“Just as you look back in horror at the lives of people five hundred years ago, I imagine people five hundred years from now will laugh at us and our certainties today. They will laugh at how we let our money and our jobs define our lives. They will laugh and how we were afraid to show appreciation for those who matter to us the most, yet heaped praise on public figures who didn’t deserve anything. They will laugh at our rituals and superstitions, our worries and our wars; they will gawk at our cruelty. They will study our art and argue over our history. They will understand truths about us which none of us are yet aware. And they, too, will be wrong. Just less wrong than we were.”
-The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson.
No one is asking the big question.
The world of politics stirred up so many millions of topics and editorials and opinions up to discussion but I am surprised by the short sighted focus of the entire global conversation. No one has had the insight to ask the one truly most important question any world leader should be addressing right now, which is simply, “Where is this all going? What is our global purpose as humanity. What’s the vision?” Everyone is focused on economic growth and ‘moving forward’ but no one has any idea where forward goes to or why. It’s like we’ve been racing for hundreds and thousands of years but all of us (the horses) have now gained enough consciousness to question the direction we’ve been trotting to. We now all know that we are in a world that has no direction and we are scared to admit that everyone is acting like kids in a school bus on the highway going 100 mph with no driver.
They say we study history in school so we can learn from our mistakes. That has not worked. It is time to stop looking at our our past for answers and start looking into the future for new ways of solving old problems.
The world is not caught between evil and good, we are all good. We are all breathing the same air and suffer pain and feel in exactly the same way in our bodies. We are all scared of each other akin to what happens in the jungle when two territorially separate band of monkeys meet and clash. There’s enough food and resources for everyone but this panic fear of the unknown makes us feel exactly what we felt as children when we were scared of the dark. We’re all waiting for some monster to come out from out of the closet, but instead what is coming out are more humans, different humans, with different beliefs and rules and thoughts, and they are more terrifying than anything we’ve ever seen. We’re scared of each other.
When the Internet and the global economy opened up everyone thought we were going to connect as a globe and sing kumbaya, but the truth is that the shrinking globe only amplified how close our neighbours felt and hence, amplified our biggest fear, which is that our lifestyle and our way of living might have to change. We’re all feeling claustrophobic, like a group of people trapped in a hot elevator. You look up and try to wake up from that nightmare, but every time you open your eyes you are still in there, sweating while the other trapped people cry and scream and fight. In such a scenario the only way you can survive is to slow down, calm down, admit that everyone is scared and go inward and meditate to look for a solution. I think this is what we all need to do right now.
The fear of one man having so much power over the lives of all the citizens of the planet is only true because we all agree to make it so. This moment in time is so confusing simply because the majority of us have awakened enough to notice that the other half of us seem to want to drive the world to its end. It’s like waking up and noticing that your own hands are inching closer each day to asphyxiate you to death but you can’t seem to stop them and you don’t know when they’ll finally get there. We are all coming gradually to the realization that we really are ‘one’ and it makes the hate in the world a lot more personal. The problem is not that people hate people, but that people don’t love themselves. The more you walk in the path of love and peace, the more you can look back and see the other end of evil, in a way that is much more intensely than before. It’s so scary, because it’s so real.
Don’t be afraid.
Let’s not be afraid.
Governments and countries are made up. Borders are imaginary. Money only really exists in our imagination. The world we are all so desperately trying to stitch up together with crazy glue is an illusion, a fantastic play we’re all playing an acting role in.
As human beings we have failed to keep a hold of the the simple thought and truth that we are intelligent animals living by some strange miracle on a round sphere that is orbiting the sun surrounded by infinite death around the universe. Everything that is happening around the world is happening because we’re realizing that yes, we are alone, that yes we’re in charge of the future of the planet and that yes, we are in charge of the lives around us. Reality is making us panic, and anything that distracts from focusing on this truth, whether that is binging on shows, media addiction, or eating the lies of government and politicians helps us spend another day without facing the true life questions we need to face. We are all suffering because we can feel something inside our souls saying that we’re going in the wrong direction, that’s something is wrong. Some of us feel it clearly, and some of us feel it slightly like a twitch or a tickle, but it’s there, and continues to become more clearly the closer we edge to fear.
In the famous book the ‘Lord of the Flies’, a large group of children get stranded on a deserted island, and fear of the unknown and each other makes them gradually turn barbaric. Only a small group of them remain calm and put their energies into getting out alive and rescued. The majority of the kids dismiss the logical route and end up following the ‘evil’ leader and from that point on the herd mentality takes over, leading to several deaths and fights. The book ends when the kids get rescued by a marine ship, which is brilliant because it just shows the infinite loop. The kids at war are rescued by the adults at war, which just shows how fucked up we all are. We think we’re advanced humans with higher intelligence but we still acts like a pack of hungry hyenas.
Our most basic mistake is assuming that the ‘majority of us’ knows best. It’s fantastic that we took power away from kings and queens and disseminated it to the people, but the ‘people’ have become a big group of fearful cows that can be herded around. Politicians, power groups and billionaires know how to this, it’s not rocket science. Anyone that has worked in advertising or public relations knows how easy it can be to persuade people to think a certain way. Those that have learnt to use this power get awarded a steering wheel to an entire country. When you look at countries like Venezuela or North Korea it becomes evident very quickly that the masses can be bullied, pushed and lied way beyond what you think they would be able to take. Now that the world’s superpower has cracked and is proving to be no different than those ‘third world nations’ they always like to label, it makes the whole scenario look broken. It’s like we were in a play that we thought was real and when they turned on the lights we realized we’ve been in a really dirty shitty theatre this whole time. A vote is not power, a vote is not freedom. Freedom is the ability for a human to be trully free. We are birds and our governments and our countries have become our cages.
Look around our world and try to think of incredible visionary leaders. Nothing comes to mind. Where are the Mandelas and the Gandhi’s when we need them? I think they are inside us.
The more we resist change, the more it will hurt. The people who have so much tremendous power over us, have that power because we have all agreed to live in a world in which the number one goal in life is just to make money. Everyone lives under the illusion that this capitalistic system is worth having because we all have an equal chance to be rich. The cost is that for this to work the majority of the world needs to be poor and suffer. The economics just don’t add up. We measure the success of a country by its gross domestic product and ignore health, happiness and life fulfillment. We have outsourced the responsibility for determining how best to live our life to politicians. We’ve become lazy and we have erroneously assumed that the systems we were born to make sense, and are just. It’s hard to admit and clearly see that we have brainwashed ourselves.
It is time for fresh ideas. Einsten couldn’t have said it better, Insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
It is time for the world to begin a calm and gradual economic slowdown. People panic when the economy slows, but that’s because we all think that the economy is a plane that if it stops moving it would just fall down and explode. We already have everything we need to live. All of us. We’re not on a plane, we’re on a boat called earth. If we stop rowing the boat won’t sink and the fear we’re facing is simply because we’re realizing that there is no island or mainland, instead our boat, this beautiful planet is the destination. Being and existing is all there is. Our democracies, our rules, our systems, our schedules, our laws don’t really exist. Money is not real. Nothing could be more useless than a brick of gold. A golden fucking paper weight. We’re surrounded by beautiful things. We’re working so we can have vacations but we already live in a fucking vacation. This IS the vacation. We were dead before, we’ll be dead after. Dead is work. This is not supposed to be a bad trip. Everyone in this planet is entitled to a beautiful experience while they are alive.
My favorite philosopher Alan Watts explains it well, ““Existence, the physical universe, is basically playful. There is no necessity for it whatsoever. It isn’t going anywhere. It doesn’t have a destination that it ought to arrive at. But it is best understood by analogy with music, because music, as an art form, is essentially playful. We say you play the piano, you don’t’ work the piano. Why? Music differs from, say, travel. When you travel you’re trying to get somewhere. And, of course, we, being a very compulsive and purposive culture, are busy getting everywhere faster and faster until we eliminate the distance between places…what happens as a result of that is the two ends of your journey became the same place. You eliminate the distance, you eliminate the journey. The fun of the journey is travel, not to obliterate travel. So then, in music, one doesn’t make the end of a composition the point of the composition. If so, the best conductors would be those who played fastest and there would be composers who only wrote finales. People would go to a concert just to hear one crackling chord because that’s the end! Same way with dancing. You don’t aim at a particular spot in the room because that’s where you will arrive. The whole point of dancing is the dance. But we don’t see that as something brought by our education into our everyday conduct. We have a system of schooling which gives a completely different impression. It’s all graded and what we do is put the child into the corridor of this grade system with a kind of, “Come on, kitty, kitty,” and you go to kindergarten and that’s a great thing because when you finish that you get into first grade…then you’ve got high school, and it’s revving up, the thing is coming, then you’re going to go to college…you go out to join the world, then you get into some racket where you’re selling insurance, and they’ve got that quota to make, and by god you’re going to make that, and all the time the thing is coming, it’s coming! It’s coming! That great thing. The success you’re working for. Then you wake up one day about 40 years old and you say, “My god, I’ve arrived. I’m there.” And you don’t feel very different from what you’ve always felt and there’s a slight letdown because you feel there’s a hoax. And there was a hoax! A dreadful hoax. They made you miss everything by expectation…we’ve cheated ourselves the whole way down the line. We thought of life by analogy with a journey, a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at the end and the thing was to get to that end, success or whatever it is, maybe heaven after you’re dead. But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played.”
If everyone is so scared of losing our finances and being unemployed, then why don’t we all learn to grow our own food in our houses. Why don’t we learn to live on a minimal footprint? Why don’t we remove ourselves from the political equation by being brave and moving to places that do welcome our own beliefs? Freedom is not freedom if you don’t use it. You say you are free but you are running your entire life based on the rules written on old paper some dead guys wrote and dreamed up hundreds of years ago?
Can’t you see it’s no wonder democracy and politics don’t work as we thought they would? We’re assuming that the rules of law, that the systems of government we follow were conjured by semi-Gods that could see into the future. They were definitely smart people, but even all the forefathers in all of history around the world would be holding their heads in their hands if they saw how short-sighted we all are in understanding what they did. The point of all the rebellions of the world is always the same, to make new rules to improve the quality of our lives. True freedom doesn’t come from a declaration of independence, true freedom comes from grasping the understanding that the rules of the world will forever be changing. We are so terrified of change that we forgot that change is what purges the bad. All the constitutions of the world have a secret expiry date and it is the resistance of progressive change that causes so much pain. I think if Benjamin Franklin was alive he’d say he was happy his constitution has been alive for so long, but he’d also say we missed the point. The blood of revolutions is to give the next in line freedom, and that freedom is the right includes the right to re-write the rules of your entire world as you see fit, as many times as you need to.
Start over. Sometimes stories can get over-edited. Sometimes it’s better to start with a white page. We forget that all the countries in the world originated in some kind of rebellion. We forgot to keep alive the true spirit that flowers the seed of new thinking, the water to plant new futures. We’re here to grow and improve, not to live in democratic slavery.
You see, no matter what direction anyone takes. No matter how many wars take place in the world, no matter how many times we destroy the environment, the final result, the last destination, the end, is not going to be bad. It’s going to be great. It’s going to be the most incredible place we have ever seen, a world we cannot even imagine now. Humans want love, like a tree wants water. Inevitably over time, the human race will reach universal love, understanding and co-habitation. Why am I so sure? Because l can feel more and more love the more I struggle to change and transform. It’s impossible to not evolve as species, it’s impossible to not want peace. We think the enemy are other humans, but we’re literally all surrounded. It’s a western standoff on a sphere. No one can win. All the walls separating countries will fall. All the countries and constitutions of the world will one day all fall. We all think our countries and our religions have the ‘truth’ only because WE were born into them. We’re so egocentric that we believe that our viewpoint is the right one, but we fail to see that all the other people in the world feel the same way about theirs. We’ll end like we got started, as Pangea, the one continent.
That time, however, is far away because progress in humanity is slow. We are not as smart as a group as we think we are, even with our amazing phones and internet. People become evil only because they are exposed to evil, and evil only arises because of a lack of love.
I have learnt something in my Great White Overlander trip that changed me, and that is that to open up and love you must first love yourself, and to love yourself you must first be really really honest and get to know who you really are. This sounds easy, but it is a very hard process.
I think it is time for all of us to consider that even the bad things that we think come down from the sky like thunder and lightning come along with an opportunity. All we need to do is to react differently, to let the hatred go, to embrace the fear and walk straight into it with love.
We all disagree about the path to get to the ‘future’ because we are all so shortsighted in understanding that there is no ‘future’. The future is now. There is no more. We are already here. The world is not about progress, or money, or power. The world is about the humans that are here. It’s about having fun. It’s about enjoying what we have, not making more. We’re all on some stupid race to ‘survive’ which looks like adults in a kiddie pool. We all have enough to thrive in the world. There’s enough space, water and love for all of us. For the first time in humanity’s history we know that all know that we are all going in the wrong direction. We all know that we are missing one important thing. A new leader. A leader with a true vision. In the world you and I are living in my friend, we are all now looking for a Superman. We are waiting for some magic thing that would never have been able to predict, but which would change the course we’re going on. We all know we are now in a real human stampede. Stampedes are dangerous, people get trampled and die. The funny thing is that if everyone slowed down, stopped panicking, and trusted each other, the stampede would immediately stop. There’s enough space for everyone, there’s no reason to panic. No one needs to get trampled. No more people need to die.
The ones of us that have not endured severe violence, hunger, and pain have no reason to keep fucking up the world and each other just because we are scared. To grow we must admit we were wrong.
Our souls know the way. If we all follow our passions, if we all satisfy our souls with the life we really want to live we will fall into love because we will be loving ourselves. The experience I have done this year of traveling and letting go has enabled me to open up to people in ways I could not before. The more I give my soul what it needs, the more I can give those that truly love me the love they need. Loving yourself creates compassion, and compassion is the ingredient to a safe world. Not everyone is ready to understand this, and I’m not trying to convince you. The sheer terror around us has made realize just how real real life is. It’s not safe or stable, rather the opposite, volatile and unpredictable. We are where we are because we are scared to change. We think we are sheep following sheep, but some of us know that deep inside this is not the way and that we’ve become lost. We don’t know the way forward, so the logical thing, is simply to slow down and plot a new route.
I hope 2017 becomes the year when all of you realize that to intensify your life, what you must do is not press the accelerator, but instead the brakes.