​The fallacy of corporate interviews


Mulla Nasrudin had applied for a post on a ship. He was interviewed, the same way we are tested in the modern world before we can begin a new job. The captain and the high officials of the ship were sitting in a room, an executive office. Mulla entered. The captain asked, “If the seas are in a turmoil, winds are strong, waves are huge and mountainous, what are you going to do to save the ship? It is tossed from here to there….”

Mulla Nasrudin said, “It is not much of a problem: I will just drop a huge anchor to keep the ship stable against the winds, against the waves. It is not much of a problem.” The captain again said, “Suppose another mountainous wave comes and the ship is going to be drowned; what are you going to do?” He said, “Nothing — another huge anchor.”

The captain looked at him and asked a third time, “Suppose it is a great typhoon and it is impossible to save the ship. What are you going to do?” He said, “Nothing, the same — a huge anchor.” The captain said, “From where are you getting these huge anchors?” He said, “From the same place. From where are you getting these great, mountainous waves, strong winds? — from the same place. You go on getting them, I will go on getting bigger and bigger anchors.”

This joke is important in that it provides the opportunity to see the futility of conditioned knowledge. This is the type of knowledge that does not test one based on actual experience or intelligence. In most interviews I have attended myself I have seen that the interviewers are too concerned with the material; one’s natural intelligence or leadership skills is given little regard since this is a world where what people can see or hear matters the most. Today one may not know with certainty what they would do for their company in the case of a financial crisis but owing to their innate intelligence—which may not be visible in a thirty minutes interview—but they might as well be in possession of the genius that will bring about historical progress for the company. During the financial crisis of 2008 there are many huge companies that came tumbling despite having the best executives. This began when some of the billions of dollars worth of securities held by great companies such as Merril Lynch that were all backed by subprime mortgages made to a population of Americans who, in all likelihood, would never be able to pay those loans back. The reckless behavior this implied was just incredible. 

Therefore, the Mulla in the story above seeks to show the uncertainty of things and how human stupidity makes situations worse by attempting to solve economic problems with the same greed that caused them. The owner of the ship cared less about the safety of the ship-workers and was instead obsessed with securing his cargo in the event of a storm, the same way the modern corporations care more for profits than the mental health and prosperity of their workers. The spiritual essence of the human being has been reduced to nought. A good example is those men who ferried slaves from Africa to Americas—these men only cared about the impending profiteering from their barbarous acts. In a way, the modern man hasn’t really changed much, the same instinct subtly runs in his DNA.

5 thoughts on “​The fallacy of corporate interviews

  1. Hahahahaha I love this.

    In my meditation, I’ve been guided to reflect on this notion that while thoughts will always be present, it is not our true nature or process. That our thinking mind merely serves as an illusion of problem solving. That ego and thinking mind are one in the same. From this reflection, I’ve been guided to wonder: my unconscious mind controls my body with no input on my part. My hormones, temperature, heartbeat, respiration, etc. all controlled without a whisper from me. This begs the question: what else?

    The most fascinating musing then came: when we see words scrambled, our mind unscrambles to make words. We essentially autocorrect automatically. I wonder then, how much our minds autocorrect for us. That is to say: life runs at our beckoning without our beckoning. We just think we make it so.

    I am the god of my universe is what I’ve been saying to me. I create what it is, although it’s not me in the little egoic sense but the grander sense. That when I close my eyes, I’m not separate. I am all part of the bigger universe and simultaneously part of my own universe intersecting with others universes. This has given me the firm belief that with every inhale and exhale I am connected to the spirit and have the creator power, but thought gets in the way of process. It is to transcend that ego thought to allow action and words to flow. And that’s when you have the true source of enlightenment.

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  2. Thank you so much!

    Yes, thought does not represent reality at all. Ego and thinking are the same thing, regardless whether the thoughts are pleasant or not. There is something ELSE of course. But that is not readily available to the ignorant eyes. That is the sieve that separates wheat from the chaff!
    And the autocorrection by mind of everything is a major problem since we fail to perceive the reality and perceive that which is nonexistent.

    You are the god of the universe. Yes. That first-person reality is perceived in pure wakefulness where even a single thought or judgement doesn’t arise at all. Just being.

    When the ego is properly transcended that allows action and words to flow freely like water from a spring on a high ground towards the lower ground.

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  3. The day I realized this – ego = thought….I was miffed. Like why couldn’t someone just tell me this? Why all the complicated speech? Hahahaha I’ve imagined this subset of everything as ego, yet then one day realized all of my thoughts, the whole panorama of this I is ego. Every thought “I” was having all of my thinking, conscious attention, was my ego. Then everything made much more sense. And then I see well, it’s not my enemy, purely my vehicle. I do not take my car to go to the bathroom, I don’t take my ego everywhere either. So I must be aware of ego and a space where ego is not. Where I am Simply aware.

    I suppose, as obviously this is new and I am quite like a baby who put her foot in her mouth the first time and enjoyed it – I suppose the middle way is teaching us all that nothing truly must be done, changed, or fixed. In awareness, we can know when our ego is driving, and when it is not our ego driving. We learn when our instincts (which I’ve called google of all eternity), and how to simply flow with life. This, I know, is the message you’ve been cultivating, yet many want you to give them steps to follow or instructions. Yet my path has been one OD stepping on rakes and banging myself in the face. Through that, I saw stars 🤣🤣🤣

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  4. I love the metaphoric illustrations! You cannot use the car, however you love it, to go to the shower. Hahaha!!! This is how the ego should be used too. To be taken up when needed and dropped when unneeded. This is perfection of one’s awareness. This is the climax.

    Stars. Sure, there is a path where there is no becoming or unbecoming. This is the path that is not cognizable for many and it for this reason I pick up the pen everyday to write. It is through sharing this dharma and practicing it that we continue to advance in the great Unsurpassed Nirvana.


  5. Sometimes ago when I was searching everywhere for That, I felt the same: for heaven’s sake why couldn’t someone just point out what exactly the ego is! I had searched for so long and so hard that it caused me to be so frustrated with those writers that flood the internet with half truths that only end in abstractions. I came to appreciate that no man can talk for long without faltering if they haven’t gone all the way in “THE PATH LESS TRODDEN”.

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