I’ve just had a thought I don’t want to let go of just yet… Starting the morning off right, with coffee in one hand and teachings from Paramahansa Yogananda in the other (I have subscribed to the self-realization fellowship’s series of teachings on meditation for one year), I’ve had some more insight as to why people (and primarily westerners) have difficulties with the notion of happiness. Paramahansa says that the soul is like a wave in the ocean of spirit—a wave is part of the ocean, but it is not the ocean itself. Westerners are given the freedom to act as something similar to a ‘god’ in their own lives. We study what we want (for the most part), we eat what we want, marry who we want, create what we want, we have facebook pages for all of our followers and cyberspaces dedicated in reverence to our image (perhaps like this blog, for example)… What is so interesting about this phenomenon is not our instant acceptance of these roles (which I think approach the notion of praying to ‘idols’), but our inability to know what to do with them.
I saw a film recently called Lucy, in which a girl absorbs toxic amounts of a brain-enhancing drug that allows her to access 100% of her mental faculties. Surprisingly well-written, her character claims, after this enlightening drug has taken effect, that she used to be so concerned with who she was and what she wanted to be, but that now that she could see clearly, she realized that those were the faults that made her human- that now she was busy experiencing new levels of sensory perception and simply being (translated from Hollywood terms, of course). This preoccupation of ours, our obsession over what to do with our lives and our purpose, is, in my opinion, recognition on our part of that role as master of our own realm, and an understanding of the importance of the force/person/mindset driving this boat we are in. Atheists and believers alike acknowledge this important gift, but ironically, none among us is capable of playing that role completely alone. We cannot drive by ourselves without obsessing, second-guessing, and inflicting all of the negative human emotions that are sparked by our uncertainty onto our lives and our attitudes. Letting go is not merely an exercise that yogis or therapists talk about in books—it is the act of renouncing the intoxicating control that we hold over our lives on a daily basis. #foodforthought#