People complain, people want change, and in the end, does it ever change? Does existence on this planet really change for the better, apart from the technological and medical progress? Have we ever evolved psychologically? Do we have more happy, fulfilling lives than a few millennia ago? Are we actually more depressed than ever before, or is it simply the fate of mankind to live in misery? Do we learn from our history, or do we use it to justify the same mistakes over and over again? Is it impossible to change our way of thinking, or do we prevent it from happening? Most importantly, do we really want things to ever change?
For a long period of time, man was forced to live a life of survival, of hunger and battle against nature’s forces. In such circumstances of scarcity and uncertainty it is only logical that there is a recurring psychological state of conflict and fear, of personal struggle (which was probably many times more wholesome than the plentitude of wars in recent times).
Fortunately nowadays, in many places around the world there is enough food and resources, and enough time and leeway to lead a simple yet comfortable life, without having to abandon society as was usual in previous eras, e.g. by joining a religious community. However, very few men and women make use of this serious advantage that our ancestors never had. Well, at least they never had it in this magnitude. There is enough information available to redirect our lives towards a more wholesome movement, much more in tune with nature, but it gets hidden and distorted by all the communication that is largely based on economic and political interests, and by accidental misconceptions and deliberate lies spread by confused individuals.
Opportunism and greed, two of ignorance’s best friends, are very strong forces.
Before we actually realize what we are doing in and on this world, we lock ourselves in by making a career, by having to support children, by going for the big house, the car, the frequent travels and other luxury stuff or some similar scenario. The inner gets shielded from the outer and this separation takes place almost automatically, unconsciously, because it gets ingrained in all of us, generation after generation. And exactly this self-deception of being separate, of being involved only to some degree, of conceiving problems outside of ourselves and coming up with partial solutions perpetuates (wo)man’s greatest mistake: that thinking alone will one day save us. Or god. Or some ideology. We do not see that it is all division in one way or another, that these man-made images of non-actual facts are endless sources of conflict.
Children are extensively prepared to follow the dividing route of “well fare and prosperity”, of serving society and acquiring money and recognition by achieving, by competing and deceiving. But where are the winners? The ones who have the most money? The ones who are lucky not to get sick? The ones who went up the ladder and got to pimp the system? Or the ones who fell off and turned out to abuse the system?
To begin with, on a practical level, the middle class have the ability to change the outer, practical course of the world, e.g. they can make wise ecological, political and economic choices, but only to some extent of course. Money and desire rule most minds still, and more than ever.
Thus, cynicism, hopelessness and doubt rise as well, and the actual roots of non-change – psychological fear and desire – remain hidden even deeper.
Deep, wholesome change is rendered impossible by our primitive ways of living and thinking. People either wait for miracles to happen, for their gods to intervene, for their religious leaders to preach peace and to incite wars, for their politicians and scientists to come up with all-in-one end solutions that do not exist, or they “actively” join some political or ideological party, which comes down to the same thing: responsibility is handed out to the “ones in power”, conflict becomes inevitable, and everyone defends his or her position, so there is hardly any movement at all, only a switching of chess pieces and a lot of senseless discussion. Endless debating primarily based on the struggle for power and money, which goes on anywhere in this sick world.
How few minds have the courage, seriousness and perseverance to truly stand alone and become a movement of their own! Organizations are not evil per se, but from the moment personal views get lost for the sake of preserving static ideas (= old, outdated images), the troubles start. Moreover, as long as you have confused dividuals you’ll have confused organizations, no matter what. This we refuse to see.
Our psyche is embedded in everything that surrounds us in society. The world is a reflection of how we think and act. It is not a pretty sight, and it is not getting any better, certainly not from a health point of view. Wholesome, radical change is forever postponed, but it can only happen here and now. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year. 99% of the energy gets lost in thinking and talking about it, and everything, including our personal misery, is approached from a political point of view, meaning we tell ourselves that there are compromises to be made. But we must realize that any compromise to the old way of thinking results in the same way of thinking. It may have a slightly different taste, but it is not change. And so the suffering continues.
Real radical change starts inside ourselves, by realizing the flaws in our thinking, by seeing through the illusions, including the illusions of change. There is absolutely little to no use in trying to change the world when you stay the same inside, switching from one creed or ideology to another. It will only create more conflict and confusion, so that humanity shall forever remain at psychological square one. Sometimes you get the impression that things are changing because the outward is rearranged a little, that’s all. If you can’t change your self, let go of your own fixed ideas, how will you ever change the world without creating more conflict? The image of a psychologist seeking therapy springs to mind. Experts remain clueless themselves. The blind leading the blind. This is how the world works.
It is so easy to become cynical. Even the people that get multiple opportunities to radically change the practical sides of their lives for the better often refuse to go there, out of fear, addicted to their debilitating, unwholesome habits. It is easier to go on complaining and subsequently turn on the television than to actually undertake personal actions and venture into the unknown. Life, relationships, society, the economy, …, in the end, everything is taken for granted. As if the world will turn out differently by itself, as if there are some magical pills that will cure all depression and disease, as if all systems will become more humane and sane by themselves. Eventually nature will restore itself, that is for sure. The question is: will the “homo sapiens” still be part of it?
Ask yourself: do we really need to become seriously ill, lose a loved one, have our entire society collapse, watch nature destroy everything that we constructed with our limitless arrogance and stupidity before we start making healthy changes, before we see what life is really about? Why don’t we face life and death in all openness? Is it not possible to be serious about all this just by looking at how we live, how we think and act and relate? Is it?
The ability to live intelligently, harmoniously, to be open to change, to deeply reflect and communicate is a quality with which most of us are born. It is the psychological mess and its practical consequences that we hold so dearly that destroys this extraordinary capacity of our species.
From the day you are born till the day you die you are being confronted with higher or lesser degrees of insanity, in your family, out on the streets, at work, in the media, wherever you go.
So, is there a way out? Is there a possibility of breaking away, of moving into a more sensible direction? How can there be clarity when there is so much confusion all around?
Insight needs space and fearlessness to come about.
As long as we silently agree to uphold the illusion that we want to change but can’t, that a lot of time is needed to see things as they actually are, as long as we depend on others to discover the meaning of life, and as long as we don’t take our own lives and that of our fellow (wo)men seriously, intelligence will never prosper and nothing will ever change.
(note to self: my writing needs more clarity, more focus)