Wednesday, July 6, 2016


If you're an intense person - whether via meditation, or by having overcome tough challenges, or simply because it's how you're configured - you've surely noticed that other people often respond to you in strange and unpredictable ways. The following are counterintuitive insights from 53 years of trying to understand why.

Intensity is most often mistaken for anxiety, because that's the most common channel for human intensity. Anxiety is the clammily inadequate holding pen for our bombastic impulses (depression is another intensity holding pen, but it doesn't look like it from the outside).

In cases where intensity simply is, rather than having been tamped down into anxiety, it's still (literally) always misinterpreted. The problem is that human beings can't parse free-floating-ness. So they subconsciously associate intensity with some concrete intention - one they're afraid of, or one they habitually obsess over. They make it a thing.
People afraid of anger will interpret the intensity as rage.

People who fear loss of control will interpret it as pushy aggression.

Insecure people will interpret it as arrogant superiority.

Paranoid people will interpret it as nefarious attention.

People obsessed with sex will interpret it as sexual attraction, in either direction (this can be a big problem if the person is otherwise uninterested; at best, they'll uncomfortably sense unwelcome attention).

People obsessed with religion will interpret it per the mythology of their particular religion.
Intensity aside, your mere superficial difference leaves you prone to the usual playground social dynamics which arise from "otherness".

The scariest part is that the the more invisible you try to make yourself, the more nefarious your agenda appears. It seems like you're hiding your true intentions...even if you have none.

The same happens, inversely, as well. Many people don't know what to do with their own free-floating intensity, and wind up channeling it into one drive or other. They actually do become obsessed with sex, or religion, or fear.

Great things can happen when people let go - i.e. when they stop inhibiting their non-specific intensity (really just another name for radiant love). We learn to "let go" - in meditation, prayer or selfless service - and unkink the constrictions we've built up out of lifelong habit.

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