I can’t think of anything sadder than the way we’re continuously conditioned to see success. The way we’re taught is basically this: accumulate accomplishments by investing and focusing all of your energy on a goal until you get what you want. Do this an infinite amount of times and you will end up successful and happy.
Poor culture! The model has served for not much more than a bunch of insane people who are looking for what they desire most in all the wrong places. The model is also perfect for making us ignore all that is important since what we are pursuing becomes what we think is the most important thing. Parents ignore their children because they are after a reward at work, teachers ignore their students because they are after following the guidelines of the educational system, boyfriends ignore their girlfriends because all the relationship is really based on is on creating an appearance. It’s just freaking sad how our culture has set it all up. Chase, chase, chase, chase, chase and never get there. It’s like a horse with the carrot attached to the front of its face, it will never quite reach it.
When are we collectively going to notice? This, is of course a rhetorical question, I for sure, have noticed and actually enjoy the benefits of not falling for the endless trap of chasing a better life, experience, state of being or whatever. I know with every fiber of my being that this is it. My recognition has gone so deep that even religion and spirituality have lost at their attempt to try and convince me that there is a goal to achieve. I know, without doubt that there is nothing to get! Nothing to achieve! That life is an ever-unfolding mystery that continually opens and opens and opens. Now, now, now, or should I say noooooooooooooooooooooooo...w.
Does this exclude goal setting, pursuing certain things and making plans? Not necessarily. All those things can still very well operate and happen within the reality of life, in fact, they’re always happening! Any plan or any goal you set out to pursue is an idea at best. There is absolutely no idea that can override the simple truth of this moment. You don’t know if you’ll be alive tomorrow, period. In life, it is clear that anything is possible. Anything could happen. You don’t know, I don’t know. So the idea that you should ignore all that really matters to simply pursue what you think you want is shortsighted and, if you ask me, it seems to be loaded with (avoidance of) pain. The pain of not wanting to face this moment as it is, the pain of not stopping right here and right now and getting really real.
What I write isn’t philosophy, it’s more like truth. Saying that you don’t know what will happen five minutes from now isn’t mental masturbation, it is the truth. Saying that you don’t know if we’ll make it until next Saturday isn’t bullshit, it’s the simple truth. We don’t know a damn thing. All we know, for now is that we are alive, that we are here. Everything else is in such a constant state of flux that we can’t consider it actual knowing; one day milk is good for you, the next decade we discover that it’s really not, one day you’re a skinny, hot dude or babe, ten years later you’re something else altogether. One day the earth is flat, a thousand years later we discover that it’s round. We don’t know what we think we know for sure.
How do you know that when you get what you’re seeking you’ll be happy? How do you know that? Hasn’t all your life experience up to this point proven you otherwise? What about all the times you got what you thought you wanted? Why aren’t you as happy as you knew you would be once you got that? When are we going to stop bullshitting ourselves?
Again, these are all rhetorical questions. The point isn’t to answer them but to allow them in and have their effect if they are going to have any. There will come a day for all of us when we will start to wonder all of these things… once we stop pushing it away, avoiding it, denying it and fearing it we will be graced with the simple truth, the truth that a really respected guy once said will set you free.
There is nothing to get, there is nowhere to go. Life is just living itself. That’s actually what’s happening. Are you ready to accept this?