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On How We’re Conditioned To “Look For”, “Identify”, and “Act” On “Problems”

Concerned Global Citizen
4 min readFeb 21, 2021


This article came about as a result of answering a question from the following twitter conversation thread:

As we’re reared or brought-up by our primary caregivers, and by our society, we’re told and/or shown how “things ‘should’ be”, or how things are “supposed” to be. We’re taught “right” from “wrong.” We then view our entire world through the lens of this “conditioning”, or “programming.” This programming creates “the judge”, or “the controller” portion of our psyche. The “controller” is that part of our psyche that is constantly “recording” life’s experiences with the ultimate goal of using all the recorded experience to then “maintain control” over itself.

This recording of the present is then compared to the recording that is our conditioning in an effort to determine if things are “where they should be” or not. We appear to be constantly engaged in the process of figuring out if something we’re experiencing “conforms” or “fits” with our “world view”, or our programming. The process by which we do this is the constant measuring, comparing, and judging of “what is” with what our programming says “should be.”

So when things are not “where they should be” as dictated by the belief in some idea or ideal which is part of our conditioning, this is determined to be a “problem.” So “problems” appear as a result of our programming because our programming is constantly dictating “how things ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ be.”

image source: mind of author

We can envision our psyche as a “collection of binary settings” where each setting pertains to a particular thought. Because every thought has both a “positive” and “negative” form, then at any given moment, every thought must occupy one form or the other. So the psyche consists of all these thoughts occupying a particular “positive” or “negative” form, and then also the thought that is “the controller” which governs, dictates, and determines what the “proper” form, or again-“setting” is for any given thought, again according to our programming/conditioning.

image source: mind of author

For example, my programming presently contains the thought concept, or ideal of “self love.” Because of the binary nature of thought, this idea exists in two forms:

  1. as “I love myself” (positive form)
  2. and “I don’t love myself.” (negative form)

The controller says that the particular setting for this thought should be that “I should love myself.” This means the controller will be on the constant lookout for any sign of “the problem” of things “not being where they should be”, which is looking for any signs of a lack of “self love.” If the controller should then determine that this particular thought setting is not presently in the “preferred”, or “correct” form(positive or negative), it then works to “control” things by moving the present, undesired negative form of the “absence of self love” to the desired positive form of “presence of self love.”

This entire movement in tern creates in internal mental division within us, and therefore internal conflict in the form of the existence of “the problem.”
A “problem” means “conflict”, means things are “not where they should be.”
Problems therefore, appear to be created as a result of this process of “controlling” which is all part of the initial “root cause” of the identification, and/or self-objectification with the thought “I/not I”, again as depicted in the above diagram image.

The process of “controlling” looks something like this:

If, as a result of this recording, comparing, and judging process I determine there is a problem in that I’m presently lacking self love when I should have self love, this is then immediately categorized as “a problem in need of fixing.” And so we immediately set about trying to “solve” this problem in whatever way. The problem will appear ‘solved’ whenever we feel we’ve been able to change the form of the particular thought in question, from one that it “shouldn’t be in” to one that “it should in.” I.e. the problem is solved when we “flip the bit” of the the binary state of the thought to the ‘right’ setting, meaning we’ve met whatever criteria dictated by our programming/conditioning which says we “love ourselves enough.”

As always, please don’t either “believe”, or “disbelieve” what is being said here, but instead look at it as an attempt to “point something out” that we might all be capable of “seeing” for ourselves…or not.
Please look and see if you can “see” this for yourself.