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Columbine High School Massacre Discussion Forum
A place to discuss the Columbine High School Massacre along with other school shootings and crimes. Anyone interested in researching, learning, discussing and debating with us, please come join our community!
Subject: Erics perception of reality Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:32 am
I have no doubt, that Dylan lost his touch with reality during his puberty, especially when NBK got closer. At the beginning of Dylan's diary, it seems that the depressive symptoms over trump the delusional thoughts, while in the final months prior to 4/20 he does not appear that depressed to me anymore, but clearly drifted very much into his own world. The climax of the can be seen in his last two entries, written just days prior to the attack. It strangely seems like he even found some form of peace in his psychosis, what is kind of understandable, because the contents of his delusions are clearly....poetic. Esoteric. Mystical.
In case of Eric, I find it ways more difficult to grasp. I'm almost convinced, that he was a psychopath. Very much of his character, the way he behaved towards other people, the way he saw himself, his repeatedly criminal behaviour does fit with psychopathy. But there are still things at him, which make me think, that he also kind of lost touch with reality. The whole "Iam god" thing, could just be a narcissistic trait, but also could something more. When he writes in his diary about wanting all humans dead except some tribes in the rain forest- was this just a narcissistic phantasy or somewhat delusional? He almost sounds, like if he is convinced, that he actual would be capable of having such an enormous force. The same goes about his ideas towards a revolution following the Columbine shooting. Why should a psychopath/Narcissus draft such an idea? Why justifying his attack with an ideology, if he just wanted to act out his sadism? The most known type of a psychopathic murder are serial killers and these people don't do such things. They really just kill for personal enjoyment. They don't want to spread an idea or start a revolution.
These things makes me think, that maybe, just maybe there were more pathologies in his thinking than just psychopathy. So, yeah, what do you think about this? To what extent, Erics perception of reality was warped?
Last edited by Hale-Bopp on Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
Subject: Re: Erics perception of reality Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:50 pm
I think Eric needed an ideology as much as other people need a hug. Sure, it was the shaky ideology of a child still.. not well-rounded, not thought-out beyond the basics.. but it's something he could put all the energy he didn't know how to handle into. The excess rage, the hatred, the disillusionment, and the rejection were all channelled into the ideology of either wanting to 'fix' mankind or wanting to obliterate most of humanity from the planet. I don't believe it to be narcissism. I believe that he genuinely thought that this planet would be better off without us and that he might be able to contribute toward that ideology by starting the spark that would lead to revolution. I think that this kid lived in stories all his life and couldn't handle the dichotomy between those and reality, so he crafted a new story for himself that wouldn't have a happy ending but would be memorable all the same. Would make him be remembered any which way possible.. would make it appear that his pointless life had meaning and purpose. He wanted very much to belong somewhere, to matter, and when nothing in life created this for him he began to create it for himself.
I believe that Eric purposefully distanced himself from humanity so he would be able to carry out the practical part of the ideology as though he was playing a videogame. The amount of times he connected NBK/ideology/etc with pop culture/stories was so noticeable that he even remarked on it loosely ("Everything I see and I hear I incorporate into NBK somehow[..]feels like a Goddamn movie sometimes.") in the final entry of his journal. There's also one quote elsewhere speaking of possible detachment during the shooting (I think it was him equating killing humans to killing the monsters from Doom?) that's led me to believe that he had to create the detachment rather than have the detachment be something that came naturally to him. (Then again, I don't subscribe to the psychopath-theory as it stands so I'm approaching it from a different angle as-is.)
Did he lose touch with reality? Not to the extent or in the same way that Dylan did at all. Dylan was adrift and dreaming while Eric pulled it together and focused. I think that Dylan wanted to escape to a different reality through leaving Earth behind, while Eric wanted to create a new reality for us survivors to fall in line with. Dylan got to the point where the fate of mankind didn't really matter so much, while Eric got to the point where his own death became an acceptable loss. The combination of those two ideals was what created NBK.
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Subject: Re: Erics perception of reality Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:19 am
It seems Eric tried hard to dissociate from reality. As the poster above has mentioned, he talked about thinking his victims were demons from Doom, about cutting himself off feelings, he made repeated references to the game as if it could be reality.
There's plenty of delusional thinking, what we could call ''cognitive dissonances". His grandiosity is one ''I'm better than anyone'', ''I have the right to lie but not you'', etc. It's a warped view of reality. But how much of that is from Eric, the poseur, Eric the guy who is thumping his chest and wants to look psycho to the world after his death? Because this diary is a personal he created too. It's not entirely and completely him.
I read the diaries and I see their reverse images in other writings. Like in Eric's diary, you read an angry, sadistic rant with justifications from ideology and philosophy of life. But in other writings, you can read the sensible and sensitive person who has ideas about environment and society and memories and pain from the past. He had a philosophy of life and with his mental health issues and his steadfastness to plan a massacre become lethal. But people can have a nihilistic philosophy of life, ideas about the environment and society that I could call ''primitivist'' and not go on killing.
So, yeah, I think his thinking and perception of reality are pretty warped and out-of-touch, even voluntarily out-of-touch (willful disassociation). Did that cause him to develop his ideology? Or did the ideology develop separately? His ideology, even that flavor of ideology, could have lead to something else than killing. I'm thinking of other primitivist thinkers, green anarchists here.
_________________ "Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do? My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. In fact, I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape." - American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis (1991)