Before I get into this I was contemplating, and it really is possible that some people don’t know when they are bullshitting anymore, they have bullshitted so very much that they can’t remember what it was like before. It is a staggering thought but not beyond the realms of possibility.
In claiming power, I am not talking about positional power, nor monetary power or power over other people in any way. I am referring to power in the sense of knowledge whereby some piece of knowledge, some intellectual understanding, is tested and found to work. In one sense stringing together some sentences to verbalize something in a coherent way, is to claim some knowledge about it. If you don’t understand it, you cannot verbalize from a standpoint of understanding. You might re-hash together stuff other people have said or written, but you would not grasp it yourself. There is the cut and paste essay, or plagiarism. Maybe you get a good grade, but this is not claiming power it is claiming marks. It this context it demonstrates that maybe you do know how to get around the rules. It does not demonstrate any mastery over the subject at hand. In this scenario one would know, hopefully, that one does not grasp the matter at hand.
There are activities humans engage in which are symptoms of the times. And one of these is lurking. This is, if I understand it correctly, an activity associated with social media. It did not exist in its current form until relatively recently. So not only are we monitored by state but by each other. It is a bit creepy.
It is a kind of closeted behaviour. People do this kind of thing for a whole host of reasons. They may be “I am not going to give X the satisfaction of knowing that I am reading his posts” or “I am cunning and clever” or maybe they are simply very introverted and seek not to interact beyond that. But like all types of closeted behaviour it has consequences. It is a lot easier for a gay man to be out than be in the closet. Many find in claiming their power as a gay man and coming out, a massive weight is lifted off their shoulders. What it says is that I have the right to be gay and live in an open way. As a rite of passage for gay men it has significance for the quality of life. It removes a furtive sometimes fearful element. There can be some unpleasant consequences, but they have stood up and that is a good feeling. They claim their power as a gay man. I have helped facilitate this on a couple of occasions.
Openness can be a very liberating experience.
But if one is habituated to shadow dwelling it can be frightening to stop lurking in the shadows and seek the light of day. There is a kind of glamour associated with being unseen and unnoticed. Perhaps we are all SAS or ninjas at heart, always on some secret mission? Only we aren’t. That glamour can be attractive and misleading.
To stand up and say I am here, this is me, warts and all; is to claim power. It is the kind of power which does away with the need to hide, to lie and to over-egg all the time. I am just like this and that is OK. I am not a superhero and do you something really secret? I have to a take a shit from time to time. Whether you believe me or not, this acceptance of how we actually are, is very relaxing. There is no need to spend hours putting on the make-up, so to speak. We get less fearful of comparisons and it is very good for our psychological well-being. We can drop the bullshit and the pretence, open the closet door and walk out. There is less need for endless drama, and if want it our boa is still there in the closet whenever we need it for Mardi Gras.
The fear, the terror, of exposure has passed. Overnight life becomes so much simpler and we have much more head-space because the congestion caused by all our paranoia is dissipated.
In this context we have to stop being covert and start being overt and open. This is a huge step for some, but it is one of the most liberating things which we can do for ourselves.
To claim power, we have to face a fear.
We may think we can do it, but until we do, there is no harvest. That power remains untapped out there as a theoretical possibility, it is not in our hands. When we have harvested we can benefit from the well-being that ensues.
Having cued this up:
Are there any fears which I think I could face but don’t yet know for certain?
What stops me from testing this?
If I do this could I find out if this geezer on the internet is making sense?