“We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy”
A text message of a good friend of mine reads: “Dude, this life is miserable&meaningless! Nobody needs me, really! I fail all the time, my life is a mess, and everything I do is useless. What purpose do I serve? What do I exist for? Life socks, dude, I should kill myself!!”
I replied that life is meaningless, indeed. And I don’t want fool you around and tell you that there is still somebody who needs you: your wife, your husband, your kids and the like. No, they could make it somehow, even without you, should you be dead by tomorrow. There is always a solution, a replacement of some kind: a new husband, a foster parent, a shrink, a dog, a cat, a bottle of booze. A substitute for the “late” Nick or Jack or whatever your name was.
And God doesn’t need you either because there are so many people out there, more optimistic and trustworthy, than you, a more enjoyable and amusing crowd. God might have lost the count by now. And God must have got bored of millions of depressed middle aged fellows like you and might as well be manifesting as something new: as this suffering, which is here in order to wake you up - and entertain Him.
So, life is meaningless, that is: it has no outer purpose, no external aim. There is no final conclusion beyond life itself. But why should we bother, why should we carry this burden of a purpose? What if there is no purpose…? Why can’t we still enjoy a total meaningless life?
However, the last thing a resentful guy wants to do is letting go of his anger, this is the last piece of advice that he wants to hear: “You don’t need to listen to these silly thoughts, let go of this horrid veil that covers your eyes! You are not your thoughts; you are not your worries! Wake up!” I always try to make them figure out how toxic this veil of thoughts that lie to them all the time is. But people are very much attached to their unhappiness; they always want to perpetuate it. People become appendixes of sorrow, because they let themselves ensnared by sorrow, they simply give up and become walking sorrow. They become addicts. This is a terrible drug; it teaches your brains that you cannot live without sadness. It sounds so funny but it is all true.
Don’t mess with a guy’s misery; it’s his gold, his ring of power, his own, his “precious”!
But I have this terrible habit: I can't and I won't let people dream, I don’t want to let them sleep on their illusions and sometimes my company is not very pleasant… I often come across unhappy friends that failed this or that project and I feel compelled by compassion to wake them up. I realize all of a sudden that I must tell them the truth, no matter what. So I usually go like this:
“Don’t get into this trap again! Life is neither good nor bad. Life is beautiful, with all its apparent hostility…, it just has two aspects: the fascinating and the terrifying. But you can see it like this: it’s just tragic beauty, all of this never ending cycle of happy and sad stories. And tragic beauty is more than beauty; tragic beauty can be your experience of the sublime. It has this potential. And yes, you are right, I must admit this: it’s very likely that life serves no purpose. Take a closer look at this never ending, tragic wheel of endless births and deaths; it seems to have no noble goal, no logical sense. Will you be able to celebrate this mystery of a life that still can be beautiful despite lacking any purpose? I think you are, because joy and peace are fundamental to human nature. You don’t need any reason to be peaceful. No goal, no achievement is necessary. Be joyful, no matter what, because the barrier between you and true joy is your care for achievement and your care for prestige. Let them also come naturally, if and when they come, but do not fight for them, don’t accumulate more inner tensions and inner conflicts! Look at all so called reasons, meanings and purposes for what they are: they are meant to give you illusory motivations to cling further to your suffering!”
A question should be asked now: are you able to live simultaneously in two dimensions- the plane of the eternal and the plane of time? Are you able to feel, somehow, that ever motionless place in consciousness where the eternal touches the transient, where is the “hub of the wheel” of your life experiences? If you say yes, you say yes to a life that is in fact a slaughter house, as all life lives on killing, but it is also a splendid garden. Don’t ask me why I feel that the same life energy rejoices in a new born baby and in a decaying corpse. I just know it does. The same mystery of life manifests itself in both birth and death. And this life that makes possible the birth of a child is the same life that takes away the vital energy from a dying man.
And this Life never dies. You are one with this Life.
And this Life never dies. You are one with this Life.
Our life experiences are mere cherry blossoms. But their evanescence doesn’t deprive them of beauty, but on the contrary, evanescence enhances it. And as I said earlier in other words, tragic beauty is more than just beauty: it is the experience of the sublime. Of course, all of this depends on our vision, and not on the specific context or life situation or the story that we apparently are part of.
I should warn you, in full confidence, that this kind of therapy with a friend that tries to overcome a bout of depression doesn’t work all the time. Even when you tell a healthy, balanced person that all life is just like the beauty of a sunset, that is: total useless and evanescent, the guy can go berserk! Because a sunset is total meaningless, its’ beauty doesn’t serve any purpose, any reason whatsoever! What’s the meaning of beauty, what is its aim? It has no meaning, it has no goal and it doesn’t have to. It just is. And so are you. You don’t need any purpose, drop-off the burden of meaning!