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______________________ LIFE, FAITH, ETCETERA

The Wisdom of Psychopaths February 25, 2014

psycho

The Wisdom of Psychopaths:
What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success
– Kevin Dutton

A totally fascinating read.
An amazing ride through the human psyche.

When most of us think of psychopaths we think of killers, like Bundy and Dahmer.  We think of the violent and/or seemingly emotionless men (and women) who’ve committed unthinkable atrocities.
But, according to this book, the majority of psychopaths are of the non-violent, “functional” variety, and they occupy our boardrooms, police departments, government leadership and our pulpits.

There’s tons of clinical data here, but it’s couched in interesting stories of real people, and the experiences of our author.  At one point, with the use of Transcranial magnetic stimulation, Mr. Dutton actually experiences being a psychopath.  Fortunately, this is a temporary state!
We look at various diagnostics used to determine the presence of psychopathy.
We discuss moral dilemmas.  We ponder the reality of being “guilty but not to blame.”  We examine “evidence that society is becoming more psychopathic.”  We explore the “‘Primary colors’ of personality” and traits that are, shall we say, high-scorers among psychopaths.

There are lots of interviews with professionals in the field, as well as with bonafide psychopaths.
CEOs, presidents, soldiers, Tibetan Monks; they’re all here.
For me, some of the more striking information was the overlap of characteristics shared by psychopathy and spirituality.
There’s an intriguing section presenting credible evidence that Saint Paul (Apostle Paul / Saul of Tarsus / That dude who wrote a lot of the New Testament) was, in fact, clinically a psychopath.

Being a person of faith, this whole book brings to mind the scripture statement that we are made so “wonderfully complex” (Ps. 139:14 LB). The “wiring.” The chemistry. The whole nature/nurture business. That so much of who we are boils down what switches happen to be thrown I find captivating.
There are, of course, professionals who disagree with Kevin’s basic premise (that psychopathy in moderation can be a good thing). For example, there’s Martha Stout, Ph.D.
She’s certainly not the only one. Obviously, we should always read various viewpoints of any subject matter.
Still, if you’re a psychologist, counselor, pastoral care worker, or just someone interested in the inner workings of the amazing mass we call the brain, this Kevin Dutton book could be an interesting part of your library.

– df

Buy the book. Click HERE.

————-
QUOTES:

– Psychopathy and sainthood share secret neural office space.
– Saul of Tarsus…could today, under the dictates of the Geneva Convention, have been indicted on charges of genocide.
– Psychopaths never procrastinate.
– Is it possible…that the saint and the psychopath somehow constitute two transcendental sides of the same existentialist coin?
– Not all psychopaths are behind bars. The majority, it emerges, are out there in the workplace.
– There will always be a need for risk takers in society, as there will for rule-breakers and heartbreakers.
– In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the experts mind there are few.


Buy the book. Click HERE.

List of the most psychopathic professions:
  1. CEO
  2. Lawyer
  3. Media (TV/Radio)
  4. Salesperson
  5. Surgeon
  6. Journalist
  7. Police Officer
  8. Clergyperson
  9. Chef
10. Civil Servant

The book also includes a list of least psychopathic professions.


Buy the book. Click HERE.

 

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