Thursday, November 13, 2014

Serge King on Power

A reader sent me this, which I thought was interesting especially because it discusses the different flavors and nuances of power. When I say that sociopaths enjoy power, a lot of people think of one or two, or even just a few different types of power (usually the kinds that they themselves covet or have experienced). I didn't realize this was such a popular misconception before. For instance, in the book I talk about ruining people. A lot of people thought this was destructive or sadistic. To me it was just a particular flavor of influence:

Power and Purpose by Serge Kahili King

The essence of power is influence. It is that which enables you to be effective at doing what you want to do, to get the results intended, to move others to help you, and it is that which affects the power of others even when it is unintentional. Everything has both active and passive aspects of power. A flower has the active power to grow, blossom and reproduce. It may also have the passive power to give food to a bee or pleasure to a human, both of which enhance its active power to grow and reproduce. A human may have the active power to perform a certain task. He or she may also have the passive power to inspire other humans by that performance.

There are several kinds of power: 
1. The power of energy (as of the elements, strength, emotions, vibrations). 
2. The power of favor [ability to give or withold] (as of money, position, prestige, affection, punishment, protection, pleasure, etc.). 
3. The power of intimidation (threat or act of violence or loss, emotional manipulation, etc.) 
3. The power of knowledge (as of skill, information, wisdom). 
4. The power of authority (as of self-confidence, or confidence in one's access to another power). 
5. The power of focus (as with decision, determination, motivation, desire). 
6. The power of belief (as with assumptions, attitudes and expectations).
Power, however, is meaningless without a purpose, and no purpose can be achieved without power. The larger the purpose, the greater the power, but it doesn't work the other way. You can't accumulate tremendous power first and then set about applying it to a great purpose. It is the purpose that expands the power.

. . . . Most have also encountered two major problems based on a misunderstanding of power.

The first problem is the false association of power with control. This error is very common, and is the main reason so many people are afraid of the whole concept of power. Actually, control is just a technique, and not a very good one, for exerting influence. Control requires the threat or the fact of punishment to be effective, and the response to that is always fear and anger. Therefore, the use of the control technique sets up a natural resistance to its use. If you look at the surface of a situation the control technique may appear to be effective, either in a family or a police state, but the underlying resistance is constantly working to undo it. Even if the situation lasts for many years, the control technique will produce a very poor record of achieving the desired results.

The second problem is the use of power against something. Now, exerting influence induces change, and the universe has a built-in resistance to change that helps to keep it from falling into chaos. In all of existence we can see a constant interplay between the forces of change and resistance to those forces. We also see constant attempts to reduce resistance in order to make change easier, such as the path taken by molten lava, the shape of a raindrop, the structure of a palm frond, the strength of an elephant, the streamlining of an airplane, and the altering of a lifestyle. Very rarely do we see power used consistently and purposefully to get rid of something, except among humans. Some people are not satisfied with developing their own religious or political system; they have to make theirs the only one by destroying the others. Some people do not want to compete; they want to eliminate the competition. Some people do not want to cure cancer or heal the drug problem; they want to make war on them. The use of power to willfully oppose, subdue or destroy another power generates tremendous stresses which reduce the effectiveness of both.

"Power over" and "power against" are very inefficient uses of power. A far more efficient use is "power to." The former are inherently destructive, while the latter is inherently creative. Sometimes the difference is as subtle as an attitude, but the effects can differ vastly.


  1. I wonder if you overlooked the 7th component of power, looking you right in the face. The power of indifference, which can create chaos- especially in those depending on you and can even destabilize entire systems. Our impulsive nature and lack of affect can create the most devastating of effects- the ones no one ever saw coming or bothered to prepare for. As seen in mother nature, there are two expressions of power: wrath in the form of a hurricane or those tidal waves the news wouldn't stop reporting on about a few years ago; and drought- killing off entire crops and creating the conditions for mass fire. This is of course the only form of power and influence you would have- not knowing you have it- until after exercised. Indifference of course in the case of which I am mentioning, is not something specifically withheld for an intended cause as in the case of the power of favor- but rather ruining someone without intent necessarily though still gaining advantage. One example- in neglecting to do the more menial tasks in the work place, you lose the company some money and another employee is blamed, you of course will not take ownership of the mistake (unless in doing so grants more influence in the form of favor from those in a higher position who might consider accountability of higher value than perfection in task performance) and this coworker is fired, possibly allowing a new promotion for you. Like a virus, which has no intent whatsoever to kill, can wipe out entire civilizations.

  2. This is why power over one's self, is the most important power.
    Take Casey Anthony. She lied about the whereabouts of her daughter, and she
    didn't show a trace of emotion. She was "sociopath cool." Among the coolest
    customers you'll ever see.
    Like many such people, she was not the least bit concerned about being in prison. She always retained COMPLETE composure while being questioned.
    Completely unfaised about the welfare of her child.
    Is it possible that she was shell shocked by "abuse" from her father and was
    able to maintain the charade for 3 years? If her behavior WAS sociopathic, when
    did it begin? Can a person be "sociopathic" for a limited amount of time, and
    then return back to "normal.?" If it's true "Once a Sociopath, ALWAYS a sociopath," how does one account for Casey's "normal" childhood until she was
    19 years of age? Did having her daughter at that age cause her to "flip out" and
    get her "fun" on the sly? She is the perfect human labatory for M.E. to study,
    and she can do it first hand, NOT just through books, or biased reports of others.

    1. «Can a person be "sociopathic" for a limited amount of time, and
      then return back to "normal.?"» - Borderlines can.

    2. I think if you hang around them, it is intoxicating and you get it.
      Some of them can overpower you, manipulate you to do things in a glamorous psychopathic way. However, let's say you have a breakdown from the alienation. If you survive, if you can be in a loving and safe environment, them restore your mental authentic state - healthy.


    3. "«Can a person be "sociopathic" for a limited amount of time, and
      then return back to "normal.?"» - Borderlines can."

      Anonymous, define normal. However, if you answer, think things through before doing so.

  3. POWER what a self-delusion. I bet the TAX collectors are in majority Psycho/Sociopaths. They think they have power, but they are just a bunch of "emotionless" slaves; very efficient though!


  4. I read the post. I read the comments. Today I am engaging in the power of indifference. I hope before the day is out, something, or somebody, has the power to stir me out of torpor. Go ahead. Give it your best shot. I'll tell you if you succeed. Maybe.

    I think I will kill something today. Probably just a gray squirrel. You can hope that is all.

    1. @ Radical Duesche- you so scarrwee! You're soooo Rad! run little squirrel!!!

  5. “…the universe has a built-in resistance to change that helps to keep it from falling into chaos.”

    Examples of power, some of which are delineated in this article, are limited only by the human imagination, intellect and innovative ability, because there are as many types of power as there are forms of energy, and when dealing with energy, we have yet to uncover all of its forms. At its purest base, power is energy. It is how that energy (positive or negative in the human mind, or breaking it down even further if discussing/applying physics) is CREATED, molded and, consequently, applied that makes a difference in this whole wide world or within a given microcosm. I believe that only an ORIGINAL form of power, stemming from the human mind and running on an equally-original source of energy, can ever be in tune with “mother nature” and lead to a more successful, favorable outcome – all without a possible breakdown along the way. In fact, it could go on ad infinitum.

    Negative energy leads to negative power: “Dare I disturb the universe in this way?” No, you shouldn’t unless you want to waste your time and fail.

    “…the universe has a built-in resistance to change that helps to keep it from falling into chaos.”

    When doing as I described, resistance from the universe will no longer be there. Clear, open way ahead.

  6. Radical Agnostic,

    What I wrote has nothing to do with megalomania on my part, and, better yet, ask yourself this simple question: Why are you thinking of what I described in terms of a disorder?

    Thinking in unique ways, being innovative and unleashing creativity has absolutely nothing to do with megalomania. I find that really ironic, because this is the way the universe works, the original forms of power and energy, as opposed to negative energy, being in tune with "mother nature" - all leading to a favorable outcome, having the possibility of stretching ad infinitum. Being original and confident is not tantamount to having megalomania - no connection whatsoever.

  7. M.E. Why did you delete the post on Attachment? It was good!

  8. I wonder why there are so few sociopaths here... Any ideas?

    1. Because the forum was deleted, I wonder where everyone went... if you know let me know por favor

    2. the forum is at

    3. Do you think it might also be related to the choice of topics and posts?

    4. Thank you Damaged!!!

  9. It is really astonishing, how notorious, serial, habitual the socio-personality is.

    One law seems to be valid for all of us:
    The lesser Jo's ability to feel joy by attachment and sympathy, the more he looks out for winning against all odds.

    Btw. Interesting me-post today.

  10. Power is a state of a mind; you have as much as you think you have. If you think you don't have it, then you don't have it.

    1. Doesn't work the other way around though.
      You can think you are the most powerful person in the world. But unless you have that power, you are simply a deluded fuckwit playing at being a big shot.

  11. I've always seen power as something to be built up over time.

    I have destructive urges from two main sources: envy and revenge. I find that these are motivating factors, and instead of using them destructively, I channel the generated anger on the destructive urges - I recognize that acting destructively will actually in the end give greater power to the people I am actively working against.

    It creates a bit of a paradox, and then I realize that the only option is to keep driving with even more energy and vigor to outperform and outmaneuver my opponents - and even use them in that.


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