We All Have Intentions
Recently, there is a game called Evolution of Trust that flooded my Facebook and is an apt reminder of why the world is so screwed up. While it beautifully presents Game Theory, it fails to recognise the complexity of human emotions and dynamics, where peer influence, empathy, relationship building and a whole host of other things will affect the relationships. Nick Casey addresses this beautifully in his conclusion slide, but knowing how people think, they’re likely to misunderstand it completely.
And it is games like this, despite its well-meaning intentions, that can deliver a message that confuses and possibly justify people who will end up taking from the rest of the world.
Why is that so? I realised every message in this world is absolutely loaded. Whether they are philosophers, scientists, businessmen, religious figures, or political figures, would load their statements with a perspective. In fact, in the list, the people, on average, are more loaded the further down the list.
So rather than hiding it to sound “objective”, I’d rather people take a stand and build it into the systems that they’ve created rather than a byline. Especially when there are so many people hiding their personal agenda of ill-intent, why is it that positive intent is viewed as a bad thing?
So, let me propose another angle to this – if he purposefully sold an angle on how IF the world was made up of ALL unconditional givers, how the points would just continue to stack rather than stay at a level of zero-sum at the end of the game?
People don’t like to play sandbox mode and test out all the options. Masses don’t. If you put it as part of the linear experience of the game, then we would be able to sell an ideal state, which he expressed ONLY as his credits.
This non-positioning is a massive problem to me, because without showing one’s intentions, people will project their own intentions onto whatever you’re saying at use it against you.
The Bible is a great example. In South Korea, there are over 50 leaders with cult status using the Bible to sell their story as the Second Coming. How are you sure that your leader is not one of them?
They project their own thoughts and beliefs onto the Bible and use the fact that the Bible can be misinterpreted to their favour, to con others with it. If we don’t align the intentions, how do we know if this is what we want?
Sun Myung Moon (second to the left), founder of the Unification Church, and his wife (second to the right) bless the brides and the grooms in a mass wedding ceremony at Chamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul Feb 13 2000. The Unification Church, also known as Moonie, was among the cults that exists in South Korea. Photo: AFP
I’ve personally been conned by people who made me believe that they had great abilities, only to realise that I was the one who did all the work and carried the whole thing. A lot of cult leaders function on the same level, and I realised that I could have become, and sometimes even acted like, one of them.
A lot of them are great delusionals, they have the ability to twist and warp every experience and thought into something that confirms their beliefs. They do not take in challenges and do not welcome it. They spend more time destroying differences than accepting and integrating them.
What is the specific skillset of the cult leader? Tribethink creation.
What the conmen used to do to me was to take up my whole mental space. When I talk about it, I refer to the fact that they would not allow me much interaction with friends outside of the circle that they’ve created around me, and/or spent a lot of time asking me for help for a spectrum of things.
They would always dominate my thought sphere by consistently sending me thought articles, things that emphasised their point of view, and poisoning the view I had of the people we met.
They created distrust of others in me.
They made me believe in doing things I wouldn’t have otherwise believed.
It was only because I had so many beautiful people around me that supported me through this that I managed to find my way back during the process.
This is also part of why I would never view a person’s actions as it is. If the person refuses to give me proper service, is it because his boss is an ass? If so, then I’m shooting the messenger arguing with this guy.
If someone is arguing with me because he/she had a bad day, rather than deeming this person as terrible, could I just understand more and be the person to turn that around?
Separating Actions From Intentions And Thoughts
We keep understanding everything by the “measurable things”, which are behaviours, skin colour, clothing, general countenance, and material wealth. This is because we have to been taught to oversimplify the situation where we read into people’s actions as their intentions. But in this day and age where internet and mass media is everywhere, how much of our actions are our own?
Is buying an iPhoneX really a showcase of your ability to think for yourself?
Is taking a Masters really a showcase of your superior intelligence and knowledge?
Does getting a degree guarantee you a good career?
How many actions are yours?
Let me go back to the problem with the world, which is tribethink. It is the basis behind the segregation we see in the world today. We spend more time thinking about who are the enemies of liberty (America always going into war with someone or something), enemies of humanity (look at the amount of alternative media), or stick by small circles of similar interests that are hesitant to step out of their circles.
This prevents us from actually being ourselves, more than the tribe that we are in. When we follow tribethink, we actually go to into a model of accommodation, rather than assimilation, reverting us back to little kids. For more information, read up on Piaget’s developmental psychology theory.
When we are accommodating, we look for people to agree with us, or force us to agree rather than challenge our thoughts to think bigger. We constantly seek a path of least pain, rather than look at the possibilities of what we could do for ourselves if we just went through that little tinsy winsy bit of pain. When we go through the pain, we might actually realise that these options and choices can be assimilated rather than accommodated.
How many times have you heard someone said, “I never thought of that before” or “_______ recommended me to go down this path since it seems to _______”? Even though they probably have been told their options, they never assimilated the information. This is because they never aligned the hearts with the actions.
I hear it all the time, about 9 out of 10 Singaporeans and half of the international people I’ve met in Singapore all tell me similar stories. So, have you taken the path of more pain, less resistance and made the choice by yourself?
Which is why we spend more time looking for people to agree with us than to deeply challenge us, to make us think, to make us wonder.
To challenge this, I spent time reading Trump supporters’ and Trump haters’ points of view to understand the bigger picture. I read up on multiple religions, experienced multiple forms of music, met a lot of people, before deciding on what I want to believe in, what music I want to align myself to, and what people I want to have in my life.
I spent one year with people who go Karaoke bars, whisky/cigar lounges, Thai disco, techno clubs, jazz bars, and also hung out with stay-at-home gamers, programmers and coders, engineers etc. before deciding who to mix around with, and even then, I made massive mistakes.
I wanted to burn to learn. I needed to burn to learn. I grew up too sheltered, and I was too fearful of life, and my tribethink made me stick behind the wall called “safety”, and not venture out into the world. Now we are getting to the good part – how did I break out of this wall?
I was inspired. I didn’t get frightened out of it. I didn’t get cornered into the need to earn lots of money or fight to survive. Because I was inspired and I made the choice, I couldn’t and wouldn’t turn back. Because I had made the decisions to walk down these paths, I knew I wanted to keep going. The pain didn’t matter, for I had a purpose in mind.
I asked myself at age 24, having met amazing people like Derek Sivers, Randolf Arriola, Christian McBride, Steve Thornton, some CEOs I won’t name, and realised that I personally knew a number of heavyweights in the academics and the business scene, what I could do to be like them.
I had just left medical school on a leave of absence due to depression at that time, and was seeking meaning, literally through the book “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. I had all these people that I met and looked up to, and I was wondering where medicine would lead me to. This is when I realised that when I’m 30, I’d not be anywhere closer to my goals if I continued in Medicine and got stuck in the system. However, if I went out and tried my luck, I might actually make headway.
It was inspiration that drove me to start my first studio, learn recording and production, and teach music. It was inspiration that drove me to jump into business consultancy and web and app creation and the event space business. It was never fear. Yes, part of it was being conned, but I always learned so fast I would outwit the conman, and leave within less than 6 months (that was the longest).
It helped me pivot. It helped me stay unjaded. It helped me become a better person and affect lives of all the people I met through the years. It made me still the person that can’t do evil stuff on RPG games just because I feel terrible for doing it. It made me maintain my youth rather than kill it. It made me still see the beauty of this world.
Antidote To The World’s Problems
If tribethink is poison, inspiration is the antidote. But inspiration comes with a lot of other things, it requires people to see possibilities (which is really hard if your tribethink is too strong), see progress in themselves (which is really hard if they self-judge all the time), and accept themselves as is.
It is like everything that our media does is to try to stop that.
Which is why I wanted to create Undelusional. We’re meant to be that antidote. Rather than poking holes at the system and just telling them what they’re doing wrong (which is what everyone does), or simply being jaded like everyone else and just working in the system, I want Undelusional to be showcased as the alternative life that we can have.
There are movements like this, like Humans of New York, Human Kindness Foundation, Singapore Kindness Movement, etc. but they don’t give you the context of how this can affect your daily life. Undelusional will do that. Undelusional is meant to create the web of inspiration and healing for us to get there.
It’s not that tribethink is bad. It is the source of our problems – everything from climate change to terrorism and wars. However, the solution at the end of it is clear – human annihilation. It is just that humans cease to exist as they are, and lose all the progress they’ve made.
I just want us to be more than that. It seems like the inevitable now, but it is possible to stop it from happening if we inspire every person who comes our way to break out of the spell of tribethink. That’s what I believe great sages like Buddha, Prophet Muhammad, Jesus, and all the different religious leaders came down to Earth for – to model the way, to show the way. Of course, as humans, we often take what we want and just run with it, not realising we need the full picture.
Undelusional aims to give the full picture (we aren’t there yet) so we can solve the real deepest issues from the basis of people’s hearts, not from their actions. It starts by being people who know where their intentions lie and from there taking action, not taking action before checking back with their intentions on their deathbeds.