The way I see it – metaphorically – is that we’re all caught in a net within the sea of consciousness. We’re like fish, alternately struggling for freedom and giving up in hopelessness and resignation.
We’re all looking for ‘saviours’: philosophies, religions, science, romantic relationships, jobs, houses, child-rearing, myriad dreams that often disappoint for they provide no answers. They can’t save us.
I think we feel helpless and most would rather bury their head in the sand. They don’t want people like me speaking out loud about it. They don’t want the elephant in the room acknowledged. They don’t want their reality held up to look at, as if it were a mirror – not unless the person holding the mirror actually has an answer to the problem.
Which I don’t.
I know what the problem is, but not the solution.
Civilization, as a conceptual matrix that governs the manner of our existences, and though an accidental creation of human consciousness, is a monster that terrorizes us. Civilization is the problem, not the solution. It contains compensations, sure, but these compensations are insufficient to balance the suffering it causes.
Quite frankly, I don’t think there is a solution because Civilization is a juggernaut that can’t be turned around. Civilization is an incurable disease.
I think the best we can do is comfort each other. But I also think we need to learn to comfort ourselves, not just to be able to help ourselves in times of difficulty, but to be free of our dependency on others because being dependent on others – I think – is the biggest cause of relationship problems because it creates feelings of neediness and helplessness and desperation and misunderstandings and expectations and disapppointments and recriminations, all of which leads to power struggles in an effort to get others to satisfy the needs we haven’t learned to satisfy for ourself. And vice versa. We expect ‘love’ to save us, but it can’t.
This, of course, is what Jesus did… comfort others, I mean. He went into the thick of the crowd of the sick, the confused and the desperate and he put his arms around them. It doesn’t matter to me whether JC was a real, live person because he’s long dead and rotted away even if he was ever alive in the fleshy sense. It’s enough for me that the image of him is a symbol of fearless, uncompromising compassion.
What does it require of us to do likewise… to comfort ourselves and others, to be kind to ourselves and others? It requires us to be unafraid of suffering… but in order to be unafraid of others’ suffering we have to be unafraid of our own. Yikes, that’s a tall order. It requires an attitude of self-love, self-compassion and kindness towards ourself, and that is anathema to what Civilization teaches us.