Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Everyone has to do things in this world. Our family may expect us to find a well-paid job. Our friends may expect us to have an attractive girlfriend or boyfriend. Our girlfriend or boyfriend, wife or husband respectively, may expect us to have nice furniture. Our furniture may expect us to have a car. Let alone secondary needs, we still have to have at least food, a place to sleep, clothes and access to medicine. And perhaps we need other basic stuff without which life in a postmodern society (based on food, housing, clothes and medicine) is close to impossible, like a bank account, access to transportation, knowledge and communication, a library, internet, telephone, et cetera.

But why do we have to do things in this world? Why do we have to find a well-paid job? Why do we go out and look for an attractive girlfriend or boyfriend? Why should we have a nicely furnished apartment, a car, and generally live up to an arbitrary standard defined by culture? The Swedish furniture dealer
Ikea even gives its pieces of furniture personal names as if they were some pets, while all the Personnel departments have been renamed into Human Resources, as if persons were inanimate things. What does all that give us except more complication and more responsibility in this life? This life like a "tiny drop of dew, a bubble floating in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a phantom and a dream".

on't try. You can't understand all the meaningless little things, the expectations, the conditioning and materialist schmock. It's just too much, crippling, paralysing, stultifying stuff. Same with sense infatuations. But you can get along. If the world as we know it fell apart overnight, would one's life be better? Hardly. There would probably be other expectations, other conditioning and other materialistic needs to take care of. The answer is to look within. When the job expectations are too much, befriend the idea to live under the bridge when necessary, and you're released from the burden of having to have a dream job. When the relationship business is too much, imagine you were a celibate, or actually be one, and you will experience instant release from the clinging memories and from the expectational pressure of having an own family.

Once your mind, feelings and perception are freed from
unnecessary pressure, you can start to enjoy life, independently, regardless of what others think is right for you. Even though living under a bridge nowadays probably isn't too different from being a stock trader. The point is rather, one cannot find the middle-path without investigating the various extremes. And it helps to imagine worst case scenarios in order to vent the anger and fear out of your system. Kinda puts the situation into perspective. Once the 'enemy inside' is done with, the world is ready to be your friend. It always was. There's a place where you can go and be alone but not lonely, all-one but still yourself. It is right here. As the Buddha said, "be a island unto yourself".

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