The path of personal power: going past paranoia about popularity

The path of personal power:

going past paranoia about popularity

Satan shaming the mirror

First, I will define power and then personal power. Power refers to the amount of results that can be quickly produced by a particular method.

(For instance, an increase in power would be producing better results in a smaller amount of time with a smaller amount of precisely focused energy. In contrast, producing moderate results while using a lot of resources and a lot of time is not as powerful.)

Personal power refers to your personal capacity to efficiently produce the outcomes that you value. For instance, in regard to health, imagine someone with a degenerative disease. If they can invest $10,000 across 2 years and slow down the advance of a degenerative disease, then that may be a result that they value. In my own case, I experienced the symptoms popularly labeled as Multiple Sclerosis and I spent $5 to add something to my diet (something that has been common for humans to consume for many thousands of years) and then, the morning after I ate only $5 of that special food, I recovered my ability to walk overnight. Compared to the results that most people with MS experience, my results were very powerful. They were very effective, very quickly, and with very little resources used.

Now, how can we increase our personal power? First, personal power is not the same as popularity. I note this because most of what prevents people from experiencing personal power is a paranoia about maintaining social popularity. People may be resistant to research an unfamiliar approach to health care. Why? Because if they do not recognize it as an approach that is already popular, then they would prefer to maintain their current results in regard to health rather than risk sacrificing some amount of social popularity.

Having a serious medical problem or even a disability, like I had, can be a very effective way to attract social interaction with others. Many people would prefer to maintain poor health or even reduce their health in order to attract social engagement from others. In extreme cases, we can use the term “hysterical paralysis,” which involves a real hysteria and a real paralysis (though often temporary). The hysteria involves a paranoid desperation in regard to certain kinds of social interaction. The neurological inefficiency of the paranoid hysteria can actually lead to physical crippling.

In other words, paranoia about popularity corresponds to inefficiency, like neurological inefficiency. There are two forms of paranoia that I will now address, as well as how to resolve them and take the path of personal power.

First, the two basic forms of paranoia about popularity are arrogance and shame. Arrogance is generally the easier to recognize, since we often witness it in others. It is purely a paranoia about social popularity, especially a concern for whether others “respect me enough.”

An example of arrogance would be if I said sincerely that “the rest of reality should be a certain way. It should conform to my idealism about how it should be- like those people should be how I say they should be, and that person too and especially the one I was talking about for the last few years!”

A more specific example would be if I said to someone “you should be more grateful. In particular, you should be more grateful for me and for my righteous sincerity. I may not produce the valued results powerfully, but I try very hard (investing lots of time and resources) and so you should thank me for my inefficiency because it is so sincere. However, you never ever do and your lack of approval is very disappointing and quite frustrating and just plain insulting. So, because of my long list of excellent justifications, I condemn you for not praising me more- not that I am preoccupied with social popularity, because that is obviously not true. Therefore I demand that you must either praise my mediocrity or prepare to be excluded, if not attacked. Come on: say that I am not at all concerned with social approval or popularity! Say it by the time I count to 10 or else I will be forced by you to punish you severely.”

What is behind such a panic of arrogant shaming? The projection of shame toward some target of demonization or vilification is always from one’s own pre-existing shame. If there is an idolatrous worship of a specific ideal about how people should be, and if the category “people” includes me, then that ideal will also be self-applied.

If I say “I am exactly how I should be and I am not at all how I should not be,” what is that called? That can be called rigidity (with physical crippling in extreme cases). That can also be called arrogance as well as… the reactionary denial of paranoid shame: “I am exactly how I should be and I am not at all how I should not be!”

Consider words of panic like these: “How dare you suggest that I am not how I insist that I am?!?!?” Now, why would it be offensive if I said to a duck that it was not a goose? Only when there is a pretense of being a goose (“because that is how all birds should be”), would there be any panic at the suggestion that a duck is actually a duck. A duck that is ashamed of being a duck could insist that it is a goose and that anyone who suggests otherwise is… arrogant, which “obviously no one should ever be.”

Where does idealism about “how people should be” come from? These idealisms are indoctrinated by social conditioning, such as churches, schools, and mass media. When two fanatical fundamentalists from different cultural backgrounds meet, they will inevitably explode in to a panic of arguing sincerely about which form of idealism is “the only right one.”

So, a paranoid pre-occupation with idealism about popular views of how things should be is inefficient. It is literally crippling. It is a terrified idolatry, in the sense of a panic of rejecting portions of tangible reality for some ideal. Arrogance and shame are thus the two basic forms of what has been labeled “sin,” which basically means “a way of doing things that does not work very well, which is not powerful.”

Here is a traditional formula for spiritual maturity:

Forgive others (stop condemning them in a panic of paranoid arrogance) and then you will experience relief from your own shame. Also, in case you were wondering, how many times should you forgive others of being however you condemn them for being? Forgive them as many times as it takes until you recognize that condemning them is exhausting you, inhibiting you, crippling you, paralyzing you, resisting your past shame. Stop resisting your past shame and instead relax.”

The activity of forgiving or repenting is a powerful method for releasing the crippling tensions of shame. When the paranoid idealism of the panicking ego or persona is totally exhausted or “extinguished,” that is called a spiritual rebirth (or nirvana).

You might wonder what is it like to live without a crippling paranoia about popularity. The absence of paranoia does not imply a disregard for the importance of reputation. Those who say that they disregard reputation may only be saying that in order to attract social approval for their pretense of self-acceptance. They may still practice self-rejection, as evident in their frequent, intense projections of disgust toward others: “look, that particular government really should NOT be how they are. It is simply disgusting and shameful!”

All arrogant contempt is a form of paranoia or panic. It is a signal of underlying shame.

So, what is the absence of shame like? First, recall that shame is the splitting of personality in to “how I should be, which is how I really am” (according to the one ashamed) and “how I should not be, which yes I used to be in a few ways, but I heroically recovered from those personality flaws, like now I am beyond evil emotions like fear or disappointment or frustration or desire, which are emotions for evil people, and obviously I am NOT one of those!”

The absence of shame has no network of physical tension. The physical body is not repressing facial expressions or “holding the tongue.” This is a tremendous physical relief.

Further, there is no sincere pretense. That is also known as a sense of humor or playfulness.

“Oh yeah, look at this picture of me from that one Halloween. I am the one dressed up as The Incredible Hulk. I was so angry and violent that my little sister was scared to go door to door with me at first. We had a lot of fun though.”

There is awareness of the self (in all of its qualities and patterns). That contrasts with the various intensities of multiple-personality schizophrenia, as in the simultaneous condemnation and repression of certain shameful patterns as well as the intense glorification of a few select ways that one may pretend to be in a panic of paranoid arrogance about social popularity.

What about the absence of arrogance? When I accept reality as it actually is, including all of the various forms of idealism and social paranoia and so on, that can be called humility. I do not desperately presume to condemn any of the forms of the Almighty Creator (of “The Universe”).

In the ancient Hebrew oral tradition, the principle of humility was presented like this, as later recorded in writing:


“For every thing in creation, there is a purpose and a proper season: a time for love and for hate, a time for peace and for war, a time to sow and to reap….”

What is the natural logical extension of humility? After I withdraw my condemnation and contempt from others, then what is left? When I accept that every thing in creation has a purpose and a proper season, then that includes all people, including me.

That is called self-respect (or pride). In contrast to self-rejection in order to pursue social popularity by maintaining a pretense (“that I am exactly how I should be”), self-respect is relaxed and alert and attentive. There is receptivity to others rather than a contrast defensiveness against a possible threat to exposing my paranoid pretenses.

Further, there is tremendous power. I recognize what I value. I may not talk much about it, but I recognize it.

By recognizing what I value, I give up any pretenses of confusion, overwhelm, blame, and victimization. Maintaining pretenses can be very inefficient and even exhausting. I value efficiency.

I am not hysterically against pretense or secrecy, like what is used in governments. I simply value perceptiveness. Those whom I perceive to be lacking in perceptivity (and power), I withdraw from as relatively “low value.” Note that the more precise my own perception is, the more powerfully I can invest my resources and monitor my results.

So, I recognize what works and how well each method works. I am open to precise measurements as well as input and mentoring. However, again, I may be very selective about whose opinions I value.

I avoid inefficiency. I value results.
I also recognize the tremendous popularity of certain forms of paranoia and panic. Many organisms react neuro-chemically with such intensity that they are disgusted or disturbed by contrary perspectives (or even by the absence of enthusiastic praise). They may experience no freedom as to whether they argue. The reflexive arguments just spill out of their mouths like water flowing down under the influence of gravity.

“No, you just do not understand me! You should thank me for informing you of the horrible dangers of your ways. If you don’t adopt my model of sincere, fundamentalist idealism, then how is your ego ever going to get in to heaven when your body dies? If you are not paranoid now like me, then you will be condemned to an eternity of the torture of fearing future punishment. I mean, how can you even think of stopping your practice of agonizing? If you stop agonizing, then who will I have around in agony with me?!?!? Do not betray me! Misery loves company, right? I need you to desire my path to salvation. I can feel that the force is strong within you. Take my hand now and join me. The path of personal power is just a temptation of the devil, who is a threat to my God, who I claim to be Almighty, yet also to be threatened by one of his creations, the devil. Listen, how are you going to earn your way in to heaven if you stop panicking? How are you going to obsess over pretending to be how you should be if you stop worshiping a particular idolatry of how you should be? God punishes those who forgive humbly. Don’t condemn yourself to hell by practicing repentance and humility. That is for fools! Agonizing is the path to salvation. Fear the devil. The devil is so powerful that, rather than admit that you have been worshiping a crippling ideal of a powerful devil, you should think constantly about the importance of reverse psychological warfare. Reverse psychology simply should not exist. Psychological warfare is deceptive, disturbing, disgusting, and contributes to paranoia and mental illness. That is why you need to rescue humanity from reverse psychological warfare by last year. You’re late! It’s a tragedy! It’s a shame! It’s NOT just one possible story, just a way of relating to reality through the use of language to presumptively label things and then reflexively organize attention and interpretation and responses. Your actions are not the source of your results. Why do you even care about your results? That is evil! Finally, personal power is just plain wrong. Paranoia about popularity is holy. Whatever you do, do not abandon the eternal quest to run around in circles chasing after your own shadow. Your real problem is a lack of sincerity, plus you really need to run much faster. I recommend that you produce radically different results by trying the same old methods and then complaining when they produce the same old results again. You do agree with me, right? If you don’t, I am going to get really upset and then guilt trip you, and no one wants that: no one! I totally hate guilt trips. You should not be laying guilt trips on me. That is the reason that I am so frustrated with the results of my actions, by the way, because YOU have been distracting me by guilt tripping me too often and in the wrong way and about the wrong things. You apparently have so much self-righteous contempt for me that I am going to have a multi-decade tantrum now as an experiment of new methods of attracting social approval, which obviously I do not care about at all, because I am not evil like YOU!”

Satan chastising mirror

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