Thursday, October 27, 2016

nobody has it easy

digital painting by Lohbado
Nobody has it easy. It's good to remind oneself of this from time to time, especially when one is inclined to envy others, or is about to spread nasty gossip. On the bright side, without challenges, a person could become superficial, self-satisfied, arrogant or callous. Suffering forces a person to stop and examine the situation. One could begin to have empathy as one realizes nobody has it easy. Everyone wants to be happy and yet experiences a lot of pain and suffering.

The first question, why is there so much pain? What is the cause of suffering? Lohbado realized a huge cause of suffering is clinging to a self-centred perspective. From the perspective of self, one then has a moralistic and hypocritical vantage point from which to criticize others. If a person is cheerful, you criticize the person for being arrogant and looking down on those who are not cheerful. If a person is depressed, you criticize the person for wallowing in self-pity or for attention-seeking behaviour.

A more generous, friendly, kind and wise approach would be to realize nobody has it easy. Pleasure and pain are mental states, in response to a huge variety of shocks, disappointments, misfortune, sickness, accident and unpleasant surprise. Nobody, not even a celebrity or rich person is free from irritation or pain. Lohbado recently watched Antonioni's L'Aventura, a film about jaded wealthy people who feel inner emptiness or some sort of alienation. The story begins as a wealthy woman disappears, or perhaps commits suicide. Suicide or sudden death happens in several Antonioni movies, as a kind of ultimate gesture of despair and inner emptiness.

A classical response to suffering is art. Of course, there are many responses. The Greek's responded to suffering with the birth of tragedy, as it evolved out of ritual song, dance and evocation of deities, rituals in which the audience could participate. There are many responses to suffering. I won't even get into that here. Today's Moronovian recommendation is to be kind and reasonable and remind oneself often that nobody has it easy.

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