Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Evolution of a Perspective

Most human dissatisfaction is the result of asking yourself: What's missing? What don't I have? Who or what is not here? How does my current circumstance fail to measure up to expectations? What about the current moment is imperfect? We are princesses constantly scanning for mattress peas.

None of it has anything to do with what's actually happening (what's happening is what's happening!). It's about indulging a conception of yourself as living in a movie, and viewing your outcomes from the vantage point of the audience, measuring how far circumstances stray from the script as you envisioned it.

It is, quite literally, insane; a narcissistic fantasy world, none of it real. But this is how people with idle time (an unusual human condition found only among the rich, and you - yes, you! - are very very rich) make ourselves needlessly miserable.

I've broken this particular habit; I simply stopped indulging it. The evolution can be traced via the following postings, especially the third one, which was quite a "eureka" (it's helpful to understand that this Slog isn't where I share my knowledge, it's where I get my knowledge, during the process of writing. It's like an oracle):

The Monks and the Coffee
An Adult View on Preference
The Deeper Implications of Holiday Blues
Labeling and Post-Processing
Lasagna and Depression

Once you've found ease in the repose of what's actually happening (opting out of the business of what's not happening), the next step is to find that same ease amid unexpected change. I greatly admire my GPS, which accommodates surprise with infinite equanimity, always calmly "recalculating" as I ignore its instructions. The following are postings about that part:

The Real Secret
The Stories We Tell Ourselves
The Key to Happiness is Rolling With It
Resilience Means Giving Serendipity a Chance (see also the links at the bottom of this one)
Resilience Postscript
"So That Happened"
Pharaoh's Tombs, Movie Theaters, and Consciousnes
...and, most recently of all, The Problem With the Serenity Prayer

It's a lot of reading, and I readily acknowledge that I'm expressing the same point from multiple angles, but the repetition is intentional and useful, because while the points are simple, they're extremely counterintuitive, and if you'll actually put yourself into this in a practical way, rather than ponder it intellectually, you may find your bumpy life more of a ride and less of a torture test.

Getting to the root of it all, in the end, it's about letting go. Because our tight grip never helped in the first place. Consider The Toddler and the Steering Wheel....and Jnani Train


FWIW, some of these postings appear to be listed out of order because I've replayed a few of them, which screwed up the posting dates.

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