About Power

Physical | Psychological | Social | Spiritual

The wish for power may be second only to the need for love, and the two often go together. In some cases, the need for power is primary. In its benevolent form, power affords us leadership, protection, and security. In its malevolent form it brings domination or abuse. – Horner, A.



REAL PHYSICAL POWER refers to human physical strength; as applied to groups, it includes military power
APPEARANCE OF POWER: this power shows in the individual’s aspect, heft, physical prowess; it may be augmented by the display of weapons, armor, and other protective gear
BAD USES: physical aggression, physical abuse, coercion by physical force, assault with weapons

REAL PSYCHOLOGICAL POWER is often invisible to the human eye, and requires intelligence, self-assurance, integrity, negotiating skills, and knowledge
APPEARANCE OF POWER: this power manifests itself in interpersonal relationships and in the individual’s aura of well-being; it can be mimicked in acting and pretending, but these are usually detected and unmasked
BAD USES: manipulation, lies, narcissism, emotional abuse



REAL SOCIAL POWER includes the political power of holding office, the economic power of wealth, the power of social status within a community, and the power of an advanced technology
APPEARANCE OF POWER: this power shows in one’s positive public image; it may also be artificial projected by posturing, false advertising, political propaganda, misinformation, and ostentation
BAD USES: tyranny, exploitation, elitism, gauging, fraud

REAL SPIRITUAL POWER stems from deep, genuine conviction, communicated with sincerity, often with eloquence, and based on universally acceptable principles
APPEARANCE OF POWER: this power may be displayed by living up to one’s convictions, wearing a certain attire, speaking in certain locations, occupying certain hierarchical positions, proselytizing
BAD USES: self-enrichment, hypocrisy, attribution of holiness to violence and abuses