But I am a worm and not a man,Psalm 22:6
scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
they make mouths at me; they wag their heads:
“He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him;
let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”
The most powerful yet unrecognized psychological dynamic is the vicious cycle of sin, scorn and denial. It can start in childhood with a small but embarrassing mistake, whether unintentional or premeditated. The offender is then subjected to painful (if mild) scorn by others. The result can be denial – pretend the embarrassing incident never happened. All traces of it are blotted from memory. If people show scorn on their face when you pass, look again – it is gone. Perhaps it was just in your head? All is well.
But still there is scorn and ridicule, isolation, perhaps some unprovoked bullying. At least that’s how it feels. What could be the cause? The denial of the original offense is expensive and takes great mental effort to sustain. It would be nice to have an explanation for the ostracism. So our subject commits another sin, this time a bigger one. The cycle is renewed, and it repeats for a lifetime.
It is nearly impossible to break out of this cycle because the denial conceals layers of painful memories that are best forgotten. It is easier just to sin again. This happens entirely unconsciously, and at the worst possible moment. After all, the brain’s power to make you forget things would be useless without the power to make you do things to enable that denial.
Mental illnesses are the outcome of this dynamic. For example, the cause of depression is usually pretty obvious by looking objectively at a person’s circumstances. Yet this feeling is misdiagnosed as a ‘chemical imbalance’ or ‘early childhood trauma’. The patient grasps desperately to these explanations in order to maintain their denial of the real cause of whatever ails them. The various depression and bipolar commercials show women re-discovering their hot husbands. What could they possibly have to be discontented about? And if others are scornful at the pharmaceutical explanation, well don’t take it personally – it is just the stigma of mental illness rearing its ugly head again. We must all do a better job of confronting and eradicating it.
Similarly, schizophrenia develops when a child who is increasingly spurned by their peer group turns to unpleasant and awkward habits and disordered thinking in order to ‘explain’ to themselves why they are isolated. Again, this is not a conscious process. The child is unaware that they are behaving in a maladaptive way. But at least when they see the contempt and scorn on the faces of their peers they can feel relieved that it wasn’t a past embarrassing incident that never even happened.
Furthermore because these habits are unconscious, it is not as simple as moving to another locale and forgetting the past and starting fresh. The child will perseverate with the same dysfunctional behavior, possibly even expressing bewilderment that nothing changed as she had hoped. The ensuing feeling of being fundamentally defective only aggravates the symptoms.
These habits are also infectious. One day a patient at the mental hospital is walking around flapping his arms. The next day – two people are flapping their arms as they walk – endangering anyone who happens to be too close when they pass. Any scrap is purely unintentional, you can be sure.
Many people are self-diagnosing these days with autism. This is their way to justify why they seem callous and are unable to pick up on the emotional state of others. But the truth is, they avoid eye contact because they don’t want to see the scorn that can appear unexpectedly. Who knows what people say to each other about you behind your back? Better to keep your head down. This is a very effective way to sustain denial of past transgressions. It leads to a creepy bearing as well as frequent misunderstandings that cause offense, which provide many new pretexts for scorn. It’s ok if everyone hates you – as long as its for a disorder you have no control over.
The autistic kid manning the fast food drive-through won’t look anyone in the eye when they pull up to the window. The prospect of such a feat is unbearable to him. Most ‘normies’ are offended. So in order to show he means no harm, he leans half-way out the window to hand you your food. No one dares tell him the problem. Perhaps it is out of pity or shame or because they fear he will kill himself and they will be blamed. The mental illness industry has convinced us to keep our distance and let them handle it – even though they likely caused the sin-scorn-denial cycle with ‘early intervention’ at age 2. Really autism treatment is mass shooter training.
Criminal recidivism is similarly a symptom of this dynamic, even though it is usually explained by poverty, racism or capitalism. The reason for the misdiagnosis is to perpetuate the criminal justice industries upon which so many livelihoods depend – including those who claim to be its victims.
Suicides are almost universally the result of this dynamic when the denial becomes unsustainable. It is simply no longer strong enough to hold back the suppressed memories threatening to surface. The only solution is death. The most common explanation is ‘addiction’, though that has lost its panache in recent years (as exemplified by the movie A Star is Born in which the alcoholic protagonist hangs himself). A suicide note is never truthful. It may be plausible but the goal is always to reinforce denial into perpetuity.
The same is true for manifestos to justify mass murders. In fact they are usually the outcome of this dynamic. For example, the Poway synagogue shooter had tried to burn down a mosque just a month earlier. His agenda was not ideological, but to provide an explanation for why people despised him. The answer to this question would be pretty clear simply by asking the people who knew him in high school. What was his ‘original sin’? Many people know, but no one wants to say. It’s too embarrassing and silly.
We are all the victims of this dynamic, even though it usually does not result in crime or suicide. Instead we become a fascist of one kind or another: socialist, Zionist, addict, etc. The goal is to be able to say, “They hate me because I [voted for Trump/did drugs/etc]” and thereby avoid accountability for our past sins.
Those of us who are sufficiently advanced in this cycle and thus particularly skilled in the mechanism of denial can exhibit monumental hypocrisy. Nevertheless redemption may be found in its fruit. Perhaps this is a clue as to how this dynamic escaped notice until today.
Wars are the outcome of the sin-scorn-denial dynamic on a national scale. The drive for them comes from a need to wipe the slate clean and start again fresh. We believe that if we are victorious in a war, no one will ever look at us askance again. (At least, the ones that would will be dead.)
Zionism is another example at the national scale. The bible is full of examples of Jews betraying other Jews to the enemy: Joseph and his brothers, Saul and David, and the many wars between Israel and Judah. Nevertheless, Jesus was supposedly killed by Romans and European Jews were killed by Nazis. We destroy ourselves and blame others. Driven by the compulsion to be hated and despised, we accuse others of irrational and murderous ‘antisemitism’ and pass laws to oppress them. The ADL trumpets new incidents of ‘antisemitism’ daily, even if they are self-inflicted. We are always finding new ways to undermine our brothers and make them so thoroughly scorned that they are massacred and then we can wipe our hands clean and pretend we are blameless (even believe it) and repeat the cycle.
So how do we break the cycle? The key is to recognize that Jesus suffered and died for our sins. He loves us when we feel the scorn of others. He was stigmatized so that we no longer have to stigmatize ourselves. The challenge of course is that this requires that we stop denying and finally face the shame of the transgressions that we spent our whole lives suppressing. We must repent of our sins, even as everything in our being tells us not to. It is not easy. However there is some consolation that other sinners are far worse than you. Of course, that’s not true for everyone.
Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him…. And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.Matthew 27:38