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 Power and the self (self-mastery or its lack)

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PostSubject: Power and the self (self-mastery or its lack)   Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:03 am

Aristotle said that tyrants seek power over others because they are not able to seek power over themselves, or that they gain power over others because they cannot master themselves. This is obviously not true without some conditions and exceptions but in general I think it holds true. I was then saying that certain people show us how it is the case that “to be enslaved” is something that we do to ourselves; even a prisoner in a jail can be free, can be not a slave, if that is his relation and condition before himself. No one can enslave one’s self, being, mind, self-value unless we choose it, which means unless we consent and want it.

Many people want to be enslaved like that. Obviously it’s easier for them, their severe lack of self means that to live on their own terms would be arduous and terrifying whereas to live as another says is much easier. Obviously the reverse is true for us; due to our massive overflows of self it would be arduous and terrifying to live as another says, but quite easy to live on our own terms.

I mean yeah of course we can be enslaved in a physical sense, and we can be overpowered mentally or emotionally in certain situations, but that’s not really what I mean. A condition of being a slave, in a philosophical sense, is always something one does to oneself. So then Aristotle’s maxim might be reversed as, “a man allows others to gain power over himself only because he does not already have power over himself”. So the lack of self-mastery can manifest either as power-lust over others, a drive to turn others into slaves to oneself and thus compensate for one’s lack of power over oneself, or it can manifest as a drive to allow oneself to become enslaved and thus achieve that compensation by another means. Either way, the lack of self-mastery is a void into which something must be drawn. A void of power means that it is power which will be drawn into that void, but from outside of oneself since structurally speaking one is unable to source that power for oneself, hence the existence of the void in the first place; this external power therefore will either manifest as one’s own enslavement (appeal to the power of another as vicarious or surrogate experience of power attempting to compensate for one’s own lack of power, ie the condition of the “happy slave”) or as one’s own tyrannical nature bent on enslaving others (appeal to a replacement of one kind of power for another, in an attempt to create the means by which to justify repressing and pushing away/ignoring the void itself and the cause of the void).

Self-mastery means dealing with this void on its proper terms, closing it up in a real sense. Being a happy slave means covering over the void with the image of another’s power and mastery, so one can perpetually look away from oneself and pretend the void does not exist. Being a tyrant means attempting to fill the void with a kind of power that is not the kind of power which is lacking thus which lack is causing the void.

 

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Must one not first hate oneself, in order to love oneself? ...
I am your labyrinth ...

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PostSubject: Re: Power and the self (self-mastery or its lack)   Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:25 am

Voids can only be properly filled in by what is actually lacking, by that whose lack is the cause of the void itself. Often a void will be attempted to be filled in by something similar to what is lacking but not really what is actually lacking. In this case (that of the happy slave, or of the tyrant), the mere formal sense of “power” as a form to which various kinds of contents can be attributed, is used to fill in the void without regard to the actual kind of power whose lack caused the void. The content is adjusted so that the mere form of power smuggled in similar but fundamentally different contents under the guise of being another kind of content entirely; the kind of power over others is mistaken as the kind of power over oneself.

So does a void also exist for one’s lack of power over others? Yes, but this is not so simple as to produce tyrannical impulses for control over others, rather this second void is a consequence of our fundamental need to manage our relations to the world and to have some control over things in the world around us. Nietzsche would disagree of course, and say that the void of power over others is due to the fundamental will to power and whose insatisbility and fundamental nature drives everyone toward tyrannical acts and desires. I’m sure there is some truth to this too, but also it’s not nearly that simple. Desire for power is conditional to that over which one is to achieve power and to why this is necessary or desirous to achieve; self-valuing, and I think this shows in VO, redirects many outward flows of power-seeking back into/toward/as the self itself, in order to both build his self as self-mastery increase and also in order to avoid the dissolution of self-valuing into the world by subjecting one’s values and valuings to the terms of the world rather than to one’s own terms.

In other words, VO shows how we value power itself in our own terms. All being does this to the maximum degree possible, limited primarily by the need to still engage outwardly with the world and therefore subject one’s own terms and value standards to the terms and value standards of others, of the world. We must be “externalized” enough to dynamically deal with the world so as to not perish, so as to be able to properly deal with, reflect away or make use of its own values and valuings, but then the limit of this is simply the fact that if that were the only or primary drive and method of being then such a being would quickly become assimilated fully into the world around it and would dissolve its self-valuing.

So self-valuing takes ‘power over the world’ capacity and, due to this natural logical limit, redirects as much of this capacity as possible back into/toward/as itself, as ‘power over oneself’ (self-mastery). Therefore the unbridled tyrannical impulse or tyrannical impulse to power over others for its own sake represents merely a dissolution of oneself, of one’s self-valuing and value-standards and terms, into the standards and terms of the world. It may appear that a magnificent tyrant is operating from a very strong self-valuing, is attempting to make the world into his own image and according to his own values, and to an extent this is true; so how is it that the attempt to change the world, to control the world, or to have power over others is not simply a pushing of one’s own value standards and terms onto others and the world and is also and instead process of self-dissolution as one’s own self-valuing is being subverted into, by and as the terms of these others and of the world?

Well this is a really marvelous inquiry here, one of those rare gems of a question that lead immediately into new territory within the terra incognita of the soul, of the ‘mental universe’. Sic hunt dracones. I don’t necessarily want to trace all of this out right away, might as well pause and make a small campsite here for the moment, enjoy the view, and let the territory linger as still unexplored and wild in case anyone else wants to venture ahead in the meantime.

 

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Be clever, Ariadne! ...
You have little ears; you have my ears:
Put a clever word in them! —
Must one not first hate oneself, in order to love oneself? ...
I am your labyrinth ...

-N
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PostSubject: Re: Power and the self (self-mastery or its lack)   Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:51 am

What follows is true, namely that when one has mastered oneself, one inevitably masters others, as well.

These rare people that have mastery over themselves, that truly self-value, have a larger being that consists in part of patterns of still-enslaved beings that share (often by opposition) certain contexts and/or tastes.

And this is obscene. Let there be no question about this. It is the obscene consequence of mastering oneself, that one inadvertently draws into ones sphere of power a swath of beings of lesser integrity.

It is perhaps for this reason that war was invented, at least it is comically conceivable, for mastes to undo themselves of their followers. Or at least to purge the body of followers of excessive vanities, sloth and such natural slavish qualities.

It is certain that to master oneself one needs to be able to deal with the fact that one will have followers. It is not possible to master oneself in pure seclusion, as no self is ever isolated. A self is a social substance. In the wild there are no selves.

 

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PostSubject: Re: Power and the self (self-mastery or its lack)   Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:00 am

I am tempted to say that genius can be self-mastery in seclusion, through art or philosophy or literature, for example; but you are right that connection to others must exist, at least minimally connections to culture and history must exist. Massive flows of information. But, to master oneself does not seem, to me anyway, to imply any degree of mastery over anyone else. Certainly mastery over others might be a consequence of self-mastery, given the kind and extent of one's relationships to other people, given one's goals and inclinations, etc., but I cannot see how it is necessary.

I can definitely see your point that self-mastery is a kind of expansion and clarification of oneself that will draw in and encompass many others who are not at this level. But we can respond to this in more than one way; we can try to control these others, to enslave them, or we can try to elevate them to our level, or we can as you say wage wars so they are reduced in attrition somehow, or we can ignore them and attempt to relate only to those of our own type.... or we can simply isolate ourselves from them, place up clear boundaries beyond which they cannot cross and beyond which we ourselves simply refuse to reach.

Yes others are drawn to us the more we have mastered ourselves, I think this is true. Then the question is how do we respond to this fact? How do we want to respond to it? We value power itself in our own terms, as I said above -- so how do we value, in our own terms, this power of attraction of others that comes with self-mastery, and why and how do we value it like that?

 

___________
Be clever, Ariadne! ...
You have little ears; you have my ears:
Put a clever word in them! —
Must one not first hate oneself, in order to love oneself? ...
I am your labyrinth ...

-N
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PostSubject: Re: Power and the self (self-mastery or its lack)   Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:19 am

"I can definitely see your point that self-mastery is a kind of expansion and clarification of oneself that will draw in and encompass many others who are not at this level. But we can respond to this in more than one way; we can try to control these others, to enslave them, or we can try to elevate them to our level, or we can as you say wage wars so they are reduced in attrition somehow, or we can ignore them and attempt to relate only to those of our own type.... or we can simply isolate ourselves from them, place up clear boundaries beyond which they cannot cross and beyond which we ourselves simply refuse to reach. "

What I meant to say is only that when one masters oneself, one acquires slaves, in one way or another. It is inevitable like magnetism. Jim Morrison was a rare man who had truly mastered himself, and who then perished of his awareness of his slaves. In all the scenarios you mention, the underlying fact is that no one has the power to increase another's integrity. At most we can awaken someone to the desirability of integrity, but for every 1 that can so be awakened, there are at least 100 who will respond with violent rejection of it. This is, I believe, as consistent as physics. And as such, one who masters himself and is not inclined to seclude himself, and if one is not so inclined, to secluded anyway is so surrender self-mastery, there is the need for deception, or for toying with slaves. The need for masks, which Morrison played with a lot, but which in the end he found boring and pointless. So he withdrew, which in his case was a compromise, and he thus died.

It is because of this need for deceiving and toying with slaves that the structure of occult schools were invented. It is not at all the reason they are maintained, as any one who inherited such structures could not have been as powerful as to have needed to forge them. Anyone who is content to inherit power and have its structures remain intact is himself a slave. But originally, the idea of a center of truth, and concentric circles of increasingly contradicting falsities with decreasingly dense traces of truth is simply a natural means to constructively deal with slaves, by providing a crooked and winding and shockingly confusing pathway to gradually decrease ones distance to the master. Yet the only way to finalize the process is, if one happens to have the stomach to endure such a path to the end, to destroy the temple once ones become master of it. This is what Aleister Crowley did, another one of the very small group of masters from the 20th century.

A third master the I know of is Osho. He was simply a man who decided he might as well enjoy the physical benefits that can come with having slaves.
There is certainly no pristine way of being a master. Power doesn't necessarily corrupt the one who holds it, but it definitely requires that ne gets ones hands dirty. And in the end, this also goes for the secluded master, by the most insidious corruptor of all - the war between the sexes, which no integrity can escape. To master this domain, to master oneself under the wiles of a woman one loves, this, for a genius, simply means to be forced to recreate the entire world afresh.
Such a man is metaphorized as God who created the Garden. And this in a sense is the dirties path of all.

 

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PostSubject: Re: Power and the self (self-mastery or its lack)   Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:11 am

I gonna go a head and post this here, as this relates to self-mastery and discovering the true dimensions of the greater Ego.
Pezer and used a method based on the Mikhael Chekovs book. Method acting, essentially, but based on meditation.

Jakob wrote:


"The first time I felt all sorts of things. Things I didn't want to feel again. Ill admit that. I didn't vomit. But its sort of the same thing. Feel, something inside you you wanna get out of there. In this case it wasn't poison but a kind of a blackness, and emptiness I wanted to puke out. But I didn't, because I knew I couldn't, so I just swallowed it. And well surprisingly enough, when I had a good steak dinner afterwards, I remember very clear, the taste of it was almost the best steak I ever had except one time in Argentina."

"You should be in prison if you're if you're a homosexual"

"Worst are pedophiles. You have a lot of people in prison who have fantasy about things you wouldn't think a man has fantasies about. And they tell you. They insist on telling you. Can you understand that? Can you explain to me why people try to confess their perversion in prison..."
"Yes, its about a sense of normalcy. A man cannot feel he is normal if - "
"He is - he isn't normal. He shouldn't feel normal. What is it - I don't feel normal. Im fine with that."
"No but a man does not need to feel normal but at least he wants to be perceived as abnormal. It is not in a mans ability to feel himself simply separate"

"When I walk into a room, I can smell their opinions. I learned to not care for those things, because you know what, opinions don't cause what people do."

"What you should worry about is whether people feel fear about you. Thats not an opinion. If they do, thats important to take note of. And then there is some other stuff that they won't discuss among themselves, that you can see in peoples movements or in their eyes, if you look at them that are important - things like fear but that I won't mention."

 

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" The strong do what they can do and the weak accept what they have to accept. "
- Thucydides
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