This is the fifth in an ongoing series of articles entitled The Dynamics. This installment is The World Systems – Aggression.
“The next element is the dynamics of aggression. Now I realize that subject was touched upon as part of the “being first” dynamic, but I need to separate them. When I got to the idea of being first, I told you that you can’t be first unless you compete and then I used the words aggressively compete. What I’m talking about now is the third one, which is aggression itself not necessarily associated with competition, just aggression. I find you in line so I push you out of that line and that’s not to be first, it is just aggression. We have a discussion and I run it into a full-fledged screaming argument. It’s not to become first; it’s just to intimidate you.
I don’t feel too good about the books that have come out in this decade, such as The Art of Intimidation or How To Be First. These books really say in one sense or another that you must verbally punch the other guy in the nose. How else are you going to get by? But those books, articles, and those concepts are certainly fit for where we find ourselves at this particular time. Aggression is one of the characteristics that take place.
Now I don’t think I have to explain to you how negative and anti-spiritual in universal terms aggression is. We all have a certain amount of it. The problem is that those of us who are not naturally aggressive find that any action of aggression is extremely depleting. It uses up our energy, our vitality, our concepts, our creativity and just about every part of us. To some degree we all have a modicum of aggression built into us because we are part of the genetic scheme here and it’s part of mankind. What I am talking about at this phase is serious aggression. At the ultimate end of the scale it’s war. Pure and simple even to the point of atomic or nuclear war. At the lower end of the scale it’s two people who are just beating on each other with sticks for no other purpose than to beat the other person into submission. That includes, by the way, verbal aggression in which one person just simply beats the other one verbally. I don’t think there’s anybody in this room that I can’t out shout and out yell, but if I did that, it’s verbal aggression. I talk over you, I talk louder, I talk faster, I talk more intensely and that’s no different than picking up a stick and hitting you on the head. So you’re going to find aggression in all its phases.
One of the things you may run into, let’s say again in the business world, or the career area of your life is that aggression will be considered something of a satisfactory premium in adjudging an individual. I like him or I like her because they’re aggressive. Generally that’s a very positive word. It means someone who initiates his or her own action and will carry it through. The way it going to come out now is, I like them because they push everybody else out of the way, get to the top and doesn’t stop for anything. That’s a tank rolling over a banana. It’s the old metaphysical story about it not making any difference if the pot hits the steamroller or the steamroller hits the pot. It’s bad for the pot. You have got to realize that when we talk about this kind of aggression it really doesn’t make any difference the reason; the recipient is the one who suffers.
Here is the case where you honestly cannot meet fire with fire. That is not if you want to survive this period. Here is the case where in one sense you’ve got to insulate and really the only thing that will insulate against aggression is non-aggression. I’m not really talking in the terms of Mahatma Gandhi, but I am talking in terms that you can’t fight someone who doesn’t fight. I’m not talking about going around waving olive branches. I’m not talking about putting on white robes, beating a drum and saying a bunch of words over and over again. I’m talking about getting back into the area where you’ve got your base of stability and realize that nothing can be gained by coming into an arena of aggression and so you simply won’t enter into it.
You don’t have to be a smart aleck about it, you don’t have to be supercilious about it and you don’t have to put on airs. You just won’t enter into it. Sometimes that may amount to nothing more than you staring at the person and not giving any answer. That’s a pretty unsettling act in itself. Sometimes it may mean biting down and turning the other cheek. Sometimes it may mean indicating to the other person in some way that there is a point beyond which you won’t tolerate their aggression. That can be assumed either as a threat or promise depending on what you mean. But what you don’t want to get caught up in is the emotionalism associated with aggression because once that takes place you very simply loose control. Once you loose control all of your meaning, your intent and what you’ve tried to gain in your system is basically down the tubes.
Sometimes you’re going to have to probably sit or stand by and see other people get promoted, other people praised or rewarded in your company or place of business just because they’re aggressive. Just because, in every sense of the word, they’re nothing but bastards and they don’t care who’s in front of them, they are just going to roll over them. You will see those people rewarded and praised and wonder if the whole damn world isn’t crazy. But again, there is no way that you’re going to be able to deal with that other than recognizing in the long run you’ll come out of it and it is true that those who live by the sword will die by the sword. The aggressor will always meet another aggressor. The worst thing about drawing the sword on the battlefield and becoming in effect the unbeatable knight is everybody’s out to beat you and sooner or later you’re going to meet your match even if it’s just by attrition and age, you’re going to meet your match. So, winners always lose and losers eventually can win and you don’t want any part of that.
What you want to do again is to maintain your stability. So it becomes necessary at this point for you to evaluate and review your degrees and levels of aggression. I think it becomes very important for you to do that. You’ve really got to see where your aggression points are. You’ve got to perhaps, for the first time in your life really take a good look at where your buttons are and how easily they can be pushed. If they can be pushed that easily, what are you going to have to do in your reevaluation of yourself to change that?
We all have buttons that can be pushed and the problem is that everybody else knows them telepathically. Give the average person ten minutes in a social engagement and that person instinctively knows the weakness of everyone he talked to. He doesn’t know that he knows, but he starts pushing the buttons right away. Well, in a system that is going aggressive a lot of your buttons are going to be known. You must remember that in an aggressive atmosphere and again I’m talking about the career area, oftentimes the higher ups in a company for an example will pit two people against each other on an aggressive basis simply to see who comes out on top. It’s just a matter of determining a competitive team and you’ve got to be very careful to not get trapped in that. Within a family situation you’ll see children competing on an aggressive basis to see which is the stronger. Some people make look at it and say, well isn’t this survival of the fittest? We’re not talking about survival of the fittest in that sense. If it’s dog eat dog, one dog will always eat the other dog eventually and that should be circumvented. Don’t get caught up in that. That does not mean that you never get mad, as I can’t conceive that I would never get mad. But is does mean that I will take better control of my aggression, be much more aware of what set it off, and be much more aware of what’s going on during the process so that in effect I don’t loose my head because that’s really where it will lead.” – Gregge Tiffen, 1984
TO BE CONTINUED IN PART 6 – The World Systems – Repetition.