If you read M. Scott Peck's book "The Road Less Traveled and Beyond" he has some very astute observations about what it means to be EVIL. Even though he defines EVIL as a specific form of mental illness he falls short in supplying a diagnosis. He goes into detail about how the problem lies within our thinking, but never goes into why a person thinks the way they think. He states that people who are EVIL "fail to suffer because they lash out at others and use them as scapegoats, they are addicted to a high opinion of themselves, to complacency and self-righteousness and far worse. It's the people around them who must suffer the ill effects of EVIL. Because EVIL is so destructive it is the ultimate illness" He goes further "Those who are EVIL refuse to bear the the pain, quilt or shame or to allow the "Shadow" into their consciousness. Instead they will set about, often in great effort militantly trying to destroy evidence of their sin or anyone who speaks of it or represents it. It's in this act of destruction, that their EVIL is really committed".
I'm surprised that a psychiatrist who relates in his book so many examples of Narcissistic behaviors just doesn't come out and call it what it is. In the case of EVIL the Narcissistic Personality Disorder has progressed to Malignant Narcissism. Based on the work of Dr. Otto Kernberg, it's my hypothesis that NPD is a chronic mental illness, and if left untreated will progress to Malignant Narcissism and in extreme, cases progresses to Pathological Narcissism. It's in this last stage that the Sociopath resides and murder becomes possible.
It's also my hypothesis , based on thirty years in recovery that the mental illness of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is at the root of all addictions. I feel that the "experts" confuse the public by giving vague and generalized reasons as to what causes NPD. I agree with them that it's a combination of environmental, social, genetic and neurobiological factors, that all come into play, in the development of these kinda thinking patterns. But what they fail to mention,(Peck included), is what's underneath these thinking patterns.
It's my opinion, that it's the formation of dis-empowering beliefs, that cause the thinking to emerge. Let's just take one environmental example. If a child comes to believe that they have some personality defect that makes them undervalued or unwanted, due to in-sensitive or over-controlling parenting. This causes a belief to form in the Habitual Mind, that may sound like this, I'm not good enough or smart enough. This belief will start to manifest itself in the Habitual Mind and ultimately into the Universe, (as a person thinks he is). The Habitual Mind, only sees what it believes and all thoughts have there origin in a belief.
While it's difficult to change a belief, once it's in the mind and being reinforced by the mind 24/7, it's not impossible, (like changing a tire while the car is moving). The "Experts" love to say there is no cure, which is a lie. And the Business of Recovery likes to say there is a cure but it's expensive, another lie. The reason the 12-Steps have been around for almost 90 years is because they work. It could work even better with some adjustments, (see my blog on the first three steps), but the fact remains, that belonging to a group of people who have found or are searching for recovery, is powerful. By learning to listen and listening to learn, to others share there experience, strength and hope and doing the 12 Steps with a Sponsor, a person suffering from dis-empowering beliefs, can find true recovery, from a seemingly hopeless case of mind and body.
12-Step Programs offer the most affordable means of accomplishing this. I shook my head in despair when Dr. Peck commented in his book how a patient of his had spent his life savings going through therapy with him. This doesn't have to be the case. Stay tuned for a blog I intent to write, on the Business of Recovery, and how it's gone from doing 21 Billion in 2003 to an estimated 42 Billion in 2020. Something is wrong with this picture.