arrogance

My Old Lectures

Sometimes, I’d like to disown some of the lectures I’ve written. Like when someone references it in a discussion. Or when I happen to be revisting some of my own, and see one that’s gotten worse with age. Fortunately the ones this usually applies to, with how far back they were written and the age I was, that’s not to much of a real issue… It’s not that I ever really want to pretend it was someone else that wrote them, it’s that I’ve come far enough in my understanding and actual practice that I pretty much just look down my nose at those past writings. None of them are that bad either, to be honest; especially not for what they were at the time.

Some of them, I even have enough fondness for to rewrite. I did that with The Necessity of Power. It’s just that I’ve come so far since writing things like Power, Arrogance, & Corruption and The First Line: The Lie, I hardly know where to begin when I think about revisions. They seem so alien to me, and clumsy as hell. The message wasn’t conveyed clearly enough, the tone wasn’t as confident or definitive. When it comes to catologuing though… whether they fall under the category of what I’m talking about here or not, it would be nice to have some of the dates for when I wrote them. A select few… their age really ought to show as much as possible, because they’re just so far off from what I might say now.

That is, if they’re included, because in the end maybe they just don’t deserve to be archived or preserved. Case in point being with something like Power, Arrogance, & Corruption. You could probably find it somewhere anyways, with enough research. But as far as making an effort to keep it “logged”, so to speak, it just isn’t good enough to include. I kind of revisited the same things I wrote about recently in Arrogance & Modesty, and while that’s far from what I’d consider an adequate ‘replacement lecture’, it still gets across a more up to date understanding of arrogance than what I had back when I wrote my first contribution to the written lectures of the Sith.

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Notables of 2013

Oh what to say – or even think – about the past year, for this blog. I usually don’t reflect on it that much, and I definately haven’t done so in “proper” blogging fashion. There was one post, probably the first year Maleficus Amor existed, where I listed a few things I was looking forward to – (which, by the way, I very much enjoyed, with one exception). But I rarely do well timed holiday posts to say Merry Christmas (for instance). So I guess this year must be a fluke, because I did a holiday post on the 25th and here you are, reading this.

So, how was 2013? In terms of this blog, it wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great. Writing posts here is a secondary priority at best, and often times it doesn’t even make it that high up, proving to be a distant question mark on the list. With how much this place has been neglected though, ultimately… it hasn’t been half bad. Hell, so far the tally now is up to over 20,000 views. No, all things considered that’s not bad at all. Given that, I guess I’ll furnish some highlights in ‘celebration’ (or whatever) of the past year here…

Notables of 2013

Feeling Darkness
A Monster
Chains of Shimmersilk
Apprenticeship
The Critics’ Trap
Arrogance & Modesty
Where’s Your Focus?
Sojourn

As far as other websites go… there’s plenty to tell, I suppose, but overall things have worked out pretty well thus far. That’s the long and short of it, for the moment. If you want to find out more about them you can always sign up at one of them (Order of the Sith), but I’m sure I’ll end up touching on that stuff here before to long into the new year, so if it’s of any interest you can also just wait for that to happen. In fact, you can probably expect something by tomorrow, if not within the next few hours. In any case, that about does it for this post.

Ladies & Gentleman…
Happy New Year.

Arrogance & Modesty

There’s something to be said for demureness. Brazen, unapologetic arrogance has been all the rage at times, but it doesn’t suit me. Of course that’s far from saying I’m humble (lower, or less than), or that I’m lacking in arrogance, but pride, confidence and modesty aren’t mutually exclusive.

For me, their co-mingling has always been the most to my liking, the most honest demeanor I’ve been seen to embrace and express. It’s an interesting shift in perspective on this, for me, if I look at how it’s changed over time, because years and years ago I wrote what was probably my first ‘lecture‘ (entitled Power, Arrogance, and Corruption) and the essence of it was a warning about the danger to oneself and ones progress posed by becoming arrogant (the tell-tale sign that power had corrupted).

Somewhere along the lines though, I ended up on the other side of the spectrum. It started to look to me as though humility was a cop out, a nifty device to fall back on; in other words, a person being humble only acted that way because they couldn’t handle the baggage that comes with arrogance, and they didn’t want to admit that their weakness – their inability to act or feel secure in their sense of importance – was the reason.

On some level, I still think that’s right on the mark, but what I’ve since realized is that the two (arrogance and modesty) aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s one of those things that seems like it should have been obvious, but it took a while to fully dawn on me. Not to long ago, I was of a like mind to something David Edge said…

Pride and arrogance are so easy a child can do them, seemingly. The problems people have with pride and arrogance is that it is NOT easy to do, at least not well. So, in an effort to mask inadequacywe have conceptualized humbleness. People think its better to claim theyre not playing than to admit they play poorly.”
~David Edge

At first glance the statement he made didn’t seem to me to leave any room for humility or modesty; that is, if you were someone that could ‘play well’. If that is really what’s meant by it, then from that perspective any sign of humbleness or tendencies to be unassuming becomes anathema, signs that you play poorly and don’t want to admit it. At least that’s the way I took it for a while, kind of on the other end of the spectrum from my earlier views, and I came to agree with it. But my view of all this has changed as I’ve reflected on it lately.

The way I see it, arrogance tempered by modesty is playing par excellence, because I still have an underlying belief that I’m better than others, but I don’t usually assume that about any specific ‘somebody’ I meet or talk to or don’t know. I’m very unassuming in that sense, in that I take people as they are. It just doesn’t take away from the underlying belief I have that I’m better than other people, generally speaking.

As far as the cost of such a stance… if I interact with you, whether it’s the first time we’ve had an exchange or it’s the thousandth, my view and attitude towards you specifically isn’t going to be affected in a ‘bad’ way by my ego. If I don’t know you, then I don’t know you, so there’s no reason to say “I’m better than you” or, really, even think it, because I wouldn’t know (yet). And if we’re talking about someone I know, then what I think about who’s better than who is going to depend on context and on what I know about that person.

(Written awhile ago, still more or less applies…)

My Name Is…

Thanks to Stef (author of one of the blogs I read from time to time: Dodging Commas) I found a questionare kind of ‘poem’ where it lays out a format for a type of “name poem”. Seemed like a fun bit of word play, so…

Draconis
It means likeable, violent, and subversive.
It is the number 7.
It is like a dulled down, wellused leather hide.
It is the completion of a brilliant work, and the resultant blank slate for something new, something fresh.
It is the memory of my father.
Who taught me arrogance and secrecy.
When he made me his confidant, and showed no shame in breaking laws, rules, and social norms as he saw fit.
My name is Draconis.
It means that I hide my arrogance well, that I charm and persuade, and that I am better than you.

(Above might need to be played with a bit more.)

If your interested in the format, you can check out Stef’s post, it’s a hell of a lot easier to find it there than on the site she originally found it on – which, by the way, she links to if you want to look at some of the other kinds of poetry listed on it. I don’t know whether I really like these sorts of poems… I like rhyming, but open-ended formats with some structure are a nice change sometimes, if only for something different than the usual.

I’d thought about putting my grandfather in there, but my Dad felt more right for it in this case. He taught me every cuss word he knew when I was five or six, and where/when they would get me in deep shit, smoked pot around me and trusted I wasn’t stupid enough to blab about it to anyone, and to this day almost never backs down from doing what he wants to without shame or apology, no matter how stupid or impractical it might seem.

For all our differences over the last decade or so, I have a lot of respect for him and the way he lives his life, and a lot of what I learned and who I became was shaped, in both large and in small ways, by the way he treated me and taught me when I was little.

Haha, all in all, throwing this ‘poem’ together was a fun way to spend a few minutes. You can consider this another case of Idle Word Play.

(Written November 28th, 2012)

Cruelty Ain’t Weak

“All cruelty springs from weakness.”
~ Seneca

You know, I read this on twitter and my knee-jerk reactionary thought was this: “Bullshit.” And then I started to wonder why. See, I’m not a particularly cruel or sadistic person, but I have no problem with cruelty, don’t feel that it’s “bad”, and feel no shame for my willingness to be cruel when and where the urge to act on malicious urges strikes me. And in my experience, if you think it springs from weakness you’ve over-thought it. There doesn’t have to be a reason, or any sense, or anything inherently wrong with it. The need for that, far more than the capacity for cruelty, springs from weakness. 

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This (above) is as raw and unfiltered as I can be haha, I didu’t think it out as I was writing, and I’m not going to think about it before posting. If I’ve got more to say, I’ll just say it in rjother post. I’m sure if I have the (intuitive) sense that there’s anything wrong with my reasoning, it’ll bubble to the forefront of my mind and make itself known.

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I didn’t hit publish after I was done with this, so here’s some more (below) basically starting from right where I left off in the first paragraph…

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So does the unwillingness to be cruel, as well as the condemnation of it – whether because your scared or you can’t back your shit up or impose it when push comes to shove (which is still usually a fear-based approach, funnily enough), or for some other reason – you don’t have the strength or the backbone to be mean or cruel, so you avoid impulses, desires, and urges to act in such a manner.

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Damn. I lied, I’ve got more to add (below), starting with another quote from someone a little brighter than dear old Seneca…

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“Pride and arrogance are so easy a child can do them, seemingly. The problems people have with pride and arrogance is that it is NOT easy to do, at least not well. So, in an effort to mask inadequacy – we have conceptualized humbleness. People think it’s better to claim they’re not playing than to admit they play poorly.”
~David Edge

This is basically the same idea as the way I look at cruelty as far as people who’d rather appear kind or nurturing all the time. It’s easier to mask inadequacy – that is, the inability to be cruel without shame and/or with the capacity (or willingness to try) to survive the consequences that might follow from being cruel – by demonizing cruelty and conceptualizing humaneness, kindness, mercy, compassion,politeness, etc. and placing those on a pedestal. As with pride, people generally prefer to claim they’re not playing, or that they’re above playing, thav to admit they play poorly.

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*laughs*, I seem to have gone on a bit of a tangent. Oops. But yeah, those are just the thought a flowing as sort of a gut reaction to being slapped in the face with that silly philosophers quote.

Dark Quote | David Edge

“Pride and arrogance are so easy a child can do them, seemingly. The problems people have with pride and arrogance is that it is NOT easy to do, at least not well. So, in an effort to mask inadequacy – we have conceptualized humbleness. People think it’s better to claim they’re not playing than to admit they play poorly.”
~ David Edge, Dark Knight of the FA

Gateways

There’s a lot of things over the years I’ve become temporarily obsessed with, inspired by, or otherwise intensely engaged in. Drugs and partying, that was a fun interest for awhile. Still is every now and then, though usually without the drugs now – I generally just stick to alchohol and cancer sticks. Magick, it seems, is an ongoing affair – it waxes and wanes, but definately seems a long-term interest. The works of Friedrich Nietzsche is another. Bonsai had my attention for awhile, as have a number of religions… and poetry of course. Lavey, numerology, Mark Twain, Wicca, Christianity, Serial Killers, etc. I could go on and on. And that’s only one dimension of what I’m about to talk about, hopefully one that’s more visible, that more clearly illustrates what other subtler examples might fail to show.

Marilyn Manson is one such Gateway. Were it not for my interest in his artwork (both audio and visual), his outlooks, and the man himself, there are a number of things I wouldn’t have come across or explored when I did (if I would have at all). It was through his active use of numbers throughout his career that sparked a short bout of research and interest in numerology, his use of symbolism that led to a more thorough understanding of what can be done with artwork, how things can be weaved together; hell, I even furthered my understanding of certain esoteric practices and alchemical processes.

My understanding and appreciation for the subtleties and application of the Sith Code is… intimate, has a basis in personal experience, and continues to serve me well because I walked through the Gateway of a training program offered by the Sixth Dynasty of the Dark Aspect. I’m familiar with the works and have put to use the methods of Austin Osman Spare, and did so after Khaos mentioned the name. I’ve experiemented with ideas, outlooks, and practices originating from Carl Jung because of the interest I had in the results Miles had reaped from efforts with himself and his apprentices. The Lore represented a Gateway through which I became Sith. Part of the purpose the Dark Lecture Hall will come to serve may be in acting as a Gateway, created and put to use by Masters of the Seventh Dynasty.

This isn’t an angle newcomers or students always think of, but it’s there, just under the surface and seen by those that can see it. They’re everywhere, and are often walked through without really being noticed. Not that being noticed necessarily matters… in fact, that’s a reason why it can be useful, the perceptive ones can exploit and manipulate the things that most are blind to. Holding a thing up to diplay so others can see proof of your cleverness isn’t always the best course of action to be taken. Part of the price for this is that you don’t always get recognition from others for what you do, you don’t always get credited for your labors or the fruit they bare.

Misc. Musings…

Perfectionist Tendencies

The thing with doing a lot, aiming for quantity… I wonder if that’s what I ought to focus on for a while. At this point, working for good quality is so ingrained, so… natural (though I hesitate to use that word, it seems true enough), what I tend to put out in sheer output is generally pretty damn good in quality to. That is, when I apply myself to churning things out. I get absorbed in getting things closer and closer to “just right” though. I’ve explored this a bit before in my (online) journal and training holocron, so to avoid I’ll summate what it comes down to: I’m good at things. That’s just a fucking fact, one I need to come to terms with. I still have that inward cringe, the doubts when I think like this: “isn’t that a little pretentious, a little arrogant?” And you know what? Yeah, it is. So!?

I can devote a little energy towards being more productive, on putting out more when it comes to quantity – or frequency. And even if half of what I do or write is rubbish, I’m perfectly capable of distilling, of… harvesting. Some seeds don’t grow – some notes don’t go beyond the status of jumbled, fragmented notes. Others blossom.

I’m better than I like to allow myself to think I am, in many areas. I’m competent at the very least, and taking on more can only help me to expand and grow. At least that’s the working theory for the moment… It fits with what I know through experience already.

Now, at this point, I’m not really sure whether to commit to anything solid. Most of the time, I try to keep commitments minimal, I tend not to keep them. On the rare ocassion I give my word, I like it to mean something. I also tend to feel confined by them, and I like to limit that. Huh… actually, that sounds like I’m trying to stay comfortable. I guess that’s a point in favor of making a decision and solidified intent.

There’s also that I feel guilty when I don’t live up to what I say I’m going to. Course, when it comes down to it not commiting to anything in order to avoid the possibility of failure – or success and the responsibilities or expectations that might bring – that is a pretty weak way of doing things.

Failure is an oppurtunity for learning and trying to step it up or change directions a bit; alternatively, succeeding serves to heighten people’s expectations of me. With the latter… why am I concerned with people’s expectations of me all of the sudden? I thought I’d covered this ground already – definately seems like I’ve been here before. Here’s what I (ought to) know: it’s fine, even good for myself, to be aware of what people expect, and even to accept it as motivation sometimes, but when it comes right down to it my own expectations are the only ones that matter.

Fuck… if this is a board game, I sure pulled myself a backwards card and went back a few spaces. Back on forward one step at a time I guess. So, lesson (re)learned? We’ll see.