Sometimes, tapping into our real power begins with being stripped down to our core. When we lose the external props that used to hold up a false sense of self-worth, we may eventually find an inner strength we never knew existed. When unsustainable habits and shaky foundations of control crumble, we may find a more solid footing in deeper values to build from.
Power can be defined in many ways and seen from different perspectives. For some, power means control – control over others, one’s environment, and getting what you want, when you want it. The means of acquiring such control are often external – through more money, possessions, status symbols, sexual access, resources, weapons, empires…. From this perspective, having power may mean being the ‘top dog’, competing and winning (often at the expense of others).
Such a polarized view of power (‘I win, so you lose’) can be very short-sighted. Seeking immediate gains at the expense of long-term effects can blind us to the reality that such a power-game harms all of us, including those who perpetuate it, because it depletes the very source one is dependent on. Systems of control and oppressive cultural institutions ultimately exploit all people (the ‘dominators’ and the ‘dominated’) as they reinforce a survival mindset of lack to either submit to or overcome with force and manipulation.
10. POWER ~ Abuse & Authority
Essay by Katarzyna Vedah. May 1, 2019
But seeking control can also be about feeling helpless, and seeking power outside of ourselves can be a result of feeling that we have none within.
When we want power over someone or something, there may really be a part of us that feels empty or out of control. Taking resources, winning status and position, and dictating circumstances can make us feel more secure. Making others dependent on us, devaluing or dehumanizing them can make us feel more superior and valuable. But it’s never quite enough because we are never really ‘full’.
On the other end of the scale, we may seek strong and capable others to take the lead in our lives and relinquish our power and responsibility to those who have what we feel we lack. We may not have healthy boundaries to assert our value because on some level, we do not recognize it in ourselves. Rather, it is all too easy to project that value onto others and then find ourselves dependent on them for it, seeking their favor and approval.
All of us are capable of veering off in either extreme, with different people and in various circumstances. We all live on the spectrum of power, capable of becoming the perpetrator or the victim depending on the context. A balance of power can mean being responsible with its use, neither going too far out, (taking others’ self-authority away) nor too far in, (abdicating self-authority to others).
From this perspective, power is Choice. It is having respect for our own self-authority (as well as that of others), acknowledging our responsibility for its stewardship, and accepting the consequences for its use.
But power must be used ~ not denied, repressed or inflated ~ and how we use power is a choice each of us make every day.
“Just because you’re winning a game doesn’t mean it’s a good game.”
- Seth Godin. The Icarus Deception
Winners Take All (RSA)
Technodictators (Blank on Blank)
VIDEO (YouTube): Academy of Ideas
The Dark Side of Pleasure
Parallel Society vs Totalitarianism
VIDEO (YouTube): TED
RBG (West & Cohen)
(Paolo & Caouette)
(Achbar, Abbott, Bakan)
(Josh Tickell & Rebecca Tickell)
CREATIVE INSPIRATIONS TO ENGAGE THE CAPACITY TO FEEL
FILM (YouTube): Trailer
Idiocracy (Mike Judge)
American History X (Tony Kaye)
Experimenter (Michael Almereyda)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee)
VIDEO (YouTube): Spoilers!
Crouching Tiger – The End (Room A7)
Ideology of the First Order (Lindsay Ellis)
Fight Club Masculinity (Folding Ideas)
Æon Flux Animation (Mighty Mayhem)
ANIMATED SERIES / VIDEO: Trailer
VIDEO (YouTube): Pop Culture Detective
Introduction to Pop Culture Detective
HUMOR / VIDEO (YouTube):
Star Wars Undercover Boss (SNL)
Right to Hold This Turd (College Humor)
MUSIC / VIDEO (YouTube):
Madness & Dragons – Rachel Claudio
HEALTHY MENTAL OUTLOOK & PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT
BEHIND THE CURTAIN
ARTICLE / WEBSITE: Therapy Ideas
Manipulation & Relationship Triangles
BOOK: Controlling People. Patricia Evans
VIDEO (YouTube): The Little Shaman
You Need to Know About Narcissists
Common Behaviors of Toxic People
A Narc Can't Accept (Surviving Narcissism)
Cult-Like Systems (Surviving Narcissism)
Erosion of Culture (George Simon)
Toxic Relationship (Tracey Marks)
Narcissism vs Narcissistic (Tracey Marks)
Stop Manipulative Relationships (PESI Inc)
PNTV: Rethinking Narcissism (Optimize)
Real Narcissists: Warnings (Craig Malkin)
WEBSITE: 'Take the Narcissism Test'
BOOK: Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist. By Margalis Fjelstad
VIDEO (YouTube): Teal Swan
Narcissism & Codependency
PRACTICAL REINFORCEMENT FOR SELF-CARE & DAY-TO-DAY LIVING
& INNER AUTHORITY
Hive Mind - S. R. Cavanagh (Big Think)
Mob Mentality Worse Online (Seeker)
Unhealthy Work Environment (TED)
Social Thinking (Crash Course)
Social Influence (Crash Course)
VIDEO (YouTube): Freedom in Thought
Why Do We Obey Authority?
How to Master Your Emotions
VIDEO (YouTube): Mulligan Brothers
VIDEO (YouTube): Teal Swan
How Normalization is Hurting You
Acting with Power (Stanford Alumni)
Your Boundary Blueprint (Terri Cole)
Respond Instead of React (Terri Cole)
Impact the World: Terri Cole (Lee Harris)
Boundary Boss. Terri Cole
Acting With Power. Deborah Gruenfeld
Power and Innocence. Rollo May
EXPANDING PERSPECTIVES, AWARENESS & CONSCIOUSNESS
& STATES OF POWER
VIDEO: David Eagleman, IQ2 Talks
Re-humanization & Curbing Violence
Inspiration for Evil (TED)
Challenge of Being a Soldier (TED)
War Comes Home (California Humanities)
What It's Like to Go to War (Moyers & Co)
BOOK: TRIGGER WARNING!
Trauma & Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence – From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror. By Judith Herman.
VIDEO (YouTube): Crash Course
VIDEO (YouTube): Academy of Ideas
Psychology of Power: Dethrone Tyrants
How Ideas can Trigger a Mass Psychosis
How to Escape from a Sick Society
Dictator Psychology (Homeland Defense)
How to Avoid Hierarchies - A. Lukas (TED)
Power Paradox (Family Action Network)