Hey. I really don’t mean to ruin your day but… then again, maybe I do. Because honestly I can’t really afford to stop and worry about what you will think of me. It isn’t the biggest of my problems. I have to ruin your day. Because maybe that’s what it takes for you to put your day in perspective, to understand what a day really is. Because as you prepare for this new day as if it were just an ordinary day, one in a seemingly endless row of days cramped with unprocessed emotional residue from the past, fatal things are happening. The residue causes unconscious behavior further motivated by an unachievable future ideal that has been imprinted in your mind by society, and all the while… humanity is, not so slowly anymore, committing mass suicide. Every minute, heck, every second that we spend either stuck in the past or escaping to the future through our minds, we miss a chance at individual and collective redemption and instead contribute to the growth of dysfunction in ourselves and the world. Each and every one of us is responsible for the restoration of balance within us in order to create that balance in the world around us as well. We need to realize this with the sense of urgency that is required for us to act upon it as quickly as possible. Every moment is a battle between the forces and it is in our hands to even things out and reinstate harmony in the world. It is doable but it necessitates our full conviction and dedication. I pledge allegiance to the utopian reality that is available to us through enlightenment and love in every present moment. Will you too?
Meaning. Purpose. Or whatever we choose to call it. That’s the key. That’s what it’s all about. At least this is my theory of what it’s all about… and also what it’s not about.
We might all go about searching and possibly finding it differently but however I try to break it down I always end up with this sturdy common denominator, namely meaning. Also, I believe there are two aspects of meaning, one that is constructed and created by the human mind, both collectively and individually; another that simply is, which is fundamental to existence no matter what man knows or thinks of it. Consequently, the way I see it we have certain major choices in life. Either we stubbornly convince ourselves and others that our idea of meaning is unquestionably right, i.e. idealism, extremism, fanaticism, radicalism etc. or we search aimlessly for something to give us what we seem to miss within and fall in each pit that society has dug for the exhausted pursuers of happiness, i.e. addiction, consumerism, deprivation, denial. Or, we acknowledge the second aspect of meaning, which isn’t interwoven in the creation of human civilization and which lies outside of the conceptions of society yet inevitably permeates all life. This, according to my humble theory, nonetheless supported by ancient wisdom and philosophy as well as modern day science, would lead us to reevaluate the ideas and structures of our culture and furthermore create a shift in both our thinking and our living. The only reason I can think of as to why it hasn’t yet reshaped the human world we live in is that the fundamental idea of man being responsible of creating meaning still prevails and blocks the recognition of the essential meaning of life. If we remain attached to the notion that meaning is to be conceived by man we will inevitably remain stuck within the limitations of the ideas that we are able to rationally conceive. Yet if we were to drop this, somewhat egocentric, idea that we as a human race and as individuals are to decide what is meaning and what is not, we should be able to recognize that life itself has teachings that we can take note of without necessarily having to be the architects behind it.
Understandably, this is infinitely hard. For the rational mind to drop its desire to figure everything out and to stop building up a worldview that is rationally justifiable in today’s society, it takes quite a lot of introspection. Likewise, for the lost souls whom cannot seem to settle with any given rational definition of meaning to stop looking to be distracted from their sense of lack, it takes quite a lot of courageous self-examination and determination. It takes bravery in its uttermost form to be willing to jeopardize all what we have socially learnt to be true and right in order to open oneself up to uncovering a mystery that is actively denied by so many. And more than anything it takes great faith in something beyond humanity itself, which perhaps in its nakedness is the scariest thing of all. With all do respect, I am not talking about a blind faith in sacred scriptures, profane sciences or in higher beings that we have named God, Allah, or Brahma much like characters in childlike stories that we repeat to ourselves in hopes to live meaningfully. I am talking about a limitless faith in everything that cannot be imagined by the human mind in combination with everything that is in fact perceivable to man. Man has, during his approximate 200,000 years on planet earth as a conscious being yet failed to formulate an all-encompassing truth pinpointing the reason why we exist. Still he walks around this earth as if he was the ruler of all and in the process he has made himself the enemy of all. Our desperate attempts to recreate some sort of meaning to life has mistakenly put us in a position where we contra productively deprive life of its intrinsic meaning, doing things like leading wars, exploiting our resources and all kinds of indulgence in big or small scale conflict.
Is it so unlikely that existence itself knows better why we are all here and that existence itself is not trying to hide this reason but that we, ambitious as we have become, are drowning out its voice by overlooking the obvious? Is it so unlikely that we, socially conditioned by our own relatively short human history, are simply barking up the wrong tree? Is it so unlikely that we can experience meaning, know meaning, feel meaning and live meaning without making it up or recreating it in our minds? Is it really so unlikely? I say no, on the opposite, it is quite unlikely that there isn’t such a meaning, but instead of saying “seek and ye shall find” I’d like to say “trust and ye shall find”. Meaning. It’s here. Let’s believe it and embrace it.
I would like to make a quite controversial statement and claim that in the same way that the educational institution tends to educate children away from their spontaneous creativity, society as an institution educates us all away from knowing what our basic needs really are.
The capitalist systems survival rests on creating addictions as to ensure a steady monetary gain. It thus has to make consumers believe that we need more than we actually need, because how else would there be economical growth? What I’m saying is that with this capitalist system as the main institution of learning that it actually is, we are taught to stop reflecting upon what our actual basic needs are. We are taught to want more and to believe that we actually need more. Capitalism uses the things that we actually do feel a natural need for such as food, sex, clothes etc. and amplifies this need by exposing us to brainwashing continuous waves of advertisement that more or less unconsciously enter our minds and teaches us to want more.
With the amount of sex that we are exposed to in our daily lives from series, movies, commercials, magazines and so forth, how do we remember how much sex we really need? Acknowledging that sex is a basic human need, are we really meant to be as sexual as we are portrayed by the agencies that are trying to make money out of us? And with the amount of food choices, pictures of different foods everywhere we go, the ever-growing interest in cooking and so forth, how much food do we really need? Also acknowledging of course that food is a basic human need, are we really meant to focus that much of our attention on food for such a huge percentage of the day? And with the contradicting image of the ideal body, how do we ever avoid feeling guilty when we constantly exceed our needs and instead go far below them to a point that we become sick? How do we even remember what we really do need? Again with clothes or even anything that is being sold to us, with the constant flow of advertisement, how do we realize when we have too much?
The ways in which industries sell their products to us might seem subtle but in fact they only seem that way because we have internalized their values as our own values without even questioning them. We have been taught to forget about the own sense of ‘enough’ in order to be a good consumer in this society. Unconsciously we contribute to the survival and growth of the capitalist system believing somehow it is good yet it completely blinding to our needs as individuals and devastating to the majority of the worlds population and also of course to the environment. It creates a mass of non-thinkers, an institution in itself that regulates its subjects according to imagined needs created by the greedy for the sole purpose of making more than enough money. Sure, money has become a basic need to survive in this society but what is really money except the value we put into it? So how do we go back to knowing how much money we really need, without being psychologically attacked by the medias portrayal of an ideal life in wealth? How do we draw the line when we are taught that the line is never to be drawn?
Even if it seems like, as we become more and more secular and scientifically oriented, we are more likely to think for ourselves many of us fall into the trap and become part of a new mass even if this one is more selfish than many religious masses. We replace one institution by another and let ourselves be fed and convinced again and again. So how do we do?
We start questioning. We start unlearning. We start stripping ourselves from what we have taken on that does not initially belong to us. We listen to within instead of without. We learn to know ourselves first; before we get convinced that what the moneymakers want us to do is also what we want to do. There needs to be a silencing of the constant feed from outside so that the individual voices can start being heard even by the ones the voices come from. We need to find a sanctuary for us and only us where we don’t allow the feed to be internalized and fool us all.
Perhaps some meditation?