Deception — Part II
In the previous episode, I introduced Destructive Hidden Influences, covert agents that foster fear and distrust. The prototype was the Serpent, also known as the Deceiver, introduced in Genesis.
In this episode, Episode 26, and the next few episodes, I will explore how the Destructive Hidden Influence — the most significant barrier to resolving conflict — affects peacemakers today.
This is a topic that can easily be overlooked. As such destructive agents are usually hidden out of sight, they do not appear to be a barrier. It is this cloak of invisibility that makes them so deceptive and destructive.
Before we break new ground, I should mention an additional link between the Genesis account and the False Self, discussed in prior podcast episodes.
In the passage from Genesis we learn that after the Fall humans felt a need to cover their nakedness. From a mystical viewpoint, they seek to cover the nakedness of their true spiritual self with a False Self. In a fallen world they’re driven to cover up pure being with the camouflage of a False Self.
In Genesis we learn there is a reality shift that takes place when souls fall from a heavenly paradise. The new fallen world identity, the False Self, is subject to death, dust-to-dust; whereas, in Paradise, where souls can still access the tree of life, they enjoy immortality.
After the descent into duality, souls that once possessed heavenly forms take up forms of “clay and dust.” These False Selves are the primary source of conflict in the world.
The most extreme cases of False Self are the people who become Destructive Hidden Influences. These covert agents — sowing distrust with Serpent-like deception — are the primary examples of the False Self at work in this world.
All peacemakers must understand the False Self in its most extreme form — the Destructive Hidden Influence.
As peacemakers wrestle with such destructive individuals it helps to recall the Serpent. Though the Genesis passage does not explicitly discuss motive, it is clear the Serpent opposes God. He resents Creation. He resents Adam and Eve’s relationship with God.
We may assume the Serpent’s opposition to God springs from the fear he experiences — when he realizes he is not totally in charge. In order to assuage that fear he must find a way to gain power. He must find a way to control Adam and Eve. He accomplishes his goal with the use of deception.
This pattern or dynamic — in which fear leads to a compulsion to gain power over others — is repeated with every Destructive Hidden Influence we encounter. Every person who becomes a gossip, a detractor, a deceiver, or character assassin seeks to control others through deception.
Peacemakers will want to reflect on how each Destructive Hidden Influence inevitably harbors a fear of God. This existential fear is a common trait that drives a compulsion to oppose God. But, just like the Serpent, they are unable to go to war directly with God. They resort to deception, misdirection, and falsehood to obtain power. Fear forces them to work in the shadows.
Each Destructive Hidden Influence acts as a third party that churns conflict between two other parties. The antithesis is a mediator — a third party that seeks to reconcile disputants. Destructive Hidden Influences and mediators are mirror opposites. They seek opposite goals.
So, if we reverse the actions of a mediator, the result is the destructive third party. They intentionally create miscommunication and misunderstanding. They generate confusion, causing parties to lose track of their true interests.
They defeat party self-determinism. They promote counterfeit motivations. They exacerbate pain and suffering. They seek covert control over others. They discourage apology, sabotage forgiveness, and block reconciliation. They operate in the shadows, fueling conflict.
Al these traits are the opposite of a mediator. Mediators seek reconciliation and peace, while destructive third parties keep conflict alive. Thus, any time a mediator encounters impasse, the first thing they do is look for the presence of an additional person, a third party, acting as a Destructive Hidden Influence.
Peacemakers risk failure when they overlook this dynamic. They must recognize the conflict driver is not in the room, but rather offstage in the shadows. They must be ready to venture into the shadows to locate and identify and neutralize the Destructive Hidden Influence.
The cause of a conflict is never a matter of coincidence or situation. Conflict arises as the result of a covert agent seeking to exert power over others — using misdirection and subterfuge. Conflict arises as the result of covert agents seeking to undermine the peace the Lord intended man to enjoy.
Good day. May God bless you and bring you peace.