Ah, yes. Mental peace. How badly we crave it at all times of day, for example, especially when we’re hooked onto social media, often measuring our self-worth with the number of likes our newest picture gets and the number of followers we have and all that superficial trivial crap that doesn’t even make a difference in the real world, and searching for that one username in the list of people who viewed your story only to find out that they like avoiding even the thought of you, above all else, let alone view your Instagram story (at least that’s how I interpret similar situations in my head, maybe you’ll relate, maybe you’ll not).
Yes, it can be a crushing blow when you find out that the apple of your eye perceives you as an irritating, prickly speck of dust in their eye that doesn’t go away and you’re actually a graver problem, more like conjunctivitis rather than a mere speck of dust that’s stuck in their eye, because, let’s face it, you make tears flow out of their eyes by digging into unresolved issues of the past, however virtuous your intentions might be. And you love them and hate them at the same time. But they surely hate you.
This exemplar scenario is only one of a million examples I could fabricate here, and trust me, I am far from mental peace as I can be. But who isn’t, right?
This article is backed by a motive to make readers believe that although we are striving on a daily, hourly, minutely basis for fulfillment, relaxation, happiness, mental peace and other pleasant sounding words which describe a state of mind free from suffering, worldly pain and discomfort, but that supposed state of individual/psychological and/or social utopia cannot exist.
Why? Because we humans are victims of “The Disease of More”. And because Order is the mother of Chaos.
How much ever happy you try to be, you will still feel that tiny black hole at the centre of your entire existence, sucking all the light and the good into it. Achieve all your financial goals, sleep on the most expensive bed from Ikea, drive three Lamborghinis, you will still frown at least once a day, you’ll find something to frown upon, to cast your hate upon, to lash out to.
Studies have shown that the more someone achieves in the material world, the more their gains feed their ego and make them bitter and arrogant. And you guessed it, unhappy as fuck, unless you actively try to harness your positive emotions and reap their rewards in the physical world in a righteous, virtuous manner so that there is no negative emotion like guilt or resentment associated with the rewards. Guilt kills more people than alcohol does.
So, if a truckload of money isn’t the answer to experiencing eternal, unwavering happiness, what is?
To answer this question, we need to dive into subjects of the intrinsic fundamentals of basic human psychology, and not consider visible things which some would perceive to be evident of success in one’s material world but since happiness and fulfillment or rather a lack of them are psychological issues, we will discuss emotional intelligence (finally).
(Disclaimer: I am not an expert on any of these subjects, I only like about writing about things that fascinate me).
I discovered a YouTube video a year ago which attempted to explain the different forms of intelligence you and I portray (or often don’t, to be honest) and it was an interesting video. I can’t recall all of it right now but I’m pretty sure that the creator of the video had made the video backed with sound research and analysis.
Afterwards, I found out about the YouTuber’s source of information and did a bit of research on my own on “Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences”.
Howard Gardner in his 1983 book “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences”, suggested that all people have eight forms of intelligence, of course, which are variable in their natures, influenced by a lot of things which start to develop right at the moment of the birth of a human baby.
So if you feel like you suck in any area of your life, remember that it’s not your fault.
Gardner’s theory basically suggests that human consciousness evolves over time and not only shows evolution when we procreate over generations, but with the help of eight brilliant mental faculties (and possibly a ninth one to be added), one “evolutes” over the course of his/her lifetime, growing with the completion of a breathtaking chapter in a book, every pang of regret that shoots through your heart, each loved one lost and every level beaten on Assassin’s Creed.
The ratio of the growth to the intensity of the situation overcome by you is almost all the time directly proportional to each other. Except if you spend all day on social media and don’t read awesome articles like this one, the growth is a constant. Can you guess its value? Yes. Zero.
Anyway, the YouTuber did a great job convincing me that there are at least eight types of intelligence (yeah, the word itself is a mystery, but I’m here to talk about something entirely different).
We humans are made of flesh and bone and guess what all flesh-and-boners (oops) have in common. Chemicals in the brain. Those chemicals are produced due to the influence of mere thought, the food we eat, that one cigarette, juice, a football match, you name it. The chemical levels roller-coaster inside your brain and you act like a retard on the outside. It’s the same for everyone. Nothing to be ashamed of.
If something’s a shame, it is that we cannot actively influence the levels of those chemicals in our brains, except if we do drugs. Don’t do drugs, kids.
So, what does it require to decide that things like drugs are bad for you or spending most of your time scrolling over and over your Instagram feed is a big fucking waste of time and emotional energy?
It is the holy grail of the human consciousness, the prodigal progeny of our animal brain, emotional intelligence.
Having it “all figured out”, whatever the fuck that means, doesn’t happen in the real world. And we are animals after all, we throw stuff, we throw punches at walls, we break our phones and TV sets on purpose, and all of that dramatic idiotic crap.
The only way you can have it “all figured out” (but only partly, because the universe and your existence is an array of surprises and unforeseen events) is by having the knowledge and a few ideas about keeping your emotions in check and how you can harvest positive emotions into positive action and using negative emotions as fuel, for example, transmutating anger into creativity.
Actively having the thought that your attention is transfixed at all times at the source of your attention itself, inward, and not out into the world. Yes, sometimes, it is the mere thought that makes all the difference.
But that’s not possible, right? Wrong. Try it out. Have a conversation with someone right now and find out for yourself if you can pay attention both to what the other person is saying and if at the same time you are able to observe the paths your thoughts choose to forge. Of course, mastery of mind control comes with a lot, a lot of practice, patience and active pursuit.
By having your attention on the source of your attention, you unlock a new hack in this game of life (you’re welcome), and you will start noticing a lot of mental and spiritual growth in yourself, the days become brighter, your moods become lighter, and it’s all flowers and butterflies for a few moments.
But that is until you break down again. You turn into your old self, which is almost inevitable with all the 7 billion cases, with all the bad habits and all the problems and can’t quite figure out what to do next. Everything seems like a fool’s errand.
That’s when you assume the Buddha stance, close your eyes and work the cogs of your mind more and more on bringing your attention to a position from where you can closely monitor your thoughts and your feelings and basically everything intrinsic.
Guess why Buddha liked it in the forest more than he did inside the four walls of his palace, why he chose the path that made him the legendary preacher Buddha and not Prince/King Siddartha. Well, you probably know his story, he wasn’t fulfilled with all the worldly riches he had stacked up around him. Material wealth often causes more problems than it solves.
That’s how Buddha made a decision to carve his own path of spiritual fulfillment, which neither a buttload of diamonds or seven whores could do for him. And it’s not going to be enough for you either.
And guess what, you are Buddha.
Make ten million dollars and tell me how you feel after thirty days. No, wait, I will tell you, you’ll feel like something’s still missing.
There is no formidable way to be happy all the fucking time. We exist to suffocate in the constructs built around our existence until the moment we cease to exist. A monk, Quang Duc, as a form of protest set himself on fire on the centre of a street in Vietnam during the US-Vietnam war and didn’t budge a millimeter till death gives us a valuable lesson in the following chain of words – “Pain is inevitable, suffering is a choice”.
A classic portrayal of the phrase “Mind over Matter”.
The aforementioned real life event that caused a revolution around the world proves that your thoughts are more powerful than emotions if you let them and can be used to navigate through life when the going gets tough.
I’m not saying that emotions are all bad. Feeling something does not mean you have to act upon it immediately. Study the feeling, its nature, the consequences of the possible actions it can influence and if the consequence you foresee seem bitter, the emotion automatically translates itself as destructive and the wisest choice for you at that moment is to let it go.
Avoiding emotion backed actions altogether may sound like a good idea but really, it’s not. It is your emotions making all the decisions for you. Where you are, the phone you have in your hands, the food you eat, your career path, almost everything. But overindulgence of emotions is an equally bad idea. Balance is the key as it is in most areas of life, and it is up to you to find your personalized path towards mastering the skill of balancing the universal laws of yin-yang/order-chaos/id-ego (whatever you may call them) beheld by your mental faculties.
Greetings, Team Red.