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TOPIC: My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :)

My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 13 Mar 2012 09:30 #5926

Here's something I posted to the Diaspora* network today.

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The world is about half full of psychopaths harrassing the other half. Not just at work: in families, among friends, everywhere.

This applies to the outside of our skulls - i.e. society - as well as the inside - i.e. how we treat ourselves, how we perceive *everything*, in particular ourselves.

The way to deal with the psychopaths out there is to see them for what they are, step out of their game (run like hell if necessary), and always follow your first impulse ("heart" or "inner compass") instead of the rationalizations you learned. We learn by example, and most examples held up are psychopaths. This applies to all aspects of society, including spirituality and religion, philosophy and counselling.

Now you are thinking "this is paranoid bullshit", but remember the moment of recognition just before you thought that? That was your inner compass, your heart, whatever you want to call it. The thought "this is paranoid bullshit" is what the psychopaths will have you think. They don't have this inner compass, so they don't even know what this means, and for them, the rationalization is *all* that happens. They have no doubt. But that doubt is your way to safety.

Now you are thinking, "this piece of writing is messing with my mind, my world-view, this is manipulative". I have no vested interest in you. If you read this and I never hear from you, that's the best thing to happen actually.

The way to deal with your acquired psychopath inside yourself is again, to see it for what it is and step out of its game. You can't run like hell in this case, so it's a bit different, and confronting yourself and taking responsibility for your first impulse is hard - remember when you read the page I linked above, and you recognized yourself, and you thought, "oh shit, am I a psychopath myself?" You aren't, but you have been learning from them all your life, and have started to emulate them to some extent, and to identify with their game. Let me repeat this: who you think you are (what you identify with) is actually just your stake in a dysfunctional, psychopathic game which you can never, ever win. Again, follow your inner compass instead of the rationalizations, do what you immediately recognize as the right thing instead of what you then think you have to do instead, *even if the reasons seem convincing*. If you need to convince yourself against your first impulse, don't do it.

This is *all the law and the prophets*. This is the *one taste of the Dharma*. This is *true Will*. This is *the meek inheriting the world*. This is the true and simple meaning of "righteousness" (and how that word has been twisted and taken away from us and turned into a baton to crush any resistance and doubt). This is the road to happiness and out of the chaos and confusion and constant fear (of being exposed as inadequate, weak, not quite good enough, to be pitied) which is the baseline of the human condition.

You can use a short phrase to remember this moment of clarity you are having now. Whenever you are confused and miserable because you have no clue why the situation you're in is so shitty, say to yourself, *you're fighting it, let go*. Use your own words to express your intention to stop identifying with what you were made to believe is at stake - it's at stake only within the psychopaths game of manipulation.

Took me some time to realize this - all my life, in fact.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Florian

---

And here's me, always scorning "psychologized Dharma". But the Dharma is universal, and can be expressed in terms of pop psychology. The thing is, the kilesas (greed, hatred, delusion) are universal as well.

Have at it!

Cheers,
Florian
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 13 Mar 2012 10:31 #5927

This is a really good reminder.

The page you linked to has the estimate 1 in 30 is a serial bully. And I've heard that about 1 in 7 to 1 in 15 are sociopaths. And if someone looks closely at their own actions, they always "miss" just a little. I think the real challenge is to own the misses, let them register their complaint and wisdom, and continue to mature. You are so right that there is always a way to justify wrong actions because somewhere there is a person with credibility/authority that has done the same action and justified it some how.
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 13 Mar 2012 10:37 #5928

"If you need to convince yourself against your first impulse, don't do it."

This seems quite true.

The trick is to learn to hear that first impulse at all. Not the second one (which makes you want to hit someone, for example) but the one before that, where you were simply afraid. Or even the one before that, where there was simply someone standing over your desk yelling. ;)
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 13 Mar 2012 12:07 #5929

Hahaha!

I love you Florian Wepps
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 13 Mar 2012 21:45 #5930

Thanks, dear friends.

Cheers,
Florian
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 14 Mar 2012 12:52 #5931

Florian, you are very welcome. That was fascinating and I think the way you have applied the dharma to the psychology is very, very nice. I especially love this one little line you wrote, but as far as I'm concerned you should write a book about it:

"They have no doubt. But that doubt is your way to safety."
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 14 Mar 2012 14:35 #5932

I agree with Chris, Florian. That line says a lot.
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 15 Mar 2012 12:38 #5933

Florian, I just realized that mis-spelled your last name. I'm sorry.
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 15 Mar 2012 13:04 #5934

The more I think about what Florian has posted here the more I think that it may just be at the core of awakening. Somehow the veils of what really happens between human beings are pulled away and the reality is revealed. It ain't very pretty, frankly. I've been trying to figure put how to deal with this, at work, at home, all throughout my day. Do I just keep playing the game? That is an extremely unsatisfying answer. And if I stop playing the game then I have to be an adult, be responsible, own my own shit and deal openly, honestly and as compassionately as possible the the shit of others.

In my case this means a few things: one is recognizing the bully I can be. This requires being awake to that, and the courage to stop. Two, it also means not letting others get away with their manipulation. This is quite often just as difficult, as it means they will hate it when they're revealed and they'll pull out all the stops to discredit, demean and debase the new "enemy."

So this really struck a chord with me, Florian, and I thank you again or posting it here. I suspect this is the ultimate test of a human being - how to deal with all the shit compassionately. It's a major challenge that I told someone else yesterday people who have awakened to this reality MUST not back down from. I suspect that this is our unique gift to others.
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 15 Mar 2012 13:47 #5935

As I mentioned to Florian on another board where he posted this essay, having read it has been like having someone add a new light to a scene. I started becoming aware of how this game was played when I moved to New York, where the customs and behaviors of working in a corporate office were unfamiliar to me, giving me a bit of an anthropologist-on-Mars perspective. Everyone's just performing! I realized. I worked for and with dozens of cranky, impatient, fussy people with strange quirks. I started becoming aware of this strange theater we were all part of. One day, in fact, a strange man came to my boss' office door. He ignored me, knocked, was called in, and shut the door. A huge argument could be heard. Moment's later he left, turned around, and did it again. I then realized they were actually rehearsing a scene from a play (many of the people I worked around were musicians, actors, artists etc supporting themselves with office jobs). But part of this was realizing that much of the bluster and chest-thumping and whining was not about me, it was just a performance, and I could ignore the act and read the intention underneath it, and not get caught up in the game as much.

Years of therapy helped, too, in learning that I could say or do what felt right in my heart instead of being at the mercy of the fear (fear that others might deride my decision, abandon me, laugh at me, etc.) That fear is such a chain. And it takes such immense courage to walk into that fear and realize it is just fear. (ETA: and that courage, for me, really came from my meditation practice and experiences of awakening.) That you can walk right through it, feel it, and not die, not be harmed, not be torn apart by the fear. (There may be cases where you are at risk of physical harm from the other person, of course, but that is far rarer than situations where one is simply so afraid of the social and psychological repercussions of saying "bullshit" or "no" or "I'm outta here.")

I chatted with Florian the other day and one thing we talked about was how compassion is experienced. And I said for me, it is like the most infinite maternal embrace that can tenderly hold absolutely everything. It sometimes comes with tears, and sometimes has a fierceness to it. It is an utter opening of the heart, allowing all that pain and fear and grief to just be. I find those tears really beautiful.
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 15 Mar 2012 15:38 #5936

"I chatted with Florian the other day and one thing we talked about was how compassion is experienced. And I said for me, it is like the most infinite maternal embrace that can tenderly hold absolutely everything. It sometimes comes with tears, and sometimes has a fierceness to it." - ona

Do you find that compassion can have both masculine and feminine characteristics? Masculine being "tough love" and feminine the "warm embrace."
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 15 Mar 2012 16:04 #5937

@sunyata - I don't know. Guessing from your use of "tough love" and "warm embrace" I wonder if what you mean is about how compassion makes you act. For example, if a mentally ill person is stumbling around in the street and grabs you (not to kill you, but just grabs you in a bear hug (happened to me once)), you probably will want to remove their arms from your shoulders. But you can do that angrily, and insult them, because you are afraid; or you can do it with the smallest amount of force required - with firmness but without any anger or fear.

Embracing pain, fear and sorrow doesn't mean not taking action when action is the right response to a situation. It's not about passivity. In fact often it is about taking action, when (see Florian's essay) you might used to have been scared to say no, or stand up, or take action, because you were more afraid of what people might think than what your heart tells you is right.

It's more about being unafraid - not being frightened by the fear, not being scared of the grief, but being confident in the truth that comes from the heart.

Make more sense?
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 15 Mar 2012 16:08 #5938

(PS - I think the masculine/feminine distinction is not really that clear in real life. It makes sense in a stereotypical way, but most people I know don't really perform along such clear lines, so I tend to think it's not such a useful categorization anymore.)
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 15 Mar 2012 17:30 #5939

I think masculine/feminine is a pretty fluid characterization. It's interlocking rather than black-and-white binary, akin to the yin/yang philosophy. When I asked the question, I was thinking that compassion can be shown in a forceful way or in an overtly caring way given the needs of the situation. I don't think this is too far from what you are talking about. But then, I think there's also an element of personal development involved in what you are saying that enables you to act out of compassion/heartfelt need in the first place rather than succumbing to fear.

I agree: compassion is very much about taking action.
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 15 Mar 2012 18:28 #5940

The femine side of compassion is often nurturing or healing. It makes me think that the masculine side is protective in nature.

Protective - I like that. It's like the anger one feels at their child when she walks out into the street, inspiring a sharp yell: "No! Get back here, now! That's not OK, understand!?!?" This doesn't break down the person, but it might scare them into an immediate change in behavior. The reaction say, "I care about you, and I don't want you to get hurt!" There's a lot of compassion in that kind of anger; at least there can be.

I guess one question to ask, in deciding whether compassion is really behind the act or emotion, is "who is this in the service of?" If I react in anger to deflate someone, in the service of my self-concept, it probably isn't very skillful. If the response is in the service of the well-being of the other - and I mean it will FEEL this way, not just be framed in this way - than it's potential for being skillful is higher. Maybe.

Those of us who are not psychopaths are familiar with what I'm saying. There are those who do not feel empathic toward others, and this discussion will probably not resonate with them. This relates to what Florian was talking about, as well, I think.
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 15 Mar 2012 19:02 #5941

"
I guess one question to ask, in deciding whether compassion is really
behind the act or emotion, is "who is this in the service of?" If I
react in anger to deflate someone, in the service of my self-concept, it
probably isn't very skillful. If the response is in the service of the
well-being of the other - and I mean it will FEEL this way, not just be
framed in this way - than it's potential for being skillful is higher.
Maybe." -Jackson

I think as has been pointed out already we are often so used to acting for selfish reasons we don't even think about it. And I don't mean selfish=malicious. Think about how often you say something to someone so they'll pay more attention to you or praise you or think you are special or funny or smart or attractive etc. Or you behave a certain way to try to avoid making the other person criticize you, yell at you, give you a disdainful look, talk about you disparagingly, etc.

We are wired to live in social groups and we often prioritize being part of the group over what's right. This can be minor stuff (dressing a certain way to fit in at our job, nodding and smiling to please someone we disagree with) or major (harming others because our cult leader said to, refusing to leave an abusing relationship, etc.). Part of the courage it takes to change the game is to risk being cut out of the group. The fear of abandonment and isolation is sometimes so strong we are terrified to risk being disinherited, left out of the party invitation, fired from our job, divorced, disliked by our children or parents or friends...

Being fearless means taking that risk.
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 15 Mar 2012 19:32 #5942

I think everyone is part psychopath. Some more than others, of course, but we pick it up as a coping mechanism, probably about the same time we start developing a sense of a separate self.
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 15 Mar 2012 21:34 #5943

Dear friends

Wow - this got more resonance than I'd ever hoped. You people are wonderful!

On the Dharma Overground, I posted the same piece, and got involved in an interesting thread over there. Unfortunately, this means I have almost no time to participate over here.

Cheers!
Florian
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 15 Mar 2012 21:38 #5944

LOL - are we less interesting? :D

Oh well. Hugs.
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 15 Mar 2012 22:24 #5945

I'll take less interesting in favor of more resonance any day. Interesting could mean a lot of things, not all of them "good."

Off to view the DhO discussion....
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 15 Mar 2012 22:38 #5946

Isn't that rumored to be a Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times" ? Might be an urban legend. In any case, while we're having days of big love, I love you all, too.
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 21 Mar 2012 12:52 #5947

Awesome and pertinent essay and comments everyone. Jumping in late but just wanted to echo the courageous thoughts in this thread!

Following that heart compass and meeting my own and others' destructive and manipulative selfish actions and impulses with compassion, yes. Compassion as both strongly protective and warmly embracing, yes. And a big yes to the need to step up to the challenge of manifesting awakening in the World as a flow of authentic responsiveness that is both sensitive to circumstances and emerging from that clear initial intelligence.

The wisdom of empty impermanence, the naturally naked heart awareness, are incomplete without the courage to authentically engage in the flow of life from that awakened basis. Awakening isn't awakening without that engagement, in my view. And I can't engage that way without being very attentive to my own bullshit, and willing to confess it openly when it becomes apparent.

To enter into life fully without grasping at expectations, clinging to resentments, without manipulation. It's as simple as being honest with myself and others. In a space of authentic disclosure, there is no room for manipulation to happen. Even if that authentic disclosure is happening on only my side of the interaction, it renders me immune to the manipulations of others, because *being manipulated* requires I buy into the game of self-deception... And to actually meet another human being in that space-- that meeting is the basis for a new kind of world, an inter-subjective culture of awakening.
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 21 Mar 2012 13:32 #5948

Beautifully said, Jake. This whole topic is still rolling around in my head, applicable over and over every moment of every day.
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 21 Mar 2012 13:34 #5949

Shit, Jake, I might print that out and frame it. It's that good.
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My latest revelation. I'll be ranting at the corners next :) 21 Mar 2012 15:56 #5950

Oh wow, thanks Ona ;) That's really kind of you to share that. Maybe I'll read it again myself...
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