Waves of Feeling
What may seem like conflict on one level, is harmony at a higher level.
“There are no facts, only interpretations.”
“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”
“When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him. In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
“Often it isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the little pebble in your shoe.”
When someone asks me how I’m feeling? I am never so sure how to respond. It seems to me too loaded an inquiry to answer spontaneously, and frankly, it’s too spacious a generalisation to encapsulate how I am feeling right this moment. Isn’t that the same reason why so many people never bother with it anyhow? The most common responses are almost always along the lines of “I’m doing well, good, fine, etc.” irrespective of how miserable, unhappy, or depressed a person may feel. This automatic response has become so settled within us that we hardly give it any forethought anymore. At the same time, we look after that desire to appear happier, more balanced, more at ease, more stable, more untroubled than we are – often by choice, but not always.
Yet, quite ironically, we have this abiding sense – every one of us – that everyone is moderately lost, perhaps even a little hopeless. It appears that we are all conscious of this truth, but we keep it to ourselves, knowing that everyone is doing the same, and we all profess to ourselves that this existence of ours is too contemptible and base, too threatening and fearsome, to lay ourselves bare and rejoice in a lack of deceit. Maybe, the price may be too grave to pay, maybe it could even lead us to our death.
This conundrum of speaking up and talking about your feelings is florid, and if I’m honest, a little trifling. Men who have strong ties with admirable men are not constantly held back by lack of belonging, or overwhelming feelings of uncertainty, fear, and anxiety. They have a loving kinship to fall back on, a familial attachment that reassures and affirms their place in the world, a balanced outlook on life that doesn’t corrupt, abuse, destroy, or undermine the good and prosperous. But I shall digress.
Many people seldom think of everyday questions, and wonder to themselves if people are being utterly sincere in their responses, or even acknowledging what they themselves are saying. How am I meant to briefly describe how I feel when it takes deliberate writing and prolonged self-reflection to conceive and make sense of? At any given moment, I am feeling innumerable senses, many of which I could not get to the bottom of by merely thinking about them. You see, when you ask me how I am feeling, you presuppose that I am conscious of everything I am feeling right this moment, and that’s an erroneous assumption to make.
Most people are not as vital as they say they are, and are heaving burdens they don’t explicitly confess to, whether by ignorance or denial or fear. The notion that most people feel isolated is ironic - which is truer than you and I believe - because if the feeling of alienation permeates western culture, and partial or full disconnection from the soul and spirit is immanent, then it is a terrible delusion to think and believe in your heart that you feel alone and unhappy and miserable, but everyone else, who shares in your exact same suffering by conditioned disease, is doing fine and have figured out the cryptic code to life.
Everyone is lost, some people happened to have found a way to find direction and move closer to an ordered means of living. People are always figuring themselves out, the feeling of separation that permeates their very being is a chronic frustration they sense which they don’t necessarily have power over, but it still keeps happening to them and they always keep wondering why. And then, one day, the answer comes to them, as if suddenly and without forethought. There was never any need to think yourself lost, but because of the story you tell yourself, that you are lost, or found, you seek confirmation of it in the external world, in your behaviour, demeanour, way of life.
A change of paradigm is in right: the story you tell yourself dictates the narrative of your situation. If you convince yourself that you are eternally doomed to poverty, and you truly come to believe it, you have entangled yourself in a knot that was never there to begin with, but by your feeble and unproductive thinking patterns, you created it yourself. And then, to make it a little worse, you paint yourself a victim of entanglement, as if it weren’t yourself and your inclinations to blame for having dug a grave and submerged yourself inside it.
This way of thinking about things is flawed, as it always presupposes that our mental impediments are predetermined and fixed, but this isn’t necessarily the case. While our intelligence may be unchangeable, our mental models are pliable and cooperative. Paradoxically, however, even the assumption that our paradigm is fixed is profoundly restrictive, for that too makes you believe you’re doomed to develop harmonious models and stories that could only maximise and leverage your competence. It is more a matter of reprogramming your mind to believe what is objectively true while unlearning the false preconceptions that it believes to be true that are fundamentally wrong. This is not the easy path, but it is certainly the rewarding one. It is a process, first of all, of negation, of discarding from your memory the preconceptions that obscure and embellish the truth. You can’t build a strong foundation if there is old useless junk littering beneath the surfaces. You must disinfect your mind before anything, and dispose of the junk, only then are you able to build upon firmer principles.
To bypass this crucial step is to infect your mind with affirmative and compelling narratives without having previously surmounted your insufficient programming. It simply doesn’t work. You must unlearn old false stories first, and learn new true stories after, not vice versa. You must become a disciple of truth, not ready to believe, but always ready to inquire – such is the attitude of faith; to want to know the truth, regardless of what it may turn out to be, regardless of how antagonistic it is to our shoddy prejudices. Belief, especially when it is hurried, is blind and foolish, it is one of the symptoms of the herd, not of a fertile intellect. The wise are always rather delayed, cautious, even cynical. You have to be if you want to dig out the reality of things.
You can’t plunge into conclusions without having asked the appropriate questions, examined the likely possibilities, and intimately experienced these things. It’s easier to be convinced by the truth if you’ve endured it, but it’s harder to swallow if you never did anything brave, took a risk, stood close to the fire, verged on death. It’s only when you live dangerously that the truth becomes more apparent, but it is precisely because it is dangerous and a threat to the herd that it is seldom recommended, and exceptionally unusual among the inferior.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this piece, please leave a like and any relevant thoughts below. As you may have been able to tell, I am releasing long-form exclusive content for those who are interested in more esoteric and nuanced knowledge suited for the few who are out there killing it in life.
If you’re interested in being a part of an elite circle of like-minded men for an economical 9$ per month, make sure to become a paid subscriber today! If that doesn’t sound like something you’re interested in, you can still stay for the free essays, which I publish every now and then!
See you soon!