Narcissistic Negation

Some examples in italics first. Pay particular attention to the first part of the sentence then notice the inconsistency of the later parts in relation to what was said in the first.

“It’s not that I want to gossip, but do you know who she’s been seen with ever since she got those implants?  Its that man who dresses like a 70s pimp. The one whose  daughter was dumped by that wife-battering singer who was caught with his pants down while the maid…….”

Next example:

“Of course I did it out of sincerity and expect absolutely nothing in return, but he could have at least remembered what i did and sold his kidney for when I was broke. It’s not like he needs both of it or like I was asking for anything in return.”

Then there’s:

“You know I’m not the sort to poke my nose into other people’s business, but how much are you bringing back from work after taxes including bonuses and overtime, and what kind of benefits do you get?”


“I can’t stand people who stab others in the back. So I’m not like that brazen hussy who got me to sneak your car out with her so we could go to the hairdressers.”

And finally:

“I never like to copy other people’s design but I just cannot come up with a good idea if I haven’t seen one before.”

Isn’t it amazing how folks declare out how they are not of certain traits or behaviour, then in the same breath without batting an eye, proceed to show clear indications of that very same undesired trait in themselves? It’s as if they know it’s wrong so they declare it first in order to establish that they are not like that. So when they actually do it after it’ll be okay because they know that they’re not like that -cos they just said that they’re not.

It’s like saying good about themselves without actually being good. How delusional can you be?

Well, from experience, you can be blindingly deluded because the people i know who do it have absolutely no idea they do it. And the times I’ve pointed it out to them, they vehemently deny it. It’s probably because when they say out loud what they’re not, they are picturing in their minds the badness they are avoiding, but what they do next is detached from that mental picture. The only way to elaborate this further would need using one of the examples.

Take the first one. When declaring that she doesn’t gossip, she has an instant image of others who gossips and she decides not to be like them. As she cannot see herself, she has never seen herself gossiping; in other words, she can’t know what she looks like when she gossips. Which means when she pictures people gossiping, she is not included in the picture. So after declaring out loud she doesn’t gossip and picturing those who do – which does not include her – she proceeds to do it cos she can’t see herself doing it. It was the pictures of gossiping that stuck with her, not the abstract concept of what gossiping is. Could this be another example of using a form to understand a notion, instead of understanding the notion in the abstract?  The form in this case are the mental images of people gossiping. What she is missing is what gossiping really is which could apply to any form including hers – which she can’t see herself.

So be cautioned. Since it is so easy to be deluded as such, what those examples did could also easily be done by you.

In the words of the 70s philosopher Uriah Heep – Look At Yourself

A’s are for Attainment not Achievement

I don’t much mind the initial objectives of the local education curriculum. It does seem to have the right intentions – primarily that of dispensing fundamental knowledge and the base skills required to acquire them. These can be seen from the textbooks designated by the ministry. Of course you have to be charitable and overlook the occasional errors in spelling and paging, the choice of graphics, and the cover with strong nationalist overtones with sensationalist fonts. Never mind the propaganda. Past that and you’d find contents geared to enable the understanding of the fundamentals of what is to be learnt. For instance, they attempt to convey the concept behind division through examples of sharing in daily life rather than merely laying out division tables to be memorised. History is laid out as stories and events rather than simply listing dates and names to be remembered. The latter examples that emphasises you to memorise is in the realms of the supplementary or interactive books that are preferred by the teachers.

In the hands of these teachers, the process of learning is reduced to a subset of 3 r’s as notes and data to be recited, remembered and regurgitated at exams. And to further buttress the success of those 3 r’s, there’s also the phenomena of question spotting based on experiences and observations of cycles and probabilities – which is trying to determine through hypothetical patterns of which questions came out when after how many years, and when was the last time they appeared.

To further ensure those 3 r’s are properly instilled, there’s always tuition with more exclusive notes and tutors with better answering tips and techniques and even higher q-spotting acumen. These are centres or persons with reputations forged by the gross total ratio of A’s to students over the years.  [I believe the desired ratio is 8 A’s to a student.] Of course, tuitions are also to provide good practice for those requiring remembering by repetition. If you are not confident of your natural memory retention facilities, fret not, there are centres that boast on banners to being able to boost it for you solely for exams.

What are exams then? Shouldn’t they be about the assessments of one’s comprehension, absorption and assimilation of knowledge, and not merely a challenge that needs to be overcome with the grading marks as medallions? With the amount of adulation and fawning particularly through extensive national media coverage, the challenge it seems is more the favoured way in these parts.

But isn’t it just an illusion of what the true objective should actually be? No question it’s all about the hardwork. But if exams are mere challenges than the toils are more about covering as much as possible in order to remember as hard as possible rather than to genuinely understand things. And that’s not an exercise of intelligence. That’s all about memory retention, which has been confused for intelligence.

So maybe we should remove the deception of the accolades and adulation which upholds such illusions so that future generations would actually strive with due diligence for actual intelligence.

Shouldn’t we? Could we?

I gather not. First to be up in arms and throw fits and tantrums over even the suggestion of such would be the parents. Don’t even think about it. No way would parents ever allow such a travesty to even be considered. After all, that’s the labyrinth of illusions they came through.