Monday, July 8, 2013

entertaining ourselves to death

Facebook has turned into a really nice analogy to talk about the society. It is probably the nearest we have to look at our world objectively. This post is more or less a continuation to my previous post and I might be touching a lot of subjects I spoke about yesterday. One thing that I have to thank Facebook for teaching me is our need for validation. We want people to like our pictures, we want to tell them what we've gone through, we want to rant out in public ( a blog is just another tool ), we want them to think that our lives are more special than we think they are because we want witnesses. Anonymity scares us. So does futility. When things don't go well, we want to be reminded how special we are and how we are just going through a phase. That is probably why we go through our albums, our posts every now and then. To remind us that we've lived. How else can we prove ourselves that we didn't just pop into the world. Friends, relationships, anniversaries, convocations, events are all what we leave so that when we look back, void will not confront us. Amnesia can be a boon but it turns into a nightmare because then we won't have a proof to commemorate our lives. Honestly, what do we have if not the solace of memory alone. And lest we forget a few things about ourselves, we create relationships and use them as custodians to our lives. I find Sadhus to be extremely courageous people, if not for anything else, just for accepting the triviality of our lives and for moving on without a fuss.

It's idiotic to take ourselves seriously. We laugh at the problems that confronted us 5 years ago. What troubles us so much right now, would be inconsequential the next morning if only we are confronted with a bigger problem. We are so fickle minded in our treatment of problems that we don't deserve to be confronted by the truly puzzling ones. I might be fuming at my girlfriend right now but if only she'd appear here with that beaming smile, the anger would evaporate. And what, I won't even remember that I was supposed to be angry. It's pathetic. What we want to be is entertained. We are so restless that we want to fill our minds with things, the good if available and the bad if not. Entertainment is the prerogative. The brilliant thing about getting entertained is that we don't care about anything. We are so engrossed in it that nothing else seems to matter; a movie seems so real and so worthwhile as long as we have conceded our sense of disbelief. Which is not essentially a bad thing but I would rather live than spend a lifetime in movie theatres. A pursuit for money is a form of entertainment; it creates an illusion of movement. So, is the pursuit for approval or even the pursuit for knowledge. To hell, even the pursuit for happiness is just a need for occupation. Why do I have to achieve anything? What is wrong with just sitting back and waiting for life to happen.

I'm beginning to believe in the notion of sitting under a tree and doing nothing. Just being. All these emotions of Happiness, Jealousy, Elation, Craving, Misery etc. are emotions we create to fill our heads, to create that sense of living. What if there is a person out there who spends his life watching movies, reading books, talking to people, listening to music just so that he can keep himself occupied. He needs to keep running because he is so scared that others will pass him if he doesn't. It keeps him from boredom but doesn't it create an unnecessary fear he has to live with all his life. What if he gradually slows down until he stops to ask himself where he is running and why. For all he knows, people would still be running and he'd be left behind. But what if he's always run in a circle, will he still be behind others? Haven't Yogis coined a stunning word for that circle- Samsara. What a word, I don't know if it's the sound or the psychological effect of knowing what it means that creates such a powerful emotion within me, but it somehow brings into perspective the whole idea of life. How helpful is happiness if it is just a better movie than misery. It's much more fun, true, but it's still as virtual as misery. Come to think of it, why should we even be in pursuit of truth, or enlightenment? Like Anand Gandhi so evocatively says, why do we have to believe that enlightenment is the highest ideal; Just because Buddha told us? What if Buddha himself stopped midway? And like someone once asked Sadhguru, even if you get enlightened, how do you actually know that you are actually there?

If anything the mind creates is an illusion, so must be all that I've been talking about. Even if the mind, as an individual entity exists, how can it have the power to look at itself? I'm in a very precarious position. If I consider all that I've said to be true, then what I'm saying is false. And if all I'm saying is false, how can it lead to be truth? How can we know we're trapped if all that we've ever known is the place we are trapped in? Am I even looking for answers or like I mentioned before, looking for adulation or entertainment? Maybe I'm just jealous that others are achieving so much in their lives that I feel a need to fill this all up, to prove them that I'm working on much more important issues. And if living is a exercise in futility, isn't enlightenment then too? 

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