Sever the Chains of Vice

“The wicked only rule because of the cowardice of those who allow themselves to be ruled by them… Yet death would be better for us than to go on living lives contrary to the [natural] laws of the Universe.” – Plotinus

Have you ever fallen prey to gaslighting; as in the psychological manipulation of exerting power over another, resulting in low self-esteem, confusion and co-dependency? Would it surprise you to learn that it takes two to tango; i.e. abusers & their victims often exchange roles in their diabolical dance, without even being all that aware of their complicity.

Abusive relationships are extremely difficult to bear, especially if we neglect to understand how to guard against such attacks, as well as weed out the proclivities that have burrowed its way into our own behaviour. There are also individuals, including groups of various kinds, who will intentionally engage in gaslighting others, and will even take it upon themselves to rehearse techniques and study books (including seduction science known as game) in order to enhance their demoralizing and subjugating craft.

When, where, why, how and with whom do we take a stance against such cunning deception? Attempting to remove the poison from this snake can quicken our demise if we fail to take the time to know the sources and eroding ideas that spew from its mouth. In some respects we are all blind, deaf and dumb to this slow acting venom that erodes the community, destroys families and makes our work environment undeniably unpleasant.

What in the world is this self-destructive force that depletes our wellbeing and why is it so damn cunning, baffling and powerful? This psychological entity goes by many names and faces, but we need not lend it strength by playing the naïve card; i.e. pretending that we are innocent, and therefore are without ethical responsibility in curbing its vicious nature.

So who among us possesses the courage and wisdom to uphold justice; to sustain a middle ground that allows for equality, mutual understanding and trust; a noble balance between the extremes enabling mankind to remain within the good, the beautiful, and the truth that brings no harm? Are you that kind of person and if so why not elucidate upon the virtues and/or skills necessary to challenge, transcend and crush the powers of terror and all that would drive our freedom under the yoke?


About Philosopher Muse

An explorer of volition and soul, a song under a night sky and a dream that forever yearns to be.
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12 Responses to Sever the Chains of Vice

  1. Below, therapists reveal some of the common phrases gaslighters use so you can be more adept at recognizing this behavior:

    1. “That never happened.”
    2. “You’re too sensitive.”
    3. “You’re crazy — and other people think so, too.”
    4. “You have a terrible memory.”
    5. “I’m sorry you think that I hurt you.”
    6. “You should have known how I would react.”


  2. Clanmother says:

    A reminder that kindness in action overcomes darkness. I especially like this quote by Henry James: “Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”

    • Another perspective: the light of truth overcomes darkness, whereas kindness works well to offset the extremes of hatefulness, that dry bitterness which turns the heart to stone.

      On the contrary, assuming that you are open to creative and critical thinking, Henry James remains myopic in reach should he assume kindness to be effective without the open-minded parameters of the good, the beautiful, and the truth that brings no harm. Otherwise, water being the elementary source for kindness would be scattered in all directions without earth, air and fire to complement its synergistic operation.

      Rendered in the celestial tongue we might say Mercury loses its positive & constructive nature when Saturn fails to uphold geometrical equilibrium between Jupiter and Venus. In other words, those who lean too much on one virtue to the detriment of the others loses hold not only of love & light, neither can they keep it real nor right.

      Balance-fairness-truth-equalibrium-equity-transparency-goodness-beauty-mercy and all the other gems of the circle of life allow for kindness as long as they remain expansive and congruent. Kindness being the daughter of mercy ought never be spoiled through excess, cognitive dissonance or narcissism. Not even a Clan Mother can separate the bond between Love & Wisdom without committing the most hideous act of adultery. Kindness may water the plant, Mother Dearest, but without fire, earth and air, there is no spirit (interconnectivity) by which to genuinely care.

      The temptation to reduce everything into a singularity (a singular value like Jehovah God or the notion that love is going to save everything) has intrigued even some of the greatest of minds, but such infatuation turns into delusion, thus neediness, then the grasping of a criminal KIND.

      • Clanmother says:

        A great conversation! Thank you!

      • Indeed! On second thought, kindness has a lot more leverage than meets the eye, so thank you for the reminder.

        How do you feel about the following quote instead; for me it feels more like a middle ground between us, where neither of us have to compromise or limit ourselves in any way.

        “Our common life is founded on kindness and harmony; it is bound in a compact of mutual assistance, not by fear, but by love of one another.” – Seneca

        Love embraces all the virtues (which includes kindness) in such a way that it naturally brings about the greatest good while in cohesion with Wisdom. Not only can it bring people together but it can also bring worlds together. Love appears most beautiful when she takes on the form of Agape, which means to welcome, as in the unconditional acceptance of everyone. Whereas Wisdom remains One while poised in Love. At this level nothing else matters. Love is All there is so to be, to become, and to behold kindness are but 3 manifestations of Love longing for Oneself.

      • Clanmother says:

        I LOVE that quote, Jason. I am glad that you introduced the idea of Agape which involves, as you noted, an unconditional love, that persists against all odds. I confess that I fall short of that ideal, but it is in the striving that one finds wholeness. When I look back, there are moments and events when I wish that I had been more understanding, more intuitive. These reflections strengthen my resolve to do better. May I quote one of my “favorite” Seneca quotes: “As long as you live, keep learning how to live.” Thank you for a wonderful conversation.

  3. Well written and informative. Thank you Jason. Your opening remark that “it takes two to tango” really hits the spot and is one I’ve seen many times in my consulting room. Your “Tarot” header image “The Devil” caught my attention and helps me contemplate on what the Jungians call the archetypal “Shadow” in others, and also oneself. Blessings always, Deborah.

    • So nice to hear from you and thank you for the lovely comment. My photoshopped version of the R/W card seems to bring out the primary atmosphere of this archetypal phenomena; the ‘Shadow’ happens to be an ideal representation of what it means to lose sight of the middle-way.

  4. Hi Jason, I experienced gaslighting before I knew the term… from a ‘close’ family member… I really thought I was losing the plot…

    • It can get rather foggy when it’s so close to home eh. May we remain thankful for all our adversaries in this life, for without them we neither fall or rise to be the best version of ourselves.

  5. Anna Esther says:

    Love this. Very insightful and unique way of explaining co-dependency. “slow acting venom” indeed, so much so that strong, capable, intellectual individuals can fall prey. But once we become aware, we’re responsible for stepping out of victimhood. Thank you for this post. ❤️

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