As anyone who truly knows me will attest, I have long had a fascination with the darker side of life. And as anyone who truly knows me will also attest, there was a time in my life where I identified as being at least partially sociopathic. However, due to my recent spiritual awakening I haven’t been as fascinated in the topic as I once was, mostly due to the fact that I don’t need a ‘dark and dangerous’ label any more to make me feel empowered and provide a sense of identity. But lately the topic has been coming up again for me, and I have once again been coming to terms with the fact that yes I do indeed have a sociopathic side, regardless of whether I decide to actively engage in it or not any more.
I have mentioned this briefly in my post regarding my sub-personalities, about how Adriana and Damien are both equally responsible for bringing out these darker aspects of me. Their de-inflated status lately though means they’re completely harmless now and will most likely continue to be, as I now have them pliable to my will in wanting to focus on activating and developing the more empathic sides of me. My empathy hasn’t always been great, and without conscious effort my lack of it usually leaves me indifferent to a lot of things. But not significantly so.
I would say that unlike a psychopath my empathy is always switched on. The difference being that between me and the average population I don’t naturally have a great deal of it. This leaves me in a position where I am able to understand what it’s like to be both empathic and non-empathic, to a certain extent, by consciously regulating the switch in my brain responsible for that sort of thing. This has taken a lot of practice though. Beforehand, this regulating tended to happen unconsciously and at mostly the wrong times, which put me in a lot of awkward situations. After my spiritual awakening though and through finding myself in control of the process, I became focused on trying to increase my empathy. I think actually this was partly in fear of returning back to the state I once was in, when I was going through my sociopathic stage.
Whilst I’m engaging my sociopathy I don’t particularly care for these ramifications, but when my empathy is turned on (as it became more so during my spiritual awakening), it suddenly becomes very important to me to have feelings and morals that would make me a ‘better person’, and to not harm anyone, the way I had always wanted to and had done so before. I understand that such fears of regressing come from the more innocent and childish part of me, the part which is responsible for holding most of my empathy. If I let the sociopathic side of me take over again, the innocent part of me would become repressed, and these days that is the last thing I would ever want.
However, I see the division between these two parts of me as clear as daylight now, and after experiencing both sides of the coin, I can say that shunning either one would be a mistake. They are both equally parts of me. Instead I need to accept and embrace them both, although if not literally then at least potentially.. although perhaps not necessarily at the same time as that would probably cause confusion and quite likely be impossible. But I have come to believe that lately, that neither empathy nor lack of empathy separately represent an evolutionary advantage, but instead when one can access both and is in perfect control of both then they will have the greatest evolutionary advantage in regards to living life to its fullest and being both happy and whole.
I was inspired to write this post after accidentally coming across the basic ‘sociopathy riddle test’, invented by some American psychologist who then went on to test it on sociopathic serial killers and the general population alike. There’s a basic link here for anyone who happens to read this post and wants to take a shot at it: http://www.naute.com/puzzles/puzzle22.php. According to an article I came across, all convicted sociopathic serial killers answered this question correctly within the first ten seconds, whilst on average the general population were stumped.
What astounded me is that when I read the riddle through I figured out the answer literally within two seconds and convinced that my answer was too simple of an explanation I decided to try and come up with a back up answer before checking to see if my first answer was correct. Needless to say I never came up with another logically solid back-up explanation, so I gave up and went to check the answer and lo and behold my first answer had actually been correct. I figured the test was perhaps a trick question, and that there’s no way that the general population would not actually be able to get something so simple as that.
So in an attempt to understand I googled the riddle and came upon message boards where people were debating it over for ages before checking for the right answer themselves. Hardly anyone came up with the right answer. So.. this is what astounded me. The fact that although the sociopathic side of me is pretty much completely de-inflated these days due to my own accord, and my empathy is higher than it ever has been due to my recent focus on it, apparently my ability to think like a sociopath still innately remains, and most likely always will do.
Update: I posed this riddle to various family members and friends and none of them got it, even after extensive thought. So there we go. I am and always will be able to easily reason and perhaps behave like a sociopath. I have it in me, as they say…
(Either that or everyone else is as stupid as fuck because SERIOUSLY. The answer is SO simple. How could you NOT get that?!)