Thursday, September 18, 2008

Let go and let...

If you live in a primarily Christian society, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Let go, and let God.” I have always taken the meaning of this to be don’t worry so much about micromanaging your life because bad/good things will happen that you can’t possibly predict and therefore have any control over. You should trust that God is looking out for you; accept his will and go on with your life.
There’s a very Buddhist feeling to that. You can remove God from that sentiment and plug in the ‘Universe,’ not in the sense that the Universe is interested controlling any aspect of Human fate, but that the Universe is what it is and has no concerns or motives.

Let go and let universe

I bring this up because happiness (as least for me) is something I struggle with. Yes, I know I ended my sentence with a preposition; let go grammarians. It is all of the little and big aggravations of daily life that take away my awareness of why I should be happy--or at least not so bothered and annoyed (see the previous post about fairness).

I think that the key is detachment from the world in which we were conditioned to exist; the world that was constructed by our predecessors. I’m not talking about running away to the jungle, living naked and eating berries. It’s similar to the way that Buddhists and Christians are taught to live; it’s a matter of focus.

<begin aside>The teaching of Buddhism and Christianity are the most familiar to me. I have studied both. When I refer to the teaching, I am referring to the ‘ideals’ put forth, not the actual Buddhists or Christians walking and breathing. In my experience the real world practitioners are less than ideal. <end aside>

The teachings instruct to focus beyond this life; that this life is less important than the existence after death. By accepting that and setting our focus beyond the ‘pettiness’ of this world, we can live a happier life, less bothered by the problems humanity.

To me it seems unfortunate that an afterlife (of sorts) has to be postulated in order to deal with the here and now. I know that in Buddhism there is no afterlife like that of the Christians, but there is an ‘after-this-place’ that serves a similar function at least for my point. I am trying to consider focus in my personal philosophy. Instead of focus after this life, I am trying to focus on this life as a whole.

To do this a level of detachment from the emotions caused by annoyances must be maintained. Emotions confine us to the here and now like nothing else in our lives. (On reflection, perhaps pain concretes our feet to the here and now more than even emotions—but emotions can be controlled). If I can focus (or at least be aware) beyond the here and now, then perhaps I can assess the individual annoyances against the whole and then, perhaps, I can let them go more easily.

Let go and let happy

No comments: