Gregory James - Faux "Master"?

Andromeda

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Which is why I said I have nothing but love for ya – that and I was letting you know I don't take the grilling personally.

I would say that if he 'has nothing but love for ya' and expresses it by trying to 'bust balls', it's not a friendship that I would call sincere. If he really wanted you to know that he doesn't take the grilling personally, why didn't he just say that? What he said about the quote makes it appear that he takes it quite personally and was just waiting to find a launchpad to poke from.

Furthermore, I simply wish to read more read more about the Fourth Way before I get too involved, as it seems understanding the semantics and terminology would help me understand the group, and the group me. This only makes sense from a respectful perspective.

That sounds reasonable. If he really wants to put the effort into learning to speak the same language to better understand and discuss Work concepts, that's a great thing. I would suggest though that he makes a similar effort when chatting and joking. If he wants to maintain a friendship, clear communication and more obvious and tasteful jokes will be necessary. But I don't think he means it, or even wants to be friends - except in the context of keeping you on a string as a prospective convert to his way of thinking about himself.

Also, there are times when I have explained myself quite clearly and with the same respect I prefer to be shown (Golden Rule – not self-importance) and yet you have rejected my explanations[/b]

Well, you've explained yourself clearly with the same respect that you'd prefer to be shown too - so what's he complaining about? That you've rejected his explanation? Isn't he supposed to be all about allowing differences of perspective?

but if we can't at least agree on THIS, we pretty much doomed to alienate each other.

Agree on what? That you're allowed to see things differently but he's allowed to bust balls and you aren't allowed to be serious?

Spiral Out said:
I'd like to get some feedback. Did I misinterpret his last message and didn't get "the joke"? Was it really "just a joke"? Is he really sincere or just trying to "save face"? :huh:

Yeah, looks like he's trying to save face but doesn't know it. He's convinced himself that it was a friendly joke - after the fact. And I'm sure he thinks his most recent reply is rational and respectful when he's really just saying "I'm right, right, right." - but his insincerity and double standards shine, shine, shine through.
 

anart

A Disturbance in the Force
No, you didn't misinterpret his message, he's trying to "save face" - also known as lying. I don't even think that he believes it was a joke - he just has to be in control of every situation and constantly manage impressions so he's scrambling with an extremely manipulative message to you to try to do that (it's such a manipulative message that you actually doubted your initial, true, impression). He's definitely feeding on you, though. If I were in your position, I'd block him and be done with it - but - I have little patience for such types after way too much experience with them.

As they say, with "friends" like that, who needs enemies?
 

Laura

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Reminds me of the study of incompetent people who are even incompetent in understanding their own incompetence. I think it was useful for us to get a real handle on what's going on there, however.
 

aragorn

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This part was like a 'kindergarten manipulation attempt', IMO:

For instance, since I've known you you've been pointing out everything you see as wrong about me or what I put forth – maybe "everything" isn't the right word (but you know what I mean). I have seen many flaws and hang-ups in your thinking and manner, Bernhard, but I haven't addressed them, or I address them very subtly - but you seem to miss it when I do.
 

neema

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Just caught up to this thread.

And wow!
In light of some of my current thought process, to say the exchange was informative would be an understatement. Except for the out of the blue comment by Ana, it was a very pleasant read. I was so into the thread that I ended staying up till 2am reading it (i sleep around 10pm usually).

One thing I realized after reading through this thread, is that I have stopped reading books. Well any book that is of any consequence. I've been keeping my head into tutorials and manuals for a while. It's as if I keep making myself busy to avoid the necessary reading. Well that's about to change.

anart said:
...You get out of it what you put into it.

Just wanted to add to that. Don't know if this is the case for anyone else but for me, I get so much more back from the universe when I just put a tiny amount of sincere effort. It is humbling and embarrassing at the same time. Embarrassing because it always seems like the universe is giving so much more. For me when the universe is showing me something that I don't want to hear, it takes so much effort on my part to shut it out. It's as if even if you give up on yourself, the universe refuses to do so. Always giving subtle clues.

Aragorn said:
It's like Reiki will solve ALL of your problems, some even end up doing Reiki to their car instead of changing the spark plugs. :cool2:

That made me laugh out loud. Thanks.

One last thing, I know Laura mentioned in this thread that even grammar and spelling tell a lot about things going on with a person, but could it be sometimes you're just awful at grammar and spelling? For me I struggle with that greatly. My intuition tells me as I read more I will get better with grammar and spelling.

Sometimes as I'm review an old post made by me, my own grammar cracks me up.

But still I know how annoying and inconsiderate it is, and apologize for that. It does really bother me and I do take the time to try to at least catch some of them, but I always miss something. Come to think of it, I have already mentioned this before somewhere. Just goes to show how much this grammar/spelling thing bothers me.

Fwiw.
 

Laura

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Not to worry, when I look at grammar and/or spelling, I take the person's skills at that into account! I had a very highly educated aunt who couldn't spell worth a darn and people do make typos, too! Especially people like me who type very, very fast.
 

Bernhard

Jedi Master
BrightLight11 said:
He's definitely 'feeling' the heat from the forum and part of him believes you to 'be on his side' because of your more 'intimate' Facebook interactions. Underneath the whole 'joke' context is, as Anart pointed out, passive aggressive behavior and definite anger issues from being challenged. I believe he is 'trying to save face', especially with you, and in his response (his self narrative), 'it's all just a joke'.

Yes, I can see that now clearly. Ever since we started chatting on FB he really tried so hard to be my "friend". With a very few exceptions it was mostly him writing to me. At times I didn't even respond because I was busy or already saw the emotional feeding going on. At one point he invited me to come to Guatemala and study Tai Chi with him since I could learn so much from him, as he said. I didn't respond to that and got a message from him a couple days later, asking me why I didn't respond to his generous offer. There was a tone of "you don't respect me" in his message.

Alada said:
From here the message looked less like a joke and more like an opening gambit, bait – which you took. If it were just a joke the first line of the message would suffice, but this is was just the opener for all that followed. The aim was to engage.

Spiral Out said:
Added:
Thinking about my own questions, I think that's what it comes down to:

anart said:
I think he is just DEEPLY bothered by the fact that you do not buy into his "master" illusion - nor do we - it's 'stuck in his craw' as they say because you are not abiding by his version of reality. What's interesting is that he doesn't just go his own way, but he sticks around, poking you with a stick whenever he gets a chance. It's really very telling.

Indeed. There is great investment in getting a few digs in, the need to ‘win’. As mentioned earlier it does seem to be about feeding / energy draining too – all very Service to Self.

Looking back at all the interactions I had with him, I can see this now clearly too. I took the "bait" again so he could convince me of the image he's trying to portray and wanting me to feed him in his illusion. Having seen that throughout our interactions I did try to stay objective and called him out on some issues, but I also realize that FB chat is not the place to do this, hence my suggestions to him to discuss this on the forum, because I felt he was manipulative with me. I remember early on, months ago (July), Perceval sent me an email inquiring about Gregory. I told him back then already about how Gregory seems to be very identified with this "Master" title.

Andromeda said:
I would say that if he 'has nothing but love for ya' and expresses it by trying to 'bust balls', it's not a friendship that I would call sincere. If he really wanted you to know that he doesn't take the grilling personally, why didn't he just say that? What he said about the quote makes it appear that he takes it quite personally and was just waiting to find a launchpad to poke from.

Exactly, he certainly took it personally, but he was trying to hide it and then used it as a chance to "defend" himself in light of the mirrors he has received here.

Andromeda said:
If he really wants to put the effort into learning to speak the same language to better understand and discuss Work concepts, that's a great thing. I would suggest though that he makes a similar effort when chatting and joking. If he wants to maintain a friendship, clear communication and more obvious and tasteful jokes will be necessary. But I don't think he means it, or even wants to be friends - except in the context of keeping you on a string as a prospective convert to his way of thinking about himself.

Indeed. His continuing declaration that we are "friends" is really his manipulative intention in a "kiss a** kind of way" so I acknowledge his way of thinking about himself.

Andromeda said:
but if we can't at least agree on THIS, we pretty much doomed to alienate each other.

Agree on what? That you're allowed to see things differently but he's allowed to bust balls and you aren't allowed to be serious?

It's like if I don't acknowledge him and show him the "respect" he thinks he "deserves" then I'm not his "friend" anymore. Well, so be it. We weren't "friends" to begin with other than a FB "friend".

Andromeda said:
Yeah, looks like he's trying to save face but doesn't know it. He's convinced himself that it was a friendly joke - after the fact. And I'm sure he thinks his most recent reply is rational and respectful when he's really just saying "I'm right, right, right." - but his insincerity and double standards shine, shine, shine through.

That's what I've been noticing on here and the FB chats: Insincerity, double standards and contradictions, all rapped up in his manipulative choice of words, always trying to say the "right thing".

anart said:
No, you didn't misinterpret his message, he's trying to "save face" - also known as lying. I don't even think that he believes it was a joke - he just has to be in control of every situation and constantly manage impressions so he's scrambling with an extremely manipulative message to you to try to do that (it's such a manipulative message that you actually doubted your initial, true, impression). He's definitely feeding on you, though. If I were in your position, I'd block him and be done with it - but - I have little patience for such types after way too much experience with them.

As they say, with "friends" like that, who needs enemies?

I think you saw it for what it is and for who he is clearly and early on, anart, and that's why he had trouble to accept the mirror you were giving him. You are right, he's starting to become so manipulative that I did doubt my initial impression which I had since he contacted me on FB. I still gave him the "benefit of a doubt" and I was questioning myself. So I'm glad I brought all of this up here. The feedback is very much appreciated.

Laura said:
Reminds me of the study of incompetent people who are even incompetent in understanding their own incompetence. I think it was useful for us to get a real handle on what's going on there, however.

Definitely applies to Gregory. It really seems he fused a "wrong" foundation and he is deluding himself about his mastery, experiences and teachings. This thread and his own words speak for themselves. We offered him some insight which he clearly rejects despite his claim how much he "values" this group and the feedback given to him. It's not sincere.
I certainly won't waste my time with him anymore, nor respond to him, because I can see that it just results in more feeding/draining. It would take A LOT for him to confront to pierce through his ego, self-importance and illusions he has of himself. Clearly he doesn't want to go there, but takes a childish and sneaky attempt trying to get approval from me because of our more "intimate" FB exchanges as BrightLight11 mentioned earlier.

I'm glad all of this is coming to light. Thanks again for the feedback. It shows the value of this group/network once again.
 

Mike

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Laura said:
Reminds me of the study of incompetent people who are even incompetent in understanding their own incompetence. I think it was useful for us to get a real handle on what's going on there, however.

I've been reading 'The Invisible Gorilla' which is turning out to be pretty interesting and contains much more information than the well known experiments on inattentive blindess (gorilla entering the scene when people are passing a basketball). In the third chapter the authors discuss the illusion of confidence and a relationship to competence.

Turns out that the more incompetent a person is the more confident they are in their abilities. A person's ignorance and incompetence causes overconfidence. And seems that this illusions of confidence is a trait of System 1 thinking (though the authors don't refer to it directly):

The illusion of confidence occurs automatically, without our actually reflecting on the situation. Only when direct, incontrovertible evidence forces us to confront our limitations can we see through the illusion. [...] Competence helps to dispel the illusion of confidence. The key, though, is having definitive evidence of your own skills - you have to become good enough at what you do to recognize your own limitations.

The last part of the above quote I think applies to this situation where Gregory has not had a true taste of just how asleep a person is to their own mind without a mirror from a group and putting in the effort of self-observation and the Work. He falls on the side of incompetent when it comes to the predator mind and the work done on this forum and this incompetence would seem to feed his confidence that he is right with his path and way of thinking.

It also turns out that it is how outspoken and confident a person is that identifies them as the leader in groups and not their competence or knowledge, which seems to be the case with Gregory and his students. Looks like he is confident in his ability to teach and lead others when he doesn't have the knowledge of himself and competence that a person needs for such an task. The example of this situation and thread just really highlights how valuable this network is and having a group to provide feedback.
 

GregoryJ

Padawan Learner
It was a joke, and just a joke, Spiral Out. ...playful banter between friends. That's all.

You have third-party help distorting first-party comments and it's fully blown out of proportion. I am sorely disappointed. I only ever engaged you because I admire you. I know I've made that clear. Perhaps that admiration was misplaced. That's my fault, I guess, but disappointing nonetheless. <-- fwiw, this is genuine sadness I am feeling and expressing (since it seems otherwise indiscernible).

Some of what has been said here is valuable to me (as I have repeatedly stated) but much is just wrong – especially where so much gets overlaid onto my words and twisted and mangled into something that I didn't say or reflect, nor feel in my heart. There have been many erroneous assumptions made in this thread – which amplify per each new post – and that's what I've had the biggest issue with, really. I find it alienating and careless – careless that it occurs and careless that it is not corrected. It's not the method I question, just the approach – fwiw.

I only want to clarify one more thing (and then I will leave you), because indeed my professional integrity as a TaiChi teacher is essentially being attacked/questioned in recent posts. And of course this is important to me as it would be to anyone in any position who valued their job and believed in their work. As this is a public forum, I am somewhat obliged to comment... "managing appearances", yes, but not unreasonable – as an inaccurate "appearance" is being painted.

Spiral Out, you're importing private conversations from only one side, more than once now – which does not represent an objective perspective. I invited you to study TaiChi and ChiGong with me because YOU asked me about teachings on DVD and showed a general interest – disclosing to me your frustrations over trying to find good teachers in this particular field. Originally, however, I did not approach you with being a teacher; YOU asked me after having noted that I was a teacher, remember? So when I invited you (much later – after many interactions on a number of topics) to study with me, I was just sharing and offering an opportunity. I also asked you to excuse me if my offer seemed out of order. You said it wasn't. You also neglected to mention here that I also asked you to share your understanding of the Forth Way with me during this time. I never asked you for money or tried to force anything on you. Anyway, you said you were grateful and wished you could come but couldn't afford the travel expense, but suddenly I'm a bad man for even inviting you?

Things are getting more and more twisted in this thread, the same way banter is made out to be latent anger and manipulation, et al. Of course, if I point out such things in anyone here, I'm projecting, but it's "good advice" from your end – advice for a deluded, narcissistic, sleepwalking, manipulative, lying, shadow of a man who apparently has some magical internet-vampire proclivities and abilities and who "works for the devil". It is a telling progression, and one that does not point to the person writing these words. Even my student/teacher relationships are now being remarked on in this thread – which no one here has any experience with. My students know that I am very sincere and direct, open and honest (with them and with myself) and that I admit to my mistakes and that I do make them. But here, I might be just one little step from being labeled a psychopath.

Indeed, I think distance is the best solution here. I am sorry if I've offended anyone.

Mod's note: Replaced real name by forum name.
 

Voyageur

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Hi GregorJ,

When you first made this statement:

I'm willing to bet that you likely do not even know anyone who has engaged in this practice of meditation and deep energetic Work for several hours each day for 15 years, as I have…

Wanted to respond but did not. What I was thinking at the time however corresponds to what you have just now said:

There have been many erroneous assumptions made in this thread…

Assumptions indeed. When you said “I’m willing to bet”, could you not possibly fathom that thousands of members here now, or gone, either through their own experiences, that of their partners, brothers, sisters, parents or friends have not been where you are? To my thinking, this was an “I’m so special” assumption, and you have not the foggiest idea of what others have come to know in this regard – this we could bet on perhaps?

Anyway, those were my thought at the time; just something to think about, for right or wrong.

Best of luck with your life endeavors.
 

Laura

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I've changed the Title of the topic to better reflect the content.
 

Joe

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GregoryJ said:
It was a joke, and just a joke, Spiral Out. ...playful banter between friends. That's all.

Given the fact that you obviously disagree with a lot of what has been said to you on this thread Gregory, it's pretty disengenuous for you to say the above. Your comment to spiral out obviously wasn't "just a joke". You were obviously trying to continue to argue one of the points you were trying to make on this thread. So why call it "just a joke"? Your attempting to pass off a lie here to us, and yourself too.

That you don't grasp the subtleties of your own mind and emotions and how they lead you to proclaim that something you said was a "joke" when it clearly wasn't, is the source of your problems in understanding what we are trying to say.

Basically, you love your own self image more than the truth. So you defend that self-image against the truth by coming up with all sorts of arguments and nitpicking. Straining at gnats and swallowing camels. Straining at little details that make others wrong and allow you to keep your self-image intact, while swallowing the broader lies to yourself.
 

anart

A Disturbance in the Force
GregoryJ said:
It was a joke, and just a joke, Spiral Out. ...playful banter between friends. That's all.

You have third-party help distorting first-party comments and it's fully blown out of proportion. I am sorely disappointed. I only ever engaged you because I admire you. I know I've made that clear. Perhaps that admiration was misplaced. That's my fault, I guess, but disappointing nonetheless. <-- fwiw, this is genuine sadness I am feeling and expressing (since it seems otherwise indiscernible).

It is always very disappointing when others don't support our lies to ourselves and our lies to others. How dare they?

g said:
Some of what has been said here is valuable to me

Every word would have been valuable if you were sincere.

g said:
Spiral Out, you're importing private conversations from only one side, more than once now – which does not represent an objective perspective.

You have a consistent habit of using words that you don't seem to really understand. It was entirely objective for Spiral Out to post your message here, in this context. How else does one shine the light into the darkness? Your preference for private messages also speaks volumes, Gregory, because you have much to hide and feel that you can manage impressions better in a private exchange. This is a lie, of course. What Spiral Out did is give the lie what it is asking for, the Truth, and exposure to the light.
 

Andromeda

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Perceval said:
You're attempting to pass off a lie here to us, and yourself too.

That you don't grasp the subtleties of your own mind and emotions and how they lead you to proclaim that something you said was a "joke" when it clearly wasn't, is the source of your problems in understanding what we are trying to say.

Gregory, in case you actually think you were joking, your 'joke' was along the same lines as a dirty joke from a pervert, intended as bait, or a mean joke about someone's appearance told in order to make the joker feel superior. Those kind of jokers always have a reason that they hide behind 'jus playing wit ya' when they're caught out - and the joker never realizes how transparent his motives are to most people. Your motives are transparent like that. It wasn't really a joke, it was a maneuver, and calling it a joke now is lying to save face after a failed attempt to prove something.

I've known two people who had a lifelong habit of using 'just jokin' as a very thin cover for jerky behavior. Interestingly, both of them also had an obsession with being respected, and they threw that word around a LOT. In their minds, it was owed to them and they had the right to DEMAND it, but they didn't even understand the word and could never afford honest respect to anyone else. Neither of those people ever made an effort to earn respect through respectable behavior or asked themselves if they were doing something wrong when they were faced with conflict. They always fell back on being 'misunderstood' or 'mistreated'.
 

LQB

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Andromeda said:
Perceval said:
You're attempting to pass off a lie here to us, and yourself too.

That you don't grasp the subtleties of your own mind and emotions and how they lead you to proclaim that something you said was a "joke" when it clearly wasn't, is the source of your problems in understanding what we are trying to say.

Gregory, in case you actually think you were joking, your 'joke' was along the same lines as a dirty joke from a pervert, intended as bait, or a mean joke about someone's appearance told in order to make the joker feel superior. Those kind of jokers always have a reason that they hide behind 'jus playing wit ya' when they're caught out - and the joker never realizes how transparent his motives are to most people. Your motives are transparent like that. It wasn't really a joke, it was a maneuver, and calling it a joke now is lying to save face after a failed attempt to prove something.

I've known two people who had a lifelong habit of using 'just jokin' as a very thin cover for jerky behavior. Interestingly, both of them also had an obsession with being respected, and they threw that word around a LOT. In their minds, it was owed to them and they had the right to DEMAND it, but they didn't even understand the word and could never afford honest respect to anyone else. Neither of those people ever made an effort to earn respect through respectable behavior or asked themselves if they were doing something wrong when they were faced with conflict. They always fell back on being 'misunderstood' or 'mistreated'.

This is also one common tactic of a covert aggressive. Convoluted seemingly logical arguments is another - fwiw.
 
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