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Looking at life with clarity

The challenge is to see life as it is. To see it without wanting it to be like this or like that. To impose nothing on it. To take away nothing from it. To watch effortlessly, without intentions or expectations. To allow ourselves not to grasp life, not to understand it, while also not being indifferent. But, to be totally involved, yet not imposing. The challenge is to not say “this is how it is”.

You need life to be in a certain way, otherwise you might not bother. Just as it is, it might not be enough. So you impose on it. Heavens, hells, legacies, cultures, heritages, traditions, values, ethics, morals are all impositions on life. You needed meaning, you needed a point. In these fictions you find plenty. Life on its own has certainly no reason to give you. It cannot. Meaning is an impossibility. But we crave it. We pretend. We hope. Death is all too tempting if our sorrows, our pains, and our sacrifices cannot be given meaning. Why put up with it for nothing?

The challenge is to be involved, but not imposing. If you’re sad, be completely involved in that sadness. Cry, scream, sing, dance, sleep, talk with as much sadness as you have. Be as sad as you are. Then you’re involved. But as soon as you give it reason, you impose. Then it becomes ugly. Your sadness becomes something of fiction. Life is no longer appearing just as it is. Now there is distortion. It is not possible to have a reason for sadness. Sadness needs no reason. We give it reasons hoping to explain it away. We need to believe in reasons so that something can be done about it. Nothing should be done about it, except to see it effortlessly.

“My father is dying, this is the reason I am sad”, you might say. It is not a reason for your sadness . It’s an opportunity. You have always known he would die. Sadness is in our essence. Like hunger, sex, the need pee or poop. Yet you cannot pee or poop whenever the urge arises. That would be disgusting. You must wait for an opportunity. A restroom perhaps. Sadness is unfortunately equally disgusting too many. We cannot be sad whenever it comes to us. We hold it. We suppress it. We do not understand that we are sad for no reason. It makes no sense. It’s seems so silly to be sad without any reason. We cannot let it surface. No one must see. The whole thing is so subtle, so quick. Almost automatic. It is happening inside of us, but we do not know it. We do not notice. Then finally we find a reason. There is opportunity. Somebody died, something was lost, someone was mean, etc…. Now, finally we can be sad.

Same thing for happiness. It’s already there. The jar is full of cookies, but here’s the crazy: First you must be good. You must deserve it. Then you can take a cookie. Not before. Happiness is there, but first something must be done. An excuse is needed, an oppurtunity. So you buy something, or donate something else, but something must be done. Something good. Then you can be happy. Now you have a reason. If someone asks why you’re happy, you can answer, you can explain. If you couldn’t explain it, people would think you were crazy. The whole thing is silly. Happiness is there, no oppurtunity is needed, no excuse, no reason, and certainly nothing has to be done to deserve it. Whenever happiness happens, and it will happen without your permission, without notice, just be involved.

Life becomes so dirty when we give it reasons. We maim it with meanings. In doing so we make it difficult for us to understand ourselves. Man is too eager to ask “Why am I here?”. If only he could pause, and try to feel what drives him to ask this. Just pause and feel, and look.



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Nadeem J. Qureshi