Golden Coin – Harry Potter Dream 22-10-21

Here is this morning’s dream, brief but possibly significant.

I am sat on a chair at my desk typing. M, a relative, walks up to me and hands me a memorial coin, freshly minted. She insists that I have it. I know it to be a golden £2 sovereign. It is very heavily embossed and there are designs and writing on it. Even though I know it to be gold it looks like a bluish metallic colour. I turn it over in my hands, it is about six centimetres in diameter. It morphs into a circular touch screen tablet of around 80cm diameter which suspends itself in space. The tablet contains all anyone could ever want to know about the world of Harry Potter. It has drop down menus, about scripts, the whole film set, fan information, spells and history. I activate several of these to check they work. I do this by touching the screen with the index finger of my left hand and of my right hand. The menu scrolls down and then up.

The sensation is very much like this:

Dream ends:

—————–

Money is crystallised power

2 is the need for humility and understanding sometimes destiny

Gold is the Nagal / spirit

Harry Potter is magic / power.

index finger – perception of other’s relationship to me

left feeling

right rational / logical

Towards Freedom – Power

It may seem a little out of place to start discussing power in the context of freedom and equanimity, but it is necessary. Until you have more than a notion of your relationship to power and with power, it is difficult to have balance. Power of course has many meanings, there are many types of power and it comes in all shades. There is power in the sense of dominance, power in the sense of ability, power in knowledge and power as in material plane enforcement. Power is a vast topic itself. Some people have power, that can be positional or organisational power, it can be personal power, it can be muscular power or sexual power. There is the saying that power corrupts, though it need not, it often does. Humanity has a bit of a thing for and about societal power; it has a status hang up.

If you wield power in the sense of political or corporate power, it is unlikely that you will have equanimity and peace. This is because people are so often fighting for power. Even if your powerful position is secure, by the very nature of that position you will be required to make decisions. Those decisions are a responsibility of positional power and rarely do they come with serenity and peace. It is not the fate of most people to learn what high positional power means and those so called are in for a bit of a tough time. All societies have leaders, and these are of varying ability and quality. Some seek power with a thirst. And it is many that are so drawn who end up abusing power. Power has many traps associated for those drawn to it.

In the context of freedom, it is useful to figure out what has power over you and then adjust that situation. Things that have power over you can be as simple as arachnophobia. If a simple spider makes you come out in a sweat, then you are not free of spiders. A tiny creature can evoke a massive drama. It is not the spider’s fault, it is your reaction. For whatever reason you have a fear and a drama associated in your mind with spiders. Chances are this is disproportionate. Few spiders attack humans just because there is nothing better on the TV to watch. People have hang ups about a host of things and this restricts their liberty. Anything which can evoke drama upsets balance.  If small creatures have power over you, then what does that say about your level of mental control and balance?

Similarly, because of co-dependency, there are many people who have power over you. Some will go out of their way to manipulate you into a dependency and if you are so oriented you might even seek such people out, whether consciously or not. There are a multitude of buttons available to others for the pressing of. If at the pressing of a button off you trot into drama, then that button and the finger thereupon, have power over you. It can evoke drama and lack of control, you are off balance and flailing around. It is in this dependency and co-dependency that people give their power away to others. If you want to be free, then you do not need other beings having emotional power over you.

Many of the things that have power over you are to be found in the truck load of baggage which most adults carry with them. There may be shame, wounds, ambitions, unresolved conflict, grudges, guilt, vengeance, fear, unrequited love etc… The list is often long and until you have clarity on where the button comes from, it will stand proud and beckoning. It is in unpacking the baggage and by examination that one can begin to understand and slowly loosen the power over which is held. To be relatively free of buttons is to have more freedom generally. One is not beholden to the past and the narratives of it, which if we bear in mind the likelihood of selective perception are in any case often inaccurate. Memories and history are prevalent members of the set of buttons which are the indicators of something that has power over.  A skilled manipulator can spot these a mile off and press them at will.

If you seek freedom, then you must defend it. This may sound ever so slightly bellicose, but one has to fight to extract oneself from situations in which things, people and ideas have power over you. The past has power over most and reorienting the past in such a manner as to be free of it, is no easy task. The common dream advertises that building memories for your dotage is a good thing, but who can really live in a sepia or rose-tinted world? It is not real. It is imagined and unreliable of recall. To build “memories” is to never be free of them. This is perhaps slightly radical but do consider this. If you live in a mish mash recollection of the past, what do you make of the present, if you even notice it all? To be bound thus, is to not experience the now.

I have used bound, shackles and manacles already in this text, emotive words of slavery and imprisonment. It is up to you to figure out if I am by metaphor over egging the pudding. Until the duvet of illusion is pulled off, there is a cosy familiarity which can seemingly be justified.

Of course, in any material society there will be people and organisations that have temporal power over the circumstances of your life. Short of going off into the wild, this will always be the case. The freedom of complete anarchy is not currently possible in large society, this need not impinge overly on your state of mind, your mental freedom. One can see it for what it is, do the minimum necessary to be a “good” citizen and not feel overly oppressed by the apparatus of state. Within this framework it is possible not to succumb to ideological power over. People will do whatever they do, they will think whatever and opine ad infinitum. None of this need impact on your own equanimity. One does not have to agree, or argue or succumb. If your own mind is clear it is not overly perturbed by the folly and behaviours of others. Unless they are directly intent on harming or manipulating you, they are not direct threats. In keeping your centre, you can rise above it. If you cannot resist the pull of hive or herd mind, then it has power over you, which means you are not yet free of it.

As you begin to see though your own façade, understand your self and get close to your true nature, you will be acquiring power in the sense of knowledge. That knowledge pertains not only to you as a being but to other beings. This knowledge then opens up choices, possibilities for you which were hitherto not available, you have more personal power and more freedom. Freedom is in your choice as to how you respond to whatever life throws at you. There will be a reduced rigidity and an enhanced flexibility of living. With more personal power comes the temptation to exploit that power and perhaps use situations and others to your “advantage”. With all growth in personal power comes temptation. In the absence there are few choices. When there is a plethora of choices available some will not be life enhancing. If you are so inclined, you may use your personal power to exert power over others. As alluded to above that way is not freedom. How can one be free if one enslaves? It is not possible.

I have briefly touched on power here. Learning to handle new found personal power is a part of the walk to freedom. Keeping oneself grounded and developing humility offsets the temptation of power, which can enslave. In this sense knowledge is power which without wisdom and discernment can be a dangerous thing.

It Takes Power to Talk About Power

This is the aphorism I mentioned paraphrased. I could have written it; it requires some knowledge to speak about knowledge in a meaningful way. Or even; one has to have at least a modicum of wisdom to speak wisely about wisdom, its acquisition and application.

For me personally these Toltec aphorisms are by nature profound and succinct. It would be relatively easy to expand each one of them up into thousands of words.

Take the alternative meaning of power, the one of positional or political power. Until one has had a modicum of this one does not know what it feels like to wield power. One is also unaware of the temptations posed by such power. One might even get caught snogging an aide in front of a security camera.

Power of this nature cannot really be speculated upon; it has to be experienced. There are many people who might seek power but then when they have it be unable to use it or wield it. They may not like the flip side of “responsibility” which comes with great power as Spiderman alleges. The notion of power is one thing, its yoke quite another. There is another aphorism of my own writing.

“Power can do weird shit to people, man.”

When I started teaching it was before the days of PowerPoint. One used an overhead projector or old-fashioned chalk. I thought I was a smart young gun. That was until I tried to do a live chalk-based derivation of some rate laws in front of a hundred ultra-smart undergraduates. I nearly shit my pants when I had brain freeze and white out in front of the blackboard. Boy did I prepare well after that!!

Yellow chalk and black Levi’s are an interesting combination, be careful where you put your hands…

There is a strange quirk to my character that makes it difficult for me to teach other people. I genuinely have to understand it before I am comfortable teaching it. And for an INFJ that means understanding it on many levels and comprehensively. Others are able to confidently teach material without having to probe it, so far. Those that learn by rote to pass exams can teach by rote too. Because I don’t have a binary right / wrong orientation sometimes those brought up in a “I must pass exams” education system have initially found my methods lacking in confidence of delivery. They want to “know” the answer and I want to know even more questions. I want to fathom.

I had a break from undergraduate teaching for a long while. Then when I came to teach some of the material that I had done previously I started to find holes in the textbook derivations, too many shortcuts, wide generalisations. I found myself going back to square one and checking a whole bunch of stuff that I would have previously taken for granted.

There were some mistakes!!

I have had minor exposure to power back in the days of the start-up. Strange how I was more attractive to the ladies when I had board meetings and shares. At the moment in terms of material or temporal power I am powerless.

I can however say that powerlessness has its own special kind of power under certain circumstances. It takes powerlessness to speak on the power of powerlessness.

Having taught some material over a number of years, one can say that one’s understanding of that material changes with time. It is funny how a new facet and new insight can be had from the very same words. Even when we think we know, there is nearly always another level, should we be open enough to inquire.

One’s knowledge at any given time is just a snapshot of knowledge at that point in time, it is wise to acknowledge that this is all that it is, a fleeting understanding in our journey of evolution upon which there is no destination only travel.

If you think anything is absolute you are wrong.

Even the gospel of science evolves in time. There are many examples of scientists being adamant and later being proven inaccurate by the evolution of the knowledge base.

I am comfortable talking about knowledge, wisdom and power, because I have a modicum of experience of these things.

It is up to you to assess if I am bullshitting or not…

The Power Imbalance

One of the difficulties I had a long time ago was trying to explain to high functioning individuals this notion of power imbalance. If “equals” in terms of status and power have a frank and forthright exchange and they are both able to stand up for themselves with a modicum of assertion, there is no power imbalance.

However, should a powerful professor {for example} behave in a similar manner to an undergraduate, there is a marked power imbalance, and the undergraduate might feel threatened and fearful. Someone akin to God, and who has the say so, to an extent, over their degree result, might be perceived as being highly critical. The student might then shit a large and uncomfortable brick.

Not everyone high functioning is blessed with warmth and sensitivity.

So, to use a possibly imaginary and illusory example.

Let us say a whole bunch of “posh” academics who command research budgets which run to millions of pounds and with a rounded up annual salary of say ~ £100,000 or more are talking about a single individual.

Let us say that individual, who is retired, is not in possession of the best of health and has an annual income of £12,000. He has no research budget and has to think very carefully about spending the 1000 euros needed to fix his 10-year-old car. The value of the car if it was left hand drive is ~ 6000 euros. It isn’t left hand drive.

Is there a power imbalance in this imaginary example?

Are the purveyors of wisdom in essence kicking some poor bastard who is already down?

Are they circling the wagons to keep that Apache out?

Do you think that there is a blind dog’s chance that said individual could get those in “power” to realise there is a power imbalance and that they are bullying by talking about the single poor person behind his back and without including him in the conversation?

In effect they are ganging up.

Or do you think that they will feel thoroughly justified and utterly entitled to behave just how they wish?

Do they the patrician, the wise, the great and the good, know what is best for that poor bastard?

And then if in their grace they offer him a fait accompli?

Will he doff his cap and accept graciously in awe of their magnificent benevolence?

Nah…

Temptations Posed By Power – Third Natural Enemy

Power can have strange effects on people, they lose the ability to ascertain right and wrong. They can get paranoid. One might see some hints of this struggle with power in Trump’s behaviour towards the end of last year. For whom are the Covid restrictions, the pleb or the powerful?

Power Quotes

The attempt to combine wisdom and power has only rarely been successful and then only for a short while.

Albert Einstein

 

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

Abraham Lincoln

 

The power of man has grown in every sphere, except over himself.

Winston Churchill

 

Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment.

Mahatma Gandhi

 

All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.

Friedrich Nietzsche

 

What we call Man’s power over Nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with Nature as its instrument.

C. S. Lewis

 

I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.

Thomas Jefferson

 

It is impossible for you to be angry and laugh at the same time. Anger and laughter are mutually exclusive and you have the power to choose either.

Wayne Dyer

 

Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfilment.

Tony Robbins

 

The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.

Aristotle

 

The measure of a man is what he does with power.

Plato

 

I love power. But it is as an artist that I love it. I love it as a musician loves his violin, to draw out its sounds and chords and harmonies.

Napoleon Bonaparte

 

Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.

Mao Tse-Tung

 

The world’s biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman.

Chanakya

 

Knowledge is power.

Francis Bacon

 

Knowledge is power. Information is power. The secreting or hoarding of knowledge or information may be an act of tyranny camouflaged as humility.

Robin Morgan

 

Power is the great aphrodisiac.

Henry A. Kissinger

 

Power always thinks… that it is doing God’s service when it is violating all his laws.

John Adams

 

Next to enjoying ourselves, the next greatest pleasure consists in preventing others from enjoying themselves, or, more generally, in the acquisition of power.

Bertrand Russell

 

Only through destroying myself can I discover the greater power of my spirit.

Chuck Palahniuk

 

It takes tremendous discipline to control the influence, the power you have over other people’s lives.

Clint Eastwood

 

We do not need more intellectual power, we need more spiritual power. We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen.

Calvin Coolidge

 

The most efficient water power in the world – women’s tears.

Wilson Mizner

 

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Lord Acton

 

Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts… perhaps the fear of a loss of power.

John Steinbeck

 

The purpose of getting power is to be able to give it away.

Aneurin Bevan

 

What is genius but the power of expressing a new individuality?

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

Success isn’t measured by money or power or social rank. Success is measured by your discipline and inner peace.

Mike Ditka

 

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

Leo Buscaglia