May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke
“The greatest gift you can give yourself is a little bit of your own attention.” ~Anthony J. D’Angelo
“Any real ecstasy is a sign you are moving in the right direction, don’t let any prude tell you otherwise.” ~St. Teresa of Avila
“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.” ~Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
“Politics is the conspiracy of the unproductive but organized against the productive but unorganized.” ~Joseph Sobran
“Hell is so beautiful that it would torment an angel to insanity.” ~William Blake
“Bad habits are easier to abandon today than tomorrow.” ~Yiddish Proverb
“Happiness is not something ready made; it comes from your own actions.” ~Dalai Lama
As the stocks keep falling and the unemployment rates are rising, people are starting to fear for their financial security. With the value of our currencies hanging by a thread of speculation there is very little trust in our economy. There’s a reason why our system is collapsing and it’s really not a bad thing at all because it makes way for countless of new opportunities.
What is happening
To understand what is happening you don’t need to have a Ph.D in economics or finance. There are many ways to explain the current situation, because it’s all connected. One explanation is that because of the central banks having total control over the money supply and interest rates, there has been a massive increase in worldwide debt since the 20th century. This was possible because our currencies no longer act as bonds to exchange for commodities such as gold or silver. Ever since there has been a massive increase in inflation because money could be printed almost indefinitely.
It’s important to understand that money equals debt, because it acts as a loan which of course has to be paid back with interest. In the US this is done by the Federal Reserve so basically you could say that the American government and its citizens in extension are indebted to them. Apart from this being modern slavery it is essential to understand that the central banks have laid down the structure that inevitably caused the crisis to begin with.
When money can be printed at will it means massive inflation. Inflation is basically a hidden tax, because the newly print money derives its value from the existing money supply. It’s like stealing money from your bank account and adding it to the government treasury. Another consequence of printing money at will is that it creates a culture of excessive lending and spending. This is what the financial sector has been doing for the past decades.
Of course we are all guilty as charged. The pervertedness of our economy can be measured by the massive consumerism that characterizes the modern world. As above so below, which means there’s absolutely no point in pointing fingers because we’re all just as responsible for creating this monster.
The credit crisis is just one part of the real problem which is using more than we actually have available. There is also a food crisis, a water crisis, a health crisis, an energy crisis and an environmental crisis. The point is that all these seemingly different aspects are all connected and can be seen as one. What is happening right now is that we’re becoming aware of the fact as a collective entity that our ways are destructive and that we need to change our thinking in order to establish a sustainable system and ultimately a better world where there will be peace.
We’re living in a very exciting age because we as the human race are going through a consciousness shift. You can interpret this in a spiritual way, but you can also see it as recalibrating our values and in extension our economic and social system. Now we see stocks falling and unemployment rising because the trust we have in the system is decaying rapidly. Trust is everything because without it, the money in our wallets are just pieces of paper with a print on it.
Like I said before we’re going through a transformation as a collective entity. The world as we know it is dying and that’s why there’s talk of a crisis. Those who think that things will go back the way they were are terribly mistaken. Everything that’s happening now is proof of the fact that the system as we know it is bound to fail. It is much smarter to take advantage of the new age so to say, because new values means new business opportunities.
Hard times encourage creative thinking. Every single person is able to create new things, because inventiveness and creativity are prime aspects of human nature. Don’t let the crisis be an obstacle, but rather use it as a driving force to reinvent yourself and create something new. We all have talents and skills and this is the perfect time to utilize them. There’s a market for pretty much everything and if not then create a new one.
Easier said than done? Maybe, but we shouldn’t underestimate our capabilities. In the end there is no easy nor hard, but only doing and not doing. If something doesn’t work, try a different approach. It may be comforting to know that we’re all in the same boat and that everyone will have to leave their comfort zone because we have no choice.
For that reason this crisis can definitely be seen as a blessing in disguise, because it will drive us to create a new way of life. The life that we choose as free people beginning by thinking of what we really want. This is not the time in which we have to stand behind our leaders and blindly obey as they try to limit our liberties even further by centralizing power with radical decisions. No, this is our time in which we’re given the opportunity to shape our future.
In the future we’ll regard this crisis as the catalyst for awakening our full potential as human beings. Don’t try to stop it, but embrace it and become part of it. Our children will be grateful for the self-empowering decisions that we make today.
Enthusiasm equals life. You feel it when you look at a small child who’s running around and laughing, or when you play with your dog. When we get excited we feel alive and apart from enthusiasm being the strongest motivational power in the world to get things done, we also just want to be happy in the here and now.
People have different ideas and plans in what they want to achieve for themselves, but we all pursue them for the same reasons: We want to feel good. We believe that when we reach a certain goal we’ll feel content and fulfilled, but this is not the case. Rather it will be a slight disappointment because the goal is achieved, yet nothing really changed.
The nature of goals
This is something that came to my mind as I was reading about the philosophy of having no goals. The idea behind it is that setting goals and achieving them creates more stress than happiness and that we don’t need to set goals in order to be productive. The reason why is because enthusiasm alone is the biggest driving force behind success and achievement and is a much stronger source of motivation than having a deadline or a goal on your to-do list.
This makes sense. I myself for example don’t get excited about things because they happen to be on my list of goals, but because I love doing them! The same applies to things I’d rather not do. Just because those things are on my list doesn’t mean I get more excited about them, but rather it becomes a source of stress and frustration. Instead of forcing yourself to do something you dislike, it’s also possible to rearrange your mental programming so that you can get excited about those things.
Pleasure and pain
What we like or dislike is not something that’s set in stone from the moment we’re born, but it’s something that’s programmed into our system in accordance with our experiences. Human beings are driven by the desire for pleasure and the aversion towards pain. What is pleasurable or painful is not a matter of fact, but a matter of perception.
Those who are into advertising know all about changing perception by linking pleasure to whatever they want you to buy. Because these processes usually happen on a subconscious level we’re not even aware of the huge amount of influence commercials have on us. So why wouldn’t we use this science to condition ourselves in a way that is beneficial to us?
What I’m talking about is basically NLP and it’s a very practical method for reprogramming self-limiting attitudes and systems of belief by changing the parameters and values of pleasure and pain. We will get motivated as soon as we link pleasure rather than pain to doing something that we didn’t feel so excited about before.
The supreme state of being
But to me that’s not enough. As far as pragmatism goes my mind also needs philosophical nourishment. I want to go beyond pleasure and pain and see what really drives me. The pleasure of getting a certain result is one thing, but the enthusiasm in the moment itself for doing what you love makes the result irrelevant. It is that feeling which everyone is trying to pursue as they set their goals and imagine their future achievements.
The illusion is that fulfilment is waiting for us in the future. Life happens in the present moment only and that’s why they say there is no way to happiness, but that happiness is the way. It is the passion itself that makes life worth living, because it’s in that state that we really feel alive. The proof that results and achievements don’t equal happiness can be deducted from the fact that there are many successful people who don’t feel fulfilled and happy.
In the end I believe happiness in itself is the biggest success of life and that it’s impossible to go wrong when you feel excited and enthusiastic about the things you do. The best thing is that apart from personal fulfilment it also creates a wave of upliftment that affects the people around you. Everybody likes to be around those who feel good, because it makes them feel good as well.
Be a good person
Our biggest desire is to be in that state of happiness, fulfilment, excitement and passion. I believe that is what life is all about, because it can only be lived in the here and now. Enthusiasm is something as profoundly beautiful as a blossoming flower and should be treated with care and love.
I find it really awful when people bash in each other’s enthusiasm and excitement. Would you ever do that to your child? I don’t suppose anyone would. At the very least nobody wants to be part of those who do. There’s definitely something to be said about a realistic approach, but that doesn’t mean that there is no space to let an idea grow into something that we can work with.
When we’re supportive then not only will beautiful ideas grow into realities, but also we will nourish the enthusiasm and passion that will blossom within ourselves and others to create even more beautiful things and live a fulfilling life. It becomes a productive cycle of happiness that other people will want to contribute to.
Not so long ago I was reading the book titled Mastering your Hidden Self by Serge Kahili King. It’s a book about the ancient Huna philosophy regarding the different aspects of human existence to learn about ourselves and experience ourselves completely by establishing harmony. I promised to write a review to share some interesting insights that I picked up along the way so perhaps you’ll feel inspired to check out the book for yourself.
I remember hearing about the book while I was listening to an audio book. It was only mentioned very briefly, but I immediately knew it was something I needed to check out and so I did. The same day I ordered it and when it got to my mailbox I immediately started reading. The simple and pragmatic approach to human psychology appealed to me and it was also more complete than any other kind of psychological paradigm I have ever studied. I suppose this is also because the teachings aren’t dogmatic so they can be interpreted as guidelines to understanding your own truth.
The book covers many different aspects of our existence and is not limited to just knowledge, but also hands you some tools to get started with your own spiritual integration so to say. In this post I will go over some of the most important aspects that are thoroughly described in the book. What made it special to me is that I didn’t feel like I was being introduced to a radical new idea, but rather that my current knowledge was being expanded and that things started to make more sense than ever before.
Most of us will agree that we have a physical body or kino, but there is also an energy body which doesn’t appear as physical. This is not a matter of opinion, because science has proven its existence by taking pictures with specific filters to show a certain kind of aura around living things. This is what the Kahuna’s call the aka body through which energy can flow. This life energy is what they call mana. Then there is the mind which is not the same as the brain. The mind consists of a subconscious, conscious and superconscious part, named respectively ku, lono, and aumakua.
The reason why I use the Huna terminology for these aspects is because their existence and purpose can be explained through the root meanings of the Huna language. For example the conscious mind (lono) has its root in the word lo which means ‘to achieve’ and aka (energy or astral body) means ‘transparant’, ‘reflection’ or ‘essence’. I won’t elaborate much on this further, but it’s interesting to realize that the names that were given to the different aspects of our existence collaborate with the root meanings of that ancient language. Even more interesting is that the roots of the language can be traced to other ancient civilizations around the world.
So let’s get started with the most important part: The mind. It’s interesting to note that the Huna philosophy is not so different from the ideas of big Western philosophers like Freud and Jung. There are definitely differences, but there are also similarities. For example, both Freud and the Kahuna’s believe that our complexes are rooted in the subconscious part of the mind and are also largely responsible for undesired behaviour. However, Freud thought that this part of the mind was to be controlled, whereas the Kahuna’s believe that it’s only a matter of reprogramming our behavioral patterns and corresponding beliefs.
The Subconscious Mind
The most important function of the subconscious mind is memory. This is also the reason why all our automatic behaviour is rooted in the subconscious mind, because that’s where it’s stored. Because the subconscious mind is logical in nature and all our experiences with corresponding sensations are recorded, it means that a good part of our automated behaviour can be traced back to past experiences. Especially at a very young age we’re susceptible to subconscious programming, because we lack the decision making power of the conscious mind to change our way of thinking. As a result these years are often at the basis of many mind patterns and can be hard to change, because we tend to subconsciously identify with them.
It is when we start to establish a good communication with our subconscious mind that we get a much better understanding of our behavioral and thinking patterns, from which we can start to consciously reprogram the mind. It is for this reason that the Kahuna’s believe that the subconscious mind should be lovingly treated as a child who needs to be trained and desires direction from the conscious mind. When there is no direction it will switch to its automatic pilot, becoming a product of its environment in the process.
The subconscious mind is also the part where all our emotions come from. This is why we can experience the intensity of past situations when we think back of them, because the emotions are anchored to the memory itself within the subconscious mind. This knowledge is also very important to NLP practitioners, because emotions create the strongest anchors inside the mind. In the game of seduction it’s well known that when we establish physical contact during an emotional moment the memory will be much more powerful.
There is so much more to be said about the subconscious mind, but for the sake of this article the most important function to understand is that of memory. We can utilize the subconscious to remember pretty much everything as long as we have the focus and awareness to dig deep enough. Other than that the subconscious also plays a large role in our perception of dreams. It’s definitely a good idea to write down your dreams, because you might learn something useful about yourself.
The Conscious Mind
The conscious mind is a lot more simple in nature than the subconscious. It only exists in the here and now and is rational in nature. That means that the conscious mind is not emotional by definition and it is the only part of our mind that has the ability to make decisions. Some people think that the strength of our conscious mind is determined by willpower, but that is not the case. Every person has willpower and everyone has the ability to make decisions. There is only a problem when the automatic urges of the subconscious mind start to overrule the direction of the conscious mind.
To avoid this we need to establish a healthy relationship with the subconscious mind. What I mean with that is that simply suppressing our subconscious tendencies is not the key to self mastery, because it creates stress, unhappiness and only works temporary. What you resist persists and for that matter these tendencies will only grow in power, because the subconscious doesn’t want to be ignored. When we establish a good communication we can understand these tendencies and where they come from. Knowledge is power and from that point we can start to reprogram our beliefs by taking on a conscious attitude until it becomes a habit and part of our subconscious behaviour.
It makes me think of a scene in a series that I was watching in which there were some people going to a group therapy. When the group leader asked who had come to improve themselves to become better persons almost everybody raised their hands. And then he said something interesting, because that is the first mistake we make. In order to change and improve, we have to start by accepting ourselves as we are and to realize we’re perfect already. Self-hatred is what stands in the way of change and so it’s never a matter of willpower whether you’re going to be able to follow up on your decisions, but rather of reprogramming starting with self-love.
The Superconscious Mind (High Self)
This part of the mind is harder to define than the others. The Huna word for superconscious is aumakua which means something like ‘guide’. The superconscious is not a seperate entity, but more like our most inner being; the essence of who we are as individuals. When we give direction to our lives with the conscious mind it’s the superconscious that will invoke us with inspiration and a sense of purpose. Our feelings of intuition for example are coming from the superconscious mind.
When we learn to connect with this part of ourselves we can ask for advice or guidance. This may sound strange, because it sounds as if I’m referring to an entity outside of ourselves. I think the best way to explain it would be to say that the superconscious mind transcends the domain of the subconscious and conscious part of the mind. It is the part of us that’s bigger than this life alone and for that reason it gets complicated when people don’t believe that they don’t exist beyond their current state of consciousness. However, it doesn’t change the aspects of guidance, inspiration and intuition.
The Kahuna’s also believe that the superconscious minds or High Selves are all in contact with each other and can form a collective mind. This idea is not new in Western psychology, because Jung actually came up with a theory that involved ancestral memory. The reason for that was that during his research he found that people (who had nothing to do with each other) often dreamt in the same symbolism. This created the idea of archetypes, which is like a universal code through which we perceive reality and communicate.
The Aka Body
The aka body or astral body is at the foundation of our physical manifestation. Scientists have been able to take pictures of the astral body by using specific lenses. I went to a seminar one time where a scientist showed pictures he had made of half torn leaves which clearly showed a bright spectral body on the places where the leaf was torn apart. He did the same experiment with people who had lost their limbs and quite remarkably they were actually able to feel their missing bodyparts during a trance-like state.
One way to explain the aka body is to compare it to a computer. The circuit boards, fuses and transistors create a structure through which the machine can operate, but the actual data is stored in electromagnatic fields. In that sense you could say that our aka body is an electromagnetic field that surrounds and penetrates our physical bodies.
Mana (Life Energy)
Yet more terminology that may raise eyebrows, yet also this has been a matter of extensive research throughout Western modern times. There are many words for this energy such as prana, chi and ki, but also Freud who called it libido. The reason why I’m mentioning this is because it’s one of the keys to self-mastery. The amount of life energy that we generate determines everything inside and outside of ourselves; how we feel, whether we’re healthy, how easily we can accomplish our goals, our levels of confidence and also how attractive we are to the opposite sex.
Another interesting point is that complexes often cause a block in the flow of energy. Wilhelm Reich, a former student of Freud, conducted research on neurotic persons and discovered that certain muscle groups were chronically tensed. Using techniques to relax these muscles the patients experienced a release of energy followed by a flow that they felt throughout their entire body. Similar to electrical current, this was their experience of mana or life energy. So in order to be happy and healthy we need to make sure that our energy can freely move through our body by getting rid of complexes.
Increasing mana is one of the most important things we can do to change the quality of our lives. The more energy we have the more we can achieve and the happier and healthier we feel. Generating energy can be done in various ways whether it is through healthy food, deep breathing, proper sleep or mental attitude. Of course you’ll want to have a combination of all of those factors to get maximum results. There’s nothing as attractive as life itself, so even if you don’t believe in all of this there’s plenty of reason for you womanizers out there to increase your energy.
Then again to prove my point you can go and check the web for guys like Anthony Robbins and other motivational speakers and you’ll see that every single one of them will give you advice that comes down to one thing: Increase your energy to improve your life. In the end you don’t need to believe in metaphysics and mysticism to be able to apply ancient old techniques and get results.
There are different ways to address issues within the subconscious, increase energy or establish a connection with the superconscious mind. One of the things I found interesting is that when we meditate and use our imagination to picture a forest for example, that it is our subconscious mind that will automatically fill in pretty much every detail of our imagination. We can consciously choose what we want to picture, but the picture itself is one big projection of our subconscious mind.
This is very helpful and interesting, because it means that we can gain a better understanding of our own mind by using the power of imagination to turn complexes into vivid images. At this point the complexes become much more tangible and we can use the conscious mind to fix it in whatever way we feel like. To make this more clear, one of the exercises that I learned from the book was to imagine my own garden and just walk around to observe what my subconscious mind had created. This makes introspection a lot easier and at the same time you have the opportunity to find the root of problems (literally!).
Also meditating and imagining radiating light can be a very powerful way to increase energy. Specific colours immediately have an effect on our state of mind as well. Deep breathing is a great tool to calm the mind down and increase energy. These are just examples, but honestly the sky is the limit. What’s nice about the pragmatic approach is that you can do whatever works for you. We have strong intuitive powers and often we have a very clear idea of what is good for us and what not.
From everything I’ve written down it’s barely the tip of the iceberg and if this catches your interest then I’d definitely recommend this book. It’s one of those books that you read more than once and I wouldn’t advice to read more than a chapter a day, because the information is simple yet deep and needs some time to settle down in the mind. Other than that there are of course many ways that lead to Rome and this one is not better nor worse than any other. At the end of the day we all want the same things and how we go on about that is an individual choice.
Most important is that we do make that choice and follow up on our decisions. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but rather through constant effort by taking small steps at a time consistently. What definitely intrigues me is that such an ancient and isolated civilization had such profound knowledge regarding our existence and even better that slowly these ideas are starting to get more support by modern scientists.
In a society where people first and foremost think about themselves and their own interests it’s not always as easy to get people to work for your cause. Of course monetary incentives work to some degree, but there are better ways to establish partnerships which are much more effective. It is the mark of a good leader that he can inspire the people around him.
It’s been proven that money is not the driving force behind the ambition of people. In fact some of the most interesting creations that mankind has produced are not functions of greed, but rather from a sense of purpose and meaning. It is us who give purpose and meaning to our creations and therefore it is us who have the power to inspire others to create things that inbibe those very qualities. When you can give other people a sense of purpose they will create wonders for you.
I’m not religious, but when I see a cathedral I cannot help but to stand in awe as I wonder how much time and effort has been put into creating something so beautiful. There are buildings which took hundreds of years to finish, which means that various generations had been working on them. The reason why those kind of buildings even exist is because the people who made it had a very strong sense of purpose and meaning. It gave them the power to rise above themselves by contributing to something that is bigger than their lives.
Now I’m not saying that you should start your own religion and convince people to build a structure in the name of God, but the point is that people will deliver a better product for you when you can involve them in the idea that is behind it. It is for this reason that powerful ideas are the strongest force in the minds of men and understanding that is one of the most important lessons in order to become a successful leader. Every great leader in history has had a great vision that inspired those who followed him.
There are no right or wrong ideas, only weak and strong ones. We see that in history people have fought each other over disagreements regarding ideas and obviously the strongest ideas survived, because they were supported and defended by many. Think of the idea of liberty for example that has never failed to move people because it’s one of the most powerful ideas. Unfortunately ideas can also be used as a means of manipulation to get people to support something outside of their own interest. Good examples are the numorous wars that the USA fights in the name of liberty and democracy even when that’s obviously not the case.
What I’m trying to say is that an idea needs to be strong, but it also needs to be communicated properly in order to be supported. We attach ourselves to ideas when we’re able to identify with that idea. When an idea is part of our identity it becomes one of the driving forces in our lives. People desire a sense of identity and by belonging to something bigger than ourselves we feel more powerful. In order to spread an idea we have to become the idea itself. They call it being an example or walking the talk.
When a leader can inspire his followers to become part of his idea then they’ll become leaders themselves. This is why strong ideas will live on even when the people who created them passed away. Ideas which appeal to the spirit of the current time are always strong, because they resonate very well with the collective mind. Creating an idea therefore is not as hard as it seems if you can manage to tap in to this collective mind. It doesn’t even have to be a new idea, but it can also be an old idea displayed in a modern fashion.
One of the most important factors in communicating an idea successfully is how it is displayed; being an example is not enough. People have a weak spot for spectacles and mystery and both should be used to create a large movement. In one of my posts (How The Human Psyche Works) I wrote about the power of secrets, because whatever is not spoken out loud creates an aura that is much stronger than words. The same counts for ideas; an idea should be expressed in every way, but it shouldn’t be spoken out loud. Giving away the secret means no more mystery, which is a turn off.
It is the sense of mystery that will draw people closer and every expression of the idea is spectacular. At the same time you give them purpose and meaning. I’ve seen first hand how mysterious organizations have multiple layers of followers. The ones who were the closest with the organization were told the most important ‘secrets’. Secrery inspires loyalty and turns men into kids who will take anything they’re given. I’m not saying this is the right thing to do, but in this particular organization it worked for whatever reason was behind it.
I would say that the most important thing to learn is to recognize the elements that make a movement strong and powerful. It’s not about what they do, but how they do it. In that sense a strong movement definitely has some of the charactaristics that we see in religious organizations. That’s not because it has anything to do with religion, but those guys just figured that out way back. A definite important factor is that it needs to appeal to the desire of people to believe in something which is bigger than themselves in order to be part of it and create a sense of purpose and meaning.
Like I said before it doesn’t matter as much what you do, but it’s much more important how you do it. You don’t have to form a religion in order to create a religious kind of following. The idea is what creates the powerful aura and its presentation is the key in order to inspire people to become part of it. Mystery draws people in, but a leader who appears like he’s a mystery to himself is not a good thing; a good leader knows exactly what he’s doing and even if he doesn’t it should appear as if he does.
People have to feel that they can count on their leader; they need to be able to trust him. Trust can be gained simply by showing understanding towards others. It’s the distance between people that creates distrust and makes one see another as a stranger. A good leader can make an intimate connection with another person instantly on the first eye contact. Trust is a strong bond and is hard to break, because it’s part of people’s sense of identity. This is what I mean with showing understanding; letting someone know that you understand who that person is. People adore that, because often they don’t even know themselves that well.
Finally I would like to say that being a leader doesn’t mean you have to have followers. On the contrary, leadership starts by taking charge of yourself. If your ideas are strong enough people are bound to follow you to help advance the idea even further. One trap is the ego, because that should never be part of the idea. You have to realize yourself that the idea is more important than you and that you’re simply the bearer of it; a tool of the universe so it can spread and create a larger movement.
Those who like to be followed in order to feel better about themselves are not going to be followed. Weak ideas perish in the presence of stronger ones. In order to be a good leader you have to become the biggest follower of your own idea.
Social interaction is one of the hardest yet most valuable skills to master, because it concerns everyone. No matter what you do with your life you will always be part of some kind of community and have your own social circle. And as much as we like to think we’re unique and different we’re all just people at the end of the day who communicate using the same code of interaction.
I’m not referring to language but rather to the mechanics of the human psyche. It is the manner in which we communicate that really tells the underlying message to those who are clever enough to hear it. It’s been proven that most of our communication channels through body language and tone of voice and only a very tiny part has to do with the actual words we speak. That’s not to say that words are unimportant, but they are often not as revealing. A true master of the game always remains a mystery and is hard to read. He is totally aware and in control of what he is conveying through words and gestures.
Social interaction is a game and perhaps the most interesting there is to play. Understanding this game is important to reach your goals, because no matter what you do you’ll always have to deal with other people in one way or another. Whether you want to attract the woman of your dreams or get your dream job you’ll have to convince others that you’re the person they’re looking for. Ironically it’s those who try the hardest who will always fail the hardest. Maybe convincing is the wrong word to use for that matter, because it implies that you have to prove something to someone else and there’s nothing that will lower your value as much as doing that.
Rather it is about make believe. Considering everyone has their own reality which is by definition not absolute, but much closer to imagination and projection, it then becomes clear that this is a game of appearances. How you appear to someone else will determine who you are in their reality. How people perceive you depends on nothing more than as to how you suggest them to perceive you. This happens subconsciously with most people, because they’re not aware of everything they’re communicating.
The things that hold the highest value are those things left unsaid. Did you ever notice how in a relationship unaddressed problems will make for a very uncomfortable atmosphere? It doesn’t really matter what it is, but the point is that whatever you don’t speak out is still very present. By keeping things to yourself you make them powerful because they’re untouchable to others. The moment you give your prize away anyone will have the opportunity to put their hands on it, twist it around and shape it into whatever they want. The result is that they will hold a power over you, because they’ll have control over something which is dear to you.
Secrets are strong because they remain hidden, but are very present at the same time. Whatever you keep to yourself will radiate around you and create a very powerful aura that others don’t understand, yet feel attracted to. At least if that aura is one made out of positive energy. It depends on the quality of the secret. This is the reason why bad secrets should be shared and good secrets should be kept to oneself. Let’s go back to the example of the unaddressed problem in the relationship. The moment you put your finger on that spot you’re creating an opportunity for you and your partner to heal your relationship, whereas the longer you ignore the problem and pretends it doesn’t exist will only create distance and distrust between you, leading to an inevitable break-up.
In all its irony a very important part of social interaction is to give away as little as possible. You would say that communication is about obtaining total clarity and transparency, but this is not how the human mind works. We are helplessly drawn to mystery and get bored with that which is plain, tasteless, unimaginative and predictable. People will try their best to make you show your cards, but those who master themselves will see through it and understand the underlying motives. Keep in mind I’m talking about how you present yourself to the world. It is not to be confused with how business is done, because that should be clear and transparent.
Also in the game of seduction mystery is a very powerful tool to draw people towards you. The most important thing is to be in a position where you know more about the other person than the other way around. I myself have made this mistake in the past where I would give away too much information which made me lose her interest. On the other side I have had great flirtations with women who were dying to figure out the mystery which was me. Of course I never told them. Ironically there was no mystery at all, but only a suggestion of mystery which was enough to stir their feelings.
So lets assume you understand what to keep to yourself in order to create that aura around yourself. You’re aware and in control of what you communicate to the world, especially in tense situations. Contrary to what people may think, being in control of yourself is exactly the opposite of being a robot. In fact is it those who are not in control of themselves who act like robots, because their behaviour is running on the software of human interaction which is programmed in their brains that everyone else is also subjected to. Your emotions don’t make you unique and special, because everyone experiences these emotions and most people act on them the same as anyone else would. What makes you unique and special is to respond rather than to react to situations by acting consciously and self-aware.
Knowing how to keep power is one thing, but gaining power is the other side of the coin. This is basically about addressing the secrets of others by listening carefully. The only way to truly understand others is by dissolving yourself into them. It is very powerful, because on one hand you don’t give anything away for you don’t exist and at the same time you learn valuable things about the other person. This knowledge is to be taken with responsibility, because you have the power to shape it into whatever you like. It is the enlightened human being who will use this power to become a catalyst in the development of another. It is the corrupted human being who will use this power to put another into a state of submission.
When you dissolve it means that you no longer exist as an individual with his own thoughts and feelings, but as an extension of the other person. You literally become a means for their expansion of consciousness when you link yourself to another. This may sound strange to some, but it is truly as simple as saying it and other than awareness and intent there is no need for any specific action to put yourself in such a state. I believe that by making this kind of connection with people we can be of true value to the world around us.
At the same time there is also often a need for feedback which requires your personal ideas and feelings. It is the balance between listening and speaking. When you really listen and can show understanding for another then they will feel they can trust you. In the same way you should only share yourself with people that you can trust. It has happened to me that I felt sorry for sharing something of profound value to me with someone who didn’t recognize this value and it lost some power because of that. This is why it hurts people so much when their trust is broken, because they feel something was taken from them and smashed to pieces.
Most people are very self-centered; they only think about themselves and everything else comes second. They’re not the ones who rule the world, because their ideas are too weak to be supported by many. However, they can still contribute to a good idea and serve it willingly when you can give them what they want. It is not hard to figure that one out, because they’ll be communicating it constantly. You could even say that it can be perceived as a cry for help, because there’s always something desperate about anything that’s overly expressed. People who repeat the same thing are often those who engage in wishful thinking as they’re trying to convince themselves of something that’s so obviously not true.
When you can go past this stage of self-centered thinking a whole new dimension opens up to you. No longer having to be concerned with yourself you can start to explore the world and all its hidden potential and possibilities which will also show the limitlessness within yourself. When one can be formless like water and shape into whatever is needed at that time and place then one will be of immense value to everyone. The answer why one would want to do so is simple: Because happiness will be your witness throughout the whole journey and you’ll have the opportunity to contribute to something that’s bigger than your own life. Next to that you’ll have endless amounts of resources because everyone will want a piece of you so you can set your price high.
We live in a world of excessive consumption, because most people are unhappy and have no idea what to do about it. They’re constantly promised happiness through commercials, but often find themselves in misery at the end of the day. It is impossible to make another person truly happy, but it is possible to help them find their purpose and realize their dreams. If you can uncover from other people what they really want then you’ll know them better than they know themselves. We see in the world of commercialism that this technique is used to a degree of exploitation when the crowd is manipulated as a very powerful desire like happiness is addressed and is immediately followed by suggestions of products to help fulfil that desire. We’re being sold an illusion and a lot of people fall for it. The result is that we come back home from shopping with big smiles that never last.
Like I said before it’s a game of appearance and the palette to color the image you want to create is endless. When one can attain this flexibility it becomes very easy to move about in the world, because many doors will open. All it takes is good observation and imagination. The rest will flow naturally. The more you limit yourself the more predictable you become. Being predictable is one way to lose your power, because others will set you up to play right into their hands. Most people are predictable and that’s why people generally act and think alike.
Ask any random person a question and give them a few answers to choose from. They will choose whatever, but the point is that most of them won’t realize the limitation you’ve just set for them by only providing a small set of answers. This is basically how democracy works; we’re sold the illusion of having a certain say in our country’s affairs while our governments rule in aristocracy. Make a suggestive comment and you immediately implant a belief within the audience that the premises on which that comment is founded is true. It’s like making two steps in one move so that the attention is set on the second step while the first step is left out of the equation.
Derren Brown is an expert in mind manipulation techniques such as the above. It’s about distracting the mind so it cannot keep up with what’s going on. In fact it’s very similar to how computers can be hacked, by blasting them with an overload of information which creates cracks in the system. One way to do this is by asking questions or make statements that will occupy the mind and distract it from what is really going on. I would definitely urge you to check out some of his videos in case you haven’t, because it’s quite fascinating.
Finally I would like to point out that lying is the worst thing you can do and please don’t ever resort to that, because it will do more harm than good. Lying is an act brought forth by fear and by doing so will expand this fear within yourself and strengthen it. Being in control is facing your fears and making a conscious choice. It is about surpassing yourself in favor of a higher purpose. When you can rise above yourself you will be taken care of one way or another and all of your dreams will be within a hand’s reach. It is the journey from the small mind to the big mind.
One of the worst feelings that we experience is when we feel powerless and out of control. It directly confronts us with the fear of not being able to shape our own reality. From that point on you can do two things: Either you play the victim and indulge in self pity, attracting people in the process who will support these self-limiting beliefs by crying along with you, or you accept the fact that you are totally responsible for the situation you’ve put yourself in, and look for ways to get out which will put you back in a position of power.
I’ve experienced this first hand in the past week, transforming myself from play ball to king of my own jungle. I had let myself be a toy of others until I became so miserable that in a moment of clarity I decided to flip everything around 180 degrees, and from that point on everything changed. The details concerning these events are unimportant, but it is interesting that when I look back in hindsight, I realize that I was given the proper tools to deal with the situation at hand; the universe will never let you face a problem that you cannot solve.
The reason I’m writing this is because I’ve been reading a very inspiring book called the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. It is a mind blowing handbook that covers a whole lot of insights concerning being the master of your own universe. Since I’ve been reading it I’ve come to grasp the common theme of the book, which is that we stay in control of situations by staying in control of ourselves.
At first glance, the book may give the impression of being a very immoral piece of literature, as it is written in a ruthless fashion that reminds you of power games being played at the King’s court when Europe was mostly ruled by monarchies. The cold blooded way in which courtiers acted is described as a civilized war, and my first thought when I started reading the book was: This is going to spoil me.
However I did believe that either way it’s always a good thing to expand your knowledge, even if only for the sake of recognizing the games other people may play on you to put themselves in a position of power, and put you at a disadvantage in the process. In the end it’s always better to be conscious and aware than to be ignorant and oblivious.
As I got further into the book I started to discover a recurring theme in most of the laws. It became clear to me that it’s not so much about what course of action you take, but far more important are the intentions behind your actions. What I’m saying is that acting out of emotional impulse is never a good thing when you want to stay in control, because your power is based on how you appear to the outside world, and how predictable your moves are.
See it like a game of chess; he who thinks ahead will always inevitably beat those who do not. For this reason it is very easy to manipulate people into triggering them to perform certain actions if they don’t look at the bigger picture. In the process they will think that they’re making the proper moves, not knowing that they’re playing right into your hands.
You become predictable when you give away too much information. The game is about knowing as much about the other person as possible while remaining a mystery yourself. This also works like a charm in the art of seduction. What is interesting though, is that you give away most information not by what you say, but rather by body language and how you say things. For instance, a person who appears overly confident probably feels exactly the opposite on the inside.
We are often in control of the words we speak, but are rarely aware of the body language we’re conveying. For me this is where most of my attention is directed at; reading the signs of the body, which basically represents the subconscious mind. Listening in this sense is a far more powerful than speaking. It becomes clear who’s pulling the strings in those moments of silence, rather than during a discussion. This is also why it is often a good idea to stay silent when not sure how to proceed; the more you give away the more you’re likely to make a mistake by saying something stupid.
Either way, the book explains a lot about social dynamics, and I would say it’s a must read for any person who wants to be more self-aware and be in control of his or her life. In the end everything is creation, yet more often than not for most people it is a case of subconscious creation rather than conscious creation. You can switch this around at any time and start being the master of your own universe.
Like anything that holds real value it is only meant for those who deserve to have it, so don’t expect it to come to you without effort. Everything that you get for free has a hidden price tag and is rather a curse than a blessing when you take it for granted. Yesterday I paid a visit to the museum of broken relationships here in Zagreb, and among the beautiful stories it also became very clear to me that emotions can drive people totally insane.
So never let yourself become the victim. Life is like a drama and it is up to you which role you play. If you don’t decide on it others will take advantage and let you play that person that everyone feels sorry for. The last thing anyone wants is to have their bank account be a charity for themselves filled with sympathy from others. This is why Machiavelli spoke of fear being stronger than love.
As with anything, I wouldn’t recommend taking the laws as absolute truths. Some of the philosophers that have a dominant presence in the book are Schopenhauer, Nietsche, Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, and Bismarck. If you’re able to fully understand the point being made, then you will see that there is no contradiction with other philosophies that emphasize peace, love, and oneness; it is merely a different aspect of the same thing.
In that sense the book is not complete, because it only offers insights in a certain reality. I have found however that it is an excellent addition to the other book I’m reading: Mastering Your Hidden Self. You can expect more on that in the near future. Right now it’s time to enjoy the last part of my holiday in the hot and sunny country of Croatia. Bok!