The invisible tail that wags the dog… The human condition


The invisible tail that wags the dog... 1 Or what is invisible to you is behind and underneath your emotions, your actions, your desires...

It's invisible for the dog and it is invisible or mis-identified for the observer...

And, of course I am talking about humans... but found no quote that talks about humans in this context. Though the treasure trove of information about dogs, and foxes and their tails is very entertaining, I can say with some certainty, that humans know dogs and foxes better than themselves.

That includes you and me.

Me? I have learned about human behavior, the human condition for decades, learned the vocabulary, both verbal and nonverbal, and yet...

Humans are more difficult to decipher than animals.

Why? Because humans are more complex...

Humans' self-awareness, awareness of the why's and the how's of their behavior, their reaction, their aspirations is very low.

A completely self-aware human's self-awareness will be our 100%...

The average self-awareness of humans living today is 7%. That is much less than what you know about your dog... 30%.

Most of what is known is in the visible: anyone can see it. But the why of what we see is not visible... so we give behaviors, emotions, drivers, meaning, we, humanity, may have invented a name for it, but most of the time and most of the names are simply not a good match for what is going on under the hood.

I used to be as clueless as everyone, and then I participated in a program, back in 1985, that opened that hood, and gave me a glimpse of what is there and how it works.

A glimpse.

That glimpse resulted in the rest of my life. I was 38 years old.

As long as a human, you, live in utter misunderstanding or ignorance of what's under the hood, what are the levers and the dials of the human machine, a human lives in utter desperation.

Yes, even those smiling people on Facebook. Even them. Wretched, miserable, suffering. Maybe not in every area of their lives, but they are suffering.

Smile is a great smokescreen...

One could say that what is most significant about humans, as opposed to other animals, is the separation between the messages coming from reality and the decision-making organ, we'll call captain, for now... because I am not sure I want to call it consciousness... just yet.

As I am writing this, I am becoming aware that I want you, the reader, to know that this is hard work, that I am experiencing birthing pains, and I want you to admire me and feel sorry for me, and be grateful. To me. Not for the new information that may change your life dramatically, no, not FOR that, but to ME, because... because... because... lol... I am looking... because it gives me significance. lol.

Now that I have said it, it is ridiculous to expect significance from the outside, but this little interlude was a great example how we have no idea why we do things... what we really expect, and what meaning we give to actions, and responses.

My self-awareness number is 70%... but this, wanting significance, has been still hidden from my view.

Why? Because that is the "design" of a human... Utter unawareness of what strings are pulled so one behaves the way one does... and why one is experiencing so much negative emotions, sadness, disappointment.

Seeing AND telling the truth that my EGO wants significance is freeing. I can now own it, own it as MY STUFF... And maybe I can let it go.

In the Playground program I have been using to work out a method to take homo sapiens, the current humanity, to human being... the human of the thousand years of peace.

I am human, 70% on the way to becoming a human being myself. Why is this relevant? Because I can only teach something I have been able to see, what I can see.

And the 70% number means: 30% I haven't seen, or haven't owned... more likely the second.

To own something that is not pretty, you need humility. Humility that we have a really short supply of... while we may have a lot of pretend humility.

Humility is letting go of significance so that you can be truly significant in your actions, in your effect on the world, on others.

Thus far no human has accomplished total humility... even though it is not beyond the capacity of a human... but it IS a capacity. It's a lot like FAITH... giving yourself over to something that feels like a total annihilation... stepping off a cliff.

I am not religious. Have never been.

For me this compares to the afterlife some religions promise... and, of course, no one knows it is true. So it is normal to be afraid...

So when you are fully humble, you just gave up your right to be concerned about your EGO...

So I am 70% down that path... and kind of stuck here.

But... like I used to hear when I was little and was afraid to jump into the water because for my toes it felt really cold, "The water is fine"

So how did I get to 70% where I am swimming like a fish... and am happy?

Especially in comparison to people whose number is 3% and they are wagged by that tail that wags the dog... doing things, feeling things, reacting to things in ways that makes them utterly miserable, disappointed, and wretched.

Not knowing and owning what you can own, what you can see, will keep you wretched.

But it is in the invisible, Sophie! I can hear you yelling at me.

Well, yeah.

In my programs, mainly in the Playground, I introduce some of these invisibles, and then you practice seeing them in your own life.

The practice is called Partner Calls.

  • Some students use it to socialize. To be understood. To be liked and agreed with. Result: they are not moving the scale.
  • Other students just do what the "script" tells them to do, and they are starting to move.
  • Yet other students spend some time with themselves, and look at their behavior, and ask questions BEFORE they come to the Partner Calls and they are moving faster and higher on the scale.

What are some of the invisibles that wag the dog?

  • The need to be understood,
  • the need to matter,
  • the need to be approved of,
  • the need for significance,
  • the need to be liked,

are the tail that wags the dog... and as long as those needs are stronger than the need to grow, the need to become a human being, the person, the human, is missing the ball... and will not move up the scale towards becoming free, self-determined, and happier.

I can't promise happiness... And I won't.

But, as the saying goes, knowledge is power. Self-knowledge leads to more of what you want, and less of what you don't.

Looking at the numbers (I run a spreadsheet on my students) of the participants who don't move, I see one commonality: their tolerance to face their "ugly" is low. And that could clue them in, but hasn't.

My personality, Forget Thyself and Virgo, is to go for the ugly. Go for it like a trained hunting dog. Grab it by the throat and shake it... lol. Great picture, isn't it?

If I had to pick a dog

If I had to pick a dog I most closely resemble in my behavior, it would be the pitbull. I don't know dogs that well... Reading a long article on this breed, of course, I am limited by my knowledge... but one trait of a pitbull is what I am addressing: their determination.

Pit Bulls are strong, energetic, agile and powerful dogs. The are also very resourceful and driven. “Determination” is one of their most notable traits. Whatever they set out to do, they will put their heart and soul into it. Whether it’s escaping out of an inadequately fenced yard to explore the neighborhood or destroying your new couch when left home alone or climbing into your lap to shower you with kisses – they just don’t give up easily. ~ from

If we needed to designate a dog breed that you resemble closest, what breed would it be? Meaning: your personality, not your looks.

I, personally, don't want a dog... and yet i can look at dogs and see myself, or not see myself. Just like I can look at you and see what we share and what we don't...

I'll do this exercise with my Playground students... it will be fun. (I hope)


  1. The tail that wags the dog expression is used to describe a situation in which a person, organization, etc., is being controlled by someone or something that is behind the scenes, seemingly unrelated, unconnected, and yet... they pull the strings.

Author: Sophie Benshitta Maven

True empath, award winning architect, magazine publisher, transformational and spiritual coach and teacher, self declared Avatar

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