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Προφητεία (55)

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

Charm of the psychopath: so the psychopath is a charmer—which might seem a contradiction, because he’s cold and indifferent, not warm and convivial. However, the psychopath’s charm can be exemplified by an anecdote about the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo. When the Duke of Uxbridge had his leg blown off by a cannon, he exclaimed, “By God, sir, I’ve lost my leg,” to which Wellington shot back, “By God, sir, so you have!”.

Why is it funny (witty, really)? Because it reverses expectations—a crucial component in humour. So the expected response, if you came across someone who lost a leg under a train, would be, “Oh God! Your leg! How terrible! Are you okay?”. Yet Wellington just makes a laconic observation-acknowledgement as to the situation.

The humorous subtext is that Uxbridge has “made a fuss over nothing”, similar to a man who complains there’s a fly in his soup and who is told by the waiter, “Yes, but please don’t shout about it, sir—or everyone will want one.” The soldier’s psychology is roughly the same as the psychopath’s psychology, not as extreme so as to be anti-social but roughly the same. So the soldier’s charm is the psychopath’s charm—and it’s also the charm of the surgeon, the butcher, and the gangster (all associated with Scorpio).

The charm derives from its objective coldness—whereas everyone else is lost in an elaborate social dance, the psychopath just leans down to look at your amputated leg, his palms flat on his legs, and says, “You know, Scott, your leg bones are remarkably white—I can see the whole thing in cross-section here, the wheel has gone right through; it’s a clean cut, remarkable.”

It’s like Dangerous Liaisons—intelligent and high-status people have all these distancing behaviours to keep reality at bay; they use irony because it signals intelligence—sometimes it gets so elaborate that they just flutter a fan at each other, in code, across the marble ballroom in Versailles (“What did she mean by a flutter and a demi-flutter?” thinks the young aristocrat—but he won’t ask anyone because that would give him away as gauche).

Into this rarefied environment strides the young red-coated dragoon (very dashing) who just says, “I see you want me to take this dance, madame,” and everyone is astounded at his gallantry and élan—but he can only do it because he’s stone cold, just interested in reality and not the exquisite social dance.

Hence the idiot savant or fool who just says the obvious but gets away with it because their direct approach charms people—they just assume he’s too stupid to play the game properly and let him off, enjoy the social relief offered from their own ridiculous act (the soldier is forgiven his directness because he risks his life to protect people, so none dare challenge him when their life depends on him). It’s no surprise Scorpio is associated with genius, because the genius often cuts through the fog of a problem with a solution that is so simple it seems obvious in retrospect—because people were lost in “the fog” and weren’t cold and clear about it.

It’s not ironic or arch, you notice—or camp. It’s almost unconscious of itself (as the Scorpio usually is). It’s not self-aware, because it has negated the persona—that’s why it’s charm (which is magic—because the magician negates the ordinary social persona and only speaks from the “self”, the observer; it just observes the situation, it doesn’t make judgements—whereas most people are full of judgements about whether it’s good or bad to lose a leg or to approach a woman at a ball when she only fluttered her fan one-and-a-half times at you). It’s the eternal view—it just sees everything as it is and accepts it as being as it should be.

That’s why it’s also a mystic view. Other examples: there is a very attractive woman, she knows she is attractive and everyone else knows she’s attractive—so everyone decides “we better not make an issue of it, because otherwise we’ll look shallow and she’ll become vain—and it’ll look like we only value people for their looks”. So if anyone praises her they say “she’s so good at piano” or “she’s great at maths”—never, never mention the boobies. And if men approach her they think “better not be too direct, better be clever about how I go about this because otherwise she’ll think I’m superficial and only care about her looks.”

The psychopath or charmer of the Sergeant Troy or Flashman variety just approaches the girl and says, “Why, such an attractive girl—why do you waste your time playing piano? You could be a model!” Charm. You see, it cuts right through it—the same as if you say, “I just want a sexual relationship with you”. People just laugh hysterically, because every other person says something like “Would you like to have a coffee?” or something like that. Hence charm (“charm school”) is magic and magic is almost just not to lie and to see things as they are without the interposition of vanity.

The irony is that when you make a special effort to, say, not make an attractive person vain by never mentioning their looks, you build up the most subtle vanity imaginable. It’s similar to people who decide to be “good” and “self-sacrificing”, they develop the most beautifully hidden selfishness that is hidden behind the façade of their good works (“stone Buddha”).

You think you’ve got everyone fooled, but the real final act is to say, “I only do charity work and put up with smelly old tramps and insipid pensioners so everyone will think I’m a good person and will like me.” Now, that’s charm—that’s to cross the great water; but few people do that. After all, you don’t want to look like a “psycho”, now do you?—you’re a “good person”; which is to say, you’re vain.


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