Manipulation

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Manipulation

Postby basso on December 11th, 2005, 11:20 pm

We are trained from our early years to engage in manipulative behaviour, and so much of our manipulation is not “mean spirited” but rather is almost unconscious. In other words, there is very much a societal influence, biased in favour of manipulation of one form or another. There is, of course, the conscious type of manipulation that is practiced to bend others to your will, and is done so with little regard to the well-being of others. I do not see this type of manipulation on this forum, except maybe for a person who must not be named, and who doesn’t do it very well anyway.

In that it is ourselves doing the posting, there is that element of self (ego) that is invested therein. Being that we cannot escape ourselves, as long as we are living, then we are stuck with whatever inherently lies within. That there is a selfish nature to our person, is evidenced by the fact that we have all demonstrated selfishness when we became freaked out at the onset of our BFS. In other words, we selfishly did not wish to die, or to leave others grieving. So it would seem that our motives cannot always be altruistic, especially when we are consumed with our own mortality.

Manipulation implies influence, influence over something or someone. It has been stated, on another thread, that all postings are a form of manipulation; which in the broadest sense could be seen as true. In that, whether it is a cry for help, a post of inspiration, a quoting of facts, or anything else, there is an attempt to influence the other participant/s to react in some way or other. This indicates that there are degrees of manipulation; from “out and out” coercion to gentle coaxing. If I accept that this is so, then I must look at life as one business transaction after another. That is; I receive my payment from others when they respond to my influence, with an influence of their own that pleases me. If it does not please me, or I do not please them then the our business is at a stand still, or perhaps an end. If I have a dog that likes to bolt every time I open the door, and to rectify this behaviour I hit his snout with a rolled up newspaper when he does so, then I am manipulating him with the threat of harm. However, if I smile at someone because they are sad, and this in turn makes them smile back and feel a little better; then this would be a somewhat different form of manipulation than the one I used with good ol’ bowser.

We could say that we tacitly agree to some form of manipulation with each other, particularly when we have a self-interest in common. We both wish the same end point and so therefore there is no abridgement of the rights of either party. This common interest could be called “compatible manipulation,” or a relationship. There is only a problem when our self-interests conflict and therefore collide. One party, or both has breached the unspoken societal agreement by assuming that they may change what has been agreed upon through societal etiquette, or by deciding their means will justify their ends. In order for “the means” to remain in concert with each other, abrogating another’s rights to choose their own “means” can create resistance. The playing field becomes unbalanced if you will, if the needs of one then, supplant the needs of another through a bullying of emotions, or the more blatant, physical manipulation. In short, manipulation will not be felt as such if we are emotionally in tandem; in a dance where each partners are of equal value, or perceive they are, and where each step is followed by the appropriate counter-step. It is when someone steps on your toes that it would seem that all He ll can break loose.

Where does that leave altruism? How does our spirituality factor into the equation? Can a person give freely of themselves without any selfish desire? Does such a thing as unconditional love exist? Well, perhaps that might be left to part II of my essay, NOT :wink: .


Cheers,
Basso
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Postby wjjw on December 12th, 2005, 9:32 am

basso wrote:Where does that leave altruism? How does our spirituality factor into the equation? Can a person give freely of themselves without any selfish desire? Does such a thing as unconditional love exist?

Yes, it most definitely exists. The real question is—how many humans have achieved the level of development to be able to express it? Very, very few of us. Mother Teresa and Albert Schweitzer might be good examples of altruism.

Throughout history, there have been individuals who have achieved perfection and who have been able to “shine the Light” without any distortion by the ego. For the rest of us it will probably take hundreds if not thousands of lives to reach the goal. No one ever said it would be easy.

Cheers,
-Bill
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Postby basso on December 12th, 2005, 5:21 pm

You are right Bill, the altruistic amongst are all-too-few. However, I think that it is normal and natural for your average person to have moments of altruism. Despite our best laid plans, our societal indoctrination, and our fear, there is, born from the spirit of the cosmos, altruism; that passes through us and that we, in turn, pass onward.

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