It seems to me the only real virtue of life or living or existence is to learn to be free from unhappiness.
This does not imply learning to be happy, or becoming happy, but rather to be free of energetic, or substantive unhappiness.
In the first instance, this 'substantive' unhappiness is the unpleasant, energetic entity that can be sensated within the body. For me, this sensation sits around the stomach or solar plexus area. Sometimes it's there, sometimes not.
The energy seems to want to come up into the mind and think about past notions and happenings that reflect its own sense of pain. That's where all the trouble starts; here comes the whirlpool of yucky stomach energy and the mind-fucking that goes with it, related to past hurts or disappointments, to current resentments or jealousies.
It's all horrid and stupid, really. Life is too short to be carrying around psycho-yuk baggage in the gut. I realise that it's important to live my life, but to maintain ongoing awareness of the substantive ball of yuk in my gut, and accordingly, to diminish it as a life-long activity.
This is probably the most important activity of my life, regardless of whatever my happen with the climate, or energy depletion, economic dislocations or H2S pluming.
It's about learning to love more, to give and to serve, and to learn to give up more and more the selfish "self" that wants to hold in to its notions of past pain, manifesting as victim mentality, "what about me", and envying people with who inherit property. Subtle, yes (thankfully), but stupid.
Shining the light of conscious awareness onto this inner yuk-ball is a simple, yet difficult process. It puts up a fight. It becomes the snarling dog and gets apparently larger as soon as you focus your inner attention - consciousness - onto it. It wants to throw you off the cliff and pounce on top of you and will cannibalise you by using its vicious jaws to bite through your face and the rest of you. You scream in agony but you secretly want the dog to bite your yuk-centre off - bite it off and be rid of it forever.
Unfortunately, mind-fucking and emotion only add to the ball and won't help to heal it.
Meditation, gratitude, being present and responsive to current circumstance (rather that coming from a past emotion and being reactive), and cultivating more love and compassion with all those around you, including nature and animals atop of the human variety are all fine ways to ease or diminish this energetic ball of yuck. And from another perspective, getting your life right and being true to yourself and the situation helps to free us from the binds of acute or obvious unhappiness.
Observation helps immensely. By observation we can see how this energy manipulates us in overt and highly subtle or slivery ways. And we have constant waking hour access to this, too.
The ongoing circular notion about all this is that there is really no mission or journey to it - it is all done "now". And yet it takes time to achieve the goal of freedom from the yuk-centre - but it can only ever be done 'now'.
It's about love, and to learn to love more. True, energetic loving that will blaze through the crap. To turn away from that moment where you want to lash, either now in a 'challenging' circumstance or at any other time where the focus is in the yuk-centre and mind is indulging painfully on some imagined retribution or other such similar silliness.
Living life, yes, and learning to love more, and learning to give up attachment to petty unhappiness.
It can, and shall, be done. Now to smile!
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