Thoughts about jobs and future

I think we are still living in the ‘Industrial Revolution’ era. Machines and technology have dramatically increased productivity and quality of products but the overall mindset is still the same.

The business domain still thinks in a similar fashion:
1. Create better products, reduce cost, more efficiently utilize existing technology, look for technology that would improve efficiency and cost etc, expand the business by:
– increasing quantity of production and expanding
– Expand by creating new products itself
2. The office/work system of having work hours and responsibilities has not changed much too.

In other words it is about constantly re-evaluating the balance between Cost, Quality, Technology utilization and expansion with the ultimate driving factor being profit. (some may include value added to society)

Why do we have the system of work in the first place?
If you truly did what you wanted to do all the time that wouldn’t be called work. Isn’t that closer to what we might want?

One might expect the daily work hours to reduce to 4-5hrs a day by now ‘2010’ but on the contrary, it is still 9-10hrs average in most countries. Why has this not decreased in spite of all the faster and superior technology available?

I think in the future there might be a fundamental shift away from this mindset. There would be a re-evaluation of what truly matters. I think in the future all the jobs that we do today will be done by machines and we could freely relive or experience anything we want either in the real or virtual form. Technology would enable us to connect far deeper with other humans and all of us could live self actualized lives. This would be some sort of paradise.

Observations in America

Capitalism is so ingrained in the American culture. Underlying it is the theory of the survival of the fittest, which sets competition as the basic driving force of life. The importance of success and winning is reinforced with an obsession with competitive sports, and their glorification of the best athletes and the richest people in the world. Even getting into the political system involves offering and selling ourselves as candidates, by publicizing how much better we are than our rivals for office. “Selling yourself” is like the mantra you would find everywhere.

It appears that most local people have embraced this culture. In general I have not observed much rebelling tendencies. People tend to be totally tame and seem to accept the system with their heart too. Almost everyone follows rules in all forms, be it traffic rules, standing in queues or waiting for people to pass by. People seem to be highly courteous. I witnessed almost a true “Dignity of Labor” concept here where people from all spheres are equally respected including blue collar workers. Maybe all this is related to the maturity level of the economy. Back in India, fat people were usually rich and thin people were mostly poor. Here, the economy seems to have already passed through that stage. Rich people here seem to have greater awareness about fitness and maintain themselves and conversely the poor people are the ones who tend to neglect the quantity and quality of food consumed and tend to become overweight.

The credit system in the US also seems to be quite convenient for consumers. The credit handling companies are in the middle of everything. The consumer, mall owners etc are all related to these companies. So the person selling the product to you does not really lose much even if you fail to pay your bill by credit because he would have a tie up with the credit companies. (The credit card companies would in such a case impact your credit history and privileges and through your SSN). The helpers in the store are paid on an hourly basis. So going to a store for window shopping is quite pleasant and the helpers are very friendly and do not appear to have any vested interest in you buying the product.

The amount of disposable income around here is crazy. This might be aided by the credit system too since people buy most things on credit. There are so many commodities and varieties, its staggering. Owning a private boat here isn’t uncommon and there’s a huge variety for that too. Everything is laid out in a platter with all the variety well sorted according to category,quality and price. The variety is especially surprising in the recreation, arts and music sections. E.g.: Huge variety in archery sets, other hobbies like building remote control toy cars etc

You tend to wonder, where did all this come from? and are there really so many people here buying all of these? The shop doesn’t seem so crowded? How do these guys make money? How do they handle the logistics part? How can such systems exist?

It almost seems like a melting point of all the best items manufactured in the world. This combined with all the variety laid out in a platter showing you everything from the lowest quality – lowest price to the highest quality – highest price creates a high motivation to be rich thus strengthening and keeping the system alive.

About Enlightenment

Most self help books and websites address all the problems at the level of the mind, but when you talk about enlightenment, you need to transcend the mind itself. I read that Buddhism does not encourage the use of the intellect at all. I thought to myself “Oh, how can that be, are all those guys dumb or live life’s that are highly under stimulated and simplified etc, Why would someone agree to that, the greatest gift we have is our thinking ability”. But then, I later realized that their idea was to transcend the mind itself. Their logic is like “the only way to win the game is to not play at all”. The fundamental nature of the mind is the “wanting state”. No matter what you do, what you accomplish etc you would always remain in that state. So you need to sort of move into a higher dimension. Their lives were kept simple, abstaining from sexual activity etc but this was not exactly a total sacrifice. The reason for that was: Sex is one of the most powerful attractive forces at the level of the mind. So in order to transcend it, you would rather not have this powerful force tightly holding you”. And about the simplicity of their life, the reason for that is, we erect our whole sense of self from memory. If this is too rich and complicated filled with varied likes/dislikes/passions/aversions it becomes difficult to transcend it. When you minimize your likes/dislikes/wants etc. your self is fairly simple and it makes the transcending part much easier. Generally if you completely overcome the fear of death, you would overcome all fears since death is the root for all fears.

Another question asked is that, does an enlightenment person ever suffer? The question of suffering/pleasure is a qualitative judgment at the level of the mind. When you go beyond that, the question almost becomes irrelevant. Enlightened people are in contact with the instrument of life force itself. They would always be like light and pass through any situation seamlessly including death. They would be aware of the mind and its conceptualization but they have the choice to turn the mind off. The consciousness force with them is like an iron ox and even death would not scare them.

Free your consciousness…

I think when we are just born, all we have is consciousness in its full volume. There is no preference for anything. In fact it is said that even the sense of self is after the age of 4. Below that, a child cannot clearly distinguish how it is separate from the environment. For the memory to start functioning, first we need to have a well established sense of self. That is why it is difficult or almost impossible to recall anything that happened before the age of 3-4. But unfortunately, this memory system is what deprives us of the consciousness. Initially we have this ball of consciousness with us which is like the sun – radiates it in all directions. Now so many complex entities control this consciousness. Beliefs, thoughts, opinions and your own sense of who you are formed from all of that. This sense of self prevents us from seeing the real picture of who we are. That is why it is commonly referred to as a prison. The consciousness is who we are. We are not the body or even the mind. Now, this might sound ridiculous or just impossible to conceive. Actually it is possible. Anything that you observe cannot be you because the very act of observation separates the observer, observed and the act of observation. We can observe our entire body and our every thought. So we cannot be any of that. It takes some resolve and practice to reach this stage where you can clearly see that when you observe something intently enough so that you are separate from what you observe. After reaching this stage, you realize, so many things are just controlling you. You think you are all those things but you are actually none of that. Its kind of like imagine you could only walk on the ground and suddenly someone takes you on helicopter ride. And you’re like, I don’t need to do what i do all the time, I’m not restricted, the prison is in my mind. Of course these aha moments are short lived initially and you get pulled into your thoughts and ego quite fast.

The thinking mind creates a game with a whole new set of rules and goals when what you are is none of that. Society has its own rewards and games and prevents you from seeing the real truth. Another thing that prevents us from even thinking in those directions is the huge investment we have made in creating our whole self esteem and concept of self. Creating a parallel road and walking on that is very scary and requires a fundamental shift. All you need to do is totally trust yourself and be absolutely honest with your feelings from moment to moment. You don’t need to play that game at all. You are free. It should kind of feel like matrix or a dream that you have woken up from once this realization gets strong. Work hard now and you’ll live a smooth life later is the biggest myth. Its just a pain avoidance behavior and that behavior will only be strengthened in future. The only way to increase happiness to to continuous be that way. You know yourself the best just like the taste in your mouth. No matter how many words you use, or how articulate you may be, only you will know your absolute truth inside you. There is another difficulty in realizing this truth. It is habits, past conditioning and our huge storehouse of memories reside in our subconscious mind. We have invested such a lot in creating those and we so identify with our life stories and experiences. So the shift is quite radical. It is simply observing all of the above and dis-identifying yourself from them because you are none of those. This is extremely liberating even as a concept or imagination. Its even more radical than any heaven you can imagine because you are complete at every moment. Having a dream is a sign that your current state is not as good as what you dreamt of.

How do you deal with someone who hates you

People who hate you cause a huge amount of misery especially if they are in the same context as you and where you would need to meet them regularly like a college, office, school etc. The issue is common especially between very close friends when they have a fight or with an ex(GF/BF). A girl friend or boy friend with whom you have broken up is kind of like a failed marriage or a huge expectation mismatch. I think in either ways, its a failure to accept ‘reality the way it is’. The person somehow affects you far more than you would expect. Because you have invested a ton load of emotions and time on that person, that person’s opinion about you carries a huge weight-age. If I would analyze this further, the person manipulates you at a subconscious level. So if they express some negative emotion towards you, you get an unexplainable queasy feeling in the stomach and you might think to yourself “Why on earth do I react so much?Why cant I just ignore it”. Once you’re in that mood, you start feeling vulnerable and get polarized to feel that everyone is looking at you in the same negative way as the Ex.

When the more mature one the fight tries to resolve it, the problem can be compounded if the other one has serious anger issues. Its funny, some people can only express one emotion well, that is ANGER. Generally people who are neglected, physically or emotionally abused, with severe problems in their self esteem, body image etc. sometimes suffer from these anger issues. Anger is a kind of defensive mechanism to protect you from the real feelings. So the person lives in the false sense that everything that is happening is the other person’s fault with so much conviction. The thing they don’t realize is that they are very obviously hiding from the real truth and that the anger burns them far more than the people they are throwing it at. The problem, as with most things, this habit once formed just becomes a self-strengthening loop. In any self help article, the common theme is, ‘face the real visceral feeling without the shield of anger’. That is how you truly overcome past pain. Another problem is that, even if you tell them this, their denial and ego would kick in. Thoughts like “I’m listening to this person who tortured me etc. Whats up with me? What can this know about psychology etc?” come up and whatever is said to improve the situation results in a series of denials emphasized by a “No” at the start of every sentence. It is impossible to rationalize with a person in that state. Even time may not breakdown their ego, because they would keep strengthening their old habit patterns at every moment till the end of their life.

I think the only way to deal with this is to melt them with your nice behavior and avoiding deeper and personal conversations. If you get angry, then you’re lowering your consciousness to that level. So my approach might be, watch yourself when you react to this person, use your evolved reasoning and insights to prevent a lowering of your state. What comes out a person’s anger is more about the person’s anger than the content of what is said. The content that comes out is usually an exaggerated slanted version of all the bad things you did.

Let me attempt to put it in the real context. The allegations represent a very tiny portion of reality in proportion to everything that you are. Secondly, since the person is filled with anger, a distorted, slanted, exaggerated version is created of that tiny fraction. Thirdly, it represents the past which is imaginary in the context of this moment. You might have reacted that way in the past and it might have been the best approach considering your STATE(level of knowledge, personal interests, priorities etc.) at that time. That state might be irrelevant now. So at every level getting severely affected by that person requires you to revisit the context I have described above to dissolve the past conditioning or habit.

Getting inspired..

Inspiration and Love reside at the highest rung of consciousness. I need to meet people in that vibration to stay in that state. They seem to be difficult to find. Sometimes I see inspired people in specific aspects, but I’m not able to establish connection with them. I mostly form “small-talk acquaintances” with them because our global aspects – mindset, world view, cultural influence might differ a lot. The ideal combination would be people with child like enthusiasm and wonder and who are overflowing with it. So they do not expect anything in return. Its just for the pure joy of sharing the same passion. The synergy when you interact with people that state is an awesome experience.

I frequently try to bring myself up to that state. Reading high vibe stuff elevates me to that of inspiration temporarily but I get pulled down by mundane talk and pressure transmitted by people at lower rungs.

Speed of time..

Time flies by when you are happy, engaged, enjoying etc. and slows down to a crawl when you have extreme pain. More than the ‘proportional theory’ of time’ these experiences seem to have congruence with the general theory of relativity which states “spending 1hr with a loved one would feel like 5-10mins”. In the clock time sense, the theory states that – heavier objects warp space-time and slow down time. Like if you stand next to the pyramid in Egypt, time should be slower for you compared to a person standing far away. I guess time perception is more important than actual time passed since that is what would impact you. I think time perception would be related to how much new information you’re processing from the environment. If the environment is all familiar and you are doing the same things that you’ve been doing for ages, time seems to go by very fast since there is very little new information added. It is also a factor of how aware you are at the present moment with respect to your surroundings and body. Things in the environment need to really captivate your interest to that extent for you to feel time slow down. Time would thus essentially be the slowest when EVERYTHING is new around you and when you are most intrigued by them.

Maybe at the time you were just born or if you visit an alien planet which is fundamentally different in every aspect compared to ours. Even a 1 day visit to such a planet would be the information equivalent of a month or more on earth. Traveling to a new place should slow down time too. Office is the most common environment where time starts to go very fast once you get accustomed to the job. Months pass by and you kind of have a feeling your losing control. Day -dreaming surprisingly makes time pass real quick. Maybe because no new information is added during day dreaming, in retrospect nothing much is remembered and hence we feel the time just flew by.

It is also said that, emotions like fear collapse time while awe expands it. It is also said that for stress free productivity you need to be relaxed first. So maybe relaxation without reduction in alertness should also slow time. The difficult part is that when we think of relaxation we conjure up states of mild hypnosis and stupor, but it is actually possible to get relaxed w/o compromising on alertness. Ive noticed this while drinking alcohol(assuming you’ve already had more than enough sleep to start with). The relaxation greatly increases without compromising attention. Another thing that comes to my mind is martial arts and sports when I think of time perception or speed of perception. In shaolin kung-fu and even bruce lee’s jee kwon do it is emphasized that you need to turn off your mind and stay in a no mind state. Maybe we need to turn off the thinking mind to greatly increase our perception of time. Marital art masters train their reflexes and speed of perception to a level of 0.1sec response. That is if an average person’s movements(0.3sec) would appear to be 3 times slower to the master. Martial arts is a very intriguing discipline as it trains both the mind and body.