My idea of being ‘conscious’, as Eckhart Tolle describes it, is to live aware. Aware of our animal impulses, our thoughts, emotions, perceptions, our made-up stories of ‘reality’, even our made up ‘self’. Once conscious, we can resist the collective human, made-up and currently dysfunctional way of being. If for instance we witness the unsustainable consumption of resources, we can as an example to others, live our life sustainably.
We can even choose to which degree, for practical purposes, we superficially act to ‘fit in’ (many folks we encounter daily are not ready for a fully conscious being—best to only shake their world in stages).
I’ll close with a quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi,
“To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.”
From the perspective of what Eastern philosophers call ‘the silent witness’, ‘the true Self’, that self shared with all creation, Universe, ‘God’ to some, what never changes and is infinite—even if this may be no more than a construct of the mind—is that not better than a pill? If a construct of the mind gets one through life and kills the gloom without suicide or having your plans and action sucked away* by the feel-good, ‘everything’s okay’ of alcohol—is that not a superior path through this physical life?
Our moods swing to the mix of our brain chemicals, and this, orchestrated by that evil, spiral molecule who thinks he has our best interest in mind, so what, if to a degree, we can short circuit him and feel okay for a change?
*Not pointing fingers—two-drinks-a-day got me through many a rough patch (one twenty years long) but read what Nietzsche had to say about alcohol or watch the movie “The Iceman Cometh” for a different perspective.
In the process of actualization of desires and drives, a calm, accepting state is of higher order and more desirous than actual goal achievement. The paradox is that in accepting the present moment and one’s limitations, one lays the foundation for achievement—since, if one is in anguish or constantly ruminating on their troubles and lack of progress, one has not the time, energy or creativity needed to succeed.
This dis-ease which we feel from time to time (most of the time for some of us) is a fraudulent manufacture of our minds—an evolutionary mechanism gone rouge and for some, the neurological pathways are well-traveled—out of habit. Let go and be in the present moment—without judgment.
Until we . . .
evolve beyond our competition-based society
circumvent biology’s depression-inducing reward-mechanism
blend with machines or upgrade the one in our heads
upload our consciousnesses to explore other dimensions and worlds,
We might meld the philosophies of Siddhartha Gautama and Nietzsche to . . .
express our Will without attachment to outcomes
fully accept the present moment
be mindful of the mind-sullying whispers of DNA’s anger merchants
When acts of Will don’t produce the desired result
Accept that and craft plans new
Rather than crushing Will’s desire
Consider desire worthy of action
Not worthy of attachment
Not worthy of pain
It seems that we have been striving since we gained thinking ability to separate ourselves from our animal impulses. This is on our way to what? What shall we evolve to?
Thinkers including Nick Bostrom, Ray Kurzweil and Alan Guth have argued that we may be living in a simulation. If so, what can our striving evolve to? If our universe was indeed created by highly advanced beings, who compared to us can be described as gods, then it would be to evolve to gods ourselves as Giulio Prisco has suggested. Applying my own human based spin on this as my imagination explodes, craves an answer to the question, what would motivate a god? We basically want to satisfy our urges, survive and reproduce. A god would have no need of that. All of our pleasure is derived from our animal base. I think the concept of pleasure as it relates to a god simply does not compute. Maybe a god exists in an extra universal realm or dimension beyond pleasure. I will call it a bliss-field. Maybe that is what we ultimately strive for.
One of my missions is to gain some understanding of this life and the Universe which contains it and share that with others. One of the past philosophers I respect the most is Friedrich Nietzsche and last night I watched a video by The School of Life which summarized his writings. This was of great help to me, as working my way through “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” is slow going.
If I understand Nietzsche’s philosophy correctly it says our purpose is to struggle to actualize our will and that this may involve pain. Yet I believe the pain/pleasure dichotomy evolved in our animal ancestors simply so that a self replicating molecule would be copied into the future.
As we embrace technology and move past our primitive hardwiring, I wonder: Must we continue to endure physical or psychological pain?