The Art of Seduction - Master the Art of Insinuation
Of all of Greene's books, this is the one I'm probably going to get the most grief for referencing, simply because seduction is taking on a very negative connotation in today's society. I have a whole bunch of theories as to why that is, but if you really wanted to hear about it, you'd ask me in private.
Where was I?
Robert Greene has referenced magicians several times in his collective works, always speaking very positively about our job skills and their value in strategy, social dynamics, and seduction. Indeed, our art/profession does require a lot of critical thinking skills as well as the ability to handle people and control the outcomes of a social event. It's a role that requires leadership, charm, and charisma. And this time around, I'd like to bring up a rather curious individual whose name pops up repeatedly in The Art of Seduction.
Count Saint-Germain was one of the greatest con artists of his time. He wasn't technically a magician, but there is more crossover between the two than our side is comfortable acknowledging. The Count created quite a stir when he arrived at the court of King Louis XV. He was an exceptionally wealthy man, a master painter, and a virtuoso musician on the violin. And he frequently spoke of alchemy, the philosopher's stone, and the elixir of life.
Not once did the count ever claim to possess such talents or treasures. He merely implied. People came to associate him more and more with these legends, and when they began asking him if he did possess them, he always responded, "Perhaps," as if he himself wasn't certain whether or not he did.
Such was the count's mystical aura that when he finally died, decades went by with people continuing to believe that he was still alive and had actually faked his own death. Sound familiar to any rock and roll fans out there?
The key was insinuation. He never made direct claims. He wove a tapestry of implications, half-truths and subtle suggestions into his speech. He projected an outward image that matched his layers of chicanery. The goal was to let people tie the variants hints and clues together and come to the conclusions he intended them to while thinking the ideas were their own.
This continues into the modern era. Those who arrogantly boast of their own greatness and constantly try to prove it only give themselves enough rope to tie their own noose. But those who insinuate their talents and then let those so seduced do all the talking reap far greater rewards.
Have you been using this strategy? How? And if not, what do you intend to do about it?