Thursday, August 16, 2012

Frivolity or Questions? Right or Wrong? What is what?

Love, hate, heartbreak, misery, pain, sadness, happiness, dissatisfaction, and all those other emotions. They're merely temporary. We call this moods. Some days, we're happy, other days we're not. Some things may tick us off, but if it were to happen to us again, it may just be ignored.

I've begun to realize that everything in life is temporary. However we feel, it's subjective, really. Not all of us react to the same situations in life the same way. Honestly, I would say that it's a good thing we don't. I guess it's also because of our patience level. Just say, if everyone loses their cool in 0.01 seconds, I don't think we'll have peace in this world anymore.

Let's start with happiness. Here I refer to Albert Camus', The Myth of Sisyphus. I must say, this tale has really had me at a pause to think of what happiness really means.

Sisyphus is the most hated by all the Gods and he was condemned to roll a rock up a mountain and every time it reached the top, it would roll down and he had to roll it up again and this was his punishment, repeatedly doing the same thing. But Camus, the writer, saw that having futile labor as a punishment is not justifiable. 

There are a few tales about him, one being, Sisyphus enchained the spirit of death, so that during that course, nobody died. But when the spirit of death was released, Sisyphus naturally became the first victim. It is said that Sisyphus informed his wife, that when he dies, she was not to perform any burial rites for him and when he reached the underworld, he complained to Hades that his wife had not done him his rites and so was given permission to return to earth to chastise her. However, Sisyphus, did not do as he promised and lived on earth till old age and returned to the underworld a second time to endure his eternal punishment.

For some, he may seem like an archetypal absurd hero. He hated death and had a passion for life. He was scorned and hated by the Gods. His punishment is to endure eternal suffering.

The funny thing is that at that moment when he let the rock roll down the mountain, at that moment, he remembers how short life is and he's somehow melancholic as he thinks of all the wonderful things that has happened and he is more than willing to endure. He has no regrets for what he has done. He somehow enjoys his task (punishment) and the only thing he is sorrowful is for leaving the world behind. However, he accepts his fate and is no longer filled with sorrow.

The link between happiness and being absurd is somehow portrayed in a very delusional way. They are both connected to the discovery that our world and our fate is our own. That there is no hope in life as it is purely what we make of it. Somehow, he is happy of it. 

Another tale that was actually told to me by my elder brother is the story of Siddharta Gautama or better known as Buddha. The four passing sights to be more specific. The journey to enlightenment. The story revolves about a powerful king, King Suddhodana, who has a son, Prince Siddhartha, and it is prophesied that he would either be a great military conqueror or a spiritual teacher. Naturally, the first one was preferred by his father.

What the King did was to raise the boy in great luxury and shielded him from the knowledge of religion and human suffering.

However, at the age of 29, overcame by curiosity, he had a charioteer take him on rides to the countryside. On his journeys, he was shocked by the sight of an aged man, then a sick man and then a corpse. The reality that had been shielded from him now got hold of him and sickened him. He then saw an ascetic. The charioteer explained that the ascetic was someone who had renounced the world and sought release from the fear of death and suffering.

The renunciation

The prince returned to palace life, but was not happy. Even the news of his wife having given birth to a son did not bring joy to him. One night, he decided to wander in the palace alone. He was once content by the luxury he was surrounded by, but it now seemed grotesque to him. He decided that he could never be happy living the life of a prince. That very night, he left the palace, shaved his head and changed his prince's clothes for beggar's robe. Then, he began his quest to enlightenment.

The Search

He began by seeking teachers that taught about various religious philosophies and meditation. But after he learnt everything, he still remained doubtful and was filled with unanswered questions. So, he and five other disciples left to find enlightenment for themselves.

At first, they thought that they must endure pain and suffering by holding their breath and fasting nearly to starvation. He collapsed and almost drowned when taking a bath and the begun to realize that by renouncing pleasure he had grasped pain and self-mortification. So, he tried it midway of pain and pleasure, Buddhists now call it the Middle-Way.

He remembered an experience from his childhood when he had settled into a state of deep peace, jhana. It is believed that the path of liberation was through discipline of mind. He decided that it was not necessary for him to starve himself but to nourish himself, but upon receiving a bowl of rice milk from a young girl, and sat under a Bodhi tree or also known as a fig tree, his disciples thought that he was undisciplined and had given up and so they abandoned him.

After 49 days of meditation and during that time, his mind came to be a great battle with Mara, a demon whose name meant destruction and who represents passions that snare and delude us. It is said that Mara brought vast armies of monsters to attack Siddhartha, who sat still and untouched. Mara's most beautiful daughter tried to seduce Siddhartha, but this effort also failed. (Of course, it's a myth, true or not, we may never know)

He finally achieved enlightenment, today, we term this state, Nirvana. A state of supreme liberation. Supposedly achievable by any human being. It is said that our mind becomes free of ignorance, hate, greed and other afflictive states. Nirvana is also considered "the end of the world", where no personal identity or boundaries of the mind remain.

His teachings are now one of the vastly learned one and it's safe to say that half the world population are buddhists.

Last Words

 His last words to his followers:
"Behold, O monks, this is my last advice to you. All component things in the world are changeable. They are not lasting. Work hard to gain your own salvation."

Interesting, really, how happiness was a very much sought after thing in this world. In a study, it was stated that people who were religious were more likely to be happy. I guess the main purpose in life is to find happiness. But very often, we're caught up in frivolous types of happiness, the temporary ones such as relationships and things like that.
Don't get me wrong, I am not at all opposed to love and things like that but we seldom pay  attention to the permanent things and spend our times on the temporary ones. 

Happiness to me, is when you pay no mind to the world around you especially when it is filled with hate and directed at you. I feel like, the negative energy being generated by those people are somewhat a waste of time. The time continuum does not stop when you're being caught up in petty things.
However, I've learnt from someone, that if something affects you, it's not considered petty because it means something to you and it bothers you. I guess the fact that we are all not really paying attention to the world as a whole and paying attention only to the things that affect us directly is somewhat a wrong perception and our identity is being swayed.
At times, I feel like I don't know myself. I've been soul searching for quite some time now, the worst thing when being on the journey to self discovery is patience and temper. You're more in tune with your surrounding, you start questioning things and you question what you really stand for.
At times, the things you may have believed to be right may turn out to be wrong, but don't accept it as it is. Question. That is a very important tool. To question things. On your journey to self discovery, you'll find yourself reliving the past, making mistakes, saying things you don't understand, listen, it's never too late. 
I would rather die knowing myself than die a person without an identity or a state of mind. Slowly, it's unravelling. My true purpose, my destiny, my beliefs, my rights, things I've gone through, the past, the present, what the future holds (not entirely). It's starting to become clearer. It's really scary. The thought of it scares me at times, I stay up late thinking of the mysteries of life. Noetic Science, symbolisms, dates, numbers, the ancient, everything. 
Is our history actually the future? Is it really time travellers who pass upon the knowledge to us? Our forefathers, Newton, Socrates and all the others, what are they? Modern and Ancient science, what are they? Religion? Is it a testament from a higher power? Is it the Universe controlling everything or God? 
Is there really a God? How is it that in some religions there are so many Gods? Which one is real? Which one is not? We cannot quantify these things and how are we to believe when we do not see? 
A thought, does it pose gravity? Many thoughts combined, can it form something else? I stay up thinking of all these things. I know, I'm merely a 19 year old kid who's doing her A-levels and will be doing medicine next year. 
But, I refuse to live my life blindly, not knowing anything. I want to know the true purpose of life? Is it divinity? Is it power? Is it influence? What is it? No doubt, I do believe in God, but to me, I think it's not wrong to question. I personally, have read the bible, the Quran, the Buddhism texts and Hinduism texts( translated of course, I DON'T UNDERSTAND SANSKRIT) 
But, truly, it makes you wonder, what IS the reason for our existence on Earth.
On to the next thing, 
Memories, is it something worth holding on to? The past. What is it? Somewhere you've been? Somethings you've done? What? Is it only a time? After all, everything fades. Even memories. When we were kids, some memories, even when our parents tell us about it now, it just doesn't register. It's somehow lost in translation.
Just like any memory, it comes with feelings. But as time goes by, it fades and the feelings fade as well. Remembering the times when you were going through hell, now it doesn't feel like anything. You somehow may even come to question whether those times were real or was it just a figment of your imagination?
Could it be? Dreams that were so real that it was judged as reality? Could it be, episodes of a past life? Is there a past life? When you come to think of it, you wonder don't you? Deja Vu, what is it? Can we time travel? Did we travel through time to undo something? A black hole, is it really a portal? Or is it just something that would shred you to pieces? Or could it be a mean of transport to other Universes? The Bermuda Triangle, another mystery, you've heard of dinosaurs and things like that. But, is it real? How can you believe what others have said when you've never seen it for yourself?
Some say that dinosaurs never even existed, it is something that the humans made up. But then, how do you explain the bones? Are the bones even real? When you come to think of it, there's so many unexplained things and we're left hanging. Movies like Jurassic Park, Inception, Avatar, and etc. They somehow enlighten us of something that was rather unimaginable or something that may exist, we very much enjoy this movies but I can't help myself but to think, could it be possible?
I must say, the movie Inception has managed to get me thinking. How if it really was possible to get into people's minds? I know of shared dreams, I've experienced it before, when I was younger. It was really vivid. Not anything like lucid dreaming. But, when we were little kids, everything was much simpler.
I admire a child's mind. It's pure and unknowing. So, to them, when a bird flies, they don't believe that we can't. To me, I've come up with inventions that may seem crazy and stupid by some. Impossible also. But, I think everything is quantifiable. Children are the one pure thing that we must save and keep them as pure for the longest time as possible. Unfortunately, for the shit rap and stupid moronic songs on the radio, I don't think most of them can be saved.
I plan to have a research facility on kids, not with them locked up, but by having a camera in volunteers house to research the development of kids from different family backgrounds. I know this has been done before, in UK, if I'm not mistaken, but times have changed and it's time for a new revolution. Unfortunately, I'm not at a proper financial stand to start anything.
They truly believe in the impossible and that amazes me. I keep my naivety intact. I refuse to believe when people tell me I can't. This part of me still remains. Call me thick skulled, but I'm never changing this part of me. I may be emotional at times, but I'm trying to build a fortress around me, it's under progress. By emotional, I mean, easily swayed by negative thoughts from people, but it's only for now. I know I'm strong enough to overcome this.
After all, you can only have rainbows after a storm.
If I go on, I may never be able to sleep, after all, they say, sleep is a waste of time, sleep is something we need to rejuvenate but can be compensated by nap. I NEED my sleep though.

One last thing:

Till' my next post! xx

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