Monday, 28 March 2011

The science of non - attachment part II

Quite evident this, nothing new really, but more insight in to how consumerism does not make us happy. Ghost 2013

So we have ascertained that the false self projects itself on to any external object it can, in order to perpetuate the illusion of a thinker behind the thinking. We also discussed the idea that all thought, no matter how trivial, is serving one function... taking us closer to survival by means of gaining survival and replication value. Or simply S+R value.

From here we can take our thought experiment and expand from our car.
So you bought a car from my garage and your not happy about it now, so I'll do you a deal, you can have the Ferrari and I'll put the original engine back in and sort out the handling sound fair? How about if I offered you a 3 wheeler? If you were non attached to the car you wouldn't care so much if you were seen in a Reliant Robin, hey its only a car right? Never mind, heres the keys to your Ferrari.
Ok now how do you feel? Seriously close your eyes just for a minute and imagine a Ferrari outside. How does it feel?
Pretty good huh?

Ok so you got a Ferrari and everythings still the same, you got the same job, same house, everythings still the same. A month has passed now and the novelty of getting all the heads turning as you drive past is getting a bit old but its still pretty cool. Occasionally you wish that you could just pop down the shops without everyones jaws dropping but oh well, I can think of worse. You take a look at your life and you think well nothing has really changed, I got a nice car but somethings still missing.

The honeymoon period from getting the car is over but nothings changed too much. You  yearn for that feeling that you had when you first got that car but as luck would have it, right now, I'll give you a Lamboghini for free. Yes you heard that right. A free Lamboghini. How good is that? Wow you just got that new car feeling again, how awesome is that? Come on, I've just given you a Lamboghini for free and you already had a cut price Ferrari. You should be ecstatic right now. Isn't this what you always wanted?

Ok two weeks later, the fun has gone a way a bit quicker this time and everything is back to normal again. What can we do now to make you happy? How about I buy you a mansion, I'm serious. Do you want the one with the swimming pool? No problem. Ok you have this, you have the cars. Everything ok now? Good.
Roll on two months. Its nice to have a mansion and the cars, you still have to work the same old job and lets face it, its a little lonely living in a mansion on your own. I tell you what I'll introduce you to this girl I know she's very attractive. Well what do you know you hit it off and 3 months later she actually wants you to marry her, she might be bit of a moneygrabber, she seems the party girl type but your just enjoying the moment right now and you have fun together.

There is a term going round at the moment that I think is pretty good a discussing the mindset we have right now, its called deferred happiness. I believe it was Tony Robbins who came out with this. Maybe we would disagree on the cause of this but we are in agreement on the symptomns of it. Its deffered happiness because it implies one day when when certain conditions have been met, then we can actually decide ok... I'm going to be happy now. So where is the threshold that we can actually turn round and do this? You think about it, you go through school and then your told to pick a college course you may be interested in. Your told to work hard and then you can get in to university. So you finish college and to be fair it is an acheivement in itself. How did you feel when you completed college? Take a look back but do yourself a favour, please use absolute honesty when you do this.

Did you find that once you got your results back it was a good feeling, you went to tell your parents and they said well done and then all of a sudden it was like wow two years, now I have a piece of paper. I expected to feel a little bit different than I do now. "Well done son, now you can get in to university".
Now all of a sudden, no sooner have you completed college, the goal posts have been moved. Two years of your life to get that piece of paper, then all of a sudden, you get to the finish line and then what? "It's ok, you have just run 10 miles but now you have got to do the marathon next. Come on theres no time to hang around get moving!".

Woah, now we got three years to go. Fast forward, rinse and repeat when you finish university. You get your worthless media atudies degree (sorry for being cynical, I did anyway I'm in the same boat) and then you have the joys of walking out in to the workplace. This jobs market where you need a degree to get a shitty job that you despise and has no interest to you. You wake up every morning thinking fuck this bull shit, I can't be arsed, your boss is a cunt, most of your co - workers consist of utter morons, who you would never give the time of day to but when it comes xmas you feel obliged to send them a xmas card just because they sent you one... even thought they don't like you either. You keep telling yourself everything will be alright once you get the promotion, once you get a new job, once you get a relationship, once you get the car, blah blah. Everyday you look on the TV and in the magazines, you see all these people living the life you can only dream of, you want to be just like them. You see people with all this stuff, they are prettier than you, have more stuff than you, the message everyday is BUY THIS STUFF AND ALL YOUR PROBLEMS WILL BE FIXED.

You see those slimy politicians lying to you every day, you stand by and watch as your civil liberties become eroded and accept the fact that you are living in a police state. No worries its ok, I'll turn a blind eye, now if I can just move out of this apartment in to a bigger house. Now you have all this stuff, you become the boss, you got respect, you start to put your money away in to a pension, you can afford it among the car insurance, contents insurance, Utilities insurance, credit card insurance, mortage insurance, holiday insurance, loan insurance, life insurance, hell even your pet insurance, you can sleep with total peace of mind now. You decide to have a family, then you can be happy. You spawn a litter of fucked up selfish brats to replace yourself (thank you Irvine Welsh =D) You find they want and want all the latest shit, your wife won't fuck you because she doesn't want to become pregnant again and she hates the stretch marks on her stomach. One of you cheats, the marriage falls apart, you only get to see your kids on weekends now.
Never mind, its ok you can be truly happy when you get your pension. Oh wait sorry to tell you this someone has embezelled it all and spent it on luxury holidays, I'm very sorry, you can take them to court if you want? Don't have the money, oh well, there nothing we can do sir, I'm very sorry. You saved all your life in to the pension scheme and then they flip you off, theres nothing you can do.

As you lie on the bed in the government old peoples home as the nurse wipes your arse because you can't do it yourself, you stare blankly at the TV. Look its Big Brother 69, this time they have to do each other twice in the arse or they get eliminated form the house. You sigh and put your palm on your face. You look back at your life and think what did I really acheive? Then you think about your impending demise, I wonder if there is a heaven will I go there? A tear comes to your eye as you realise that in actual fact there is no such thing as heaven and once you die thats it. You look back on a wasted life chasing the dream, the carrot dangling from the stick that they tied to your head. Maybe a few people will turn up for your funeral but the world will just continue, life goes on.

You call this life?

Could so easily have been me, I started out on this trail but from a young age I knew I didn't want this kind of life. Its rather a bleak view of life but I saw so much misery and suffering around me and none of it was over anything in particular. I mean its not like we were living in Africa and had no food. Yet we have the highest rates of depression in the west, how can that be when in reality most of us have a roof over our heads and 3 meals a day? Maslow's hierarchy of needs is met for most people, so what is it that makes us so discontent?

Lets go back to the situation where I've just given you the cheap cars the mansion and even a relationship. Nothing has changed, you just have this stuff. Your life has changed some as you have just got a girlfriend but underneath all this appearance level stuff, you are still you. We have done nothing to fix you, you still have the same problems, we've just pasted this stuff over your problems. You thought this shit would solve your problems right? You thought this would make it all ok and your struggle would disappear?

You still have to work for a living but no worries I'll give you a job with my company. All you have to do is collect your wage, I'll pay you double what your on now for doing nothing. Still not enough? How about a private yacht or a helicopter? That should keep you occupied for a year. You can party hard everyday, you don't have to work. I would go snowboarding all the time, that would be fun. What other stuff can you do? Hell go travelling round the world for the rest of your days. How awesome would that be? Do you think at any point you would feel unhappy? Surely you have everything that everyone want, you have absolutely no right to be unhappy? Surely you must never argue with your girlfriend? Surely all those hanger onner's you have picked up along the way are your true friends? Surely everyone respects you when they are nice to you? Surely nothing bad happens to you anymore? Everyone wants to be just like you, everythings perfect now right? Surely you can't desire anything more than this? This is the accomplishment of success in other peoples eyes and your own standards right?

We all want this one way or another, theres no denying it. You know what though? Its not the answer to your problems. We can throw all these objects at you but we have done nothing to sort out you. Have you ever heard of those stories "The lottery ruined my life?". How can this be? They have everything they wanted thrown at them all at once and they can't handle it. Its like they have all this stuff and the they yearn for how things used to be because of all the hangers on and the changes they encounter. These are rare occurrences though and in reality we usually see people accumulating wealth over time, so this is only an extreme form of this but for the average person, what does success mean to them? What point can you consider yourself to be succesful? When you've got a mortage on a semi detached, a Ford Focus, a spouse and kid? How do we really measure success or again, are we dealing with constantly moving goalposts...

So we look at all this and then say what have we really learned? From the example I used, all thats really been demonstrated is that if you acheive your desires for material goods it doesn't guarantee you happiness. You'll have up days and down days still, people will still irritate you, people will still walk over you like they always have if your a submissive type, you may get bored of snowboarding all the time, you'll still be an emotional wreck, you'll still have relationship problems, you'll still be a crackhead or whatever. This stuff don't get fixed by material goods. Its The last ones a clincher though, can you get bored of partying all the time? Yes you can, its not so difficult. It does get tiring after a while. Try backpacking round the world, you literally have days when you cannot touch a beer and you often realise I haven't been sober for a month. But as for having enough money to go travlelling for the rest of my days that would be awesome. I would totally love for that to happen. The world has so many magnificent places and cultures, I would truly love to see it all. Yes this is something I truly desire.

Does this cause me any suffering? Remember "desire is the root of all suffering" was our riddle this time round. I can say categorically no. Does not winning the lottery cause you any suffering? I doubt it. Yet we all desire this. Now there is something called wishful thinking, Here there is desire but guess what is mising? Thats right, we generally don't form an attachment from such things as there is the knowledge of the fact, that it is something that cannot be obtained in objective reality; bar extreme cases. Theres no point in forming an attachment on something the body cannot obtain. Hey... I don't make up the rules of the cognitions of an organism but generally, there is no attchment to these types of things, although I'm sure we know the types who spend loads of money on loterry tickets.

So going back to our example again, if someone gave us all that stuff would we really want it? Fuck yeah! That would be totally awesome lets not beat around the bush. The chances of it happening are pretty minimal but Do you desire this to happen? sure, I know I do. Do I desire a lottery win? Yes Do I desire a Ferrari, loads of money? Yes its a very real part of us to want this stuff, we know this from our own experience. Is this really so bad? Think about this, when do you ever get down about not having this stuff? I mean maybe on occasions you may think I wish I could win the lottery but its not as though you ever get upset about it.
If we are realistic about it when do we think; if I don't have a Ferrari people will look down on me? Like never, ever ever innit like... Sorry for writing like a spaz there but its pretty simple if we look at things there is no pain when we desire something that we cannot obtain realistically. So desire is not all bad right? Now lets look at it another context. Lets look at it from the point of view of something that can be obtained in objective reality.

To be continued...


Phil said...

Ok Chan nice story but so what? Of course happiness or peace cannot be found in material situations, Like Tolle you seem to spend a lot of time expressing the obvious. What I want to know is who or what is this unique body/bram organism?

Gh0$T V1Ru$ said...

This blog is for people who are new to this whole thing, its obvious to us but this is not so obvious to everyone, as there are Millions of people who subscribe to this way of thinking still.
If you want to get deep insights then this ain't the blog! I'm trying to keep it as entry level as I can.

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