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Just reading a book, The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. Definitely lessons everywhere in the book on what we do here. The book is amoral, and open about the deception inherit in what he is teaching. It is largely for life outside the arena of seduction, but entrirely applicable and there are some seduction examples in it to illustrate his points (only historical: For example the advice of Ninon de Lenclos on seduction to the Marquis de Sevigne and what happened when the Marquis did not follow her advice, etc.). The examples are all pulled from the Sun Tzu (Chinese, the Art of War), European history, famous con men, magicians and charlatans, Kings, Queens, Napoleon and other power brokers such as Al Capone. Perfect for you guys who enjoy Machiavelli. At 450 reasonably large format pages it is fairly long.
It is going to take me several re-readings, but at the moment I see the messages as really 3 fold: First, play your cards pretty close to your chest. This creates mystery. The more you say, the more common you appear and the less in control. Andy Wohol created enigma by not discussing his work and answering questions by being intentionally vague giving people the feeling that he was being more profound than he was. If you do not reveal all, people will never become bored with you or your presence because you will continue to represent a challenge, and will be eternally interesting. Your silence will make other people feel uncomfortable and humans are machines of interpretation and explanation; they have to know what you are thinking. When you carefully control what you reveal, they cannot pierce your intentions and meaning. Your short answers will put them on the defensive and they will jump in, nervously filling the silence with all kinds of comments that will reveal valuable information about themselves and their weaknesses.
This brings me to the second message. Learn everything you can about other people. Their strengths and weaknesses, their crutches and trance words. Their motivations. Use these to your advantage whilst revealing as little as possible about yourself. Keep them the focus of the conversation, and be a 'Spy' on their minds by eliciting values.
The third lesson is to use smoke and mirrors to obscure your objectives and motivations. Throw decoys out there, use gifts as Trojan horses, and be circumspect in what is going on. Again, this throws them off your game, gives you an upper hand.
None of this is to say that you need to be quiet or a bad conversationalist, just the opposite, by spying and eliciting values, you are encouraging people to talk about themselves, their own favourite subject. By being brief about yourself you are creating mystery and interest. It is just that you are collecting the information in order to use it against them at another time, whilst manipulating your image and reputation in their minds and obscuring your real motivations. In some ways it is a book on playing hard to get while outmanoeuvring the girl. A perfect structure in which to drop SS.
Some of the content is below. I can post more on it if you would like further discussion; I am overflowing with ideas on it.
To list some of the laws that are obviously applicable:
Law 3: Conceal your intentions (Keep people off balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defence. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelop them in enough smoke, and by the time they realise your intentions, it will be too late.)
Law 4: Always say less than is necessary
Law 6: Court attention at all costs Law 8: Make other people come to you - use bait if necessary
Law 9: Win though your actions, never through argument. (Any momentary triumph you win though argument is really a Pyrrhic victory: The resentment and ill will you stir up is stronger and lasts longer than any momentary change in opinion. It is much more powerful to get others to agree with you though your actions, without saying a word. Demonstrate, do not explicate.)
Law 10: Infection: Avoid the unhappy and unlucky (it works the other way also. This is an alternative take on social-proof, or pivots or whatever you want to call them, as well as wingmen. Also advice on not getting involved with the wrong girl.)
Law 11: Learn to keep people dependent on you.
Law 12: Use selective generosity to disarm your victim (One sincere and honest move will cover over dozens of dishonest ones. Openhearted gestures of honesty and generosity bring down the guard of even the most suspicious people. Once your selective honesty opens a hole in their armour, you can deceive and manipulate at will.)
Law 13: When asking for help, appeal to people's self interest, never to their mercy or gratitude.
Law 14: Pose as a friend, work as a spy.
Law 16: Use absence to increase respect and honour. (Again through mystery and not stuffing it up by staying too long and doing or saying something wrong.)
Law 17: Keep others in suspended terror: Cultivate an air of unpredictability
Law 18: Do not build fortresses to protect yourself - Isolation is dangerous. (Get out there amongst them).
Law 19: Know who you are dealing with - do not offend the wrong person.
Law 20: Do not commit yourself to anyone.
Law 21: Play a sucker to catch a sucker - appear dumber than your mark. (Let her think that she is in control and smart, less naive, don't let on you are a player).
Law 25: Re-create yourself (Do not accept the roles that society foists on you. Re-create yourself by forging a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the audience. Be the master of your own image rather than letting others define it for you. Incorporate dynamic devices into your public gestures and actions - your power will be enhanced and your character will seem larger than life).
Law 26: Keep your hands clean. (You must seem a paragon of civility and efficiency: Your hands are never soiled by mistakes and nasty deeds. Maintain such a spotless appearance by using others as scapegoats and cat' s-paws to disguise your involvement).
Law 27: Play on peoples need to believe to create a cult like following. (advice in this chapter is on how to become a cult leader or maybe build a harem. 5 strategies to your dogma!
a) Keep it vague; Keep it simple
b) Emphasise the visual and sensual over the intellectual
c) Borrow the forms of organised religion to structure the group
d) Disguise your income source
e) set up an us-vs.-them dynamic. I think Ross Jeffries read this one!)
Law 28: Enter action with Boldness. (If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you make through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the bold; no one honours the timid).
Law 29: Plan all the way to the end.
Law 30: Make your accomplishments seem effortless. (Your actions must seem natural and executed with ease. All the toil and practice that goes into them, also all the clever tricks, must be concealed. When you act, act effortlessly, as if you could do much more. Avoid the temptation of revealing how hard you work - it only raises questions. Teach no one your tricks or they will be used against you .. I am breaking this rule right here with this post, as is the Authour of the book.)
Law 31: Control the options: Get others to play with the cards you deal. (The best deceptions are the ones that seem to give the other person a choice: Your victims feel they are in control, but are actually your puppets. Give people options that come out in your favour whichever one they choose. Force them to make choices between the lesser of two evils, both of which serve your purpose. Put them on the horns of the dilemma: they are gored wherever they turn. Note: this is a different view on my idea of re-framing questions. The questions are re-framed so well that the girl has no option.)
Law 32: Play to people's fantasies.
Law 33: Discover each mans thumbscrew.
Law 34: Be royal in your own fashion: Act like a king to be treated like one.
Law 35: Master the art of timing. (Never seem to be in a hurry - hurrying betrays a lack of control over yourself, and over time. Always seem patient, as if you know that everything will come to you eventually. Become a detective of the right moment; sniff out the spirit of the times, the trends that will carry you to power. Learn to stand back when the time is not yet ripe, and to strike fiercely when it has reached fruition.)
Law 36: Disdain things you cannot have: Ignoring them is the best revenge.
Law 37: Create compelling spectacles. (Striking imagery and grand symbolic gestures create the aura of power - everyone responds to them. Stage spectacles for those around you, then, full of arresting visuals and radiant symbols to heighten your presence. Dazzled by appearances, no one will notice what you are really doing.)
Law 40: Despise the free Lunch.
Law 43: Work on the hearts and minds of others.
Law 44: Disarm and infuriate with the mirror effect. (The mirror reflects reality, but is the perfect tool for deception: When you mirror your enemies, doing exactly as they do, they cannot figure out your strategy. The mirror Effect mocks and humiliates them, making them overreact. By holding up a mirror to their psyches, you seduce them with the illusion that you share their values; by holding up a mirror to their actions you teach them a lesson. Few can resist the power of the mirror effect.)
Law 48: Assume formlessness. (By taking a shape, by having a visible plan, you open yourself to attact. Instead of taking a form for the girl to grasp, keep yourself adaptable and on the move. Accept the fact that nothing is certain and no law is fixed. The best way to protect yourself is to be as fluid and formless as water: never bet on stability or lasting order. Everything changes.)
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