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Post by Nazheek » 22 Aug 2019 02:32

It's a terrible disposition modern man finds himself. Work work work, toil toil toil, ever the busy bee. Yet all of the labour of the folk of today seems superficial. Is there really any value to raking leaves all the way to one end of the sidewalk, just to rake them to the other side the next day? In work, one often finds themselves in catatonia: completely oblivious to their own consciousness and to their surroundings. Such a state is one widely sought after, and yet it seems that the one way to attain it is one of the least pleasurable things in the world. What value then is thoughtlessness?

Work never ends. From a young age you labour, picking up the house after your mess, doing yard work, going to classes, faced with the preposterous boredom of purposeless effort. As we get older we say "Oh well when I graduate I become an adult, and I get to have a job and a family and have my own vacations and do all these wonderful things." And yet, when we get there, we find ourselves equally disillusioned as we were as youths. Now, this is pure observation to me, being merely a young adult, of interest to only the selective service act, but I personally find it to be quite accurate. And so, the adult says "Well if I keep working I can retire and I wont have to raise these children and I can just sit back and relax, and go on and have my own vacation and do all of these wonderful things." Theres a pattern there. And somehow, mind bogglingly, nobody seems to notice it.

And that method of thinking is often one that brings me great anxiety, well I say "this is no good, where's the point of living, to work?" And then I realize, I'm asking the wrong question. Whats the point of work is what I should be asking. Well then I say "Why am I doing this? Why am I sitting at this computer desk telling people that no, a VGA connector does not indeed fit into an HDMI port!" and you might say "Oh well to make money", and thats all well and good until you start thinking about money, and then you might say "Well that isn't the question I should be asking either". And you keep diving deeper and deeper.

Everything can be divided that way. Well whats in a molecule? You've got atoms. And whats in an atom? Well protons, neutrons, I haven't got a clue-atrons, all sorts of pieces. And then you can divide those after the atomic level by the quantum level. And it keeps going on and on and on and gets harder and harder to understand. In the same way, our natural attempts at over-analysis simply can't end. There's no answer to any of your questions. Theres also a but, or an and, or a what if. So you think to yourself "gosh, everythings so complicated". Well, no it isn't. It's really quite simple. You just have to take a step back and stop looking at the detail, and just admire the beauty of it all.

Alan Watts carried a shell around with him. It reminded him of the simplistic beauty of the world. He would often say something along the lines of "I wonder if the fish or conch or whatever that wears these looks at the other and says 'oh shes a bit wide' or something of that nature", while to us its just a sea shell. Small things to us are so beautiful and easy to understand, but things that we view to be bigger than us are terrifying. And thats because we try to analyze it. Don't think like that, step above yourself and look down at the sheer its-happening-get-over-it of everything. Life tends to calm down when you make that observation.

So, when we work, we bring ourselves to a level of a peon. We go from being the human to the perspective of the fish mentioned earlier. The small seems daunting and what was once deemed normal is absolutely terrifying. I mean what does a fish think about a human? Horrible, grotesque predatory creatures. And yet to us we're just people. And to the fish, theyre people. Everyone thinks of their kind as people, as their normal, the baseline. Anything above that is horror, and everything below is amusement.

If you want to enjoy work, and be really free from it, you have to step outside of yourself. Stop letting yourself be fooled as to the simplicity of that which is below you, and stop overexaggerating the terror of that which is above you. Work doesn't have to be labour.

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