On the Pursuit of Power
Updated: Nov 20
I wouldn't want to generalize about all of humanity, but I believe that it's safe to say that many people find the desire for power to be gratifying and rewarding. By "power," I don't necessarily mean social or political power. Even things like passing a few levels in a video game, building a large building, or getting a boyfriend or girlfriend can give you a sense of power.
What is "power" anyway? It can be defined as having more of something, whether it's friends, money, troops, or anything else. Of course, this doesn't have to be limited to people. You can also gain power by amassing resources, whether they're material or abstract. This is perhaps the appeal of financial materialism, from both a social and romantic standpoint.
Assuming this premise is true, then anyone can become powerful in any field they choose to pursue. Power doesn't just come from wealth or resources. It can also come from skill. If you're very talented in a particular field, you can be considered a powerful person in that field.
The highest level of power comes from being a master of your craft. Only the truly skilled can be considered masters. A rich man's power comes from his money, a model's power from her beauty, and the power of the intellectual comes from his or her cognitive abilities and intelligence-based accomplishments. Therefore, the concept of "power" isn't something that is only exclusive to a certain minority of extremely privileged people. Everyone has the right to become powerful in their own right, in whatever shape or form their power is increased and expressed through.
I think there should be no shame in talking about power in whatever field or occupation. Anyone could be a master at anything they have the potential to develop further. For example, there is a certain content creator on YouTube who plays almost entirely one game. He has mastered everything there is to master in this game, which was originally rated for children back in the 2000s. Such dedication is something that, theoretically, can be applied to just about anything. That's what's so awesome about skill: like power, you just can't get enough of it.
The ambition for greater skill is an indirect way to desire life, as one must be alive to be able to increase their skill.
I myself consider myself "powerful" in this regard, and I see no fault in this honest confession. It's not because of the userbase or the positive feedback I've gathered over the years. It's because I aspire to master the art of writing philosophy more than anything else. When I see that content creator playing the same difficult levels over and over again just to finish the game as quickly as possible, I'm touched by how every craft or art can be perfected to the point of true mastery.
Once mastery is reached, you can pass that power on to the next generation of practitioners, and so on. When you become powerful in an area, you create an "abstract" energy that you can not only use but preserve, for the whole world to watch, learn, and even practice themselves.
Therefore, I think that the pursuit of power is something that is very splendid. It is far better than passing through the days without improving on at least a single craft. You may work daily, and then return home to relax and rest before the next day at work.
But where is the purposefulness beyond getting the next paycheck, assuming you're oblivious to your job beyond its salary? Some people may tell you to get a wife or husband and have children. But where is the "essence" that keeps you going every day, out of bed? The "spark" I'm talking about isn't necessarily love, family, religion, or anything else. It's the path to true mastery in whatever area that truly makes you smile and be enthusiastic about. It's the thing that makes you be grateful that you were born into this world, despite the struggles included throughout.
This "spark" can exist alongside the orthodox path of our adult lives. You don't have to abandon your family and run to the seclusion of the remote hills. However, it is a far better "fate" to live with a passion that is about yourself, rather than be a financial servant to your family exclusively. Your kids will eventually sustain themselves financially, and your wife or husband may either pass away or accept your existence as granted (unfortunately, of course). What other thing do you have left, other than actualizing your own potential, as a human being that is capable of existing beyond the societal and orthodox frameworks? In order for that to happen, the pursuit towards mastery of anything must be nurtured within you.
The desire to mastery, even if one might not be able to attain mastery, can at least justify one's existence. It can also fill them with a greater supply of "life-force," which is simply the will-power to carry on.
In a sense, ownership of property can give one power from a more philosophical standpoint, and not just from a societal perspective. After all, those who have nothing to lose usually don't have much to live for. This makes ownership a form of the will-power I've been speaking of.
Now that I know that my site will go down without succession, as someone has to pay for its domain, I feel too "powerful" to give in to despair. Simply because, I have much to lose.