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If you take a look at the way you have been put together and the way you function you will find that inside your head there is a whole program stamped into you, a set of demands about how the world should be, how you should be and what you should want.
Who is responsible for the programming? Not you. It isn’t really you who decided even such basics as your wants and desires and so-called needs,
your values, your tastes, your attitudes. It was your parents, your society, your culture, your religion, your past experiences who fed the operating instructions into your internal computer. Now, however old you are or wherever you go, your internal computer goes along with you and is active and operating at each conscious moment of the day, imperiously insisting that its demands be met by life, by people and by you.
If the demands are met, the computer allows you to experience relief or exhilaration. If the demands are not met, even though it be through no fault of yours, the computer generates negative emotions that cause you to suffer.
In short, you’ve been trained to upset yourself.
For instance, when other people don’t live up to your computer’s expectations, it torments you with frustration or anger or bitterness. Another instance is, when things are not under your control or the future is uncertain, your computer insists that you experience anxiety, tension, worry. Then you expend a lot of energy coping with these negative emotions by expending even more energy trying to rearrange the world around you so that the demands of your internal computer will be met. If that happens you will be granted a measure of what might seem to be peace, but it is a precarious peace; precarious because at any moment some trifle – a plane delay, a long line at a store, a spot on your tie or blouse . . . you name it . . . it is going to be out of conformity with your computer’s programming and the computer will insist that you become upset again.
Your peace of mind depends on your measuring up to the criteria society establishes; it depends on your conditioning.
It becomes a way of life. It is a pathetic existence, placing you constantly at the mercy of things and people and outcomes as you try desperately to make life conform to your computer’s demands so that you can enjoy the only peace you can ever know – a temporary respite from negative emotions.