I was talking to a friend the other day, not really a friend, more like an acquaintance. Not one of those people that you look forward to being around, more like somebody that you are around because of mutually shared circumstances. They aren’t so bad that you dread meeting them, but there really isn’t that spark that is normally required to start a lasting friendship.
Anyways, he started complaining about a business problem he was having. And he started making the same complaints that he usually makes, bad market, bad economy, and the usual stuff that you hear nowadays. Since he was basically going over the same arguments again and again, it was fairly easy for me to get distracted and let my mind wander.
It’s interesting when that happens. I’ve often wondered if you could map out somebody’s brain, represent it graphically as some big three-dimension lattice, and have whatever the person was thinking about displayed as part of the grid that was sort of lit up. And then whatever stray neurons the lit up portion drifted to would be the next random thought the person was thinking. Only it’s not random at all. One set of neurons is connected to all other neurons by only three or four degrees of separation and those three or four degrees of separation can get fired off rather quickly, and rather subconsciously.
So you’ll be thinking about the current health care issue, and all of a sudden you’ll be remembering a tuna sandwich you ate in third grade.
So I suddenly recalled this lecture an old professor was giving in university. It was a political science class, and this guy was lecturing about the evils of the Soviet Union (yea, it was that long ago). He said people are classified into two different groups, those that see the world as an oppressive enemy, where there is no escape but to complain and wring your hands over the state of things, and those that see the world with a curiosity of interest. To see how it can be exploited to maximize their own benefit. I think he was trying to illustrate the difference between capitalism and communism, but I’m not certain. I only got a C in that class, so whatever I do remember, I’m pretty sure it was incorrect to begin with.
That’s when I realized that my friend, who was always complaining, seemed to always take a victim stance to the world. The world is a big evil thing that shouldn’t be doing whatever it is doing. And there should be some big authoritative entity to make sure “it” behaved according to what people think it “should” do.
Which reminded of a book I read on frame control. This guy said that all suffering comes from when you have as set of “shoulds” that the world doesn’t agree with. If you walk through life expecting people to behave according to what you think they “should” do, and they don’t, you will blame them for not behaving according to your expectations.
On the other hand, there are those that are always redefining their map of reality based on what they see on a daily basis, so they can take advantage of things and extract as much money and pleasure and sex from the world as they possibly can, without crossing or hurting anybody. Kind of like treasure hunters that are always looking for ways to exploit the system to their benefit, whatever the system may be.
I’ve read that during the gold rush to California back in the 1800’s, there was a huge amount of gold taken from the ground, in the billions of dollars in today’s money. And that gold was found by people that dug, and consistently re engineered their searching process until they became rich. The interesting thing is, is that most geological experts agree that only about twenty percent from the actual gold in the ground was ever discovered. The rest is still waiting.
There is treasure.
Are you looking for it, or waiting for somebody to give it to you?