The Competition for Power

The Competition for Power

The Competition for Power

How do we gain power? What is power? Is there a difference between personal power and power over others? Why do we need any kind of power?

All interesting questions. As a lead in, let’s start, on a slight tangent, by talking about what I like to call the so-answer-response. The so-answer-response can be given in reply to any question. The answer always starts with the word ‘so’ and goes like this:

Q, What are you doing?

A, So . . .  today we’re discussing power  

As I see it, this rather modern and obviously highly contagious precursor to answering a question, is in fact, all about power.

“It would seem, modern day language, has developed to the point, even answering a direct question, is seen as some kind of power struggle”

It’s like this. If I’m asked a question, and I then choose to answer it with a direct response, directly related to the question, I’m seen to be giving away my power. Linguistics has seen a way around this problem, through adding the ‘so’ precursor, to the answer. Consider the difference:

Q, What are you doing?

A, I’m discussing power.

Can you sense the difference here? Slight isn’t it?

The point being, we’re all in some kind of power struggle. Be this something that’s obvious, or something that’s not quite so, the power struggle goes on. If we were able to observe children at play, we would see the early signs, of the kind of power struggles humans go on to play, everyday of their lives. We might now ask: Why? Why do we need these power struggles?

Now, rather than answering that question directly, I’ll proceed by asking a few more. Why are people being poisoned on our streets? Why are nearly two million people – in the UK alone – experiencing the trauma of domestic abuse every year. Why, somewhere in the world right now, are there innocent women and children being bombed? What is this kind of power struggle? What is the real problem here?

“Allow me to give you a further, if gentler example, of a power struggle”

Just yesterday I took a drive out in my car. During the drive I had an altercation with a professional (van) driver, who thought I’d dangerously cut him up, when entering a roundabout. There was no collision and no brakes were applied, yet the angry driver insisted on pulling up alongside me, in order to scream and rant about my poor driving. His parting shot was a beauty: “You shouldn’t be on the fucking roads mate!” The fact, he was the professional driver, losing his temper, is perhaps besides the point.

It is only matter of opinion anyway. ‘Making good progress’ is how, as a qualified advanced driver, I would have termed my particular driving style. Safe driving, is making good progress, whilst at the same time, avoiding causing other drivers to change speed or direction. This was my driving style. The van driver had other concerns though. His real concern was this: I’d taken his power.

The section of road he saw in front of him was his and his alone, so for me, to safely and keenly ‘beat him to it,’ as it were, annoyed and frightened him. I took his power, and no human likes that. The alternative, is a calm driver – who manages to stay calm in similar circumstances – through seeing the road, as belonging to all of us. If someone safely beats us to it, then good luck to them.

“This opinion is gained through experience and of course recognition that power over others is but an illusion”

I may seem to have gone of the point slightly, however, the subtle shifts in power, through the games humans play, can, when we look at them objectively, seem a little petty. I suppose my gentle examples, given above, have been intended as a means of highlighting this.

And so, what exactly do we have to gain, through road rage or indeed through the murder, and/or abuse of others? Ultimately we gain nothing except the fleeting illusion that we’ve somehow gained the upper hand. It links closely with the game of one-up-man-ship discussed in an earlier post.  

“I believe the Greeks very cleverly understood the competitive nature of humans, and looked to channel this, through their creation of the Olympic games”

Channelling competitiveness – and the human need for power over each other – is using this often ugly trait (to some) in a positive way.

So why do we need this power over others? Well here’s the thing: analysing that need, is pointless. There is nothing to gain from understanding a trait that’s ugly when directionless, yet we do gain immensely, when we understand how the need to dominate each other, can be channelled.

Even when given channelled-direction, and to the detriment of the Greeks and their creation of this, there are those whose need for dominance holds no bounds. You see, not everyone, plays fair. Oh no.

“Potentially, and in this instance, analysing why is useful”

It’s simple, not everyone plays fair because losing adds further damage to their weakness of character. Those who can’t stand to lose, will do all in their power to ensure they don’t, and this includes, cheating. What the cheat is failing to see is, they will always, be exposed.

Exposure fulfils a fear they can’t cope with: losing. They can’t cope with giving a little of their power away. In the end the cheat always loses. Fears are self fulfilling. This is a very important understanding to gain, if you’re playing to win, simply because you can’t stand to lose.

“It is said, it’s not the winning that matters, it’s the taking part that counts”

Even this has been dismissed as something ‘only a loser would say.’ Such is the competitive nature of ‘winners.’ Far better to teach a child: when you win, do this with humility and grace, and you’ll grow to be a good man. And if you lose, respect the greater skill of the man who wins.

Respect – from a man who loses – is only gained when winning is done through giving the proper merit and consideration for fellow competitors; in whatever this may be. We must be aware, if it wasn’t for those who gracefully give some of their power to the winners, the games would simply cease. Where’s the fun in that?

Winning and losing can potentially be seen in equal measure if we recognise that competition must be kept healthy. It’s the only way we’ll  make it as a species. Learn to make good progress with safety.

The Locksmith Series #3

Any form of rape is unacceptable and is conducted by the weak and cowardly. The use of drugs is a modern phenomena in this crime
Any form of rape is unacceptable and is conducted by the weak and cowardly. The use of drugs is a modern phenomena in this crime

Rape. It took John all of half an hour to find Evo. It was one of the reasons they stayed friends; they never made any kind of firm arrangements to meet, they just knew where each other tended to hang out, and so relied on fate to guide them. Beside’s, Evo knew some shady characters, and if John spotted any of them in his vicinity, he could easily avoid them.

Having found one another, and separately visiting the bogs for a line of the powdered stuff, the both of them now stood, propping up the bar, and were well into their second vodka and coke of the evening. Chat came easily in the crowded bar, flying high as they both were, they’d also noticed the menu, lady-flesh menu that was.

“It’d be alright if they’d kept on putting coke in coke like they used to wouldn’t it, we could kill two birds with one stone,” said John

“Nah, be less fun that, I don’t mind a quick snort of the powdered stuff myself. Have ya seen those two over yonder?”

“Of course I bloody av,” he replied, “they’re way out of our league though.”  

“You speak for yourself mate, I reckon after half an hour of my intelligent conversation, they’d be sneaking Valium into my glass, never mind the ruffies I’ve got in reserve for the red head!”

“The Valium I can believe, you’d bloody well need it with the amount of shit you’ve been snorting up ya honk of late,” said John, quietly adding, “and if you do ever use those ruffies mate, it makes you more of a wanker, than I’d ever imagined you to be,”

“I’d never use bloody ruffies mate, I’ve got the necessary talent to get what I need, so don’t you worry ya little head. I believe in chemicals though, all the chemicals I can get, but some of them are strictly for sale to the wankers.”

And so it went on, all typical patter to mark the beginning of a weekend that may, or may not, build into one to remember, or not remember, as the case may be.

For Emily and Joanne their Friday afternoon had continued on in a much more sedate fashion. Earlier in the cafe, soon after John had left, Joanne had shared what she knew of the Locksmith: his address, but also explained, that strangely, no appointments could be made as he gave out no phone number; it was just a case of turning up on his doorstep, and hoping for the best. A bit vague for Emily’s liking but her curiosity had been piqued by Joanne’s enthusiasm.

According to directions, off the main road, a few miles from where she now stood, there was a narrow alleyway. At the entrance there was a small nameplate raised high up on the corner building. The nameplate read: Vidya. Again according to directions, soon after entering this alley, she would find a beautifully well maintained door. On asking, Emily had noted that Joanne had said she didn’t know what the nameplate meant either, and added, she didn’t think it important. Emily thought otherwise.

As Joanne had relayed the directions, Emily was surprised to realise she’d never actually noticed the alley before. She assumed this to be similar to when people, who travel the same journey many times, tend to not notice much of what’s going on around them. This understanding was enough to dismiss her confusion. Back in the cafe, she’d asked Joanne if she’d ever seen it herself, and was met with a blank stare. “Why would I,” she’d said, “it’s you and John who go that way to work.”

Joanne had told her that apparently the door was a freshly painted red and a very striking flame-red at that. She’d also told her that right in the centre of the door was a large brass doorknob. According to the person who’d payed the locksmith a visit some time ago, there was no knocker, letter plate, bell or anything like that, so they’d simply placed their hand on the brass knob, to find out if the door would open or not.

Pulling her coat tight around her shoulders, she thought, how intriguing it is to visit a man, calling himself The Locksmith, who has no visible lock on his front door. Sounds a bit like number Ten Downing street but painted red instead, she thought. There was of course every possibility that the name Locksmith, wasn’t self-appointed, or whether this person existed at all. It could all be a great big, and very embarrassing, wind-up. If that proved to be the case, Emily had already decided to not let on she’d actually gone through with it, and visited the beautiful red door. She set of in the direction of Vidya Alley.

To be continued…

The Art of Deletion

 

“Why would you want to live a good life doing the right thing? What do you actually have to gain?”

If you talk to people about corruption, sexism, racism or any form of injustice and inequality, they’ll tell you: “oh it’s everywhere, but what can you do?” It’s as if it’s an accepted aspect of humanity. Why is this accepted? In addition to this, how is it the corrupt, sexist, racist lairs of the world, seem to have it so good, while the rest of us struggle on regardless? How is it we seem able to accept this? In particular, here in the UK, we even place these kinds of people, at the top of our hierarchical systems. Princess and princesses, kings and queens, lords and sirs, taking us up the rear, as we lie face down, biting into the pillows of denial and ignorance.

There was a time when we feared harming, using and abusing other humans. Fear and guilt were the control rod, yet now this is fading, (the antiquated belief systems of religion starting to fail) what is to replace this control mechanism? Perhaps, if the just and the good were less accepting of the rife abuse in the world today, things would be different. One thing’s for sure, some of us are getting very tired, of feeling like we’re being made fools of.

childschurch

The art of Deletion, is all about understanding how to gain the upper hand over the abusers. Here at The Freedman College we ask: what is it we need to do, to start winning the game, and the battle for freedom?

Initially, it involves questioning our thinking, and opening our minds to the alternatives. Never accepting the norms, and never accepting abuse, means we need to break free from the pack: become less of a sheep and more of a wolf.

Next, we must question established patterns. Be these patterns our ways of life, ways of thinking, or ways we find to excuse ourselves of our duty. Yep, that’s right, duty. It has to be all of our duties, to bring on the necessary changes required, to stop the current system of abuse.

“The Art of Deletion happens within the individual. You’ll see them, those who’ve mastered it. You’ll notice their differences. You’ll notice they’re healthy and free, it’s as if they glow in the dark!”

The Art of Deletion says: I’m no longer going to put up with the abusers of this world. We raise our awareness of the users and abusers and we simply delete them from our lives.

We may face some problems along the way. At this time, the system is so biased, and set to advantage the abusers, that if we try to cease all of the abuse, immediately, we could end up in prison. So cleverness, cunning and caution is advised. For example, the media of television is currently messing up your life, and your licence fee is being used for immoral purposes (for proof see today’s UK news.) So don’t just stop paying for your TV licence, that is illegal. The solution is to get rid of your television all together. Sound hard? Not if you put your mind to it, and besides, you have our support. Be assured, it will be an effective Deletion. You will simply cut out the influence of the abusers.

In answer to our initial questions, what we have to gain from living good lives, and doing the right thing by others, will never be a place within the fiction of heaven. What we have to gain, is the creation of a heaven within our own world and our own minds. It starts with you. Make a decision, about who and what you allow into your life, and that of our children’s.

Lose the fear.

game

Be Aware of Your Game

Game

“To begin with it is important to establish an important proviso here: All of this is just a game”

Whether you like this idea or not, taking a moment to ponder on the concept of everything being a game, will prove to be beneficial to wellbeing, and ultimately your sense of contentment and happiness. It’s really about gaining a balanced sense of perspective.

We’re all playing our particular part in the overall game of life, and a particular, specific game as individuals. As a means of survival, the game you’re playing as an individual, has been devised over the time you’ve been alive. Your role in life is part of the game. When we ask: what is my role in life? We get to understand our purpose and direction.

And so, what is your role in life? What do you see as your purpose? Do you have a purpose? This last question is interesting, because even if you don’t see yourself as having purpose in life, this lack is also part of the game.

“Perhaps you have many roles and interests in life. You may be a mother or father yet also have interests outside of these roles. The more facets and aspects there are to your game, the more interesting your life”

Let’s take another example that’s a little more extreme. Let’s imagine you’re poor and homeless – you may want to add some colours here, perhaps there’s a sad background story, you might carry a lot of guilt and therefore have issues with drink or stronger drugs. We can ask: Why this game? Do you feel you have no choice in this? Are you simply compelled? Is there an element of control, or perhaps some kind of time frame to be played out? Even a homeless drunk, if it doesn’t kill him first,  will eventually tire of something pointless and so change the rules.

“Many homeless people will tell you their situation is through no fault of their own. Is this just another aspect of their game that changes once they take responsibility for themselves?” 

You see, pointless games, are played out by many of us for much of the time. It’s often the case that it has a time scale, and no matter how hard we try to step out of it – particularly one that’s self-destructive – we just seem compelled and powerless, to change it.

“This is where it becomes even more useful to see all of what we do as games”

It’s very empowering to see homelessness and addiction in this way; it implies some level of control. Sure there’s randomness within games (consider monopoly and the throw of dice) and yet we can choose to gain more skills within the game, and as such, play far more skilfully.

Game

I clearly remember playing monopoly some years ago; the situation seemed hopeless. I was almost broke with few properties on the board, with my opponent possessing all the money and properties, in favourable positions. Interestingly enough, after about two hours of play, I actually won!

I remember, before each role of the dice, figuring out what numbers I needed them to fall on, to stay out of trouble, and which numbers I needed to fall, in order for me to gain the advantage. To my amazement – not to mention that of my opponents – the plan worked. Every time I threw the dice, they fell to my advantage, in the end my opponent was bankrupt.

The reason I was able to turn things around, I believe, was through awareness: I planned and worked out how I needed the dice to fall. Bear in mind, this was a random game of monopoly, with the random nature of throwing dice as a deciding factor. So with this in mind, imagine how we can influence our game of life, through increased awareness. We think we’re aware right now, yet the truth is, we’re barely aware at all.  

“More than anything we’re unaware of the rules of our own games. There’s no doubt, if I failed to understand the rules of monopoly, I’d have had absolutely no chance of winning”

So understanding the rules – of your own game – is essential. Firstly what are you playing? A winning game (happiness and well being) or a losing (suffering) one? Secondly, how, by whom and when, were the rules established? Who showed you how to play? Did you simply learn it through trial and error? What are you looking to win? Life or death? Most importantly, are the games you play virtuous? In other words, are you looking to make your game easier, believing this is done through the manipulation of others?

Manipulation of others is based on fear, so if this is one of your rules – rules taught you by others – stop, because fears ultimately become self-fulfilling, ALWAYS. ALWAYS. ALWAYS.

Game
You can influence the fall of the dice.

Awareness is the key. You can influence the fall of the dice with your awareness. Become aware of the role you’re fulfilling to gain the advantage. Are you the good or the bad guy? Which one are you? 

“Understanding gives advantage that can turn things around”

There is a set of rules that dictate how to find a life full of contentment and happiness. Unhappy and homeless is interesting for a while, however, as soon as we see it for what it is, through raising our awareness, we load the dice in our favour.

If you’re suffering just raise your awareness. What is the gameplay? In terms of the advantage, card or dice, what are you looking to achieve. For example, is the homeless man, through playing his homeless card, simply looking for someone else (society) to take care of him? In the long run this is often seen for what it is: gameplay that compensates for lack. Be this self-esteem, belief or simply an inability to stand on ones own two feet.

Game

We must remember: every game has some kind of end goal. Consider the true story of the Indian lady who lived on the streets as a beggar for forty years. Eventually, she’d saved enough money, to buy her own home. Gameplay to fool the foolish?

What is the end goal of the game you’re playing?

No Competition

meek-inheritance-800px

“We all know the basics don’t we? We know the nature of the planet we live on. We may even feel that the nature of life, and methods employed for survival, to be cruel and unkind.”

Perhaps the dog-eat-dog stuff, that goes on so much with everything feeding off each other; competing with each other for space or mating rights, is cruel, yet we mustn’t see this as something we’re separate from. We live here, and because of that, we must abide by the rules. Something that often goes overlooked though, is how we must come to understand, the multi-layered nature of these rules. Often the rules of nature are misunderstood or misinterpreted by those who teach us.

If we’re to get on in life – in terms of finding fulfillment, success, comfort and happiness – then we must, and I mean MUST! – understand the rules and look deeper. It’s here where most of us fail. We fail to find fulfillment and success, because we’re failing to properly understand the rules.

“Here’s something that might surprise you: within the rules, at a deeper level than is immediately obvious, there exists a clause. This clause states: we can succeed without being aggressively competitive.”

That’s right, stop looking to compete. For example, currently, within the hive mind of social media, there now exists the fashion of making all-singing, all-dancing, razzmatazz videos. They’re highly produced, no doubt expensive to make, and created by egotistical people fighting to be at the top of their game. From producers and directors, to actors and graphic designers, all creating beautiful videos that are entertaining, and sometimes informative.

If you want to get a message across, yet have neither the skill, resources or inclination to make such high quality videos, don’t even try. Don’t do it, because all you’re going to do, is use up valuable time and money to end up feeling frustrated. If, however, you desperately want to be able to make quality videos – because you feel this is the only way to get a message across – be sure you’re able to match all the available resources of your competitors, and this will include, a fighting, competitive nature.

“Alternatively, finding something – potentially hidden from view – within the rules of survival, is key.”

This key rule can guarantee a less painful, time consuming and expensive method of finding success. This hidden rule includes the importance of originality. In other words: Do something different and get good at it. In this way, competing, as is prescribed by most, becomes redundant.

“When we compare ourselves to nature, looking at a deeper level, we will see the rules, are not survival of the fittest, but survival of the smartest and most adaptable.”

Those of us who are able to think ourselves out of trouble, or think of an original way of succeeding at the game, are the ones who have the easiest time of it; the ones who are able to clearly see the easiest path. In this way, we’re not part of the dog-eat-dog self-preservation world, instead, we’re part of a special group of people, who have looked to raise their game and step above the crowd. Not better, just different.

“Whilst in this raised, different position, these people also understand the importance of empowering and lifting their fellow man to the same heights as themselves.”

This is achieved, not through being cruel, unkind and aggressively competitive, but by teaching how we must gain the insight, that enables us to be accepting and understanding of how the rules differ, on many different levels. All we need do is look deeper and then help others do the same, reminding ourselves, we only ever have what we give or teach.

“The action of giving or teaching reinforces that which exists within us. Teach aggressive competitiveness, and we will be this way, alternatively teach original, creative thinking, and we reinforce this originality within ourselves.”

You may have heard the phrase “the meek shall inherit the earth.” In its truest, clearest sense, what this means is: it’s not the aggressive, competitive creatures of the world, that’ll become its masters, it’s those who have raised themselves above what the eyes believe they see. In other words, what you believe the world is, at the superficial level i.e a cruel and unkind place full of competitive fighters, is what you’ll personally experience. In this way, you, also become cruel, aggressive, unkind and worst of all, superficial.

“By the same measure, believing the world is a place where adaptability and cleverness is the best and easiest means to progress, will ultimately mean you become clever and adaptable. You will be meekly gaining a rich inheritance.”

bloodycompetition

Remember, if you want to compete on a superficial level, then you’ll need to be a fighter, who is prepared to receive the odd bloody nose. However, If you want to win, through cleverness and adaptability, pay close attention to those who often go unnoticed. Pay attention to the meek, for they, shall inherit the earth.

Just Play The Game

play the game

“Here’s what you need: Money, and not just a little bit, you need lots and lots of it.”

Okay, now we’ve established that, we’re ready to play. The game we’re going to play is called: LIFE WITH THE HUMAN ANIMAL

For what ever reason, the way things are set up here on planet earth, dictates, that in order to experience the most from life, and get the easiest, happiest experience of it, you need money. The more you have, the happier and easier all will be. Consider just two examples – although there are many – Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg. Are these two people happy? You bet they are.

The counter argument to ‘rich-makes-happy’ has been posed many times over the years, and it goes something like this: you don’t need money to be happy all you need is love. Fair enough, however, if there is no love or you simply don’t understand what this is, then money is certainly a solution.

Now, how we go about getting money – under the rules of how we play this game – don’t really matter. You can borrow it, steal it, exploit others for it, sell your body for it – or indeed that of others. You can even live off imaginary money that only exists in computers or on ledgers as numbers. The rules are very lax, and provided you understand the rules, all is well.

For example, if you decide to steal to get rich, then you must be prepared for the possibility of being caught and punished. Stealing (unless disguised as something else) is considered a crime here on planet earth. You must be clever when it comes to stealing. Most thieves, here on earth, are clever enough to disguise the theft of your money as a service or product. Often the thieves will be exploiting you through your weaknesses (desires of the ego and fear).

It really doesn’t matter what service or product you decide to offer the public, as most, if not all services and products, involve some kind of exploitation, it’s just in the nature of things here. To help you understand this, consider the opposite of what weakness and fear is: Strength and Love

“True strength is displayed by those who have control over their ego and the necessary understandings of love. When you have this magical combination, you’ll be happy, and life will be less of a struggle. This is compared to others who live with the disability of ignorance.”

That last paragraph is certainly worth pondering on. Fully understand it, and your sentence will be life.

It could be said: wealth is attained by those with a good business sense (amongst other things, an ability to separate human sensibilities from business affairs). When you know that business is simply that: business, and nothing else, you’ll have a good hand when it comes to money and the game. It could just as easily be said, if you’re unable to compartmentalise in this way, getting into business to earn lots of dosh is probably not the way for you.

In other words, if you’re a truly empathetic person who has a constant sense of how things ‘feel’ to others, and have a powerful need to display integrity and reason, one of the best ways for you to find money, will probably be in the arts or caring professions. A challenging way to make a living, but very rewarding. The complete opposite of empathic, is psychopathic, and if so, business will certainly be your game. There’s currently plenty of very rich psychopaths in the world.

“That’s not to say all wealthy people are psychopaths, it could just as easily be, they also have a fine understanding of love, fear and the weaknesses of ego, indeed, it’s this very understanding, coupled with clever business sense, that’s the difference that’s made the difference for them.”

With all this said, there is another game we can play. Yes that’s right, it’s called: LIFE WITH THE HUMAN as opposed to LIFE WITH THE HUMAN ANIMAL. In this particular game you’ll be playing with a minority of people. These people are very, very clever, for they understand some very specific rules. One of the rules of this game is the rule of Exclusion.

The rule of exclusion involves learning the ability to be extremely selective. This is to say, to play this game well, you’ll need to have learned how to exclude your own human weaknesses, you’ll have learned all about integrity, and you’ll have a very specific understanding of what it means to love your fellow man.

play the game

When you’re able to exclude those from your life – who don’t play by the same set of rules – money and riches, believe it or not, become less relevant. We all need to learn this irrelevance, because very few of us get really rich, and even though there are rich people in the world, not many of them share their wealth in a constructive and useful manner.

“There are many billions of people currently living in poverty here on earth. If wealth, information and intelligence were better shared, we could change this very quickly.”

And so, the more we change the disability of ignorance, into the ability of love, and the more we’re able to exclude the self-centered takers who exploit us, the more we’re likely to enjoy the new community of people created. A community that are more likely to share their wealth, love and understandings, and in turn exclude crippling poverty for billions.

Ultimately, whichever game you choose: LIFE WITH THE HUMAN ANIMAL or LIFE WITH THE HUMAN enjoy the process, yet know: often the games we play promote a grasping and suffering we remain ignorant to, or they promote a giving and sharing we can experience pleasure from. Both worth thinking about.

Something also worth thinking about is, the rules of both the games described, do come down to what we believe, and what we believe, is and will always be, the biggest determiner in what kind of life we and others live.

children, love, award of love, pleasure, pain

All You Need is Love

Love

I’ve been awarded an MBE! Surely not, me? An MBE?

Actually, there’s no award, no MBE, I lied, and after this short piece, there’s never likely to be one in the offing either. So with that said, let’s get to some truths.

You see, when it comes to truth, it’s all about perspective. It’s about how you choose to look at something, and how you choose to feel about it, and that’s all there is to it really. Your truth is just that: your perspective, your opinion. However, how we choose to view and feel about something, can have a very powerful effect on our lives.

In life, there are times, when we’re unaware or confused, as to why we often don’t fully achieve our goals – irrespective of our perspective – and so what follows, are some clues to help solve the riddle. Also, the bewildering facts of life, in terms of how the elite stay elite, and the rest of us stay small, is also explained within the next few paragraphs.

Let’s start with this example. You may think being awarded an MBE, or any award for that matter, is something special. Perhaps you’d be right to feel pleased to have been honoured with such a prestigious award as an MBE. If so, good luck to you.

The alternative perspective though, would be to feel manipulated and belittled, by this act. Consider this: The Beatles were given an MBE back in the sixties. Now, it was certainly plain to see, The Beatles were very popular by this time, so popular in fact, they were becoming a force to be reckoned with amongst the young. They had influential power, yet this power was never abused, they simply enjoyed being fabulous, new and inventive rock stars.

Now, imagine you’re the aristocracy observing the rise of such a power. Imagine you felt threatened by this unknown entity: rock stars. Imagine asking yourself what would be needed, in order to remind them, (The Beatles) and all their fans, who is in charge, and who (or what) is the most powerful force in Britain.

That’s right, what would we need to do in order to reassert the balance? The solution, as we now know, is to give such a force an award. Wow! What a wonderful way to ensure you ride on the back of someone else’s success and assert your own power at the same time.

When it come to games of power, no one is better at playing these games, than the British aristocracy. Some, but not many, are seeing through these games. It’s possible John Lennon saw through it – he was certainly intelligent enough and endowed with an extremely powerful force – as he returned his MBE in November 1969 citing Britain’s involvement in the Nigerian civil war and its support for America in the Vietnam conflict as his reasons.  

You see, power games are played very subtly. Take some time to ponder and then consider the merit of the following: When you’re given an award, the unconscious statement from those giving it, is this: Because we have a history, we’re stronger, richer and therefore more powerful than you. By this accord, we claim the right to be properly qualified to give you an award.

“In fact, the reality is, no one is better or stronger than you, and as such, have no right to belittle you by giving you an award. The act of giving awards gives the awarder power over you.”

The award actually states: “we’re better than you.” Power, and the recognition of them having it, is disguised as recognition of you. “You are awarded for recognition for services to…..”  How dare they! 

The MBE, awarded the Beatles, weakened them, and at the same time, strengthened the aristocracy. The Beatles had no need for an award. It was never something they reached for, sought or expected. They were great before it was given, with sales of records that stand testament to this. The aristocracy had no right to invite themselves upon their success. Put simply it was despicable behaviour.

Although at a slightly different level, the same principles apply throughout. Consider awards given within the workplace. You may be well aware of the childlike nature of the awards some companies give their employees. Frankly, some of the awards, given to staff by large corporations, remind me of something that would be given out to a five year old at primary school. Or perhaps a good monkey or pet dog.

At this point I’m so, so tempted to start swearing, and God help me if Bob Dylan makes any positive mention of his recent award. I say: ‘don’t play the game man, stay great!’

blackboard7

The same applies to you, the awards don’t mean a thing. They mean nothing: no thing. No one is qualified to award you, and in the same measure, no one is qualified to belittle you. Be great and greater still by only expecting in return what The Beatles, and those like them, were built on: LOVE.

“You receive love, not from awards, but by the power of love instilled within you – love, silently growing within, from your acts of bravery. Every single day you get out of bed and live a good life, never living off the hard work of others, is bravery.”

Never exploiting others, only ever giving to others, is bravery. Be assured: you will be rewarded in ways you currently cannot conceive. Do it, be brave, give love and you’ll never look back. Above all, always ensure your perspective, is in the right place.

One-upmanship

One-upmanship, For the Love of You (part 2)

king or queen of love

We’re so busy aren’t we? So much going on, we’ve barely got time for each other. And it’s all got so damn competitive hasn’t it? Back-biting, backstabbing, bitching, scraping, scheming, gossiping, it’s all going on, and these are just some of the things we’re conscious of, never mind the subtle stuff we barely recognise. Is this just the way of it? The way of the world? The way things are?

“It all seems like a desperate fight for survival. A dog-eat-dog world, the self-preservation society, the land of the fittest. Everyone seems to be playing the game of one-upmanship to its utmost, and if you don’t know the rules of the game, and can’t seem to make any sense of the confusion this brings, then basically, you’re screwed.”

It could well be that the vast majority of us are now playing the game of one-upmanship so well, we could describe our game playing skills as having become: unconscious competence. In the same way we learn to drive a car, initially it feels very awkward and unsystematic, yet now, if we’ve been driving for some time, it becomes unthinking and automatic.

“In other words, we’ve being playing the game for so long, we rarely think about the rules, and how to play on any kind of conscious level.”

There is a major problem here though. If we’re no longer conscious of playing a game, then the game itself, is out of control. How we play has become sloppy and slovenly. For example, consider what a driving examiner would make of your driving, if you took a test now. There’s a good chance many drivers would fail this test, perhaps the examiner would be appalled at how aggressive or nonchalant and lazy it has all become.

For further example, imagine a game of chess where the players no longer gently think things over, and then move their pieces into place, instead they smash them around the board in an aggressive and unthinking way. The manner in which they take their opponent’s pieces, is to simply discard them, and throw them on the ground. Definitely not how a game of chess should be played.

Coming back to the analogy of driving for a moment, along with failing to pass a test, an added problem is, if we drive in a slovenly lazy or aggressive way, we wear out our cars more quickly, and experience accidents or near misses more often.

And so what of this out of control game of one-upmanship? An overly competitive world, where we often feel threatened by newcomers, strangers or even people we know, is part of the problem. In such instances, we often act in a dismissive or rude manner, in order to gain the advantage.

A world where we must fight for the advantage, in any way we can, leaves us living in a place filled with lack, and to a degree, sadness. It feels like such a sad place when we’ve lost our kindness and time for each other because we fear, either being taken advantage of, or indeed losing the advantage.

“One-upmanship can be as subtle as not even bothering to say hello when we know this will have a negative effect on a kind and warm person. We may look to bring people down in order to gain the advantage. Why should we say hello? Why should we call and wish someone happy birthday? Why should we give anyone the time of day?”

Any moments of unkindness or coldness toward our fellow man – because we fear it may place us at disadvantage – are wasted opportunities. Any time we’re not living as independently as we can, dependant on others, feeding illusions of control, harbouring feelings of inferiority, are misguided moments.

Furthermore, when the mind – at an unconscious level – sees dis-ease as the answer to gaining control over others, and winning the pointless, hateful game of one-upmanship, this, is heartbreaking to see. In fact, we could say: our failing awareness of the competitive, ego-driven, fighting-for-the-top world, we currently live in, is killing us.

If we stop reaching for the top, and reach within instead, we’ll find something interesting: our higher self. Beyond our destructive, game-playing-ego, there’s an awareness and a cleverness waiting patiently. Hello.