Gaining Authority Via Experience Far Outside The Norm

granddad tells a storyI admire a person who can walk on a stage and immediately take command. I’m talking about a Mick Jagger or master stand-up comic. There’s no warm up. It does not take time for the person to grow on you. They have your rapt attention within ten seconds.

It helps if the audience is already enamored with the entertainer, but what if they are not already sold? And what if the person is not an entertainer? Is it still possible to do this? I found that it is.

I went to a talk once, not knowing what to expect. But I certainly didn’t expect a plain man in plain clothes to take the microphone and announce this highly personal fact: once upon a time, two teenage cousins had sex. He was the product of that union! I was dumbstruck. Did he just say that two cousins had sex and that he was their baby?  He did say that.

He explained he was from a country where abortion was illegal at the time. So he was born, though no one wanted him.

After he was born, he was not treated well by his family. His very existence reminded them of the bad thing that happened, that shamed the family, profoundly and permanently.

He went on with his story, but my focus in writing this is to look at how a person gains authority by surviving horrible experiences. This is particularly true if the experiences are far outside the realm of anything normal. But only if they take it in that direction. Had the man got up in front of the group and whined, he would not have been near as compelling. But he stood up to offer something. Everyone was curious what that was going to be.

I learned that people want to be taught by someone who has been put their paces and come out in good enough shape, they can stand in front of a room with three hundred strangers and speak to them.

It was a big story from a humble person. Saturn in Sagittarius – I sure liked his approach.

“This is who I am, and this is what I’ve learned…”

Who are you? What have you learned?

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Gaining Authority Via Experience Far Outside The Norm — 24 Comments

  1. I just thought it was so interesting…on every level. Imagine being the shadow, to this degree, when in utero! You’re going to be born with cloud of scorn and rage, surrounding you and what are you? A newborn! It’s amazing to think about. He turns, 3, 4, 5, 6…at what point does he find out what’s going on around him?

    • My Mother lived this. Her mother HATED her from the moment she knew she was pregnant, because my Mother embarrassed HER by being born illegitimate. She expressed that hate to my Mother her entire life, even SUED her.

  2. Oh, I like this. I think any successful teacher has to put something of their own story in their work.The focus has to stay on the “lesson” though and not be an opportunity for the teacher to enjoy an opportunity to simply display their own wounds and look for sympathy. (I think that’s why your blog is so successful, Elsa. You’ve got that right.) A friend of mine used to say that she could meet someone, usually a woman, and tell immediately if they had had their Inanna experience in their life. It’s true. When you’ve lost everything, what comes back is authentic.

  3. Very interesting. I think I have to potential to integrate this kind of authority. I have sun pluto and Saturn in the 10th and Capricorn rising. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what has happened to me and how it has shaped me. I do know that there is wisdom and ultimately happiness to be had from going through extreme circumstances. There’s some song lyrics that kind of remind me of this.

    I stood on the edge
    And looked down to see
    The light of a new life
    Shining up on me

    I’ve long felt that going to the edge of experience while simultaneously being fully present and in myself is the place to be.

  4. The ironic part of his story is that genetically/physically there’s little danger in cousins procreating, as far as the child’s health/condition goes. Although if it’s repeated too often that isn’t the case, thus the taboo I suspect. This is what I have read at least.

    • I don’t know the truth of this, but sitting there, the first thing I did when he made the statement, was register how no one would ever guess in a million years. Which was probably one of the reasons I was so immediately engaged. I was learning something, that instant. Namely, that no one knows, if you don’t tell them. It was riveting.

      Also, if you do tell them, it’s not the kind of thing that can be rolled back and no longer known.

      I’m not sure how accessible this might be to someone reading. Because I heard more of the story. But the whole time, I was thinking about how this might affect a person on a cellular level.

      I also left out this part – I saw the man interacting with the audience before the talk started. He was very warm, grinning and such. A happy person with a sparkle to them. I saw Bo Diddly once, at a small concert outdoors and he did the same thing. He was walking around before the show, with his red guitar, chatting with the people who’d come to see him.

      And of both men, I thought of how likable they were. So you can imagine how stunned everyone was, when he stood and came out with this in the first sentence or two of his talk.

      And there’s more! He was not even the main person giving the talk. He was an extra. Like a person in training. It was masterfully done, I’ll say that. And I think all involved are smart enough, it was planned, rather than accidental.

      I am not a public speaker, but if I ever do get up in front of a crowd, I will emulate this guy for sure. I could do what he did, I just never thought of it. So that impacted me as well.

  5. I seen my story in this man, something horrible happened to in my parents life,especially to my mom, it’s hard to not be loved by your Mom, I’ll pass away not having to experience a mother/nurturing. It has help me to become a mothering person, everything happens for a good reason.

  6. Interesting story. Love Dangerfield.
    Jupiter conjunct Neptune? Does that mean someone has the ability to attract listeners?
    I have that conjunction in early degrees of Capricorn. I’m told I should do comedy, and have been doing open poetry readings and have gained a few fans only after reading once.
    This is really funny because it’s made me realize some things: when working as an in-class Tutor, new students who entered the classroom thought I was the Teacher.

  7. To go back to the cousins marrying question….. It’s illegal in the majority of US states. It’s legal in the UK but not Ireland. It would seem that the percentage of birth defects in children born to these unions is about the same figure as babies born to older mothers. On a personal note, I do remember years ago (UK) one of my cousins starting to show a romantic interest in his first cousin. This was closed down immediately by the family, especially the girl’s side.

    • I… Am someone who has learned most everything you need to know, with still more to go, and still learning.
      If I get to live to old age, I might very well harbor all important knowledge within my one mind.
      Beautiful, brilliant. Talented, skilled.
      Envied. Attacked. Hated.
      What have I better to do than to write? If I can buckle down, and decide the story to which I will commit.
      Big stories…? I can do that. I created entire universes, and series within my mind prior these harsh transits impairing my writing, and I can definitely deliver something big if I can get down to the work on it, and keep at it until the end.

      Saturn will be dancing for a long time in my Saturn Return.

      After it leaves.
      It’s apparently going to go back into it.
      I didn’t even check yet to make sure it won’t do that multiple times. I was kind of tired.
      If I could bring myself to do the work, and commit to one story, or maybe two at most, I could be an author.
      The problem is that a career isn’t what I’m looking for.
      And, all of my old must be recycled, because I’ve grown up, and I’ve learned a lot. The originals are not satisfaction. I can do better.

  8. Personally I would like the hero if one’s own life to come back. It seems devaluing a person’s worth to one’s self is everywhere. Mind over matter(or circumstance) as Woody Guthrie said in his autobiography. Thanks for sharing…:)

    • It’s just so intense to imagine this man’s circumstance. It’s probably easier to do if you have some awareness or understanding of both his era (1970’s) and the culture he was speaking of (Brazil). SHADOW through and through…but he became a light in exact proportion.

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