….Because you’re worth it!( L’Oréal)… The Power to be your best (Apple Computers) …Be the Best (The British Army)
I often tell the story of the 1970’s Chinese TV family, the joke is that an American kid comes to stay. The joke plays out thus..
Big bowl of apples on the table, one huge shiny apple on the top, the American kid grabs the biggest apple off the top, the Chinese family fall about in hysterics! A Chinese child would never take the best apple off the top first! Hahaha! Can you imagine!??
I suspect the gag doesn’t play out so well these days, as Communist Capitalism is taking over China, and everybody wants a Western style life..
Another clue comes in the Postal System.
If I write to you in the West, I start with your name “John Smith, George Street, Edinburgh, Scotland..”
For China, I would start “China, Hubei Province, 10 Li Street, Mr Wang..”
In the West, we are brought up to think about ourselves first, and others later.
This is different in China, for one to survive, they whole group has to survive..
In an interesting interaction with one of my clients recently, we discussed boarding school.
The standard idea, “we were sent off to boarding school, because our parents didn’t love us..!”
Certainly, that holds true for some.
If you were raised in the British system, where “big boys don’t cry,” and “keep a stiff upper lip” then it’s entirely possible that your Victorian grandparents showed little love to your parents, who then passed this attitude to you. Children who went to boarding school are usually from parents and grandparents who have been through the same system..
Doesn’t everybody deserve to be loved equally? The abundance or surfeit thereof, colouring our lives going forward.
But is it really important?
Resilience and Entitlement
It was interesting to have it pointed out to me that I was also probably much more resilient, from having had the experience. One does (hopefully) become more socialised much earlier on in life, by being forced to deal with other people from outside your family, in a very immediate way.. be it with your fists or your diplomatic skills! It’s a very “hot housed” environment, living 24/7 with people who might decide they want to kill you, or as a bare minimum, beat you every day…
Is this life better or worse that any other path?
Through this system, most of the children emerge with a sense of entitlement.
In the UK, everybody can easily be brought up with some sort of sense of entitlement, be it tiny or exceptionally grandiose.
Our Social system gives us pretty much everything we need.
No job? We’ll give you a weekly subsistence wage.
No Job? We’ll give you a house to stay in.
No Job? We’ll give you access to a first class hospital system
No job? We’ll give you access to an education
No job? We’ll try to give you access to training or a new job..
The system is shaky, and often totally flawed, but it is your entitlement to be given this help.
If you get churned out of the Public School (Private school) system, you are led to believe that you are entitled to a good job in business or industry, and that you are also entitled to all the above and much more.
Consumerism hasn’t helped us much either.
In a parody of “The American Dream” western capitalism has sold us a dream that for many is unattainable. Every advert, every magazine describes a lifestyle that you could have, but in reality few of us actually ever achieve it.
It doesn’t really matter what level of society you are cast into, or move into, the dreams are still the same, and the reality is just as far fetched.
It’s based on the idea that “things” will make you happy. Historically, when we had fewer possessions, the smallest things would bring us joy, almost anything had a chance to make a beneficial change. Think of a chair, brought into a house with no chairs! What a luxury, what an upgrade in comfort!
These days, consumerism has deeply devalued the benefit of most purchases.
I think back across the myriad of lifetime purchases I have made over the years, don’t get me wrong, I’m neither rich, nor profligate, but of the many things I’ve bought, what really stands out?
A good pair of walking boots, my E-bike, my tablet, upon which I write now? That’s about it folks!
Religion was a great idea, pre-internet, pre-education… pre-writing
Our biggest fear is death.
If somebody turns up and says “Follow me, and all the fear will disappear by joining my exclusive club” – most people would jump at the chance. Insurance works the same way, pay now and be covered for later.
The more educated we’ve become, the more we learn about the workings of the institutions who purvey religion, the more we are able to poke holes in their offerings.
Generally people have seen it for the sham it is.
As the bible says, “It’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to join the Loch Lomond Golf Club…” At least it’s something along those lines..
We’ve been promised something that these institutions can never deliver, and that we have no proof that they ever have.
Sold a lie?
The issue is that in order to keep the wheels of industry moving, the bosses require workers.
Just like a factory uses up electricity, businesses use up people.
If all we believe in is profit, then we are required to expend energy to produce it.
That energy comes in many forms, but the purest of them is our own personal Qi or energy.
Money, is a token that you receive in exchange for your life-force. (Or other people’s life force.)
In Switzerland you might expect to get $85,000 per year, in New Zealand $45,000, in China $10,000 and in The Congo or Afghanistan $500 per year.
If we were to assume $40,000 per year and a working life of 40 years, this values the average human at about $1.5m – The true value of your life.
It then becomes a simple equation, did you sell yourself better or worse than this figure?
Were you born into a rich nation or a poor one?
Is that it? Like seventeenth century slaves, lives bought and sold.
We have been sold a terrible lie.
The lie’s there in place to feed the system.
It would be terrible for the people who are addicted to these capitalistic ways for the structure to be challenged! Ah, the rise of Communism. What a glorious idea, that we might all have the same things, and no longer want for anything. (Just don’t look over that wall, at what the other people are doing with their lives!!!)
I recently spoke to a lady who’d been brought up behind the Iron Curtain, and have met many Chinese people who still live to some extent under a similar regime. They were/are ostensibly happy people. From time to time things went wrong, but don’t they in everybody’s life?
For the bulk of the time, whilst all they knew was the system, they were basically happy.
Doctors mixed with street sweepers, everybody was in the same boat.
Every Yin, has it’s matching Yang! It feels like Yang is starting to recede, and that Yin is rising. Put frankly the American empire is falling and the Chinese empire is rising.
Will the Chinese Empire bring about stability, the simple answer is yes and always no too..
Whilst we use our brains to think our way out of trouble (see the theory “Science will fix all our climate problems” – and how well that’s currently doing!) well never fix the imbalances. We are working from the wrong perspective and we always have.
About that lie.
So what’s the effect of you?
You were given an education, you followed the path, after a while it started to feel hollow.
Then you became disillusioned by chasing partners, money, the next dream.
You became depressed, or sick.
Now you self-medicate your way out of daily life with alcohol, drugs or other addictions such as shopping or sex.
what’s to be done? The World’s in a mess, your life’s in a mess – maybe it’s just time to pack it all in?
What we missed
Our education systems are built on training us to be a functional component of the machine.
Our Religious systems are build on making us as functional member of society
Even our family systems often use “Love” as a currency of control, although this is clearly not what love is actually for!
Do you need to be loved? Do you need to be rich? Who says you need to be treated fairly?
We all have such high expectations, garnered from films and books. We all know what we want in life.
Our Ego’s are constantly being stroked and stoked by modern life.
The Ego is a basic “holder” for our personality.
I say “I like cheese” – you say “Oh, I think Cheese is disgusting!” – My ego goes searching for an appropriate response – “What does my Mum think of cheese as a subject, what did I learn about cheese at school, does God approve of cheese, what did my wife tell me about cheese recently, and then, what do I think about you, do I want to fit in with you, do I like you…?”
At some stage the computational process blurts out a response, be it “You’re stupid!” OR “I agree with you totally!”
The Ego, likes to protect us. It’s at once like our Pitbull Guard Dog, and our Librarian or archivist of our lives. Depending on your society, your ego can become bigger and bigger.
“Well done, good boy, here’s more love, money and certificates!”
Until you become so utterly attached to your ego, that if anybody challenges you, they might have to face your titanic wrath! (As you fiercely defend your love of cheese!)
When at last your ego becomes so big, it’s now not possible to balance it with reality anymore, then you’ll become ill, this is a sickness of the Ego.
“Life is Unfair!”- “why me?” – “What a cruel world, relationship, event, person….etc!”
(But never “Me” – I’m never the source of these problems, it’s always my bad luck, my genetic makeup, my bad timing – wrong time, wrong place…But never my actual fault…)
Where did we miss the step, “Every action has an opposite and equal reaction?”
Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it!
If you behave badly, then bad things happen to you?
Is there such a thing as Karma – bad things from another life affecting this life?
If you swim UP the river, you’d better expect there to be large logs flowing down in the opposite direction!
Our education had never cautioned us to be balanced.
In the West, we are encouraged to be excessive, but in the East they are encouraged to be introverted. Neither state is correct! The middle way is correct.
Sorry Buddhism, you might have claimed the ideal of Middle way, but you too have missed the point! …Sitting on a mountain, dressed in finery, with a huge drum?? Really?
So, where are we left?
So much of our illnesses currently arise from stress. Stress is not being in alignment with our true nature. Our towering egos make us ill, as life doesn’t deliver on its fake promises.
Time to wake up.
Time to ask who you really are?
Are you this stalking master of the universe, are you this wounded child or are you actually something way beyond all of these things, that’s got a little lost on its journey?
The real truth lies deep inside you not outside! I can point you in the right direction, but only you can find the real truth of why you are here, and who you really are.
I’ll give you one clue to get you started – “You are Pure Awareness , you are god…”
Now off you trot, and come back to me when you’re finished..