IV. Process: Expectations
In the more conventional pattern, suffering arises when nature or other humans do the wrong thing, it rains, the train is late, someone doesn’t call us back, it comes from somewhere else, and we have no choice, really, but to be upset.
In the terms described by the historical Buddha, suffering comes from attachment, our own mind and its sense of how things should be that differs from what reality often has in store.
To write with an aim to alter humankind’s patterns should be a collosal set-up for disappointment. Conscious of the narrow and crowded space this is most likely to vanish into, one might think: why even bother. A sensible person would have stopped long ago, at the silent replies, in the shadow of stopgap feel-good solutions to our woes.
Will this cure the moment’s sorrows, or extend it’s joys? In taking the long way through the conditions that set the terms of each possibility, in an environment where everything is expected to be instant, we can only assume no.
All I have is a clarity of purpose. How and when that purpose will be fulfilled, I have no idea, but I expect I wont be there to see it.
As such I can hold this project’s fate somewhat lightly, even with no other way to meaningfully contribute to society in my time. You could say I’m superstitious about it. I leave it to the powers beyond to sort out the rest.
Regarding clarity of purpose, I know, as anyone does, how hard it can be to change habits even with a clear reason, a genuine effort, to. Our strides in private are washed away in the current. Our social circles, the demands of the working world, we live in a web of relationships that is self-reinforcing.
We are, as Seneca said, a dog tethered to a chariot, and we can veer left and veer right, as long as we keep pace.
This isn’t an attempt to stop the chariot. It is written for the time when the cord breaks. The purpose is to be prepared for our first moments of freedom, which will follow, like the forgotten sun after years of winter, perhaps the ugliest period in human history.
This is an opportunity for a mental reset, where we can see that history was the result of seeing each other as other than human, of following the story of ego far past its date, when in an age of all perspectives, we had a chance to see through it.
Few may see a reason to put in an effort to understand an alternate way, yet. Hence the alternate title: Things to Do After The End of The World, when in a vacuum of structure there will be space to try something that has up until now been lost in the current.
Will people then, after, read, reflect? Who knows? Is it possible to remember a world you’ve never seen, a culture virtually invisible behind the clockwork motions of our day-to-day lives, to pass down a story that consists of your own undoing?
For future generations.
I know better than to expect anything, I know all I can do is try.