Why am I describing one of the most popular shows ever as “hidden”? People love and adore the show but how many can really pinpoint what exactly do they like about it? They like Aang but what makes Aang likeble or what makes the Ba Sing Se episodes so memorable? Many fans watched the series as kids when their minds were still relatively pure and more “silent” which allowed the show’s message to reach and touch their hearts. Few years later came “Legend of Korra” which continued the story while using the same formula with slighly more matured themes and yet a lot of people didn’t like it. Why is that? The upper mentioned kids became adults. The brain got involved and what is the number 1 enemy of the brain – not knowing how something works. Usually with the increasing reliance on our thoughts comes a decreasing faith in everything else. If we love something than the brain(# the Ego) needs to understand why! Without the required life experience and with the Western filter being “On”, its pretty difficult to spot and understand many of the Last Airbender messages. The mind is unable to “trace” your love towards Aang to his growt by overcoming fear, change and shame or to his connection with the world by not dividing people/nations when everyone around him did it. All that is lost and the only think that the mind can deliver as an answer .. you “simply” like Aang. The unknown but full love that kids felt was replaced with a nostalgic love, a memory that the mind connected to Aang and the series. When Korra came out, people didn’t care to notice that all those foundations that made the Last Airbender were still there. The only think that mattered was that Aang wasn’t. Its perfectly alright not to “like” a show for your personal reasons but to me its kind of ironic people claiming that Aang was better, stronger, smarter than Korra when his whole story ark was centered around not to view the world in such manner. There is even a hour and half video on You Tube named “The legend of Korra is garbage and here’s why” which is viewed 5 mln times.
Today I was watching some videos about Ali and it got me thinking that at this point we view him more as an “idea” than an actual someone that lived a colorful life full of experience. He is perceived as symbol for many concepts which ultimately are formed from everyone BUT Ali. This way, we unconsciously shift the weight from his “unprejudiced” life towards our selfish “thoughts”. Just like kissing someone that we love is compared to the memory of kissing someone that we loved. The more apart in time are the two, the more the importance is shifted from “we are one with the Universe” towards the wishful thought for us to experience it again.
The moment we hear Ali’s name, is the moment our mind equals it to “greatness” and we naturally want to associate ourselfs with that WORD. We stop being neutral, ignore the things that do not fit our “needs” and search to “borrow” joy from Muhhamad’s life. The difference is that Ali saw, touched, heard, felt and smelled his life experience while we can only receive the light version, a compressed idea which could be translated only by ” the Mind “. In a way Balance = Happiness because we experience joy WHILE all of our senses are involved in that particular moment that provides us pleasure. “The Mind” on its own doesn’t have the capability to create joy because the later is not meant to be created by the brain alone. The closest it can get is to create an idea. That way, the mind feels productive and satisfied with its work. BUT the joy for the mind doesn’t equal with the joy for you as an actual human being that exist in this Reality. This is why for us its much easier to create plans to change our lifes “starting tomorrow” than actually following up on them with actions. We crown “the Mind” as the king which neglects all the remaining senses.
Imagine someone: that had 3 different religions, 4 different marriages with few “unofficial” children outside them, being racist while trying to fight racism, never admiting losses, always selling himself as better than you, constanly feeling “oppresed”, likely being a victim of “brainwashing”. Don’t perceive the mentioned as “good” or “bad” things but more so as a coin flip. Following it’s rules, the Universe made it sure that “head” and “tails” have equal chance to happen. It doesn’t matter if in a short period of time one happened more often than the other because it will balance itself out eventually. As far as I can tell, Ali went through his life never knowing that there is an other side of the coin. He was always “head first”, relying on his charisma. That made him unbalanced and in my experience you can’t be trully connected with the rest of world, to experience at its fullest. On the surface, Ali sold the idea that he is special, better than the rest but deep down he constanly tried to “prove” himself to everyone which is soo contradicting that it could create a black hole in your soul. Ali was famous and successful but do we give him as an example of how to live? We as people way to often view the life of others, trying to fill some emptiness inside us. IMO there are benefits from using the experience of someone else, but to do so we need to minimize the “labels” as much as possible. If we view Ali’s life just as a successful and motivational story, we cut it with a scalpel to fit inside those words.
What do you see on the picture above? A “black dot”, will be the most common answer. Immediately our brain informs us that the “black” is something of notice, an object of interest that is worth pointing out. However did you spot the “white” that surrounds the dot? Likely your brain labelled it as “nothing”, an empty field. It was trained to do so. Can there be a black dot without the white field that surrounds it? Now that I have pointed it out, you probably consciously rose above the fixed thinking and saw the obvious – the “wholeness” of the picture was cut in half by your mind. This is something necessary for us not to overload and go crazy BUT we should be consciously aware of this “cropping” technique. We should keep it in check, provide it with a healthy doubt and ensure that the limit of our horizon never remains the same. Life’s complexity is beyond us BUT our brains will never admit it. Knowledge is their only fuel. They will cut the World as much as possible, put it in frames and stubbornly claim “this is Life”. Is it though?
Life is simple. Life is complex. Both are .. true BUT we tend to give the later a lot more weight thus our inner balance gets lost. It becomes harder to enjoy the “smaller” things – a tree, a bird, the weather, people around us. In order for us to be happy, things need to be ambitious, “bigger”, “prettier” and far away in the future while the years until then become just a mandatory inconvenience. All of that just to catch an idea. Does person “A” have the ability to experience more happiness than person “B”?! Society says “Yes”, the Universe says “No”! We are made even, no matter of social rank, love status or wealthiness – the amount of happiness that each of us is capable to experience its even, 10/10. A person could be enjoying his simple meal or could be misserable on a table full of food. What makes the difference? The way that we view the Present Moment. And what derails us from the capability of enjoying the later – the Mind and its constant bombardment of thoughts towards us.
Often you hear people saying something along the lines “You create your happiness, its mostly a mather of perspective”. Those words have merit, we often agree with them and yet their meaning doesn’t “reach us” deep down inside and we feel miserable. In a way that comes from the fact that we put society and its goals “for living and success” above Life and its “lack” of goals.
A simple example, from Society’s perspective your purpose is to climb the social ladder and have some kind of value in order for you to “fit in”. When you do not, Society finds a way to implant guilt inside you and make you feel distant and aliеnated until you make the necessary changes. You need to be like someone else! There is “right” and “wrong” for everything – beauty, behavior, thinking. From Life’s perspective your goal is to simply exist and be alive. You could be the “strong” lion or the weak “prey”, you could be the great inventor that helps human kind or some “low” life criminal that only destroys. Life doesn’t judge you because both ends of the Spectrum are needed for it to be real and sensible. You need to be YOU and only you because you are unique and bring something new. See the difference? Sometimes goals concur in both Life and Society, for example we need to learn to be adaptable. But is that enough to put your happiness into the hands of the lower tier, subjective creation of the human mind? Instead of Life, the thing that created both us and Society?
Society’s come and go, 200 years ago it was shameful just to see a women’s hand without a glove in public, today you could see a naked one around the corner and don’t bat an eye. How many 19th century women lost “their” path because of something so funny and stupid when you looked it from the 21th century eyes. Like the great Bruce Lee has said, you need to honestly express yourself at any given moment and by honest … without the confused mind sticking random thoughts inside your head. Sometimes you would fit in, sometimes you be an outsider and sometimes you would outstrip Society. In either case, you should be You and not someone else’s tamplate. By accepting that you are not the random strong and powerful image(the Alpha, the leader, the rich, the beautiful), it doesn’t mean that you are closing the door to be one. It only means that no mather what happens, you wont feel bad and unworthy, you would honestly experience your Life for what it is. Can you ask for more than that?
Whats the common between most gurues, geniues and people with the ability to “understand” life and spot its patterns. They can help anyone but themselfs. They could give tips for happiness but often end up being loners. Its like the Universe tells them “Fuck you, by tring to cheat and “know” things” your punnisment – not being able to experience life. To know the game means not being able to play it.
Ignorance is a bliss. I am not sure that you could find a more truer statement than this. Its not about being stupid or smart. Its about letting go of control and trust the game/the universe. You could still receive all that knowledge – not with your brain but with your gut. Its like accepting that you are in a river and trusting its flow. Not trying to use your mind to create a boat, to reach the shore or to change the direction. Your ability to connect to life decrease with the increase usage of the brain. Basically trading experience for analytical view of the world. I dont want to be that person. I am 29 and I am not happy with my life. Whats the point?! Its like knowing the ending of the movie that would come out in a year? I dont want to be a loner. I want to fell in love, create a family and experience it in the best possible way. Right now, I am with one foot a piece on the ground and in the clouds. I sure hope that there is still chance for me to neglect the brain and its thinking. I would “try” to return to my flow, wish me luck 🙂
A lot of people, including me, focus on the things that they “lack” or they dont possess. Often those are reasons that disturb our inner peace/harmony and derails us from our paths. Love, money, success, fame, respect, friends. The things that we all want! But what exactly gives them value? The probability of not having them! The gap between “I dont have” and “I have” its the thing that provides pleasure and quality. Once we realize that on a deeper level, our fears lose ground and even evaporate. Being lonely, its what makes “love” possible. They cant exist without each other. You could apply this logic for almost everything. For example, most people dont aknowledge their hearing because its considered as something “given”. But if they lose it for some reason, they immediately would realize its value. Life is not about one thing, one situation, one month, one person or one love … its about the wide variation of choices. About moving on and not being stagnant. So the next time when we dont “have” something, instead of being disappointed and losing our balance, we could see it as a potential to create a gap, to create value. As the great Alan Watts said “Life its like a dance. Its not about reaching from point “a” to point “b”. Its about experiencing the distance between them.”
Imagine “Life” being a big, white, empty canvas. Each of us resembles a paint brush. By that, we are meant to leave a mark. It could be a gigantic one or a slim dot, both hold the same value. Imagine “Mona Lisa” without the small dots that filled her eyes?! There is no “right” or “wrong” collor. “Better” or “Worse”. “Good” or “Evil”. Each collor it’s there to be used – sometimes more often, sometimes less. Sometimes with a purpose, sometimes without. Its impossible to understand the “bigger” picture that we, as a unit, draw. So why worry about it? Thousands of brushes could be drawing the same things and you could be that ONE, that gives a new direction. Never forget that but also never grasp on the idea. Just draw whatever comes from inside you – it would never be a mistake.
Often enough we reach a point in life at which we feel “unhappy”. We need some kind ofd new direction and if we are unable to find it on our own, we seek advice from the outside. These days you could meet a motivational speaker at every corner and there are plenty of speeches and books out there to inspire you. I have been there, at times you really feel that they have a positive effect on you. But how long does it last? After a reasonable time, can you continue on your own without feeling the need to listen to them anymore? Because if you could not, in a way that becomes a religion. You receive instructions and try to obey them strictly in order for you to reach a steady “happiness”. Your spontaneous nature is reduced to minimum because you trust someone else more than yourself. The “fear” of making the wrong decision becomes real.
Motivational speakers take your Ego and flip it into the other direction. You go to them with a “low confidence” Ego and they start changing it into a “high confidence” Ego. “You could be better” – thats the foundation that they install. A foundation that heavily implies that there is something wrong with you! This idea should fuel your journey to happiness – that you are never good enough! Really?! If you choose to accept it than nothing would ever satisfy you in a full and real way. There would be always a next goal and the feel of need to chase it. It wont be a choise, it would be an obligation. Take for example Cristiano Ronaldo. He has reach every possible peak that a human being could dream to achieve and yet he always seems somehow discontented. He constanly seeks validations from other people. Why is that? Because of the idea “I want to be the best” – a “High confidence” Ego. There is one other human being in history that is considered “better” than him and he cant accept it, to a degree that makes him look bitter. He has “everything” and yet its never enough.
Just because you lost your path and made decisions that you are not happy with, doesnt make you broken or unworthy. Most of that comes from “false” ideas of Yourself. They are implanted from others (close people) and Society and they guided your life to the point of unhappiness. Motivational speakers .. not all but a lot of them, plant another “false” idea – that you should be the alfa omega wolf, the leader of the pack, that you should always be on watch and prove youself to others so that they cant be better than you and so on. Imagine this – we have a small group of 100 people. They were inspired from the same source that they should become “the best”. If everyone accepts the idea that means that only ONE of them would actually achieve it, only one of them would be happy to reach his goal. You could make an argument that the top 10 would still be on a high confidence because they see the peak and they could somehow reach it … but what about the other 90 that need to follow a goal that could be never achieved?! How is that productive?
To me, happiness is accepting yourself! You could be 140kg, “fat” and “ugly” with nobody wanting to do anything with you BUT .. you should accept it. It doesnt mean that you couldnt lose weight, find your people and change your life for good. You could still want those things but not on the account of “disliking” yourself. Imagine the journey from fat John Doe to fit John Doe. It could take 365 days – in 364 of those you dont want to be into your own skin and then bum, you hit the switch and suddenly you should accept yourself? Can you smoke cigarettes for 364 days and suddenly stop at day 365? You could but that wont come natural to you. And smoking is something “obvious”. The idea that we dont like ourselfs is deeply imprinted inside our subconscious. We dont see it like a pack of cigarettes so likely you dont know that it even exist, not to mention overcoming it. You are who you are at any given moment, if you accept yourself at your lowest point – that feel that you are a foreigner in your own skin, would go away. You are perfect!
A complaint often enough, its a “cheap”(easy) stand that the Ego tooks seeking validation while knowing that other people would likely agree with it. “The goverment is bla,bla”, “The weather is too hot/cold”, “That person didnt act correctly”, “I am so unlucky because of this, this and this” and so on. Basically by complaining, the Ego puts itself into a position of being “Right” and with that, it lives on via the confirmation from other people. “Yeah, John Doe is right and he has a point”. The better effect comes with someone nodding around and agreeing but if necessary, a “lonely” person could just “mumble” under their nose. Even if the complaint has some merit, I would ask you this: Why would you voluntary repeat something that brings you down? Would you say something ala “I am such a loser, I am so unlucky”?, If you had control over it … you would not! This is “the Ego” repeating one thing, as much as it can, in order for you to accept it and believe that its actually coming from you! Thus the Ego lives through you! Many times I have seen “unlucky” people finding and fueling each other with sad stories while receiving pleasure for meeting someone with a similar fate. Not every “sad” story comes from the Ego, some times people just want to share their experience. What makes it an ego driven: its the motivation behind it, the frequency of doing it and the feeling of satisfaction that comes with finding a public for the story.
How to stop? Life its imperfect and because of that, its possible and real. The mind brings on the “Self” concepts like “good” and “bad”. If we had control, we would likely choose only “good” things to happen to us and none of the “bad”. We would never lose anyone, would always be successful and so on. At the beginning this would bring enough pleasure for us to be happy BUT soon that would change. Everything ends the same way each time, you receiving the thing you want! Love and Success would lose their weight because of the lack of risk of not having them. Life simply becomes dull! Realize the idea that “Life” just happens.That you could never really brand something as “good” or “bad” because you could never trully know its effect on you. For example, a parent passes away. You were very close and thus brand it as “bad” thing. But what if he stayed alive for twenty more years, you took care for him for that period and suddenly Life passed you by. Which is better? You could never possibly know, so why live with the deception that you could?