The criminal mind has a certain grasp of the base mechanics of the world, maybe more so than the average law-abiding citizen. In the classic colloquial sense, the criminal works the system, as he or she strips away the niceties, examines the raw mechanics, and without concern for others, manipulates those mechanisms to selfish benefit. Yes, the criminal approaches life with a malefic bent, but one can’t deny that it’s a systems approach.
In any case, criminality is a losing game because it’s an imperfection in the overarching primary societal machine, a machine that automatically works hard to eliminate flaws one way or the other. Consider the plight of the chronic lawbreaker who gyrates outside of common expectations, ignoring accepted notions of how one is expected to act. For greedy reasons, the criminal takes shortcuts, exploits exposed system components, and makes small-time gains. As the societal system is manipulated without regard for fairness and compassion—the bulwarks of a just society—personal pain arrives in an overt way: jail time, for instance, or a more covert lack of inner peace. The criminal is afloat in a stormy sea. The TV series The Sopranos perfectly illustrated the paranoia of fighting the system. The characters were diabolical; tormented, and ultimately doomed. If you are a criminal, the force is not with you.
If one is working outside the system, what is the solution? It is to make the decision to step back inside; to accept the general human process as it is; to play the game like an adult—to follow the rules. Things are just smoother that way. The universe welcomes manipulation if it results in a better, more efficient process, but it will fight manipulation that is disruptive.
In the free world there is huge opportunity to fit in and to get ahead. One has unlimited options to succeed without going outside the boundaries.
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