imbued with death.

This generates a normal confusion in the mind.

Because if they are dead, how come they're there?

You cannot reconcile their existence with death, and yet you fully experience them as dead.

Can you just give me an example of how someone would see an item, an object as dead?

Well, they look at other people the same way you look at your refrigerator.

Right, yes.

So they see them as inertial, materialistic entities.

That's Buber, Martin Buber was the first to point to that.

They see them as materialistic inertial entities, indistinguishable from cars, computers, smartphones, refrigerators, or your dog.

And this creates a normal confusion because clearly they're animated. You know, they're idiosyncratic, they're strange, they're alive and they're dead.

There is a clash between how you experience other people and what your cognition tells you.

Your mind, your brain tells you they're alive, but your heart tells you they're dead.

And so this kind of children would move away from other people, move away and emphasize really dead objects.

And this is the genesis.

This is the origin of materialistic capitalism.

Right.

If you regard other people as dead, it creates a dissonance. It is very uncomfortable because you know it's wrong. You know that you are wrong and yet you can't put your finger on it.

I look at this kind of child who had a dead mother and whose self is dead.

He sees other people as dead and yet he knows in his mind, in his cognition, in his ratio, he knows they're alive.

It's too much confusion. It's too much of a mess.

So better to ignore people, better to give up people, better to divorce people, better to not be exposed to this confusion and focus on cars and televisions and refrigerators because when you focus on material goods, there's no confusion. When you assume that your television is dead, you don't feel that it's not dead.

I mean, your cognition and your emotions cohere. They're coherent. They're conquering.

There is concurrency between emotion and cognition when you deal with truly dead objects, inanimate objects.

But so the tension is dropped.

Sorry.

So there's none of this confusion and tension with that.

Yes, no tension, no confusion, of course.

If you deal with a chair, your mind will tell you it's dead and your heart will tell you it's dead. End of story. Yes, there is concurrency between your cognition and your emotion.

But if you deal, if you are, if you have a dead self because you had a dead mother and you try to deal with another human being, your mind will tell you that human being is alive. That human being has a self. That human being has emotions.

But your heart will tell you that human being is dead.

The only way you can relate to other people is dead because the first person in your life was dead, your mother.

Yes. You created a template of relatedness to the world that is mediated via death exclusively.

That's your language, a fanatic language.

Of course, materialism is a fanatic civilization. It's a civilization, it's a death cult.

Capitalism, materialistic capitalism is a death cult. It's a cult that emphasizes possessions inanimate objects. It's a cult that sacrifices people, life people. Yes. Sacrificates them, annihilates them, exterminates them.

You only have to see the Great Depression and people dying and queuing up for students, all because we're playing a game.

Well, we go to war to obtain oil reserves.

Yes. In materialistic, fanatic, dead cultures, dead civilization or the civilization, that worship and are dedicated to dead objects.

In these kinds of civilizations, people are also considered dead.

So what's the problem to dispense with them, to sacrifice them, to utilize them, to annihilate them?

If everything is dead, then there's a hierarchy of value, hierarchy of price, but no hierarchy of value.

In other words, if you're dead and my chair is dead, then it's only a question of which do I prefer.

You don't have any privileged start-ups. You're the same as my chair.

Maybe my chair is more useful to me right now, so the hell with you. I can't do it.

And equally expendable.

Yes.

It's people become interchangeable, become dispensable, they become commodified. They become commodities.

And so if a child is born with the good enough mother, he has good enough objects.

And one of his good enough objects is mentally sound, he's mentally healthy, because he's able, he's able to come to the realization, to the internally assimilated realization that everyone is like him. Everyone has the same privileged self.

And we call this process empathy.

Empathy or more clinically more, in philosophical terms, the intersubjective agreement.

Yes.

So, of course, people who went through a dead mother and a dead self, they have no empathy.

Of course.

Yes.

You see that we are gradually converging on narcissism.

Yeah. Yeah.

Okay.

So there's a key difference.

There's a key difference between people who went through with a dead mother and dead self, and people who went through good enough mother, good self, good enough self.

The first ones are invested in death.

The others are invested in life.

The first ones make no distinction between human beings and inanimate materialistic inertial objects.

The second ones make a clear distinction between objects without a self and objects with a self.

And they say to themselves, my chair does not have a self. So I'm not like my chair.

But bring in Australia has a self. So I'm much more like bring in Australia than like my chair.

Yeah.

People with good enough upbringing, they develop empathy.

And empathy is simply the realization that you are closer, much closer, resemble much more certain types, certain class of objects than other classes of objects.

And this certain class of objects is what we call human beings.

Affinity. It's about affinity.

And so this leads to the next module.

Again, I'm giving you a chance at any stage to interrupt, contribute. I mean...

Well, it's incredible going through it by step by step because we're at the point now where we're stuck in the middle of it.

Right.

And yet to create the space to actually go back and see the steps that have occurred is incredibly illuminating.

True.

So again, let us take a step back, summarize what we've seen.

A child is born, goes through trauma, goes through rejection.

This trauma and rejection cause him to withdraw inside.

He says the world is painful. The world is traumatic.

I've been rejected. The hell with the world. I'm going to create inside myself a universe. It's myself. I'm going to create myself.

Yes.

He does this by using narcissism and introversion.

And then he creates a self. And then he has this self. And this self is his best friend.

This self, it has a privileged position.

So then he has to imbue this self with energy. And depending on what type of mother he has, he can imbue this self with negative energy, energy of death, or positive energy, energy of life.

If his self is fueled with the energy of life, he will develop empathy and he will realize that all other human beings are like him. They also have a self.

If on the other hand, his mother was dead and he developed a self that is fed and fueled with the force of death, he will regard other people as objects, the exact equivalent of a refrigerator or a chair or a car.

And then he will not have empathy.

So this is where we stand right now.


And now we come to the next thing.

The realization that there are other people out there creates yet another break.

And before I continue, I don't know if you notice, when you go in life from one trauma to another, trauma one, trauma two, trauma three, trauma four, the whole process of personal development is super dramatic.

It's not a positive, optimistic, Hollywood scenario.

No.

It's a horrendous experience.

Growing up is absolutely horrible experience. You can't ask any adolescents.

So, and it starts early on, the minute you're born.

And so here's another trauma for you.

If three were not enough, the trauma of realizing that there are objects out there that are external to you, suddenly you realize that some objects are internal, for example, yourself.

And some objects are external.

This is revolutionary stuff.

Suddenly you really internalize it.

It's a real insight.

You see, oh my God, there are some things inside me that are only inside me. They don't have an objective experience outside me.

For example, when I hear my mother's voice saying, bad boy, don't do this. That's not really my mother's voice. That is something inside my head. It's an introject. It's an internal object.

But then if I see my mother and she tells me, don't do this, you're a bad boy. It's the same message, but this time it comes from the outside. It's an external object.

And it's beginning to be exceedingly confusing. You see, even objects that are good enough, it's very difficult for us to tell the difference between external and internal objects.

And I'm not talking only about mentally ill people, for example, psychotics.

Yes.

Even the most well-balanced, mentally healthy, poster boy of psychology, the ideal man has a problem, or woman has a problem, severe problem, telling apart external from internal objects.

Yes.

We'll come to it a bit later.

Bear that in mind.


Log in.

And so we have to somehow organize all these objects.

Some of them are hurtling inside our mind. Some of them are outside. Some of them we think they're outside, and suddenly we discover that they're actually inside. Some of them we think they're inside, but actually, wait a minute, no, they're outside. I mean, it's a bloody mess.

So what we, this reality becomes intolerable.

Because there is fuzziness of boundaries between external and internal, reality itself becomes unbearable, terrifying, frightening, menacing.

And so we need to reestablish a sense of safety somehow.

The minute we realize that there are objects out there, we feel unsafe.

Yes.

I can easily prove it to you, by the way, when you fall in love.

Yes.

When you fall in love, it's regressing to a primary state, because suddenly you notice the existence of an external object in its fullness, holy. You know?

And when you do, you become extremely insecure. You develop abandonment, anxiety, panic, performance, develop a panopoly of anxieties.

Yes.

The natural reaction to falling in love is not actually positive at all. It's heightened anxiety.

The body reacts identically. Your pulse, your sweating, these are anxiety reactions.

Falling in love, love, is an anxiety disorder, in effect.

Why?

Because suddenly an object out there comes into sharp relief.

You know, you see it clearly.

Yes.

Demarcated, delineated, you know.

So realizing that there are objects out there makes us feel very unsafe.

And so how can we restore safety?

Because we can't live without safety. We can't live without certainty.

How can we restore this?

We restore this by writing stories. We are storytelling species.

Yes.

So we write, we invent narratives.

Narratives do three things.

They have three functions.

One, they organize reality.

Two, they interpret reality. They make it understandable.

And number three, they imbue reality with meaning. They create meaning.

So narratives, by organizing reality, by interpreting reality, making it comprehensible, and by imbuing it with meaning, restore a sense of safety.

That is fascinating because over the three years that I've been listening to people's stories, more often than not, a key feature of what we talk about is when people come to terms with the end of a story.

And they can often tell you the crucible of the situation when the story was birthed, whether it's from a father or a mother or an awkward situation and you tell yourself a story, I'm not going to be like this, I'm going to be like that.

And then that story is there angelically to protect you, but then after a period of time becomes the demon.

And I've said this before, when asked why call it W, what is the real in WA real?

And to me, there's nothing more real than an ending.

And more often than not on this podcast, we talk about the ending of stories.

So for the story to actually play a role in this is enormously significant for me.

A story, a narrative, which as this three functions, as I mentioned, organizing, explaining and imbuing with meaning, rendering meaningful.

The main reason we have stories is to put the world together, back together. The world is a humpty dumpty. When we develop ourselves, we broke the world to pieces. We need to put it back together urgently.

So we put the world back together via narratives. Narratives reunify the world.

You know, in the Kabbalah, in the Jewish Kabbalah, which is absolutely by far the most amazing body of work ever.

Yeah.

They say that when God created the universe, he had to minimize himself. He had to kind of make space, make place for the universe.

Yes.

And he had to minimize himself.

And in the process of minimizing himself, he broke many vessels. Everything was organized in vessels and then he had to break them because the minimization process created the equivalent of pressure, if you wish.

Never mind. So he broke many vessels.

And they say humanity is wrong. Why God created humanity?

Humanity's role is to heal God, to make him whole again, to put him back together.

God had been minimized, and the vessels of existence have been broken when the world was created. God kind of panicked, and he created human beings with sentience and consciousness so that they can help him restore himself.

Yes.

Human beings are the healing agents of God.

It's exactly opposite what we think. It's not that God should heal us. We should heal God according to the Kabbalah.

Right.

And how do we do that according to the Kabbalah?

By following a narrative. There's a narrative of God's relationship with his people. And by following this narrative, we are healing God.

We are putting God back together, like Adibtidim.

And they're right.

This is the main role of a narrative, to reunite you with your loss.

As a child, by making the choice, which is not really a choice, to develop a self, you had withdrawn. You had become extremely solipsistic and narcissistic. You had divorced from the world. You had become a monk, a hermit.

And then, out of the citadel of yourself, you gazed outside and you saw other people like you.

And this was a trauma.

Because you said, wow, I'm not alone. All these figments that I thought were inside my head, they're not inside my head. They really exist. They're out there.

And now you need it because they used to be part of your mind and suddenly they're outside.

You are in a God position. They are your creation in a way.

So you need to bridge the gap between the two of you, between you and other objects, other people.

And this bridges empathy.

But empathy is meaningless if it is not embedded in a narrative.


And now we come to the last module because there are three narratives.

Exactly three.

We think there is a multiplicity of narratives. There are thousands of narratives.

Even some people say, each person comes with his own narrative. It's all very true.

But at all narratives, all billions of narratives belong in three groups.

The psychotic narrative, the narcissistic narrative, and the nothingness narrative.

Now, all three have the same functions. They organize the world, explain the world, and they render the world understandable, meaningful. They imbue the world with meaning. Meaning includes purpose, goal, direction.

So we start with the psychotic narrative.

Psychotic narrative, which is characteristic in the case of mental illness, characteristic of psychotic disorder, borderline personality disorder, co-dependency. This is in mental ill people.

And in regular people, in healthy people, normal people.

The psychotic narrative is, for example, religion. Or an ideology, secular ideology. Or science.

These are all psychotic narratives.

And psychotic narratives has three elements.

Psychotic narrative has three elements.

Number one, it expands your identity. It opens up your identity so that it can incorporate, it can embrace, incorporate, hug, and bring into you the entire world.

So it's like the famous song, We Are the World.

Yes.

In a psychotic narrative, you are the world. You become the world by sort of digesting it, assimilating it.

And it creates identity diffusion.

Because of course, if you become the entire world, then there's no you anymore. Your identity gets diluted, becomes diffused.

Is that different from that unity place?

Not really.

It's an attempt to restore the unitary state of early childhood.

That's why I mentioned religion. And that's why I mentioned science.

Science is exactly the same function. That's why it's science and religion are fighting all the time.

Because they are two alternative competing psychotic narratives.

Science is trying to do exactly the same. Science is trying to make you the world, and make the world you.

And it's interesting you say that, because I joke about how we, right at the moment, we all bow down to the high priest of science.

And they're currently telling us that this invisible thing is coming to get us and telling us what to do. And we're all doing it, much like we would have obeyed priests before.

It's a religion, of course it's a religion. It's a religion of reason. Religion of reason.

But it's a religion, absolutely. With all the rituals and the institutions of it. It's a religion.

And it's a psychotic narrative, because it involves something called hyper reflexivity.


Hyper reflexivity has the three elements that I'm describing.

Element number one, it expands your identity so that you can include the world.

And in that moment, when you succeed, when you had succeeded to include the world, you disappear, of course.

Because you become one with the world. There's no self anymore.

So the psychotic narrative actually leads to a dissipated self.

We call it, in clinical terms, diminished self-affection or self-presence.

The psychotic narrative destroys your self, dissipates it, reduces it to molecules.

So as to allow you to incorporate the entire world inside you.

In this sense, the psychotic narrative conflates, unites, confuses, internal and external.

Actually, the psychotic narrative says internal and external, that's an artificial distinction. It's nonsense. It's not such thing.

You know?

Yes.

And you can see this, for example, we talk about science. You can see this in environmentalism.

Because environmentalists are saying, there's no such thing as you and the world. You are the world. The world is you. You know?

There is a theory of Gaia, where Earth is the world. There is a theory of Gaia, where Earth is a kind of organism.

Yes.

Religion says the same. God is everywhere. God is inside you. You are God in this sense. You are a molecule of God.

So all these are psychotic narratives.

And of course, you can have secular psychotic narratives.

They are known as ideologies.

So the Nazi party said, there's no you. You're a molecule of the nation.

Comedy said, the communism said, there's no you. You are a proletariat. You're a member of the proletariat. You are defined by your belonging.

Yes.

Psychotic narrative defines you by your belonging.

There's no self anymore. It extinguishes the self.

This is one class of narratives.

Yes.

Remember, I want the viewers to remember that we are discussing narratives because, having gone through all the traumas of personal development, the only ultimate solution to reunite somehow with the world and with other people to build these bridges is by inventing narratives.

Yes.

We must tell ourselves stories in order to survive because, if we don't have a narrative, we have only a self, and that's the loneliest conceivable experience, totally solidistic, and no one can survive this.

So this is the first type of narrative, psychotic.

Then there is narcissistic grandiose narrative.

That's the second family of narratives.

We find it in existentialism. We find it with the cult.

René Descartes, the 17th century French philosopher, what did he say?

Kogito ergo sum. I think, therefore I am.

Descartes said, I'm not sure that anything exists, but I am sure that I exist.

How? If I don't exist, who is saying this?

You know, the very fact that I'm saying this sentence proves that I exist.

But that's the only certainty I have.

I don't know if anyone else exists.

Yeah.

So this is the narcissistic grandiose narrative.

We have Viktor Frankl on the other poll.

Viktor Frankl said that we are the source of meaning. We should generate meaning.

So the narcissistic grandiose narratives have these three features.

Number one, deflationary identity diffusion.

In other words, where the psychotic narrative expands the self to include the universe, the narcissistic narrative reduces the universe so that it can fit in the self.

It's like the famous saying of Louis XIV in France, King Louis XIV. He said, let us in one. The state is I, I'm the state. So he reduced the French state and he said, it's me. In my personality, my personality, this is the state.

Yes.

And Nixon said the same way. He said the president is the state, is the constitution.

Yes.

So narcissists, they don't expand themselves to include the universe. They don't believe in religion. They don't believe in ideology. They don't believe in science.

Narcissists don't expand.

Narcissist wants you to contract.

Yep.

The narcissist wants you to become small so that they can swallow you, digest you, and assimilate you.

Yes.

The narcissist refuses to get assimilated in anything, even in the universe, even in God. He wants everything to be assimilated in him, even the universe, even God.

So there is a deflationary identity.

Deflation becomes smaller.

Yes.

This goes together with an inflated self.

Of course, while the narcissist reduces everything else to manageable portions that he can digest and assimilate at the same time, he's feeding his self and his self expands inflationary.

But of course, an expanded inflated self is false. It's not true. It's a piece of fiction.

Indeed, in narcissistic narratives, the self is infinite but false. And the universe is microscopic and less than microscopic.

It is an element in the infinite self.

So in psychotic narratives, the self is microscopic. All the rest is infinite.

In narcissistic narratives, the self is infinite. All the rest is microscopic.

And in both these narratives, there is a conflation, a uniting of internal and external.

The psychotic thinks that internal objects are external. The narcissist thinks that external objects are internal.

But both of them confuse external and internal. And both of them are not healthy.

These are dysfunctional, unhealthy narratives.

I am not an atheist. I'm agnostic. I consider atheism a religion.

But I agree with Richard Dawkins when he says that the greatest disaster to have befallen humanity is religion.

Because religion led to so much suffering and so much death and he did this because of this conflation.

These narratives are sick narratives.

Science didn't get us to a good place. No, it didn't.

It is science that created the nuclear bomb. Yes.

I mean, it didn't get us to a good place.

These narratives are not only sick, but they are dysfunctional. They drive us. They are dead mother narratives.

Well, both of them. Both of them. They are dead mother narratives because they refuse to accept, refuse to accept.

The difference between external and internal.

The psychotic says, I don't accept that there is a difference between internal and external.

My internal world is the external world.

Yes.

Narcissist says, I refuse to accept that there's a difference between internal and external.

The external world is actually my internal world.

Yes.

This is sick.

And it's sick because it implies impaired reality testing.

It's counterfactual. It's not true. It's a lie.

These narratives are fallacious.

Yes. All of them, religion, science, existentialism, all of them are fallacious narratives.

Big part of philosophy, especially analytical philosophy. They are fallacious narratives because they will not accept that you are you and the world is the world.

Not in the sense that there is separateness, observer and observed, but in the sense that your internal experience of yourself is privileged, is not comparable to any other experience you have.

End of story. It doesn't mean that you are separate from the world. It doesn't mean that you are an observer and the world is observed. It doesn't mean any of these things.

It simply means that you experience yourself differently than you experience me.

Yes. Different is that you experience your chair. I mean, it's so basic.

Even my grandmother could have gotten me.

And yet, and yet 99% of Western civilization has still to get this.

Yes. It's so basic.

But it's so basic and stays you in the face yet.

And this leads to the only healthy narrative.

Yes.

And the only healthy narrative is the narrative that I call the nothingness narrative.

Nothingness narrative may be a bad choice of word. Jordan Peterson, in one of his numerous factual errors, calls it the nihilistic narrative.

It's not nihilistic. It's the nothingness narrative, if you wish, the suspension narrative.

This narrative is three elements.

It suspends the question of identity. It accepts that identity is in flux, is like Heraclitus, the river of Heraclitus.

You can't step in the same river twice.

It accepts, therefore, that there is no core identity. There's no stable thing that is immutable.

But that identity is a process.

Second element, the self is calibrated.

In the approach, in the nothingness narrative, the self exists, but exactly like identity. It is modified by interactions with the environment and with others.

And the third thing, which none of the other narratives have, the psychotic narrative doesn't have it, narcissistic narrative doesn't have it, the nothingness narrative has something called boundaries. Boundaries are the most critical, in my view, psychological function.

When you become an individual, what does it mean?

It means you put boundaries.

And what are boundaries?

Why do I call this the nothingness narrative?

What does it mean when you say, this is my boundary?

It means that you stop to exist. You cease to be. You cease to exist at the boundary.

Yes. The boundary is where you stop and the world starts. The boundary is where you cease and the world commences and other people commence. Boundary is about not being. Boundary is not about being. It's about not being.

Only people who know how not to be have healthy boundaries.

Narcissists, for example, they don't know how not to be. They don't know how to stop. They want to consume everything. They want to digest and manipulate and control everything. They have no boundaries because they refuse to stop being. They refuse to stop their existence at any point.

Yes.

Similarly, psychotics.

Psychotics don't know how not to be.

The psychotic takes internal elements from his mind and projects them outside. Voices speak to him. He sees visions. It's all coming from his mind. He refuses to not be. He insists to continue to exist by other means outside.

All these narratives, the psychotic narratives and the narcissistic narratives, these families of narratives, they are sick because they will not accept, they will not accept a cessation of existence. They will not accept not being.

The healthy person accepts not being. The healthy person says, I'm up to here. And beyond this point, I don't exist. Beyond this point, you exist. Beyond this point, the world exists.

This is a healthy person. It's someone who knows how to stop being.

That can be confronting because it's...

That can be confronting and scary because it's the point where this is where I stop.

Sorry, I'm letting it sink in. It's the going to the boundary and finding the boundary and then going, yeah, this is me. And after this, there is not me.

Which is, you know, it's essentially confronting.


Look how indoctrinated you are.

Yes.

You've been indoctrinated by a narcissistic psychotic society.

Yes.

It's impossible for you to imagine not being.

Exactly.

And yet, if you go to other cultures, it's the most natural thing.

Not being, of course not being.

Most of the time, it's not being.

Before I was born, it's not being. After I was dead, it's not being. Up to here, I exist.

Beyond that, I don't exist. I mean, it's totally natural for them.

But it's not natural for people who live in the West. And increasingly, unfortunately, because of homogenization of mass media, social media, there are transmission vectors of this contagion.

Yes.

So the younger generations in places like China and India, they're much more like us.

We have been poisoned, utterly poisoned, to believe that we must exist everywhere all the time. We've been encouraged to inflate ourselves, to inflate ourselves at the expense of others, at the expense of the world, to minimize the world, to minimize others so that they can be assimilated and digested by our ever-expanding self.

Yes. Or we have been taught to delete ourselves and to become one with the world.

Both solutions are dysfunctional. Both are sick because your self is not the world.

End of story. It doesn't matter if your self digests the world or if the world digests yourself. There is no relation between the world and yourself.

This is the boundary. You need boundaries.

And we have been taught to obliterate boundaries, which leads me to the last module, and that is humanity, humanity and history.


First of all, in my mind, at least, and in the mind of many others, there's many other scholars, there's no real distinction between human history and individual psycho-history.

Yeah.

Human history is just an agglomeration of millions of individual psycho-histories.

And because your psychological history and my psychological history share so much in common, you know, we're exposed to the same TV shows, we're seeing new cycles.

So these individual psycho-histories, they cohere. They're on the same wavelength. They're on the same frequency. And together, they generate human history.

And we see this in embryology, for example.

There's something called vestigial structures in embryology.

When the human baby develops, the human baby starts with a tail. It has a tail. It has a tail.

Yeah.

And then it becomes a fish. It has gills.

So the human baby in the womb goes through all the stages of evolution, recreates evolution in the womb.

And this is called vestigial structure embryology or evolutionary embryology.

And the same goes for human history.

Human history simply goes through all the stages of individual development that I've described.

Right.

When a nation is born, it goes through the same trauma of having been ejected from another body. When Australia was born, when the United States was born, they were born by being ejected, exactly like a baby.

I mean, it's identical. Everything I've said, everything I've said until now, is 100% applicable to human history, these principles, all of them.

Indeed, as soon as you say that, because Australia's such a young country, and at times I had jokingly derided it as a social experiment that isn't always going so well since we decided to cut off from the Indigenous past.

So where would Australia be in this right now?

I don't know Australia well enough, of course, but if you use the scheme, the modules that I've described, you can position Australia somewhere.

You can position the United States, of course.

You can position, I mean, because whatever I've described applies to collectives without reservation. Everything I've described applies to collectives.


And so it's a scheme which you can apply to collectives.

By the way, collectives don't have to be nation states. They can be a football club. They could be a church.

I mean, collective.

Indeed, you have scholars like Jung.

Yes, C.G. Jung?

Carl Jung suggested the concept of collective unconscious. And archetypes.

He said that the unconscious of individuals contains the cumulative, accruing unconscious of the collective.

Yes, he saw no distinction whatsoever between collective and individual.

In this sense, he is my kind of inspiration.

Jung, as opposed to Freud, Freud made a clear distinction between individual and collective, which is the major flaw in Freud's work, because he treated individuals as though they were not embedded in any specific culture and time and period and society.

Yes.

And that's dead wrong. His patients were all middle class Viennese women.

Yes.

And that alone would have supplied, provided him with 80% of the insight he had needed, had he not chosen to ignore these dimensions.

Yes.

But Jung didn't make this mistake.

When you read Jung's writings, and I'm not a fan of Jung, because I think he strayed into very bizarre or cult-like nonsense, but when you read his writing at least, he doesn't make any meaningful distinction between individual and collective.

And he's right. He's 100% right.

Every individual is a microcosm of the collective, and every collective is an agglomeration of the individual.

And the dynamics are identical. The schemes are identical. The phases, the stages, you can predict what's going to happen to Australia in the next 200 years if you can position Australia in the scheme that I provide.

Yes.

And so, collectives go through the same thing. There's a psychotic phase.

Then there is an narcissistic phase. And there is a nothingness phase.

Same narratives, same three solutions.

The psychotic phase.

Yes.

Religions. We are exiting now the psychotic phase.

This is exactly the moment where we're exiting the psychotic phase because we tried divine religions. Didn't work. We tried secular religions. We got Auschwitz. Didn't work.

And so, Auschwitz and the Gulag.

Yes.

So didn't work. So now we got rid of these psychotic narratives.

They were so dysfunctional that they threatened to destroy humanity.

So, we are forgetting now about the psychotic narrative.

Regrettably, having discarded the psychotic narratives, we didn't choose the nothingness narrative.

No.

We chose the narcissistic narratives.

And this, finally, I'm coming.

This is the answer to your question.

Yes.

We organize everything in narratives.

Humanity had just discarded the psychotic narratives and had made a choice.

It was left with two types.

Yes.

Nothingness or narcissistic.

And it made a choice.

It chose the narcissistic narratives.

And this choice of narcissistic narrative has its roots in the 17th century with a process called enlightenment.

Enlightenment started, among others, with Descartes, which I mentioned before.

Yes.

And Descartes and others, Renaissance, the Renaissance in the 16th century, they placed men at the center.

If you look at Leonardo da Vinci's paintings, sorry, drawings, if you read Descartes' philosophy, it's all men in the center.

Men had become the center of creation.

They were developing, even as the psychotic narratives were continuing apace, they were already developing the narcissistic narratives.

So concurrently, there was a small elite that were busy developing narcissistic narratives, but these narratives did not become popular.

And the vast majority of humanity were still engaged in psychotic narratives like religions, like communism, like Nazism, like liberal democracy, like fascism and so on.

These are all psychotic narratives, science.

So humanity as a whole was still engaged in psychotic narratives.

And what they didn't notice is that the elites were constructing narcissistic narratives.

And by the way, this is not limited to philosophy.

Consider, for example, physics. In physics, there's a branch of physics called quantum mechanics.

Quantum mechanics is a description of the world on the microscopic level.

And there is an interpretation of quantum mechanics. It's called the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics.

And it is the dominant interpretation.

And the Copenhagen interpretation says that the observer creates the universe. The observer makes a choice, experimental choice.

And when the observer makes the experimental choice, he creates the world.

Yes.

So the Copenhagen interpretation is a narcissistic narrative. He puts the observer as the creator of the world.

It's totally godlike.

And so gradually, there was started to be a narcissistic alternative.

And when we got disappointed with psychosis, when all the psychotic narratives failed us, religion failed us big time, it led to fundamentalism and terrorism. Science failed us big time.

And in all the psychotic narratives, communism, fascism, racism, they all failed us.

At some point, we said, the hell with psychotic narratives. We're not going there again. End of story.

And then we started to look around.

What else is there?

Oh, these guys have prepared for us.

Narcissistic narratives, ready made on the shelf, we don't need to work.

Yeah.

So we picked up the narcissistic narratives.

Narcissistic narratives, if you look at public intellectuals today, they're all narcissistic.

They all propagate and promulgate narcissistic narratives.

All of them.

All the public intellectuals, the coaches, the mystics, the yogis, I mean, all of them.

So.

Since we spoke four weeks ago, I can.

I said to you before this, before this interview, it's like, I see the world in five, six, seven, eight, nine D now.

Because, you know, coaches, mystics, people who are putting themselves out there, look at me, I can help you. I can take you to enlightenment.

And it's all driven by a sense of self.

It's not, you know, back to that with this.

Well, I'm just trying to help.

Well, his bank account usually.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. He's trying to have his bank account.

And that the.

The huge pitties that the elites.

When they embarked on the enlightenment project in Europe.

The elites at that time had two choices, not one, a two alternatives, not one.

They could have opted for constructing a narcissistic now because the elites in the 17th century.

In Europe, intellectual elites.

Yes.

They understood. They predicted correctly.

That psychotic narrativesare going to lead us to help.

Help in a handbook. If you read writings. In the 17th and 18th century.

So others. They predict with absolute accuracy and prescience. That religion will lead us to help science. If it remains unbridled, we'll lead us to hell. I mean, they knew where we all go.

The newest. What's coming.

And so they embarked desperately by the way you feel desperation in their writings.

They embarked on a project. Of providing alternatives.

Once the psychotic narratives break down, which they were sure is going to happen, and they were right, regrettably, they are two alternatives.

They could have constructed healthy alternatives.

Nothingness alternatives. Boundary alternatives.

Alternatives which choose life.

Yes.

Instead.

They opted for technology. Technology is death.

Yes.

They opted for technology.

They opted for narcissism.

They placed men in the center.

You know.

They opted for a view of the world. Which comes from us.

They opted for elevating the self. They opted for worshiping the self.

In psychology, same.

Did you ever ask yourself, why psychology organized around self, or personality, isn't it bizarre?

I can give you ten alternatives. How to organize psychology.

It's not.

The choice of self is an organizing principle in psychology.

The choice of individual personalityis the core of psychology.

That's an narcissistic choice. Of course.

Because you can easily construct a psychology that starts with society.

It starts.

Starts with history. Or starts.

I don't know what we all think. Why start with the individual?

Why start with the individual?

Did you ever ask yourself, no?

I mean.

It's because I think my choice.

Because the swim in the sea of narcissism. And I've never noticed a choice.

Our elites betrayed us. And this is the source.

Of the hatred between the commoners and the elites.

Yes.

The common folk.

They feel betrayed. And they don't only feel betrayed by the state, which by the way, the state was also invented. In the 18th century.

It's alsoa narcissistic construct.

Narcissistic narrative.

So.

The house. That's right.

How is the statea narcissistic construct.

Because the state derives the modern state.

Yes.

Modern nations.

Yes.

Derives its authority.

From the individual.

The modern nation state.

Relies on the individual.

Theprior to the nation state.

We didn't have.

Any organizational principle of humanity.

That emphasized the individual.

We either had collective organizational principles. We had production oriented principles. Such as feudalism.

But we didn't.

And the king. And the queen.

They were not individuals. They were reification of divine principles.

And if they deviated. They were decapitated.

The modern state. Is based on the individual.

Of course.

Yes.

Even in Marxism. The modern state is based on the individual.

Marxism is founded. On a redistribution of goods. To whom. To whom. To individuals.

You know.

So.

The elites.

Gave us a series of solutions. Technology. Political organizational principles. Thinking. Cognitive principles. And emotional principles. And in doing so.

They provided us with alternative narratives. That were highly narcissistic. And in making this choice.

They had betrayed us.

This is the most profound betrayal. In human history. Unparalled and unequaled.

In the annals of humanity. When we opted for psychotic solutions. Psychotic narratives. God. Science. We did it. Innocently. We did it innocuously.

The choice of psychotic narratives. Was not motivated by any self-awareness or by.

I mean.

It just was kind of default.

People were primitive. They didn't know better.

This was the psychotic phase you remember with the child.

The psychotic phase is the first phase.

Yeah.

Psychotic solution is the first solution of the child.

It's childlike solution. It's regressive. It's reactionary.

So. Normally. When we're 5,000 years ago. 10,000 years ago. With every cultural revolution. Openization was starting. And so.

We thrashed about. We were looking for some organizing principle. We're looking for something to explain what the hell is happening to us. Makes sense of the world. To imbue it with meaning. To give us direction.

And so naturally like children do.

As children do.

We came up with psychotic narratives. That's normal.

Yeah.

Our statistic narratives. Were designed. They are designer goods. And they were designed by a tiny, tiny group of people. Maybe 100. And they were designed with full awareness of the possible consequences. And total disregard. For humanity.

They are narcissistic narratives. Were designed by people. Who were dead. You remember the dead mother. And they were designed by people who were dead. And so everyone around them is objects. Dead objects. To be manipulated economically. To be manipulated socially, social engineering. Economics. You said human resources. To be manipulated intellectually. To be coerced. To be commoditized. To be commodified. To be monetized. Monetizing eyeballs.

This is absolutely a horrific image. Monetizing eyeballs. Did you ever stop to think about this imagery? It's fucked. It's a horrible imagery. It's a horror movie imagery. I can see floating bleeding eyeballs all over. Being monetized. It's really sick imagery.

So these people. Designnarratives knowing full well what they are doing.

They cannot be forgiven or excused.

No.

And this is where we are right now.

They could have chosen another path in the 17th and 18th century. They could have chosen the path of nothingness.

Not nothingness in this stupid sense.

Nothingness, I'm doing nothing.

Nothingness is not laziness. Nothingness is recognizing.

That you are a self. That you have privileged access to yourself. That others have privileged access to theirs.

And most importantly, that you have an end. That you have a limit. That you have a boundary.

And that everyone else does too.

It's the only way to coexist. And it is the foundation of empathy.

We have constructed a disempathic civilization.

Because the core choice is deflectionary. The core choice of narcissistic narrative.

Is I'm going to make the universe. I'm going to make nature. I'm going to make everything. I'm going to make everyone so small that I can control them. Manage them. Manipulate them. Use them and abuse them.

We abuse nature. We abuse our spouses.

Because this is the essence of narcissistic narrative. To minimize, to minimize, to minimize. And then to absorb.

So the question I'm about to ask you is sort of...

It was put forward, or this...

The idea behind this question was put forward by Richard in the fact that...

So if we had a hundred, say as you said, a hundred people who consciously were aware of what they were doing by birthing this narcissistic story, narrative that would then perpetuate and...

Obviously those hundred people are not alive now.

Is this narrative still being perpetuated? Or is it got a life and momentum of its own?

Because it's easy for us to get very conspiratorial and say, the offspring of those hundred is still the ones that are running it.

Or there are those who are clever enough to see what it's doing and ride the wave of it.

Do you see my point?

These hundred initiate. They have successors. They have heirs, intellectual heirs.

They have...

It's still the dogma and the core of every syllabus and every curriculum and every agenda and every platform.

No, it's far from over. It's only starting. It's only starting because, as I told you in our previous conversation, narcissism is becoming a religion.

Yes.

It's a double yummy. It's a twofer.

Now you're going to get a narcissistic and a psychotic combo.

Narcissism is becoming esoteric. It's becoming transcendental. It's acquiring transcendental and esoteric features and dimensions. It's becoming a religion, as I said.

But you can say, but wait a minute. You said that it's either psychotic narratives or narcissistic narratives or nothingness narratives.

How come narcissism is merging with psychosis?

Because narcissism offers each individual the option to be a god.

Narcissism deifies individuals. And when they are deified, in their own mind, at least, when they are deified, they can then transition smoothly and seamlessly to a psychotic solution which involves only them.

So we have, like, psychotic, solipsistic, psychotic narratives embedded in a narcissistic narrative, which is collective.

By the way, this is very good that you asked this question because I wanted to point this.

This is the risk to the survival of the species.

We have never had a period in human history where there was a discrepancy between collective narrative and individual narrative.

If you had a psychotic collective narrative, you also had an individual collective narrative and psychotic narrative.

So if you had, for example, if the country was Christian, which is a psychotic collective narrative, every individual was Christian. The narrative permeated and pervaded. Narrative was ubiquitous or pervasive. There was no discrepancy between individual and collective narrative.

We are coming to a point where there will be a divergence. The individual narrative will be narcissistic.

Psychotic, individual narrative.

The individuals now are transitioning from narcissism, narcissistic narrative to psychotic narrative.

But the collective narrative will remain narcissistic.

Yes.

So you will have a narcissistic collective narrative, but individuals will have a psychotic narrative.

They will think of themselves as gods.

Yes.

Which means that for the first time in human history, there will be a massive conflict between individual narratives and collective narratives.

Now we already see this in action.

Yes.

Have a look how people are reacting to the virus.

You have a collective narrative, but since each one of us is a god, I mean, we say, fuck the narrative.

I'm going to decide if I put a mask. I'm going to decide if I social distance. I'm even going to decide if the virus is real. I'm going to decide if it's a pandemic. I'm going to impose my paranoia, my conspiracism, I'm god.

Yes.

I'm omniscient. I know everything. I'm all powerful.

So for the first time, it's not possible to have a collective response because a collective response necessitates the sharing of a collective narrative on the individual level.

If each individual is a psychotic because he believes or she believes that she's a god, collective action is impossible. And if collective action is impossible, our days as a species are bloody numbered because we have nothing, no advantage. We are small. We are short. We run very slowly. We are very weak compared to any animal you choose. We are seriously badly designed. Yes.

We have only two advantages, intelligence and collective action. And both of these are compromised. Compromised beyond reconstruction by a discrepancy between a psychotic narrative, I am god, and a collective narrative, which is narcissistic.

So narcissism in individuals has been driven to such extreme that it became psychotic.

We know, by the way, we know, by the way, there is a theory called diaphysis stress theory, which you mentioned. We know that if we take a narcissist and we push him, we stress him a lot, he becomes psychotic. He begins to hear voices, begins to see things.

We know that psychosis is the end point of narcissism.

Not Vaknik, Kanberg, Otto Kanberg, the father of the field.

Kanberg said that borderline is borderline between neurosis and psychosis. And he said that every narcissist has a borderline foundation.

So narcissism pushed to the extreme become psychosis in individuals, end of story.

This is the orthodoxy.

That's what we teach in school.

This is what happened to us.

We have been driven to such extremes, positively and negatively.

I mean, stress and rewards also.

If you are narcissist, it pays.

There are rewards for this.

It's a positive adaptation.

You become president of the United States, you know?

So both positively and negatively, we have incentives to radicalize and escalate our narcissism.

But what we didn't realize, when you radicalize and escalate a narcissist, he becomes psychotic at the border. He goes through a borderline phase and becomes psychotic.

It's precisely what's happening to us.


The collective remain narcissistic, but each individual has been radicalized, pushed to the limits, stressed out, rewarded for being a narcissist.

To the point that many, many individuals are beginning to be psychotic.

And we're going to have a mass psychosis, superimposed on the foundation of mass narcissism.

Bad news.

It's not going to work.

We fucked Sam.

It's not the most elegant question, but it's the first one that came to mind.

What was that?

Could you repeat it? And we fucked.

Oh, we fucked.

Not as much as I would like to be. Not as often either.

I am not optimistic. I'm not optimistic because I don't believe in human capacity to the psychotic narrative and the narcissistic narrative.

They cater to too many simultaneous psychological needs.

It's not like you cater to one need.

For example, you want to have sex or I give you sex.

They cater to everything.

Narcissistic narrative is a total solution.

It's like the Nazis call the Holocaust the end solution.

Narcissism is the end-losing of humanity. The final solution of the human problem.

The same with psychosis.

There are two total solutions.

Why?

Because to adopt a psychotic narrative, you need to be passive.

To adopt a narcissistic narrative, you need to be passive.

That's all.

But to adopt a nothingness narrative, a healthy narrative where you know where to stop, where you not to have a boundary, you need to work hard.

Who wants to work hard?

People are indolent.

The path of least resistance is psychosis or narcissism, as we see all around us.

It doesn't bode well to the species.

I'm not saying we will disappear as a species.

By the way, we can live on, we can survive as individuals, but not as a species.

Very possible.

A species is a structure.

We think a species is just an entity.

It's not a structure.

It has dynamics. It interacts with ecosystems. It has internal dynamics, external dynamics. It interacts with other species.

It's a very complex system. And we think we can tamper with it and tinker with it like that at will.

This is really, you know, it's not going to work. It's not going to work.

And you see it happening. You see it happening already.

We have an emergency. We have a global emergency. There's a virus. The virus created a pandemic. It's not the worst pandemic we've ever experienced, mind you. There's a bit of hysteria and panic around it.

But still, it's a challenge. We can agree it's a challenge.

Yes.

Are we managing it well? Are you bloody kidding me?

Yeah.

We managed the First World War better.

Yeah.

This is the most mismanaged crisis in human history.

We can't get our act together.

So we are faced with a challenge that has the potential to become existential.

Tomorrow, the virus can mutate and begin to kill 70% of sick people, like Ebola. Ebola kills 70% of people.

Yeah.

Patients.

So right now, the virus is harmless, more or less.

But it can mutate. It has the potential to become existential threat.

Act together. We can't, anywhere by the way, don't be impressed by New Zealand, you know, it's a penal colony.

So we can't get our act together. And whatever you say about World War II, we got our act together. Whatever you say about World War I, we got our act together.

Bloody hell, we got our act together in the Black Death. We reorganized labor relationships and everything. I mean, it's really the most horrifying spectacle how we discombobulated and disintegrated in the face of this hitherto pretty harmless pandemic. It's not a major challenge.

And this explains, you know, I mentioned it with Richard, the sense that sometimes I'm wondering where the grownups have gone. They're gone.

And of course, they're gone because psychotic solution and narcissistic solution are, as I said before, the childish solution.

The childish solution, they characterize early stages of childhood. Boundaries emerge much later. Boundaries emerge after adolescence.

So no, I'm not optimistic.


So how does that sit with Sam himself?

Because, I mean, is what you've put together, is that something that's recently come to you? Or has it been bit by bit by bit?

This particular what we discussed today is new. A new general.

So written.

But by coming to, by putting the modules together and then fully realizing and seeing where we are today, how does that sit within you?

I don't particularly care for people.

What this pandemic had exposed to me and unfunded struck is the faulty premise of evolution and then that it took place.

I have discovered that people were stuck, still stuck at the stage of primus and apes.

I mean, evolution may be right, but we still have to see it in action.

The level of inanity, stupidity, retardation, childishness, lack of resilience, weakness, feebleness, feeble-mindedness, the levels that were exposed by this pandemic, in my particular case, online via comments and emails, I believe in Rachel's case as well, defied my worst, darkest fears and expectations.

And that is saying a lot, because I've held people in contempt long before the pandemic. And I've discovered that my contempt was not nearly as profound as it should have been.

I am not particularly in a mood with the people. And I would not be very sorry to see a massive culling. It's long-coming.

We need some eugenics in action. If it's in the form of a virus, so be it. PT, the virus doesn't target stupid people. We would have been left with 1% of humanity. That would be eugenics.

Yes.

Wow.

Again, talking to you, I'm left soaking it up.

Sorry, today was a bit a lot heavier than last time.

No, but still necessary.

Yeah, it's good to put things in context, in context of individual development and collective development, a bit of history and so on.

We tend to lose sight of the context.

And we also tend to make distinctions which have no place, for example, distinction between religion and science. Science is religion. I mean, it's religion with the different guys, and these guys.

It's no wonder that science emerged in Christian Europe. And...

Yeah, you're back. Yeah, I'm back.

Something happened to the connection, right?

I know.

Just at the point of it.

Yeah, I think it's a cue for us to wrap up.

Indeed. So, since our last conversation, I have now changed my last question that I asked people.

Four weeks ago, I asked you, if you could upload a nugget of information into the collective consciousness, what would it be?

And now, based on we should start asking better questions, I've now started asking the intervening guests, if everyone could just slow down for seven minutes and you could pop a question into the collective consciousness, what would that be?

Had I wanted to induce change in people in the right direction, then of course, the cardinal question is, why are you the way you are?

I think if people start to disentangle and dismantle the processes that led to the formation, they might become aware of who they are.

And many people have been doing this during the pandemic.

But I make a fool of many people's possibility for introspection and so on. So hopefully, it will have this favorable outcome.

But I think that's on the individual level. On the collective level, I would ask, why do you make unnecessary distinctions?

Unnecessary distinctions are at the core of all conflict.

Consider, for example, science and religion. Science and religion are one and the same in many ways.

Science does not recognize the existence of God as a necessary and sufficient condition.

But science is a religion, another religion. It's not an accident that science was born in Christian Europe. And it's not an accident that most of the practitioners of science, for the first 200 years, by the way, were highly religious people. It's not an accident.

So we make all these distinctions. For example, we make distinctions between nation states and we make distinctions between races. We have this tendency to create artificial constructs and then to make distinctions between these totally invented entities.

Every biologist will tell you there's no such thing as race. It's utter unmitigated nonsense.

Yes. Every political theorist will tell you there's no such thing as nation state because there's no such thing as nation. Every political theorist will tell you this. Every psychologist will tell you there's no such thing as self or ego because today we have a much more holistic view, a system view, which incorporates interpersonal relationships, society, culture.

But we still use self, personality. Every physicist will tell you there's no such thing as distinct objects because of entanglement and other issues.

And yet, when we relate to the world, we take these totally invented artificial classes, categories, entities, which have nothing whatsoever to do with reality and we give them power, much more than reality.

This is a perfect illustration of the psychotic narrative. It's to invent something in your mind, race, the black race, then to externalize it, to project it, and then to start to behave as though it's an entity, as though it's ontological objective reality.

You had invented it a hundred years ago. It's an invention. It's the same in every field of human endeavor.

We live much more in fantasy and psychosis and narratives and stories and nonsense than in reality.

Why do we hate reality so much?

Why do we avoid reality so much?

It's a fascinating question and I alluded to it in our conversation.

It's because we find it very difficult to disentangle, to distinguish between external and internal.

We are very terrified.

So we have all kinds of strategists, how to reconcile external and internal.

We absorb the external. We expand the internal.

I don't know what we were trying somehow to cope with this.

And the reason this is happening is because we have very faulty equipment for processing information.

Our information processing equipment is very faulty.

For example, we get less than one percent of the information we consider to be reality from reality. About 99 percent of the information we consider reality is derived from mathematical models in the brain.

So we sample reality. We sample. It's about one percent input.

Then we process it in models in the brain. And these models generate what we call reality.

But this is 99 percent invented. Our whole apparatus, the programming of our machinery is based on avoiding reality at all costs. Information overload. I don't know what.

Get away from me.

Get away from me.


The main message of the biology of humanity, the biology. Forget now.

Politics, forget biology.

The main message of our brain is get away from me. Don't overload me. Don't give me too much. Stay with me.

Avoidance. The main existential survival strategy is avoidance.

And I think if we confront reality, healing could start.

But I don't see any hint of this on the very contrary.

Sure.

Sam, that's just been awesome. Thank you.

Maybe we should break it to two parts.

A bit on the long side.

Yeah.

Maybe two parts, like one hour, one hour, something.

Yeah. Just an idea.

I'm going to stop the recording.

Thank you. Thank you.

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