Birth was not a choice, but living life should be and is a choice. There is no inherent one meaning for life, just because there is no one way of living life. Your meaning of life should adhere to your way of living life. However, the space where our lives are contained is a shared space. Therefore, we create some rules to abide by so that our distinct subjectivities don’t collide up to the point that we crush (which unfortunately is happening). The ordinary monkey way of living has evolved in such a way that we let these rules rule our inner selves so much that we can’t find our inner selves anymore and everything feels like a burden. Life feels meaningless. Think about it.. when you were a child, you were mindlessly roaming everywhere, probably was not giving a damn about the meaning of life. Then why do you give so much damn about meaning now? Because we are just bored, everything feels the same, we can’t change things, we feel helpless, we can’t create, we don’t know where we are heading, it all looks like a fog. But I can argue that if you can start thinking like a baby again, you will see you would feel differently. But I know it’s not easy. Time is a forward-moving trajectory. So, if you choose to live, it’s probably better to live the way your mind and body is in a union which then generate joy and fulfillment. There are some known facts from past experiences, scientific discoveries through neuroscience, yogic science, what can lead to the betterment of health and mind that we can follow to live longer and happier. Even though your body shares a lot of genetic memory, your mind already inherited a lot of baggage from the past, it’s probably always better to believe in the fluid nature of mind that can change and strive towards bringing good for you and others. And if you definitely need a meaning for yourself to move forward, just create one. I believe in taking the full responsibility for this life I am carrying.
I just finished reading Haruki Murakami’s “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle”. Just wrote my experience as my review on goodreads:
In short “A genuinely outstanding experience”. This is how I read it- I started on Thursday. I finished on Monday and I don’t know what went on in this world in between. I think just like Mr. Wind-up bird, I was stuck in my own well as I was recovering from my own darkness. I could see through the events like they were happening right within me. I got terrorized, I got shaken, I got enthusiastic, I was trying to find my baseball bat to find the strength in me. I was trying to find meaning, I was trying to find solace, but I was just being thrown into even more void, but eventually, I was feeling stronger and stronger; braver and braver. I could know love in a much more deeper place in my heart, I could learn how to let go, I could learn how to be not afraid amidst big walls that are suffocating me. I can replay the entrance and exit of each character on the scenes of my mental stage. Some were pushing me, some were pulling me. And in the end, I was wound up. But I think I discovered more than ever at the same time.
I gave them the gun,
And they dropped me dead.
My eyes were wide and open
To see the void of affection in their face.
The short interval between
The triggering and the bullet reaching my heart
Cut all the ties and kill everything vague;
Between that very moment
And all that is rest.
I wonder how easy it is to be swept away
from the brightness to the jungle of nothingness.
Time is a puzzle that I still can’t solve.
It comes, it swerves, it slides;
It twists and then it vanishes
From my inside and out.
I remember those wild nights
That made me brave;
Just when the bullet was touching me
To drop me dead.
I realized only then my fate,
But I’ll live forever
In the air and in the ears
I can bet.
Picture source: Immortal Knight by Rassouli from http://www.avatarfinearts.com/Rassouli-Gallery/Surrealism-Art/Symbolic-Surrealist-painting-of-Knights-on-Horse.html
As if that obviousness wasn’t enough!
From far, it still looked like a shadow,
Some doubts thus still lingered,
On your lips there’s no answer yet.
Couldn’t those moments be bit more expressive?
If those clouds wouldn’t hide anything!
What more there to be naked?
It can’t be more both calm and restless and therefore inviting.
Let’s not let it be dry,
‘Coz you can always catch and stop time.
Or you can choose to fly like a butterfly often with no intention.
To lose can’t be a sin.
We’d rather embrace and sweat with our yearnings.
This mystery and you, here I breathe,
A little inception in the now is what I only long for.
The deep urge of this urgency can be welcomed.
Then take a shower in the drops of uneasiness.
And curl me inside with your legs.
More incidents will not precipitate more love.
It’s impossible to find discontinuity with an open eye.
And I won’t stop drinking you.
Image source: Google images.
I feel like I am a bag of emotions. This emotional roller coaster is not something that I dislike, but sometimes I just get confused about myself. Because I don’t know why I should be feeling what I am feeling. I start it new, then it gets old too soon. I know that I can pinpoint the root of each branch of my gigantic emotional tree, but some leaves just outgrow and outgrow and make me feel like I have nothing to say about my own journey. But why do I even feel to say? So, I let them grow, but then I feel boggled. I feel scared unnecessarily. I know the origin of fear, I know the outcome of fear, I know the future of fear, but still, the fear is there which is redundant. I know it’s all about being an open door through which things will pass. The moment you try to catch, you yourself are caught. I doubt my feelings all the time, maybe I just couldn’t find a better word than doubt here. Maybe a better way to say is that I want to judge my feelings, but then that’s probably not a good idea? Then why do I do it after knowing this is something I can’t comprehend. Maybe I didn’t learn anything so far, maybe it will be like this forever, and I will have to just go through, pass through, write through and dig through every morning like I am doing. It’s like having self within self within self and ad infinitum. I know that I can not choose and pick just the ones I like. But the desire to stay unsullied, remain on a path is probably a struggle as there are so many paths to choose.
All I did is just I walked. I started from my home and I walked to the coffee shop, then I walked again and I reached the destination. But these few minutes my mind has roamed the entire universe of my emotional tree. It’s like reflecting a zillion of light all at once towards me, but all I wanted is to just walk without feeling anything. All I hoped that I would just bathe in the sunshine of the morning and my mind will just not let me do that. And I know why, and I know everything. But as I tell myself always knowing doesn’t help and in fact trap me more. So, I scream like Led Zeppelin, that you can not hold me find my stairway to heaven. And I will create new rules and then I will be chained under my own jail again. And I live.
I had some heated conversation over this Earthling Ed video. Just sharing my thoughts.
Just imagine(not necessarily hypothetical), one day an intelligent and superior alien species conquer the earth and enslave all human being. And a 25 year old Alien who loves human meat says “I wish a perfectly cooked human flesh and human tongue and liver wasn’t so delicious. I know they feel when we throw them on the slaughter house but ooh.. I cant stop having pleasure from eating my delicious food. Yummy.” This is why morality is objective. You try to approach a scenario by putting your ownself in there. The assumption that you are superior and thus you can abuse is morally wrong. Now whether you want to be moral or not is totally up to you. But you are being immoral by killing sentient being is a fact.
The problem is you can not feed meat or dairy products through milk etc. to the 7 billion people on earth by having cattle farm everywhere, ultimately you will have to have animal farming. My grandma own couple cattle farms and I grew up playing with them. So, definitely having a cattle farm is way better and more ethical. But veganism is more like a movement where vegans are making a statement that “in our modern world we can perfectly live and breath by having plant based diet, and we have no necessity to live on meat based protein and put these mammals, reptiles, our fellow creatures in to pain just for our pleasure of taste in the tongue.” It’s hard to teach morality, isn’t it? We used to have slaves and beat the hell out of them, rape slave women just few years ago.. and it was perfectly legal, vouched by religious scriptures.. that’s why a simple moral test is always asking yourself before doing the action “Would you like that to happen to yourself?” That’s where compassion and humanism and a better world origin from.
So..point valid everywhere.. even in a new dimensional world or even in the deep past or even in present.
Aren’t plants as living beings feel pain too… double standards?
These are common things been said towards veganism which just indicates how little people think or know about life and biology. Plant does not have brain and central nervous system. Mammals are not the same as reptilians and amphibians, reptilians are not the same as fungi or plants. There’s a hierarchy in the mechanism of pain. A crocodile or a hippopotamus won’t feel anything on their thick skin if you punch hard, but try that on a human or a dog or a cow. What is pain is a neurological question. What is suffering is a cosmic consciousness question. Yes, plants suffer, but do plants feel pain on the same level a mamal brain which evolved over 500 million years in the 4.8 billion year old history of earth? The answer is no. It’s plain biology and you need to read some literature on the evolution of pain and what nervous centres actually cause it. One intuition I can give, if a person is paralyzed in one leg, you can try punching, pinning, he won’t feel pain from there. But definitely on the consciousness level, plants suffer as they have life. So, I understand where you are coming from. In an ideal buddhist world, they prefer not even killing plants. If I would be able to survive well without killing plants, I actually would prefer to do that as that’s what the same moral code suggests. What I mean by that is that if you are in a living condition, where you no longer have other option but to kill an animal, morally you are right to kill for your survival. So, you couldn’t be a vegan in antarctica or arctic sea where your only option is some seals and fishes. So, morality also definitely depends on cultural evolution and understanding, but on a very firm and simple objective which is “How can we reduce suffering and pain in the world as it is apparently not pleasant”. Hope that answers your doubt. But also read more about what I am saying in philosophy and biology and earth and human history. You don’t need to take my words! Let’s be compassionate as we have reached far and are truly progressing towards a compassionate world little by little amidst all the bullshits, wars and nightmares. And innocent animals can be included in your circle of compassion too.. 😉
“Thanks for the short budhist training. But no, it is still your view of the world and it’s valid but so is mine.
I decided to put and limit my moral compass on human’s feelings and suffering I have little feelings for unknown rabbits living in a random cave in India.
I guess your philosophy will be more telling for individualistic monk in a spiritual quest trying to feel compassion in everyone and everything in the universe (ironically so often excluding his/her close family). That’s one way to live a life but certainly not the best way if there is one.”
Yep, totally valid question. No, the wolves are not immoral because wolves don’t understand morality, wolves don’t have the ethical evolution about what it means to be right or wrong. That’s one way of answering it. Another answer is wolves are carnivorous, they can only eat meat, they can’t live on plants. But the giant apes, our ancestors, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangotans are 95% herbivorous, and only 5% carnivours meaning they sometimes enjoy meat or insects. So, we are actually omnivorous, but we are more herbivorous than carnivorous.. we forcefully are evolving ourselves to becoming carnivorous. You can see in the literature of medical science, how carcinozens cause cancer, what’s the main root of heart disease etc. But anyway, you can totally have a healthy carnivorous diet. So, from the morality standpoint, wolves haven’t written books on morality, wolves haven’t understoon peace, they don’t held nobel peace prize conference. Now whether some people are like wolves, definitely they are.. 😉 whether it’s better to be like a peaceful bonobo than a violent chimpanzee, I think that leads towards a peaceful society. Whether you use atomic energy to bring power plants, versus whether you nuke hiroshima.. we totally have the choice of both. But we understand from physical pain/suffering perspective and also from the empirical evidence from the past, what causes less suffering to life..
“And if your logic is applied to the current world veganism is still a luxury morality which is my main point.
It cannot be universal at least in the present state of the world.
I will leave it here since I can smell that this topic passionates you to the maximum. Hope we’ll have more time to discuss. I’d like to have a deeper understanding of budhism from someone who practice it on a daily basis. 😉”
Whether others are not doing anything to bring less suffering shouldn’t prevent you. If you can be luxarious in the right direction, then be it. May be Einstein had the luxury to think about gravitational pull, theory of relativity when most people were just pulling carts in the world. So are other scientists.. Guess what, that brought everything we enjoy today, including me texting on fb on internet. So are most of the peace prize winners, when nobody cared, they gave their sweats to bring fairness in the world. They weren’t always right. After all we are fallible human beings. But if our intuition tells that something should be done to reduce suffering of animals, and if it’s just to sacrificing my eating habit a little, I will do. And you are right. These are luxurious, but somebody had to do it. If they wouldn’t the world would still be the barbaric world from the past where we would be roaming around on horses with swords or guns in both sides of our cowboy pants and would totally chop heads every time some one argue with us. Haha.. I hope you get the point. Definitely luxurious, but what you understand to be right is always in your hand to be executed immediately. You always have the choice not to do either and flow with the usual tide. After all forcing morality on to others is also immoral which is paradoxical, now I am playing word games.. haha. 🙂
Pessimism alert! Bad trip alert!
However, I am optimistic.
I’ve been thinking about life and miseries and roaming on YouTube and watching some documentaries. It seems to me where ever you are, what relative condition a life is ticking, every living being seems like struggling and feeling pain and suffocation and longing for getting out of the cage. Each seems to desire to live in a better condition, has a goal where each wants to reach, but then it can not, and then it is frustrated and unhappy. Each seems to feel confined in its living condition. And it’s easy to die and the fear is real. It is like neverending unhappiness and struggle to live. All an individual animal and human think about are all that it don’t have, can’t have. Each has the survival instincts and the ability to feel joy and pain. Some are not naturally selected well. Some are trying to climb the ladder, some are falling, some are rising, some are winning, some are being extinguished. Some are not better equipped for existence, some are endowed with good social and physical environment, some are not. Some are lucky, but they feel unlucky. Some are unlucky, but are unaware of the way to bring a good fortune. For human, education and information acquisition seems necessary, but then even with education, with information you can feel trapped. It seems like in life feeling trapped is inevitable.
It was a wild trip for me through internet. Normally you call or recognize that you were in the dark side of internet or youtube after such trip, as if you try to kick yourself into the good reality from a bad one, as if you feel the desire that bad things don’t exist, at least not for you, you only want to watch the good stuff, feel the good feeling, as if you want to believe that your problems and miseries are the biggest problems on earth. But it’s not. But it’s also true that you are only stuck with yourself. The first and foremost thing is your wellbeing but it’s asy to be tricked if your world view is small nd not wide enough to have a global view of existence on our pale blue planet. All may be illusion, it’s hard to figure what’s real and what’s not, as most things are beyond your reach and beyond your subjective world.
Life should be easy to live. But the baggage from evolution, from culture are too hard and the trap seems to be too tight for any individual to break through.
I am on a peak of my personal realizations.
Nothing is weird.
My mind is mashed with conflicting thoughts. But it’s all good.
May be whatever you are, where ever you are, accepting and embracing it is the first step, and then the continuation. Being a human is probably lucky that you are uniquely positioned to think through all these. But then a human mind is so tricky, if it’s not filled with the positive stuff, if it’s not directed towards a good path, it can make a living hell out of itself even in the best livable condition. So, life is a blessing and a curse at the same time; it’s ultimately how it’s perceived. You can know the light, when you experienced darkness.. and vice versa.
If you want to have the same trip like mine…it will be a bad trip for you if you watch these videos sequentially.. . in total I probably watched 50 videos over a long time. Haha.
There’s also almost infinite good stuff and videos too on YouTube. You can always cherry pick and demand to see the good instead of the bad.
A struggling penguin..
Survival of a bear vs a seal
A brothel in the south east
Unhappy women seeking for marriage
Unhappy rich people
My friend on Facebook posted..
Those who keep saying “Money Can’t Buy Everything” don’t have enough money.
And I argued:
“It’s very easy to disprove. Can a billionaire buy you with money? Yes or No? Can he buy to be the most empathetic person, can he buy to be the best scientist? I can go on and on what he can not buy. But it’s true that he can buy lots of things that most people can’t. But even if, what is it that most people want.. big house, big salary, luxary cars, jewelery, ability to travel, power and influence. I can give you hundreds of examples of enthusiastic people who are not rich, who are doing these way better than Donald Trump or some other boring billionaires. Just watch Instagram and YouTube mindfully, how beautifully people can live with less. Money can’t buy creativity, peace in mind; it can just help towards that path. It’s just a vehicle for comfort and survival but it itself is not the comfort and happiness. But look.. this kind of mentality that money is everything.. imprison the free mind and make your mind and then life a living hell. Do u really not think you can just leave every fucking luxary and go to a jungle and live peacefully eating fruits? I am telling you I can totally see myself doing that if that’s whats gonna give me happiness and peace. I’m not a prisoner of the society and the world where money is required. LoL. Money is just a peace of paper. It’s the idea and perception of living that’s important. Peace!! Haha. ;)”
What do you think and say? I would like to hear.
Just posting my Quora answer..
Intelligent, peaceful, skillful immigrants are needed not only in US but also in every other country. Because cultural assimilation is a dire need of our time. If you look at most of the problems we have in our society, they are born out of close mindedness of the people. Why racism is a problem, coz some people just deny or at least used to deny human rights to people who have darker skin. Why an immigrant can find job, but an American can not? You are born in America, but you haven’t explored much or expanded your horizons much to find a job. An immigrant is crossing the ocean or a desert and taking the risk and learning his way to live in a society by learning a different language. That is what a great great great grandparents of a jobless American might have done that the great great great grand son or daughter now doesn’t understand. I have met Americans in Japan when I lived there. When they couldn’t find job in America, they went to Japan and started teaching English to Japanese kids, married Japanese women and are now living there happily. My American friend now lives in Shikoku, Japan and I’m now living within 3 hours of his American home in Michigan. This is how the world should look like. We assimilate, we know, we challenge, we meet people, we make friends, we figure out what we like or dislike, we grow our potential and we live. Nobody is entitled to have anything for granted. Reading a little bit of history will give more persepective. Seeing some statistics on social well being, education, contribution to society by race, by country will open your mind. British have run the world for hundred years, where are they now? America in the sixties have had the highest and happiest middle class, what happened now? World, society will forever change and we should be resilient enough to adapt with the change. Instead of blaming immigrants taking away jobs, an American should rather unite with other Americans of all color and race and legal peaceful immigrants to see how politics and legislations in this country can be made so that people have more rights, more jobs and happy lives, how it’s possible to inspire people or communities rather than infuriating them. Yes, illegal immigration is a problem, but what is to do now to ensure the overall well being of everyone should be the focus or priority. Sometimes sentimental talks and arguments just divide us too much; rather constructive criticism and thoughts should unite us to find real solution to the real problem towards welfare. Putting people in suffering and building walls will never bring wealth and prosperity. So, we should all be critical thinker, empathetic and creative to create a great society. Let’s move our lazy ass, educate ourselves, do what needs to be done in our own space within our reach without complaining too much!