Terms and Conditions

By Anthony Gold

One of the most uninteresting aspects of building a startup company is dealing with all the legal documents. Legal forms for forming a corporation, forms for employee and contractor agreements, forms for protecting intellectual property, and a Terms & Conditions policy for describing the rights of users interacting with a company’s products.

Not a single one of these documents is fun to read. In fact, they often provide a surefire remedy for nearly any form of insomnia.

There are two reasons why legal wording is so complex and dry.

The first is the law – which is of itself is very old, complex, and dry. By nature. There can’t be any loopholes, and each sentence needs to be carefully worded and logically consistent with all other sentences and all legal precedents.

The second is for intentional obfuscation. It seems that you need a lawyer to read, write, and understand most legal wording.

While I say that partly in jest, most legalese, especially of a business nature, can be summarized in far simpler terms.

Back to the Terms & Conditions that all of us often skim past anytime we obtain a new product or download a piece of software.

Believe it or not, those Terms actually create a legally binding agreement between us and the company. And that agreement essentially says that if anything goes wrong with the product or our usage of the product, the company is not responsible. We’re on our own.

If the terms were written out clearly and concisely, we might think twice about the product and the people behind it. “Can I trust them? Am I comfortable using their product?”

But the terms are not written that plainly. They go on for pages with words most of us have never heard of, including sections in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS for no apparent reason other than to look really important.

So, we’re left with one of two choices. Either read all that stuff and try to make sense of what it says, or just click Accept and get on with using the product.

We blindly click Accept, essentially signing away all our rights.

But this article is not intended to bash Terms & Conditions documents – every company does pretty much the same thing because they have no other choice.

What I do want to consider, though, is this: how a Terms & Conditions policy is very much like the ego thought system.

Choosing the ego comes with massive “Terms & Conditions” – spelling out all the risks that result from such a choice, and absolving the ego of any responsibility along the way.

It written clearly, the ego Terms & Conditions would contain phrases like:

  • Using this thought system WILL result in sadness, depression, loneliness, guilt, anxiety, and fear.
  • Using this thought system may give you temporary glimpses of happiness, but those moments will be fleeting and evaporate very quickly.
  • This thought system will convince you that all your emotions come from what is going on in your body and the world around you – even though that isn’t true.
  • In fact, choosing this thought system will result in instant amnesia – you will have no recollection of making such a choice.

Of course, if it were made that clear, we would surely say to ourselves, “I don’t want that. I want something else.”

But no such wording exists, and we blindly click Accept.

Thankfully, knowing what an unhelpful selection that was, we can now make another choice.

Each time we choose the ego (and we know that by our feelings – if they are anything other than perfect bliss, then we know we’ve chosen the ego), we can say to ourselves, “No thank you. I no longer want that.” From that place, we can now make a different choice. The choice for presence. The choice for happiness. The choice that truly acknowledges, “I can choose peace instead of this.”

From this place we transform the ego’s Terms & Conditions into a clear statement of joy.

Join me in Monday’s class where we’ll explore the intentional obfuscation of the ego, and how we can learn to see through the charade to make a much better choice. I look forward to seeing you then.

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