I was fascinated by the recent media flurry over a case of celebrity weight loss. In 2020 the world chose the singer Adele to place some focus on. In a social media message thanking her fans for their birthday wishes, she exposed that she had lost a great deal of weight.
The reaction was immediate. Some people thought she looked great and praised her. Others said it was medically dangerous and a reckless incitement to others. Others thought neither praise nor blame was appropriate –they instead saw those who would pass judgment as the being the real problem –what business was it of anyone’s?
For my part, I wouldn’t even have recognized that the picture was of Adele, but my opinion is irrelevant. Reality reigns, despite the layers of organized personal thought that our egos routinely try to insinuate onto others.
That fact essentially means that the only way to avoid meaningless debates over trivial issues is to develop a better understanding of how reality works. Then un-enriching realities hold literally no interest to us.
Of course, everyone has their own moral standards for what others should or should not do. Debating a moral line, or the existence of any moral line at all, is an engagement wherein people internally battle with others in the realm of personal thought.
The problem with that is, we expend valuable human energy on that push against each other in a theoretical headspace. That energy was expended inside our heads, and it could have been used instead on creativity, or discovery. The question is, why use it on meaningless criticism?
We are not here to judge each other, as some commentators have suggested –but not because avoiding judgment is the moral high ground. To be wise is to realize that our judgments regarding who is right and who is wrong are nothing more than personal, interior life experiences. Our opinions don’t apply to others, theirs do.
Trains of thought are almost like songs on our personal headphones. If we imagine our entire life’s experiences as being a series of songs we listen to throughout our lives, then that would make the end of life the end of the music. But at no time would others have heard our music. They, like us, would have only heard theirs.
Maintaining that metaphor; that means that anyone currently debating Adele is, in a way, voluntarily playing something that they find lacks harmony. They find someone’s idea discordant and brash and unpleasant ‘listening.’ So they listen to it even more, and they keep hitting ‘play’ by taking in those undesirable views and debating them.
This sort of listening with the soul means that often-times people will literally have tense diaphragms and torsos and shoulders from writing angrily on social media. That’s the result of them playing that argumentative, internal ‘thrash metal.’
People hate feeling the pain from their egos, but they only create it due to a lack of awareness. They are unaware that it’s them that keeps playing the song that incites the painful dance.
We shouldn’t avoid arguing over Adele because it’s not our business, (although that’s true). We should avoid arguing over Adele because arguing creates unpleasant internal chemistry and it’s rarely the best way to invest our time.
Life only gives us so much ‘listening time.’ Any unpleasant or unenjoyable songs we volunteer to play within our consciousness, will each act to reduce the number of opportunities we have left for music we do like.
There is no God standing in judgment of humans. God –or the universe, or whatever we want to call everything— is who, what, when and where everything happens. To judge us would be for God to judge ‘himself.’ God and/or The Universe has space for our mistakes. We’re pre-forgiven by reality. But that does not mean we are respecting it.
The God-Universe has created a stunning opportunity for us to be alive and conscious of that life. There’s no point in wasting that opportunity by trying to prove our value to our own egos for only our own sake.
Humans are better to do like animals and simply presume our value and then spend more time enjoying being alive within reality. That’s the path to being a good person. And anyway, who are we to question the universe and its ability to create us as we are?
Even under trying circumstances, the gift of conscious experience is what any coma patient would view quite literally as ‘life itself.’ Let’s not waste that gift today, or any day, on meaningless, upsetting debate. Let us instead, invest our consciousness on things that increase our sense of strength, wisdom and compassionate cooperation. It’s our choice to make.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.