Manipulation – a sermon


“Dagny, there’s nothing of any importance in life – except how well you do your work.  Nothing.  Only that.  Whatever else you are, will come from that.  It’s the only measure of human value.  All the codes of ethics they’ll try to ram down your throat are just so much paper money put out by swindlers to fleece people of their virtues.  The code of competence is the only system of morality that’s on a gold standard.”  [Francisco, a character in Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged]

Manipulations belong to the incompetent.  An Einstein wouldn’t find time, nor would he have the inclination, for manipulation.  A R Rahman doesn’t need to manipulate anyone or anything as long as he continues to perfect his music.  The likely threats from manipulators wouldn’t deter a Salman Rushdie from writing a novel like The Satanic Verses.     

If you are led by your competence you won’t indulge in manipulation.  You won’t need to.  Your competence will guide you ahead.  What lies ahead may not be success by the standards of the incompetent.  What lies ahead will be your contentment, the joy in fulfilling yourself, the satisfaction of watching your spirit evolve towards perfection.

If you are led by your competence you will work, and work hard too.  You will work not for the wealth that may be created.  Wealth is subsidiary.  The evolution of your spirit toward perfection is what matters primarily.  Wealth will come your way on its own if you wish. 

You will work not for power.  Competence may bring power.  It is up to you whether to embrace it or not.  Unless your competence is in leading people, power is meaningless.  Uneasy shall lie your head wearing the crown.

You will not work for accolade.  There is no greater reward for your work than the contentment of your spirit.  Accolade belongs to the idol in the marketplace.  The competent person is his own master.

Manipulation belongs to the realm of incompetence.  The incompetent make use of manipulation to achieve what they long for but are incapable of.  Dreams are free.  The competent person is aware of the horizon that separates the real from fantasy.  He hitches his wagon to a star, but puts a tight rein on the horse of his dream.

If your answers can be as short as Yes or No, you may be on the track of competence.  The incompetent need too many words.  They need too many rules and regulations.  They need them in order to conceal their incompetence.  They need them in order to manipulate others.

The manipulator works less and speaks too much.  Words can keep you away from your spirit.

Let your competence unfold.  Bliss will be your reward.


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2 Responses to Manipulation – a sermon

  1. Raghuram Ekambaram says:

    Matheikal, as I see it, you are sermonizing about not sermonizing, because sermons are always too long for their own good!But, I do take exception to your building up on the theme starting with Ayn Rand. Being bearded and all, you cannot, ever, build up on Ayn Rand, whatever she may have said. Tsk, tsk!

    Competence is not only how well you do your work, it is also about how much good does your work do. It is in this sustainable type of “good” one’s morality plays a part and sermons, those without manipulations, given by the “good” are “good”. I know this has circles within circles, but so be it.

    Raghuram Ekambaram

  2. Matheikal says:

    Right, Raghuram, I’m sermonising about not sermonising. Right again that Rand won’t sustain me very far. In fact, I’m of the opinion that Rand’s heroes and heroines end up as characters in fables: just mouthpieces of the author. But I’m likely to agree with Rand in her view of the work being a passion for the competent person irrespective of the ‘good’ it does to mankind. The genius works primarily for his own contentment; the ‘good’ happens to be an outcome.

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