Balance. All of life is a terrifying balancing act. Never will we ever be “happy” completely and utterly. Maybe for a moment, but that moment is ultimately going to go away. Balance. Every action we take will cause a ripple effect that cause some things in our life to be better, and some things to be worse. Life is just constantly trying to find the right thing to tip the balance to where it needs to be. It won’t stay there. Pretty soon other things will come up and tip you to another point, another state of mind. It’s a constant multivariate calculus of cause and effect in our lives that we’re constantly trying to balance.
This whole concept is scary stuff. It’s the void. The realization that we will never actually be happy, and the most we can aspire to is a vague contentment and peace as the river pulls us further along. An understanding of ourselves and how to balance those things that we need in order to make ourselves feel… what? Is it the least pain? The most total happiness? What is the goal here? Ok, the word enlightenment keeps coming to mind. But what the hell do I even mean by that - what do I think enlightenment is?
Is it an understanding of the world? Is it inner peace? Does an understanding of the world and how we fit into bring ourselves peace? Going back to balance: is the shock of existential horror a necessary step in order to find the right balance? Are the extreme times absolutely needed? Do we swing back and forth in between highs and lows, with the goal to on average trend towards having more highs? Or are they supposed to converge, the sine wave collapsing? Or are they supposed to still happen, but the lows get higher and the highs get higher (or even stay the same, so long as the lows become less worse).
Ok let me try to puzzle this out.
Things I suppose I hold to be TRUE:
Cause and effect exist. Certain situations cause certain things to happen.
As a result, some things are inevitable. e.g. Roommates will always find small things around the apartment that annoy the other one. (“Oh why haven’t they cleaned this up yet?”, “Who leaves a shoe in the middle of the floor?”, etc.)
These inevitabilities and annoyances are not signs of a system falling apart, but simply a sign of the ebb and flow of life.
Most of us who look at these annoyances and think “Oh if it weren’t for all these dull things, I could get on with real life.”, don’t realize that whatever we define as “real life” can only exist because of those annoyances. “Real life” has such power and meaning because it is a temporary release from the dullness. The dullness and boredom are necessary to recharge our ability to have a large fountain of creativity and mirth.
I’m terrified of the fact that I realize now that I will never reach a point of everlasting happiness. It is such an unreasonable goal and yet I thought it was the end-goal of life. I don’t think so anymore. That dream is just going to make me miserable. Remembering the ebbing and flowing as natural parts of life and accepting them as they happen will go a lot further. The boredom and dullness will happen, but I need to keep them in mind. Getting bored and needing to try new things or change things up is always going to happen. Everything is transitory. You are a amalgamation of ideas, and constantly changing. There is no “perfect” image of Thomas that I need to stay true to. Question every process and decision. And question the questioning. Maybe you were right the first time.
Well this has been a long, unclear, winding rant of mine. Hope it can help spread some ideas and thoughts.