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confessions-of-a-sociopath-978028307189801For my birthday Lisa gave me a book I’ve been anxiously waiting to read, M.E. Thomas, Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight. I haven’t been able to put it down.

Why did I want to read this? Same reason I read Cormac McCarthy’s brutally stark novels. The same reason I listen to heartbreaking love songs. The same reason I love abstract painting. The same reason i I love philosopher Slavoj Žižek. Because it expresses something that is real, true, and honest about life.

She is a sociopath. But she is not a criminal. In fact she is a highly functioning attorney and law professor who donates 10% of her income to charity and teaches Sunday school. But she exhibits a…

“pronounced lack of empathy, a ruthless and calculating attitude towards social and interpersonal relationships, and a relative immunity to experiencing negative emotions (like guilt or remorse)”

This one quote captures in a nutshell why I think this book is important:

“Am I a monster? I prefer to believe that you and I simply occupy different points on the spectrum of humanity.”

She made an effort, once she really began to realize that something was different about her, to sit down and take a critically honest inventory of who she really was. She demanded she be as heartlessly analytical with herself as she was with others.

So that’s our Saturday spiritual exercise: what are you really really like? Be honest. Only in this way can you know, embrace and finally appreciate and love who you really are. You just are.

I salute the diversity of personalities on TLS.