This life, this universe, this whole reality is utterly absurd so why the heck do we weigh ourselves down with negativity? There are wonders out there to be experienced: wondrous people to meet, wondrous plants, landscapes and creatures to see, wonders of our own imagination, brought into the real world through wondrous technology. Life is WONDER-full – and we are wondering beings, witnessing and experiencing it all.
So when we’re privy to the greatest show of all, and having the absolute time of our lives, ecstatic and elated, what do we want?
- We want “MOAR!”
- We want it to last longer.
- We want to contribute, to participate, to keep it going.
- We want ourselves to last longer so we can experience more.
- We want to share it with our best mates, or the whole world.
Now, there’s a ton of behaviours which flow naturally from the small set of motivations above. For example, if we want it to last longer, then we’re going to do things to keep it going and remove obstacles to its perennity. That means making sure we don’t annihilate ourselves by any of the various and incredibly imaginative ways we’ve discovered of doing so, such as nuclear war, or ecological genocide through over-consumption. We’re going to want to take care of ourselves, and our health, to make sure we live for as long as we can in as healthy a state as we can so that we can experience it all with the richness and diversity that is generally more easily afforded to a healthy body and mind. When in the throes of jubilation at the experience of a marvel, one of the most common, spontaneous behaviours we humans exhibit is that old “Hey you, come here, you gotta see this!” desire to share that marvel with another person. If that’s the case then we’re going to want to align our lifestyle in such a way as to not inhibit the experience that other people can have or are in the process of having. One of the obvious ones is not killing other people. Another obvious one is helping others to have access to a fuller, easier, and more pleasant experience of those marvels. When we focus less on the ‘I gotta get mine’ attitude, realising we already got the best gift of being alive, then we can look at those other ‘grumpies’ and, instead of feeling superior, feel compassion that they’re so stuck in the boot-sucking sludge of illusion, feel that there must be a way to help them out.
It’s really not that complicated. It’s worthwhile reminding ourselves and others of the wonder all around them.
(note: of course there are hardships, immense tragedies and there is such injustice that if you were to really take a look, you’d probably want to curl up and weep. I know I do. But what helps me is the old ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’ adage taken from the perspective of ‘a tragedy of a thousand lives begins to heal with a single helping hand’ and just face one hardship at a time, one after the other – with a ‘faith’ that I’m not the only one helping out there. There are a lot of us.)