Tuesday, January 11, 2005

speak to the telephone

A phone call from a friend tonight: he is a little younger, effectively alone in some part of the kingdom. We can't remember the last time we spoke.

He is unhappy.

Why are you unhappy? I think it's the environment or the people around me. But I'm not sure. Maybe it's both... maybe it's me, but I'm sick of everything and I do nothing, absolutely nothing.

As I listen to him, he draws me into his self-diminution/pity... but I am not feeling his pain. For some reason, I am numb.

He goes: Well you have to ask yourself one question: is the environment going to change enough in my lifetime to allow for my happiness?

Dear dear depressed one. You're looking at it all wrong...

Assume that there exists a space or environment H in the world that is optimal for your happiness and that is not identical to the present environment U which makes you so unhappy.

So to get to H, you have to either: (1) find it, if it is elsewhere, or (2) transform U such that it becomes similar or identical to H.

If you decide to try (1) then you need to know where to look. Where is this perfect elsewhere that works for you? Where is your H to be found? You probably need to spend some time in U to think about it. Knowing you as I do, you will probably spend your whole life in U looking for H.

Of course, you may try to (2) but that requires energy and time, both of which are limited resources in this world. You may find that you do not possess enough of either to make such a transformation. You may find that your U is someone else's H and that he will cancel out all your efforts and hours to keep the status quo. Indeed, your strategem to recruit others to help you transform U to H may be countered with similar moves to keep U from H. In fact, it may be impossible in your lifetime to successfully close the distance.

On the other hand, it may be possible, but if it takes too long then by the time you've gathered enough energy and hours to turn U into H, you may find that since H and U are now identical you're actually back where you began. At this moment, someone next to you will probably argue with you about the need to shift H to H' and asks you to lend him what's left of your energy and hours. But by this time you're too old... you don't have enough left in your life. Soon you will die, and the problem will disappear.


AK

7 Comments:

Blogger Sunshine said...

I love your insight into your environment and life around you. Keep posting!

3:40 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

What if H does not actually exist, and H is actually a long hard life of developing U?

1:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if H & U are really one and the same place, but just require a shift of perspective? Perhaps the problem is in the person who sees his or her situtation as U, when really it could easily be H if they just change the way they look at things.

2:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> What if H & U are really one and the same place, but
> just require a shift of perspective? Perhaps the
> problem is in the person who sees his or her
> situtation as U, when really it could easily be H if
> they just change the way they look at things.

'just require a shift...' (-; if only it were that easy

3:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not that easy to "shift" ones perspective. However, it's far too easy to bemoan one's own personal situation and become caught in a downward spiral. Ultimately, one has to create a space where one can experience H even in U, and often times that requires not only an attempt to change U and the surrounding circumstances, but also to change one's own perspective.

5:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Man is an animal fond of contemplation”

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If all this stuff isn't making me happy then why should it (or the lack of it) make me unhappy?

..... victim of the delusion he could wrest satisfaction from life if only he could manage well.

1:43 AM  

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