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Play to People’s Fantasies

The truth is often avoided because it is ugly and unpleasant. Never appeal to truth and reality unless you are prepared for the anger that comes for disenchantment. Life is so harsh and distressing that people who can manufacture romance or conjure up fantasy are like oases in the desert: Everyone flocks to them. There is great power in tapping into the fantasies of the masses.

Fantasy can never operate alone. It requires the backdrop of the humdrum and the mundane. It is the opressiveness of reality that allows fantasy to take root and bloom.

The person, who can spin a fantasy out of an oppressive reality has access to power. As you search for the fantasy, which will insoire the masses, keep your eyes on the banal truths that weigh heavily. Never be distracted by people's glamourous self-portraits; search and dig for that which imprisons them. When you find iy, you have the key to great power.

Although times and people change, let us examine a few of the enduring oppressive realities and the opportunities for power, which they provuide.

The reality. Change is slow and gradual. It requires hard work, a bit of luck, a fair amount of self-sacrifice, and much patience.
The fantasy. A sudden transformation will bring a sudden change in one's fortunes, bypassing work, luck, self-sacrifice and time, in one fantastic stroke.

This is, of course, the fantasy of the charlatans who prowl among us. Promise a great and total change - from poor to rich, sickness to health, misery to ecstasy - and you will have followers.

The reality. The social realm has hard set codes and boundaries. We understand these limits and know we must move within the same familiar circles, every day.
The fantasy. We can enter a new world, with different codes and a promise of adventure.

If you want to tell tails that will be believed, don't tell the truth that won't be believed.
Emperor Tokugawa

In the early 1700's all London was abuzz with talk of a mysterious stranger, a young man named George Psalmanazar. He arrived from what was to most Englidhmen a mythical land, the island of Formosa, off the coast of China. Oxford University engaged Psalmanazar to teach the island's language. A few years later, he wrote a book, which became an immediate bestseller, on Formosa's history and geography. English royalty wined and dined the young man, and everywhere he went he entertained his hosts with stories of his homeland.

After Psalmanazar died, his will revealed that he was a Frenchman, with a rich imagination. Everything he had said about Formosa he had invented. He had concocted an elaborate story, which fulfilled the English public's desir for the exotic and strange. Brittish culture's rigid control of people's dreams gave him the perfect opportunity to exploit their fantasy.

Imagine the moon. Unattainable, always changing shape, disappearing and reappearing. We look at it, imagine, wonder, and pine - never familiar, continuous provoker of dreams. Do not offer the obvious. Promise the moon.

The reality. Death. The dead can not be brought back. Tha past can not be changed.
The fantasy. A sudden reversal of this intolerable fact.

The beauty and importance of the art of Vermeer have long been recognized, but his paintings are small in number, and are extremly rare. In the 1930's, however, Vermeer began to appear on the art market. Experts were called upon to verify them, and pronounced the real. It was akin to the ressurection of Lazarus. Vermeer had been brought back to life.

Later, it was learned that the new Vermeers were the work of a Dutch forger, named Hans van Meegeren. He had chosen Vemeer for his scam, because he understood fantasy. The paintings would seem real precisely becaise the public and the experts wanted to believe they were real.

The key to fantasy is distance. The distant has allure and promise, seems simple and problem free. What you are offering should be ungraspable. Never allow it to become oppressingly familiar. It is the mirage in the distance, which tends to withdraw, at times.

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