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.

Introvert Strengths: Acting From Principle

Many a person who has prided themselves on “social skills” and “empathy” has totally misinterpreted my moods and motives.

And when they can’t make sense of me tend to assume there is no logic to my actions.

They are confused because I make decisions on principle.

We can get rich, be liked by everyone, have lots of great sex but it all counts for nothing in a few short years.

There’s a question in my head every day: “What’s going to matter?”
It’s a clean razor that slices away the big mound of stuff every “well adjusted” person is supposed care about in one swift swipe.

The terror of social rejection that governs most people’s lives from their earliest memories to the grave suddenly seems like just an inconvenience.

The best thing about living life on principle: it’s far easier.

Let’s say you want to get rich.  The trouble is everyone would like to be rich.  You can predict every plan to get rich has been thought of and tried endlessly. Society just keeps building its defenses until there’s calluses about a mile thick.

To go out and get rich you’re leading a desperate charge up a hill against an implacable fortress.  All the forces in the universe are arrayed in an attempt to stop you from succeeding.
And should you succeed against all the odds, you’ll become the new keeper of the great fortress in charge of keeping your wealth from everyone who wants to take it…

Since I was teen I’ve had a personal saying:  “Most valuable is gold that only glitters for you.”

When you are an introvert outsider who can see the world as if soaring above, it’s easier to think like a strategist and avoid spending all one’s energy attacking where the enemy is strong.

Where I have striven for objectives I arrived at through philosophy, I have seized them with surprisingly little resistance.

Society is not designed to stop people motivated by principle from achieving their goals!
This alone tells me how few are out there on the same path.

Where the status climber is forever fighting against a tight-packed crowd, I, to my delight, find myself unopposed across a vast plains stretching beyond sight.

I cannot say more in public, but I have succeeded better than I could have possibly imagined and live every day knowing certain affairs are in order that will continue even should I die today.  To me, this is infinitely more valuable than sleeping with a supermodel or winning the lottery.

Though I have often been poor, I will not be surprised if eventually I came to control significant wealth.
I seek wealth, just like all the rest, but my motives and methods differ.

I yearn after wealth to provide the minimum I need for a reasonably comfortable independence and every penny beyond that to bend reality to my will.

The immune system of the Collective Tyrant is very strong against Loud climbers who want fancy cars and mansions.
But will it be able to stop someone who acts from purpose?

For someone who acts on principle, all wealth is just a budget to help achieve certain things and the very concepts of ‘rich’ or ‘poor’ mean little.
There is only ‘enough’ or ‘not enough.’

Introvert vs. Extrovert: Free Time

When I hear an extrovert complain about being bored, I absolutely want to strangle them.  If they could only give their unwanted leisure time to me, I’d snatch every crumb of it avariciously from their grasp.

I could spend a heavenly eternity in God’s great library learning and savoring everything there is to know.

I can think of a thousand things I’d like to do with every hour I have free.  Every minute I can get free is like air to breathe, including the minute in which I wrote this sentence.
I labored hard today so I could have the privilege of this minute.   I had to fight even for this scrap.

Perhaps the greatest torture in life is living within the constraints of merciless time.  Even if tomorrow I inherited millions of dollars and could enact my every whim without restraint, I would still be constrained by time.  Time is the big boss I’ll never be able quit and I have to work within the deadline he has set.

My brain works differently than most other people’s.  I remember things such that the past is almost happening now.  I feel alive in the past, yet know it is dead.

There’s been childhood friends who I remembered spending perfect days of my life with, and met them years later only to see they barely recognize me. They were someone else while I was who I had always been.

Sometimes I wonder if we are atemporal souls cast down from some better universe, and time the Satan sent to torment us.

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.

Advice vs. Counsel

Loud people like to give advice.
Advice in my mind is telling other people to do what worked for you regardless of whether they’re anything like you.
There’s inherently something glib, dismissive, narcissistic, and shallow about advice-giving.
This is why people generally don’t like advice—especially from elders—and tend to ignore it.

I distinguish ‘advice’ from ‘counseling’.

A counselor is someone who genuinely tries to step into the shoes of another person and tailor their counsel accordingly.
The difference is that the counselor strives to understand and empathize when recommending a course of action.
People tend to take genuine counsel seriously because it is personal, personalized, and sincere.

To really counsel someone you have to care.

Advice can be flung around at any time, at anyone.
Often it is just a means of trying to socially dominate someone else by representing oneself as the wise one and font of knowledge. One might as well patronizingly pat the advisee on the shoulder as one shows them the way to the light.

Introverts are given a lot of advice and in my experience it is almost never helpful because I have little in common with those who give it.

If one is lost, counselors are the ones to listen to. Few people are willing to stop, talk one-on-one and really try to understand first.

Where giving advice is to profess that one has wisdom.
Even a shred of ability to counsel is a proof of some measure of wisdom.

Is advice worth listening to, then?
It depends.
One needs ask only one question to find out.
“How much is the advice giver like me?”
If the answer is: “not at all.”
Consider doing the opposite.

Introverts and Alcohol

I rather enjoy drinking alone.

And yes, I’m quite aware of the implications in our wider society.

Yes, my family has a history of alcoholism.

Yes, I drink most days of the week.

Already, many people might ask me questions about a river in Egypt.

By the standards of my birth culture, I am prime alcoholic material.

Alone, I love to have a beer or some wine with dinner. And then maybe some port, brandy, or sherry for dessert.

Alone on the hottest day of summer there’s nothing like a bottle of rose champagne poured over ice, paired with fresh, chilled nectarines and overripe mangoes.

In the autumn, there’s nothing like crisp hard cider, sweet porters, and bittersweet stouts served with ham, bacon, aged cheddar, and apples.

As the weather turns cold, there’s a special delight to be taken in fiery spirits like a good brandy or whiskey sipped straight while reclining by a fireplace.

I find that alcohol has the ability to carry the intimate imprint of a taste, a smell, a place better than any other substance.

I remember being amazed the first time I had a certain scotch from an island off the coast of northern Scotland. It tasted overwhelmingly of peat smoke and of the sea. It made me imagine myself sitting alone in a small, warm hut on a forbidding northern isle able to hear winds howling outside and waves crashing at the bottom of a rocky cliff…

I’ve watched the way extroverts drink and as far as I can tell, they don’t drink for any of the same reasons I do.

Classic extroverts tend to drink:
In unfamiliar public places with unfamiliar people – to deliberately lower inhibitions. Imbibing in excess gives a socially accepted excuse to misbehave and vent one’s pent up social repression. Alcohol becomes an attempt to escape from responsibility and even from the oppressive prison of oneself.
It doesn’t really matter what they drink so long as it gets them drunk. Generally, the more the taste of the alcohol can be masked(to encourage easy overindulgence) the better. If there’s a killer hangover, no problem. It will make a great story to tell one’s friends.

The Subtle person drinks in safe, comfortable places, in the home, with close friends and family, often alone. Imbibing in excess is unpleasant and unseemly.
The desirable effect is a relaxed, contemplative, spiritual state. To be content to sit and enjoy that wonderful feeling of just being alive, to read a book, or to write.
Not just any drink will do. It must be something that makes both body and soul feel good. While drinking…and afterwards.

This Subtle ethic is one that many mainstream people can’t understand. On the occasion I catch myself speaking of my fondness of good drink, I sometimes see a funny look on other people’s faces.
The main society offers two possibilities in this vein.

a. You’re a drunk.
b. You’re a snob.

How does a Subtle person convey the idea of alcohol as more of a sacred drug as opposed to a mere party drug or a crude tool to signal social status?
The narratives offered by the mainstream birth culture are a barren expanse with little to offer.
Imagine using ‘sacred’ and ‘alcohol’ in the same sentence in actual conversation!

Perhaps better just to drink alone, in the home, with intimates.