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Conflicts of InterestViews: 365
Nov 13, 2008 6:15 pmConflicts of Interest#

Surajit Ray
Its a fact of life. As long as there is more than one man there has to be a conflict of interest. But what is this interest and where does the conflict come from ?

To determine interest is really not an easy task . What is ones interest in “living” ? - is a very broad question with subjective answers. It has to be broken down further to small answerable questions. One such question is what do I have to do to be alive today ? Another could be - how to I prepare for a medical emergency ? And so on …

Since we cannot really answer things like “What the hell we are doing here anyway ? ” , lets not waste time on such questions.

Well believe it or not, most people I have met think that way and with good reason also. For them not all answers have to be found to make sense of their lives. And they are very comfortable because of that. And while they are “comfortable” they choose to have the smaller questions like “How am I going to have forty people working for me ?” And that is in essence the origin of interest.

An interest is a trivial pastime engaged in to prevent boredom arising out of ignoring the main issue of our lives - which is … why are we here anyway ?

Some people actually dwell on the main issue and come up with mind “opening” answers. These people, who got enlightened, have often thought on this question for years in forests and other “meditative settings”. They are the spiritual leaders of their times. Their mind after staying in “altered” states for long, looses the ability to get irritated or angry. There is pure bliss.

But what about the average guy ? He is not spending his mental mojo looking for these answers. So this wonderful instrument called the brain has to be used in some other direction. So we pick up an “interest”. Its mostly an arbitrary want/need/desire which we think is very valid to have - mostly because at some point in the recursive thinking process of questioning its validity - our mind gives up and says “well I am like that !” or “the world is like that”.

Every body does that, at some point or the other. How far we go recursively depends on how much IQ we have. However - no one can “go all the way” - cause no one knows where is the end of “all the way”. However people who question their needs/wants are better of slightly - they can atleast start seeing the truth. And the truth is we can pick any need we like. It doesn’t really matter what we choose because the larger question of life is anyway quite un-answered.

So certain enlightened people choose an interest based on what they are comfortable doing day to day. The not so enlightened choose an interest dictated by circumstances. It could be a parent, a friend or maybe a professor from college. Any sort of circumstance can have an impact based on how “receptive” the subject is. So most interests get chosen for non-intuitive reasons - trust playing a huge role (you trust the guys who tell you what you should be interested in ….).

Initially a group of similarly “interested” people may find perfect harmony - but since for most the interest was arbitrary anyway - they change over time. And then we have a conflict of Interest. A logical questions here is - what about the enlightened few - do they have conflicts of interest ? Well of course they do - the difference being - they have chosen their interest in an intuitive manner and hence are more constant about it. Over time these people also learn to alter their immediate interest to something that is available easily - and keep a higher moral “interest” in a trunk in their mind.This helps to keep the conflicts to a minimum.

Now that we have gained some insight into the reasons for a conflict of Interest, we can start thinking about some remedial procedures. One way is correlation. If we can correlate more points with another’s life then its likely that the change of interest will have a similar pattern and time line. Another way is a partial lobotomy to remove the “interested” centers of the brain ! A third way would be engage in an activity so much that the non-interested people either become interested or leave.

There could be a million other ways - and finding such remedies could be an “interest” for many. But since the interests are arbitrary so are the conflicts and therefore the remedies are infinitely varying. In fact a large number of people make use of this knowledge to earn money - they are called lawyers !

The reason for such questions is simple. I often find some fools arguing about something and I start wondering. Are these fools tracked to see if their interest remains the same after a year ? If I put these fools together again after a year will they start arguing again ? The main question then - Is the conflict the main interest for all things living ? If tomorrow we did not have to strive at all - will we all attain nirvana or will we all be dead ?

Can anyone tell me ?


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