The Second Law is Concealment.
This immediately throws up red flags. "Concealment? Are you being sneaky? Are you trying to hide something, or be dishonest?"
Let's try a thought experiment. You go into a job interview, for which you're barely qualified. You're riddled with doubt, but you really want this job. Are you going to go into the interview with doubt and fear written all over your face? No, of course not.
You conceal your real feelings. You smile, you act confident, and you do what it takes to accomplish your goal.
The opposite of concealing is revealing. Do you really want to reveal everything about yourself to everyone? No, of course you don't. The problem is, we do it all the time without even realizing it. And so, the Second Law urges us to pay attention to what we reveal about ourselves- and conceal what is necessary to ensure our survival in the Dark World. This doesn't necessarily mean deception, lying, or things of that nature. It is a simple evaluation of how we unwittingly make ourselves vulnerable by revealing too much.
For me, the decision boils down to this: Am I trying to protect myself, or am I trying to fool others? I'm not interested in fooling or misleading anyone. Far from it! But by the same token, I don't want to expose myself to potential trouble because I was careless. I want to protect myself, and my purpose.
There's an old saying "you can't hit what you can't see." This holds true in the Dark World as well. There should only be a few men, if any, who know everything I’m thinking. Someone who won’t think I’m nuts for protecting myself. Someone who will understand my thought processes without questioning my sanity. In today's reactionary climate, you can lose your job for simply stating what's on your mind. As much as this shouldn't be, it doesn't change that we need to be careful of it.
Concealment is not the same as hiding. It is doing things in the open, but in a way that doesn’t draw suspicion. In some cases it requires secrecy, but usually should only require thinking ahead. Have you ever watched a street magician? Their sleight of hand is amazing, and at no point do they outright lie to the audience. But what they do, and are extremely good at, is concealment of their full actions, by drawing the viewer's attention to where they want them to look. This is also known as "The Art of Misdirection." Their goal is to amaze and surprise the audience. By knowing people's natures and how the brain works, they use very simple tricks to make you think they did something magical, when in fact you just weren't looking. Because they didn't want you to look.
This is concealment. Direction of attention away from what your true purpose is, so that you will not get bogged down with questions, naysayers, and in some cases physical altercation. Nature is full of camouflage! Do you think a tiger (or any other predator) would be a successful hunter if their prey could read their every move? Of course not. They mask their presence, and their intentions, until it is too late for the Gazelle. Then the hunt is over quickly, and the Hunter has plenty to eat. In light of the First Law, this is simply an extension of Survival.
Another way this can be understood is efficiency. No wasted motion, no wasted words, very little (if any) misdirection is needed if you simply don't broadcast yourself to everyone.
Lest you think this can only be used for Evil, the Master Himself, Jesus Christ, used Concealment to achieve His purposes:
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,
‘You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;
You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;
For the heart of this people has become dull,
With their ears they scarcely hear,
And they have closed their eyes,
Otherwise they would see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart and return,
And I would heal them.’
But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it."
He deliberately spoke in parables so that only those who were earnestly seeking God's wisdom would ask the right questions and understand. There are also several occasions where Jesus concealed Himself to prevent physical altercations- John 8:59, and again in John 10:39. Why? Because it would have been counterproductive to His purpose to allow a crowd to kill Him for speaking the truth before it was the proper time. As we discussed in Part One, it has to be on your terms.
What does Concealment mean for us?
First and foremost, it will require thinking about your actions before you do them. You will need to calculate what impact your actions could have that are potentially detrimental, and then think about other ways to get to where you're going without triggering unwanted opposition. It is better to avoid interference than have to explain everything.
This will require drawing back from social media, at the very least. I’m already starting to do this. If it is important enough to die for, then it needs to only be discussed with my tribe (my wife and closest friends). Outside interference can wreck even good-intentioned things by misunderstandings. This means you don't need to post every single thing you do or think on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever. Get in the habit of thinking before you post.
As Ivan Throne says: "Plan in such a way that your thoughts and actions will not be hindered."
At risk of exposing some of my thought processes here, I've decided to reveal some of my responses. You've read in my review of The Nine Laws that whether the process works depends on whether you do your "homework" or not.
This is a glimpse into what this "homework" looks like. Yours may be different, but this is what I wrote.
- Do my online habits put me at risk? Amazon? Ebay? Online banking? Facebook?
Everything we do online exposes us to someone. Find out exactly what each thing exposes.
- How can I minimize these risks?
I have to decide what balance of risk and convenience I am willing to deal with. Anything outside of that zone needs to be purged, or reimagined to minimize risk.
- In light of this, future plans should be either non-digital and hidden, or strongly encrypted.
Computer encryption is the digital equivalent of the Fifth Amendment. Anything they can find can and will be used against me. This is simply good operating procedure.
- What does your body posture and conversation telegraph?
I need to study this more. Find a book on posture tells, and practice it. I have to learn to weigh my words carefully, in accord with what I want people to know and see of me.
- What gratuitous exposure do you show despite the hundreds of apex predators around you?
I show my weakness, my indecisiveness, and lack of conviction everywhere I go. I broadcast my intent, whether I want to or not. I need to mentally prepare myself more in public.
- Do you use premature exposure and resulting slain plans as excuse or avoidance of work?
That’s a good question… I’m sure I have broadcast my plans, only to fail because someone else has thought it through more than I have. Sometimes they fail because I was convinced it wouldn’t work, when it very possibly could have.
- 3 examples of stillness of heart that permitted my ego to remain shadowed and my work to manifest into completion without interference:
1. Understanding that I don’t need people’s approval to work towards my Purpose.
2. Realizing most people wouldn’t understand me anyway.
3. Understanding my own mortality.
- Demand of the Ego for recognition is deadly.
Drawing unwanted attention to myself glorifies neither myself, nor God.
- What secrets burn inside you and egotistically leak through your thought, word, and deed?
The secret that I am too trusting. That I secretly long for acceptance. That I know I am not strong enough to survive on my own… yet. That I am statistically smarter than 99.5% of the people around me.
All of these are weaknesses that my Ego uses to keep me from moving forward.
I'll delve more into this in later installments, but needless to say, it does not benefit me to be egotistical about anything. I am simply using whatever God has given me: no less, no more.
If your purpose is important enough to dedicate your entire life to, then it is worth protecting from those who would stop you, sometimes for no other reason than that they can. Learn how to stop broadcasting your intentions everywhere you go (online or off). Focus on directing counterproductive people's attention away from your Purpose.
Next installment is The Third Law, and the one I am most intently struggling with: Purpose.