A few days ago I met at the park with one of my best friends. We hung out and talked for a few hours about a number of topics, until we eventually said our goodbyes as he hopped on his bike and left for home. It was quite late and night had already fallen, but I wanted to chill out and contemplate something I was thinking about earlier before returning home.
As I sat down on a park bench and meditated, I was, in the space of about 15 minutes, approached by a middle aged man pushing a bicycle beside him. He went past me and as our eyes met, he asked what I was doing. I replied that I was contemplating some topics that have been weighing on my mind recently.
I quickly saw that he was looking for someone to talk to – and my intuition turned out correct. He engaged me in a conversation, well not really a conversation, more a monologue, as I listened to what he had to say.
In the space of almost an hour he confided in me about everything – from his miserable failed relationships, how his ex cheated on him, to his horrible financial situation and the unfairness he was subjected to when facing law enforcement (like being fined a significant amount of money for not having his seat belt on, even though, as he claimed, that one time was one of the rare few days he didn’t buckle up).
He seemed drunk, he seemed angry, frustrated and at times even surrendered to the fate of his life and our atrocious nepotistic society (his words, not mine, he might have been drunk, but he was by no means stupid) filled to the brim with corruption and psychopathy, which he expressed with an exasperated laugh every now and then…..but most of all, most of all he just seemed sad.
Through his life experience he came to some conclusions about other people, our society and life in general, which he shared with me throughout the conversation.
According to him, all women were inherently evil. They all simply wanted someone with plenty of money, slowly bleeding him dry and then moving on to a different guy. Indeed that is why he said he prefers prostitutes, because at least, they come at a lower price and one you can know about in advance.
He stated that the main problem in our society is that people were too good – that those on top that grabbed up all the money and power for themselves were easily able to harm and destroy others, while the rest of us cannot bring ourselves to harm others and thus fail at life, fail at getting the best life has to offer, fail to step on other’s toes and “win” in this dog-eat-dog world.
“As we wait for good luck to shine on us and God to appear, after going to church every Sunday,” he said, “we are screwed over by the bastards in power – and eventually realize that there is no God and no good luck will save us.”
Though I personally disagreed with his conclusions, I never felt like anything I could say would change his mind. True, I was tired and it’s possible that I could have swayed his beliefs if I really tried, but I was in no mood to do so. I simply listened and allowed him to speak his mind, as I nodded along to show I was indeed paying attention. As I listened I started to realize deep in my heart that the way he spoke was simply an echo of what the majority of the people silently thought. Perhaps not in that exact manner, perhaps not those exact beliefs. But I knew that the energy he expressed was one shared by the majority. The energy of hopelessness.
“What is there to do?” People cry. The world is a mess. As the old man said and as I agreed with a laugh of my own – how is society even functioning now? Considering the amount of corruption, depression, destruction and insanity present in the system, it seems quite like a miracle. A miracle that could soon collapse in on itself, with a warning shot that only those aware enough could have ever heard in the constant noise of confusion.
But let us ask ourselves something – is it really hopeless? Are we really all peons in line for slaughter, serving in a neo-feudal system of massive proportions, bowing to the Kings and Queens of our age, while we wait for the cold release of death?
It is this very mentality, these very conclusions, that anybody in power would be thrilled to have you internalize. Indeed, the very idea that you are powerless, that you can do nothing to save your self or improve our society, is one of the greatest detriments to our society. It is, in fact, the illusion of hopelessness, from the perspective of the slave.
You see, the problem is not that people don’t know. It’s not that they are unaware of how the world works, how many problems we face as a society and as a people – the problem is that they think nothing can be done. Whether we are talking about sociological, political, environmental…or any other issues plaguing us. You may be aware that things are not right. You may even wish for things to be better. But as long as you feel powerless to change anything, as long as you feel your contribution is irrelevant – and as long as billions share that same thought – nothing will ever change.
Thus the first thing we must shed is the idea that what we do is completely irrelevant. Trust me, it is not. The world is comprised of individuals and these individuals form a unit. But even as one cancer cell mutation, unchecked by the body’s natural defense systems, can be enough to start a chain reaction and kill an organism, just as one bullet fired can be enough to start a war, so too the opposite is true. One person alone can start a disaster and in the end it is also one person that can end it. In the end, many are needed for change to occur, but just a few words can be enough to start a chain reaction and with it a fire that can change everything.
The thing you must understand is that no matter how much you may think it to be so, you are not separate from the world around you. Your thoughts, your words, your actions, your blueprint has an impact. One word, or even one smile can have an impact far larger than you may ever really know.
Once you realize, truly see that you are connected to this Earth, that you are not above nature, but part of it. That you are not only a separate human, but a part of the human race. That you are not only a speck in the Cosmos, but one of its greatest creations.
Then you will find deeper freedom. You will find meaning and you will find purpose. The more you are alone, the more you are dead. Yet loneliness is not synonymous with solitude. The feeling of loneliness is brought forth by the idea of separation. Once you see beyond that, your deeper meaning is found. The meaning that you are a part of a greater whole – individual, yet also stretching beyond your individuality.
There, you can find meaning, purpose, peace and love. There you will also find your path, how you fit into this puzzle of epic proportions.
I invite you to become fully present. Being fully where you are, now. Allow yourself to observe and embrace your bodily sensations, your emotions and thoughts. Allow yourself to accept it all, as if you have chosen it. Then allow yourself to listen and look beyond. Observe the space, listen to the silence behind the sound, look at the space between thoughts. Allow yourself to feel the stillness that is always present, yet unnoticed.
This is your doorway. Beyond your personal self, beyond your personal self is the Cosmos. Beyond it there is Life. And that life is also what you are. You are never really totally separate from the ever-present Life that imbues reality with its richness.You are the individual, yet you are also part of the whole. Even further – you are the whole as much as you are a unit.
Do not believe me when I tell you this, for it is something you can experience by yourself, first hand. You are not merely your personal, but also your transpersonal self – they are not absolutely separate and the borders between them are dimmed.
Once you see this you will know that the idea that all is lost is an illusion, then you will know that no effort is ever in vain, then you will never look at the world and think that all is lost and gone. Once you see it, you cannot go back. You will help, you will aid, you will awaken, because you will see beyond the fog that clouds your perception. You will see that no matter who you are, it is your destiny to do your part in the evolution of the grand totality of the Universe and the planet we are on.
Listen, Life is calling. Will you pick up the phone?