Archive for power

Sex: right on the money

Posted in Happiness, love, Monasticism, Powermongers, Relationships, Religion, sex, society, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2009 by wizardsmoke

What do people want to gain from sex itself? In no particular order:

  1. Physical intimacy
  2. Emotional fulfillment
  3. Power

The first is obvious: people want physical contact, warmth, friction — in other words, sticky mucus-membrane pleasure. The raw deal! Another human being to hold, a person to touch. Black-out orgasms, flitting eyelids, gasping for air. This is not a necessary condition of love.

The second is trickier. The problem with these factors, is that the lines blur between them, or what they achieve. Many of us have emotional needs which we hope to fulfill through sexual contact. This often has to do with psychological issues, upbringing, genetic traits, our need for stability or excitement, etc. But there are some, who, because of their emotional state, require power-trips in order to derive emotional fulfillment from sex.

At the basic level, power, for the respective sexes (heterosexual terms for the moment), is that a women wishes to have the power over a man’s desire, via attraction, whereas a man desires the power to dominate a woman via penetration. Some people are different — they want influence over others via their mate, they want to be able to manipulate others with their prowess, they want to control the desires of another to gain self-esteem.

You can call it cynical, but as far as sex goes, I think this is the basic score. The error is not that sex is bad in of itself, but that people actually seem to think sex is a defining factor or catalyst for love. Love exists outside of sex, but can be triggered by sexual intimacy for many. The problem is that this love is limited and can be unreliable if this is it’s basis. Oh well — at least sex is fun.

I think in modern western society, sex has become a game more than a necessity. It’s not really a sin, just an indication of social blatancy and the phasing of the human experience. People who primarily seek power from sex often acquire it from groups of strangers, whereas those who seek emotional fulfillment often acquire it from within their social circles (perhaps a modern stand-in for arranged marriage). Obviously there is not such a clearly defined reason for why people seek sex, but this is a rough sketch of what I have observed.

I don’t think sex is taboo from a mystical standpoint. As one ages, the sex drive naturally fades away and one can spend more time in contemplation. I think religions, with their codes of celibacy were often ways to control unkempt desires in society, especially at times when birth control was crude or non-existent. Especially if many marriages were arranged, or relied on social ties, orphaned or outcast males might have been inducted into a monastic life either temporarily or permanently to keep them from causing trouble. I have no historical facts for this basis, of course, which will horrify empiricists and evangelicals alike (all according to plan).

I don’t believe sex is the “point” of life, or the greatest pleasure, or something to be pursued eternally. Many people have seriously dysfunctional sexual habits, just like many have harmful inclinations towards violent behavior, lying or stealing. These are other reasons for religious tenets, but people cannot be helped unless they wish to change on their own.

Sexual desire is the driving force of nature, whereas the belief (or hope) in a future tranquility or contentment is the bait. Sexual desire does not beget the bait, because the bait is a natural illusion to spur our trajectory forward, and thus enact nature’s drives. Sex is the motivator to reproduce, by giving the emotional illusion of providing long-term fulfillment.



Posted in love, New Age Baloney, Relationships, sex and violence, society, Stayin' Alive, World of Emotions with tags , , , on August 27, 2009 by wizardsmoke

Today I took the time to muse about power! In my mind, power indicates a kind of social separation — perhaps social isolation. To attain power, one has to focus the mind one-pointedly on that goal to the exclusion of other things. I’m being deliberately vague by using the term “power” because it can refer to lots of different kinds of power: financial/political/social power, physical/sexual power, intellectual/mental power, etc.

Power indicates the ability to force other things against their will, to temporarily go against the laws of nature. Certain religious philosophies try to affect the individual by reprogramming the mind to go against the impulsive avenues the human ego uses to try and sustain itself in life — grasping for a tangible immediate control over one’s surroundings. But power does not last anyway — power fades and abandons the user in time, because power is a temporary flux of momentum.

But who loves weakness? Nobody finds that attractive, except bullies. Our artistic and cultural feedback often isolates (romantic) love instead as the experience closest to giving existence a tangible meaning, and perhaps in some way, love is complete abdication of power — beyond weakness, even. Love is the switch that bypasses the ego’s need to assert itself. Sexual desire is often conflated with love, for love is the term to indicate this experience that is so foreign to some that it only appears in their sexual proclivities.

Power has no healthy place in society — and love is the abdication of power. The more shallow the drive for power, the more blatant and anti-social it becomes.

Summer Grass

Posted in Asceticism, Beauty, Buddhism, death, Fighting, martial arts, Monasticism, Poetry, Reality Bites, Religion, The Arts, Ultimate Reality, Wizard Quotes with tags , , , , , , , on October 17, 2008 by wizardsmoke

A good Basho poem, one which Hatsumi is prone to quote (or have translated), goes:

The summer’s grass
all that’s left
of the warriors’ dreams

Which I kind of like. ‘Coz so many people are obsessed with violence and combat to the extent that it holds them back from upward social mobility. And then some people are so obsessed with power that they forget about the world around them. Strange that it is so hard to actually live in the world as it is, even though that’s all we can do.

Like the good quote on Whiskey River the other day:

In the tea ceremony, the expression “once in a lifetime, this one encounter” is often used. The usual way this is interpreted is “a one-and-only encounter.” In Zen, though, we interpret this expression in the following way: In the course of our lifetime, there is one person we must meet. No matter through which grasslands we may walk or which mountains we may climb, we must meet this person. This person is in this world. Who is this person? It is the true self. You must meet the true self. As long as you don’t, it will not be possible to be truly satisfied in the depths of your heart. You will never lose the sense that something is lacking. Nor will you be able to clarify the way things are.

This is the objective of life as well as of the teaching of Buddhism – to meet yourself. –Sekkei Harada

But you know… the quote would have really blown my mind had one line been slightly different: “This person is this world.”

No more tears

Posted in Beauty, Buddhism, Christianity, Cults, love, Reality Bites, Relationships, Religion, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , , on September 7, 2008 by wizardsmoke

In some sense, romantic ideals create delusions of purpose and concrete meaning (romanticism carries a notion of “victory”). Even positive romantic sensibilities — the desire to help others, to save others, to create balance, to liberate everyone, to change the world — these are all romantic fantasies. They often have little to do with the present moment and result in emotional states. Real compassion isn’t necessarily defined by lending out a helping hand or martyrdom.

Romance is often queued by cults and manipulative propaganda in order to ensnare victims in an agenda. The romance of having a divine message or purpose, of doing good or committing justice… this is all so fishy! Ah, not that these things are wrong, but… Romance — just that word which we commonly attribute to dramatic or loving sexual relationships — it is the transmission of a captivating and powerful message which one longs to believe in.

But to get to the bottom of it all, one goes beyond even romance. Romance has an agenda at the end of the day. Sure, everything has a romantic angle. Even the most profound practices have to start with a romantic motivation. But real (natural) power, once it starts to appear in one’s experience, comes from going beyond romantic notions. Romance is like a welling or surging wave of emotion in the mind which makes one temporarily blind and vulnerable to the will of another. The romantic notion is an attractant, a torrent which lures one into its whirlpool. It can often be another’s vanity reflected in our own mind.

Still, it’s kinda funny, because without any romance in the first place, there’d be no beauty in life and no obstacles or waves to overcome in building up natural power. Isn’t that right? We all cry about how painful life is, but then we all want the pain in order to prove how strong we are by overcoming it all and subsequently telling other people how great we are.

Heart of the Cult (Part I)

Posted in Cults, Doom and Evil, Relationships, society, World of Emotions with tags , , , , on April 21, 2008 by wizardsmoke

It is of interest to question the origin of “hate groups” or malicious organizations. This includes Nazism, fundamentalist religious groups, terrorists, gangs, college fraternities, Satanic and black magick groups, cults and so forth. Under what pretext do they exist? Power in numbers and fear. Of course, the fear originates not necessarily from the things they claim to hate; it is rather a fear of the powerlessness or insignificance of the self.

Outside of society’s norms and laws, the basic tenet of existence is: might makes right. For even the laws which seem to protect the weaker individual interests, are still just the power schemata imposed overhead by a dominant group. Of course, the maintenance of power and the seizure of power are very different modes of operation. Good historical examples include the Yuan Dynasty of ancient China. The Mongols were exceptionally skilled at melee combat, but were absolutely terrible at ruling a (foreign) country.

Unfortunately, the quest for power — particularly worldly power — is a futile quest. No matter how tough one can become, one is powerless against a gun. No matter how good one is with a firearm, one is powerless against a militia. No matter how well-trained a militia, it is powerless against a better-funded and organized army. No matter how powerful an army, it is powerless against a country it depends upon for resources, trade and sustenance. Eventually, obsessive power is balanced by the intervention of nature itself.

Basically, hate groups offer a promise of protection to its members. Members often join because they themselves have been the victims of abuse, or violent or hateful crimes. Since the group enforces local violence, it seems less likely that one will be the target of violence. This has a romantic notion too — a sense of power or pride in one’s community, that one is feared for one’s associations. On the other hand, if one does not join their ranks and their “protection” one is prey to their crosshairs.

This dynamic is something of an absurd irony — out fear of being prey, one supports the very ideas which prey upon others. This seems to pervade communities the world over — if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. This is a manifestation of the heart of every cult (and isn’t everything a cult ultimately?), in which the individual becomes reshaped in the image of the cult. Another way of defining this is saying the individual becomes “possessed” by the gods or ideals of the cult. It works a bit like enculturation, but even further ingrained in the individual spirit.

Incidentally, cults and hate groups draw people in at their weakest. For some people this is in their youth and adolescence. While reading through The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft last month, I was struck by how many sorcerors and witches were initiated into their practices as children, by old men or women. Preying upon a child is a serious crime because a child is so easily manipulated and reshaped. The abuse enacted upon a child becomes the earliest tools used to relate to the world at large. As mentioned before in regards to gangs, victims of abuse or initiation often continue the cycle by in turn committing the same acts upon another.

This is similar to the way cults and hate groups coerce new members while they are in periods of self-doubt or serious emotional distress. People in the wake of tragedy, new emotions, loneliness or in need of guidance often are desperate for someone to rely upon.

I would say that the openly angry youth culture of the present comes largely from an extreme fear, an extreme insecurity and defensiveness against a world that is becoming ever more competitive and yet simultaneously devoid of imagination. Anger brings a very romantic association with it and is a very persuasive quality for those unprepared to fend it off. Anger desires submission to its whims, and like all romances, is very persuasive with its agenda. If one is afraid of possessing inferior strength, intelligence, wealth or power, then hate can seem like a viable means of warding off predators. Unfortunately it also makes one blind and forgetful, much like lust or greed.

Where does hate come from? The Christian world designates evil as some kind of in-born malice, but many people today recognize that negative actions can come from negative home, school and social environments. Environment as a root factor doesn’t explain everything, but it proves a point: a person’s character cannot be the result of any one single cause.

I <3 the Beast

Posted in Reality Bites, Relationships, Religion, sex, sex and violence, society with tags , , , , , , on March 25, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Why are parents so proud when their kid likes the same thing they do? Does it reinforce their egotism or does it fool them into thinking their loves are more righteous than those of others? Whenever my dad would catch me reading books as a kid, he’d say periodically that he was proud of me. He’d say that it was good that I was reading books. Okay, but why is reading or writing good? I ask in the ultimate sense. Because aren’t the things in life that we deem to be “good” just those things we happen to love? The things we think are good are the conclusions or experiences that we attach to for ourselves and as ourselves. It’s problematic though, because how much of what we experience and attach to actually has anything to do with free will? How much of it isn’t just emotional or samsaric brainwashing?

Another thing I thought about as a kid (this is turning out to be quite the autobiography!) was how society views its carnal passions and goals. You know, the crazy fact that everyone is not-so-secretly an animal in origin, but we like to think we’re more than animals. Men and women hang out together and act all formal, but then they go home later and behave like animals! Not that people should publicly do this, but every member of humanity is trapped upon the gradient of animal life to some degree. It’s not like the aggression of wall-street investors or business majors are much different from that of wolves and gangsters. They’re just wearing a different mask, playing by society’s rules and formalities, and appear more sophisticated. And maybe they are, since they fool (some of) us!

Surely I am not so base as to advocate that people just embrace their animal instincts, being violent or aggressive or giving into desires whenever they want. That would be kind of dumb because it would make us blind. That’s like, stuffing the eyes and ears and forgetting those senses exist.

And yet everyone does that! Seriously, our society profits off of this kind of thing! Funny how the message to the masses back in the day was, “shut up, do your work, don’t ask questions, don’t desire much” but now it’s “follow your nose to all the power, money and sex you can accumulate!”. The new ideal is stupid because it totally blinds people to everything but their own carnal drives.

At some point, society used to agree that power, money and sex were unwholesome life pursuits, but now that everyone in power loves those things and thinks they’re “good” and wants their kids to pursue them too (they want them to be just like Pops!). Ah, but I guess people have always done that, it’s just that at some points in prosperous nation’s timelines that the masses don’t publicly/openly venerate the concept of striving for power and sex. Uh-oh, now I’m making generalizations I’ve been known to criticize — talking about the existence of some ideal past civilization. Never happened!

Hence I am left to wonder: why do people get so emotionally attached to their animal drives, and why are we so afraid to give them up? The difference between humans and animals is that humans try to reason out some emotional or intellectual virtue (ha!) behind following these drives, and they thus believe they have some modicum of control over them too. But isn’t the only real control — real freedom — not giving into them? And how do we escape this conundrum of imprisonment?