Apologies for the long delay – a lot of growth has been going on behind the curtains 🙂
Now we are getting onto the meaty end of the stick.
If you have followed the discussion so far in the previous posts, you will have seen quite clearly how deep rooted our individual fear is and the lengths we will go to to avoid feeling the fear, or even acknowledging it’s existence.
We have looked at the crisis of our generation, which surrounds us in our day to day life and is a global phenomenon. We have scratched below the surface of our own individual psychology to unearth the fear that lies within us, the collective of which plays out a harrowing scenario on a global socio-economic level. We have tried to understand why we feel this fear, where it comes from in order to understand whether or not there is a solution to this problem. For, if there is no solution, our ultimate doom is a certainty.
In order to put all this into context, it simply means the following:
Our current human crisis is a crisis of our collective fear.
This collective fear is an expression of the sum total of our individual fear.
The root cause of the core fear (our primal fear) is that each individual feels like they are not enough, hence they have to compete for survival on this planet
Our competition (with each other, between tribes and countries and ideologies) results in an aggravated state of mind whereby we “protect” what is ours – on an individual and societal level.
This drive towards protection can easily get out of control. It is incepted in fear, and hence adding more fear into the equation results in additional protection – it gets out of hand quite easily.
By this time, we are banning certain faiths from our borders, going out to other countries to bomb them for being different from us and stockpiling our own wealth and weaponry. All because we are frightened of what is “not us” – of their “otherness”.
I’m going to make a bold and outrageous claim:
FEAR IS THE SOURCE OF ALL HUMAN DISSATISFACTION, THE CAUSE OF ALL VIOLENCE AND THE FORCE BEHIND OUR HUMAN DYSFUNCTION.
Think about it for a moment. What would happen if we lived in a World without fear?
There would be no dissatisfaction. What we had would be enough. We would feel abundant because we would not be focused on what we don’t have. We would not compare ourselves with others incessantly – in effect, we would be satisfied with who we were and what we had.
There would be no theft. If I have enough, or more correctly, feel I have enough, then there is no need to take (forcibly or otherwise) from another. Not only would there be no theft, there would be no strife.
We would not fear the unknown, or what we today consider “the other”. Once this “otherness” disappears, not only do all wars and violence disappear with it, we enter an age of total peace. Peace begins within each of us as individuals. Asking for an external peace whilst we are still fighting inner demons is like asking a homocidal maniac to look after our children.
Now before you start accusing me of harbouring fantasies of a Utopian future for humanity let me just qualify the above with – I don’t think it’s ever going to happen!
Are we all ever going to come to an age of brotherhood ( and sisterhood)? Of kinship and harmony? Of unconditional love and peace?
The truth of the matter is that, while we exist as humans on a “human plane”, we will have human tendencies. Our journey of evolution to be beyond human or superhuman is estimated to be of the order of many hundreds of thousands of years.
This timeframe is too long for us to sustain our self-destructive habits and still survive as a species – although this is only my opinion.
I think collectively we are screwed.
However, the point of the analysis and identification of fear is that, as individuals, our only choice is to evolve ourselves – individually.
After all, wouldn’t it be a better life for you if you were free from obsessive fear? How would it be for you if you could feel fulfilled, most of the time? How much richer would your life be if you had enduring peace of mind, serenity and feelings of warm security?
Do you want to live free of fear?
Just like the effect of throwing small pebble in a pond ripples out in concentric waves, the change of every individual has a spreads outwards and effects changes in their environment and the people they interact with. We can only ever really change ourselves, that is all we have control over. However, if enough of us changed ourselves, then the ripple effect could have far reaching consequences. Perhaps global? Perhaps even Universal?
My life has become this. The purpose of my existence is to realise the truth of existence, and in doing so hopefully have a positive effect on the World. Even if this effect is infinitesimally small, it is enough for me to have expressed my purpose to the World.
Are you ready for this change? Are you willing to step up and transform into the next, better version of yourself? Are you able to visualise the grandest vision of yourself, free of fear and the shackles of ordinary existence?
Then keep reading, because we are going to go on a wonderful journey together. A journey from where you are now to your true self.
In the last post, we looked within to try and get an idea of a root cause for our individual madness. We looked at how our individual search for something “out there” led to a collective, societal blind march towards progress. And we know full well that by marching along blindly we are heading towards an ultimate destruction.
When we, as individuals, understand that we need to stop this insanity, we are faced with a question.
“How exactly can I stop humanity from destroying itself, including me and what I love?”
We realise that there is something we need to do, and our first reaction is by being driven into action.
“Let’s get out there and protest and become environmentally conscious and recycle and educate for change and chain ourselves to trees and stop whaling and…and…and…!!!!”
We want to make yet another change to the World, and make society see things the way we do because, of course, the way we see things is right (we believe).
And let’s say, hypothetically, that we succeed. We are able to indoctrinate everyone on this planet with a new way of living in which we do not harm the planet, live in a sustainable way, exist within a state of World peace and bring about a kinship of humankind. What if life on Earth became like the John Lennon song “Imagine”, whereby we created a utopic heaven upon Earth?
Great isn’t it? Enjoy that thought for a moment.
But then what?
Here comes the issue – we are still carrying the seed within us that led to the crisis in the first place. Hence that seed will once again grow into the monster that we initially created. Our utopia will very shortly once more start to turn into hell.
Someone will become jealous of what another has and start to covet it, and will chase it. Disagreements will begin, they may divide into factions that turn against each other. Politics will come forth, manipulative people will once more be able to take advantage of the situation to run their agenda over others.
Pretty soon, you and your like-minded, well intentioned friends will be marginalised. Fear and greed will once more rule the World.
Welcome to heaven – it only exists in our minds!
You can’t keep dancing with the devil and ask why you’re still in hell.
As long as we still carry our unconscious fear around with us, the outer circumstances will always reflect that inner state of confusion, chaos, separation and greed. The outer is only but a reflection of the inner.
We are not ready for heaven yet. If we were, we would already be in it.
So if we really want to make any significant and lasting change in this World, we need to start with inner change; with inner transformation at an individual level.
There is NO OTHER WAY.
That root cause of fear inside us all, the belief that states “I am not enough”, causes us to tear through life blindly forever searching for something to fill the vacuum that this belief creates.
We move from one goal to the next, from one desire to the next, snatching the few moments of satisfaction that we can whenever one of our needs or wants is fulfilled.
But really, this is to no avail. We shall be chasing our tails into our graves. The end result is the end.
We feel we can answer the question “Why am I not enough?” with a constant drive for more and more, for progress on progress, for something else out there which will be “enough”.
Something inside us, a small, nearly silent voice that sometimes whispers in our heads, knows the truth that we are desperate to ignore.
It knows that enough is never enough.
Now this enquiry leaves us facing a dead end. We know we are not going to get answers from looking at the outside World, nor from chasing it’s bounties. We realise that making others change is futile, unless we first transform ourselves into that which we need to be.
We are certain that we need to be free of the fear that cripples our society, and that the spawn of this fear lives inside each one of us as a primal fear, and unconsciously directs our thoughts and actions.
But how do we start, and what do we do? How can we be free of fear?
The first thing to look into is what fear is. We all know the feeling of fear, we know what it feels like to be scared, or even terrified. We know that fear manifests in fearful, negative thinking, a tightness and tense feeling in the body, the initiation of our biological fight or flight response and a whole host of other things.
Fear is designed to protect us. Our ancestors were extremely fearful, after all they lived half-naked and unprotected in forests as the potential prey of a host of predators that they shared the land with. Fear is hard-wired into our make up, to protect us and keep us safe. We are always on the lookout for what could harm us and our families, and devise ways and means to keep us safe. Survival is our number one instinct and the first priority.
However, in this day and age, we don’t need to be so fearful all the time. We can spend a vast majority of our lives in relative safety, and our lives are immeasurably safer than our ancestor’s lives were. But because we are hard-wired for this fear, because it is automatic and because we have a biological bias to be fearful, we tend to carry fear with us much more than we need.
The slightest thing going wrong can trigger our fear and cause us to spiral out of control with imaginary worst-case scenarios which breed the associated feelings of tension and stress.
Our reaction is, more often than not, hugely out of proportion to the perceived danger. We could be feeling the same amount of stress about our Boss finding out that we have not made a deadline as our ancestors would have felt being trapped in a tree for the night while a predatory animal paced the ground underneath waiting for them to fall.
As a society of out and out over thinkers, we create an inordinate amount of fear in our lives through imaginary scenarios, and then live as slaves to this fear.
Fear, in itself, has no reality outside the mind. Most of our fears are imagined.
We are so busy living our lives as innocent victims to these secondary fears, that we do not discern the need to look into the truth behind our primal fear.
Why am I not enough? Or rather, why do I feel or believe that I am not enough?
Our primal fear causes our minds to spew out countless other fears with which to keep ourselves busy. This is all illusory. It is not real. Our actions (and hence our lives) are based upon our reliance that the fears we are driven by are real. They are not. They are all children of a discomfort in our minds which causes us to create a tornado of multiple fears from the primal fear and sweeps us into a life of searching for satisfaction from the outside World.
If we can get some clarity for a few minutes, and put aside all our multiple fears. Let’s focus on the primal fear and not get distracted by anything else.
The mind may try to bait us to follow it into other avenues of thought, other fearful roads. But if we can stay focused, the next layer of the mystery unfurls itself.
It takes a level of awareness to receive the next key to the mystery of existence. This may not appear as words, it is often a feeling – an intuition. A knowing.
“I am not enough because I am separate”
You see, we have this belief that we are separate from existence. That existence is out there, and that we are experiencing it from “in here”. And this is quite verifiable as a point of view. I can see you “out there”, and I hear you “in here”. I am separate from you. I am separate from the World. I am a separate entity that is here on this Earth, spinning somewhere in the Universe. And as a separate entity, I am vulnerable.
So how do I make myself stronger?
I need to feel secure. And I can only get things from “out there” to add to myself to make me feel less vulnerable.
I need more things, I need more security, I need a roof over my head, no a house, no a big mansion. I need things in my life to make me feel safe and to make me feel good.
We dupe ourselves into joining the rat race and becoming part of the juggernaut we have created.
And don’t think there are those who are immune to this fear. The people who go after the most, who want the most power and influence and control, are the ones who are most in denial. They are the ones who are the most attached to the illusion and do not want to consider any alternate. The people in power are the ones who benefit the most from the state of affairs on our planet, it is in their interest to keep the illusion alive at any cost. They are the most driven by this unconscious fear, and would even kill to keep it alive.
The lunatics are running the asylum.
By now, we all see the far reaching consequences of believing our first primal fear. What we need to know and understand is whether this fear really is true, and why we believe it. It seems to be true, as we all seem separate. But if it is true, then there is no hope for us, because we will drive ourselves to extinction.
Something is not right, and something needs to be done.
We will dive into this in the next post. For now, some “food for thought“.
There is restlessness, a certain uneasiness about being human. It is there, just under the surface, bubbling away.
We don’t like the feel of it. There is a discomfort. Something is amiss.
We know it is there, but we choose to ignore it. In fact, we have created endless varieties of entertainment for our minds just to ensure we don’t need to sit with it. More than anything else, we create “pastimes” in order to while away the hours in any pursuit possible, even though we know that time is the most precious commodity of all.
We don’t want to be aware of this feeling. It is almost an emptiness that we want to fill with….with…whatever we can get our hands on to fill it with.
Can you feel this discomfort? Become aware of it for a moment. Just let it come to the surface as you read this and give it your gentle attention. Close your eyes and look within.
You will notice the feeling and then immediately after the mind wants to snap shut against it. Then the mind will throw something into your awareness and you will soon be following the meandering mind again, having forgotten the feeling you were attempting to become aware of.
The mental response is automatic and is designed to distract our awareness from this feeling. It’s like throwing a chewy toy at a dog, our attention is immediately drawn into the distraction (the chewy toy) and away from what we were bringing into awareness.
And much of what we surround ourselves in life is just this, a bunch of distraction created by our minds which do not like to let us look within. The discomfort we feel is a trigger, which automatically tells our mind to capture our attention and pull us into whatever “story”, we have going on at that time.
But why are we so uncomfortable with actually taking a look within?
What is surprising is that, while we all have this capability to look inside ourselves and to deeply examine our inner World, few of us actually do. We spend our whole lives carrying around our inner self with us at all times, yet we only ever look at our internal make up for a fraction of that time.
This is not accidental. We don’t want to look inside because we have this intuitive knowledge that what resides there is a little bit scary. We easily succumb to the seduction of our minds and the endless distractions that have been created for us upon this World by other minds, so that we can avoid this inner self.
If you are able to bring your attention back to this feeling, and start to look at it deeply over time, and even start to watch as the mind jumps here and there to distract and seduce attention away from the feeling itself, something surprising happens.
We get an answer as to why we don’t want to feel that feeling – because that feeling is fear.
It is not the kind of active, palpitating fear you get from watching a horror movie, but a more subtle underlying fear surrounded by a layer of uneasiness and discomfort – almost as if this feeling has barricaded itself with barbed wire and “Keep Out” signs.
We only know that it is fear when we get past the discomfort, once we pick the lock on the gate and negotiate the minefield of mental distractions.
I call this my primal fear, for it is the fear that defines and allows all other fears in my life to exist. It is heavily guarded so getting there takes some work, but the effort is quite rewarding – this fear protects an ancient secret.
This fear showed me why we as humanity lead the kind of lives we do, why we do not pay as much attention to inner growth and development as we do to outer achievements of materialistic and ego driven goals. It allowed me to see how we create a World where so little thought is given to global harmony, and so much focus is placed on the accumulation of wealth and power.
It is a simple little fear, and I believe majority of us have it and due to our reluctance to face it, we live unfulfilled lives full of sub-conscious desperation. We are caught in a cycle of quenching our desires, and when each is snuffed out it has within it the seed of renewal. We can spend our entire life looking to satiate our needs, only to have new needs crop up as soon as one is satisfied.
This is the cycle of mind, as soon as we get something, we want the next bigger or better version; As soon as we eat a great meal, the seed of hunger for the next is planted; As soon as we achieve something in life (such as in our careers) the next rung of the ladder awaits. In this cycle, our satisfaction always lies in the next step, and when we get to the next step, there is another one waiting.
Like Lemmings we go on following this drive for “outer” success, accomplishment, achievement or satisfaction until death, without realizing that we can never be satisfied in this manner because that satisfaction is always in the future and not here and not now. We fail to realize that nothing we achieve or accomplish or own or conquer can ever give us eternal satisfaction, because we will encounter the desire for the next thing.
Fortunate are those who realize that this manner of living is as foolhardy as trying to still the passage of time, and they get off the Hamster wheel. If they are really lucky, they will even get out of the cage.
The Buddha did this, when he saw clearly beyond doubt that the attachment to desire (or rather mind) kept us in a perpetual state of suffering. The only answer to this is to transcend mind, and it is not a “mental” answer.
For the rest of us, we choose to ignore the signs and carry on, one step after another, following the footsteps of the one in front of us to our impending and inevitable deathbed regrets. One thought after another until we cannot think anymore.
While we are alive, we serve the global agenda which is also driven by the same values of progress, fear and greed and thus we carry on creating the World we see around us as an outer manifestation of our inner drive for the next thing that will satisfy us, which by its very nature will never materialize.
We, therefore, collectively create this World due to a primal fear that we all have inside us – a fear that we do not want to face – a fear that we are in denial of. Our drive for progress, for more development, for more riches, for economic growth – for pretty much everything in the modern World, is a reflection of this primal fear we are trying to avoid.
Those that look at this fear squarely will see the truth of what this fear reveals – for the fear is simply a belief we hold which stops us from resting as we are, and keeps us on the march for more, for the next thing, for tomorrow.
And as a fear, it has only the strength over us that we choose to give it.
As I sit and ask that fear to name itself, to tell me who it is and what it is about, it reveals it’s secret. The answer is simple, but stunning.
It says “I am not enough”.
When I am not enough, nothing can ever be enough – there will always be an endless search for the next dissatisfaction.
The next post will examine how this fear manifests in our lives and what implications come with believing it.
We need to sit back for a moment and actually take a look at the trajectory of our collective society, and the future we are going to create. I can assure you it is not a pleasant one. Our impact upon the planet, upon other creatures, upon the habitat, upon other societies, upon other political systems and anything that we consider to be the “other”, is devastating.
We have witnessed, since the start of the new millennium, a new war that has cost Trillions of dollars, destroyed countless lives, orphaned innumerable children, alienated societies and created more divisive hatred upon this planet than we have ever had before. It really is a sorry state of affairs.
Our motivation for this War is that we are under attack and so must defend ourselves. The enemy is multiple bands of “Terrorists” that can attack anywhere, at any time and we need not only global preparedness for these threats, but to go and exhume these terror groups in their own Countries in order to “convert” them to our belief in “freedom”, else they should be “terminated”.
These are all strong words, but they are descriptive of our state of affairs. When our Leaders decide to launch an offensive against a Country, are we aware of the amount of damage we are going to do to the lives of people? Our attacks are against people; against men, women and children, whom we will label as a Country or a Geographical location or as a group of extremists so that we don’t actually have to face the fact of who we are killing. We don’t want to know or believe that we are actually murdering humans, all we want to know is that we have protected “ourselves” by launching an offensive against “others”.
So we use the “otherness” of our “Leaders” launching an “offensive” against some “others”.
We are in denial of our own actions and motivations. We have to be in this denial, because, if we actually accepted and admitted what we are guilty of, then we couldn’t really live the way we currently are.
And this denial is a sign of our sickness as a society, as a population, as inhabitants of this planet.
In order for us to carry on “protecting” ourselves against this global threat, we need to keep spending countless sums of money to fuel the industries, which keep this war alive.
Just to put some perspective on our global spend on defence. It is US$ 1.78 Trillion annually on a global basis, of which the bulk is spent by the U.S.
If we reprioritized ourselves as humanity, we could end global poverty in 20 years by spending US$ 175 Billion per annum. That is about 10% annually of our global military expenditure.
More expenditure means more industry means more false economic return which leads to more “progress”, more environmental damage and ultimately more unrest on our planet.
It’s a sad state of affairs and points directly to our sickness as a society. We are so driven by fear, that we will allow any atrocity to feel secure. We will allow the expenditure of this sum of money to provide a false sense of security whilst the same money is killing innocent “others” somewhere that is “not here”.
It is of obviously of immense benefit to the World’s economic elite that the War on Terror continue, but what is more subtle, and sinister, is that it is possible that the War on terror may have been “created” in order to drive the World economy in this manner.
There is a large amount of evidence supporting the “collapse” theory of the World Trade Centre. Have terrorists been “created” by our media. Are we being sold a story about Islam being the problem, whereas the problem is really the extreme reaction to our own attacks and violence towards innocent “others” abroad? Is our own Worldview the problem? Are we ourselves victims of a scheme to brainwash us into believing in an enemy that requires us to live in a poverty stricken World so that we are not attacked in our homes by grenade-wielding extremist assassins?
Something is not quite right here.
The U.S defense budget is, of course, the World’s largest corporation and control of the same drives trillions of dollars into the hands of the controlling Elite.
If the Elite gave up 0.5% of their wealth we could end global poverty.
Could it be that we are being fed a life of fear so that a few people, through their control of wealth and corporations, can get richer? Are we being sacrificed at the altar of their greed?
Is this the destiny of humans, to be driven to destruction by by fear and greed? Our buy in to fear is so strong that we will do anything to escape the discomfort of the feeling of fear, and we are prepared to murder to protect ourselves. The greed in this World is so powerful that the ones benefitting from keeping us in fear have a free for all at our expense.
We are all part of the momentum of this enormous machine that we have created, and now we must bear the consequences of it.
Look carefully and see you will see the hands of these two forces at work – fear to keep us pliable and agreeable; greed to drive more and more resources out of the Earth for consumption, so as to stockpile wealth.
These same motivational forces drive our stock market cycle, which goes up during times of greed and down during times of fear.
It is interesting to note that greed is, at its core, a derivative of fear. Greed comes about through the fear of not having enough, or of giving up what one has already acquired in wealth or stature or power. Both fear and greed become self-sustaining monsters when left unchecked, feeding off themselves to greater and greater heights. The results of these forces work through us in our societies and economies, and our current state of affairs is a testament their ability to cause havoc.
The problem with the World, is at its core a problem of fear.
Issues of defense spending, the loss of freedom, terrorism, protection, war and all these are symptomatic of the real root cause, the real sickness in our society – and this is FEAR.
Anything created by man, be it bridges, airplanes, skyscrapers, computers, the Internet, the banking and economic systems, roads, electricity generators and so on, are all created within the mind of a human, or a team of humans. The World as humankind is creating it, is a projection of our thoughts into our society and onto our planet.
The problem with our collective trajectory is that we are not in control of our thoughts. Our minds are riddled with fear. We can then be brainwashed into believing, and therefore succumbing to, an agenda of greed. The start of all if this is in our individual thought, and in order to understand HOW we can change the destiny of humankind upon our Earth, we first have to learn HOW we can change what we are thinking.
We need to fully witness the consequences of our fear, how it projects outwards through actions and to realize, without a shadow of a doubt, that the mechanism of fear is what keeps us on our current trajectory.
It may be difficult to accept that something so tiny as a human quality called fear can snowball into such a catastrophic destiny for humankind. However, if you look into the situation deeply enough, the root causes show through. After all, what is man made on this Earth is, by definition, made by man. And anything that is man made has its root in the human mind.
So to sum up:
We are more driven by fear than we realise and perhaps even care to admit.
It is easy to manipulate a fearful society into allowing “questionable” policies and actions to protect itself.
Through our fear, we are feeding a huge and expensive machine, which is making the rich richer and the poor poorer.
The start of the “War on Terror” was the collapse of the World Trade Centre. This collapse may not really have been caused by Terrorists, but rather in order to introduce a state of panic into the West and allow an economic military agenda to proceed.
The state of the World is a result of our thinking, and our thinking is riddled with fear. In order to try and gain an understanding of a solution, we need a solution to fear – the root cause. All other solutions would treat the symptom, not the cause.
This is where we will pick up next time, through an understanding of the residence of fear inside our minds.
In closing, there is nobody more succinct in his description of the human condition than Jiddu Krishnamurti, and here one of his many pearls of wisdom:
“Our minds are conditioned – that is an obvious fact – conditioned by a particular culture or society, influenced by various impressions, by the strains and stresses of relationships, by economic, climatic, educational factors, by religious conformity and so on. Our minds are trained to accept fear and to escape, if we can, from that fear, never being able to resolve, totally and completely, the whole nature and structure of fear. So our first question is: can the mind, so heavily burdened, resolve completely, not only its conditioning, but also its fears? Because it is fear that makes us accept conditioning.”
One of the biggest questions we can ever ask ourselves is this one. What is it all about? Why are we alive? What is the meaning and purpose of existence?
This is a question central to all human enquiry. We attempt to answer this through the use of whatever tools and knowledge we have at our disposal. Many streams of study have formed historically due to our obsession with this fundamental question – what is the meaning of life, and why do we exist at all?
But can this question actually be answered?
The movie “The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy” illuminated this question through the depiction of a super-computer built to answer it. The computer, known as deep thought, was asked for the answer to “life, the universe and everything”. Deep thought asked for a time period of seven and a half million years to come up with the answer and started the computation.
If you have not watched the movie, have a look at this short clip of the scene in reference. If you have watched the movie, why not watch the clip anyway for pure entertainment value?
After seven and a half million years elapsed, the people approached Deep Thought and asked for the result of the computation – the long awaited and much anticipated answer to the ultimate question. Deep Thought says “I have the answer, but you’re not going to like it”.
The answer was 42.
More significantly, after this, Deep thought states that it is an impossible question to answer, because the question itself is not clear. And in order to come up with the ultimate question, a new super computer would need to be built; One with humans as part of the operating system.
This would mean that Existence itself is the Computer; which is us, and here we are still asking the same questions.
The fundamental problem that comes to light is that we can only ask a question that is limited in its very nature.
To ask the question we need frame it in a communicable manner – which means we need to use language. Language forms a description of what we observe as a “concept”. We use language to describe reality as concepts so that we can discuss, analyse and communicate about the object of our questioning.
The answer we will receive will also be a description; hence it will be a conceptual representation of the actual answer.
In order for the answer to make “sense” to us, it has to fall within our logical framework. We need to understand the reason for why this answer is correct.
This means that we can only really ask questions in a very limited way, about things which can be described accurately using language, and fall within a logical conceptual framework.
Language and concepts allow us to describe the World around us through representing the World within this limitation. The logical mind allows us to put this representation into a coherent framework, which shows an amount of dependability and repeatability.
What this means is that if we observe that the Sun rises in a particular direction (the East), then we logically conclude that we can depend on the rule that the Sun rises in the East, and will continue to do so. We can depend on this, and it will repeat.
We are then able to turn this into a law that is described in a language and falls within a logical framework; “the Sun rises in the East”.
Now this is a very simplified example to show why language and logic cannot really answer the question that is the subject of this chapter.
I’m reminded of the story of a musician who played his new composition for the King. The King thoroughly enjoyed the music and at the end of the performance, asked the musician what the meaning of the composition was. The musician pondered the question for a second, and then, picked up his instrument and played the entire score again.
When we ask a question about the “answer to life, the universe and everything”, we expect “life, the universe and everything” to be logical, and to fall within the descriptive realms of language. We are much like the King asking the musician for the meaning of the composition.
The question cannot be answered within the confines of logic, through the use of a limited vocabulary such as language.
Thus, as Deep thought correctly observes, the question itself does not make sense. The answer “42” is as good as any.
A more appropriate question is to ask why we ask this kind of question in the first place?
Why is it that we need to know what the “answer” to life the Universe and everything is?
And this is why I started to write. I feel that living this life without asking the fundamental questions, and understanding our individual and collective purpose, means living a life devoid of meaning.
However, we need to understand, as we explore such questions, that the basis within which questions can be asked and the answers expressed is, in itself, limited. At best what we will find from our exploration is pointers towards the reality in which we exist, and these pointers, when collated into a whole, have a pattern.
In observing and understanding these patterns we will be able to establish certain “parameters of reality”, and I believe these will be both surprising and profound.
In order to begin, we shall ask questions one “post” at a time and gain an understanding into “life, the universe and everything”. Through this exploration, we shall not avoid the difficult questions, or even the inflammatory ones.
My hope is that a discernment will occur whereby readers can gain a level of clarity about who we are, what we are doing on this Earth and how we can live lives of our own fullest potential.
So what really is the correct answer to “what is the answer to life, the Universe and everything?”. Well, it’s whatever you choose it to be.
After all, we could just be some invisible dude called “God” doodling.
Over the last few decades we have brought the planet to its knees by the exploitation of natural resources without concern for any long-term consequences. Our Earth is suffering like never before but our aggressive drive for “progress” does not let up. We put more and more demands on this planet that gave birth to our kind and the end of the road is inevitable. In our mathematical models for Economics we need to assume an infinite supply, else we cannot model the system. However, in our myopia we behave as if the model is reality and that we can never run out of fossil fuels, that our environment can survive any amount of garbage dumping, that our rivers can be polluted with the waste of countless factories and that the Earth can sustain an infinite number of humans.
The Earth has been around for 4.5 Billion years. That is about a third of the known lifetime of the entire Universe. We, as modern humans are known to have populated the Earth for 200,000 years. The age of “civilization” is 6000 years. We have therefore been on this planet for 0.0044444444 percent of the life of Earth, and civilized for 0.0001333333 percent of the Earth’s life.
These numbers are so small that we can’t understand them. So we need to put them on a scale kind of like what Carl Sagan did. Imagine the Earth’s life is a calendar year. It was born at midnight on January 1st and now it is 11:59:59.99 on December 31st. We are compressing 4.5 Billion real years into one year.
On this scale, every second of “Earth Year” time represents 143 years of real time. Hence, you and I have not even been alive for a second of time in the Year since the Earth was born. Actually not even a half of a second for most of us.
Civilization has, by this scale, been around for 42 seconds of time. The damage we have done to this planet has occurred over the last five hundred years, which is about three and a half seconds of the year that the Earth has been alive.
We are in the midst of a mass extinction, this time due to the effect of humans on this planet. In the last 500 years we have driven about 1000 species to extinction. By the mid century, 30 to 50 percent of all species could be extinct, due to human factors.
Our industries are polluting and heating the Earth at alarming rates. The climate change “debate” is a debacle. It too assumes that you can poison the natural system infinitely without affecting the natural rhythms that keep the eco-systems in checks and balances. Of course we are polluting, choking and destroying the planet – it is completely obvious to anyone but a complete fool.
Massive droughts, floods, fires, hurricanes and other natural phenomena are on the increase. These will become more prevalent as we cause further damage to our eco-system, not because there is some “God” wreaking wrath upon us, but simply because nature will attempt to balance itself as the eco-system is a self regulating and stabilizing inter-connected system. We cannot pollute the air and not expect to bear the repercussions of this action. We cannot heat the planet and not expect plant and animal extinction due to drought and desertification.
In the last 100 years (less than a second of time in the Earth year), we have had massive Wars, which have led to immense amount of human and other suffering. We have created and deployed nuclear armaments (not just the ones from George “Dubya” Bush’s imagination), watched Countries being invaded, “Dictators” being overthrown, orphans created and entire cultures destroyed in the name of progress and democracy.
Sure there was a time when we thought we fought wars for the right reasons, in self-defense or to right a wrong and fight oppressive threats.
Nowadays wars are fought for profit. We are fed a bunch of bullshit propaganda to keep us believing that our leaders are doing the right thing for the right reasons and any human casualties are a small price to pay for the global good. The war on terror has been created to keep us in a state of fear so we will believe whatever they need us to and keeps us in a perpetual state of fearful crisis. All of this brainwashing is happening whilst massive profits are being reaped.
The economy of the West is a war economy. Why would they want peace? The “volatility” is profitable. The more situations that are created which breed conflict, the better for the false economy to create profit and directly or indirectly plunder the planet for more resources in this endless game of “the pursuit of self-fulfillment through the mindless progress of economy”.
Of course more perceived crisis means more wars means more commerce means more industry means more environmental damage means more animal and plant extinction means more real, human created crises. Eventually, of course, this means our own extinction.
There is an old native American saying: “Your people are driven by a terrible sense of deficiency. When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money.”
The more we do the worse it is going to get. Humankind is creating a veritable Hell on Earth upon which nobody who has a shred of “humanity” in them would chose to live. It has all gone so horribly wrong, and we should be ashamed of ourselves for letting this happen.
Sure we have had immense technological advances in the last five to 10 decades or so. That is, in the last four to eight seconds on the Earth’s life. We are able to communicate seamlessly and instantaneously around the globe, we have gathered massive amounts of data on just about everything, we can see further into the Universe and postulate theories about the birth of existence itself, we can perform surgery using robots, we can share and view videos on Facebook.
Has this new connectedness of the planet brought us closer together? We spend more time on devices than in face-to-face conversations. We share digitally but not physically. We have become more task oriented and less experiential than before. We are more isolated and lonely than ever before, we resemble robots more than humans.
Sure we are more efficient, and also more effective at our work due to this, but what are we working towards? Getting to extinction quickly is not going to win us any prizes. We treat life like a race, not a journey and we have forgotten our own values in the process.
Medicine is another frontier for progress. Just like anything else we have created, the priority of the pharmaceutical industry is to keep us sick. Why can’t we see the obvious double standards all around, us, why are we so blind to the conflict of interest? Our Doctors are controlled by the commerce of the health industry. Our diseases are created more by the disharmony of the planet we have caused, the lack of nourishment in our increasingly processed foods, the breathing of more polluted air, the huge stress we are put under just to survive in this planetary commercial system, the fear we live in during these troubled times of terror and other factors.
Our drive for progress will create more disease, and more customers for the health industry. After all, that is what progress is – doing better economically.
Our hypocritical system keeps drugs such as alcohol and nicotine legal, even though the health and social damage caused through the use and abuse of these is widely documented. We are, in fact, caused to be addicts to the system, living in it, not being able to survive without it, and being used for the commercial gain of the few corporations on this planet who actually govern our economy, and dictate who we are and what we must be in order to earn our place in the global fraternity.
In a way, this is just like living in “the matrix”. The famous line in this movie about humanity being a cancer upon this planet is not untrue.
I realize that I am being duped. I’m being made a fool of, and I’m a sucker. I am a slave to the system.
I look around and see only delusion, and when I try and make sense of this life and what we are creating I can only say that we are blind to ourselves.
What we are creating is not going to make us happy or content. We are living our lives for the future, racing towards an inevitability and like a horse with blinders on, we are ignoring that the inevitable end is our own individual death and further the eventual destruction or extinction of humanity itself.
The blind are leading the blind and we call this life. And the prize at the end is death.
However, this is not intended as a story of tragic doom and gloom, even though that is where we will end up if we don’t stop. I believe there is an answer. It is not an answer we will find in the stars and galaxies, or in the atoms and molecules or in quarks and quasars. It is an answer we can find for ourselves in deep contemplation and introspection.
We need to wake up to our individual and collective humanity. We need to look inside ourselves with our own inner eyes and mind and see what we find there. We need to understand who we are and why we do what we do. We need to see for ourselves the seed of the sickness that we are all spreading on the planet and to understand where it comes from within us, why it exists and how we are propagating it.
We need to understand that what we wish for, the safety, happiness and contentment for ourselves and our loved ones is the basic need of all humans, and that the chase for increasing amounts of “anything” does not lead us there.
We can observe for ourselves the false reality, the delusion – the illusion which has veiled our true deeper selves.
And we can wake up to ourselves once we have witnessed the truth within.
What the World needs is not more economic progress. What we need is progress into our own awakening to the meaning of existence.
Existence, after all, has existed for a whole year and we are have been around for only a few seconds. We can only really know what existence is by sensing it within ourselves, not from a textbook or from studies of the World. We need to know what life is by feeling the life within us. Then this life shows us who we are, why we exist and what we need to do.
The life that we sense inside us is existence itself. It is ancient. All energy in the Universe was created at the birth of the Universe, some 13.7 Billion years ago. What is at the core of us has existed since time immemorial as energy. We are made from the same stuff as the stars and galaxies. The elements in our bodies were created inside the core of stars. At the core of our beings, we are all the same, all interconnected, all made of the same stuff and all animated by the same “Life-Force”.
This “Life-Force” is what we look for in our search for “God”. It is that simple, God is not some wrathful, conceited deity that requires our subservient obedience to shepherd our souls towards heaven. Rather, God is the energy in the Universe that created it, is sustaining it and exists at all times and in all places. God is existence itself, God is life – Infinite and Eternal.
We go to War over “differences”, whereas the differences themselves are also an illusion. We do not honour life – we choose to possess, poison and destroy it. We cannot create life – we choose to harm, manipulate and terrorise it.
Our planetary collective consciousness needs to evolve until a critical mass become aware of the delusion of our times. My hope is that we can do so before we destroy ourselves.
In summary we are living in a time when a complete idiot can run to become the next U.S President and be a leader in the polls for his party. If he wins, then humanity is collectively in for a devastating time in which we will progress more towards the economic domination of greed and the pursuit of power. There will be more planetary and human damage than ever before.
If we truly want peace and contentment, we should wake up and ostracize such self-obsessed, power hungry imbeciles possessed by their egoist ambitions. These types are as deep as a puddle and empty of any wisdom at their current level of evolution.
If we want World Peace, we need leaders who live it – we should put the Dalai Lama in charge. If we want to create a World of more suffering, then we should carry on as we are.
There is another native American proverb that I would like to share: “Treat the Earth well: It was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children.”