Picking up the story where we left off -- I was hovering around 30 years old having been kicked out the other end of university. "Go get a real job and do something with your education -- you have been a professional student long enough." I tried and could not seem to find anything I wanted to do in exchange for money Yet, I had a problem.
I had wandered the world on government money for almost a dozen years and felt an obligation to go teach at a university, or something similar -- as originally planned, to repay the courtesy of being treated as a visiting scholar in so many places for so long. So, I wrote out the ideas about the predictability of rapidly changing societies and how there could be business advantage -- and a way to get in on the ground floor of a developing economy and society -- that was at least somewhat predictable. That is how you make academic discoveries useful, I hoped.
In short, I wrote out what ended up being a formal business proposal to (a) open a law firm in Mainland China (b) make arrangements to teach at whatever law school you could in China (c) use those graduate students of law as warm bodies to take on legal works -- ie learning to understand what was going on in China as it was happening -- by just jumping in and swimming around. (Writing these words now, all I can think is what balls this Michael Sylvester guy has!)
I had lived in quite a few countries and most have a transition time between law school and being able to say you are a grown up lawyer. In Canada, it is called 'articling'. In other places it is a school sponsored clinic to give advanced students practical experience under the guidance of experienced professors. So, let us make that our business model.
So, I wrote all that out and sent it off into the world -- then went sailing never expecting someone to actually agree to fund such a whacky idea. But, less than a month after I drafted the proposal I got a call agreeing to full funding. Holy shit! I declined and went sailing for a year. I had been in school for a long time and still needed a break.
Then a year later, they called back. Oh shit, now what do I do? So, I went to China.
The China I went to was expected to catch up to a Western standard of living somewhere around 2050. There were still loudspeakers on poles, Mao jackets and thousands of bicycles covering the car free roads.
No planes had run into buildings yet in New York and Y2K was just fading into memory as the last event that was supposed to end the world.
Thus, when we talk about going to China it was coordinated more as a light house keeper position than anything else. The conversation in my head went something like this -- you are going to a communist dictatorship (think current day 2023 North Korea for example) to prove a theory that when countries sign on to the United Nations they will act in predictable ways to prove they are adhering to all the provisions of those new treaties, etc. In short, they will be good members of the club of nations just after they join.
And you have convinced some businessmen out there in the world that your ideas are correct and will work. So, don't screw this up! So, how exactly do you organize yourself to live in a world where you will have zero privacy? You know the Chinese will spy on you -- we believe our home to have been bugged for all 15 years we lived there. I presumed the US would spy on me too. And we still had to follow the rules so I would not get thrown in some third world jail. Oh my, whose idea was this?
So, I was a light house keeper. My job was to represent a fixed point of light in a rapidly changing place. If I stayed still while everyone else moved there was at least one place everyone could count on to be neutral. And that was the whole business plan. Thus, Sylvester & Associates was formed and given a thirty year license and I went to court in China for 15 years because it had not been made illegal yet. The last set of briefs I wrote were to the Supreme Court of China for a case that originated in our offices 5 years earlier.
Yet, after 15 years, there were others that began copying our structure -- except they were doing so for gain rather than as academic experiment as I did. So, I support China in their decision to say you have to have a Chinese passport to go to court now. It is their country, they can do whatever they want.
My job now illegal, it was time to move on. I long ago proved my theory as correct. People can change -- on purpose -- bettering their lives -- leaving the past behind -- together. That seems to be our default setting as human beings.
Yet, not knowing where we wanted to live, we decided on a small expedition sailboat so we could wander around and see what the world was really like out there. Thus, when we speak of living life as an experiment -- we have done so many times before. All of China was an experiment to me -- but it was time to find a new experiment.
So, when we speak of making up jobs for ourselves -- this is what we mean. When we speak of An Eos Life being a five year experiment on ourselves -- this is what we mean. We propose a reality -- and then make it real by stepping into it. That is the same trick I learned from those billions of humans undergoing great changes in Asia. Just make up a reality and make it real by stepping into it. Really. M