Lipton’s Journal/January 24, 1955/236

From Project Mailer

The saint and the psychopath are homeostatic rather than sociostatic. But there is one way—so long as there is history (one day we shall have hissoul than history)—there is one way the psychopath is superior to the saint. The psychopath is the giver rather than the taker—he may appear to take, to ravish, to steal, to cheat, but actually he is giving—he beats, he thumps, he prods, he wounds, he leaves his knife in the victim, he leaves his terrifying presence in the empty bank vault, he leaves his malice in the breast of the sucker (What a word. The sucker is always a taker.)

The saint, on the other hand, who seems to give (when he is so inclined) goodness and charity and works and hope, is actually taking in the psychic sense. He arouses goodness in people, he drains them of wrath, he takes from everyone around him, thereby enabling people to feel alive which is the same as feeling one is good. Hemingway saw it. He always says I felt good for I felt alive (Word echoes: Good and O God; Woe is me and Woman). But, fundamentally, the saint is taking from people, taking so that he may reach God.

Which is why deep down we resent saints and admire psychopaths. For saints take from us (they are beyond words and so cannot give) and psychopaths always give. Which is why I like Jonesie [James Jones]. As I always said about him, “When he’s around you get the feeling that things are going to happen, and indeed they often do.”