In the old days the term grifters was awarded to con men (and women) who moved from town to town taking advantage of situations they encountered. By most standards they break the law and are hardened criminals. That they had anyones best interests other than their own in mind is certain. Our sympathy may spawn from the pain from which they operate make them interesting and exciting. Grifters are nomads who wander and prey on the weak, needy, innocent or possibly just the curiosity or boredom they identify in their targets. Our human condition sets up the potential for grifters. It’s exciting. In our current operation of life we need them just as much as they need their prey, so it becomes a matter of self-management and protection for the wise.
Real life grifters became stars as a result of their “feats” being made public through the media accounts. In fact they become celebrities of sorts in our collective psyche. Real life characters like notable felons, rich and powerful sex deviates, low life underworld gangsters, mobsters and cult-leaders come to mind. Naming them here would only serve to cast a bit more energy toward their notoriety. Feeding such a stream of thought into your mind would bring smiles to their faces now, just as the satisfaction they gained from their real life infractions and manipulations, not unlike a rich man given the glimpse back from the afterlife and seeing his name spread across a building that satisfies some pulse in his ego or sense of pride.
We celebrate the grifter character and associated circumstances they attract, invite and manifest as we watch the bold and beautiful “act” out these stories for our entertainment.
The author’s judgment naturally leaks into this piece. But who am I to say? Take warning and shed some light into your own shadow to be more honest with yourself – perhaps to protect yourself and those you believe you may love. Or maybe just wait for times to change. People seem to “wake up” and become grifters themselves of sorts.
These grifters, their characters and circumstance, patterns, are prominently put on grand display across our history, but even as we are entertained by them, we fail to see them in our own reality and lives. Barring a major shift in the background frequency they’ll persist into the future. Grifters shift their form into ones that enter your life disguised as something new, different than the classic form a a grifter that rides into town on horseback or a vintage Model-T. That would be too easy to spot.
Grifters operate today in the crevices of un-regulated media, advertising and entertainment using the former channels of thought that were vetted by our trusted parents and institutions at one time in the past. Grifters count on that trust based on old patterns in your mind to get into your life. They also count on access to your primal nature and deeper unmet needs.
Beneath that confidence and trust lay a foundation of strong currents: lust, greed and violence. This primal nature is still with us. To say we are killer monkeys is sensational and to draw attention. But, consider what we enjoy watching in our leisure. How much of our economy and time are dedicated to entertainment? Does the common person dare add up the cost of advertising and investments into the infrastructure of live sporting events? We love to watch drama and violence, make fun or find comedy – but from afar, from the audience, with distance in groups.
We gather to watch the violence of American football and enjoy the uncertainty of live competition, high drama between men who have dedicated their lives and bodies to entertaining us. Most don’t so openly admit their own personal needs or drives for sex and violence, secret satisfaction over seeing someone hurt or fail to elevate themselves because they aren’t living an authentic life.
Some are more private, needing to watch other extremes in their own privacy in an effort to contain their deeper desires, mysterious needs, curiously wandering across the tabu.Our shadows reside just beneath the surface. Shadow work is not as simple as ceasing to watching the violence or putting a friendly bumper sticker on that Tesla.
Many claim to have done their shadow work, but I have my doubts. I’m open to be wrong. In fact, I’d love to be wrong – just like when I had to deliver the news to the oil men that your discovery is not as big as you think – I really did hope to be wrong because their was some piece of evidence that had not yet come to light.
I’m curious to know what others today consider as “shadow work” in our contemporary world. I’m also curious to know if it’s even relevant anymore.
Perhaps the time has really come for a massive shift in the background frequency. It does seem possible a new era could emerge where we no longer feed off each other, but count on each other for our survival. That would seem rather Pollyannaish (to use a favorite story reference). Such would seem to offer a platform of safety in trusting ourselves and each other. Imagine that.