People make me angry. How can we have done all the fantastic scientific things we’ve done and invented all of the amazing things we’ve invented and yet there’s still wars, there’s still tons of poor people and we’re just idiots as a species. It’s hard to feel good when the world’s like this. I’m confused about how in your reality everything is “perfect.”
Lost in Thought
Yes: perfect in its unfolding. I mean no offence, but do you see how we as egos arrogantly choose a particular moment, in our lifetime? And then we attempt to excuse ourselves from the flow of Tao, in order to intellectually judge what is happening? And I mean ‘happening’ in the sense that the world is a constant, ongoing verb, and not the nouns you suggest.
You used your thoughts to place fixed ideas over a flowing reality by using words like: ‘scientific,’ ‘war,’ ‘poverty,’ and ‘species.’ Those are not things. Those are ideas. And they are all in the flow of Tao, evolving in each new moment. To use an example, we don’t look at a flower-bud and judge it as having failed because it is not yet blossoming.
The true ‘blossoming’ of life takes infinite time to unfold, as it collectively represents the act of ‘becoming’ that is the universe and everything in it. From seed to sprout, to growth, to flowering to seed production and then decomposition, the flower is forever flowing in complete unity with the universe around it. Nothing is wrong, even if the flower is weak and small, or old and dying.
Of course, none of us are fans of war or poverty. Anyone who reads me a lot knows I’ve discussed both subjects a lot and that my perspective is always compassionate. Can things be better? Absolutely. But when a teen goes through a huge hormone rush at puberty, they aren’t imperfect, misbehaving, disrespecting jerks. They’re acing like teens who are having a teen experience. The same applies to the world at large.
What we can see as human failures are really just teenagers becoming the next person they will be. And who they become will not fit into pie-slice shapes, as though they are part of some real world Trivial Pursuit game. It’s more like a colour spectrum. It’s why the concept of an “identity” is a bizarre one in some cultures. We have experiences and we change physically and we’re in a perpetual state of flowing from being one person to another as our body, beliefs, and priorities change.
“We’ve” advanced scientifically because we’re very methodical. We hypothesize, we test and we conclude. It’s very progressive, with each discovery resting on the grounds of the ones that preceded it, with the whole thing building outward. With science and technology etc. we can also pass discoveries on from generation to generation, whereas that is really only theoretical in human relations.
We’re famous for repeating history and that’s because new generations of us keep being born. As I’ve often said, a pie in the face isn’t an old joke to a two-year-old. So experience is what really teaches, and by time we figure it out all of the lessons, our lives are over. It’s why Churchill said youth is wasted on the young. We’re actually doing quite well considering how challenging progress is.
In human relations we’re less test-and-answer based. We’re building less off everyone’s experience, and really only off our own. This means we all start as ignorant and grow wise. But while we’re ignorant we’re all still rolling whatever ball forward made sense to us at that time. Which means that all of the ‘hell’ you perceive is really just a byproduct of innocent but often ignorant progress.
If we’re looking at it the right way, we can see our universe as a giant unfolding rose that began its life as a seed of potential. It was then provided with whatever resources were available and so it grew. And at every moment of its existence it’s been perfect, just as every sunset is different but every one is perfect.
So don’t stand in time and space and look for some idea called ‘justice,’ or ‘rightness,’ or ‘peacefulness.’ Because none of those things could even exist were it not for their opposite, to provide the contrast, just as you need this white background as much as you need the black letters I’m typing on it.
The universe is far beyond our understanding. And far beyond our control. Given that, we are best to surrender instead. Trust in the most profoundly spiritual way. The universe is made of a myriad of forces, all in motion. The universe is unfolding exactly as it should. Do not argue with that, for your argument is nothing more than a painful form of resistance to what is.
I know what it’s like to care the way you do. I’ve done that too. It says nice things about your soul. But don’t waste your existence being angry or upset or depressed because you or others are suffering. Go live. Truly. That’s how the world gets better. Not because we fix it. But because each of us as an individual just starts prioritizing our own happiness.
If that seems irresponsible, consider this: a bunch of happy people will have aims to make the world as good as it can be. Yet even then, Yin and Yang will always be there. So we must accept that it was not the world’s job to make us happy. Instead, it’s up to us make ourselves happy by being in the world in a joyful way, where we invest more time on its successes than its failures.
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.