Fearless Reason

Fearless reason in an age of frightened absurdity.

Tag: Intelligence

Don’t Be Clever

“So, whenever there is a negativity in you, if you can be aware at that moment that there is something in you that takes pleasure in it or believes it has a useful purpose, you are becoming aware of the ego directly. The moment this happens, your identity has shifted from ego to awareness. This means the ego is shrinking and awareness is growing. Having realized: “At this moment I am creating suffering for myself”, it will be enough to raise one above the limitations of conditioned egoic states and reactions. It will open up infinite possibilities which come to you when there is awareness—-other vastly more intelligent ways of dealing with any situation. You will be free to let go of your unhappiness the moment you recognize it as unintelligent. Negativity is not intelligent. It is always of the ego. The ego may be clever, but it is not intelligent. Cleverness pursues its own little aims. Intelligence sees the larger whole in which all things are connected. Cleverness is motivated by self-interest, and it is extremely short-sighted. Whatever is attained through cleverness is short-lived and always turns out to be eventually self-defeating. Cleverness divides; intelligence includes.” – Eckhart Tolle, “A New Earth”

Modern Malaise: Gen Y

Something is amiss with modern man; a sort of subtle melancholy that at times defies articulation. The history of humanity has thus far been defined by hardship and the struggle for survival. Our forebears lived lives that were nasty, brutish and short, where each day was an unbearable struggle to merely survive. However, over the past hundred years or so a large portion of the human race has managed to pull itself up from the drudgery of mere survival, to a place of prosperity and ease. Physical comfort and survival accomplished, the question has become: What now?

Those stuck in the paradigm of survival have concluded that if what they have now is good, surely more is better. So they set out to acquire ever more wealth, luxury and ease; often at the expense of enjoying any of it. However, an increasing portion of the population, particularly those in Gen Y, are no longer satisfied with their predecessors’ imperative of survival.

This is the generation who has known no great wars, and was born into a world of material abundance and digital connectivity. Survival was never at risk for this cohort, so they often fail to see the necessity or wisdom of the ideas that drive modern society. Survival assured, Gen Y wants more than their parents’ suburban mansions, with garages filled to overflowing with once wanted but now unused adornments and diversions. Instead, they wish to live lives filled with meaning, in communities that foster growth.

People are changing, and the world is soon to follow. What many are experiencing now is the birthing pains of a new paradigm, and a new age. As survival chafes against the paradigm of prosperity, many find themselves trapped in old patterns that leave them feeling empty and unfulfilled. They work jobs they hate, doing thing they find meaningless or wrong, to buy things, once acquired, they no longer want. They live in a world of survival, because they cannot see how prosperous they are. This person feels trapped, and their life meaningless. They know there is a better way, but they see no way to achieve it. They feel trapped in a struggle for survival, not born of the necessity to survive, but out of a system and circumstances that seem to allow no alternative. In short, they are caught in the inertia of a world predicated on a paradigm that enriches their flesh, but impoverishes their soul.

However, only our choice to adhere to inertia’s mandate gives it any power over us. To live a life of prosperity, one need only decide they are prosperous and enjoy their wealth. I do not speak of the ornaments of survival that have given birth to the tremendous waste and shallow consumerism of our society. Instead, I speak of the richness of living a life with meaning, with people you love. To be prosperous, one need only live a life in which your values and actions align, and those you love are cherished.

Consider what the world would be like if everyone engaged only in those things they found meaningful, good and worthwhile. Is it somewhere you would like to live? If so, what is stopping you?

End of an Era

It seems appropriate that my first post is about the end of life as we know it. Few topics so perfectly represent the generic melodrama of the popular discourse of the Absurd. What follows is a reasonable man’s dissent.

The “end of world” crowds have a secret. Whether their end of world scenario is religious, scientific, or economic; each group shares a common and urgent fear of living. To the desperate, hopeless and overwhelmed the end of existence can be an alluring proposition. It is the ultimate escapism, allowing not only escape from personal hardship, but an end to all human drama and uncertainty.

Yet mankind bounds, crawls and sometimes stumbles forward, day by day, and year by year; narrowly escaping one theory of desolation only to be faced with another.

The radical millenarian who sells all his worldly possessions and gleefully awaits the end of the world is by himself a relatively harmless and isolated figure.  The true and imminent danger to human survival is the agnostic millenarian. This is the man who is passively engaged with the world because he finds the future too disturbing or uncertain to contemplate. He lives for today and yesterday, and his contemplation of the future does not extend past a vague notion of tomorrow or next week. He is a creature of the eternal now, and only tentatively believes in tomorrow. He is a man dangerous not because of his beliefs, but because of his agnosticism. He is the Everyman.

Humanity faces dire but not insurmountable problems. To survive we will have to witness an end of life as we know it. But that does not have to be the end of the world. In fact, it could very well be the dawn of a new era, more prosperous and enlightened than all the others before it. Our true enemy is the inertia of now, and a belief that tomorrow, if it exist at all, will be but a version of today.

Tomorrow’s solutions to today’s problems will be found by fearless minds devoted to reason. It is trite to say, but to survive we must think outside of the box. The unthinkable must be thought, and the unimagined must be materialized. The business of everyday living has a way of moderating and dulling even the brightest and most innovative of minds. We are taught from an early age to go with the crowd, that normalcy is the ultimate aspiration, and that its definition is finite and small. The fearless mind must reject this proposition, and see it for what it is – the frightened absurdity of the doomed.

Let every person with imagination and fortitude devote themselves to one idea: Fearless reason in an age of frightened absurdity.