You’ve felt bitterness, and pain, and grief in your life.
You’ve experienced rejection and defeat and stress and agony.
Oh, horrid sensations!
.... you seek relief.
Ah, I can read you like a book. Isn’t it so simple? Tell ya the truth, it’s an old one, but a classic. Quite literally, it happens, the oldest one in the book.
You see, beginning in the book of Genesis, where Adam and Eve learn of good and of evil, and fall from grace, and then engage in the eternal battle of amending for their sins and climbing out of pain, and on and on...
What is the Bible but a retelling of their struggle -- our struggle -- as human beings to find relief from the shame and pain of being human? To achieve union with God, to be free of harm, at peace, at nirvana. Oh sure, call it by many names if you wish. I won’t give you that just the Bible tells it so, oh no.
Tale as old as time, my friend. We all know it well ...
(well...whether we do, or not).
But I can tell you there is one truth, and one human struggle.
And that struggle is against the self.
Try and see how absurdly true it is, for who else could you struggle with? A struggle, by definition, involves you. You say someone else has attacked you, but why not lay down arms and forgive? Why not make peace? Why, when he attacks, must you return the favor? In you is the desire and will to fight.
Now sure, in some situations we do things to survive, but I am not speaking of those situations here. For those are not struggles but mandatory actions. Eating, sleeping, working… work yes, but struggles per se, no.
I refer to those times you have wrapped yourself up into a struggle without even knowing. Thrown a rope around your own foot and hoodwinked yourself into the fight. For some of this, this kind of situation represents more of our life than for others. Politics, sports, quests to be a scholar, attempt to beautify yourself, fights, name calling… why do you care so much?
Throw it all away.
Do it, if you can.
And you can, because you are the one who has picked it up in the first place. Whether you allow yourself to is quite another matter.
But I digress…
...return your attention here: all of this to say the struggle is in you and against you.
You are the protagonist; you are the enemy.
Let’s back to the start.
You will see how simple this here bit of reasoning is: You are in a battle. You want out.
Let me tell you -- and feel free to alert me to any other alternatives -- but I am under the impression that to end a battle, either one side is defeated, or a truce is called. This is your situation, and these are your options. Defeat the enemy, or call truce.
Now, you’ve been fighting your pain and unrest how long? Ten years? Twenty years? Perhaps you have depression, perhaps intemperance. Do you see an end in sight?
People love to fight. It’s what we evolved to do, in many ways. You are no different. And in the absence of external enemies what have you gone and done but began to spar with yourself.
And oh, what a battle that is! Because the fight is to change yourself, but the battleground is the mind. And through the mind no change of the body comes. See! You will fight forever, and you’ll love the drama of every last minute!
Let’s look more closely at what I mean by this.
You wish to be happier, or more confident, or to find fulfillment. But you are unhappy, unconfident, and unfulfilled. This is reality. Can wishing change reality? Can wishing a dog will learn a trick help it? Or hoping? Or thinking? Do not be absurd. You must train the dog; get up, off the couch, grab the treats and the whip, and learn it something.
Ok, enough with the poor dog, now you:
The mind is where you fight your battle.
You desire happiness...
"Oh! oh! Look at poor old unhappy me! But I, me, I desire happiness! And still it does not come... how could life be so unfair?"
Your desire is wholly unconnected to your reality. Keep desiring, and continue to be unhappy. But then, ah, how clever you become! You see the truth of your situation, and so what do you do but buy books to be happy, or join spiritual groups and try meditating or yoga or holding hands and singing kumbaya.
Because you have been told this will make you happy. Ideas, ideas, ideas. The logic is there, the common sense is not. You merely have the idea in your mind that this will make you happy. Then there is your actual state of being.
Now, in your later, more erudite years, you form theories and rationalization and complications adding idea on top of idea of how to be happy.
You’re still at square one... kid.
This is your battle; and it’s meaningless.
(Unless, of course, you just love to fight -- but in the sense of actually achieving your ends you waste your time in full).
And I hope you will begin to see, this battle is an endless one. Because you are not fighting the enemy. Indeed, no enemy even exists. Can “you” truly fight “yourself”? Can a rock land on itself? You fight ideas; you fight fear. These are apart from you as they can be entertained and battled with. And with these you can wrestle forever, endlessly constructing permutations and boogie men.
At the beginning, I noted you struggle with yourself, but let's start to be more accurate with our language. You actually do not -- cannot -- fight yourself. You fight your constructions. Unfortunately, it is you who are the problem... not your precious house of cards.
I leave you here now, in this imbroglio of utter confusion, ideas, and bungled up theories and spiritualities.
Part Two will come, and I will hand to you the sword of pure truth, reason, and logic that will cut you free from it all.