I have several questions about the nature of power. I'm interested in your opinions on the subject.
1. How do you define "power"?
2. Is there something inherently divisive about power?
3. Are those who seek power destined to experience a certain amount of isolation, as mystics and writers do?
4. How do you feel about the romanticization of power? What about the vilification of power?
5. Do you believe people should reach for power?
6. Do you believe a group of individuals who all fully express their power is doomed to fall apart?
7. On the same token, do you believe it is possible for a group to reach for power and NOT fall apart, instead maintaining unity?
To me, "power" is the combination of control, practice, and knowledge that one exerts over some aspect of yourself, whether physicality, spirituality, intelligence, etc. There is another side of the coin, the drive to exert control over others. But that's now the power I'm referring to here.
I believe that every person should strive to meet their full potential, though I also believe that you NEVER reach your full potential. The better you become, the more possibilities open up.
I believe it is a personal responsibility to push yourself to become stronger, smarter, more knowledgeable, better physically, more in tune with yourself and your spirituality.
I also believe that this is how you become truly powerful.
But as with so many other things, the higher the potential payoff, the more risks there are. When you push yourself to confront, control, and increase your personal power, you open yourself up to the option of becoming power-hungry. And that is up to each person to choose which path they go down.
So, when you have a group of people who all are focusing on increasing their personal power, as well as the group's collective power, you have many opportunities for it to go awry. You also diminish the (mechanical) tolerances for screw ups and interpersonal bullshit. The more intense a group is, the more difficult it is to maintain unity and cohesiveness. I don't believe it is the nature of power, but the nature of humans when dealing with power.
I also believe some reasons behind the seemingly inherent solitary nature of power-seekers is 1- it makes you crave contact with others less, and 2- it makes it more difficult to find people you truly relate to.
Now, as freyasman said on academicpagans, "I have no reason to believe that everyone who seeks power is somehow destined a certain amount of isolation. I think that it is common and natural for humans to experience a certain amount of isolation from others. Each person is unique and therefore to some degree isolated. We also have much in common that unites us. I think that one of our essential tasks in living a happy life is learning how to be both our unique individual selves and in healthy relationships with others."
I do believe that has slightly adjusted my view on the isolation factor.