Deleterious effects of business on mind

One of the things I hate the most in life is business. It corrupts everything it touches. A friend who also runs a business said “Business is a shame, everyone wants to f… you”. Not a very nice way to put it but I confess that I agree. Business appears to me as the very opposite of the natural human values (not to say that in its current capitalist form, it carries in itself satanic antivalues).

Is there such a thing as “personal values substitution process” that happens when someone brings forth what he is not ? Will my values gradually and insidiously be replaced with antivalues ? Is there a risk that the more I do business, the less human I become ? For instance, by thinking daily of profit, money, happy swindling ;), prejudicing the competitors and being very proud of myself, so-called justified lies, voluntary omissions (the list is long)… is there any chance that one day I support evil ideas/people ? Example : Pierre Bergé who said that :evil: “as workers rent their arms, women may well rent their bellies” :evil: to carry babies for others, thus making maternity and children a business.

_https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5Xu7TP_cFE (sorry, video in french).

If such a danger does exist, how can I protect myself of it ? I want to stay sane. What comes to my mind when i think about business and psychopathy is "give them a paradise, they'll turn it into a hell".
 
Shinzenbi said:
One of the things I hate the most in life is business. It corrupts everything it touches. A friend who also runs a business said “Business is a shame, everyone wants to f… you”. Not a very nice way to put it but I confess that I agree. Business appears to me as the very opposite of the natural human values (not to say that in its current capitalist form, it carries in itself satanic antivalues).

I agree that business as it is usually done today is of a negative nature. It is carried out as to maximize profits without regard to the effects on consumers, workers, other businesses and society in general, as well as in the sense that business owners have to conform to the market in which they plan on doing their business, which includes being subject to loans and financial products, abusive taxes and regulations, the likes and dislikes of brainwashed consumers, having to compete with the ruthlessness of big corporations etc.

Being that we are in a STS environment where the social and economic structures are imposed from the top, including through laws, regulations and business practices of the Big Oil/Pharma/Agro/etc, it is understandable that the common man who has a heart and does not want to profit on the misery of others will be in struggle when he is caught on this negative chain of events.

I'd add that this system is detrimental not only to the common business owner but to the employees as well.

However, the act of trading goods (including whatever is representing money) is not negative in itself, osit.

Shinzenbi said:
Is there such a thing as “personal values substitution process” that happens when someone brings forth what he is not ? Will my values gradually and insidiously be replaced with antivalues ? Is there a risk that the more I do business, the less human I become ? For instance, by thinking daily of profit, money, happy swindling ;), prejudicing the competitors and being very proud of myself, so-called justified lies, voluntary omissions (the list is long)… is there any chance that one day I support evil ideas/people ? Example : Pierre Bergé who said that :evil: “as workers rent their arms, women may well rent their bellies” :evil: to carry babies for others, thus making maternity and children a business.

I would say it depends on the person in question. Maybe on man will succumb to the pressure and become deeply aligned with the negative chain of events while another may grow as a result of the internal conflict that occurs as he works for a living in a negative environment while striving to be of a positive orientation.

Such conflict may also propel him to do the least amount of damage possible while he is not able to figure out how to have a livelihood that is part of a positive chain of events.

For instance, perhaps it is not necessary to "happy swindle" or to be proud of prejudicing competitors?

Shinzenbi said:
If such a danger does exist, how can I protect myself of it ? I want to stay sane. What comes to my mind when i think about business and psychopathy is "give them a paradise, they'll turn it into a hell".

I empathize with your plight, Shinzenbi. I am not a business owner but as a former employee of a major financial institution I once said to my boss "this place is turning me into a monster". That realization was the catalyst, so to say, to consciously reject - internally - the modes of action that the company's corporate culture dictated while acting outwardly as I needed to do my job as best as I could. I also tried to make my immediate environment less negative by promoting trust and cooperation between my coworkers that seemed to be of a more positive nature.

This did not eliminate the tension of working there but it did free me from identifying with the psychopathic or otherwise disturbed characters I had to deal with daily. Being there, there was no way of not dipping my toes in the STS waters of modern day finance, but in the end I think it was a profitable experience because it taught me how to deal with some very difficult people and how to keep who I am separated from what I had to do.

I am wary of giving advice but if I may suggest, IMHO, I would begin by having a strong mental attitude of not letting your values be soiled by the business practices of your particular market. At the same time, maybe you can think of ways to change your particular circumstances as to diminish your involvement with the negative elements? It is probably not possible to avoid them all, but maybe you can find some comfort and inner freedom in knowing that you are doing the best possible given the circumstances?
 

Buddy

The Living Force
Hi Shinzenbi. Have you read In Search of the Miraculous? If so, what do you think of Gurdjieff's seeming positive regard for business and good businessmen?

It appears to me that business as metaphor helps impart an orderly understanding of the process of energy exchange in this universe. As a framework of understanding, it seems to scale nicely from a local personal situation up to cosmic levels.

I agree with CIS in that the act of trading goods is not inherently flawed, rather it's mostly the psychology of people that can make a horrible mess of just about anything.

Shinzenbi said:
If such a danger does exist, how can I protect myself of it ? I want to stay sane. What comes to my mind when i think about business and psychopathy is "give them a paradise, they'll turn it into a hell".

Well, maybe you could start by examining how closely you identify business-in-general with psychopathy and see if you can find some differences. In a universe of mal-formed analogy, perspective is everything.
 

herondancer

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Buddy said:
Hi Shinzenbi. Have you read In Search of the Miraculous? If so, what do you think of Gurdjieff's seeming positive regard for business and good businessmen?

It appears to me that business as metaphor helps impart an orderly understanding of the process of energy exchange in this universe. As a framework of understanding, it seems to scale nicely from a local personal situation up to cosmic levels.

I agree with CIS in that the act of trading goods is not inherently flawed, rather it's mostly the psychology of people that can make a horrible mess of just about anything.

Shinzenbi said:
If such a danger does exist, how can I protect myself of it ? I want to stay sane. What comes to my mind when i think about business and psychopathy is "give them a paradise, they'll turn it into a hell".

Well, maybe you could start by examining how closely you identify business-in-general with psychopathy and see if you can find some differences. In a universe of mal-formed analogy, perspective is everything.

The idea of business as an exchange of energy is the key, imo, along with why you are in business in the first place.

I understood business as originally being a way to supply a need for another person, and in recognition of that need, the person supplied completes the energy exchange by supplying you with what you need. In that sense, it's more or less an sto situation. When the concept of profit gets added into the mix, it's a little trickier.

The initial motivation is really important. Take an account who loves her work. She takes a personal interest in all her clients, as she wants them to be successful, but doesn't hesitate to tell them when they can't bend the rules. The ones who insist can certainly go elsewhere. She keeps up with all the latest information so she can give her customers the best services possible. Her fees aren't the cheapest, but everyone she deals with recognizes how much she contributes to their business activities. So this is the best possible scenario. A business person who doing what she does because she loves it, and exerts her skill on behalf of those who hire her to the best of her ability.

Contrast that to a big corporation. The first problem is corporations are mandated by law (big shock to me) to maximize profits for the share holders. The shareholders these days don't really have any stake in the companies they hold. They don't really care if the company is doing something positive for their customers. Psychopaths just make the situation worse, by corrupting the enterprise from within and lying to the public without. Enron is the perfect example.

CIS said:
I am wary of giving advice but if I may suggest, IMHO, I would begin by having a strong mental attitude of not letting your values be soiled by the business practices of your particular market. At the same time, maybe you can think of ways to change your particular circumstances as to diminish your involvement with the negative elements? It is probably not possible to avoid them all, but maybe you can find some comfort and inner freedom in knowing that you are doing the best possible given the circumstances?

This seems to be the best you and your friend can do. He can only run his business with as much integrity as he can muster, and you can conduct yourself in your job with as much integrity as you can, and maybe start looking for another better job. Easier said than done, I know. :( I watched a very nice company office deteriorate when it was taken over by another company. You could see the employees getting more and more stressed as more and more stupid, hierarchical rules were imposed, power being centralized vs the former autonomy the branch office had, took place. Fortunately, I found another position with a better organization. There are some out there, but they are usually small and off the radar.

edit: grammar
 

SeekinTruth

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I don't think business has to be inherently "evil." It's just part of the process of ponerization by pathologicals that dominate the business landscape - the large corporations that affect the atmosphere of ruthless competition and maximizing profits at all costs that casts a large and dark shadow over the business world.

As was mentioned, the essence of non-ponerized business relations is an exchange of energy - a way of fulfilling needs - in a fair and equitable way. My grandfather had taught my father about the essence of having business relationships that foster trust. To take care of your employees and customers like you would your family. My father had recounted these conversations with his father to me and my brother.

I ran a business in NYC with my brother from the early 1990's to 2006 with that approach. Although it was a very difficult environment to compete when others were willing to do whatever it takes for short term gain, we stuck with our approach. We got into a joint venture relationship with a larger corporation in the later years and I kept talking about these issues with the executives of that company. One day waiting for a meeting to commence with them, I saw a book in the conference room bookshelf and began browsing through it. It was entitled "The Loyalty Effect," if I remember correctly.

The book discussed exactly the same things we strongly believed in and were trying to communicate. Basically, it gave a life expectancy for companies and said that the longest lived companies were those that gave so much value in their business relationships - particularly with their customers and employees - that there was a long term loyalty established with them. This ensured the health and success of such businesses for the long term.

So, I mentioned this book during the meeting, that everything we were trying to get across was already written in this book. The woman executive was very receptive (and in general, she was to all of our approaches) but the CEO was not all that interested in these issues. He thought the book was "boring." And he was not at all the really ruthless corporate executive type, but had become influenced by the general business environment as to what's really important. He was mainly concerned with growth, and if organic growth was limited in potential or took to long, then growth by mergers and acquisitions.

The thing is to keep to your values and do what gives the most value to your business relationships. But I admit that the corrupted environment makes it more and more difficult to run a competative, successful business.
 

Esprit

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
The thing is to keep to your values and do what gives the most value to your business relationships. But I admit that the corrupted environment makes it more and more difficult to run a competative, successful business.

Yes that makes a lot of sense. I bought an online course from Tai Lopez. 5 minutes Mentor, Entrepreneur Code and Mini-MBA.
While there is some STS ways in some of his practices, I'm very impressed over all how there is a lot of good practices in what he teaches.

One exemple: Don't choose a product or go with an oppurtunity to build a business. Build on your strenghts. He does shows a little way of choosing what he calls your business destiny.

It would be a mixture of: What you grew up around, What have you been doing in the past 10 years, What do you talk about about with friends and familly and what strangers compliment you on. Find where those intersect, and try to come up with the shortest possible sentence to sum up those.
Than instead of choosing a product choose an Industry. Product comes and go he teaches, as the competition starts getting hotter around your product profits are almost inexistant at one point so you have to use your creativity to either come up with a better product or a new product.
But if you stay in the same industry you will build a lot of knowledge wich you can still aplly to a new product, teaching, managing, investing, etc.

And he talks a lot about the value you bring to the customers. He explains the difference between a salesman and a closer. The pusher vs the one that really is trying to bring you the best possible deal/solution for you.

Tai owns the biggest online bookstore he is very knowledgable (reads a book a day) about philosophy, human behavior and good quotes from a lot of influencial people. In some ways he is a bit doing what we do here and puts knlowledge at one of is prioritys

So I'm really happy with my investment even though it's not perfect I was surprised that he is not just a business man but has more to bring to the table you can have an idea here of who he is, he touches some concept that we ponder with on the forum here. Not directly like we dissect ideas here on the forum (Lies, truth, self importance,work,knowledge,action) but I can see in him that he does touches around those concept. Anyways I wanted some pointers about business and was not expecting this.

He's a little direct and I like that maybe you wont't:

 

Esprit

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I'd like to add , would it be a good idea to have an extra sub-Forum for business?

I was thinking about discussing STO vs STS practices. Maybe it's not worth it but I think it might be a good idea.
I noticed some members were discussing business ideas.
 

whitecoast

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Interesting timing for this to come up @Espirit. I've been aware of Tai Lopez for awhile. I tend to prefer some of the online material provided by Sam Ovens (who made his fortune in consulting, and training others to become consultants themselves) a little more, just because I feel he's more down-to-earth than Tai. I feel like Tai does a lot more unnecessary status signalling in his videos (often there's an expensive car around or an attractive women hanging on him while he discusses a topic). Also, Tai doesn't "read 4 books a day". What he does is he skims them very quickly, looking for the most salient sentences, and then says that's what the book is really teaching. Could you imagine doing that with Speculum Mentis?

And he talks a lot about the value you bring to the customers. He explains the difference between a salesman and a closer. The pusher vs the one that really is trying to bring you the best possible deal/solution for you.

That seems like kind of an NLP-ish dichotomy, particularly with the positive emphasis placed on closing, which tends to be highly fetishised in the sales world. One really good book I recommend on sales is Spin Selling, by Neil Rackham. He found that the effectiveness of "closing" depends severely on the nature of the transaction -- particularly those where the sales process is quick, less money is used, and the impact is smaller. In short, where emotions can play a larger role in the process. In sales between larger firms, where decision processes are drawn out and require input from many people, with large financial consequences, closing isn't a useful strategy until you reach the very end of the process. It's a great book for looking at the finer nuances of sales.

Anyway the subject of business has always triggered in me a spontaneous interest growing up. Looking back I'm wondering why I didn't explore that as an option in university. Anyway I feel like studying it has provided me with a lot of good information about soft skills, which I'm finding to be increasingly important in my career the older I get. Things like learning to sell yourself or your ideas, refining your mindset to prime your unconscious to go after goals better (Work-related subtext there), learning to see opportunities to contribute in a marketplace, etc. are all very critical to becoming conscientious and adaptive in life in general. I have a lot of respect for those who succeed in business these days through their own resourcefulness, which is what I loved the most about Gurdjieff. I think I want to be an entrepreneur someday, if I find the right opportunity.
 

Esprit

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Yes it's true he shows off a bit he says it's just to 'prove' he's not bullshiting. There are some aspects of his teachings that are off but nevertheless I think his course are worth it, he explains concepts on a board not fooling around with a camera those are the free videos. Anyway maybe I'm easily impressed because my knowledge is weak in that feild. He says he reads 1 book a day not 4. He says he speed reads depending what he reads but yeah maybe that is a bit exagerated cause it sounds good. He is still a salesman after all. But he does bring some value so I give him a bit of credit for that. Not to throw the baby with the bath water.

I am also looking to invest myself in a business but this time, I won't be in it for the money, I'll make sure the stuff has value to me (and hopefully to others !! :-[).
 

Harmony99

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I am also looking to invest myself in a business but this time, I won't be in it for the money, I'll make sure the stuff has value to me (and hopefully to others

The ultimate aim of investing in a business venture is to reach a profitable position. This will allow for the timely clearing of all business expenses when they becomes due. When operating a good business you are providing service to others. The most important thing is to make sure your employees, customers and close family members benefit from the business operation. You will also be in better position to make greater contribution to charitable organizations.This can be accomplished by selling at a reasonable price, by sourcing and providing quality goods and service.

One of the advantages of business is that it allows more time and freedom to live without the 40 hours of restriction. The key is to read as much as we can from what is offered here and elsewhere. This will protect us from sinking too deep in the dirty Pit of the Matrix. Its great to have wealth in this life, but without knowledge we could gain the whole cash cow and lose the SOUL.
 

Esprit

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
The ultimate aim of investing in a business venture is to reach a profitable position. This will allow for the timely clearing of all business expenses when they becomes due. When operating a good business you are providing service to others. The most important thing is to make sure your employees, customers and close family members benefit from the business operation. You will also be in better position to make greater contribution to charitable organizations.This can be accomplished by selling at a reasonable price, by sourcing and providing quality goods and service.

One of the advantages of business is that it allows more time and freedom to live without the 40 hours of restriction. The key is to read as much as we can from what is offered here and elsewhere. This will protect us from sinking too deep in the dirty Pit of the Matrix. Its great to have wealth in this life, but without knowledge we could gain the whole cash cow and lose the SOUL.

Good point. Tai says one of his mentor warned him about becoming a millionaire. He says it will 'lock you-in' . Whatever you choose to do, you will have a hard time getting out of it once it generates money. This happens when you choose a product or an opportunity over your values/strenghts. When going by your strenghts you put yourself in a position to bring value to your surroundings. I've been bouncing from one thing to another all my life because my focus was on making money and was never happy with life. Better to make less and bring some real value to the table.

He also gives exemple of rich people commiting suicide or people coming to him saying they wake up every morning being very angry even though they 'made it' .
 

Esprit

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Mike Dillard sums it up pretty nicely in this video:

Now why it's a "secret"...the key word that makes everybody click probably. That's about the only bummer I can find about this video.
 
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