The Celestine Prophecy is a book written by James Redfield that came out in the 90s. It identified a story describing the concept of upleveling consciousness through what I consider to be mindfulness and conscious paradigm shifting.
One theme had to do with energy communication in relationship. Or the energy exchange in/of communication. It identified styles of interacting or communicating that had to do with the energy of power as it was dealt with in interaction and communication. Many people are familiar with this without necessarily knowing it.
The styles were broken down into a passive poor me and aggressive intimidator pair, and less aggressive interrogator and a less passive aloof pair. These came in aggressive energy and passive energy pairs and created each other – (figure /ground).
They were described on a continuum from aggressive to passive energy and focused on a style of being in the world to gain power or control over another, or avoidance of the other gaining power/control over you.
The intimidator is a person who uses overt intimidation to gain power over another. He does so through word choice, inflection, positioning, physical space and tone level of the voice. The individual in direct relationship with this style of being in the world acts in a poor me passive style of being in the world. Again this would come across through tone, inflection, eye contact, physical space, and level of voice.
An interrogator creates an aloof style of being in the world. And these go in both directions, creating each other. The aloof is avoiding the interrogation, feeling it is intrusive, withholding information, avoiding, and not responding. The interrogator is attempting to gather information or make a connection with an individual who is avoiding, feeling the aloof is distancing and retreating and hiding something.
When you look at them in pairs, as they are described, you can see the energy exchange and how they create the opposite styles of communicating. You can see/feel the power exchange or dance.
Once the style is set within a person then it seems they continue to create it throughout their relationships. And the paired groups find each other so as to continue the odd resolution to the identified power struggle.
You can observe this when someone interacts with you in a way that is inconsistent with your intent in the communication interaction. When they hear what you are attempting to communicate inaccurately but forcefully, or attributes certain inferences to you that are not present from your perspective.
The book describes this concept of developing a style of communicating as based on, or in reaction to, the communication style you witnessed /experienced in childhood.
I have found this to be somewhat accurate anecdotally, that how we relate with others is representative of what happened to us and what we observed. Furthermore I have discovered that, similar to the temperament types of the Kiersey-Bates, or Myers-Briggs, this can change over time or be different in various social situations, relating to the issue of power in relationship.
Mindfulness and conscious paradigm shifting can assist us in discerning if what we think the other person is saying/inferring/doing is part of our habit reaction pattern of communicating as described above or something that is part present moment interaction.
Key things that may help you assess that you are caught in a habit reaction pattern style of interacting/communication are the following thoughts, feelings, experiences:
If you feel this is just like a significant other childhood relationship
If you immediately feel anger, fear or frustration or you need space or can’t breathe.
If you feel nausea or panic in your belly.
If you can’t seem to grasp, understand what the other person is saying (not because they are being obtuse)
If you feel that how you are feeling they are acting is inconsistent with who they are – ie: they seem to be acting very mean but you know they really care about you.
The best thing to do is to try to gather more information as well as identify what you are feeling so that you can begin to get a handle on the paradigm and engage your mindfulness.
Understanding what you learned and why or from whom, regarding power in relationship really helps to develop better present moment relationships where you feel seen and loved for who you are, and can really see and love the other person for who they are.
Take some time to see if you can ascertain what you witnessed between your parents regarding these two pairs and what you may have developed as your operating system in communication style.
Then you can start to apply mindfulness to that and see if you find that you both feel more heard in your interactions and have a sense of connection that is deeper in those interactions.
See you tomorrow.
August 27, 2010 at 6:55 am
I think both sides of the pairs can exist in one person. I have been dealing with someone who could be called an intimidator, but when I stood up to him, he went into a big “poor me” thing. It’s been very confusing to know how to react to him, and I’ve been waiting and watching instead of going back to confront him again. His last message needs a reply, and I’m taking my time formulating it. I suspect that anything I say will only make things worse– but he seems to think the same at his end.
“The Celestine Prophecy”– awful, amateurish writing, very disappointing. I never heard anything good about it from anyone I knew, so I don’t know who the millions were who thought it was so great. You can do better, I’m sure! But then, you are asking people to use their brains, which usually is not a great way to become popular, it seems.
August 27, 2010 at 4:27 pm
I completely agree about the writing style of this book – it was frustrating to get through the transition aspects but the information about each insight seemed to be channeled – that part was quite good. I noticed that the following books were more well-written.
I have noticed the same thing you are describing that individuals will develop both aspects of a pair but have a preference as to which they typically use. The more one can increase their mindfulness in communication/interaction, these power styles are used and power is not the main aspect of the interaction.
With individuals stuck in the intimidator/poor me – I try to both be gentle/neutral in my tone and even in my space, and level of voice while being firm in my content – hope that is helpful.
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