Sadly, many fall victim to it within their intimate relationships, or even in dealings with “friends” or family members.
There is also a high chance that we will have failed to spot someone was playing this insidious mind game with us and until we fully understand it, there is a high chance that it could happen again.
One of the main reasons we may not recognise it is that many of us will fail to believe those we trust and love are capable of manipulating us (it is this denial that keeps the dynamic going.) Also, the gaslighter will most likely be highly skilled at covering their tracks, keeping things subtle and being a skilled master or mistress of deception.
Gaslighting is one of the most extreme, dangerous and effective forms of emotional and psychological abuse and is mostly carried out intentionally. Gaslighting is a game of mind control and intimidation that is often used by narcissists and sociopaths as a way of controlling, confusing and debilitating someone.
The term gaslighting was coined in the 1938 play Gas Light and the film adaptions that were then created helped to enhance its popularity.
In the play the husband used forms of manipulation in an attempt to drive his wife crazy, for example he deliberately dims the gaslights in the house but told his wife that she was imagining it. With the use of various tricks he tried to convince his wife that she was going insane and also that she was losing her memory.
The whole intention of gaslighting is to decrease someone’s self-esteem and self-confidence so they are unable to function in an independent manner. The person being gaslighted will eventually become so insecure that they will fail to trust their own judgment, their intuition and find themselves unable to make decisions.
Eventually the victim will become so unsure of what reality looks like that they become completely dependent on their abuser. The abuser will appear to the victim to be the only one to have a clear grip of their mind and also of what is going on around them.
The abuser will systematically and frequently withhold information and then deliberately alter facts to disorientate their victim.
They may also remove things from certain places and then deny doing so to destabilize and confuse the other person.
The abuser will refrain from mentioning specific details and then convince the other person that they had told them, so the victim thinks they are losing their memory or their mind.
The abuser will say something then ask their victim to repeat what it is they have said. When the victim repeats clearly word for word, the abuser will lie to say they haven’t said a particular word, or that they have spoken it in a different tone of voice to that of which the abuser heard. For example, the abuser may say something angrily or aggressively, but when the victim gets upset, they will completely deny having used this tone, quickly changing their voice to a gentler and calmer tone. The abuser may then accuse their victim of deliberately trying to hear everything they say in a negative way—even though the abuser knows they deliberately wanted to appear as aggressive and negative.
Often, the abuser will want to create levels of distrust within the relationship to make the victim feel they either are cheating, or would cheat at the first opportunity. They may say things to make their victim feel insecure and jealous, for example, deliberately mentioning a certain person in a way that makes it sound as though there is more going on behind the scenes. When the victim questions this, the abuser will accuse the victim of having trust issues and this will falsely further confirm in the victim’s mind that they have serious insecurities and also, that they are extremely paranoid.
The abuser will make up very convincing lies to deliberately upset the other person and then call them names, mock them and put them down for getting upset and for overreacting. The abuser will also make light of anything that the victim feels is important to make the victim’s opinions, life-choices and thoughts seem juvenile or that they are inferior to their own. It is likely that the abuser will laugh at or sneer at their victim, but when questioned, convince their victim that they were imagining it.
Some warning signs that gaslighting is taking place:
Apologizing. A victim of gaslighting will constantly be apologizing for doing things wrong, even if they have done nothing wrong. Feeling sorry for everything means that the accountability and responsibility for all perceived wrong-doings has been claimed by one person—the victim. This ensures the perpetrator remains innocent and the victim is continuously guilty.
Can’t Make decisions. The victim will find decision making increasingly difficult, as they will feel that whatever they choose will be the wrong choice. Everything they do or say is wrong, so they feel that they are no longer capable of making rational decisions about anything, so they will leave it up to their abuser. This just gives the abuser even more power and control and prolongs the toxic dance that is taking place between the two.
Change. Change is not always easy to notice, since most change happens bit by bit, so the process can feel very natural in some ways. However, if the victim thinks back to who they were before the relationship and who they are now, they will probably see significant differences.
Confusion. Victims of gaslighting will often be in a constant state of bewilderment and confusion. They find it very difficult to trust their own mind, and constantly doubt their thought process. Their instinct fails to kick in because whenever it does, it is very quickly told that it is wrong, so it becomes a silent tool that ensures the gaslighter remains on top of their game. The victim will know that there is something seriously wrong, but they will find it extremely difficult to work out what. The person being gaslighted will always be wondering if they are overly sensitive as they always feel triggered to react to the gaslighter’s behaviour.
Withdrawn. The one being gaslighted will become withdrawn and often reclusive as they feel so low and beaten down that they have little confidence to socialise with anyone. The victim will feel safer spending time alone than with other people, as when those around them question what is wrong, or what is happening within their relationship, the victim just will not have the answers to justify what is going on.
Due to either depression or severe anxiety, the victim will find it extremely difficult to function normally within society or even with close friends or family. The abuser at this stage has won the battle for control, as without anyone to confide in the victim will find it very difficult to work out that it is the abuser that is causing the damage. The abuser will not want anyone to figure out their game, so, they will work hard to make sure their victim becomes alienated from anyone who could offer support.
Overall, the main reason for gaslighting is to create a dynamic where the abuser has complete control over their victim so that they are so weak that they are very easy to manipulate.
The gaslighter wants to appear superior to the one being gaslighted. By making their victim feel completely helpless with very low self-esteem, the abuser has complete domination over them, so they are very successful in manipulating their victim to get whatever it is they want. This can range from simply having their ego stroked by feeling like they are significantly better than the person they are with, and at the extreme end to being able to gain financial, sexual or material benefits as their victim feels too emotionally and mentally weak to fight back.
There are many reasons that someone would gaslight someone else, but it is always done for personal gain. The abuser has very little interest in their victim, other than using them for their own twisted benefit. When the victim becomes so low down that they are no longer of any great use to the gaslighter the relationship will die out. The abuser will distance themselves by ignoring their victim and using silent treatment as an intense form of emotional torture.
The victim will have no idea what to do to please or satisfy their abuser, and will often try anything to win over their abuser to regain the affection that was shown in the beginning stages. By now though, it is far too late. Any little amount of respect that the abuser had for their victim will have been completely depleted and it is very unlikely that the dynamic will change again.
The abuser will often walk away from their victim leaving them with a deep sense of frustration, shame, guilt, anger and often riddled with anxiety and depression. The victim is usually left in a vortex that they will struggle to climb out of, however, this will be compounded by a deep sense of relief that this vicious dance is over.
The abuser will walk away with a great feeling of satisfaction having won each and every battle and will move onto their next innocent victim with even more skill and experience, so they can begin this horrendous war once again.
The victim will very likely need counseling and a huge amount of support to build themselves back to a stage where they have confidence and can trust their own mind and intuition. It is imperative that the victim realizes that they have been a pawn in a very nasty game so they can let go of all the blame they have placed upon themselves and become familiar with the warning signs so that they do not fall victim again.
Anyone who has come through this type of experience will feel debilitated at first, however, they will only be temporarily weakened. They will bounce back stronger than before, having learned painful but valuable lessons along the way. The most important lesson—having complete faith in their intuition. As difficult as it is to accept, there are always red flags and warning signs in the initial stages.
When these signals show up, this is when we must trust completely in our instincts and never fail to listen to what our gut feelings are telling us. Our fight or flight reactions are there for a reason—to prevent us from entering into dangerous situations. When we feel an urgency to take flight—fly.
Fly far and don’t look back
The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet is always garnering a lot of attention, and for good reasons. Most recently, he told the world that simply praying is not the answer for the incident that occurred in Paris, as well as other similiar atrocities that seem to happen all over the globe. He stated that humans have created this problem, and now we are asking God to solve it, which makes no sense. If we created this mess, we should be the ones to solve it, not God. His comments went viral as they resonated with so many people around the world who realize that action on a mass scale is required at this time to change the direction our planet seems to be going in.
Intertwined with the Paris attacks are the realities of war, and there is a great piece written on the Dalai Lama’s website site regarding the mass brainwashing of human beings. This is something we touch upon regularly on our website, especially when it comes to incidents of terrorism, war, and the creation of these groups who are carrying out these attacks all over the world.
“War and the large military establishments are the greatest sources of violence in the world. Whether their purpose is defensive or offensive, these vast powerful organizations exist solely to kill human beings. We should think carefully about the reality of war. Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous – an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that war is criminal or that accepting it is criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering.”(source)
This (above) statement really hits home. If you think about it, these vast and powerful organizations, and the military in general, “solely exist to kill human beings.” As the Dalai Lama touches upon, we are conditioned and made to believe that military service is something to be proud of. Sure, these men and women may be entering into the service in order to serve their country, with a tremendous amount of bravery and good hearted intentions, but what they do not know is that this global war on terrorism is a complete fabrication. The enemy they are made to believe they’re defending their country from is actually a product of their own country. As Dr. Michel Choissudovsky, University of Ottawa’s Emeritus Professor of Economics tells us, the global war on terrorism is completely fake and based on fake premises. Soldiers have been brainwashed into thinking that they are going after an enemy and defending their own country when that same enemy is fully supported and financed by the western military alliance, and as the Dalai Lama sates:
This is exactly why “we feel that war is acceptable,” because we are made to believe it’s a necessary course of action.
He then goes on to state that:
“We are so conditioned to see it as thrilling that we talk about this or that marvelous weapon as a remarkable piece of technology without remembering that, if it is actually used, it will burn living people. War also strongly resembles a fire in the way it spreads. If one area gets weak, the commanding officer sends in reinforcements. This is throwing live people onto a fire. But because we have been brainwashed to think this way, we do not consider the suffering of individual soldiers. No soldiers want to be wounded or die. None of his loved ones wants any harm to come to him. If one soldier is killed, or maimed for life, at least another five or ten people – his relatives and friends – suffer as well. We should all be horrified by the extent of this tragedy, but we are too confused.” (source)
The extent of this brainwashing is quite massive, and if we are going to stop the murder of other human beings and war in general, it is that ‘brainwashed’ soldier that needs to wake up. It is a human being pulling the trigger, giving the orders, and thinking that they are doing something good. We are the reason why war exists in the first place, we created it, we participate in it and we prolong it. Just imagine what would happen if every human being on the planet refused to participate in war? This is why we say change needs to come from within, and as more soldiers wake up to what’s really happening here, there will be more of them who refuse to go to war.
“No matter how malevolent or evil are the many murderous dictators who can currently oppress their nations and cause international problems, it is obvious that they cannot harm others or destroy countless human lives if they don’t have a military organisation accepted and condoned by society.” (source)
Some of these soldiers that are used by their corporate/big bank puppet masters are starting to wake up and speak out. Linked below is an article that provides two excellent examples, with some shocking information that many people are still waking up to (graphic footage warning).
As far as this manufactured global war on terrorism, you can check out this article, among others:
The Dalai Lama Then goes on to speak about how expensive war is. This is something many people think about – the fact that the money pumped into the military, and the Department of Defense in the United States alone (including black the black budget) could completely alleviate poverty and hunger on our planet. That being said, money is made out of thin air, typed up on a computer screen and printed at will by the controlling elite.
We are talking about, as X Canadian Defense Minister Paul Hellyer states, “trillions, and I mean thousands of billions of dollars” that “have been spent on projects which both congress and the commander in chief no nothing about.” Welcome to what president Eisenhower called the military industrial complex where, as he warned us, the rise for misplaced power exists and will persist. What would he say about what’s happened today?
The point is, if we are going to use money as a tool, why not take that many and allocate it to provide food, shelter and clothing for everybody on the planet? The defense expenditures of a couple of countries alone could do this no problem.
“We should feel fed up with the violence and killing going on around us. If a human being is killed by an animal, it’s sad, but if a human being is killed by another human being it’s unthinkable. We have to make a special effort to think of each other as fellow human beings, as our brothers and sisters.” – Dalai Lama (source)
Thank you Dalai Lama for saying the things that you have said within the past few months.
You can read his full article HERE.
Born Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón, she became one of Mexico’s greatest painters.
Kahlo contracted polio at the age of 6, had an almost deadly accident at the age of 18 and went on to marry Diego Rivera, the muralist and ultimate womanizer.
People who are close to me know the immense place that Frida holds in my heart and in my life. For me, she represents the pain every woman on earth is going through—be it physical, or emotional. Frida has proved to us how strong we can be and how much we can endure.
I empathize with the pain she went through. She suffered from the pain of infidelity. Diego, her comrade, her best friend and the first critic of her art, was never her husband or ‘hers’–-as Frida says. He belonged to many women and mostly he belonged to himself only. This—in return—sent Frida through endless, dire suffering that only the pages of her diary witnessed.
When it comes to art, I am fond of many artists. But never before have I witnessed emotions and thoughts expressed so bluntly and poignantly on a canvas. Not only does Kahlo’s art fascinate me, but also her words. Reading what she said, we can sense the intensity of her agony, yet, at the same time, the greatness of her hope.
“Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?”
“There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the trolley, and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst.”
“I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.”
“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”
“You didn’t understand what I am. I am love. I am pleasure. I am essence. I am an idiot. I am alcoholic. I am tenacious. I am. I simply am. You are a sh*t my love.”
“They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I paint my own reality.”
“Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.”
“I drank because I wanted to drown my sorrows, but now the damned things have learned to swim.”
“I am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy to be alive as long as I can paint.”
“I think that little by little I’ll be able to solve my problems and survive.”
“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.”
“I love you more than my own skin.”
“How can I call him my Diego? He never was and never will be mine, he only belongs to himself.”
“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light.”
“Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic.” ~ Marty McConnel (about Frida Kahlo)
“The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.”
“I cannot speak of Diego as my husband because that term, when applied to him, is an absurdity. He never has been, nor will he ever be, anybody’s husband.”
“I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.”
“I want to be inside your darkest everything.”
“I hope the exit is joyful and I hope never to return.”
“… and I hope never to return.” Written on the last pages of her diary, Frida bluntly affirms she has no intentions of reincarnating in another lifetime. Her pain was too great to want to experience physical life again. She physically left Diego, her lovers and her friends. But up until today, Frida is still here. She lives in every painting of hers, in every portrait hung on the wall. She lives in the spirit of every woman who is going through miscarriage, physical pain and emotional difficulties.
Frida gives us the hope that we will overcome any calamity we might face. She tells us to laugh, to love hard, to survive no matter what. Frida shows us the importance of drinking tequila, lighting a cigarette and living as if we are dying tomorrow.
Frida kahlo, a woman, an icon, forever in our hearts.
Viva La Frida!
Saint Germain is the chohan of the seventh ray, sponsor of the United States of America, and master alchemist of the sacred fire who comes bearing the gift of the violet flame of freedom for world transmutation. Together with his twin flame, the ascended lady master Portia, the Goddess of Justice, he is the hierarch of the Aquarian age. He is the great sponsor of freedom’s flame, while Portia is the sponsor of the flame of justice. The name Saint Germain comes from the Latin Sanctus Germanus, meaning simply “Holy Brother.”
As chohan, or lord, of the seventh ray, Saint Germain initiates our souls in the science and ritual of transmutation through the violet flame. Saint Germain and Portia deliver to the people of God the dispensation for the seventh age and the seventh ray—the violet ray of freedom, justice, mercy, alchemy and sacred ritual—a new lifewave, a new civilization, a new energy.
The Strauss waltzes carry the vibration of the violet flame and will help to put you in tune with Saint Germain. The Rakoczy March, by Franz Liszt, carries the flame of his heart and the formula of the violet flame. His electronic pattern is the Maltese cross; his fragrance, that of violets.
Violet Flame Mantra by Saint Germain for transmuting personal and planetary past errors in thought, feeling and action.
I AM a being of violet fire,
I AM the purity God desires.
Diplomats, priests of the sacred fire, actors, writers and defenders of freedom serve with Saint Germain on the seventh ray.
Initiation of the Seat-of-the Soul Chakra
Gifts of the Holy Spirit: gift of Prophecy and the Working of Miracles
Etheric Retreats: The Cave of Symbols, Table Mountain, Wyoming, USA; Transylvania, Romania
Vibration: Violet, Purple, Pink, Aqua, Teal
Gemstone: Amethyst, Diamond, Aquamarine
Quality: Freedom, Alchemy, Justice, Diplomacy, Transmutation
As high priest of the Violet Flame Temple on the mainland of Atlantis thirteen thousand years ago, Saint Germain sustained by his invocations and his causal body a pillar of fire, a veritable fountain of violet singing flame, which magnetized people from near and far who came to be set free from every binding condition of body, mind and soul. This they achieved by self-effort through the offering of invocations and the practice of seventh-ray rituals to the sacred fire.
Saint Germain was embodied as the prophet Samuel; Saint Joseph; Saint Alban, the first martyr of Britain; Merlin—alchemist, prophet and counselor to King Arthur. More recently, Saint Germain was Roger Bacon, Christopher Columbus and, in his final lifetime, Sir Francis Bacon. Francis Bacon, who has been called the greatest mind the West ever produced, is known as the father of inductive reasoning and the scientific method. His soul entered the ritual of the ascension from the Rakoczy Mansion, retreat of the Great Divine Director, on May 1, 1684.
In the twentieth century, Saint Germain stepped forth once again to sponsor an outer activity of the Great White Brotherhood. In the early 1930s, he contacted Guy Ballard whom he trained as a messenger and who, under the pen name of Godfré Ray King, released the foundation of Saint Germain’s instruction for the New Age in the books Unveiled Mysteries, The Magic Presence and The “I AM” Discourses.
In 1961 Saint Germain contacted Mark L. Prophet, and founded the Keepers of the Flame® Fraternity to quicken all who had originally come to earth with Sanat Kumara—to serve as world teachers and ministering servants in their families, communities and nations at this critical hour of the turning of cycles.
“On the sabbath of the seventh ray, you greet the Master of the Aquarian age:Saint Germain, friend of old, I am honored at thy presence here! So may I know the cosmic honor flame that is entwined with strands of gold and violet as elementals weave a garland of praise to the Knight Commander of my heart. And you tarry before the alchemist of the Spirit who has come to teach you the science of the amethyst ray and the ritual of grace that will be the law for the next two thousand years.”—Djwal Kul, from the meditation, The Hidden Chamber of the Heart.
“My boyfriend has never said he loves me. I feel unworthy of love. What can I do?”
The group that day had many wise teachings to offer in regards to this situation. But the question haunted me for weeks afterward. I was traveling for one of my books—to meditation centers, yoga communities, universities, bookstores, everywhere. And the more I traveled, the more I heard various forms of this sentiment:
“I don’t think I’ll ever find someone who will love me for me.”
“If I can’t love myself, how can I expect anyone else to?”
“Why am I single? Am I broken?”
In today’s consumer society we are often taught that we are broken. And then there’s the purported good news: there’s something we can buy or achieve that’s external to ourselves that will fix us. Instead of embracing who we are, we give in to societal whispers telling us we’re not good enough, lovable enough, or desirable enough. We are told we need products to scale higher rungs on the career ladder and then, when we attain that particular external factor, we will be happy. We are told we need to be different than who we actually are in this moment in order to free ourselves from this feeling of suffering. That is not the case.
From a Buddhist perspective, here is the real good news: You don’t need anything external to make you more lovable. You are perfect and inherently lovable just as you are.
When the Buddha sat down to meditate under the bodhi tree 2,600 years ago, he didn’t sit down to come up with a master plan to make himself different. He acknowledged he was suffering, and knew that he wanted to do something about that. He engaged in a simple meditation practice to begin to look at that suffering. The more he looked, the more he realized that at his core he wasn’t basically messed up. He was basically good. He was basically awake. And he’s not alone. We are, too. Our wakefulness is indestructible. It is like a diamond in a heap of dust. It is always there. We just need to discover it.
When we talk about the Buddha there is a Sanskrit term that is often used: he is the Tathagata. Tathagata can be translated as Buddha, but more directly as “the Awakened One.” What did the Buddha wake up to? His own indestructible nature. He woke up his mind and heart in a very big way and woke up to reality as it is, as opposed to how he wished it was, or how it used to be. That is what we mean when we talk about meditation practice and attaining enlightenment. We are talking about how we can follow in the Buddha’s footsteps by becoming more present and awake on the meditation seat and the rest of our day-to-day life.
One of the things that the Buddha discovered is that he didn’t have to bullsh*t. He saw reality for what it is, and was able to work with people and situations in a direct and genuine way. He wasn’t a diplomat. He wasn’t a politician. He was a revolutionary in that he presented himself authentically and people responded in kind. Whomever he met was inspired by his presence. Through the simple act of remaining openhearted, he invited people to join him in that space and be openhearted as well. I mention this story because we can do as the Buddha did and present ourselves authentically. In my experience there are three steps to this process:
1. Look at yourself
One of my favorite Tibetan words for “meditation” (there are several) is gom. Gom can also be translated as “familiarity.” It is the notion that through the simple practice of being with the breath and watching your thoughts float across the landscape of your mind you are becoming more familiar with them. The more familiar you become with the various ways you get hooked by emotion, the habitual patterns that keep you running from the present moment, and the nonstop chatter going on in your head, the more familiar you become with the essence of who you are.
2. Discover your basic goodness
3. Develop faith in that goodness
Once you have glimpsed that you are basically good, you should develop faith in that. It’s easy to give in to internal or external whispers that you’re basically not good enough, but if you can experience this sense of primordial wholesomeness, then that can trump whatever gets thrown at you. It’s not an idea, like the idea that you need a new iPad, but an understanding. We can have faith in our experience of basic goodness and continue to cultivate that both on and off the meditation cushion.
The essence of who you are is innately lovable. When we drop the constant critiques that come up throughout our day we experience a sense of peace and warmth. We learn to love ourselves. Most of the time we walk around thinking, I wish I hadn’t said that, or I really need to do that better next time. Rarely do we sit down and appreciate all the good we have done. All too rarely do we celebrate our human potential.
The beauty of the Buddhist meditation practice is that it is a simple tool for doing just that. Yes, we become familiar with both the sanity and insanity that rages in our mind through meditation, but we also get glimpses that we are lovely human beings. We see that we don’t need to rely on a new product or job or even romantic partner to be whole. My Buddhist teacher, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, wrote, “True love is the natural energy of our settled mind.” Through training in being with something as simple as the breath, you are learning to settle down with yourself and also training in being with your inherent wakefulness. Within your natural state there is unfathomable love. That is what the Buddha discovered and what you can discover as well.
Adapted from How to Love Yourself (And Sometimes Other People), by Lodro Rinzler & Meggan Watterson, Hay House, September 2015.