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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Matter of Personality
    #4278722 - 06/10/05 05:12 AM (11 years, 5 months ago)

In his autobiography, philosopher and Zen writer Alan Watts wrote that ?no one can succeed as an independent author, or as a teacher or minister, [let alone a businesswoman or man] without a flair for drama and for coming on strongly as a personality, and by success I mean, not only financial reward, but also effective communication. It?s not true that nice guys always finish last ? but it?s certainly true that weak personalities do.

On the other hand, as Watts points out, ?strength of personality ? even though you know very well that is a big act ? is always taken for an ?ego-trip??.? Many of us, certainly most from the middle and lower classes, were taught to downplay ourselves and our strengths. Those of us who do project ourselves in a strong and dynamic way risk being labeled ?ego-maniacs? or worse. Part of the reaction comes from the violation of the norm itself, a kind of ?shame on you.? Part of it is jealousy. After all, it is easy to se that those who project themselves well are having fun doing it. Those who feel constrained by the norm from getting in on the fun often resent those who enjoy expressing themselves. The more repressed project an attitude of ?Who do you think you are?? onto the less inhibited. The implication is that if you were someone else ? say someone rich, famous, or powerful ? this behavior would be acceptable.

Everyone on this earth is wearing an ego or persona mask of some kind and, in some way or another, projecting through it. Watts points out that the ?enlightened ones? he knew all projected strong personalities. Look at the images of the Zen masters scattered throughout history ? strong personalities comes through every one. Modern-day saints like Ghandi, Schweitzer, and Mother Teresa all had strong personalities. Incidentally, these three were extremely effective promoters [or marketers] of their beliefs. All wrote books and toured the world speaking on behalf of their causes.

Where, then, do we get the idea that projecting a strong personality is ?unspiritual?? Much of the popular religion in the West teaches false humility, a sort of psychological self-flagellation. We have been taught that a weak, self-deprecating personality is good [acceptable] and a strong personality is bad [threatening]. Putting oneself down or hiding in the crowd is not humility. Humility comes of itself when we have no desire to be better than anyone else. When we let go of this craving, we simultaneously let go of the shame of being worse than anyone.
We realize that at the deepest levels, we are no better, no worse and no different.

The only difference between a
wise man and a fool is that the
wise man knows he?s playing.

~Fritz Perls

We are all on an ?ego trip?, journeying through time and space, projecting to one another through personality masks ? egos. The so-called ?enlightened ones? realize that this ?ego-trip? is going nowhere, has of itself no particular point or purpose, but is rather more like theater-in-the-round. They put on their masks, play in the theater, go on the ego trip ? remaining all the while at home ? perfectly at rest within themselves. The point of the drama is the drama, the expression of Infinite Compassion and Bliss in a seemingly endless variety of forms. As Shakespeare said, ?The play?s the thing.?

Projecting a strong personality ? essential to success in any arena ? is no more or less egotistical than projecting a weak one. Whatever the image portrayed on it, a mask is a mask. The kid wearing the Alfred E. Neuman mask on Halloween night is in a costume as much as the kid wearing the Clark Gable mask.

Zen would say that both a strong persona and a weak persona are masks ? both are equally fictitious. Neither is any better or worse than the other. Buddhism, however, does give the notion of upaya or ?skillful means.? If you want to succeed at whatever it is you want to do in life, the adoption of a strong, dynamic personality is a more skillful choice. Any other choice would make for added struggle, tension, and frustration and would therefore be a less skillful, more clumsy choice. One does not use a cross-country ski for water skiing, or a weak personality for marketing. Whether we are taking a job interview or advocating a particular cause, promoting a business or book, as strong personality helps.

If you don?t already have a strong personality, work on developing one ? or more accurately, as Dr. Abraham Maslow would say ? letting it out [See thread: Narrowness].
Everyone has a little ham in him or her. Ham it up, toot your own horn.
Just remember that it is all, as Alan Watts says, a ?big act.?





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Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Matter of Personality [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4278983 - 06/10/05 09:28 AM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Way cool! :cool: :thumbup: :heart:


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"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Invisibleninjapixie
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Re: Matter of Personality [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4281424 - 06/10/05 10:35 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

These rants of yours tend to be hit and miss.

This was definately a hit. :thumbup:


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Put that monkey back in the oven.


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Offlinefreddurgan
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Re: Matter of Personality [Re: ninjapixie]
    #4281482 - 06/10/05 10:50 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Yeah man Alan Watts is the tops. Everything he says just enthralls me, and this is no exception. It's a good mix of Western and Eastern ideals and I like it.


--------------------
Ishmael
http://www.ishmael.org

Ron Paul 2008!
http://www.ronpaul2008.com/


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Invisiblemoog
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Re: Matter of Personality [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4281637 - 06/10/05 11:21 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

all the world's a stage, i suppose, so go ahead and have fun with it. the problem is that some people get so caught up in their roles that they identify their being with their personality.


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Invisiblevampirism
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Re: Matter of Personality [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4281654 - 06/10/05 11:27 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

hm.

this leaves me a bit confused.

I'd personally say I have a fairly weak personality. One thing people have repeatedly said is that I am completely genuine. The notion of personality as a mask is not something I entirely acknowledge. At one point I did, but I've found personality and social interaction are two different things. What if you use the personality as the social interaction?


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: Matter of Personality [Re: vampirism]
    #4283724 - 06/11/05 04:38 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Can you elaborate on your question?

What do you mean by using the mask [personality] as the interplay [social interaction]?

I have a vague idea, but I want you to elucidate it first.



--------------------
Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.


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OfflineFrog
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Re: Matter of Personality [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4283866 - 06/11/05 05:28 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

That was an excellent post, Skorp.


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The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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InvisibleArp
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Re: Matter of Personality [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #4283877 - 06/11/05 05:32 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

"The Book on the taboo against knowing who you are" is a nice one. Must find this autobiography aswell

:mushroom2: :mushroom2: :mushroom2: :mushroom2: :mushroom2: !


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OfflineGomp
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Re: Matter of Personality [Re: vampirism]
    #4283899 - 06/11/05 05:39 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Morrowind said:
hm.

this leaves me a bit confused.

I'd personally say I have a fairly weak personality. One thing people have repeatedly said is that I am completely genuine. The notion of personality as a mask is not something I entirely acknowledge. At one point I did, but I've found personality and social interaction are two different things. What if you use the personality as the social interaction?




:laugh: :thumbup:


--------------------


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Disclaimer!?


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OfflineWanderingStudent
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Re: Matter of Personality [Re: Gomp]
    #4284046 - 06/11/05 06:47 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

The religious figures mentioned, such as Ghandi and Mother Theresa, seemed to have weak personalities. They had righteousness on their side. This righteousness was larger than them. I just think there are things that allow people to stand taller, something beyond their own ego.


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InvisibleArp
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Re: Matter of Personality [Re: WanderingStudent]
    #4284069 - 06/11/05 07:02 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

What makes a personality strong then? Just the fact that many of us know about them must proove that they did something for us to notice them. Else we wouldnt be able to tell them from the rest. Hence not being a weak (unnoticeable) personality?


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OfflineWanderingStudent
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Re: Matter of Personality [Re: Arp]
    #4284179 - 06/11/05 07:48 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

I'm simply saying there are influences that exist outside of these people that allow them to create this strong personality. Circumstances bear an important role on some strong personalities, and I think that is an overlooked aspect of the original post.


Edited by WanderingStudent (06/11/05 07:50 PM)


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OfflineSantaServant
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Re: Matter of Personality [Re: WanderingStudent]
    #4284613 - 06/11/05 10:21 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Ghandi and good ol MT weren't week THEY WERE MEEK. Be a clown. Turn the frown on the crown upsidedown.


--------------------
There comes a time for every man to sail the Seas of Cheese.


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InvisibleArp
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Re: Matter of Personality [Re: WanderingStudent]
    #4284644 - 06/11/05 10:34 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

WanderingStudent said:
I'm simply saying there are influences that exist outside of these people that allow them to create this strong personality. Circumstances bear an important role on some strong personalities, and I think that is an overlooked aspect of the original post.




I guess you can have a strong personality with or without fame.
People around you can also make it grow.
Hitler for instance knew what to express to rise, just as the Germans was receptive for his arguments.


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