Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 26

The Key to Fear and Obliterating Courage (my characterization)

What a “hero” might do against the muffled synaptic screaming of hardwired survival instincts, a psychopath might do in silence—without even breaking a sweat. And to set the compass spinning even faster, Leslie (a high level psychopath confined to Broadmoor psychiatric hospital) introduces another existential conundrum to the proceedings.

“But it’s not about functionality, though, is it?” he demurs. “The thing about fear, or the way I understand fear, I suppose—because, to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever really felt it—is that most of the time it’s completely unwarranted anyway. What is it they say? Ninety-nine percent of the things people worry about never happen. So what’s the point?”

“I think the problem is that people spend so much time worrying about what might happen, what might go wrong, they completely lose sight of the present. They completely overlook the fact that, actually, right now, everything’s perfectly fine. You can see that quite clearly in your interrogation exercise. What was it that chap told you? It’s not the violence that breaks you. It’s the threat of it. So why not just stay in the moment?”

“I mean, think about it. Like Jamie says, while you were lying under that lump of concrete—or rather, what you thought was concrete—nothing bad was really happening to you, was it? Okay, a four-poster might’ve been more relaxing. But actually, if you’d been asleep, you’d really have been none the wiser, would you?”

“Instead, what freaked you out was your imagination. Your brain was on fast forward mode, whizzing and whirring through all the possible disasters that might unfold. But didn’t.”

“So the trick, whenever possible, I propose, is to stop your brain from running ahead of you. Keep doing that and sooner or later, you’ll kick the courage habit, too.”



The Wisdom of Psychopaths

Kevin Dutton         2012

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