Day 694: What Does Anything I do Have to do With My Happiness

Many years ago Bernard said to me "give up the things you want in this life, so that we may all have them in the next". It took a while before I got to the point of actually being willing to do this (I was a teenager when he first said it to me) and now I sit facing the task of asking every single person to do the same.

Most people will refuse. Most people are happy to leave all the unpleasantness to a few willing to give up in order to change the world. Most are happy with the idea that only a few leaders have to make the hard choices while everyone else just lives their life and does a few odd jobs for the cause every now and then. It is possible that change may eventually come in this manner, although I do not see it being before it is too late to reverse the damage done to the planet and ecosystem (to be fair we may be past that point already, but just haven't realised it on a global level).

Why should everyone be willing to give up their personal desires and preferences? Most of the time they simply do not contribute to creating the change the change we actually want to see. We find ourselves in the position of facing the consequences of not only our own actions (and inaction) but that of generations before us. Fixing this mess is no small task and will not be easily accomplished if everyone is running around trying to get theirs before they kick the bucket.

The funny thing is that most of your personal desires and preferences are created by the programming you received throughout your life, implying that those desires are not actually a part of "who you are" but are a part of "who you were made to be by the environment and people around you". Following this living realisation a funny thing happens. You live the life that you never thought you would, and you experience a peace and happiness that most people don't. Part of this can be attributed to the expectations and fantasied we hold onto within what we desire - expectations and fantasies that can rarely be fulfilled. The same can be said in the context of relationships - when you do not choose a partner based on physical attraction and/or "chemistry" and focus rather on whether this person will support you and vice versa, as well as whether this person will contribute to creating the life and change that will be best for all - you will find that your experience within the relationship becomes one of creation and self movement as opposed to trying to be with someone you may not actually have all that much in common with.

Looking back to my teenage years I had many dreams for all the different things I wanted to do and the life I wanted to live. Most of these things were about me - my wants, my fantasies, my dreams. I suppose this is what most teenagers experience. Sure, there were some differences in that I communicated openly with my dad and didn't do much stupid teenage stuff like alcohol and drugs, but I still had that desire to "be free" to do whatever the hell I wanted.

The moment that this really changed was when I realised and understood fully the extent of the problem we are facing in the world and that the way I was living was not only contributing to the problem but also a result of the problem. I was chasing after phantoms of a magical life, never quite "getting it". The desires and fantasies become so real and so all-consuming that it seems absurd to think of giving them up. In reality, you're never quite where you want to be or doing what you want to do when you're chasing those fantasies because part of the thrill is the fantasy itself - "something to live for". When your something to live for is just you, you can never seem to find that peace and fulfillment you so desire.