Thursday, August 18, 2011
Meditation 4 - Understand your program
And the young man went away sorrowful for he had great possessions. (Mk. 10:22)
Has it ever struck to you that you have ben programmed to be unhappy and so no matter what you do to become happy, you are bound to fail?
It is as if you fed mathematical equations into a computer and then failed each time you pushed it to turn out lines from Shakespeare.
If you wish to be happy the first thing you need is not effort or even goodwill or good desires but a clear understanding of how exactly you have been programmed. This is what happened:
I. First your society and your culture taught you to believe that you would not be happy without certain persons and certain things.
Just take a look around you: everywhere people have actually built their lives on the unquestioned belief that without certain things money, power, success, approval, a good reputation, love, friendship, spirituality. God they cannot be happy. What is your particular combination?
II. Once you swallowed your belief you naturally developed an attachment to this person or thig you were convinced you could not be happy without.
III. Then came the efforts to acquire your precious thing or person, to cling to it once it was acquired, and to fight off every possibility of losing it.
IV. This finally led you to abject emotional dependence so that the object of your attachment had the power to thrill you when you attained it, to make you anxious lest you be deprived of it and miserable when you lost it.
Stop for a moment now and contemplate in home the endles list of attachments that you have become a prisoner to. Think of concrete things and persons, not abstractions -
Once your attachment ha you in its grip you began to strive might and main, every waking minute of your life, to rearrange the world around you so that you could attain and maintain the objects of your attachment.
This is an exhausting task that leaves you little energy for the business of living and enjoying life fully. It is also an impossible task in an ever changing world that you simple are not able to control.
So instead of a life of serenity and fulfillment you are doomed to a life of frustration, anxiety, worry, insecurity, suspense, tension.
For a few fleeting moments the world does, indeed, yield to your efforts and rearranges itself to suit your desires.
Then you become briefly happy. Or rather, you experience a flash of pleasure which isn't happiness at all for it is accompanied by the underlying fear that at any moment this world of things and people that you have so painstakingly put in place will slip out of your control and let you down which it never fails to do sonner or later.
V. And here is something else to ponder on: Each time you are anxious and afraid, it is because you may lose or fail to get the object of your attachment, isn't it?
And each time you feel jealous, isn't it because someone may make off with what you are attached to? And almost all your anger comes from someone standing in the way of your attachment, doesn't it? and see how paranoid you become when your attachment is threatened - you cannot think objectively; your whole vision becomes distorted, doesn't it? And every time you feel bored, isn't it because you are not geting a sufficient supply of what you believe will make you happy, of what you are attached to?
And when you are depressed and miserable, the cause is there for all to see; life is not giving you what you have convinced yourself you cannot be happy without. Almost every negative emotion you experience is the direct outcome of an attachment.
So there you are loaded down by your attachments - and striving desperately to attain happiness precisely by holding on to the load. The very notion is absurd.
The tragedy is that this is the only method that everyone has been taught for attaining happiness a method guaranteed to produce anxiety, disappointment and sorrow.
Hardly anyone has been told the following truth: in order to be genuinely happy there is one and only one thing you need to do: get deprogrammed, get rid of those attachments.
When people stumble upon this self-evident truth they become terrified at the thought of the pain involved in dropping their attachments. But the process is not a painful one at all. On the contrary -
Getting rid of attachments is a perfectly delightful task if the instrument you use to rid yourself of them is not will power or renunciation but sight.
All you need to do is:
1. Open your eyes and see that you do not really need the object of your attachment at all;
2. Just realize that you were programmed, brainwashed into thinking that you could not be happy or you could not live without this particular person or thing.
Remember how heart-broken you once were, how you were certain you never would be happy again because you lost someone or something that was so precious to you? But then what happened? Time passed and you learnt to get on pretty well, did you not? That should have alerted you to the falseness of your belief, to the trick your programmed mind was playing on you.
An attachment isn't a fact. It is a belief, a fantasy in your head, acquired through programming.
If that fantasy did not exist inside your head, you would not be attached. You would love things and persons and you would enjoy them thoroughly but, lacking the belief, you would enjoy them on a non-attachment basis.
As a matter of fact, is there any other way to really enjoy something?
IV. Pass in review now all those attachments of yours. And to each person or object that comes to mind say, "I am not rally attached to you at all. I am merely deluding myself into the belief that without you I will not be happy."
Just do this honestly and see the change that comes about within you:
"I am not really attached to you at all. I have merely cheated myself into the belief that without you I will not be happy."