A reader emails an article about Suge Knight blacking out again. Scroll through the slideshow – it’s interesting.
This is the forth time Knight has walked into court fine, only to be carried out on a gurney. His lawyers are laying the blame on a myriad of medical conditions, but obviously this is the amygdala popping “like a broken fuse,” to steal the reader’s most astute observation.
There are several aspects of his experience which can be illuminating. First, court is a very mentally focusing experience. When Knight is being transported, there are people and cars, and new things to focus on, so his brain’s focus is diffuse.
Once he sits in the chair and looks forward however, he has little to focus on beyond the words spoken in the courtroom. As the prosecutor lays out all the various and sundry ways he has transgressed criminally, what a bad person he is, the magnitude of the crimes he is presently accused of, the punishments he faces, and the necessity to screw him over as well as possible this time, I can see him saying to himself, “Damn that is a pretty solid case – They know I’m a bad guy and can show it to other people. I am screwed! They are gonna lock me up and throw away the key! Oh God, this is it!”
Once the initial trigger is pulled, and the amygdala amps up, it has a focusing effect itself. Once the amygdala trips on a subject and triggers panic, it also focuses the mind on that panic, increasing the focus even more. In an effort to avoid further amygdala stimulation, a hijackee will often avert their eyes from other stimuli around them, to slow the amygdala burn and try to gain some control. But that will only heighten the focus on the spoken word, and reduce any distractions from the hijacking concepts. From there, things can spin out of control even more easily.
Of greatest interest is that you can face a guy like Suge, with all the reputation, all the experience of hanging people out high-rise windows by their feet or sticking guns in people’s faces, all 6-foot eight and 270 lbs of him. You can speak a few words, his brain can process them, and once those words are in his head, they can literally knock him out like Mike Tyson – just ideas. Like his lawyer says in the article, “Just, bam. He’s unconscious right now.” Like a big fat possum, laying at your feet.
Of course what is coming after the hijack will be even worse. Knight will probably be sick as a dog when he comes to, and it will last for a day or so, maybe longer. There will be headaches, nausea, and weakness. That awfulness is what drives Knight to do the crazy things he does. It is why he does violent stuff the rest of us wouldn’t, and even why he is in jail now. He has to do those violent things, because if he doesn’t stick a gun in some punk’s face and rip him off, then later he will think about how he was the punk. His brain will fire off, and he will experience all of this.
Now not everybody can be hijacked like this. Part of what gave this hijack power is that Suge felt helpless. If this weren’t a courtroom, but rather a dark alley, attempting to use a hijack as a weapon would probably precipitate Suge trying to kill you. The hijack is aversive stimulus, and the narcissist will do anything to avoid experiencing it. You can only hijack them if they have no other option to relive the amygdala pressure.
If Suge was a threat of some sort that needed to be addressed, I would recognize this before trying to hijack him. It would not mean the hijack wouldn’t have utility in some fashion. It would just mean that the main use it would have, would be to drive Suge into some self-destructive behavior, such as, for example, giving me the legal justification for the use of deadly force by some other means, or making him attack a superior adversary (such as government) who would deal with him themselves.
However, as the Narcissist book noted, always maintain the high ground of deadly force when using the hijack on an narcissist, or you could easily get yourself killed. These neural pathways are the same pathways that are behind every crazy murder they profile on Dateline or 48 Hours. You are pressing the exact same buttons. You could get the same response – a crazed narcissist trying to kill you.
The hijack can even have use merely in degrading your opponent’s thought processes. Once you trip that amygdala switch and all those neurotransmitters surge, the electrical activity amps up in the brain incredibly. Even if your opponent doesn’t go “light’s out,” they will see their ability to think and reason degrade. That alone is an enormous power. Understand it even deeper, and you can actually create motivation in their mind – motivation to do what you want, agree with what you say, even motivation to help them stop doing things which are bad for them. He who heals can maketh ill, but he who can maketh ill can also heal.
The email which came with the article was great, but some stuff is best left undiscussed publically.
That said, you don’t have to knock people out right away to school yourself on the amygdala. Simply observing behavior around you, no matter how normal, and trying to deduce, “What is the force this person is assuaging with that behavior?” can yield an amazing insight into the pressures the amygdala applies to us, the force it uses, and how the mind is triggered to produce them. As you understand the force – that focusing, negative sensation – you will grasp how to conjure it, how to prevent it’s assuaging, and how to use it to control the uncontrollable around us. You will even begin to see how to control and mold it in yourself.
It is an incredible power.