I’ve been reading this book on productivity and success, called the “48 laws of power” by Robert Greene. I am about halfway trough the book right now and I’ve realized in the first twenty pages that it was very manipulative.
I’ve decided to read it anyway as knowledge of any kind is valuable (IMO). What I’ve read in the book has really disturbed me. The book doesn’t contain any morality and even encourages the readers to wrong others. The advice the writer gives goes against many principles I stand for.
Some of the “laws of power” mentioned in this book;
- Take credit for the work of others
- Keep people dependent on you
- Pose as a friend, work as a spy
Needless to say I don’t recommend this book. I actually found it quite surprising since his other book “mastery” was actually relly interesting and has added great value to my life.
This book isn’t the only place I see these behaviors; In the media and the world around me, I see it almost daily. When you are in traffic you have people honking and shouting at each other, people in politics are rude and manipulative, people looking down upon others in the street, judging others constantly, being self-centered, lies, corruption, greed,.. .
I’ve found this very conflicting with the values I stand for in in my life. It made me wonder what the true nature of man is. Are we naturally good or evil? If we weren’t conditioned by law, would we become good or bad? And IF we are inherently bad, what is the origin of that? Is it needed for basic survival or was it caused by our society? Or another reason?
I know this is a controversial topic that can be approached from allot of different points of view. Either you belief in the basic kindness of mankind and know that you’ll eventually reap what you sow (he way I’m trying to see it). And so you act from the heart everyday. You are peaceful, happy and kind. You are a light that illuminates the lives of others.
Or you can be rational about it and say that it necessary in dealing with people. When you are nice all the time, others will take advantage of that. They will walk over you and treat you as inferior. So you need to build up a protective layer to block you off from the influences of others.
I belief that people have taken this a step to far. They have become disconnected from their heart to much and only
act from their heads. This is partially conditioned by our society. We are taught to be very analytic, effective and practical if we ever want to be successful. We lack creativity, freedom, passion and heart. I belief – as with all things – that a balance is needed. You need both ends to complete each other.
How else can we know what is right if we don’t know what is wrong?
But I do think that people have overbalanced it in the wrong way. They are motivated by greed and power. They think it is necessary for success. I choose not to believe so.
What is “success” anyway? How can we define this? When you see a rich, popular businessman passing by in his 200 000$ sports car, is that your reflection of success?I don’t define success as high status, wealth, luxury. I define it by the degree of fulfillment and enjoyment in my life. The pursuit of my passions and the love i get from others.
I sometimes get the feeling that our world is getting emptier every day. People are so distant from others. Living their lives separated instead of living it together. They think from the head only and have lost their connection to the heart. Love and kindness feels forced and fake in my eyes. When was the last time you did something for someone else without expecting anything in return? (I’ve touched upon this subject in “we are all connected“)
I don’t believe people are evil. I just can’t see the world in that way. It would prevent the positive mental attitude I try to maintain. I accept some immoral acts are in place for basic survival. But where do we draw that line? What is moral and what isn’t? And who decides this line?
I don’t think there are people who are evil down to the core. We aren’t corrupted by nature.
People are social creatures who long for acceptance and love no matter who they are. We all need it, but can become sidetracked from the truth very easily. We lose our identity when we try to fit in society. I encourage you to become connected to the values and morals you want to live by. I belief this is an important aspect of lasting happiness. (You can read more about this in “how to live more consciously”)
The values I stand for are; love, justice, honesty, integrity, empathy, strength and optimism (I count that as a value). Recently I’ve been trying to live more from the heart by meditating (zen meditation), spreading positivity and light. I think this is necessary for achieving the life I envision.
That’s just my two cents on morality for today :D. I know there is a allot more to say about this topic and I’ve barely scratched the surface. But i’m sure I’ll touch upon it another time.
I hope you’ve found it useful and applicable in your daily life! If you have any thoughts or questions on this topic (or something random to say) Feel free to share that with me in the comment section below!