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Use Absence To Increase Respect And Honor

Too much circulation makes the price go down: The more you are seen and heard from, the more common you appear. If you are already established in a group, temporary withdrawal from it will make you more talked about, and more admired. You must learn when to leave. Create value through scarcity.
The Camel And The Floating Sticks
The first man, who saw a camel, fled; the second man ventured within distance; the third dared to slip a halter over its head. Familiarity, in this existence make all things tame, for what may seem terrible or bizarre, when once our eyes have had time to scrutinize, becomes quite commonplace.
Since I am on this theme, I've heard of sentinels posted by the shore, who, spotting something far away afloat, could not resist the shout: "A sail!, a sail! A mighty man-of-war!" Five minutes later it is a packet boat, and then a skiff, and then a bale, and finally some sticks bobbing about. I know of plenty such, to whom this story applies - People whom distance magnifies, who, close to, don't amount to much. - La Fontaine, 1621-1695

Everything in the universe depends on absence and presence. A strong presence will draw power and attention to you - you shine more brightly than those around you. But a point is inevitably reached, where too much presence creates the opposite effect: The more you are seen and heard from, the more your value degrades. You become a habit. No matter how hard you try to be different, subtly, without you knowing why, people respect you less and less. At the right moment, you must lean to withdraw yourself, before they unconciously push you away. It is a game of hide-and-seek.

The truth of this law can most easily be appreciated in matters of love and seduction. In the beginning stages of an affair, the lover's absence stimulates your imagination, forming sort of a surrounding aura. But this aura fades, when you know too much, when your imagination no longer has room to roam. The loved one becomes a person like anyone else, a person whose presence is taken for granted.

To prevent this you need to starve the other person of your presence. Force their respect by threatening them with the possibility that they will lose you.

Naploleon was recognizing the law of absence and presence when he said, "If I am often seen at the theater, people will cease to notice me." Today, in a world full of presence through the flood of images, the game of withdrawal is is much more powerful. We rarely know when to withdraw, and nothing seems private, so we are awed by anyone, who is able to disappear, by choice. Novelists J. D. Salinger and Thomas Pynchon have created cultlike followings by knowing when to disappear.

Imagine the sun. It can only be appreciated by its absence. The longer the days of rain, the more the sun is craved. But too many hot, sunny days and the sun overwhelms. Learn to keep yourself obscure and make people demand your return.

An everyday side of this law is the law of scarcity in the field of economics. By withdrawing something from the market, you create instant value. In seventeenth century Holland, the royal family wanted to make the tulip into a status symbol. Making the flower scarce, almost impossible to obtain, they sparked what was later called tulipomania, when a single flower sold for more than its weight in gold.

Expand the law of scarcity to your own skills. Make what you are offering the world rare and hard to find, and you instantly increase its value.

Use absence to create respect and esteem. If presence diminishes fame, absence augments it. A man, who, when absent, is regarded as a lion, becomes, when present, something common and ridiculous. Talents lose their luster, if we become too familiar with them, for the outer shell of the mind is more readily seen that its rich inner kernel. Even the outstanding genius makes use of retirement so that men may honor him, and so the yearning aroused by his absence may cause him to be esteemed. - Balatasr Gracian, 1601-1658

There always comes a moment, when those in power overstay their welcome. We have rown tired of them, lost respect for them; we see them as no different from the rest of mankind, which is to say that we see them as rather worse, since we compare their current status on our eyes with their former status. There is an art to knowing when to retire. If it is done right you regain the respect you had lost and retain a part of your power.

Make yourself too available and the aura of power you have created for yourself will wear away. Turn the game around; make yourself less accessible and you increase the value of your presence.

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