In contemplation the other night I tried to bring up any one person that I know, or have known of in my life that I could say with honesty was a happy person. I drew a blank. Odd that such a revelation had never really come to me before, but given the nature of our nature, I do not think we are really hardwired for happiness. Even bliss, the ultimate or perhaps perfect attainment of sensation does not take place in our reality, but rather in an escape from it. Happiness it seems is handed out in sample sized fleeting moments that we pretend offset the real meal.
I come from a deeply unhappy genetic line of people. On both sides of my family tree are folks who not only did not see the glass as half empty, they saw it as having fallen to the floor and shattered into countless pieces of disappointment and disillusionment. I always thought we were a bit off kilter until I had traveled some and come to realize that off kilter has always been the norm for virtually anyone with working brain cells and a relationship to their environment. The world does not manifest happy things or joyful concoctions. It is left to the individual to find those things that they can relate to on that intimate of a level.
The world itself, even the prettiest of flowers, could care less whether we approve or not of their aesthetics – their design was for the one that would pollinate and spread their seed…we in fact have a tendency to kill them and stick them in a glass vase for a quick fix of our own appetites. The world has its own agenda and like it or not we are usually either thwarting it or it is thwarting us. It is hard to find any sense of meaning or belonging once we removed ourselves from the natural world. Why do you get up each day and do what you do? Did you ever really know? Have you forgotten or just never allowed a quiet enough moment to even ask?
The lack of quietude is by design…have no doubts about that. There is a very good reason why people fill their lives with sound and repetitive routines. Left alone in silence for just the shortest of intervals and that avalanche of mental jabberwocky would bury you up to your neck in fiction. The brain has no relationship to what its billions of years of development designed it for – cohabitation in the natural world. It knows how to survive in a wild competitive world…something we tamed and labeled and neutered in the past hundred years or so. When there is no non fiction left, a storyline has to be created or our very cerebral existence becomes meaningless.
Meaninglessness is the new normal for our big complex brain. Our lives have become so vanilla and predictable our brains have gone crazy seeing threats in every shadow and around every corner just for something to do. The brain is one of the most amazing machines of action that has found itself in absolute numbing pre-defined, pre-labeled, and pre-determined boredom. We are trapped between two very uncomfortable truths – we are sleeping our very existence away, and in that sleep is a dream of utter meaninglessness. It has been forcibly handed down generation to generation that our purpose is to consume and breed new consumers. Our entire story has been reduced to this. Everyone knows it. Everyone agrees to not remind each other.
The meaninglessness, ironically, has become the new bogeyman. In our fiction we have built up an arsenal of protection against the truth of what our lives have become in these times. Who would want to wake up to the decades in blur to find out that our youth was spent, our aspirations were starved, and that death was our only true friend? At least death deals an equalizing blow to the horrible inequity we have to endure daily. Deaths come in various sizes and degrees. The death of your fiction, although it is very tough on the relationship you have with this world, is the only real chance you will have to know meaningfulness.
My first suicide attempt was when I was 8 years old. I swallowed a bottle of pills that were in the medicine cabinet. As it were, I was not a knowledgeable chemist and ended up ingesting a bottle of mild pain relievers. End result I had no headaches for the next six months. Later that year, no less unhappy with my life I nearly drowned at a summer camp. If it were not for the 13 year old boy that noticed I was going to come up under the swimming float on the lake I would not be here today. It, death, was terrifying to me coming up under that float and gasping for air underwater. I fought to live, and I cried at being saved by that kid. My life has been this reoccurring dichotmoy of wanting the fiction to die, and fighting to live and find meaning in that life.
My last suicide attempt happened in Oklahoma, where under the influence of behavioral medication (seratonin uptake inhibitors) I came out of a fugue to find a razor blade being pressed against my wrist. The undertow of desire to rake that blade across the tender skin there was palpable. It took all of my will to lift the blade and set it down. I remember shaking for hours at how close I had come. I had lost count a long time ago at how many times I had the impulsive thought to end the nightmare by whatever means I had at my disposal at the time. That time in Oklahoma was different, however. I was awake. I had not had the desire to commit suicide after my awakening, so to find that blade on my wrist was confusing as it was frightening.
It took a few nights to recover from that suicide attempt before I dared to revisit the feelings I was having that had built up over the weeks, months and years I had been living in Oklahoma. The weight of my fiction was breaking my spirit. I lived in a place that was not home. I had a job that was meaningless to an awakened master. I had bills that were greater than my paycheck…and there was no end in sight of the daily repeat of this life that I had not chosen but had ended up in. I, to this day, am not sure whether it was the brain or the Self that held the blade down…nor which fought to lift it up. I find that very interesting – so much so that I revisit that evening every so often to see if there are any new insights.
In the many years that I have been doing my Self awareness work I have helped thousands of people in some fashion or other. To become Self aware is to come face to face with what you are trying to hide from yourself…that your life is meaningless in the greater scheme of things, and that you are desperately trying to keep that fact hidden for fear of a million painful deaths and all of the suffering inherent in exposure. There can be only one outcome to shining a light on a sleeping Self…they get a really well lit picture of the fiction their lives have become. Many I have helped have had their entire life and sense of self turned upside down. It is the nature of waking up. In the long run it leads to liberation, but in the short term…I have seen many turn their backs to the long run benefits.
If you are awakening there are two points of reference to become aware of. There is the recognition of the weight and mechanics of your fiction, then there is the letting go of ‘who’ you were for the ‘what’ you are becoming. There is one hell of a price to pay for this awareness…the fiction will not fit through the eye of the needle. To pass, you have to die unto yourself. This has less to do with whether you could choose to do this, but really if you are even capable. Evolution happens to us, not by us. Most find themselves completely adrift in uncertainty – with no appetite for employment, mountains of things, or relationships built on lies.
The weight of fiction becomes apparent when letting go of it. This part of the long journey I am sure most of you would rather not have to endure, but evolution moves in one direction…if not this lifetime, then one of the next you will have to come face to face with what keeps you unconscious of what you are. Is there any light at the end of this tunnel? I am proof that there is. Although I still am not what you would call a happy personality, I have finally come to know peace, progress, meaning and direction. I am what I am. ~ DC Vision