yesterday as i was biking home from the grocery store, backpack in tow, i noticed a lamborgini fly by. as if in some sort of fancy car parade, an exotic car that looked like a lotus or something flew by right on queue. i immediately had a warm sensation come over me as I realized these things were no longer the objects of my desire. but that’s not to say they never were. i used to act like a materialistic and greedy person, mainly caring about others if they could potentially advance me, or maybe caring about other less fortunate folks because it looked good to other more fortunate people who could then advance me. so then i could have a lamborgini. and a vacation home in aspen. and then a bunch of girls would like me. however, as I’m finding out, this greedy selfishness didn’t reflect my true nature, my inner soul. it was all a facade brought about by societal engineering.
so …then i thought even more about what owning these kinds of cars meant and potentially represent:
-unless you are a brilliant entrepreneur, you probably had to conform to some sort of social ideology because that is how you get paid in our current economy (Steve Jobs didn’t even have a license plate on his car, he was that anti-establishment). let’s face it, there isn’t a ton of stuff left to invent from a tech standpoint. in fact, our society might benefit from a ‘back to basics’ sort of mentality. but since we are so concerned with ‘growth’ (whatever that means), we continue to make up shit to convince ourselves that we are productive. or maybe we introduce new diseases so the researchers and pharmas can get paid along with the doctors. who knows.
– you probably have to learn and remember all kinds of crazy crap about french and italian and california wines. like what is the best vintage to come out of the Burgundy region in recent history. or what sort of essence is left on your palette after a swig of pinot noir. is that cinnamon i sense? whatever. you don’t learn these things out of your own genuine interest, of course not. you learn about these wines because everyone knows that someone who rolls in a mercedes also understands a great deal about wine. period. if you don’t learn this, you won’t get promoted. you won’t get the approval of your colleagues, subordinates, or superiors. you haven’t bought into our system. you haven’t learned the pavlovian ways of our culture.
– you lie. you lie all time. you lie to yourself, to your friends, to your family, to some random dude at the 7-11. it doesn’t matter. you are so used to lying that it becomes so natural and you don’t believe you are lying any longer. you can look at an investor in the eye and tell them that this particular CDS will generate a 14% year-over-year return given your cost of capital that is tied to the Libor rate of X%, blah, blah, blah. do you know what you just said? the answer is no. it was all a lie.
this list goes on and on, but one gets the idea. every day of engineering leads you further and further away from your true self. remember that old cliché that goes something like ‘do you want to wake up one day and look at yourself in the mirror and wonder what the hell you’ve done with your life’? well, thats not a cliche, that’s about as real as it gets.
the question and challenge I now have for myself (and you): can one become attached to non-attachment and if so, is that the only form of attachment leading to our true nature?