Friday, 3 May 2013

About Charisma

We humans are driven by Brain, Heart and Balls. 

These are our control centres. The 3 pilots in our cockpit. 

Sure, that is a matter of speaking. In reality they represent the layers of our brain, and how it evolved over the course of 5 million years: 

The very primitive reptilian brain, then the limbic brain, responsible for emotions and memories, and the superstar of modern age, the neo cortex.
But let's call them Head, Heart and Balls. Or brain, feelings and courage.
From a very early age on, society pushes us to solely focus on the head. The neo cortex rules the waves.
Schools, parents, neighbours, friends, newspapers... they have but one message only: "Is that a very wise thing to do"? "Use your head", "Learn this", "Get that degree", "it's better to be nice", "Latin is useful for everything", etc.

Friends playing cards: development of the neo cortex. School: neo cortex. TV quiz: neo cortex. 

Just do the test for yourself: you are being confronted with a situation and, woosh, you feel how all energy is compressed together in some ball in your forehead. 

This is so society-wide and perpetual, that the connection with our true inner feelings or most primitive instincts has become a very frail, thin and  hesitant one. At every crossroads in our lives, after every single question that is asked: whoosh, we consult our neo cortex.

What our limbic brain thinks of the matter, that is secondary. What our reptilian brain has to say: push it away.
Our brain is our muse, consultant and CEO in every single situation.
Hence why...  we love people who are all heart. Or all balls. 

Because they are so fucking special

(Pardon my French. That was my reptilian brain taking over).
Not only are they just rare; we would also love to be like them. If only we could.
If society and education had not, slowly and steadily, made us live in a straitjacket. Or, very gently, suffocated us under the pillow of what is considered civilized, sociable and clever.
(For the record: that is a good thing. We would be throwing sticks and stones at each other right now, if it weren't for our good old neo cortex). 

It's the reason why Spaniards are so charismatic in the eyes of North Europeans. (Or why Spain is in such a mess every X decades). 

One always has to think of Bill Clinton in this respect. There's no shortage of American presidents who were/are charismatic, but Clinton still tops the, er, bill. 

He would look you in the eye. Touch your arm while listening. Look at you as though you were the most special person on earth, with a fascinating conversation. 

Mind: this was no act. He DID love any person he met. It was not for political gain, not calculated. He was all heart - his heart searching for and vibrating on the same wave length as yours. 

(Or, why he also made very bad and impulsive decisions). 

But there's Reagan (balls and heart), there's Bush the younger (balls only)... you might not like their politics, but large masses did, and that was not about their politics, but for their charisma. 

Obama, Nelson Mandela, MLK, Mother Theresa, Pope JP 2... charismatic people. 

Neo cortex world provides us with safety, stability, justice, security. That's all great and precisely where we need to be. But sometimes, sometimes it also feels like hibernating, a place where everything is correct, and nothing beautiful. 

Too much safety, and no more adventure. Everything marble and concrete, and no more greenery. 

Meeting a charismatic person, is a very short escape towards that other oasis, we also long for but always suppress. 

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