Tuesday, May 29, 2007

On leaving the scene, and some fundamental lies (and truths) exposed

Are you familiar with stand up comedian Dave Chappelle? The guy's awesome - he's got wit like the edge of a sword. In the summer of 2005, amidst a flourishing career, and at a time when he enjoyed huge popularity, he literally left the scene - fleeing to South Africa to contemplate life and career. I completely sympathise with him...and I'll admit, that even though I'm not going through any of the career-related stress or natural pressures associated with celebritydom, I still feel the need to flee modern life. It's given me everything, and given me nothing, and now I feel the need to escape. I feel like doing a bike ride across India - just the way Guevara did with his friend across South America (all I need is a crazy idiot friend who says "fuck, let's do this"). I need time out, I need space, I need freedom, I need a breath of fresh air, I need to see myself more clearly. I'm feeling suffocated by people, suffocated by my own thoughts, suffocated by the pressures associated with just having to do this or that, because people tell you it's the right thing to do.
Here are some fundamental lies and truths exposed (of so-called "modern living"):
1. Nobody knows shit. Really. If they tell you they know the way, they are bullshitting you. The way is for you to discover, and not for them to tell you what it is.
2. You have to have a family, a great career, a house, the farm, the chicken, the ducks, the whole wackamazoo...to feel happy. Truth is, before you know it, you'll be swimming in a lot of chicken shit, and you will still not have discovered true happiness.
3. Everybody has their weakest link - a point of insecurity by which you can pull them down. But then that would be an insult to humanity. It would be inhuman because it is the one aspect which connects all of us irrespective of how accomplished we are in life, how popular, or beautiful...we all have an Achilles heel. But instead of bringing the other person down, we have to cultivate an attitude of understanding. Did it sting? I'm sorry, I didn't mean to brush your wound. Understand and walk away, don't stand there allowing them to hurt you further, because an insecure person can also be a dangerous person, dangerous to your feelings that is.
4. Everybody knows that deep inside of it all, they are empty. Remember The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger?:
"I have a feeling that you're riding for some kind of a terrible, terrible fall. But I don't honestly know what kind.... It may be the kind where, at the age of thirty, you sit in some bar hating everybody who comes in looking as if he might have played football in college. Then again, you may pick up just enough education to hate people who say, 'It's a secret between he and I.' Or you may end up in some business office, throwing paper clips at the nearest stenographer. I just don't know."
"This fall I think you're riding for - it's a special kind of fall, a horrible kind. The man falling isn't permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom. He just keeps falling and falling. The whole arrangement's designed for men who, at some time or other in their lives, were looking for something their own environment couldn't supply them with. Or they thought their own environment couldn't supply them with. So they gave up looking. They gave it up before they ever really even got started."
~ Chapter 24, spoken by the character Mr. Antolini
Why is everybody pretending so much? Do you know just how easy it is to tell somebody (it could even be the head of your country) - you are worthless, your life is worthless, and do you know just how quickly they would be prepared to believe you? There are so few among us who believe their life has this strong purpose and they were meant to do something incredible. Anything which you undertake to do solely for yourself (or your ego, to be more specific) or your progeny is bound to be an egotistical exercise which doesn't give you very much satisfaction at the end of sixty years of your life. So admit it, be honest to yourself, and say it with me - we are all completely worthless! The only worthy act in the world is to love, and to love completely - it is all we are useful for. We are all walking around with a vacuum, and instead of filling it up with junk, we can accept it as our natural phenomenon, and go on to do what we can do best - love.
5. Do everything chronologically - be raised (conditioned) by your parents and teachers, educated by an ignorant society and by an even more ignorant formal educational system, find a job, have a family, have children, grow old, contract diabetes, you know the rest of the story. Well, it's all bullshit - don't you have a mind of your own? Did you ever think that it might be a good idea to do the thinking yourself? You know what society teaches you? It teaches you to be lazy. It teaches you, that if you do not break away from the mold, you will be punished. That is what you are conditioned with from childhood - you deviate, you will get slapped, you do something in a different manner, you're a freak...now it's time to set the records straight. All your life, you have been told what to do. What is the good thing, what is the right thing. At some point, if you truly think about it, you have to make a decision, to break away. Don't do what they tell you is good for you - do only what will really make you happy - the kind of happiness that comes from the deepest part of you - only you know what is truly good and right for you.
So have the courage...Fly!
6. The best thing in life happens to you when you least plan for it. It comes from a place of borderless innocence and wide-eyed surprise.
I don't even know what I was running for - I guess I just felt like it.
~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 1
Now I have to follow my own advice. For the first time in my life, I realise I'm an adult. My parents are not stopping me, society does not stop me. There are absolutely no barriers, and if there are any, they are only in my mind. For the first time in my life, I have to make the decisions myself, for myself. And it is so scary. The scariest thought on earth in fact. That I am completely responsible for my own upbringing and my choices from here on. I'm on my own. The real question is - what the heck do I do? Which is the way? This is my life, and there is no beaten path for me to follow. I have to chart my own course...draw my own map, and follow my own directions. Crazy, I wish I was better prepared for this moment. Dealing with uncertainty should be a habit, a way of life, instead it is something you think about only when you actually leave home...and some don't even get to that point where they have to think for themselves. We are so busy building our good fences that we never realise we are only trapping ourselves with the certainty wall we are so carefully building to protect ourselves.
Come, my friends,
'T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho
'We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
- Tennyson, Ulysses

Friday, May 25, 2007

Self-cencorship and the need to live

I believe that we are constantly censoring ourselves - we are our own Moral Police. Judging ourselves constantly, we correct ourselves before we even begin to speak a sentence. For how long can this last? For how long will we live like the donkey tied to a tree by an invisible rope, not believing itself to be free?
I do it all the time. I will be the first to admit to being guilty of this crime. I want to live fully and stop censoring myself. It is a challenge when you are afraid that your "free living" might end up hurting someone in the process..
We are asleep for as long as we belive in the illusion of this existence which covers eternal truth like a layer of clouds, and it is in this haze that we exist: we live, we breathe, we die. And our duty is to merely uncover it.
Be warned: at some point you are bound to go mad. This is normal. You will question everything - from the meaning of your life, to the meaning of your soul and the universe, and everything and anything - and then you will become dull and enter insanity, it is bound to happen. But what you must not do is lose hope - because this hope is the instrument that will carry you through, above and beyond the darkness and then suddenly you will enter light, and you will be clear.
All we can and must truly do to the best of our abilities, is to love. Completely!

As this moment

I am as insignificant as this moment, this silence
I am as significant as this moment, this silence
In this moment I sleep, I wake
In it I breathe, I sigh
In it I live, I die
In it I am eternal, extinguished
Forever more, and no more
I am, not.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Stukin the insanity of the aftermath

I’m stukin the insanity of the aftermath
The decisions I made lying around like leaves after a storm
Uselessly drying away until they join the dust.
Like everyone else my mind is laid to waste
And so I wait to quench my thirst, my unquenchable thirst.
I’m stilled by all that surrounds me
Yet words in my mind fly around like insects on a busy summer’s day
Annoying me as they buzz in my ear, reminding me of work to be done.
What strange new paraphernalia can I add to this planet?
What new inventions to cure new diseases?
With no new words to soothe my soul, I kiss this afternoon too goodbye.

The mangled mind

Lately I've been feeling like there are a thousand noises inside my head, all at the same time. My handwriting is different (I observed, today, that my hand was weaker than usual), which is a strange phenomenon as they say that it is a strong indicator of your personality amongst other things.
I'm feeling exhausted and out of breath. I feel like doing other things; and I feel like I'm wasting my time here. I feel incredibly impatient, and don't know how I will ever be able to stick to a regular job like most folks. I'm afraid of losing my way, and I'm praying harder than ever to stick to the path.
I'm grateful for all that I've been given, but I'm still looking for something more. What is it?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Child of the Universe

I have just begun reading Henry Miller. Fascinating fellow, with a very simplistic view of the world. I have already began to form a literary trail (the phenomenon that occurs when you find yourself picking up books which contain links to one another - a reflection of the fact that you are often interested in the same ideas). From Herman Hesse's `Siddhartha', to echos in Lin Yutang's `The Importance of Living', and Osho...words of Miller merely resonate the same sentiments and philosophy of the authors/spiritualists I have just mentioned.
Miller urges quite the same thing as Osho - stop attaching yourself to any particular goals, and live free. Be a bird, fly! This universe will provide everything, and there are no limits to what you can do and be. Everything else (pain, suffering, joy) are just makings of your own mind.
How I wish I could let go, and leap off the cliff that holds me back! How I wish it were as simple as saying it! How I wish I believed in Miller and Osho so much more, that I did not restrain myself! I feel like a horse that has all the power to gallop for miles and miles, but has instead bridled itself to a weak stupid wooden post. Constraints of having to make a living, feeding my stomach, worries of the future - these are what hold me back. These have shaped themselves into my leather saddle, resting heavily on my back.
If Osho could do it, if Eckhart Tolle could do it, then why not me? What am I so afraid of, and who am I waiting for to give me an assurance? I cannot rely on my father for financial support - it is far too shameful. Is financial support the only kind I look for? What about other kinds of support which I unknowingly seek? Emotional, mental, spiritual...How can we truly liberate ourselves, and live without attachments?
If we are truly children of this universe, and made in the likeness, the very image of God, why can't we be free? I want to be free.