There are innumerable methods for achieving success and pursuing happiness in life — likely as many as there are philosophies and ideologies, values and belief systems. This is the beauty and complexity of the human experience; you can be who and what you want to be — you can at the very least try, and then choose something entirely different. Even in the darkest of places, in the most chaotic of times, we are adaptable and capable of transcendence.
I can’t possibly speak to nor appreciate the atrocities of living in war zones, surviving in refugee camps, serving time in prison, or how living in an oppressive regime can destroy one’s spirit. One’s perspective is a subjective construct relative to where you happened to be born, but there are subtle, toxic expressions of oppressive or dehumanizing practices in every society. We live in a reality that can accommodate and perpetuate the very extremes of circumstance, and yet, we continue; we live on to tell the stories, to teach the lessons, and to build figurative bridges between experience, intellect, interpretation, sensemaking, meaning and purpose.
I see the world, and it isn’t easy to look at. All at once, I can feel the deepest sorrow and loneliness, a fury and rage, and a gratitude and love; it’s not especially difficult to recall an image, story, fact, or fiction that can transport me to the heaven or hell of emotional capacity.
What is it that drives you? To whom, or to what ideal, are you accountable? Why do you desire what you desire? How do you define love? When you sleep, do you find rest? Is this waking life merely a dream; is there something fundamentally flawed in the algorithm? What is it about us that can even conceive of a question? Why?
If one is courageous or curious enough to peel away the layers of story and arbitrary association or attribution, you may begin to uncover and reveal the space before and between solidity and undisturbed potential. What is potential? It is that which is variable outside of symbology or representation; it is the formless pre-concept, an impulse awaiting electric or magnetic forces; it is the sea that is not yet water.
When we speak of someone’s potential — “someone” being a causal agent; an individual with the ability to think, choose and act; a self-aware participant in consciousness — in that instant begins a cascading formulative movement, as the forces of impression and concept coalesce and, in effect, reduce the infinite and incomprehensible toward a manageable array of elements; we are all inevitably and inextricably bound to both the systemic and the independently circumstantial, the macro, and the micro; this and that.
Those of us busy with life do not generally allow for any depth of introspection, meditation, or contemplation beyond superficial critical examination. There is, of course, nothing inherently problematic with that, either. It depends on what you desire to experience of this life, and the richness and satiety you expect to derive therein. It’s not an issue with time, but rather an issue with priority, agency, and the ability to stand outside the machinations of circumstance to obtain or regain a functional objectivity. We’re too deep within it to see and understand anything except what is perceived as immediately surrounding us.
Every level or gradation of an expressed (condensed, abbreviated) reality has its relative choice-making framework. Every level of intelligence — or encapsulated, segmented consciousness — operates most effectively within an accepted limit of infinite potential. Thus, what we want or can get out of life, as it were, is limited to probabilities within all we believe to be possible. Without these limits, we would likely suffer greatly. However, there comes a time (or perhaps many) that we may discover cracks in the veil of our understanding, which introduces unpredictable and uncodified elements to what is or was otherwise fairly stable and known. Do we then allow this existential brain exercise to break down our self-imposed barriers — and thus develop or expand into something other than what we thought we could be — or do we suppress and deny it?
I believe that as a collective consciousness (humanity in general, on Earth, at this time; the species as a whole) moves and evolves and integrates sensemaking incrementally with these minor or major disruptions to that which came before. Every day we can observe or learn of something, once considered impossible, proven to be nothing of the sort. For that matter, I think we ascribe far too many challenges to established parameters of reality as “impossible” in general; it is much more likely a matter of probabilities, and having the audacity to push beyond egoic, archaic or academic laws and restrictions. A truly scientific method is useful and of greater service to us all if liberated from the constraints of fiscal or political bias and wilful ignorance.
All of this is to suggest that life is, might be, and would be so much more than most of us accept it to be. There are no ordinary moments, for even in the rudimentary and plain is a vast field of organizable energy, from the cosmic to the subatomic, holding it all together, allowing our senses to take it in and use it, or not — to give it meaning, or not.
If your life feels a little stagnant, empty or irrelevant, if the world around you deserves little more than irreverence and apathy, it’d be an excellent time to drill down to the core of who and what you are. Let loose the repetitive, unchanging worries and concerns — set them aside for a time at the very least. That thought stream will always be waiting for you should you choose to return. You may discover the omniscient why, and with it, perhaps, the why not.