You suffer, but why?
What makes the difference between misery and a truly high existence?
You aim and rev your engine, but you hesitate to launch, something bothers you… but what?
Why does your pursuit of freedom only make you feel trapped?
You keep polishing on your lifestyle to be happier, but you only grow more unhappy… why is that?
What if the answer is right in front of our noses… all the time… everywhere?
Simplicity – the answer.
What you should just let nature have its way with, you desperately try to change.
What changes would benefit if you embraced them, you leave to the wind.
Where opinions and beliefs would help fuel and propel, you are indifferent.
Where opinions and beliefs only serve to delude and cripple, you have faith.
The few limits you cannot exceed, you make your target.
The countless limits you can easily crush, you bow down to and worship.
The unshakable conditions you cannot affect, you oppose.
The relative and subjective conditions you unknowingly took part in creating, you never try to budge.
What you are, you reject.
What you are not, you call “me.”
Subjects that would benefit you if you payed attention to and learned them, you ignore or demonize.
The things that are unnecessary and distracting, you try so hard to understand.
The few things worth holding on to, you let go.
The things that do you no good, you cling to.
You disregard quality.
You glorify quantity.
Where compassion and trust is due, you feel resentment.
Where compassion and trust is undue, you bleed your heart out.
When unity is beneficial, you want to stray.
When separation is crucial, you strive to unite.
When it’s time to push, you pull.
When it’s time to pull, you push.
The people who exploit you, you thank and encourage.
The people who would help you, you push away.
What causes consequences, you call a consequence.
What happens as a reaction to actions, you call the cause.
What if you gave these ideas some good contemplation?
What if they were not ideas, but simple observation?
What if you were to observe instead of think?
What would you see, and how would it change you a life?
Why do you never give it a chance?
You suffer, but why?
@manimal, I would say habit. All of these negative things listed are habitual and reinforced by society and most of the people one interacts with on a daily basis. Not that it is right, or that it justifies it, but I’d say that’s the reason.
Personally, I have around 22 years of bad habits to undo. I’m getting better at some things like complaining, blaming, being reactive to things such as insults and aggravators – my reflex to all of these says to react, it is still taking conscious thought to resist. Generally I am getting better at it with each instance, and I can say for certain I’m less reactive than when I joined HE. Anyway, I hope it does not take another 22 years to rebuild my “self”/personality/etc.
I already get in meditation, in some form or another, on most days. Is there anything else one can do to speed up the rebuilding process?
@theskafish, So you’re saying that conscious thought is a chore, and not a joyful gift, is this correct?
If the reversal process were to take several years, would you not agree that you’re doing something wrong?
@lexovix, I give it every chance, thank you, I do not suffer.
Peace and love.
@manimal, no, it’s not a chore since I like the results of my conscious thoughts better than those I got from my old reflexes. It’s more like, my intuition is/was all screwed up from doing things the wrong way for two whole decades.
The new way is a gift. Perhaps I just haven’t done it enough yet, for it to become the new natural.
@lexovix, I’m guessing the tone you’re talking about is taking the word “you” semi-personally, although I’m guessing it’s supposed to be a generalized “you”.
@manimal, awesome post. Seriously, just awesome. Poetic and powerful at that.
Did make me think of the phrase “why be happy when you can be interesting?”, even though that’s completely beside the point. (Here’s the link to those interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U88jj6PSD7w it’s just two minutes. :D)
I see myself in this. I see a lot of the people I know in this. This is also the sort of thing that’s almost certainly met with defensiveness. I wonder what would happen if people noticed when they were getting defensive, and asked “what am I trying to protect myself from?”.
It takes about 28 days to make a routine/habit stick. It takes about 20h spread out over a month or so to get from sucking at something to being sort of good (or at least decent) at it. We let this sort of time pass us by _all the time_. And we wonder why our lives seem to be stuck in one place. We have habits/routines that promote wellness (both mental and physical) and habits/routines that work the opposite way. We don’t really have anything else. The thing is: our lives are made of our habits. “First we make our habits, then our habits make us”. This is a huge cause of unhappiness, I think. Not realizing you’re in control.
On the other hand, if you truly want to suffer, here are the fourteen habits of successfully miserable people (how to succeed at self-sabotage)! http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/14-habits-highly-miserable-people
Excerpt: “misery is an art form, and the satisfaction people seem to find in it reflects the creative effort required to cultivate it”.
@qualohuasca, Thanks for those links, good stuff.
Defensiveness and denial is a major cause of suffering and lifestyle failure.
It’s funny how the people who nag about open-mindedness and ego the most… are usually the most defensive people around.
Imagine a world where people didn’t get defensive, and instead sought solutions and facts. Would be glorious to say the least, wouldn’t it?
People like complex, fancy, glitzy, and find simple and clean to be really boring. And so, they will complicate things and complicate them again and again. Every time they convince themselves they’re onto a solution, they’re just building a bigger problem.
The solution is always simple. The truth is always simple. Humans just like to complicate things.
Going a bit off the topic, I gotta disagree with Žižek. While we humans tend to value strife over happiness, strife can be the greatest source of happiness. “Enjoy the journey” and all that jazz.
Habits and skills can develop at different rates, depending on so many factors.