"In almost every other race of animals each individual, when it is grown up to maturity, is entirely independent, and in its natural state has occasion for the assistance of no other living creature. But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and show them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every such offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages." (Adam Smith)
It can’t be like this. Anyone who has ever, even just for a moment, stood back in awe at the perfect alignment of the universe in a moment in time that presents itself before us as such, one that is really unspeakable because you can try to convey it to someone but once it is expressed into words it loses its mystery and poetry, knows that this isn’t the way nature works; if you have felt that feeling before, a feeling that you feel with increasing regularity the more inner-healing that you do, you just intuitively know that this survivalist principle is deeply flawed: we aren’t here to survive, nor do we thrive as human beings in survivalist mode (because when we are in survivalist mode is when we are at our worst); rather, we thrive when we feel connected and aligned, and when we can vulnerably engage our work. Because when we open our heart to what we love to do, it becomes a wellspring of joy and meaning.
Again, Smith’s survivalist economical system is a subtle but profound perversion of the essence of how energy works, of the spirit of nature and of the human being. The human being, as a worker or entrepreneur within our contemporary economy, does not find her glorification in solely serving one’s apparent needs. Further, the implication of this lens is that the self-serving human being has the ability to accurately discern her own needs; yet, she does not. The needs of the self-centered human being are illusory in nature because they originate in a place of need rather than a place of offering. This place of need is one, quite literally, of validation; it’s reactionary in nature and has as its sole purpose to cork the propensity to be vulnerable in any given moment.
In order to operate as human beings broadly, and as workers and entrepreneurs within this perverse economic system specifically, we must cultivate the virtue of surrender. One could argue that surrendering as an entrepreneur will not cause the economy to grow insofar as this strategic outlook will cause one’s business plan to not be focused enough, to not have enough of a niche. To those individuals I will encourage to widen your view, not to the intricate interconnectedness of the global economy, but to the macrocosmic wonder of the universe. One is an ideological product of the human being’s need for control and materialistic gain, while the other is the eternal product of the unconditional love of the Divine. I mean, really, let’s get with it here. Let’s put things in the proper perspective so we can live like real human beings, happy and fulfilled, not head down on the steering wheel or computer trying to fucking win all the time.
What does this surrender look like? Well, within this paradigm that I am presenting here we find our truest expression of natural intelligence: not strictly by a measurement of our intellect (a measure of intelligence only those who haven’t explored the other parts of their humanity believe is real), but by the everyday elegance of our work; not our job, but our work, the work that destroys our insides if it can’t find expression, the work that gets in our bones and brings us to the ground to listen to the beat of it so we know how to dance through life.
This is the paradigm of conscious workers and entrepreneurs: to be in a state of continuous healing so that we become a presence of healing for others, which is an automatic response to finding the work that fulfills us the most and presenting it as an offering to our fellow brothers and sisters. This is what unites us all, what makes us all equal and the same, yet allows for our unique individuality. The work we do is our embodied benevolence. Our work is in how we are aligned, and we must exhaust all possible resources in our efforts to discern this alignment.
The virtue of the entrepreneur is not in being a headstrong force of profitability, of ego(survival)-centeredness; rather, the virtue of the entrepreneur is in her willingness to surrender into the alignment of her own path, a path of entrepreneurial benevolence, an alignment that we have the responsibility and duty to work very hard to discern.
Raised by hard-working immigrants, John Tzavelas has been very busy carving out his own identity since childhood. His high energy level and keen inquisitiveness have led him down many paths in his life..
His most recent adventure has been studying depth psychotherapy, an education he plans to use to change the global economy. When he isn't busy making plans to earn himself a Nobel Prize, John is very busy playing superheroes and Minecraft with his children.