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In the game of poker people usually tell the other players what is in their hands. It is not intentional, but being creatures of habit, people will make unconscious signals when they have a good hand, and other signals when they have a bad hand. An observant player will learn these tells, while concealing their own, and will tend to win more of the time than the other players. A wiser player will know when to get out of the game, before the losers begin to suspect some cheating.... not that there was any cheating involved.
This works in life as well, and if you are observant, and recognise the patterns, you can learn to see the Hidden Agenda. This becomes easier with practice, and once you know them, you will spot them quickly, & save yourself much trouble. Repeating patterns that always lead to disaster, and bind people into Karmic cycles, should be at the top of your list, along with the tells of con-artists, psychic vampires, and power-mongers. Naturally, seeing the tells of other people is much easier, than seeing your own, but to make real progress on the Path, you must learn your own Hidden Agendas, the clues you give to others, as to what you think you are, what your desires may be, and how you can be manipulated.
There are two steps in breaking the Karmic pattern of abuse. The first step, is fairly obvious : simply stop being abusive. The second is more difficult : stop being abused. In this Chaotic world, everyone desires some measure of control. Those who do not control their own appetites & desires, seek this control by going externally, & abusing others. Those who seek within, eventually learn to control themselves, and radiate some Order into the world.
A pattern that you will always find among con-artists, is their insistance that you trust them. Usually their appeal is to greed, but they have other ploys, as well. They may go after your Altruism, they may flatter your Ego, or intimate that you have a fear of Commitment, but it always comes down to them conning you into surrendering some of your power. Refuse to go there, and you get to watch them squirm, as they reveal themselves to be the fakes that they are. The takers in this world find the givers so very, very attractive, and the givers (needing to give), so very often fall into their clutches. But after some time, even a taker feels guilt about taking from a giver, and when that happens, the taker turns upon the giver, seeking to destroy. After all, once one giver has been used up, the taker will already have lined up another giver as a replacement...
How does this all begin? The giver lacks self-esteem, or feels somehow unworthy of being appreciated, so they choose a taker, who will use them, and not appreciate what has been given. This can turn into a repeating pattern, until the giver realises what they have been doing, and why, and finally decides to put an end to it. One very vicious pattern amoung takers, is the wounded victim. The taker has gotten into a horrible spot, that only a giver can get them out of. The giver steps in, and solves the taker's problem (usually at great time & expense), BUT then, the taker goes out & gets into a worse situation, which the taker then blames upon the giver. People with problems will charge you for helping them. People with projects, reward instead.
I know this topic will hit a few nerves.... It is a dark illumination (seldom, if ever addressed). When climbing a ladder, you must let go of the lower rung, in order to reach the next higher one, and the feet must follow the hands. The Teachings on the Path give us much on the Cosmic Laws of the Universe, the Patterns of Light hidden within us, & the Ways of Nature & Harmony. Certainly we do learn much from all of this, but how far can we go, how much progress can we make, while weighted down by the Hidden Agenda? How can you comprehend these sublime teachings, and apply them with a dark shadow whispering in your ear, telling you that you deserve only to fail, no matter how hard you try? The dark illumination is as valuable as the the Light for which we strive, and knowing where you have been, & why, is the Key for unlocking the Future. A circuit is only complete, when it has both a positive source, and a negative ground.
Take this analogy of life as a dream. The people & situations in your life are then symbolic of what is going on within you. The faces may change, but if the problems re-occur, then life is telling you what you need to work on in your hidden agenda. People often think that if they are honest & kind, that they will be treated honestly, & kindly. Certainly, those on the Path will respond that way, but most people will find it confusing, yet will not complain. And then there are those of a dark nature, who will see this as a threat to them, and a weakness to exploit. Strive to surround yourself with beauty, harmony, & love. This effort externally, will reflect within, changing who you are.
Besides my own insights, I borrowed some ideas from, The Givers & The Takers, by, Chris Evatt and Bruce Feld (out of print). The book was about dating & relationships, but I think it had some wider applications... The authors say that there are no people who are completely balanced in giving & taking, but I suppose that hermits aren't into dating, and people who are equally balanced between giving & taking do not make very interesting psychological studies. One good thing I can say about takers, is that they get what they want. The trick is doing it, at no one else's expense.
"The sad truth about givers is that they are so busy giving to others that it literally does not occur to them to ask for physical or emotional support from others.... that would take time away from the hectic schedule they have already insisted upon establishing for themselves. They are like a grandmother we know, who invites a dozen people over for dinner, and then complains about having to cook for a dozen people! Until givers give themselves the time to receive from others, their lives will persist in an unhealthy and unhappy imbalance."
There are two forms of the Crash & Burn. Understanding them is a great Key to overcoming. The first is the Crash. It begins with the False Premise. You assume a falsehood to be truth, and it leads you to the Crash. The bigger the falsehood, the bigger the Crash. This is devasting. Following through on a False Premise leads to a sudden collapse of the foundation. The False Premise is always something external to yourself, a delusion that cannot be verified by reasoning, or obtainable facts & observations. They are always emotionally compelling, big, bright promises, with huge hidden costs. The People's Temple was a Crash. The False Premise was that Rev. Jim Jones was some kind of Prophet to be obeyed in all things. The hidden cost, was that Jonestown was a slave labor camp. And the collapse of the foundation was the massacre of 800 followers.
The second is the Burn. Unlike the Crash, which is external, the Burn is one you do to yourself. The Burn is self-sabotage. You do things in a way that guarantees failure. The key, is that you believe you deserve to fail, that you are unworthy. You begin a good project, but because you lack confidence, you find a way to make it fail, right at the end. That is a Burn. You can console yourself that you tried something that was beyond your abilities, but that is just telling yourself, that you deserved to Burn. To correct this problem, & not repeat this error, you need to earn your own confidence in yourself. You do this by accomplishing all of the preparatory studies & work first. You skip no steps. Thus, you know what you are doing. In Magick you do not say, "I want this" or "I would like this", instead, you command, pro-actively & affirmatively, "I am doing this". So Mote It Be!
My idea for this topic, was to concentrate on the things that block people from attaining Enlightenment. So much has been written about how to tune in on the Divine, but little has been written on getting rid of the hinderances. The thing is, that you can only go so far, before the hinderances halt your progress entirely, but when you undo the negative patterns, your Spiritual progress leaps ahead. It works both ways. I've heard that the Path is like climbing a ladder. You let go of a lower rung, & then you reach out for a higher one. People tend to dwell on their bad experiences, the failures, disappointments, cruelties, & relationships gone awry. By concentrating on these horrible things, we open channels for them to repeat themselves, trapping ourselves in repeating patterns of disaster, & abuse. In these ways our own minds create hidden agendas that we need to overcome before we can make progress on the Path.
A pattern abusers often use, is to blame their victims. When the victim of their abuse, finally protests being abused, they turn to other people claiming that their victim, turned upon them, & hurt them terribly. It becomes a big lie that the abuser must maintain at all costs. Holding onto that lie, binds the abuser into repeating their behavior in any further relationships that they may have. An abuser may come to you, saying that they need help, but the truth is, that what they really want is validation for their big lie, & abusive behavior. If you fall into their trap, then they cannot get out of theirs. They will continue whatever pattern of lies they have been pursuing, since it has proven successful. The only thing you can do, is to sever the contact, which may bring you some flack, (which you can weather), but which will also keep you free of intanglements not based upon truth.
Sometimes people will say things to themselves that they would not even say to their worst enemy, and they will repeat them to themselves over & over. That is your Hidden Agenda speaking. Those are the things you need to root out of yourself. And you need to replace them with Positive, Creative patterns & attitudes, instead.. Now we have a new metaphysical buzzword : Hidden Agenda. Invoke it, & you dispell the Darkness...
People tend to dwell on their bad experiences, the failures, disappointments, cruelties, & relationships gone awry. By concentrating on these horrible things, we open channels for them to repeat themselves, trapping ourselves in repeating patterns of disaster, & abuse. In these ways our own minds create hidden agendas that we need to overcome before we can make progress on the Path.
A pattern abusers often use, is to blame their victims. When the victim of their abuse, finally protests being abused, they turn to other people claiming that their victim, turned upon them, & hurt them terribly. It becomes a big lie that the abuser must maintain at all costs. Holding onto that lie, binds the abuser into repeating their behavior in any further relationships that they may have. This abuser may come to you, saying that they need help, but the truth is, that what they really want is validation for their big lie, & abusive behavior. If you fall into their trap, then they cannot get out of theirs. They will continue whatever pattern of lies they have been pursuing, since it has proven successful. The only thing you can do, is to sever the contact, which may bring you some flack, (which you can weather), but which will also keep you free of intanglements not based upon truth.
There are two kinds of fears. There is the healthy fear that keeps you from doing dangerous things that really could get you hurt, which I call wariness or common sense. AND Then, there are the irrational fears. Such are not based upon anything logical or intuitive, but are Hidden Agendas that prevent you from doing many things that you really ought to do. Holding onto these fears, tends to bring those things you fear into active play in your life, so you really need to get rid of them. Meditation will give you a general sense of calmness, but to really get rid of fear, you have to dig deep into your own mind, and discover just what makes you tick. Then you need to find healthier attitudes to replace those irrational fears, and exert your will to adopt them.
The fear of success is a real killer, hammered into kids by their parents, their churches, their schools & jealous classmates. These negative messages of unworthiness, self-loathing, & despair, are amoung the first things you need to get rid of, in order to make any progress on the Path, or in life in general. It is not an easy process, and it is definately an onging one. The Hidden Agendas can be very deeply engrained. When uprooting one of these weeds, you can feel lost without it. That is when you need to plant a good seed of what you are striving for. Reading inspiring books & engaging in Spiritual practices, will fill in the Void.
Most people who win the lottery, spend all that money, & end up broke again in a few years. That's because of the poverty mentality. One sees oneself as being broke, and manages to create conditions which keep them broke, regardless of what happens. And then there is the wealth mentality, in which one sees oneself as being wealthy, and manages to create conditions which make one wealthy, regardless of what happens. All of this comes from the Law of Gravitation. Situations that correspond to our inward images of ourselves are brought into manefestation in our lives. By changing the ways in which we see ourselves, we change the conditions around us. In order to do this effectively, you must comprehend what exactly you think of yourself, & the reasons why. This is a difficult inward contemplation, but it is the Key to creating a world of your highest desires.
The fear of the Unknown does make learning from foresight rather difficult. But compare that, with the suffering from learning by hindsight. In the better books, & forums like this, people have the opportunity to come to understand vital processes, and save themselves much suffering. In Buddhism they speak of contemplation of the Void. Once one is comfortable with that, what else could there be to fear? These fears of change that we harbor & nurture within ourselves, become Hidden Agendas, which rule our lives. Dissolving these Hidden Agendas, and replacing them with principles of Light, are perhaps, the most important work we can undertake on the Path.
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The Hidden Agenda