Extrovert Critic: “You can’t judge a book by its cover!”

Most plugged in people will tell you, “You can’t judge someone!” but anyone with a Subtle predisposition has always seen the hyprocrisy behind such sentiment.

Countless times we’ve seen the very same people turn around and judge in the next instant by appearance, dress, ethnicity, walk, talk, music, hobbies, sports, food…you name it.

One has to conclude they are simply oblivious and do not know themselves to be able say such silly things.

One with a degree of self-awareness understands it’s simply human to judge, and the better we get at consciously reading certain signs, the less arbitrary and more accurate such readings become.

In the ‘Highlander’ TV shows and movies, two immortals can instantly sense each other’s presence when they enter a room, even if there’s a crowd.

Over the years, I’ve come to understand it’s exactly the same with different types people.

I have an old saying “Every breed knows its own.”

Any place where people gather whether a profession, a hobby, or a bar tends to attract a particular breed.
And once a certain breed achieves a critical mass, it penalizes incompatible types and promotes the like-minded.

Such are people.

One can understand the way of the world and work with it or ignore it and mask the truth with popular platitudes.

This is especially important for someone of a minority breed, an introvert outsider who enters nearly every group setting at a major disadvantage, faced with loyalty tests and traps meant to weed them out.

Life as one of an outcast breed is precarious.  Judging who can be trusted and who is compatible becomes even more important.

For years, to my great detriment, I was handicapped by the common platitudes.  All that misdirection has little real effect most people’s behavior because their actions are mostly guided by instinct.
But for someone of awareness, such falsehoods can be devastating.

I ended up not judging time and again growing up when I absolutely should have!
Only after years did I begin to understand that everything I’d ever been told was a lie!

Finally, I learned to become gradually more shrewd about sizing people up.

Before overall appearance, ethnicity, age, anything else there are far more important things to pay attention to.

First is body language.

Subtle people, are often divorced from their bodies, but spiritually quite aware.  This makes for a distinct demeanor…often stiff and deliberate, a certain presence, a detached dignity.  It comes across as cold, robotic, haughty, very unpleasant to “well-adjusted” people.

They never walk into a room with a smile.  First they observe.

They don’t smile for most photos, but they do regard the camera with a frank and intimate gaze that reveals their character.

One cannot exaggerate the importance of the eyes:

People of the outcaste breeds have what I call spirit or dream eyes, because there’s a light of awareness, a certain type of awareness that I don’t see in most people’s eyes.

As a high school freshman, a name sprung into my head as I observed people passing by during lunch or walking to my next class:  In my mind but never aloud I called them “The Dog-Eyed.”  There was emotion and personality in their eyes, but none of “the awareness.”
Back then I just felt something was horribly wrong, I was totally isolated, but didn’t remotely understand I had to actively judge to find friends and allies in this world.

Now, it seems I can get at least strong hints of breeds and predispositions even just looking at pairs of eyes in a crowd.  And when I have a chance to get to know more about someone, my first impression is less and less often wrong.  Patterns we’re not supposed to see in polite society are all arrayed for our perusal.

As I’ve learned, some people are not “in” their eyes or face, when seeing athletes or anyone who works primarily with their body, often I see an odd emptiness in their visage but quickly sense their energy lies in their torso instead; they talk with their shoulders.  I even find myself returning their gaze to their center and it seems natural enough to them.

It’s not without coincidence that professional athletes and dancers are not also scientists or philosophers.  They live first in their body’s instinct, pretty much the polar opposite of the archetypal thinker.

Another giveaway is how someone talks.
Unusual and unusually varied word choice is very common; all of it contraband smuggled through the blockade of the mass culture.
The introvert often has the same deliberate, stilted, yet dignified manner with their mouth as they have with the rest of their body and there’s no way to hide it, not even when trying to imitate common diction.
I don’t think even language really matters; the “symptoms” are always there.

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Mass Markets Are A Collective Dream

The mass market is a great shared dream.

In your own dreams, if you think of flying, you will surely begin to fly.

In a mass market, the average of everyone’s dreams must appear.

The mass market is as useful as you are similar to everyone else.

But what if you’re an outlier?

The collective dream more resembles a nightmare.

The stores are mostly filled with products and services you neither want or need.

What you desire is scarce despite abundant goods!

Like a mariner stranded out in the ocean,
Water water everywhere, yet not a drop to drink.

Not all dreamers are equal.  The dreaming of a small minority is greater than all the rest.  They were chosen as dream leaders by a mass of lesser dreamers.
You don’t agree?  Majority rules.  The Great Dream doesn’t care about you.
The less you spend, the less it listens to your will.
The fewer people who are like you, the less influence you have.

The society in which we live is only as good as our fellow dreamers.

And thus we experience most others, not as an asset, but as a liability dragging us ever downward.

Every penny is a vote.
And the sum of those votes is our society.
Therefore, by our society you can judge us all.

Television and the Introvert

To the introvert, the TV is an enemy.  The nasal cadence and pitch of TV voices appeals to Loud people. It sounds like a rapid, relentless staccato.  It destroys local patterns of speech and makes millions talk in lockstep.    I’ve noticed those who belong often like to do things or even sleep with the TV on for background noise.  It’s the very voice of mass society’s hive mind itself singing to them and soothing them.  To the outsider, the TV is the very voice of that great Tyrant God.

If you would determine someone’s world view and perceived place in society, it is easy to simply watch their attitude towards the TV.  Few other devices so effectively symbolize the mass experience of the 20th century: the collective hive mind talking down to a crowd that can’t talk back.

As an introvert, I love to see how the collaborative, egalitarian discourse of the internet has begun to displace the big brother television. It is like seeing a false idol toppled and cast down.

Alas, with a new age comes new enemies.  In some ways, “social networking” sites like facebook are even more insidious and invasive than 20th century mass media.
The look on people’s faces when you tell them “I’m not on facebook” says it all.

Extrovert Critic: “But Don’t You Want To Fall in Love?”

There’s one experience that is the greatest affirmation of humanity in the Loud ideology.
It is typically called “falling in love.”

The first thing apparent to the Subtle person is word choice. The word ‘falling.’ It implies ‘accidental’, ‘unintentional’, ‘helpless’, ‘overwhelmed’, ‘powerless.’ All this is precisely the point.
Falling in love in poetry, literature, cinema… is a celebration of helplessness and surrender. A ‘fall’ from the confines of a dull and daily self to someplace that happens to be better…for a little while. A brief period of liberation from the oppressive prison of a self that isn’t very fun to live with.

To one who is Subtle, it seems that the Loud routinely confuse love with sentimentality.
‘Falling’ in love is an oxymoron. True love cannot be an accident, because then it is just an accident, something that just happened to us while we were passively looking on. Where is the truth and where is the love?
If there were a Subtle language, I imagine one might say something like “place oneself in love”, “choose to love”, or “cultivate love in oneself.”
In the Subtle world view, there cannot be love without some sort of agency. Else, who loves?
If there is no who, we can’t be speaking of something that is human, but rather something animal or even mechanical. In Subtle-ese “Romeo fell in love with her” might be “Romeo was loved to her,” just as we might say the “the printer was attached to the power supply” in our common tongue. Actually… plugs are referred to as ‘male’ and ‘female.’ But I diverge—

Humanity in the Subtle understanding is not concerned with overwhelming surges of emotion as it is in appreciating the nuances.
Not in clamoring to ride oceanic tidal waves, but in feeling the play of ripples across a pond.

Someone who needs a cataclysmic fall, a tidal wave to really feel alive is someone who has moved away from their humanity. They are desensitized. Being Loud, they are very nearly deaf.

Introvert vs. Extrovert: What Does It Mean To Be Human?

Every philosophy or culture seems to have a different definition for ‘humanity.’ The definition of what we should be. The Confucian principle of humanity(ren) for instance has a very different meaning than the Western ‘equivalent.’

To those who are Loud and extroverted, it is our emotions and ability to empathize that constitute humanity.

Those who do not immediately appear to possess these faculties are flawed and lacking as humans.

Look at nearly every scientist, nerd, or thinker as portrayed in popular cinema. The verdict: people who have all the wrong priorities. People who have distanced themselves from their own humanity or only had a very weak sense of it in the first place.
In trying to be something non-human, the mad scientist commits the crime of hubris. Invariably, a mistake is made or a mess created. The powers of intellect without the guidance of a Correct social consciousness prove disastrously short sighted.

In Independence Day, a scientist is fascinated with studying alien life, but he lacks the humanity and moral vision to realize that his academic prying is trivial next to one overriding fact: The aliens are evil. Lacking human moral sense, he gets himself and his crew killed when they try to cut open a dangerous alien on an operating table.

In the Polar Express one bad kid stands out from all the others. He’s not evil, just Incorrect. He’s the brainiac kid who knows lots of facts but doesn’t understand people, what it means to be a person, the social role he’s supposed to play. All the other kids seem to barely tolerate his presence. He repeatedly brings forth rational or profit-making considerations while they’re all riding on a magic train. Sometimes everyone just stares at him in shock for a moment, realizing he still hasn’t clued in.

In the Loud world view, there is indeed an idea of the magical that removes us from the mechanical and makes us human. Most of us just ‘get it’ but there’s always a few who don’t or won’t. This is the magic of being able to relate to most other people. Popular entertainment sends us an important message: No matter how smart, talented, or accomplished one might be, one is fundamentally flawed, incomplete, inhuman without an emotional understanding with the group.

To one who is Subtle, the level of the emotional, the empathetic, the group conscious, is a lower plane. It is more animal than human, really. Most processes are carried out on the level of intuition or the subconscious. The conscious will, the human has very little to do with it.

What really makes us human beings, in the Subtle perspective, is curiosity, a sense of reverential wonder, a deep love of life itself. Not mere rote powers of reason as the Loud commonly seem to believe, but to delight in their use, to fuel the imagination.

When we’re seen reading yet another ‘useless’ book, searching for philosophical justifications of things taken for granted, or learning about the workings of distant stars, the Loud are bewildered. They do not see the social, emotional motive in our actions. Therefore no humanity. To them, we are lifeless machines ticking methodically through reams of data…

As a kid, I would beg my parents for field guides. In time I had a private collection. At one point I had memorized just about every order of insect and all the parts of a sea anemone. Just a couple of years ago, I met someone who had studied marine biology. He was a bit surprised that I knew off hand that a ‘radula’ was chitinous cephalopod mouthpart, whether the rasping ‘tongue’ of a snail or the ‘beak’ of an octopus or squid.
To many people, my childhood activities no doubt seemed obsessive, mechanical, and pathological.
To me, it was just fun stuff I did during childhood same as playing video games.
There was nothing lifeless about it. Reaching out and learning all those little things about the universe around me was an act of affirmation of the love of life.
If there is a God, I imagine it would have felt a similar love for all those small details during the act of creation.
And as a human, I was merely following in the footsteps of the creator.

The Hypocrisy of Being ‘Emotional’

People who feel at ease in the larger society tend to believe the world’s troubles are caused by all the “bad people” out there. They’ve never really met these bad people, except on television and in the movies, but in any case, it suffices to blame all these other people out there for social ills.

To some extent, it takes someone viewing from outside to see that pretty much all problems are the emergent result of millions of everyday people pursuing their self-interest.

Except we don’t directly tell ourselves: “I’m pursuing my interests today.” when we wake up in the morning. That’s what our emotions help us out with.
They steer us towards survival and reproduction without us having to think about it.

However, few people actually recognize these survival impulses for what they are.

Thus a group will quickly eject someone who doesn’t like the same bands or wear the same clothing. Something will just feel ‘off’ to them and they’ll invent some kind of excuse based on how they ‘feel’ to justify carrying out the will of their collective.

Problem: Someone who doesn’t fit in is a liability to the group:

-Opportunity cost. A human can handle 150 or so social relationships at once. It is not rational to spare a slot when better applicants are available.

-The person in the group who feels the least unity is the one most likely to sell everyone out.

-Or leave for a group that’s a better fit. All the time and energy invested in them has gone to waste.

Solution: Eject them.

But to think like this would be Machiavellian and calculating.

The solution: Don’t think. Just be emotional.

But people who don’t understand themselves as human beings or as human animals(most people) fail to recognize that “just going with emotions” will consistently guide them down exactly this path of Machiavellian self interest.

And so long as most people are unable to reflect on the true nature of their drives and actions, there can be no change in the overall nature of societies.

You can have a revolution, lock up lawbreakers, play with political reforms…

But there’s been thousands of years of this with no significant change in the basic function of your typical pyramidal agricultural society.

There’s something important in this for the lone introvert who’s struggling to survive.

Even if you lack social skills, you can predict what the people around you will do next.

Just figure out what is in their best survival/reproductive interest, then watch them actually do it. Each action will be accompanied by some sort of justification that puts them in the best possible light.

After this elaborate process, not one of them is the wiser about what actually happened or why they did it.

Extroverted Critic: “You Need to Be More eMOtional”

“Sometimes you need to let go man and just go with your eMOtions. You think too much.”
What Subtle person hasn’t spent years getting bombarded with this platitude?

The critic is usually well-meaning and just trying to help, but it gets old and comes across as patronizing.

It’s implicit in their advice that they, and outgoing people in general are superior emotional beings who feel more while I’m some sort of semi-automaton.
Why do they feel more? Because they talk about it more of course. And if one’s feelings are not talked about or otherwise put on display, they don’t exist, right? Truly the Loud ethic at work!

I’m appalled sometimes at the insensitivity of social normals. They expect me to explicitly verbally communicate every little thing to them. If they were the EQ geniuses they would have me believe, why are they utterly unable to read some pretty obvious non-verbal cues that indicate my mood, especially while they’re talking down to me? But somehow totally clueless, they keep prattling on.

What they do not realize:
‘Emotion’ means very different things in the sunny surface Loud world than in the Subtle shadow lands.

To your normal person who feels comfortable within the Accepted orthodoxy, emotion refers to the overpowering instinctual survival impulses, though they would not recognize them as such.
In other words:
They worship sheer intensity of feeling whatever that feeling it might be.
Look at the heroes through whom they live vicarious lives in film and fiction!
In their world, bigger is better.

True emotion, however, is more than just capricious passions.

It is distinguished first not by intensity, but by breadth and nuance. A single overwhelming emotion is like a plain lump of white sugar. A complex blend of understated, interrelated emotions that must be puzzled out through introspection, this is a chocolate mousse cake.

To one who is subtle, simply going out for a casual walk and lapsing into a contemplative state as the sun sets and the shadows grow long is a real emotional experience.

The thing we feel when experiencing mortal fear, obsession, or despair, or exultation is just a momentary rush. It puts us outside of our own self and overwhelms the faculties.
Recalled later whether fabulous or traumatic, it’s almost dream-like…never quite real.
We weren’t feeling it, it was feeling us.

Ultimately, the small thing felt intensely is more powerful than the large thing that consumes us. Because in so doing we develop a sense of self and grow closer to it. It makes one less a passive, reactive animal, more aware of what lies within.
Feeling in the Subtle way doesn’t just happen to us. It’s a capacity in oneself that must be nurtured and encouraged to flourish.

In short,
The Subtle emotion must be cultivated within humans, it makes us more powerful
The Loud emotion is common to all animals, it overwhelms us and forces us to submit.

This basic difference I think, is why I feel resentment when I am advised to be less analytical or get in touch with my emotions. If only they would understand! Not only do I feel deeply, but have a different understanding of what it is to feel. I often wonder how I would explain, only to subsequently realize that there’s no way I could do so within normal, acceptable conversation.
And having realized this, it’s almost as if they’ve slapped me in the face, while my hands are tied behind my back!
And there’s no way I can explain this to them either…