Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Fucked Life

The fucked life is myopic. It has no sense of proportion, no discernment. It sees only itself and assumes the world is as fucked as it is.

When you reduce the size and scope of life to your own misery, when all that you see is all that you lack, you're fucked. It extrapolates from your puny misery (puny in relation to everything and everyone else) a miserable world, but the logic is flawed. Rewind a bit. Go back to the first entry here. The Dhammapada.

We are what we think
All that we are arises with our thoughts
With our thoughts we make the world

This is where the trouble is. You think you're fucked and then you are. You think the world sucks, and then it does. You think your pain is a badge of honor, your victimhood a blue ribbon, and so it is.

We've all indulged such dark fantasies such as this. We've all nursed our wounds to the point of self-righteousness, but too often we stay there. We get stuck on that wheel. The question is begged: why? There is a payoff for staying fucked and stuck otherwise we wouldn't do it. So what's the payoff?

Here's my part of that answer: we are afraid to let go of what has hurt us. The intensity of that attachment, that hurt, that mind-fucking trick bag of pain is as dizzying as love and we mistake our fidelity to the fucked up life we are living for love.

How fucked is that?

* * *

"According to Buddhism, there are four elements of true love.

The first is maitri, which can be translated as loving-kindness or benevolence. Loving-kindness is not only the desire to make someone happy, to bring joy to a beloved person; it is the ability to bring joy and happiness to the person you love, because even if your intention is to love this person, your love might make him or her suffer.

The second element of true love is compassion, karuna. This is not only the desire to ease the pain of another person but the ability to do so. You must practice deep looking in order to gain a good understanding of the nature of the sufferig of this person, in order to be able to help him or her change. Knowledge and understanding are always at the root of the practice.

The third element of true love is joy, mudita. If there is no joy in love, it is not true love. If you are suffering all of the time, if you cry all the time, and if you make the person you love cry, this is not really love - it is even the opposite. If there is no joy in your love, you can be sure that it is not true love.

The fourth element is upeksha, equanimity or freedom. In true love, you attain freedom. When you love, you bring freedom to the person you love. If the opposite is true, it is not true love. You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free, not only outside but also inside."

Thich Nhat Hanh, True Love

If what Hanh says is true about what we give to those around us (and I believe it is true) then what does that say about the fucked among us? The same four elements of kindness, compassion, joy and freedom apply to you own fucked up self. Only more so. For how can you give something you deny yourself?

The fucked life is myopic. There is no discernment. It confuses suffering with love and wonders why it is fucked.

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