Monday, August 25, 2014


Nearly everyone craves some sort of power. The most accepted definition of power is all about having influence over those who have it in fewer proportions. It's the ability to get a person to change Their behavior against Their will. While this certainly can't be disputed, I think there are two distinguishable trends in might. There is the one already mentioned – the symptom of an unforgiving tradition, which I call petty power. I borrow this expression from the book called "The Fire from Within", written by Carlos Castañeda. In His enchantingly displaced vision of the universe, Carlos writes about the importance of being impeccable. There are strategies and phenomena in life which can aid people in attaining impeccability if They know how to take advantage of them. One of these potentially assisting elements are the petty tyrants. In my short reinterpretation, these are all the people who long to dominate others. They are petty because They are nothing compared to the ultimate tyrant – existence. There is no evading the underlying properties that be, only finding a way amidst them. What good is power over others, if we can't control our very selves? So, these people who ape the sublime essence can be used as means to understand how to let go of self-importance.

This brings us to the second type of power, which is rarely taken seriously these days. That is the mastery of the self. This requires the riddance of self-importance. Don't confuse this idea with having no respect towards one's own existence. What it means is having the ability to see beyond one's own self-serving bias. I call this type of power true power. Essentially, beings holding true power cannot be deterred by any outside force. Yes, They can be destroyed, theoretically. Yet, since They have no pride in individual existence anymore, but rather the devotion to a set of ideas, the feeling of being victimized is replaced by the sheer satisfaction of living in accordance to Their dreams. Any energy otherwise spent on dealing with suffering imposed by other beings can now be targeted on achieving an intent. Schemes conspired against such a calculated intent can be inspected and dealt with in a sober manner. While wondering about this, the concept of soft power comes to mind, which was developed a decade ago by political scientist Joseph Nye. The two are different, though. Soft power still aims to persuade others to join our cause (and thus willingly do what we would want them to, without forcing Them), while true power doesn't bother with the adoption of anyone's will. The latter exists only for the sake of its own inquiry.

These types of power don't necessarily exclude each other. On the contrary, if someone acquires true power, They will have all the aspects of the petty power, but instead of being consumed by it, They can control it. They won't have any compulsory agendas to fulfill, thus not compromising Their intent with lapses originating from power struggles. As a direct result of living in a community, we surely have to practice influence of our will over others. The temperance of this practice is what makes all the difference.

He-Man has the POWER!
This guy knows what's up.

Power can be and should be obtained. By lacking it, we willfully disengage from the forces that govern society. We risk becoming a puppet of what we might call fate, luck or circumstance. A demotivated fatalist. Sadly, most people nowadays are like this. This is a frustrating fact, as it strips democracy of its essence. The political ideology humanity is so proud of works only if all of its participants are equally aware. Since this is not the case, the few individuals who rise to power have all the legitimacy to compel Their vision around. You can only guess how many of these people carry true power.

In ancient Greece, there was an expression for people who lacked competency to participate in public life. Later, this term (which I will soon reveal) was taken over by the Romans, and it meant an uneducated and ignorant person. In more recent times, psychology used it as a term for the most severe degree of mental retardation. This professional phrase is now abandoned since everybody uses it as an insult. The sad fact is that an ancient civilization would regard most of us today as idiots, and rightfully so. In the old-school democracy, an idiot was anyone who was more concerned about private matters than with public affairs. Aristotle even regarded us as the zoon politikon or the political animal − because according to Him, the only thing to separate us from the rest in the animal kingdom is our feature to develop societies. To put it in today's perspective, being a part of a societal group essentially means governing it to a certain degree, and an individual needs o learn the skills to operate in such a way.

This begs the question: are politicians still idiots if They practice the law for the sake of a small group (which seems to be the case in many countries today)? This is where the petty power phrase kicks in. They are not idiots in the traditional sense, as They actively influence society and, in Their own way, care about how it revolves. Alas, They are petty tyrants in critical times. Representatives for cowardly masses who avoid the responsibility of making decisions that matter. Thank goodness for the exceptions.

Now it might be much more apparent why the practice of true power is necessary for the future of our society. It needs to transcend the petty reign. This mission demands all of humanity. I consider each and every one of us to be a politician in Their own regard. This concept requires us to put away the conventional view on who is a politician. We all are. To explain, let's name two ends to this spectrum: active and passive politicians. The first are those who reshape society, and the latter are those who follow in acceptance. With silently abiding whatever laws are passed, passive politicians contribute to them.

prometheus gets his liver eaten again
"Shrill!! Since You have practiced Your active politics, I'm enforcing criminal justice upon You!!"
"No, please! Not again! You can put an end to this!"
"Sorry, titan. I dig You and our little chit-chats, but I must follow orders. That's why I was created!"

Being an active politician with true power is not an easy task. It requires a set of competencies, with no definite list or descriptions. That is also the beauty of it. We can't just go around changing the system if we disagree with it or some of its elements. We have to believe in a vision, one with essence and purpose. We have to rearrange theoretical structures through practice. We need to invent our own laws, live by them, and enforce them. I'm not advocating breaking legal rules. What I'm arguing is that we need to see clearly what kind of World we want to live in and behave the best we can to make it into reality. Nowadays, this is called active citizenship and is taught through civics.

Our current social, political, economic and ecological system is failing us. We just passed Earth's yearly natural resource budget. We are threatening ourselves with total collapse. It has become of an utmost importance to reinvent how we live. What better ways are to doing this than to make our defiance legal? We need to reshape the World by having our heartbeat set to our own true-powered righteousness.

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