Re-reading Robert E. Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power

An emotional response to a situation is the single greatest barrier to power, a mistake that will cost you a lot more than any temporary satisfaction you might gain by expressing your feelings. — Robert Greene


Plus, from one of her old journals:

  • Today I had a massage . . . lol

Written, of course, in Bacolod. In Bacolod, self was always so mellow. She was never angry. A one-hour massage averaged 500 pesos, about $9. She had daily massage, over there. Heck, she could even have had two massages daily, if she felt like it. All the masahistas had strong, unerring hands. They seemed to know by instinct. Only once did self ever have a bad message in Bacolod: the woman just moved her hands skimmingly over the skin, didn’t really knead it. Ugh, self felt she’d spent a full hour just being tickled.

One night, during a massage, self kept hearing the distant, popping sounds of what she thought were gunshots. It made her so uneasy. The masahista said it was Firecrackers. Oh, it was New Year’s Eve? It had completely slipped self’s mind.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Fortress: Reading The 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene

  • Do not build fortresses to protect yourself. Isolation is dangerous.

— Law # 18 of The 48 Laws of Power

 

Quote of the Day: The Hunter

The hunter does not lay the same trap for a wolf as for a fox.

Even “persons so insignificant and so inconsiderable . . .  may, some time or other, have it in their power to be of use to you; which they certainly will not, if you have once shown them contempt. Wrongs are often forgiven, but contempt never is. Our pride remembers it forever.” (Lord Chesterfield, 1694 – 1773)

— p. 144, The 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene

Reading (2016)

  1. Memoir, Leanne Shapton, Swimming Studies
  2. Brick 96
  3. 2nd poetry collection, John Clegg, Holy Toledo
  4. Nonfiction, Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power
  5. Walasse Ting, 1 Cent Life
  6. Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

 

Quote of the Day: Reality vs. Fantasy

The American Dream: A sudden transformation will bring a total change in one’s fortunes . . .  from poor to rich, sickness to health, misery to ecstasy . . .

The American Dream is just that: a dream, one that nevertheless exerts a powerful hold on the imagination of millions, Americans and non-Americans alike.

  • If you want to tell lies, that will be believed. Don’t tell the truth, that won’t.

— Emperor Ieyasu Tokugawa

  • Promise a great and total change — from poor to rich, sickness to health, misery to ecstasy, and you will have followers.

— Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power

As Robert Greene tells it, “Change is slow and gradual. It requires hard work, a bit of luck, a fair amount of self-sacrifice, and a lot of patience.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Robert Greene Analyzed, 500 Miles From Home

Self doesn’t have her copy of  Robert Green’s The 48 Laws of Power with her. Shucks! She’d love to get some guidance from it today.

Luckily, there are reader reviews on Amazon that are peppered with quotes.

Quotes such as:

  • “The only means to get one’s end with people are force and cunning. Love, also, they say, but that is to wait for sunshine, and life needs every moment.”
  • “So much depends on your reputation — guard it with your life.”
  • “Always say less than necessary.”
  • “Win through your actions, never through argument.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

The 48 Laws of Power, pp. 12 – 15

  1. A man spared the guillotine is a grateful man indeed, and will go to the ends of the earth for the man who has pardoned him.
  2. Since honesty rarely strengthens friendship, you may never know how a friend truly feels.
  3. There is almost a touch of condescencion in the act of hiring friends that secretly afflicts them. The injury will come out slowly: A little more honesty, flashes of resentment and envy here and there, and before you know it your friendship fades. The more favors and gifts you supply to revive the friendship, the less gratitude you receive.
  4. Ingratitude has a long and deep history. It has demonstrated its powers for so many centuries, that it is truly amazing that people continue to underestimate them.
  5. The problem with using or hiring friends is that it will inevitably limit your power. The friend is rarely the one who is most able to help you; and in the end, skill and competence are far more important than friendly feelings . . . keep friends for friendship, but work with the skilled and competent.
  6. A person who has something to prove will move mountains for you.
  7. Without enemies around us, we grow lazy. An enemy at our heels sharpens our wits . . .
  8. Never let the presence of enemies upset or depress you — you are far better off with a declared opponent or two than not knowing where your real enemies lie.
  9. A man of power . . .  often has dirty work that has to be done, but for the sake of appearances it is generally preferable to have other people do it for him; friends often do this best, since their affection for him makes them willing to take chances.

Today’s Words of Wisdom

Self flip-flops between reading fan fiction and Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power.

Today’s words of wisdom are from Greene, p. 10. There’s a rather horrific story about “The Snake, The Farmer, and the Heron.” Everyone in the story stabs each other in the back, until finally the only innocent person in the story, the farmer’s wife, suffers unspeakable violence.

The story ends with this moral:

“When you see water flowing uphill, it means that someone is repaying a kindness.” — African Folk Tale

And from Voltaire: “Lord, protect me from my friends; I can take care of my enemies.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

Friday Wisdom

This bit of advice comes from Robert Greene, whose The 48 Laws of Power is self’s “go-to” reading — after fan fiction.

The thing about reading fan fiction is that, if self stays up late reading — which is often the case (Please do not look away, dear blog readers, as it will take self just 1 minute to get past this bit) — her eyes get very red and swollen and she looks like a mess the following morning (Oh the angst, the angst! Self is a furious Read the rest of this entry »

Back to Reading THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

Self is back in Redwood City, California.

Which can only mean two things:

She is back to watching all the episodes she missed of Game of Thrones Season 4 — which she missed because, you know, Ireland.

She is back to perusing The 48 Laws of Power, by brilliant (because-from-Harvard) Professor Robert Greene.

Here, for example, is Law # 14:

Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy

In the realm of power, your goal is a degree of control over future events.  Part of the problem you face, then, is that people won’t tell you all their thoughts, emotions, and plans.  Controlling what they say, they often keep the most critical parts of their character hidden — their weaknesses, ulterior motives, obsessions.  The result is that you cannot predict their moves, and are constantly in the dark.  The trick is to find a way to probe them, to find out their secrets and hidden intentions, without letting them know what you are up to.  (p. 103)

On p. 104, there’s a quote from Arthur Schopenhauer:

If you have reason to suspect that a person is telling you a lie, look as though you believed every word he said.  This will give him courage to go on; he will become more vehement in his assertions, and in the end betray himself.  Again, if you perceive that a person is trying to conceal something from you, but with only partial success, look as though you did not believe him.  The opposition on your part will provoke him into leading out his reserve of truth and bringing the whole force of it to bear upon your incredulity.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

 

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