By Reza Ganjavi
She is hopeless. I had contact with her today after a long time. In Persian, there is an expression that the person is still in the bend of the same alley.
She is very Swiss. I don't like to make generalizations and state stereotypes, but it's important to realize that firstly, generalizations are inaccurate because there are always exceptions, and secondly, they portray trends, habits, tendencies. So, there can be some truth to generalizations, but sometimes certain generalizations are just wrong. However, based on experience, things that are born out of common knowledge, common sense, common experience often have some grain of the truth in them.
The reason I said she is very Swiss in this regard, is because I have seen this several times in Switzerland, but I am sure it doesn't just happen in Switzerland. It happens in highly thought-dominated cultures. It also happens in other cultures, but based on my perception, the level of intensity and the characteristics of it are much more pronounced and acute in such highly thought-dominated cultures.
Thinking is a tool which has an important place in life, which is for practical, technical, mechanical things, and that includes explorations in the scientific field, for example. It’s a wonderful tool. But like every other tool, it has its right place, application, use. For reasons which are outside the scope of this essay, thinking has been overemphasized and overused, and applied to areas where thought does not belong, e.g., the psychological, field. In some cultures this phenomenon is stronger. And usually these are richer, more modern cultures, but there is more to it than money. It has other causes too which are deep-rooted in the culture, attitudes, ways of doing things, values, etc.
I know the Swiss culture very well because I lived there for many years. I also know the German culture to a certain extent and have exposure to the Austrian culture, but among the German-speaking countries, I think Switzerland is the most thought-dominated one. But they’re very similar. Switzerland is a special case of itself in many ways, and not all in positive ways, despite the marketing effort to portray it as such – e.g. portray it as most honest, but I have uncovered more lies in Switzerland than anywhere I’ve lived – but a discussion of moral foundation, if any, is outside the scope of this essay.
So, thinking applied to the right place has made a great outer world with perfectly timed trams, and watches, and trains, everything which is perfect, but because the same tool is used for the inner world together with a highly advanced outer world, there is a prevalence of inner poverty, insufficiency, etc. But that discussion is out of scope here, but I have written about it extensively (see the Writings section of www.rezamusic.com).
I have known this friend for a long time, and I have observed her to be in the same groove, with the same habit of thinking, attitude, and outlook. And it is shocking that after many years, what she wrote to me today was the same thing that she has said over the years, which is that she is stuck on one wrong guy, and other isolative attitudes. Before that, she was stuck on another guy and went through a similar story.
I have known other people with a similar story in Switzerland, where they break up, or there is a mismatch and they get mentally stuck on it for years. Mature people who have their own lives and are not dependent on others for their freedom, move on. So, the friend said today that the guy told her she is too old for him. I suppose this is just his latest excuse. Because for years she has been after him, and he has not budged, and he enjoys her and her financial contributions to his programs, and so on.
The relevant part and what interests me is the line she wrote today, was that she is in love with him after so many years, and never having had the “success” she wanted, and finally, after all these years – after he hung on to her probably for ulterior motives, whether is financial, egotistic or both or more – now apparently there is no benefit to be derived from her, and so he finally poured the ice water on her. That may seem unfair in the sense that he should have done this years ago. But he didn't because he had ulterior motives. But it’s fair game when she played that game of perpetuating desire in a thought-dominated manner and not having the insight to cut through the chase. It’s a typical attitude of thought – it likes continuity when misapplied because it prolongs its own existence in that instantiation.
As a side note, it’s very important for a person to be very clear with another, and communicate clearly if they are not interested in having something with this person or getting closer to that person, and most people handle that very well and as unpleasant as it may seem in the beginning, they find release in that knowledge, because they know the fact and they move on. Otherwise, it's a situation where they don't know the fact, and humans are very good at deceiving themselves via illusions, images, which are born out of the process of thinking / memory. And in this case, the illusion would be that maybe someday, etc. – and counting on others changing which is a losing bet as most people do not change – they can but most don’t.
So, here we come again to the subject of thinking, because when a person is raised in a culture which worships thinking then they are much more prone to falling into this groove. Because thought has become so dominant and important that the person doesn't even recognize it. They don't know anything else. Their mind is always consumed within the limited circumference of thought.
She said ”I don't know how to stop it.” - she doesn't know how to stop what she calls love for him. I seriously question whether it's love. She is calling it love, but I am skeptical based on what we’ve talked about – it seems like a bunch of mental projections, images, habitual thoughts, desires, possessiveness, jealousy, and some good feelings – she calls that love. So it's a potion, a concussion of various ingredients much of which is mental, psychological.
My natural tendency is to help people. That's also my weakness. Because I always have to remember that I need to help myself first and foremost. For example, if I am in the middle of something and if I see somebody needing help or somebody asking for help, I drop what I am doing and help them. I don't do it for any egotistic reasons. I don't do it as an escape usually, unless what I am working on is so uninteresting that I welcome doing something else. But the main motive is a very strong drive to help humans in need. That's what my life is about.
So in this case, also when I see her in despair around the subject that I know very well, at the very root of it, and I know with the right inside she can set herself free – but I hesitate because we have been through this before, and part of being highly egocentric, highly thought-dominated is that some important facts don't sink in, especially when understanding them can lead to the demolition of the ego, of the sense of self which has been so worshiped over the years and is the dominant player in her mind. But I left the door open for her to have a conversation if she wants, but not electronically since the reclusive, loner, isolative ways of thought dominated psyches is to prefer electronic communication. I closed the door on that. If she wants to talk, I offered a call, but not a typing chat -- because of what she is.