Life is a challenge. Living life, I mean. Going through it like a media-addicted zombie with a five-second attention span is not a challenge. It comes naturally, so to speak… But it’s not, of course, natural. On the contrary. Why then is it so difficult for many of us, including me, to focus on what is important to us? To live the life we dream of? Well, I think it is like this, because life gives us challenges in order to evolve. Without crisis, no growth is possible. The flowerbud is hardest just before it opens, night is darkest before the dawn.
So life in it’s unrelenting drive towards growing order and complexity, seeks the boundaries of what is known, and what is known is comfortable. So as human beings, having an arguably special place within the ecosystem of the Earth, we are forced to the edges of our comfort zone and this is, well, uncomfortable. Our self-developed technology is showing us, teaching us if you will, that abundance is there for the taking, right within reach of all of us. What do we do? We cling to what we know and what we know is scarcity and the emphasis this puts on greed, selfishness and individuality.
What does it ask from us to overcome this crisis? Exactly the opposites: the acknowledgment of abundance would come with generosity, compassion and collective consciousness. It is what we all long for, every living heart yearns for these things, yet our conditioned ego, superego and id try to keep us away from these things, because it is unknown territory and they are incapable of imagining anything good coming from the unknown. It is their task to function like that, but we have given them too much power.
On top of that, the logic and reason they claim to uphold, have been hijacked by an outdated worldview, insisting on a universe deprived of meaning, on a material-reductionism that justifies fighting, deception and greed. Science has proven beyond any reasonable doubt many things that contradict this longstanding paradigm, but society takes a long time to accept anything that goes against the grain of the Descartian worldview of seperation of mind and body. And it is logical and even meaningful that it is this way. Nietzsche called it the Will to Ignorance, a contra-drive against evolution of complexity and growth.
According to Nietzsche, too much truth would simply kill us. As a society and as individuals we can only take in truth with increments. So developments that touch the foundations of a system will take a longer time to be accepted and integrated than superficial discoveries or inventions. Seems pretty logical to me. But it does present us with the situation we are in now: one of existential crisis on all levels, be they personal or global.
Lately, I’ve come to appreciate this Will to Ignorance as a neccesary part of life. It makes all the bad stuff seem less bad, more as an integral part of all that is going on and this view relaxes me. Sure, suffering is still suffering, but it is all relative. Life is just a ride, a smoking, short-lived comedian once said and that is exactly right.
So I’ve been practising. Practising letting go, living in the moment, following the heart, being generous and all the things I think belong to my highest self, or my deepest self. How? I will put my recommended list of practise in my next post. I hope it will do for you what it is doing for me!