Envy, revenge, prejudice, sadism and narcissism are natural human traits that are generally suppressed during the earlier stages of a person’s life. (Vanity and excessive “pride” are subsets of narcissism.) They come with the baggage we call human nature. That every person is born with these tendencies is obvious just from watching normal children who are not entirely socialized playing with each other. How many times have you heard someone say something to the effect that “kids are little savages”?
Even people who grow up to be great humanitarians start out as little savages. What changes them into good people is the normal process of “socialization” which is a learning process that suppresses these natural urges and keeps them from becoming major aspects of the personality. Socialization starts with parents, continues through the hands of teachers, churches and other social structures (which now includes the wilderness of the internet and social media), and finally is honed over time by ordinary life experiences.
Socialization depends upon the development of personal morality which in turn is dependent upon the social norms of the society in which the child is raised. At its most fundamental level, the forces which mold a child’s beliefs and adult behavior patterns depend on the religion around which the civilization is formed, and the religious foundation of the civilization ultimately defines the character of the nation and the people who live in it.
Even socialized (non-criminal) atheists, whether they are willing to admit it or not, live their lives in accordance with the norms of their society’s religious traditions. Everyone’s basic moral foundation is based on these norms. Unfortunately, as a result of the growing social suppression of religion and personal morality, Western Civilization itself is beginning to suffer the ill effects of generalized moral collapse. The concepts of good and evil are NOT written into the wiring of the brain. That is the province of the soul which must learn and mature while fighting its battle with the body’s natural inclinations! (Please see chapter 18 for a discussion about religion and its role in shaping and maintaining civilizations.)
It is only when something goes seriously wrong with the process of socialization that these negative traits are not properly tamed. When envy, revenge, prejudice, sadism and narcissism are allowed (or sometimes forced by circumstances) to become exaggerated and habitual they become spiritual problems. They warp the soul itself, and damage the aura allowing infection with like minded entities.
Exaggerated narcissism is a special problem because in some people it is congenital. In other words, it is a disease that a person is born with. Some people are simply incapable of suppressing their selfish urges. In its most extreme form, narcissism manifests as antisocial personality disorder. People with this disorder are called psychopaths, or sociopaths, terms which, until recently, were used interchangeably. Dr. Robert Hare has written extensively on psychopathy (Without Conscience, and Snakes in Suits). He makes a convincing argument for congenital psychopathy. People with this personality disorder tend to have any or all of the above negative personality traits in addition to their inborn narcissism.
Note: The terms “psychopath” and “sociopath” have only recently become differentiated. Sociopaths are now generally considered to be people who acquired their narcissistic tendencies and negative behavior traits because of negative life experiences. Psychopaths are now considered to be “defective personalities” from birth. In other words, psychopathy is now considered to be a congenital condition while sociopathy is an acquired condition.
In any case, exaggerated and habitual negative personality traits can do very serious damage to the soul, and this, in turn can eat away at the protective auric envelope from the inside out.
“Like attracts like”, especially when it comes to spiritual affinities. Remember from our discussion of Van Dusen’s simple classification of hallucinations, that negative personality traits are the very things that distinguish the lower order. Thus persons who exhibit them are prone to spirit obsession and possession from spirits with negative traits similar to their own. This is especially true of criminals