This is a very insightful observation by Mr. Molyneau that illuminates a great deal of false friendships that we would otherwise not realize were in fact based in dominance and disrespect.
Do your friends grant you the option of disagreeing with them? Or are you constantly in fear that they will reject you and end the relationship if you disagree? Do you find yourself constantly acting around your friends in order to gain their approval? Do you say and agree with things verbally that you, in your heart of hearts, actually disagree with? If so, then your friendship is not a friendship at all because there is no authenticity. The relationship is false and may be a waste of time - even worse it is a corrupting energy in your life getting you to speak and act in ways that you would not otherwise accept were you not in fear of being rejected. A true friendship enables the individuals involved to have innocence, curiosity and authority in their own lives. A true friendship embraces all that we are out of love and sincerity. But a true relationship also challenges us and inspires us to bring out our greatest potential.
Such a friendship is both nurturing and challenging, but it is not cruel, harsh or judgmental. I have met people that revel in their frankness, but really they are just using "truth" as a way to dominate. Such individuals are acting from ego and are lacking innocence. They are fooling themselves and actually lacking integrity because their motivation is to dominate, to show off, to push others down. They use "truth" or "honesty" as a clever way to disguise their real intent.
Do not waste your time with such people and do not participate in such energetic abuses yourself. I have found this domination occurring broadly in the "spiritual" community. It is commonly referred to as "getting your spiritual hooks into someone". The other day, I was teaching a student a private lesson in a park. She was reading my book and asking questions to me as they arose in her consciousness. Another meditation teacher came over to greet us. He asked what we were doing and I told him we were in the middle of a lesson on spiritual unfoldment. He took it upon himself to join us.
Before we knew it, he began waxing long on his understanding of oneness and presence and "how to be present in the moment". He never once asked our perspective, nor did he pause to allow for interjection, nor did he make the slightest gesture that he was interested in a different perspective. He literally talked at us for 30 minutes unfettered by my occasional interjection. I found the entire episode utterly amusing because I KNOW I used to do the very same thing before I realized that I was just fooling myself into thinking that I knew. The truth is, Beingness (the term I use to indicate the deepest place of connection to all that is) can not be understood by the mind and it is utterly useless to teach Beingness to people. The best that we can do is assist people in becoming conscious of what is blocking them from awareness of the deepest being within. This may include inspiring curiosity, providing tools like meditation and certain movement exercises that enhance awareness and sensitivity amongst other things. Without curiosity as to what is occurring in the mind and body and the sensitivity to feel these happenings, one is generally unable to feel the ever-presence of Beingness within and throughout all that is.
Although the meditation teacher I discussed waxed heavy on his understanding for 30 minutes, it was not a waste of time for me and my student. It became a perfect opportunity to ask my student what she felt during the "conversation". Now that she had felt "spiritual" dominance, she would be able to detect it more easily and she would also be less likely to fall prey to the mind's attempt to capture the unknowable, bottle it and force it down other people's ears (something that I did countless times in my own ignorance). What a blessing!
That said, In the case of this meditation teacher, he was not seeking to stimulate a give-and-take relationship, and it is important that we be aware that the relationship could easily turn into one of dominance, were we to allow it, and that would be on us. It is just as likely that this individual is not consciously aware of his desire to dominate by "teaching" us. Take a look at your friendships and consider if they are founded on mutual respect and give-and-take exchanges. You may be surprised to find that some of them are really about dominance and control for they are lacking respect and fair exchange. Relationships that are about dominance and control are not really friendships, are they? Of course, some relationships are not meant to be even - such as a relationship between a teacher and a student or a parent and a child. Those relationships cannot have equal give and take because one of the participants in the relationship simply knows less or has less maturity than the other. This is natural.
If you have a friendship that is about dominance, consider that it may be time to change the dynamics of the relationship or free yourself of it because it is toxic for all involved. Once we realize that we have a false friendship, that realization cannot be undone. You will have to act or lose your self-respect even further, right? Or perhaps you do not feel that you are worthy of a real friendship? You are, if you are able to be a real friend, right? If you find that you have the tendency to dominate relationships, take a good look within, for there is a deep instability there to be addressed when you are ready.
Thanks for reading and as always, if you have any questions or insights, please post them on my blog and I will be happy to address. Give us a share, won't you?