Friday, September 18, 2009

Charisma & The Illusion of Power

Power, as an illusion, represents the idea that power is not created or conjured up, but transformed from one reality to the next. Reality is represented by one's mindset. Internally, nothing has changed, but externally, all has changed. Take for instance the idea of a rare and precious painting selling for millions of dollars years after the death of the painter. In life, the painter was a struggling artist who had rejected materialism and worldly possessions. The most he ever sold in his entire life was one painting for very little compensation. Over one hundred years after his death, on May 15, 1990, Vincent Van Gogh's (1853-1890) "The Portrait of Doctor Gachet" sold for an astounding $82.5 million! What changed from his last brush strokes over a hundred years? The answer is nothing! The painting is the same, but our reality of its worth has been transformed. The power behind the painting lies in the illusion that we ascribe to it. The painting did not change merely the power that we gave it.

Power is often the creation and maintenance of illusions. William Shakespeare (1564-1616) once said that he did not create new words, he merely took old words and made them new. His power and words have lived for nearly four hundred years. Power is a sought after force that is often misunderstood. More often than not, individuals treat the concept of power separate from themselves. They look to gain power by external means such as the accumulation of money, fawning over people believed to be powerful, or pretending to be something they’re not. Actually, the last perspective is the closest to gaining power, because it does begin with the individual perceiving himself as powerful, but in a more visceral sense. Power is not some obscure entity that must be wrestled from its captor so that the individual might enjoy its rewards. On the contrary, power is always present and seeks to accompany all that will have it. It often acts like the prudish schoolgirl who wishes to be romanced before she gives into her suitor. Often times, the best way to get her is to act disinterested and she will cater to your deepest desires. Power wants to be possessed, because it has no utilitarian value by itself. It is pure energy existing without any purpose other than the one we give it. Power in its purest form is the amalgamation of the intellect, creative expression, and physical action. Thus the essence of human kind is to usurp power for its own good. The birthright of humankind is to exercise power to dominate the earth for its betterment. All this rests with the individual realizing that power devoid of expression is an illusion.

The attainment of power begins by acknowledging that the expressions can be manipulated to bring forth power. It is safe to say that one must be the symbol of power before he can reap the benefits that power brings. The three ways that the individual may manifest power are:

· Think in terms of power
· Become the embodiment of power
· Talk directly to people who represent power

Related: Charisma

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