The Six Kinds of Power
"It began with the forging of the great rings. Three were given to the elves, the wisest and fairest (most just) of all creatures, seven to the dwarf lords, great miners and craftsmen of the mountain' ores and nine...nine rings were gifted to race of men...who above all else desire POWER..." Lord of the Rings
One afternoon, as I was cleaning my spam box I came across an ad and curiously opened it. It was a video about the four kinds of power. It was fascinating in the sense that it only talked about physical power, social power, economic power and spiritual power. It missed or ignored intellectual power, as well as political power. I thought that is odd and then I realized that this was a promotional video. There are probably other kinds of power such as magical power but those I attribute to spiritual power.
Let us talk briefly about these powers.
Physical power is what the martial artists have.
Social power is what the celebrities have.
Economic power is what the wealthy people have. This is the only one that can be bestowed from one person to another, i.e. inheritance money.
Political power is what the elected officials have.
Intellectual power is what the scientists and artists have, and lastly,
Spiritual power is what the magicians/shamans have, and at the highest degree what the sages of the past, and realized beings have.
Except for the last one, all of the other powers overlap to some degree and one can be used to get others.
The last one encompasses them all, the main difference being those endowed with spiritual power can, at will, and in full knowing, take any of the earlier powers if they choose to do so. As in all cases, there are varying degrees.
For the last one, there is an infinite range of degrees.
I am thinking of the sages of the past. One of the most famous lines in a Zen book was the fact that the old Zen Masters, instead of being enfeebled by age were empowered by it.
To acquire any of the six powers one requires discipline. The question then is “What would you give to acquire your chosen power?”
The koan in Wumenguan entitled “The wild fox” asks this question: “Is a greatly cultivated man also subject to causality? The correct answer is : He is not blind to causality”
This was what Jesus Christ meant when he said “To be in the world but not of it.”
Note: If you want economic power then you should be able to say yes to what Milton in the Devil’s Advocate asked Kevin, the lawyer:
“Can you summon your talent at will? Can you deliver on a deadline? Can you sleep at night?”
Lastly, there is nothing wrong with trying to develop/acquire any of these powers. That is what free will is about. Just remember that with privilege always comes responsibility. You define what those are.
© 2010 by Melinda M. Sorensson