Notes on Law 03; “Conceal your Intentions”

Preface

The third law from 48 Laws of Power is one of the fundamental basis of power and cunning, it is well known and mastered by politicians, generals, and people in aristocratic positions in the corporate world. To be able to sustain power, you must first and foremost internalise the principles that cover the foundation upon which you will build the rest of your prowess. It is also important to note that this axiom is attached to a large number of other stratagems, and so, a sufficient comprehension and absorption of this fundamental will be indispensable. It is much to understand the art of war, however, it is through diligence and shrewd application that you will internalise and digest strategy and cunning adequately. Therefore, keep yourself accountable and exercise the axiom in the appropriate context, preferably in trivial situations where your reputation is not on the line.

Tools: Decoys

Enticing Devices and Ploys

When you give people the opportunity to acknowledge what you are up to, wariness and doubt arise and the dissimulation is down the sewer. You must not offer them the favourable moment to know what you are about to do, you keep them off your trail by pulling the appropriate devices of bluff across your direction. False sincerity is one of such devices, the adversary will struggle to figure out what is genuine or bogus, this is the point. Maintain a steadfast ambiguity through your gestures and cues, preferably those which tend to oppose one another. If you divulge too much of your control early on, you run the risk of having the enemy utilising it to reach his ends. Consequently, when you have control and power, resist giving the impression of having it, feign impotence, and when the opportunity shows itself, you have the power you need to make a swift and bold move that terrorises your adversaries.

Nino De Lenclos was a master at the art of Game, she was well-read and her methods of seduction left a lasting impression on her lovers. When the marquis was given advice from Ninon, she plainly counselled him to keep a bit of stand-offishness, coupled with an aura of coolness and unconcern. The marquis, unenlightened about Game, was fascinated to find out how well this worked and the woman fell under his spell, but little did he know that the eventual confessing of his love will break the incantation, and that is exactly what happened. You cannot make your intentions public or disclose them in a frank manner through words, you must keep your targets in a state of utter disorderliness and simultaneously absorbed. This act of capitulation is the result of confusion from their end. In matters of women, muddle your interest by giving the impression you are intrigued by another woman, then contrast it with a genuine interest in the woman, then push her away through subtle disregard and the game goes. This is much like push-pull, the same course of action can be applied in matters of strategy, also.

Charm ceases to be charm when the smokescreen has been deciphered and your intention is revealed to her, the game is not worth playing anymore from the woman’s end. The charming and delightful can very rapidly turn into the unattractive and machiavellian and this is exactly why you should resist giving the impression of being in control. Women never want full disclosure anyway, and be well read, when you know you have a window of opportunity, seize it and strike while the iron is hot.

“Let your greatest cunning lie in covering up what looks like cunning.”

Baltasar Gracián

The Game of Appearances

People, nowadays, can be read like open books, they are deluded and blind to the underlying nature of the individual. They uncover their feelings and let out their opinions every chance they get, their intentions are made known almost instantly and their plans are indisputable. Furthermore, there is this mistaken belief that honesty is the best policy and that by doing so they are appealing and irresistible, this is rubbish. Sure, honesty has its place in select circumstances, but these people are very much misled and beguiled. Truthfulness is candid but edgeless, and it has an adverse effect more often than not. Your honesty is probably going to displease people and it is wiser to adapt your words, being discreet and telling them what they want to hear instead of feeding them truths which they certainly will not savour. To be discreet is to be prudent and cautious in your speech, keeping information intimate so as to avoid difficulty.

On the other hand, honesty breeds predictability, everything is anticipated beforehand, and nothing is surprising. Bear in mind: Familiarity breeds contempt. It is almost inconceivable to have high regard or fear towards a man that is so transparent, you can predict his every move. You will not accumulate power if you do not have the capacity to rouse the appropriate feelings. Set your transparency aside in matters of authority and control.

Conveying Contradictory Messages

Natural tendencies always tilt towards relying on the outward veneer. We do not carry uncertainties about what we discern and pick up. The continual mental masturbation that perhaps the facade conceals within it something extending far down that may be subterfuge is taxing and will wear you out. This verity makes it easy as pie to conceal your objectives. Try for yourself a brief experiment; offer or hold out a goal you have a yearning for, one which you seemingly have a direction towards. Watch carefully, as people will be convinced by your statement and trust your every word because they are more invested in the impression than the reality. As might be presumed, this is merely a snare which entices the enemy and is used as a form of misdirection. For they will fall flat to distinguish what your underlying motives are. As dishonourable as it may seem, these tactics have in all likelihood been used against you in the past, and there is also a good prospect they may be exercised against you in the future. You are better prepared by understanding and internalising these principles and applying them in a suitable state of affairs.

Remember: To be, is to deceive. We all have an element of duplicity, and anyone who refuses such a statement is obviously talking bogus and is a lofty hypocrite.

In matters of gaming women, convey contradicting messages and cues. You can achieve this by subtle means through body language and gestures. Subtle sub-communications are extremely convincing and potent, and women are naturally more apt than men in picking up on these subdued statements. Moreover, as mentioned earlier, lust and aloofness are opposing forces and thus alternating them makes for an enchanting charm that is irresistible to women, and it brings with it a lecherous wish to own you and be dominated by your superiority.

Appearing contradicting leaves people concurrently baffled and demented, that being so, a move that is many a time compelling is to seemingly champion an idea or principle that is antithetical to your bona fide point of view. Your enemies will be in total disarray when you appear to be concerned about something you are not at all interested in and this disorder on their end leaves them in a substandard situation. Their calculations will be misguided and since the underlying motive is not concrete, any vague assessment holds modest ground that is pervaded with unpredictability.

False Sincerity and Honesty

Keep your intentions unknown not by appearing unforthcoming and closed off, this stimulates misgiving, and people become wary. Conversely, you conceal them by confessing your countless desires and aims, but you do so through false sincerity. Talking openly about your authentic goals is never prudent, you are playing a game fraught with danger. When you have the appearance of an affable, open and unguarded front, your motives are kept out of sight.

In drawing things to a close, people have a tendency of confusing sincerity for transparency. People merit honesty as the best policy, therefore, they frankly want to regard what you and those nearby are saying as true. That being so, it will be rigorous work for them to read your motives, predominantly if you can speak with bold conviction and certainty. However, sincerity is a delicate device; if you seem too excitable, you eventually give it away. Remember, if your good name is on the line, you do not want to arouse a lack of faith in people because you may have to pay the price, and that price may be more acute than you presumed. To make your smokescreen more cogent, emphasize the importance of integrity and rectitude as essential communal principles. Finally, deceivers always exercise honesty in one facet to make up for and camouflage treachery in other facets and they utilize honesty as an additional tool in their wide array of apparatus.

Tools: Smokescreens

Utilising Smokescreens as Dissemblance

Artifice is almost on all occasions the optimal master plan. However, the finest stratagems necessitate the use of a smokescreen to divert observation from your actual objective. For if you guide the dimwit towards a recognised trail, he will not work out when you usher him into the snare and even if he does, by the time he comprehends it, it will not be on time.

The Yellow Kid has much to learn from. The day-to-day, unobtrusive demeanour is the ideal smokescreen. Confront your ends with a spirited idea that is more typical than not, this could be a financial agreement or interest, or a deal for work. You don’t want to rouse threat or speculation. Frequently, the irrationally anxious and distrustful are not difficult to hoodwink. If you manage to secure their belief in a particular domain, it will serve as a smokescreen that makes them imperceptive to another and this buys you time to move on all fours and knock them down with a destructive strike. On top of that, be prepared to commend, it is a sensible and prudent way of publicizing your courtesy to the individuals around you, and also your adversaries. These are the devices you should be utilising and if you accomplish your ends through subtle and indirect means, you will sustain a fine reputation and be venerated by your peers.

Subtle artifice is, for the most part, the most potent because it appears effortless and leaves no traces. It is fluid and flowing, and people will have high acclaim towards your natural grace, mastery over your etiquette and good sense. These are the qualities of the well-judged and superior man, whose sufficient proficiency in cunning enables him to reach his objectives in the most heroic fashion.

Drawing People In

The greatest deceivers make use of a mild and unnoticeable mask that is typically plain-featured and calls no scrutiny. They know very well that embellished words and snobbery instantly presents misgiving. To counter this veracity, they surround their intent in the commonplace and mundane. As soon as they are under your spell, they inexorably will take no notice of the artifice you are carrying out because you have elusively ensnared them in a trap which they are not even conscious of. This, of course, finds its basis in a basic principle of human nature, which is, that people can only zero in on one thing at a time. Having understood this, you can take advantage of it. People exploit others with this underlying truth without a break and it works, it will never let you down because even if you are conscious of it, you cannot swindle human nature into drawing your attention to multiple things concurrently.

I want to make some distinctions more understandable. In Part 1, I discussed decoys and baiting devices that you utilise to sidetrack people. In Part 2, I am discussing smokescreens that you employ to draw people in and get them to fall under your spell. This differentiation between the two should be noted and recognized.

Types of Smokescreens

The most straightforward kind of smokescreen is an expression of the face, preferably one which is illegible in its nature and inscrutable. The most influential men in history all comprehended its efficacy and mastered it. To have an imperceptible face is compelling and puzzling to many and they are at a crossroad of feeling both fearful and plagued by it. The good poker player is scarcely theatrical, he instead exercises uninteresting conduct that curtails decipherable patterns, muddles and bewilders rivals and forces them to consider their moves ever more closely. Deception can be employed in almost all strands of life, some call for it more than others such as politics or law. Understand this: many people are ill-informed about power games and strategy, and this is tremendous. If you study this material attentively and apply it in the relevant conditions, you more or less have a considerable edge on all occasions and that is remarkable to fathom and will impel you to sharpen your sword.

The noble gesture is another convincing smokescreen, for loftiness and virtue are characteristics of the wise. A righteous deed may extricate you from the most intricate labyrinth. One more smokescreen is the utilization of the pattern; the organization of numerous actions that allure the target into trusting that you will carry on with the same course of action. This manoeuvre finds its footing on the psychology of expectancy. Our conduct follows conventional patterns, but even if this is not so, we are compelled to believe this.

Remember: it takes forbearance and modesty to mute your vibrant hues and employ the facade of the discreet.

As a side note, make sure you emerge the victor before asserting conflict. Do not wage war in battles you are not certain you can defeat.

Corollary

You can have the most fitting smokescreen, however, if you have a reputation for deception, your tactics will be perused and there might be a price to pay for being exploited for recognised manipulation. If everyone knows you are manipulative, seeming guiltless will only reinforce the duplicity. It is more advantageous, therefore, to be honest about your dishonesty because people will respect you more for confessing and coming clean.

Further Reading

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