Power: A Radical View

Buddy

The Living Force
Atreides said:
It's really a shame that someone with such a brain as yours would use it on such a flippant pursuit as dialectic. Everything that you have said up to this point is logical and ultimately meaningless. The universe is always three steps beyond logic. This is not a high school debate club where the truth is irrelevant and only strict adherence to established rhetorical and dialectic rules count.

When people speak, behind their words is a meaning that some understand, and some do not. When a group of people come together they establish a "you know what I mean" club that is impervious to the hamfisted application of Greek argumentation.

Thanks to you and obyvatel for drawing attention to issues involving dialectic-only mentation. Personally, when that quote from David R. Hawkins' Power Vs. Force was offered as relevant, I was appalled. To me, that quote was simply a physics and social-meta-physic admixture in a single Cartesian reference frame. From a holistic point of view I read it as complete hogwash.

I hope UG will understand when I say this: I agree with the reference to "such a brain as yours". I think UG is intelligent and has interesting things to say, but it seems impossible to separate the distasteful flavor of arrogance from The Dialectic. This is not an observation of UG's person, it's just the nature of that beast, so to speak.

I feel like there are many incredibly valuable views on this thread and it would be an interesting learning experience (for me particularly) if it continued.
 

United Gnosis

Jedi Master
Thank you for the feedback. Although I will stick to the dialectical style for now, hopefully my attempt to be precise will not be misconstrued asbarrogance. You see, in my experience on this forum so far, I found that whenever I didn't apply the strictest rules of clean rhethoric and dialectics, my contributions were quite often attacked - nearly mechanically, as a matter of fact - with such catchall arguments as the omnipresent "you seem to be emotionally identified with that idea", etc. I assume this to be partly as nitpicking on the new contributor who hasn't proved the value of his input yet, and partly a healthy dialectical progression of the discussion through opposition. Hence, I do not resent it.

But it seemed to me that my honest attempts to bring something to the table were disregarded, or at least far to be considered with as much gusto as that which I invested in producing them. Hence, trying to align myself with the perceived modus operandi of this forum, I made sure to apply the best of my analytical skills to my further contributions. That they became this cold and impersonal is an unfortunate side-effect of this behaviour.

Even now, I feel that my words were read, while that which they pointed to remained unseen. While I know that my argument was but a terse point of semantics, I was hoping to establish a common base of understanding, an axiom or definitional fiat as it were, or in Gurdjieff's term, an esoteric vocabulary that would represent more integral knowledge and hence by itself be far more conducive to the topic discussed. I apologize if pretending to attaining such a goal sounds arrogant, but I hope for it to be useful, if you will humor me.

Atreides said:
United Gnosis said:
I'm sure I could do a rough, qualitative transliteration of it in Work vocabulary, but your reply tends to make me think that you haven't truly attemted to grasp the point of view presented, and I would appreciate that consideration before we can discuss this further, if you wish.

When people speak, behind their words is a meaning that some understand, and some do not. When a group of people come together they establish a "you know what I mean" club that is impervious to the hamfisted application of Greek argumentation. The only one here who is impressed is you.

But there is a "you know what I mean" that fed my contribution by a perceived necessity to clear up a point of order. It is a shame that you didn't catch it and had to resort to such a dismissal based on the manner of my voicing it. Please understand that investing so much time to clear up a basic idea (I have been typing from a smartphone with a demanding touchscreen) is because this is what I understand to be the most compassionate and productive under the circumstances. I would gladly discuss more informally, but the point doesn't lend itself to it.

What I have been pointing to, and actually stated, is that there seems to be a conceptual blurring of lines between the words "force" and "power". I proposed that force is will imposing itself unilaterally, whereas I see power as will expressing itself through colinear action. Hence, it follows that force is a process of opposition that is very inefficient and spends energy - taking on the role of the active force fighting against the passive force, in a way, while whatever neutralizing force deigns show up is external and out of one's control. That is how I understand the physical analogy of action-reaction in the quote I provided.

On the other hand, Power, providing from Knowledge, would be a process through which one's alignment with objective reality - clearly perceiving the active and passive forces at play - would allow one to be aligned with them and harness them, redirect them, taking on the role of the third force. In this case, the whole of one's energy would be investing in shaping the direction, the outcome, rather than wasting most of in it the inherent opposition between the first and second forces. Those familiar with Taoism, Zen or even Aikido probably understand what I'm hinting at better than myself. The analogy with gravity is then spot-on. Contrarily to what someone stated earlier, Gravity is a field, not a force. Gravity effects forces. If it were sequential, we could say that one object does the pulling, the other is pulled, and the gravity field directs. The gravity field just is, and the two prime forces play out their interactions in the space it provides.

What I am pointing at here - where the nuance brings its usefulness - is that force is that which can be opposed. Not necessarily; it suffices it to be on a theoretical level. For instance, the collectivist state, with its coercive army of paramilatarised police, can hardly be resisted. But it could be, with a sufficiently armed opposition. So can manipulation be resisted with proper discernment, so can cunning (i.e. culture-shaping, dictating unspoken assumptions, etc) be resisted with proper critical thinking and diligence. In this view, all forms of control, all forms of dominance are applications of force; they are violence (under its specific meaning, not that of everyday understanding).

The beautiful implication is that such application of force need not be "resisted". If an overwhelming amount of active force is targeted at you, you need not take one the role of the passive force that will quite inevitably be molded by that aggression. A third role remains, one that transcends the apparent duality and which is thus better situated to channel the resultant energies in one way or another. Therein lies Power, which is that which cannot be opposed. This being based on Being and Doing, hence a result of Knowledge, it rests within the reach of the individual who increasingly develops his magnetic center, so to speak. Then, in a way, Power is the conscious withdrawing from A (and even B) influences, maintaining intentional alignment and Being a transducer for C influences.

Please let me know if that makes any sense to you.
 

Mal7

Dagobah Resident
United Gnosis said:
Here is a very relevant quote from David R. Hawkins' Power Vs. Force:
[. . .]The self-evident is not arguable. That health is more important than disease, that life is more important than death, that honor is preferable to dishonor, that faith and trust are preferable to doubt and cynicism, that the constructive is preferable the destructive - all are self-evident statements not subject to proof."



United Gnosis, this portion of the quote you made from Hawkins seems to have statements that seem far from self-evident in it. Hawkins seems to be over-confident that he is presenting logical, rationally-unassailable statements, when that is not really the case.

Is life more important than death? Many people think the afterlife is more important. Socrates thought that dying for his beliefs was more important than life. Perhaps life is more important than death, but it doesn't seem like a statement that is "self-evident".

Are faith and trust preferable to doubt and cynicism? Again I think a case could be made that they are, but it certainly doesn't seem self-evident to me. Is it better to have faith and trust in Big Pharma, rather than doubt and cynicism?

Is the constructive preferable to the destructive? In the grand scheme of things, if there were more construction than destruction, the world would eventually become rapidly overcrowded, If rabbits were free to "construct" more baby rabbits, but we eliminated the sources of rabbit destruction e.g. disease, starvation, predation, aging and death. . . would that be preferable?
 

Leòmhann

Jedi Master
United Gnosis, hi~

I'm a newbie on the Cass Forum (have been following along with Cass Forum info and reading Laura's books for over two years now), although I've been actively engaged for about 7 months now in commenting over on SoTT.

I have to say that, although we've done a pretty good job in replying to SoTT commenter 'keenan' (especially by way of Don Genaro's replies), we could use your dialectical skills when faced with chaps like him.

If I come across him again, may I let you know so perhaps you may check out what is going down and decide whether you wish to engage?

Please take a look at this article's comments, especially those from keenan, when you get a chance:

_http://www.sott.net/article/262933-Ordering-the-vegetarian-meal-Theres-more-animal-blood-on-your-hands#comment86728

Thanks Much,
RJ Collings
 

Atreides

Jedi Master
This is me face palming.

There doesn't seem to be a facepalm emoticon.

United Gnosis said:
Thank you for the feedback. Although I will stick to the dialectical style for now, hopefully my attempt to be precise will not be misconstrued asbarrogance.

It has already. That's like urinating on someone's leg and then saying: Don't take this wrong, I don't want you to think that I am pissing on your leg. I didn't even have to read the rest of your post before I knew where this was going. I call it coiling, or as my mother always says: Butta wouldn't melt in my mouth.

The game works like this: When someone takes you to task, instead of getting angry, or hurt outwardly, or making an attempt to change your behavior to smooth over the interaction, you coil like a snake and redouble your efforts. When prey sees a snake, and the snake is about to strike, the prey is momentarily confused because the snake "moves away." However what the snake is actually doing is building internal energy so that he can cover the distance faster than the prey expects. You are more or less using the intellectual equivalent of this tactic.

The "butta wouldn't melt in my mouth" aspect of this game is that you keep yourself strictly innocent of all wrong doing by average standards to maximize support after the fallout, while making innocent sounding "throw and gos", small jibes that can only be picked up by your oponnent or someone on the same intellectual level or above. To those who cannot understand what you are doing, it all seems harmless, to those who can it is either a) insulting, or b) titilating, as most people like to marvel at their own intelligence and feel speshul because they are "in the know".

Like chess, this is an application of "forking", which is to make a move that opens up at least two new good moves. In this tactic you:

1) Maintain a cool exterior and do not betray your emotions, preventing the person you are discussing things with to have an accurate read of your mental and emotional state.
2) You challenge your opponent to match your composure or to over react and thus win points for "keeping your cool" if they lose their's, or dragging them further into a dialectic trap or elenctic trap. An elenctic trap is when you make innocent sounding questions and statements that lead a person to over extend themselves in trying to "save" you from your ignorance.
3) Those on a similar or slightly lower level are impressed by your "skills" and often become your cheerleaders, kind of like the character Piggy as he follows Ralph about in the beginning of Lord of the Flies. Read a bit lower in this thread to see how it works.


United Gnosis said:
You see, in my experience on this forum so far, I found that whenever I didn't apply the strictest rules of clean rhethoric and dialectics, my contributions were quite often attacked - nearly mechanically, as a matter of fact - with such catchall arguments as the omnipresent "you seem to be emotionally identified with that idea", etc. I assume this to be partly as nitpicking on the new contributor who hasn't proved the value of his input yet, and partly a healthy dialectical progression of the discussion through opposition. Hence, I do not resent it.

Throw N' Go: nearly mechanically

Then:

Butta wouldn't melt:

I assume this to be partly as nitpicking on the new contributor who hasn't proved the value of his input yet, and partly a healthy dialectical progression of the discussion through opposition. Hence, I do not resent it.

It's a formula. Simple. Effective.

United Gnosis said:
But it seemed to me that my honest attempts to bring something to the table were disregarded, or at least far to be considered with as much gusto as that which I invested in producing them. Hence, trying to align myself with the perceived modus operandi of this forum, I made sure to apply the best of my analytical skills to my further contributions. That they became this cold and impersonal is an unfortunate side-effect of this behaviour.


I would quote:

Robert Burns - To a louse said:
O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,

Or:

O would some power the gift give us,
to see ourselves as others see us!

It would from many a blunder free us,
And foolish notion, what airs in dress and gait would leave us

In science when you do one thing, and then it's opposite, and get the same result, is it safe to hypothesize that neither has a causal relationship? I think so. So if you don't use strict dialectic and get called down, and then use strict dialectic and get called down, is it safe to assume that it has nothing to do with how you say it, only what you say?

You seem to think that if you put enough katsup on a shit sandwich people won't notice...obviously they still do.

Everything that you say is a subtle insult to the people on this forum. Allow me to run what you have wrote through the Atreides Translator™.

I said X using communication method A to Jane. Jane responded Y. I consider Y to be incorrect, emotional and not relevant. I restated X using another communication method B. Jane still responded Y. Jane is obviously incapable of comprehending the truth X when using A or B. I am capable of understanding the truth X in both A and B, therefore I am smarter than Jane.

Here is how Jane sees it:

John said X to me today. X is ridiculous to me, therefore I responded Y. John then repeated X using different words that meant the same thing as if I didn't understand him the first time, so I repeated Y. John is acting like a child who thinks he is very clever and that adults don't realize what he is doing.If I have to repeat Y one more time, I may have to give him a spanking, or send him to the corner.

United Gnosis said:
Even now, I feel that my words were read, while that which they pointed to remained unseen. While I know that my argument was but a terse point of semantics, I was hoping to establish a common base of understanding, an axiom or definitional fiat as it were, or in Gurdjieff's term, an esoteric vocabulary that would represent more integral knowledge and hence by itself be far more conducive to the topic discussed. I apologize if pretending to attaining such a goal sounds arrogant, but I hope for it to be useful, if you will humor me.

Throw N' Go: I was hoping to establish a common base of understanding
Setup: hence by itself be far more conducive to the topic discussed
Butta wouldn't melt: I apologize if pretending to attaining such a goal sounds arrogant, but I hope for it to be useful, if you will humor me.

As someone used to say: Well excuse me for living!

Here the Throw N' Go has a supporting clause that works as a setup if the person actually goes after the veiled insult. The whole point of the Throw N' Go is to make a veiled implication at least 1-2 steps in meaning from the words used so that it takes a person a moment or two to grasp, by then a more important question/statement has been made. If the person receiving the Throw N' Go goes after it, they can be stopped by claiming that they are splitting hairs, detracting from the main point, or by reversive blockade: "That's not what I meant"


United Gnosis said:
But there is a "you know what I mean" that fed my contribution by a perceived necessity to clear up a point of order. It is a shame that you didn't catch it and had to resort to such a dismissal based on the manner of my voicing it. Please understand that investing so much time to clear up a basic idea (I have been typing from a smartphone with a demanding touchscreen) is because this is what I understand to be the most compassionate and productive under the circumstances. I would gladly discuss more informally, but the point doesn't lend itself to it.

Throw N' Go: It is a shame that you didn't catch it and had to resort to such a dismissal based on the manner of my voicing it.

You'll notice it is not that I dismissed it because it lacked value, or merit, or was not true, but simply because I am so dense that I misconstrue what is said by how it is said. The implication being that I cannot discern the meaning of words or thoughts.

Butta wouldn't melt: Please understand that investing so much time to clear up a basic idea (I have been typing from a smartphone with a demanding touchscreen) is because this is what I understand to be the most compassionate and productive under the circumstances.


United Gnosis said:
What I have been pointing to, and actually stated, is that there seems to be a conceptual blurring of lines between the words "force" and "power". I proposed that force is will imposing itself unilaterally, whereas I see power as will expressing itself through colinear action. Hence, it follows that force is a process of opposition that is very inefficient and spends energy - taking on the role of the active force fighting against the passive force, in a way, while whatever neutralizing force deigns show up is external and out of one's control. That is how I understand the physical analogy of action-reaction in the quote I provided.

Everything has an equal cost, nothing is free, or cheap. The inefficiency of force or violence is not that it spends more energy than discussion, or covert manipulation, it is that it doesn't not bring about desired results consistently, or permanently. Force leads to highly volatile and unpredictable outcomes over a long period of time. Even an immediate victory with violence may be undone years later because of the resentment of the vanquished.

The cost of anything is about equal over time because the energy invested in a strategy is not simply the total of it's application, but also of its preparation, education and so on.

A certain company was having trouble with one of their mechanical parts, so they hired a famed consultant to help them fix it. He walked up to the drafting board, inspected the blue prints, and asked the company man for a pencil He said he didn't have one, so the consultant went to his brief case, took out a pencil, casually sharpened it before placing a small circle on the design and saying: "There is your problem, this is too weak to support the forces, it needs to be made 20% larger. There is enough space to expand it with little issue." The company was enraptured, the modifications worked like a charm.

A few weeks later, the company man received the bill, it was $50,000. He called up the consultant and asked him for an itemized bill so that they could understand the cost.

The bill looked something like this:

Code:
1 x Pencil:                              $0.99
1 x Knowing where to put the mark: $ 49,999.01

United Gnosis said:
On the other hand, Power, providing from Knowledge, would be a process through which one's alignment with objective reality - clearly perceiving the active and passive forces at play - would allow one to be aligned with them and harness them, redirect them, taking on the role of the third force. In this case, the whole of one's energy would be investing in shaping the direction, the outcome, rather than wasting most of in it the inherent opposition between the first and second forces. Those familiar with Taoism, Zen or even Aikido probably understand what I'm hinting at better than myself. The analogy with gravity is then spot-on. Contrarily to what someone stated earlier, Gravity is a field, not a force. Gravity effects forces. If it were sequential, we could say that one object does the pulling, the other is pulled, and the gravity field directs. The gravity field just is, and the two prime forces play out their interactions in the space it provides.

I have been Aikidoka since I was 17. Once an Aikidoka, always an Aikidoka. Nevertheless I know what you mean. When I say I know what you mean, what I mean is that I know that you mean what most people who have never studied Aikido mean when they read a book about Aikido but have never actually rolled.

What you are a saying is perfectly logical, well formed, well thought out, and absolutely ignorant. Properly stating an idiotic proposition doesn't make it true. It doesn't matter how many words you throw at a bad idea, it's still a bad idea.

would allow one to be aligned with them and harness them, redirect them, taking on the role of the third force

This is wrong thinking. From an Aikido and Work perspective. You are talking like an Archvillain, about harnessing the forces to do your bidding. The truth is that the forces of the universe harness you. The Work is about refining yourself sufficiently for the universe to find you useful.

We all sup in the house of God. Mainly because he doesn't know how to use the dishwasher, which is what we are for.

United Gnosis said:
What I am pointing at here - where the nuance brings its usefulness - is that force is that which can be opposed. Not necessarily; it suffices it to be on a theoretical level. For instance, the collectivist state, with its coercive army of paramilatarised police, can hardly be resisted. But it could be, with a sufficiently armed opposition. So can manipulation be resisted with proper discernment, so can cunning (i.e. culture-shaping, dictating unspoken assumptions, etc) be resisted with proper critical thinking and diligence. In this view, all forms of control, all forms of dominance are applications of force; they are violence (under its specific meaning, not that of everyday understanding).

Yes. That is interesting and more or less true, but that is the point. What is true about force, dominance, and violence is irrelevant because they are a means used by someone with power, but what is power. This is a discussion of power, not the specifics of how it can be used, or the specifics or even broad strokes of violence. It is sufficient to say: Violence in its myriad forms is a means to and end for someone with power. One means of many.

United Gnosis said:
The beautiful implication is that such application of force need not be "resisted". If an overwhelming amount of active force is targeted at you, you need not take one the role of the passive force that will quite inevitably be molded by that aggression. A third role remains, one that transcends the apparent duality and which is thus better situated to channel the resultant energies in one way or another. Therein lies Power, which is that which cannot be opposed. This being based on Being and Doing, hence a result of Knowledge, it rests within the reach of the individual who increasingly develops his magnetic center, so to speak. Then, in a way, Power is the conscious withdrawing from A (and even B) influences, maintaining intentional alignment and Being a transducer for C influences.

Nose dive.

That is complete and utter non-sense. You are trying to ride out on the sanity of the preceding paragraph to wedge in this total crap. OMFG. BBQ. TURNIP!!

Therein lies Power, which is that which cannot be opposed.

Umm. Where? Cause I don't see it. You are still talking about forces. How is it that power cannot be opposed? Anything can be opposed. Not necessarily successfully. If you mean that power is recognizing that more than one force is extant, whoop-ti-doo, we already covered that. My ultimate position was that Knowledge is power. If you are just running about like a chicken with your head cut off to say that, then you need to chill.

increasingly develops his magnetic center, so to speak. Then, in a way, Power is the conscious withdrawing from A (and even B) influences, maintaining intentional alignment and Being a transducer for C influences.

Danger, danger Will Robinson!

On the surface that looks reasonable, on second look it seems to be a word salad of Work terms, but on third inspection, it's really a radical re-interpretation of the new age ideal of separating oneself from the world, above it, beyond it, untouched and untouching. This is actually the core of STS. Their ultimate desire is to be unfeeling and unaffected unless they choose otherwise.

This violates the Work in all kinds of way, being a good obyvatel, conscious suffering and so on. It is fundamentally contrary to the idea of lilium inter spinus or The rose is safe amid its thorns. That escaping life is never the point, but embracing and learning to deal and cope with life is. The way out of the trap of life is through it.

United Gnosis said:
Please let me know if that makes any sense to you.

Of course it does. You forget, we have been doing this for a very long time. Thousands of people come and go on this board all the time.

I don't pretend to know what you ultimate objective on this group is. I know that I used to play a similar game to what you are doing. In the end I just did it because it was fun and I was a mean kid who thought he was hot shit.

Some people who play this game are doing a NIGYSOB, ultimately they just keep spewing noise until they get banned. Then they can go around complaining how we "reacted emotionally" and were "identified" and so on. The thing is, when people have a strong emotional or blink reaction to you when you speak/write, you should probably stop and think about why that is. We do. There are many sensitive people on this group. They might not have the best dialectic, but their gut reaction is usually a good indicator that something is up. Not everybody is intellectually centered.

Never the less, we should get back to the topic of power.

If you would be so kind, would it be remotely possible for you to actually explain, in 25 words or less what you think power is, without using dialectic, or being excessively wordy. Be clear, precise, in other words: succinct.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Time to return to the topic of Lukes' book which takes some time to explicate the ideas of others, and then to build some concepts. Let's go back to his question:

It may further be asked whether power can be exercised by A over B in B's real interests. That is, suppose there is a conflict now between the preferences of A and B, but that A's preferences are in B's real interests.

Interestingly, we see something of a living example of this right here in this thread. I think it is in UG's real interests to settle down and empty his cup for a bit.

Lukes writes:

To this there are two possible responses: 1) that A might exercise 'short-term power' over B (with an observable conflict of subjective interests), but that if and when B recognizes his real interests, the power relation ends: it is self-annihilating; or 2) that all or most forms of attempted or successful control by A over B, when B objects or resists, constitute a violation of B's autonomy; that B has a real interest in his own interests. Clearly the first of these respones is open to misuse by seeming to provide a paternalist licence for tyranny; while the second furnishes an anarchist defence against it, collapsing all or most cases of influence into power. Though attracted by the second, I am inclined to adopt the first, the dangers of which may be obviated by insisting on the empirical basis for identifying real interest. The identification of these is not up to A, but to B, exercising choice under conditions of relative autonomy and in particular, independently of A's power (e.g. through democratic participation).

As I used to tell my kids when they were growing up: this is not a democracy, it is a monarchy and I am in charge as long as I am legally responsible for you. That was the adoption of the first response. Because I was a benevolent monarch who loved her children, I tried to make sure that those times I had to pull rank were few and far between because it was in their interests to make a few mistakes and learn things on their own so that they could, eventually, recognize their own interests. Certainly I utilized influence and teaching to accomplish this as well. They were exposed to books, to discussions, to examples which I would consider to be "influences".

Where this forum is concerned, there is sort of a constitutional monarchy with a senate or parliament which consists of all the active, working members. I just sort of hold veto power more than anything and the truth is, not even that to much of an extent because I am restrained by my own commitment to the network, to accept feedback and mirroring and work on my own mechanical programs based on the feedback I receive. It's rather like the principle of washing each other's feet: it's not about subservience, but about 1) honoring the spirit of the other and commitment to serve, and 2) realizing that another person can more easily "wash" you because they can see where the dust is.

Having said that, let's look at what Lukes has to say about "interests". What really constitutes a persons true interests?

I have defined the concept of power by saying that A exercises power over Be when A affects B in a manner contrary to B's interests. Not the notion of 'interests' is an irreducibly evaluative notion: if I say that something is in your interests, I imply that you have a prima facie claim to it, and if I say that 'policy x is in A's interest' this constitutes a prima facie justification for that policy. In general, talk of interests provides a licence for the making of normative judgments of a moral and political character. So it is not surprising that different conceptions of what interests are are associated with different moral and political positions.

Extremely crudely, one might say that the liberal takes people as they are and applies want-regarding principles to them, relating their interests to what they actually want or prefer, to their policy preferences as manifested by their political participation.

The reformist, seeing and deploring that not everyone's wants are given equal weight by the political system, also relates their interest to what they want or prefer but allows that this may be revealed in more indirect and sub-political ways - in the form of deflected, submerged or concealed wants and preferences.

The radical, however, maintains that people's wants may themselves be a product of a system which works against their interests, and, in such cases, relates the latter to what they would want and prefer, were they able to make the choice.

Each of these three picks out a certain range of the entire class of actual and potential wants as the relevant object of moral appraisal. In brief, my suggestion is that the one-dimensional view of power presupposes a liberal conception of interest, the two-dimensional view a reformist conception, and the three-dimensional view a radical conception.

In terms of interests, Lukes would have benefitted greatly from the awareness of how pathology operates in society, including the phenomenon of the Right Wing Authoritarian which could, conceivably, operate from any of the above positions though the most comfortable fit for the RWA is actually position 1. I will say here that I take the radical view myself and this view is also the one expressed in the concept of External Considering a la Gurdjieff.

More soon.
 

United Gnosis

Jedi Master
Laura said:
Interestingly, we see something of a living example of this right here in this thread. I think it is in UG's real interests to settle down and empty his cup for a bit.

Agreed. If you do not mind, I will reply once more, hoping to provide some closure to the parenthesis I created, but will attempt to do so as succinctly as possible, although there are many points to cover.

First of all, I want to thank you, Atreides, for your very considerate reply. I appreciate the time and discernment you invested in responding to my ideas.

Mal7 said:
United Gnosis said:
Here is a very relevant quote from David R. Hawkins' Power Vs. Force:
[. . .]The self-evident is not arguable[. . .]



United Gnosis, this portion of the quote you made from Hawkins seems to have statements that seem far from self-evident in it. Hawkins seems to be over-confident that he is presenting logical, rationally-unassailable statements, when that is not really the case.


It thought that Hawkins is arguing from a trans-rational point of view. Or are you a nihilist? Have you eaten today? Why do you try to sustain your life, or even Work? Those actions betray assumptions that are self-evident to you, and hence they remain unexamined. These are an example of Gödel's incompleteness theorem. This is what I understand from Hawkins' point, that he is hinting at a trans-rational kind of Quality, that for which Socrates was gladly prepared to surrender his life. Have you read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? You might find it an interesting read.

By the way, I would also like to underline the inconsistency between your request for logic, and that of Atreides, which I agree with:
Atreides said:
Everything that you have said up to this point is logical and ultimately meaningless. The universe is always three steps beyond logic. This is not a high school debate club where the truth is irrelevant and only strict adherence to established rhetorical and dialectic rules count.

----------------

Atreides said:
The game works like this: When someone takes you to task, instead of getting angry, or hurt outwardly, or making an attempt to change your behavior to smooth over the interaction, you coil like a snake and redouble your efforts. When prey sees a snake, and the snake is about to strike, the prey is momentarily confused because the snake "moves away." However what the snake is actually doing is building internal energy so that he can cover the distance faster than the prey expects. You are more or less using the intellectual equivalent of this tactic.

Sorry. That was not my intention, although I guess I could have unconsciously been trying to exert that kind of dominance. What I felt at the time that I was typing my last response was a desire to provide as much clarity as I could. That, and the natural slow typing on a phone blocked the natural flow of emotions while providing extra time to over-intellectualize my reply, OSIT. Either way, you have identified what was probably an unconscious manipulative language pattern, and appreciate you pointing it out.

Atreides said:
1) Maintain a cool exterior and do not betray your emotions, preventing the person you are discussing things with to have an accurate read of your mental and emotional state.
2) You challenge your opponent to match your composure or to over react and thus win points for "keeping your cool" if they lose their's, or dragging them further into a dialectic trap or elenctic trap. An elenctic trap is when you make innocent sounding questions and statements that lead a person to over extend themselves in trying to "save" you from your ignorance.
3) Those on a similar or slightly lower level are impressed by your "skills" and often become your cheerleaders, kind of like the character Piggy as he follows Ralph about in the beginning of Lord of the Flies. Read a bit lower in this thread to see how it works.

Great analysis. This would definitely be the case if I saw this discussion as an argument, aiming to be right rather than tend towards the truth. Again, I might have been unconsciously doing what you describe, although it seemed to me at the time that I was purposefully doing 1 and 2, not to "win points" but to ensure my contribution was constructive - i.e. avoid any emotional attachment to the ideas discussed. 3 is of little importance and brings no rational weight to the ideas presented.

Everything that you say is a subtle insult to the people on this forum. Allow me to run what you have wrote through the Atreides Translator™.

I said X using communication method A to Jane. Jane responded Y. I consider Y to be incorrect, emotional and not relevant. I restated X using another communication method B. Jane still responded Y. Jane is obviously incapable of comprehending the truth X when using A or B. I am capable of understanding the truth X in both A and B, therefore I am smarter than Jane.

That was not my conscious intention. The threads and ideas discussed were different, but having found one method to be prone to being criticised before serious consideration of the ideas presented - or so I perceived - I thought I would try another approach. In this thread, I never pretended that I was presenting a truth, and consistently underlined that I was proposing a working hypothesis, a potential redefinition that might provide useful nuances.

Throw N' Go: I was hoping to establish a common base of understanding
Setup: hence by itself be far more conducive to the topic discussed
Butta wouldn't melt: I apologize if pretending to attaining such a goal sounds arrogant, but I hope for it to be useful, if you will humor me.

Sounds like you assume my communication was purposefully dishonest.

Everything has an equal cost, nothing is free, or cheap. The inefficiency of force or violence is not that it spends more energy than discussion, or covert manipulation, it is that it doesn't not bring about desired results consistently, or permanently. Force leads to highly volatile and unpredictable outcomes over a long period of time. Even an immediate victory with violence may be undone years later because of the resentment of the vanquished.

The cost of anything is about equal over time because the energy invested in a strategy is not simply the total of it's application, but also of its preparation, education and so on.

I thought that the idea that the inconsistency of force's results being due to the fact that the active force is trying to play the role of the third force was an interesting concept. The inefficiency/inconsistency would be due to the fact that it is misaligned and most of its impetus absorbed by the opposition inherent in the second force.

I have been Aikidoka since I was 17. Once an Aikidoka, always an Aikidoka. Nevertheless I know what you mean. When I say I know what you mean, what I mean is that I know that you mean what most people who have never studied Aikido mean when they read a book about Aikido but have never actually rolled.

What you are a saying is perfectly logical, well formed, well thought out, and absolutely ignorant. Properly stating an idiotic proposition doesn't make it true. It doesn't matter how many words you throw at a bad idea, it's still a bad idea.

I thought that being in internal alignment with objective reality as a way to flow along was a way to attain greater levels of efficiency. I was thinking of concepts such as the Flow book, or again Zen, Taoism, Aikido. However, I purposefully design my "mental edifice" based on criterions of internal consistency and critical thinking. You simply calling my attempt to explain this concept - which I admit to grasping only qualitatively, somewhat blurrily - as absolutely ignorant or idiotic will not manage to change its structure. I would appreciate if you actually explained how it is so, so that I can revise my thinking.

would allow one to be aligned with them and harness them, redirect them, taking on the role of the third force

This is wrong thinking. From an Aikido and Work perspective. You are talking like an Archvillain, about harnessing the forces to do your bidding. The truth is that the forces of the universe harness you. The Work is about refining yourself sufficiently for the universe to find you useful.

I feel as if you are misconstruing my argument, although I can see how my approach would have given you reason to be wary. What I have been talking about is using objective knowledge to align with reality, so that the third force can express itself through you, if you prefer - and the third force harnesses and redirects the active and passive ones, unless I misunderstood the concept.


We all sup in the house of God. Mainly because he doesn't know how to use the dishwasher, which is what we are for.

Love this quote. I enjoy a similar quote of Osho, "Be empty as a reed flute, so that God can play its music through you".

United Gnosis said:
The beautiful implication is that such application of force need not be "resisted". If an overwhelming amount of active force is targeted at you, you need not take one the role of the passive force that will quite inevitably be molded by that aggression. A third role remains, one that transcends the apparent duality and which is thus better situated to channel the resultant energies in one way or another. Therein lies Power, which is that which cannot be opposed. This being based on Being and Doing, hence a result of Knowledge, it rests within the reach of the individual who increasingly develops his magnetic center, so to speak. Then, in a way, Power is the conscious withdrawing from A (and even B) influences, maintaining intentional alignment and Being a transducer for C influences.

Nose dive.

That is complete and utter non-sense. You are trying to ride out on the sanity of the preceding paragraph to wedge in this total crap. OMFG. BBQ. TURNIP!!

I wasn't trying such a thing, although after 2 hours of typing I admit that I wrote that last paragraph less carefully, less consciously. I apologize for this lack of external consideration and posting my reply nevertheless. Maybe some meaning can still be salvaged out of it.

Therein lies Power, which is that which cannot be opposed.

Umm. Where? Cause I don't see it. You are still talking about forces. How is it that power cannot be opposed? Anything can be opposed. Not necessarily successfully. If you mean that power is recognizing that more than one force is extant, whoop-ti-doo, we already covered that. My ultimate position was that Knowledge is power. If you are just running about like a chicken with your head cut off to say that, then you need to chill.

That was the operational definition I proposed. I thought it was insightful to consider definitions of Force as inherently producing opposition vs. Power being an unopposable application of knowledge. Obviously, this is not the common definition of power, which is why I was proposing this thought experiment.

increasingly develops his magnetic center, so to speak. Then, in a way, Power is the conscious withdrawing from A (and even B) influences, maintaining intentional alignment and Being a transducer for C influences.

Danger, danger Will Robinson!

On the surface that looks reasonable, on second look it seems to be a word salad of Work terms, but on third inspection, it's really a radical re-interpretation of the new age ideal of separating oneself from the world, above it, beyond it, untouched and untouching. This is actually the core of STS. Their ultimate desire is to be unfeeling and unaffected unless they choose otherwise.

This violates the Work in all kinds of way, being a good obyvatel, conscious suffering and so on. It is fundamentally contrary to the idea of lilium inter spinus or The rose is safe amid its thorns. That escaping life is never the point, but embracing and learning to deal and cope with life is. The way out of the trap of life is through it.

Again, I feel this is misconstruing the argument. Maybe this is due to my lack of familiarity with the terms, as I have not yet read Gnosis II and III, so I could be misusing them. You said that "The Work is about refining yourself sufficiently for the universe to find you useful. " Would you agree that attaining a sovereignty of being - not allowing one to be unconsciously affected by external forces - is the method of that refinement, even while one becomes more deeply in tune with reality?

In no way was I rejecting involvement with reality or conscious suffering. Doing things such as yoga, working through one's shadow, uprooting unconscious patterns, exploring painful past experiences that left unspoken marks, and generally exploring the areas outside of one's comfort zone is, by definition, not a very comfortable business. Embracing life and learning to deal with it is what I was aiming at.

If you would be so kind, would it be remotely possible for you to actually explain, in 25 words or less what you think power is, without using dialectic, or being excessively wordy. Be clear, precise, in other words: succinct.

I think Power is a property of Doing, of the expression of Being, when that expression is colinear with objective reality, i.e. utilizes Knowledge. [Edit: These are 24 words! ;D]

It is my understanding that this implies acting from a level that is beyond that of manifest opposition, which optimizes the efficiency of such expression.

Atreides said:
This is me face palming.

There doesn't seem to be a facepalm emoticon.

Please feel welcome to use this for future facepalming purposes:


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Mal7

Dagobah Resident
Laura said:
Having said that, let's look at what Lukes has to say about "interests". What really constitutes a persons true interests?

I have defined the concept of power by saying that A exercises power over Be when A affects B in a manner contrary to B's interests. Not the notion of 'interests' is an irreducibly evaluative notion: if I say that something is in your interests, I imply that you have a prima facie claim to it, and if I say that 'policy x is in A's interest' this constitutes a prima facie justification for that policy. In general, talk of interests provides a licence for the making of normative judgments of a moral and political character. So it is not surprising that different conceptions of what interests are are associated with different moral and political positions.

Extremely crudely, one might say that the liberal takes people as they are and applies want-regarding principles to them, relating their interests to what they actually want or prefer, to their policy preferences as manifested by their political participation.

The reformist, seeing and deploring that not everyone's wants are given equal weight by the political system, also relates their interest to what they want or prefer but allows that this may be revealed in more indirect and sub-political ways - in the form of deflected, submerged or concealed wants and preferences.

The radical, however, maintains that people's wants may themselves be a product of a system which works against their interests, and, in such cases, relates the latter to what they would want and prefer, were they able to make the choice.

Each of these three picks out a certain range of the entire class of actual and potential wants as the relevant object of moral appraisal. In brief, my suggestion is that the one-dimensional view of power presupposes a liberal conception of interest, the two-dimensional view a reformist conception, and the three-dimensional view a radical conception.

In terms of interests, Lukes would have benefitted greatly from the awareness of how pathology operates in society, including the phenomenon of the Right Wing Authoritarian which could, conceivably, operate from any of the above positions though the most comfortable fit for the RWA is actually position 1. I will say here that I take the radical view myself and this view is also the one expressed in the concept of External Considering a la Gurdjieff.

I think in some political systems, the wants of individuals (whether that is their currently expressed wants, or what a reformer thinks they are wanting, or what a radical thinks they would ideally want,) are not taken into consideration or given any moral weight by those in power.

For example, I think totalitarianism is sometimes defined as a political system in which the interests, wants, or historical destiny of the State/Motherland/Fatherland/Homeland are of primary importance, and what individual subjects want is of little importance. The wants of individuals should conform to the wants of the State, not because that is what is best for individuals, but because that is what is best for the State.

Or on a farm that is trying to maximise profits in the absence of any animal welfare regulations, the farmer's power may be extended over his animals with the economic productivity of the farm being the main interest. The wants or interests of the animals are not a goal in themselves, but only insofar as not meeting some of the animals' wants may reduce the productivity (e.g. stressed or diseased animals might produce less.)
 

Mal7

Dagobah Resident
United Gnosis said:
[. . .] Hawkins is arguing from a trans-rational point of view.

I think the limitations of purely logical thinking are that you only get out what you put in, which results in statements that are in a sense trivially true, or tautologous. But those limitations don't give us a license to just say anything, and claim "trans-rational" support for our statements.
 

United Gnosis

Jedi Master
Mal7 said:
United Gnosis said:
[. . .] Hawkins is arguing from a trans-rational point of view.

I think the limitations of purely logical thinking are that you only get out what you put in, which results in statements that are in a sense trivially true, or tautologous. But those limitations don't give us a license to just say anything, and claim "trans-rational" support for our statements.

This statement is perfectly true and applies generally. But is it a relevant argument to a statement such as "Health is more valuable than disease"? Thiz is quite similar - but not directly equivalent - to "Love is Light is Knowledge". Okay. But why do we choose light over darkness? Because it is a self-evident axiom as per our understanding. Just like anybody on this forum - and it is not my intention to put words in your mouths but rather to make what I think to be a valid generalization - who is consciously aligned with Work seeks health, accepting the self-evident axiom that health is more valuable than disease.

I am not sure on what grounds you seek to make this a point of contention.
 

stellar

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
United Gnosis, have you considered that for a lot of members and followers of this forum English is a second or perhaps even third language. That is not the case with me, however, I am finding it really difficult to follow what points you think you are trying to make. I feel I could have used that time more productively on other posts.

From my perspective you posts have not added anything useful to the original post. Maybe if you simplify what it is you want to say.... :zzz:
 

United Gnosis

Jedi Master
stellar said:
[...] From my perspective you posts have not added anything useful to the original post. Maybe if you simplify what it is you want to say.... :zzz:

Exactly. I thought I could bring an insightful contribution, but it proved not to be, whether because the ideas are flawed in themselves (in which case I would appreciate Atreides' feedback on exactly how that is) or because I fail to express them properly, pointing to a lack of understanding on my part. Either way, my ideas will need to be revised, so I prefer to avoid starting a new parenthesis. Lukes' ideas as underlined by Laura are interesting enough on their own merits without me bringing my 2 cents.
 
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