Let’s cut to the chase.
Every human runs on various degrees of depressive states, all of which are well represented in language: depression, melancholy, sadness, despondency, desolation, misery… and there seems to be no end in sight. It is not the well-recorded clinical depression of medical manuals when one sees no reason to get out of bed each day, no. It is a state much deeper to the essence of us as species.
I thought… perhaps the challenges of survival are to blame? I tried to imagine what would happen if existential challenges were completely removed from every human’s path and saw the same: a vague state of depression, forever.
Immortality, good looks and great physical health, no competition for material resources – do NOT remove this. Why do I say that? It feels very certain, but why? So I go back to the time of being a toddler when everything was still perceived as beauty, a wonderous amazing happening.. and see that we ALL get damaged from that point on, and the damage is absolutely irreversible. Once the ability to think about things objectively is acquired – it is a downward spiral. When at the age of two I saw those spectacular fields of giant daisies somewhere in the Caucuses – it was pure and simple gladness felt literally in physical terms. I DIDN’T KNOW what the world was. I DIDN’T KNOW what was to come. I was a puppy: happy, innocent, UNAWARE.
True Awareness comes with life experience, and human experience is simply not happy. I am not talking about AN experience as in ‘an event in one’s life’; some of those are happy in the moment, some are unhappy. I am talking about the state of having experienced many events, a cumulative result of having lived a life. Looking back… most were miserable or neutral, and the moments of true happiness – fleeting and rare. The direct perception of the giant daisy field was replaced by the thinking capacity about the giant daisy field, the thinking capacity always evaluates based on facts, and the fact is… human life is fraught with unhappy events.
Why so? The chain of perpetual human abuse and the subsequent actions of payback time (think of all those school assassins as an example) cannot adequately explain the pervasive nature of human misery. ‘Oh, he was abused as a child and so..’. I met people who had genuinely easy lives, without any major drama, and who still harbour the same internal discontent, aka depressive internal states. WHY?? I am on to something here, but seeing it clearly escapes me right now. Is it that the capacity for unhappiness is simply inbuilt into the human psyche in the same way the look of cellulitis on a woman’s thighs is just a natural result of how fat granulates under the skin, and nothing can be done about it?
OK. Let’s consider the biggest fear of most humans – the fear of death. Consider that Death has been conquered (which will happen at some point in the future). No more dying. All live forever, for as long as they so desire. Would that be enough? And I see clearly that the answer is ‘No’. Lack of material struggle has to be part of it, or else what is the point: living forever in struggle?
OK then.. remove the survival struggle too.. what’s left? And when I visualise this extended forever mode of existence, surprisingly it fills me with boredom. Fucking BOREDOM!.
Why? How can it be so? Wouldn’t it be fantastic to try everything there is to try, to learn everything there is to learn, to experience absolutely all available to us as humans? Learn the skills one previously had no time to learn, play both a CEO of a multinational and a beggar in the street, try every kind of food, travel every destination on Earth and beyond, create every kind of art and machinery, fall in love with every kind of human, read every book and make every kind of object with your own hands…. Why doesn’t any of this feel enticing?
Natural? A state of discontent is NATURAL?? Wow. If so – the consequences are pretty devastating. I would love to say it is just my individual make up, the way I was created, the one and only freak in this world. But I look around and see the same in the overwhelming majority of humans, those in a coma state aside. Must be natural then, no? This natural state that made UG Krishnamurti an irritable ranting lunatic, together with Ramana’s grumpy insults at his ashram workers and refusal to communicate, together with Jed McKenna’s experiential depression and overall disagreement with all and sundry, together with Nisargadatta’s raging impatience towards nonsense coming from humans?
And here we are.. I come back to the simplest form. The human Mind is never satisfied, CANNOT be satisfied. For all its seeing, for all its awareness, no matter how penetrating – it kills its bearer, but the bearer can never leave it behind. It is part of the deal of being human: the curse of being self aware, and of being aware at large. Anyone who writes, speaks otherwise, who tries to persuade you of living in everlasting peace – does not tell you about their intimate moments of being one to one with own Mind, and I have reasons to believe that if they were totally honest with themselves and with you – they would say exactly the same.
While I can concentrate on only what is unfolding in my immediate surroundings, happily deal with life’s events without freaking out – I am UNABLE to say ‘good bye’ to being human, with all of the human condition pitfalls. Unable. This is a fact of reality. I am unable to be a dog, unable to become a vegetable, unable to stop being aware of own existence and the world.
And? Or? So you are writing about your joyful existence, and the promise of eternal happiness collects you admirers? You are simply bullshitting, whoever you are. I once said to Kenneth something on the lines of ‘We are all inventing things to do, places to visit, events to attend, books to write, the reasons to keep going, constantly on the run to stave off the inherent internal emptiness’. That McKenna’s ‘afloat in a boundless sea’. People keep themselves busy, because if they stop – they will come face to face with own Awareness.
No human being lives in ‘peace that passeth all understanding’, no matter how much aware they are. Being highly aware gives easy tools of dealing with life’s events, yes. It frees one from reactivity and emotionalism, yes. It reduces the number of triggers, often to the very basics of simple physiological functions, yes. But in no way does it free you from being Awareness Nature Freak. Both ignorant and self realised hail from the same human stock. They may experience things differently and be triggered by entirely different things, but NEITHER are free.
Awareness ITSELF as a chance development in human species is the man’s biggest inescapable enemy.
I am also aware that if a hundred thousand read what I have written above – there may be only one or two who will comprehend the REAL terms of the deal, because they went there themselves and know the score. One or two, that’s all. The rest will go into a defensive mode, a selling mode, a ‘let’s compare the dicks’ mode, an ‘ad hominem’ mode and all other strategies humans deploy in order not to see the obvious. ‘It’s YOUR story. MY story is different’ they would say. Whatever.. Are you in a state of continuous abiding contentment? REALLY?
The saying ‘Ignorance is bliss’ exists for a reason, and it is not the ignorance of not knowing the facts of life.. oh no. I am talking about the pure, unadulterated ignorance of a dog which we as humans will never obtain. And even the ignorance of a dog is not as ignorant as we humans would like to think.
Sounds depressing? That’s because it is. Am I content in this? Yes. Weird, isn’t it, this constant dance with Futility: one moves closer to the edge of existence, looks over and then slowly and carefully backs away. I had one in two hundred million chance of being born and want the opportunity no matter what.
No. Matter. What.