Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The POWER... compels you.

One of the things people need to learn as they are growning up is how to manipulate others.

What works for one person may not work for others. We have various tools to manipulate others, brute force, humour, logic etc.

What I think it boils down to, is that we are stuck here, not only in the confines of reality, things are what they are, but also within the confines of our perception of ourselves and others, as in, "Who is the boss of whom?"

You might not ever verbalize, or even run it through your streaming consciousness, "Who is the boss of you and who are you the boss of?", but you know, you have a good bead on what 'kind' of person, what 'category' of person that you're the boss of, and of course what kind of, or category of person is 'the boss of you'.

Never mind the supposed ultimate question, "Why am I here, why am I alive?", the question that we're all trying to answer, all the time, is, "Who is the boss of whom?"

This 'real' question has no answer. Well, it's being 'answered' all the time, but it's all a matter of persuasion, self-image. It IS the spiritual, the unknowable puzzle that we strive to solve from the day we realise it exists until the day we die.

We have the power of money, the power of brute force, the power of guile, which is like 'Rock, Paper, Scissors'.

Is there such a thing as free will, or are you compelled to be you by the powers which you perceive yourself to have, or to lack?

My pet bird gets up in the morning, sings his morning song, which, sadly, sounds like a deafening squeeze toy, then proceeds to acknowledge us and to re-establish his dominance over all the mirror images of himself in the house. He has a couple of favourites, the one he sleeps beside, the bathroom one, and some he loves to hate, the one on the headboard of my bed, the one in his 'basement'(under his cage).

I say that we are just like him, we get up in the morning and play exactly the same games as him, but with our family, our bosses etc.

Short of becoming a hermit or committing suicide, there is no escape from our condition, it's what we 'really' are.


Pliny-the-in-Between said...

I think that in the end, the difference is that we can imagine that reality is otherwise than what you describe. That we can overcome mechanistic behaviors. And in that imagining may be the engine that has driven human achievement so very far.

pboyfloyd said...

Still, I can see how true-believers convince themselves that this simple struggle for self-justification, where we see real people who we class as 'not negotiable with'(the Queen of England comes to mind) and real people who have no business trying to negotiate with us(homeless bums).

This puts everyone on mental ladders of prestige and success which is almost 'taboo' to discuss but essential for the 'religionist' to class as 'spiritual', the highest 'rung' being 'GOD' and the lowest being 'Satan'.

Sure we can ignore it. We can ignore it in a bad way, where those who suppose that they are higher on this ladder can look down their noses or pity those they perceive as lower on the ladder.

Or we can ignore it because we realise that it is essentially worthless(not priceless as the 'users' want to think) and try to reach beyond it.

I'm trying to not ignore it, to 'name' it, here.

mac said...

Yes, I can imagine who is the boss in the pboyfloyd/Ian strugggle.

I see the deference in the little bird kisses. I sense his condescention of your beakless face ;-)

I can see this effect coming into play in the "opiate of the masses" theory.

The believers can always think, "I've got one boss and one boss only, His name is Jesus"
Sure he may have people who tell him what to do, and he'll do it without hesitation. BUT, if he's good, Jesus will someday spare him from all these burdons of "too many Chiefs and not enough Indians".

Of course if he's bad, he'll be in hell blowing every demon that looks his way.

Harvey said...

If one thinks about it, all of this hierarchy of responsibilty to or control over others is simple wolf-pack behavior. None of it pertains to anything other than our relationships with others. When we are infants, we are the center of the universe. We have neither responsibility nor control over anyone else. Slowly, we discover the presence of "others" (parents, siblings, etc.), most of whom respond to our needs insofar as we are able to express them (crying, smiling, etc.). Eventually, we come to realize that we are only one of many individuals, most of whom are not constrained to realize or respond to our needs and/or demands. The rest of growing up, maturation, and/or learning how to relate to our "tribes" and other acquaintances can be defined in the largest sense as 'civilization".
If we succeed in integrating ourselves into any group or societal unit we must, of necessity, have learned who we must respond to and who we can get to respond to us
What differentiates us from wolves in a pack is:
1) we believe we are not locked into our position and that there is at least the possibilty of "moving up"
2) we do not necessarily require that the "alpha" male be present or even clearly identified (i.e. God)
In the end, we are animals who are largely guided by instinct and learned behaviors, from which we can only occassionally escape if we can let our intellects to overpower these instincts.

pboyfloyd said...

Yea, Harvey, that's what I'm trying to say.

We are born, not quite a blank slate. We are born sexual beings, we are born social beings.

The steps which we have elaborated on are communication, i.e. language and writing.

We've gone beyond the 'pack'(wolves, lions), beyond 'tribe'(baboons, chimps), beyond, physical strength, beyond guile, but they are still 'there', they're still 'with us'.

I think that all the self-help books are trying to say is, "How to be the boss of yourself!" and the tie-in there is, if you are not the boss of yourself, whose ideas are you letting yourself be controlled by?

Pliny-the-in-Between said...

Harvey - as usual you did a better job of articulating what i was trying to say - so it sounds like you, Mac pboy and I all agree on this! Can the universe survive such a conjunction?

Harvey said...

"God" willing!!

Harry C Pharisee said...

It's time for you to learn what Zoroaster says about your so called theory.

'Give Harry money.'

It's beautiful, simple, and true.

Harry C Pharisee said...

You also need to know what my other god Ze Toaster says about your so called theory.

'Give Harry slightly charred bread.'

If you're trying to decide which god to serve for my benefit, don't bother. Just give me slightly charred American dollars or euros.

That will appease both of them for your sin of thinking.

Harry C Pharisee said...

Telling people that a command is true, was the absolute best thing the Pharisee clan ever did for itself.

It's like money in the bank.

pboyfloyd said...

Right. Religion is just hi-jacking a natural sense of 'place', a natural sense of 'order' that we naturally have to learn to be a person.

Given sufficient growing and learning, why, I wouldn't be surprised if some people, at some point reject the the evidence all around them that there is a 'slot' for them in this world, in the hierarchies of society.

Then, having tried some wild ideas, having tested the limits of society, come to the 'unique' realization that 'mom and dad' were right all along, and their choice, their rebellion, was naive.

All the forgotten teachings of mom and dad come rushing back as exactly a sense of place, perhaps with some guilt associated with having tried to 'buck the system'.

How 'free' are we? Even if there were a third option, we're not aware of it, so it's no option at all.

Anonymous said...

Was this a lament?