Thursday, 20 June 2013
The Compass Of You
We gauge who we are by how we feel. How well we're doing, how sorted out we are, how free we are.
But the thing is, when you feel good, you think everything's fine and wonderful, and better than wonderful, and so you feel better still, and this feeds back, and you become euphoric, overconfident... and then you crash out emotionally, and collapse.
When you feel lonely, you think this is who you are, a lonely person, and this makes you lonelier, and then you gauge that you are even lonelier than you thought, and this makes you lonelier still, and so you spiral down.
When you feel anxious, you think this is who you are, an anxious person, and this makes you more anxious, and then you gauge that you are even more anxious than you thought, and this makes you more anxious still, and so you spiral down.
When you feel sad, you think this is who you are, a sad person, and this makes you sadder, and then you gauge that you are even sadder than you thought, and this makes you sadder still, and so you spiral down.
A self-centred universe is a volatile thing. Not selfishness in the shallow sense, but using that self, the emotions, what you are feeling and thinking right now, as you compass in life. As your benchmark, and your north star.
It's not 'bad' to do this in some vague moral sense. There's a process at work, and it's really quite simple, and it can be summed up in one word - amplification. Happiness amplifies to mania and collapse, sorrow amplifies to darkness and despair.
You can't agree with this, and have it change your life, but if you can step back from what you're doing, and how you're living, and see the thing, see it for real in the life you personally live - not someone else's life, not your friends, not your family, but you, personally you - then actually, yes. You can begin to live in a completely different way.
Because there is something significantly more stable than your feelings that you can use as your compass.
The unique and distinctive quality of reality itself.