Stalking, Intent and the Energy of Alignment

Laura

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In these troubling days of turmoil, it seems most helpful to have a number of approaches to maintaining stability in our lives. As I have been recovering from several injuries, most of you know that I've not stopped searching for anything and everything that might be helpful to everyone who chooses the Cassiopaean perspective. As they pointed out, you can't get everything from just one source, so I've cast my net pretty wide. Those of you who have been following the readings in evolutionary biology in order to better understand the machines we are occupying, have a pretty good idea that there are serious gaps in the pure, materialistic science approach; these gaps are made staggeringly obvious in the recent recommended book "Genetic Entropy" which I think everyone should read (classroom version leaves out his religious tendencies). As I've pointed out in a number of places, it's sort of sad to see good scientific minds that realize that materialistic science isn't the whole banana, running back to unexamined standard religions. Clearly, religion - binding people together - is GOOD, and USEFUL, but some scientific effort should be applied to religion, too!

I often will pick up a book and open it at random to see if the Universe has a message for me, realizing, of course, that such "messages" are part of that amazing system of synchronicity that signals to us that there is way more to our reality than 3 dimensions! Today, I was restlessly putting this and that back where it belonged to clear my desk up a little, and among the items laying about was Castaneda's "The Fire From Within". On impulse, I opened it and began to read. I realized quickly that this was just the encouragement I needed and I'm going to share it.

[Don Juan] started to talk about stalking. He said that it had very humble and fortuitous origins. It started from an observation the new seers made that when warriors steadily behave in ways not customary for them, the unused emanations inside their cocoons begin to glow. And their assemblage points shift in a mild, harmonious, barely noticeable fashion.

Stimulated by this observation, the new seers began to practice the systematic control of their behavior. They called this practice the art of stalking. Don Juan remarked that the name, although objectionable, was appropriate, because stalking entailed a specific kind of behavior with people, behavior that could be categorized as surreptitious.

The new seers, armed with this technique, tackled the known in a sober and fruitful way. By continual practice, they made their assemblage points move steadily.

"Stalking is one of the two greatest accomplishments of the new seers," he said. "The new seers decided that it should be taught to a modern-day nagual when his assemblage point has moved quite deep into the left side. ...

"Other warriors can learn stalking in their normal awareness ... stalking is merely behavior with people."
Comment: It seems that Castaneda is talking about External Considering here.

He said that I could now understand that shifting the assemblage point was the reason why the new seers placed such a high value on the interaction with petty tyrants. Petty tyrants forced seers to use the principles of stalking and, in doing so, helped seers to move their assemblage points.

I asked him if the old seers knew anything at all about the principles of stalking.
Comment: This next sentence is actually where I began reading when I picked up the book, so you can see why it caught my attention. I backed up a little bit to get the context here.

"Stalking belongs exclusively to the new seers.... They are the only seers who had to deal with people. The old ones were so wrapped up on their sense of power that they didn't even know that people existed, until people started clobbering them on the head..."

Don Juan said next that the mastery of intent together with the mastery of stalking are the new seers' two masterpieces, which mark the arrival of the modern-day seers. He explained that in their efforts to gain an advantage over their oppressors the new seers pursued every possibility. They knew that their predecessors had accomplished extraordinary feats by manipulating a mysterious and miraculous force, which they could only describe as power. The new seers had very little information about that force, so they were obliged to examine it systematically through seeing. Their efforts were amply rewarded when they discovered that the energy of alignment is that force.

They began by seeing how the glow of awareness increases in size and intensity as the emanations inside the cocoon are aligned with the emanations at large. They used that observation as a springboard, just as they had done with stalking, and went on to develop a complex series of techniques to handle that alignment of emanations.

At first they referred to those techniques as the mastery of alignment. Then they realized that what was involved was much more than alignment; what was involved was the energy that comes out of the alignment of emanation. They called that energy will.

Will became the second basis. The new seers understood it as a blind, impersonal, ceaseless burst of energy that makes us behave in the ways we do. Will accounts for our perception of the world of ordinary affairs, and indirectly, through the force of that perception, it accounts for the placement of the assemblage point in its customary position.

Don Juan said that the new seers examined how the perception of the world of everyday life takes place and saw the effects of will. They saw that alignment is ceaselessly renewed in order to imbue perception with continuity. To renew alignment every time with the freshness that it needs to make up a living world, the burst of energy that comes out of those very alignments is automatically rerouted to reinforce some choice alignments.

This new observation served the new seers as another springboard that helped them reach the third basis of the set. They called it intent, and they described it as the purposeful guiding of will, the energy of alignment. {...}

[Don Juan} said that as time passed and the new seers established their practices, they realized that under the prevailing conditions of life, stalking only moved the assemblage points minimally. For maximum effect, stalking needed an ideal setting; it needed petty tyrants in positions of great authority and power. It became increasingly difficult for the new seers to place themselves in such situation; the task of improvising them or seeking them out became an unbearable burden.
COMMENT: The text goes on to talk about dreaming, but that is going to take some careful reading and thought and it's not really relevant to the "message" I think came with reading this text.

The practice of External Considering in our daily lives is an act of discipline that, according to Gurdjieff, requires a great deal of knowledge. I hope that many of you are acquiring that knowledge about the machine, your own mind, other people, human relations, via the recommended reading. And it is encouraging to realize that just this practice, can prepare you for further steps on the staircase. Nowadays, it's not hard to find petty tyrants, even in our own families and moreso, in the world right outside our doors.

Castaneda wrote: "the glow of awareness increases in size and intensity as the emanations inside the cocoon are aligned with the emanations at large" and this, apparently follows from humble beginnings: External Considering.

Now, keep in mind that External Considering relies completely on KNOWLEDGE OF REALITY, and acting in accordance with this knowledge is an act of alignment with "the emanations" at large, or reality itself.

Perhaps it will help to re-read Gurdjieff's description/definition of External Considering:

"The opposite of internal considering and what is in part a means of fighting against it is external considering. External considering is based upon an entirely different relationship towards people than internal considering. It is adaptation towards people, to their understanding, to their requirements. By considering externally a man does that which makes life easy for other people and for himself. External considering requires a knowledge of men, an understanding of their tastes, habits, and prejudices. At the same time external considering requires a great power over oneself, a great control over oneself. Very often a man desires sincerely to express or somehow or other show to another man what he really thinks of him or feels about him. And if he is a weak man he will of course give way to this desire and afterwards justify himself and say that he did not want to lie, did not want to pretend, he wanted to be sincere. Then he convinces himself that it was the other man's fault. He really wanted to consider him, even to give way to him, not to quarrel, and so on. But the other man did not at all want to consider him so that nothing could be done with him. It very often happens that a man begins with a blessing and ends with a curse. He begins by deciding not to consider and afterwards blames other people for not considering him. This is an example of how external considering passes into internal considering. But if a man really remembers himself he understands that another man is a machine just as he is himself. And then he will enter into his position, he will put himself in his place, and he will be really able to understand and feel what another man thinks and feels. If he can do this his work becomes easier for him. But if he approaches a man with his own requirements nothing except new internal considering can ever be obtained from it.

"Right external considering is very important in the work. It often happens that people who understand very well the necessity of external considering in life do not understand the necessity of external considering in the work; they decide that just because they are in the work they have the right not to consider. Whereas in reality, in the work, that is, for a man's own successful work, ten times more external considering is necessary than in life, because only external considering on his part shows his valuation of the work and his understanding of the work; and success in the work is always proportional to the valuation and understanding of it. Remember that work cannot begin and cannot proceed on a level lower than that of the obyvatel,1 that is, on a level lower than ordinary life.
In the present time, we seem to have an abundance of petty tyrants of all sorts. And from the little discussion above, it makes even more sense why the Cs urge us to pay close and careful attention to reality right and left; that is the reality immediately surrounding us, family, friends, co-workers, and to whatever extent we are able, to the larger reality: the world of the petty tyrants with great power and authority.

External Considering teaches us that we should do "that which makes life easy for other people and for himself. {ourselves]"

This is done from a position of knowledge and awareness: you may act civil to someone you know is a psychopath, but you do it to avoid attracting their ire; and then you avoid contact with them as much as possible. You aren't being two-faced, you are being strategic.

There are more examples that could be set out, but perhaps some of you have real life ones?
 

SlavaOn

Jedi Master
Here is my real life example, without going into details too deep.
Over the last several months, I was pursuing a project of my own. I was dedicated and relentless in doing it. When I decided on the next step, I would do whatever was necessary to make it happen. Haste makes waste - I was on the short end of it. I bent the wills of the people around me. I broke my words... And, I still have not succeeded.

2 weeks ago I have changed that approach. I started considering the wishes and feelings of the closest people, that I have. It slowed me down. I had to change plans. At the same time, it allowed me to switch gears and look at the challenges I am facing from a new perspective. To accommodate rather then force my way. I guess, this is "external considering" that I started doing.

Thank you for that insight.
 

Curious Beagle

The Force is Strong With This One
For majority of young spirit their family will provide the most learning experience until they are mature enough to do their mission/life calling. If you have distortion/weakness that you are working on this reincarnation I can guarantee you that your immediate family will provoke you to be the worst you can be until you resolve those issues. Remember hell isn't a place out there somewhere but inside of you due to your imbalance. Before you enter this reincarnation you basically have a laid out scenario of your life and task to solves including parents, spouse, job, etc. Your parents will provoke a lot of your weakness but if you resolve those problems it won't imprint on you as life goes on (if you suppress them then become unconscious mind). Example if you are a doormat probably you will get 2 self center bullies for parents until you learned to stand up for your self. Remember the most basic spiritual law is self responsibility so you can't keep on blaming all the bad things that happened to you to others evil players in the game of life (call it partners in learning). You will only be assigned great parental spirit to guide you once your soul are reasonable develop enough to do mission in this world (as example in mastery of sto). Your spouse probably teach you intimacy (body, mind and spirit) so maybe you should learn to readjust to your spouse emotional frequency also intellectually (discuss ideas on deeper level). Adjusting your energy level is prerequisite to sto being as you learn to understand others. Your children or pets can teach you unconditional love. The first time you hold your baby most parents learn responsibility and to really give for the first time. Everything that happen to you you summon it to provide lesson when the time is right. You will make a lot of mistakes but live and learn. Inner balance is gained as a result of your abilities to handle life adversity in non destructive way (numerous re balancing too). In the beginning you may seems to be very angry at the world but as you progress you learn that this world is gigantic classroom full of spirit still learning some more advance than others (who may choose different alignment sto/sts) so don't be upset if some toddler can't do rocket science or calculus. The real human sickness is the failure to use your full potential to create good life. As you hold back your potential to expand, to make better conditions, to experience deeper feelings of delight in every way, you continue a vicious circle.
 

loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thank you Laura!

I started some months ago to use external considering with a reading group, not my prison group even if there I also used external considering. My first reading group are people very "well informed by tv", so at the beginning I was very shocked by what they said and think and became provocative and angry with them. I even wanted to leave the group. But one day I decided to continue with this group but using external considering, keep silence and listen. See people as they are, plus see what they are and not what they think about Obama or Mrs. Clinton (they adore those two). So since then I am able to go with this group and not coming at home with a headache, be able to have fun with them and listen without feeling mad. When they talk about politics I just keep my mouth close. It is the only way because before they attacked me without pity. Now no more attacks, no more knifes. Me too I put my knives aside. :)

With my prison group it is very easy for me to used external considering. I am there to listen and learn and it is really fun to be with them without judging them, just be able to put myself in their shoes and it is really, really interesting.

It is not a easy task external considering. I am still learning!
 

genero81

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I often will pick up a book and open it at random to see if the Universe has a message for me, realizing, of course, that such "messages" are part of that amazing system of synchronicity that signals to us that there is way more to our reality than 3 dimensions! Today, I was restlessly putting this and that back where it belonged to clear my desk up a little, and among the items laying about was Castaneda's "The Fire From Within". On impulse, I opened it and began to read. I realized quickly that this was just the encouragement I needed and I'm going to share it.
Yes, and we need the encouragement as well. Or at least I do.

There was a time when my roommate was sponsoring me. He instructed me once; "don't let anything stop you." I immediately liked that idea a lot. Now that could mean different things to different people, but for me it definitely meant, don't let anything deter me from my dogged pursuit of what's real, or objectively true. And that has proved empowering. So when Castaneda speaks of will, and intent, and alignment, I think I get that. And isn't it true that we are strengthened by resistance? When those around us are insisting on what we know not to be true, we can be unwavering in our alignment with reality while being strategic in our dealings with them, and be judicious with our own energy by doing what's best for us and them. And as you say, it takes knowledge and application of that knowledge to have control over ourselves and to know what the best course of action is in any given situation. And petty tyrants provide the best conditions for forging our 'personality' as we must confront our own 'requirements' so we can act independently of them.

And the very person who provided such a splendid idea has himself succumbed to the 'programming' and now gives me the opportunity to practice external consideration on a daily basis. Two very different people, living in virtually different realities benefiting, nonetheless, from a type of exosymbiotic relationship.

The Universe provides.
 

Corvus

Jedi Council Member
Think when it comes to external consideration that it works to certain degree, when the environment is normal to certain degree or polite. The more the environment is pathological and extreme you can throw external consideration out of the window, you can apply it but then your existence would not be of long duration. One is theory and another is reality and practice.

When it comes to psychopaths you can avoid them if your encounter is only temporary but if it is more often like in a workplace then hardly you can avoid it, the worse if you try it because if being more sensitive,(as many here are) psychopath will test you to see how you react and will sense what you are all about, and the more you are sensitive more inclined he will be to drain you or worse depending on the environment, because every sensitivity(being of different inclination) is perceived as weakness. You can run but you can not hide forever, and sometimes the more you are externally considerate the other can see it as a sign of weakness and go more and more into your personal space the more you are considerate and so there has to be limit to external consideration if you have some internal consideration or dignity and love for yourself, and have to make a stand. Those kind of pathological s know only the language of violence(be it verbal, emotional or physical) and many will only then back up.

And in extreme situations being considerate and dead do not think is very useful, but it is individual choice, and those Indians in Castaneda s book where almost all exterminated, and giving due where due is needed does not always work, more correctly it works other way around most often, injustice rules on this planet, if majority of these Indians lived enough to see it.

And there should be made clear distinction between being externally considerate and nice because some see it as same and act considerate because of naivety or fear of conflict even when that tactic does not show results, and that is one of the main reasons with ignorance and selfishness why humanity is where it is today when it comes to those souled individuals.
 

Julius

Jedi
And in extreme situations being considerate and dead do not think is very useful, but it is individual choice, and those Indians in Castaneda s book where almost all exterminated, and giving due where due is needed does not always work, more correctly it works other way around most often, injustice rules on this planet, if majority of these Indians lived enough to see it.

And there should be made clear distinction between being externally considerate and nice because some see it as same and act considerate because of naivety or fear of conflict even when that tactic does not show results, and that is one of the main reasons with ignorance and selfishness why humanity is where it is today when it comes to those souled individuals.
I think the concept as presented by Gurdjieff has self-harm or injury covered: "By considering externally a man does that which makes life easy for other people and for himself."
 

Starshine

Jedi Master
It is all very subtle, my own 'minor' petty tyrants seem to arise when I start climbing stairs to a better routine. Old friends or family with bad habits this summer, for example. I succumb to the nefast ways quite easily in those circumstances. And I always feel like I have to start all over again after those encounters. It's okay though, I learned patience and persistence here.
My weakness resides in a failure to say no and to project future immediate negative consequences of my actions. This is my card to play, projecting it before it happens and maintain the sensation long enough to refrain and control my desires. I know it works as I used it already with success. Fantastic tool to be transposed.
I still lack discipline which results in feeling drained and weak for a few days. Reciting the daily readings is a huge help in getting back to what I consider the basis of my routine.
I have a real feeling of protection surrounding us in our current life, even though there are some forms of attacks, it can be fought. I know terrible things could happen but I still feel protected.
I really liked Dale Carnegie's examples of how to deal with people. It's full of external consideration and very inspiring I think. To develop such a state of mind, one has to be confident and beware of its self-importance. When our internal consideration is hurt, we are more prone to become inconsiderate. Hard to step back when you take everything as an offense.
The more I learn through the recommended readings, the more obvious it is how to scan and adapt to people in daily circumstances.

With severe limitations of free will and under cruel, morbid circumstances, how to face the petty tyrants would be another story.
 
External Considering teaches us that we should do "that which makes life easy for other people and for himself. {ourselves]"

This is done from a position of knowledge and awareness: you may act civil to someone you know is a psychopath, but you do it to avoid attracting their ire; and then you avoid contact with them as much as possible. You aren't being two-faced, you are being strategic.

There are more examples that could be set out, but perhaps some of you have real life ones?

This happened some years ago but it is the clearest example I have of dealing with a petty tyrant. The whole story spans almost half a decade but I'll try to be clear and concise and focus on the important bits .

Going for the gold and getting bitten

A former boss, let's call her MTM (for mythomaniac), offered me a position to work under her at a big company. At the time we had very good relations and I considered her a friend, a close friend even. Although I was interested in the promises of big bucks and advancing my career, I accepted the offer mostly because of my confidence in her.

I knew the new job would be a challenge especially because it was likely to be very demanding and in a high stress environment, which were both true. Nevertheless I was surprised, besides upset and worried, at how poorly MTM was reviewing my performance, and she was not being kind about it. Instead of our usual long and informal talks, she was adamant in imposing authority and she knew which of my buttons to push to "put me in my place". The strange thing is, I couldn't understand why any of this was necessary. Even stranger, she would oscillate between berating me and suddenly treating me as the good old friend.

I was really stressed about the situation and I upped my game to the best that I could manage. It did ameliorate the situation a little bit but I was still doing poorly in her eyes, and according to her in the eyes of the other higher-ups as well (she just forgot to mention she was the one telling them about my performance). I kept doing my job the best that I could in a permanent state of frustration. MTM was not happy with me and she was the major link between me and the rest of the company. I was doing all that I could and I was still afraid of being fired. It was not good.

At this point I was utterly confused. Before this job I had been mostly praised in professional settings, now I couldn't seem to do anything right. My boss, and friend, who I thought would try to help me up my game if I was doing poorly, was basically just complaining about me and dismissing my attempts to understand what I was doing wrong (or worse, she also gave contradictory answers). I began to see small glimpses that my complete trust in her was misplaced, but I could neither understand nor believe it.

One day MTM decided to scold me publicly in front of the whole department. To my knowledge nothing had happened that would warrant such behavior, she was displeased by something very minor and inconsequential. My temperament did not take that well and she knew me well enough to know it would affect me deeply. Now I was not only confused and ashamed, but also enraged. I sucked it up and kept going, doing anything abrupt without understanding what was going on could put me in an even worse position, and I needed the job. If I had opened my mouth nothing good would have come out of it.

Serendipity helps

Then I received an unexpected gift. MTM went on vacation. I was worried I would not be able to handle everything in her absence. If it was already that difficult with her help (I believed she was always trying to help me), I could only imagine without her. But to my surprise everything went great, not just well, really great. Not having her as an intermediary I had to deal with a lot of other people and higher-ups, so instead of receiving demands from MTM, I would receive them directly from the interested parties. When MTM returned she congratulated me because everyone said to her I did a great job in her absence. In retrospect, maybe they were also surprised by my performance because MTM had been telling them I was the source of trouble in her team.

This was the first major data point that something was deeply wrong.

During her vacation most of the dark cloud of tension I felt on a day to day basis had gone away, to quickly return when she came back. This experience kept repeating over time.

Now knowing that I was able to do the job, I decided to assume all the responsibilities that I could bear, minimizing the need for her involvement as much as I could. I knew she had a big ego, so I gave her credit whenever I could and constantly made an effort to keep her happy. This worked wonders. In a short time I was leading our small team on daily matters, and I was becoming aware that our success depended on me being able to avoid and diffuse MTM's negative interventions. I had to walk on eggshells around her.

Who I was actually dealing with

Time went by and I kept paying attention and making mental annotations of MTM's behavior towards me and others. Eventually I began receiving information about MTM from other people who also smelled something wasn't right, including from a few higher-ups. With much caution, I also provided them with the information I could.

Summarizing what I remember, it turns out that her problems with me were actually an attempt on her part to dump on me the responsibility for the bad reviews she was getting. She had been telling her boss and peers that I was the problem, and that she would be even tougher on me as to correct the problem. As pressure mounted upon her, that's exactly what she did. The public scolding I received seems to have been triggered by her job being put on the line earlier that same day.

Shifting blame onto others was just the tip of the iceberg. It became clear over time that MTM was a compulsive liar. There were too many instances, but I do remember that my initial incredulity did not survive the confirmation of my suspicions by so many people and by so many occurrences. I really had to pay attention but it became increasingly clear that she even lied about the most minute and irrelevant things. That's why I refer to her as a mythomaniac.

She was also very adept at manipulating people. She would manipulate multiple people at the same time, putting one (or many) against the other, using triangulation and so forth. She actually weaved a web of deception that was surprisingly large and well coordinated, involving multiple departments, which only began to crumble when multiple people affected started to wake up to her lies and talk to each other. Her motives were not always clear, in some cases it was obvious she could get some benefit out of it, in others it looked like she was positioning pawns but I couldn't figure out to what end. Getting close to people and forging friendships was a common tool to influence them.

I also learned that MTM was constantly job hopping because after a while people began to see through her lies and she had to move on. As far as I know she keeps job hopping and currently holds a prestigious position in another big institution. She does know how to sell herself.

It seemed that her personal life was also affected by recurring instances of people distrusting her and cutting her off, or vice-versa.

It is not easy but I find myself thinking I should try to have more empathy for her. Perhaps she just has a very disturbed alter ego, because in some instances it was impossible to comprehend her behavior. Maybe she just needs to feel in control and above others all the time. Maybe her lying is really something she cannot control and guides her life. But I will venture to say that she is either stupendously gifted in pretending not to understand what is going on (keeping up her façade) or actually incapable of understanding what is going on (hence the possibility of alter ego, dissociative self). She never acknowledged any of the many times she was caught lying, always an excuse at hand.

Nonetheless, at the time I think it was useful to be angry and see her as the enemy, this gave some structure to the chaos and some impetus to move forward. But to this day I have doubts about whether I was becoming a monster. Anger seems to give power and motivation, but compassion and prudence goes out the window. Perhaps there is a time and place for each.

Knowledge protects

When dealing with MTM, what I had learned through this group was immensely helpful, in particular the psychology and psychopathy materials. First of all, I realized that I needed to defend and protect myself. I also knew timing and patience was very important. Even when I could no longer stand looking at her (as I felt utterly betrayed) I did my best not to show it. I wanted to give her enough rope for the metaphorical hanging. Being able to avoid expressing at least the most troublesome automatic emotional reactions was very useful.

Also, being able to distance myself from what was happening was paramount. When MTM noticed that her typical emotional manipulations no longer worked on me she increased the drama a lot, she would cry and make herself the victim. It felt like watching a bad movie or performance. While previously I would be "confluent" in the conversation, now I was watching this happen without being emotionally involved. I was actually internally rejecting getting "grasped" by her drama.

I want to emphasize how difficult it was and how long it took to really grasp what was going on. I could not believe that my former friend would betray me like that and act in such a reprehensible manner. I remember re-reading the Mask of Sanity, Snakes in Suits, In Sheep's Clothings, Martha Stout etc to try to figure out what was happening and what to do. Quotes from Don Juan and Gurdjieff were also helpful.

After a while I even tried Gurdjieff's idea of "scratching" her a little to see what would come up. Nothing much actually, at that point she mostly seemed perplexed at having lost my deference. She eventually went on to other targets, some of which I was able to help inoculate. Not long after she quit to avoid being fired.

Also interesting is that the crumbling of her web of lies inside that institution began very slowly, but once a certain threshold was hit it accelerated rapidly and near the end I could see the footprints of her deceptions all over the place.

All in all, it was a learning experience that undoubtedly made me grow. It was also an experience replete with painful negative emotions.

Last but certainly not least, I was fortunate to have a couple of coworkers with whom I could speak openly and that was a great and much needed respite in the midst of the turmoil.
 
Some related quotes:

Castaneda:
The object of the Warrior is, of course, to utilize whatever is necessary to stand against the Petty Tyrant, to draw the line and hold it, and - if necessary - to strategically systematically harass the Petty Tyrant until they are drained of energy, and with their last, desperate burst, they do something so stupid, so destructive, that finally, due to the forebearance of the warrior who knows the nature of the Predator, the Petty Tyrants receive their "due" - generally at their own hands. And thus the dynamic ends.
Cs:
Q: (V) I think they are talking about empathy. These soulless humans simply don't care what happens to another person. If another person is in pain or misery, they don't know how to care.

A: The only pain they experience is "withdrawal" of "food" or comfort, or what they want. They are also masters of twisting perception of others so as to seem to be empathetic. But, in general, such actions are simply to retain control.
Gurdjieff:
A decent man will behave decently even if he thinks that he has been treated unjustly or wrongly. But many people in such circumstances show a side of their nature which otherwise they would never show. And at times it is a necessary means for exposing a man's nature. So long as you are good to a man he is good to you. But what will he be like if you scratch him a little?
 

JLynne

The Force is Strong With This One
This happened some years ago but it is the clearest example I have of dealing with a petty tyrant. The whole story spans almost half a decade but I'll try to be clear and concise and focus on the important bits .

Going for the gold and getting bitten

A former boss, let's call her MTM (for mythomaniac), offered me a position to work under her at a big company. At the time we had very good relations and I considered her a friend, a close friend even. Although I was interested in the promises of big bucks and advancing my career, I accepted the offer mostly because of my confidence in her.

I knew the new job would be a challenge especially because it was likely to be very demanding and in a high stress environment, which were both true. Nevertheless I was surprised, besides upset and worried, at how poorly MTM was reviewing my performance, and she was not being kind about it. Instead of our usual long and informal talks, she was adamant in imposing authority and she knew which of my buttons to push to "put me in my place". The strange thing is, I couldn't understand why any of this was necessary. Even stranger, she would oscillate between berating me and suddenly treating me as the good old friend.

I was really stressed about the situation and I upped my game to the best that I could manage. It did ameliorate the situation a little bit but I was still doing poorly in her eyes, and according to her in the eyes of the other higher-ups as well (she just forgot to mention she was the one telling them about my performance). I kept doing my job the best that I could in a permanent state of frustration. MTM was not happy with me and she was the major link between me and the rest of the company. I was doing all that I could and I was still afraid of being fired. It was not good.

At this point I was utterly confused. Before this job I had been mostly praised in professional settings, now I couldn't seem to do anything right. My boss, and friend, who I thought would try to help me up my game if I was doing poorly, was basically just complaining about me and dismissing my attempts to understand what I was doing wrong (or worse, she also gave contradictory answers). I began to see small glimpses that my complete trust in her was misplaced, but I could neither understand nor believe it.

One day MTM decided to scold me publicly in front of the whole department. To my knowledge nothing had happened that would warrant such behavior, she was displeased by something very minor and inconsequential. My temperament did not take that well and she knew me well enough to know it would affect me deeply. Now I was not only confused and ashamed, but also enraged. I sucked it up and kept going, doing anything abrupt without understanding what was going on could put me in an even worse position, and I needed the job. If I had opened my mouth nothing good would have come out of it.

Serendipity helps

Then I received an unexpected gift. MTM went on vacation. I was worried I would not be able to handle everything in her absence. If it was already that difficult with her help (I believed she was always trying to help me), I could only imagine without her. But to my surprise everything went great, not just well, really great. Not having her as an intermediary I had to deal with a lot of other people and higher-ups, so instead of receiving demands from MTM, I would receive them directly from the interested parties. When MTM returned she congratulated me because everyone said to her I did a great job in her absence. In retrospect, maybe they were also surprised by my performance because MTM had been telling them I was the source of trouble in her team.

This was the first major data point that something was deeply wrong.

During her vacation most of the dark cloud of tension I felt on a day to day basis had gone away, to quickly return when she came back. This experience kept repeating over time.

Now knowing that I was able to do the job, I decided to assume all the responsibilities that I could bear, minimizing the need for her involvement as much as I could. I knew she had a big ego, so I gave her credit whenever I could and constantly made an effort to keep her happy. This worked wonders. In a short time I was leading our small team on daily matters, and I was becoming aware that our success depended on me being able to avoid and diffuse MTM's negative interventions. I had to walk on eggshells around her.

Who I was actually dealing with

Time went by and I kept paying attention and making mental annotations of MTM's behavior towards me and others. Eventually I began receiving information about MTM from other people who also smelled something wasn't right, including from a few higher-ups. With much caution, I also provided them with the information I could.

Summarizing what I remember, it turns out that her problems with me were actually an attempt on her part to dump on me the responsibility for the bad reviews she was getting. She had been telling her boss and peers that I was the problem, and that she would be even tougher on me as to correct the problem. As pressure mounted upon her, that's exactly what she did. The public scolding I received seems to have been triggered by her job being put on the line earlier that same day.

Shifting blame onto others was just the tip of the iceberg. It became clear over time that MTM was a compulsive liar. There were too many instances, but I do remember that my initial incredulity did not survive the confirmation of my suspicions by so many people and by so many occurrences. I really had to pay attention but it became increasingly clear that she even lied about the most minute and irrelevant things. That's why I refer to her as a mythomaniac.

She was also very adept at manipulating people. She would manipulate multiple people at the same time, putting one (or many) against the other, using triangulation and so forth. She actually weaved a web of deception that was surprisingly large and well coordinated, involving multiple departments, which only began to crumble when multiple people affected started to wake up to her lies and talk to each other. Her motives were not always clear, in some cases it was obvious she could get some benefit out of it, in others it looked like she was positioning pawns but I couldn't figure out to what end. Getting close to people and forging friendships was a common tool to influence them.

I also learned that MTM was constantly job hopping because after a while people began to see through her lies and she had to move on. As far as I know she keeps job hopping and currently holds a prestigious position in another big institution. She does know how to sell herself.

It seemed that her personal life was also affected by recurring instances of people distrusting her and cutting her off, or vice-versa.

It is not easy but I find myself thinking I should try to have more empathy for her. Perhaps she just has a very disturbed alter ego, because in some instances it was impossible to comprehend her behavior. Maybe she just needs to feel in control and above others all the time. Maybe her lying is really something she cannot control and guides her life. But I will venture to say that she is either stupendously gifted in pretending not to understand what is going on (keeping up her façade) or actually incapable of understanding what is going on (hence the possibility of alter ego, dissociative self). She never acknowledged any of the many times she was caught lying, always an excuse at hand.

Nonetheless, at the time I think it was useful to be angry and see her as the enemy, this gave some structure to the chaos and some impetus to move forward. But to this day I have doubts about whether I was becoming a monster. Anger seems to give power and motivation, but compassion and prudence goes out the window. Perhaps there is a time and place for each.

Knowledge protects

When dealing with MTM, what I had learned through this group was immensely helpful, in particular the psychology and psychopathy materials. First of all, I realized that I needed to defend and protect myself. I also knew timing and patience was very important. Even when I could no longer stand looking at her (as I felt utterly betrayed) I did my best not to show it. I wanted to give her enough rope for the metaphorical hanging. Being able to avoid expressing at least the most troublesome automatic emotional reactions was very useful.

Also, being able to distance myself from what was happening was paramount. When MTM noticed that her typical emotional manipulations no longer worked on me she increased the drama a lot, she would cry and make herself the victim. It felt like watching a bad movie or performance. While previously I would be "confluent" in the conversation, now I was watching this happen without being emotionally involved. I was actually internally rejecting getting "grasped" by her drama.

I want to emphasize how difficult it was and how long it took to really grasp what was going on. I could not believe that my former friend would betray me like that and act in such a reprehensible manner. I remember re-reading the Mask of Sanity, Snakes in Suits, In Sheep's Clothings, Martha Stout etc to try to figure out what was happening and what to do. Quotes from Don Juan and Gurdjieff were also helpful.

After a while I even tried Gurdjieff's idea of "scratching" her a little to see what would come up. Nothing much actually, at that point she mostly seemed perplexed at having lost my deference. She eventually went on to other targets, some of which I was able to help inoculate. Not long after she quit to avoid being fired.

Also interesting is that the crumbling of her web of lies inside that institution began very slowly, but once a certain threshold was hit it accelerated rapidly and near the end I could see the footprints of her deceptions all over the place.

All in all, it was a learning experience that undoubtedly made me grow. It was also an experience replete with painful negative emotions.

Last but certainly not least, I was fortunate to have a couple of coworkers with whom I could speak openly and that was a great and much needed respite in the midst of the turmoil.
Courageous Inmate, The theme of your story is a remarkable mirror of my own. The bones are the same, a universal myth with personal sound and color.

Must say a big thank you to Laura for setting these healing wheels in motion!
 

Carl

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
This happened some years ago but it is the clearest example I have of dealing with a petty tyrant. The whole story spans almost half a decade but I'll try to be clear and concise and focus on the important bits .

Going for the gold and getting bitten

...
All in all, it was a learning experience that undoubtedly made me grow. It was also an experience replete with painful negative emotions.

Last but certainly not least, I was fortunate to have a couple of coworkers with whom I could speak openly and that was a great and much needed respite in the midst of the turmoil.
That was an insightful and entertaining account of real life stalking, so thanks for sharing. I don't know about assemblage points or anything, but it is highly likely you have grown as a person by living through that saga. The key principles I think were shown were showing your worth to other higher ups, networking with other "victims", and reaching an emotional state where she could no longer push your buttons. These things combined to "give her enough rope to hang herself with" as she became more hysterical, in an almost the exact same spirit of Don Juan's account of stalking in Castanada's books.
 

Martina

Jedi Master
Thank you for caring. I do things like that myself, I open a book and find an answer referring to what's bothering me. Yesterday I've open Gurdjieffs book Beezelbub's tales to his grandson on a page (don't have the book here) 180 something, where he talks about people who are not on your level, to be just to them. I'm so angry right now and I shouldn't be because I have life on my own and I can't live other peoples lives. I don't know if it's important to say but I was trained as a child to take care of my family members, my mom and my older sister mostly more than myself. And I automatically do things like that, I care of other people more than I care of myself.
I had a dream two nights ago where a girl I mentioned last year on forum she's like homeless, was shooting at me and tried to kill me. I felt sorry for her and I met her by the end of last year, helped her to move into a place she rented very cheap, gave her good clothes for job, spent money from my last paycheck to invite her for Christmas where she has mocked my gluten free cakes. And when she found out I don't have job anymore (and money) never called back.
I have troubles like that. Except my younger sister, all of my family members suck life out of me, I got job finally and now they mock me for what I do, need all kinds of favours from me, I take care of my nephew again... Ohhh it will pass in few days, I need few days to stop being angry, I was raised by a pack of wolves:lol:
 

genero81

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
That was an insightful and entertaining account of real life stalking, so thanks for sharing. I don't know about assemblage points or anything, but it is highly likely you have grown as a person by living through that saga. The key principles I think were shown were showing your worth to other higher ups, networking with other "victims", and reaching an emotional state where she could no longer push your buttons. These things combined to "give her enough rope to hang herself with" as she became more hysterical, in an almost the exact same spirit of Don Juan's account of stalking in Castanada's books.
I agree. Thank you for that intricate account, CIS!

The last part where CIS said that conversations with coworkers helped a great deal reminded me of Ponerology, when the students went away together and talked with each other. How the ponerizing influences from school disappeared for most of them.
 

msante

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
When it comes to psychopaths you can avoid them if your encounter is only temporary but if it is more often like in a workplace then hardly you can avoid it, the worse if you try it because if being more sensitive,(as many here are) psychopath will test you to see how you react and will sense what you are all about, and the more you are sensitive more inclined he will be to drain you or worse depending on the environment, because every sensitivity(being of different inclination) is perceived as weakness. You can run but you can not hide forever, and sometimes the more you are externally considerate the other can see it as a sign of weakness and go more and more into your personal space the more you are considerate and so there has to be limit to external consideration if you have some internal consideration or dignity and love for yourself, and have to make a stand.
IMO precisely that is the point, the more we are exposed to the petty tyrants, the more possibilities are presented to us of being masters of ourselves. As Gurjieff put it, "it is adaptation towards people, to their understanding, to their requirements...".

As you seem to know, to be externally considerate is not to be nice or complacent, is to do what must be done in the right way and in the right moment. To act with this level of rightness one need first to know very well oneself and to have a great power over oneself, and second (just as G say) "a knowledge of men, an understanding of their tastes, habits, and prejudices". The solution to an interaction with a Petty tyrant not always will be to hide or run away, sometimes you will need to be firm and determined, even harsh. Others times you will need to be humble and prudent, even submissive. What will tell you what the right action is will be the context of the situation. To be externally considerate is a deliberate, well-planned strategy, not an out-of-control and impulsive emotional reaction. Nobody says that it is easy, but this seems to be the right path.

Those kind of pathological s know only the language of violence(be it verbal, emotional or physical) and many will only then back up.
I don't think that that be so. First, a petty tyrant not necessarily has to be a psychopath. You could have a neurotic boss, narcissist parents or simply being surrounded by severely traumatized people, who can make your life very difficult. But even dealing with a psichopat, IMO to use violence (any kind) as resource should be maybe the last of the last choice (and even so I doubt that would be useful).

And in extreme situations being considerate and dead do not think is very useful, but it is individual choice, and those Indians in Castaneda s book where almost all exterminated, and giving due where due is needed does not always work, more correctly it works other way around most often, injustice rules on this planet, if majority of these Indians lived enough to see it.
If I remember correctly the "Indians in Castaneda's book" that were exterminated were the old seers who were disconnected from reality and lost blinded by power. The new seers developed skills learning from the mistakes of the old seers that allowed them to survive and transcend their human condition (well, at least this is what Castaneda tells us).
 
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