Thursday, June 30, 2011

WHY?!

Why is it that people argue with themselves?
Well, I assume I'm not the only one who does.
Why is it that we constantly go against ourselves on everything. That we split our mind two ways, and can often see both sides of wisdom but simply cannot justify one or the other enough to adopt it's way of thinking.
And more importantly, HOW can we do this? In some ways I very much wish we weren't so complex. The fact that we actually can split our consciousness into two ways of thinking is bizarre. I'm not saying in a weird, multiple personality/talking to yourself way. I mean in the way that, when we're in turmoil, we can tell ourselves one thing and believe another. It's like one part of our mind is this wise, knowledgable but ultimately ignored being that listens to advice, takes everything in and tells the rest of us, quite calmly, the right decision to make. Meanwhile, the other part of our minds is hiding in a dark shadowy corner somewhere, waiting until Miss. Clever disappears for a minute so that they can basically tear down all those positive, clear and reasonable thoughts that we so determinedly tried to build into our systems.

It is, in essence, a completely self-destructive thing and I don't see why we have to have the capability to do it in the first place. Why should people be able to feel sad, happy, angry, and then tell themselves they shouldn't be feeling sad, happy, angry?
I suppose (and here comes Miss. Clever) that there's a reason we have this mental capacity. It's probably some sort of self-development thing. Some sort of, 'Look how smart humans are! We can think several conflicting things at once and believe all of them equally! Hooray." thing. In being able to do this, we're able to test ourselves mentally, experience conundrums and deal with them (or alternatively, not deal with them. Maybe it's a survival of the fittest.)
All in all, it is frustrating to say the least.
And it makes me want to not have quite a big brain.
I bet cats don't have this problem.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Peace

I've recently read a wonderful book. It's quite a well-known book, hugely popular and then made into a movie with a few celebrities. It's about love, spirituality, pleasure, and peace. Guessed it yet? It's 'Eat, Pray, Love'.
It's one of those books that I kept saying, 'Oh you should read that.' about but never actually got round to it, until I saw it sitting next to my Mum's bed and realised we owned a copy. So I read it, and I'm glad I did. I understand why it is so popular. Why so many people love it and endorse it. It's a beautiful book. It's the kind of book that inspires you, not in a cliched sense, but in the same way that seeing someone perform makes me want to get up and perform also. It makes you want to be active in life.

For some people, I can imagine it would be a hard read. The book (for those of you who haven't read it) is divided into three sections: Italy for pleasure, India for spirituality, and Indonesia for balancing the two. The first section, Italy, is probably enjoyable for everyone. It's about things everyone can relate to - the art of relaxing. Enjoying yourself without guilt, letting yourself eat pasta and ice cream for breakfast and spending days wandering the street with no real aim.
The second section is when it changes. India is all about spirituality. It's all about meditation, grappling with inner demons, finding god, finding peace.

I am not a religious person, but for some reason I love reading about it. I love reading from the perspective of a religious person. I love finding out about it, understanding it, knowing about it. And so this portion of the book fascinated me. BUT. It did bring up a question in my mind.

First of all, the majority of the book talks about finding this enlightenment, oneness with god and the universe that gives you contentment. It lets you let go of negative emotions or needless feelings and live with happiness. That's great. That's terrific. But it made me think - is that right? Is living in contentment how we are meant to be living?

It brings me back to a post I made a while ago about feeling miserable and angry and just letting yourself feel that for a while. Everyone is entitled to a bit of angst. In my mind, someone who is happy all the time isn't a very interesting person. Nor are they very human. They say only the insane are happy all the time. Do they say that simply because they can't understand the concept of being happy? That we can't? Maybe. Maybe I'm wrong, and if I understood it more I would be more accepting of it.

But another thing. I find that negative emotions are incredibly necessary. Not all the time obviously - I'm not saying that someone in a constant bad mood is the best person in the world. What I'm saying is that it's the negative emotions that drive us into great things sometimes.
It's that feeling of frustration and anger when we can't understand something that pushes us to practice and learn and not give up until we learn it. It's those feelings of grief and sadness that prompt us to take stock of the world and our lives and make changes for the better. It's that feeling of unsatisfaction with what we have that makes us advance our knowledge and create more and more amazing things. Yes, there are elements of positive emotions in these examples, but that's the balance, isn't it? How can there be positive without negative?

The idea of being happy and content all the time is an alluring one. A magical one even. It paints a picture of heaven, of total enlightenment and peace. But, in my mind, it is in no way a realistic one. That's not what humans are about. We shouldn't live our lives trying to suppress and fight away negative emotions. Those emotions are just as a part of us as happiness and excitement are. We need that duality. Yes, we can strive to find a balance, but reaching for a state of only happiness is an empty dream.

I hope you don't take this as morbid, it's not in any shape or form. I just like that humans are complex, and that we can feel grief and joy to the exact same depth. I don't want to have to pretend that we shouldn't.
Rant ended.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Incredible

Anyone else find this absolutely incredible?! Some people are so talented.