Updated: May 2, 2019
There is a revolution of sadness sweeping across the human planet, in the developed world, books about achieving happiness smother the shelves in bookstores, depression rates appear to be on the rise, CBT (cognitive behavioural training- basically the rewiring of the brain to see the world in a more positive light) is offered by the NHS and someone, somewhere commits suicide every 40 seconds.
In the developing world wars ravage, starvation and malnourishment have become political rather than objective issues, people struggle every day to cover the basic costs of electricity, heating, food and a roof over head, disparity of wealth is growing by the minute. We know, but we feel too far away, alienated and disconnected to the fact that these issues are the results of our actions. We feel sad yet helpless and it is so confusing!
These issues are a complex interconnected epidemic that we engage in and perpetuate every single day through the most basic and mundane of our decisions and actions. The way we live in the richer parts of the world directly affects the way others must live, hidden from view. However, now more than ever, we know about this, yet we ignore it. We have all seen the documentaries, the horrific videos of starving people, of
queues for filthy water and the refugee children crying for their mothers- we disconnect our actions whilst shouting and moaning about politics and the state of the world, about our disgust of 'human nature' and our disbelief that there is a plastic island floating around the ocean as we toss another plastic packet into the bin. This 'we' is ourselves, in some form of subconscious reverse narcissism we hate ourselves for the state of the world we are creating but have not made the fully awakened conscious connection that allows us to lift this heavy sack of guilt from our shoulders that would not only allow us to live a truly, deeply joyful existence but would also have the beautiful knock-on effect of helping people all over the world to live better, happier and safer lives. We win. Not the wealthy, not humans, not the environment. We all win.
This weight of guilt that we are all lugging around with us I call the sad soul and I believe that through a consciousness revolution we will begin to see the seeds of compassion spread over the globe as more and more people are awakened, they will sprout as these decisions lead to a physical and emotional lightness amongst the rich nations as their actions start to relinquish the weight of guilt and leave them feeling infinitely more joy, the simplicity of their renewed mindfulness could blossom into a world where people stop needlessly starving, children don’t work in sweatshops and the environment is respected to the same degree that we will begin to respect ourselves, and rightly so, as the guilt lifts and our sad souls dissipate leaving not an empty hole but a space that will fill with a deserved feeling of true, guilt free happiness- real-world, quantifiable enlightenment.
Many cultures, religions and philosophies see desire as the cause of all suffering, trusting in this and taking on its belief system sets us on an incredibly difficult path to extinguish the fire of desire, whatever it may be that we desire. I have no doubt that the recognition of a desire and understanding its reason will mould us into better, more mindful humans and that in relinquishing certain desires we can help the World through better, more considered decisions and careful choices that do not damage others or the planet. However, this is an almost impossible feat, a task so difficult that one may have to remove themselves from society so as not to have the tantalising temptations shouting at them from every bar, shop window and advertisement. To stop desiring in our current world is an ongoing battle that not many can win. My belief is that it is not the desire itself that leads to all suffering but something very close; the guilt that we carry through satisfying a desire that we know causes some form of suffering/difficulty/degradation, be it for ourselves, another sentient being or the natural environment at large. These are the desires that we must smother, they exist in almost every area of our lives and to begin to lift the guilt and step onto the path towards bliss is very simple, you can start right away and begin to feel happier within a matter of hours. If such minute changes can lead to so much positive change, we should all participate in this experiment, what do we have to lose? This path is not about suppression or limitations, quite the opposite. What we are talking about means truly appreciating the simple, guilt free desires that exist all around us, behind the bright billboards that blind us.
We must wake up to the reality of our decisions. As consumers we have power so let us use it wisely. Keep following this blog for some inspiration towards positive change.