Why We're Idiots
Why Self-Honesty Is The Key to Non-Idiocy
Why We Must Fight In The Arena
Illusions Are Not Solutions
Or Maybe We're Just Idiots
Or Let's Just Be Happy
But Maybe It's Impossible
A Real Solution
But It Won't Happen
And So We Start Again
It has come to my attention that after 22.53 years of life, I have already by some measure of probability, personal will, and "stupidity" come to believe things quite different from the average person. In consequence, this means I get to see more extreme human behaviors, by nature of my differentness, I instigate reactions of a more varied kind than an average person would as average is quite easily overlooked.
This is a collection of those thoughts that have arisen from what I have experienced in which I believe are the fundamentals of truth and nature of what it means to be a human… namely, to continue believing in one's intelligence all the while acting in all manners of idiocy. But first, what is idiocy?
There are few people in this world who would propose to be "dumb" and for the dumbest of us they perhaps do not even know of their own stupidity. It is not to these class of people that I give the mark of idiot however. The class of people that I believe to be the most stupid are those who are inherently capable of reasoning (and this is usually demonstrated by an acute ability to exist in proper society) and yet are incapable of taking their reasoning further than what society has programmed them towards: this leads to a person who generally has one foot in reality and their whole body in fantasy.
If you liked that image, then yes, you indeed fall into this category of idiocy that I am speaking of. But rest assured, there is still hope.
Where Does This Idiocy Come From?
This (and the fact that I have resolved to add a lot of images in my writing otherwise I know that people will be less likely to read it). A usage of words that don't reflect reality in an attempt to explain, justify, or otherwise rationalize happenings. It could be in the positive or negative sense, it doesn't matter. We choose to believe whatever we want to believe, while turning our eyes away from what actually exists. Reality. Reality doesn't matter, "love shouldn't hurt." And who are you to say that? Sorry, in most circumstances, loving a person (though can be greatly joyful) can be considerably painful. At the fundamental core, we've turned to lies so as to avoid the daunting certainty that is reality.
Why do we do that? Well… because ironically we don't like uncertainty. To be certain of an existing reality also means to be uncertain of a potential possible future reality… in other words, if things are shit, will they get better? And of course there's a big giant question mark, and that question mark is scary. It's called uncertainty, or maybe nowadays its apprehension, but regardless, it's anxiety over an unknown future state.
But instead of "taking a shot" and accepting the possibility of pain and so take a chance at goodness, we tend to shy away from both of those and instead take a mitigation of uncertainty in conjunction with a "neutral" present.
So maybe I've convinced you that partying doesn't lead to long-term happiness, but it doesn't matter, I haven't told you what you have to do in order to escape the drudgery that is sedation. Well, here we go, the path entails only a few things to do and a few things to avoid.
To be self-honest means to disconnect from your thoughts (hint: justifications, reasons, apprehensions) and look at your actions. What are you actually doing? And if I were to look at what people were actually doing, I would see something along the lines of this…
NOT, that there is anything wrong with those things. But if you believe you're doing this:
While you're actually doing the above consumption of entertainment, well… then we have a problem. Because this is the emergence of self-deception, and once self-deception takes root, it's a tricky problem, you can't trust your thoughts anymore. But you want to improve your life situation right? You want to live a meaningful, eventful, and otherwise content life. So how does one help themselves if the only tool in which they had to help themselves with anything was their thoughts? Oh boy…
A Formula To Idiocy:
Imagined pain + believing your personal thoughts = idiocy.
That's literally what your brain looks like. One side points left the other points right and if you sat long enough to listen to your thoughts you'd see that after "deciding" something in one moment, literally moments later you'll uproot that decision and end up with a "new decision".
Why does the brain do that? It's called avoidance. If you're perpetually deciding, then you'll never have to face anything. You'll just keep on keep on keep on… you see?
Instead of dealing with issues (certainty), the brain will come up with arbitrary options to make decisions upon. Oftentimes, those options don't even exist. Should I pick this major or that major? Does it matter? Pick one and then spend the rest of your time doing things you like, the choice will become obvious. But actually trying things and seeing if you like them is harder than thinking about a choice. Or maybe you'll think, what is it that I should choose? Does it matter? Pick.
And this all arises from the first part of the above equation… "imagined pain." What is the imagined pain? Certainty. Yes, the certainty of having to do something (internally) while dealing with external uncertainty is terrifying. This is generally called having no choice, "deal with it", and for most of life... we have plenty of options and very little choice. But we don't like this. So... we stay stuck in paralysis in order to avoid certainty and uncertainty, and then we believe in our own paralysis by using our thoughts to justify it, so it doesn't seem like we're avoiding anything. "We're making an important decision." Neat-o.
So how do you get around idiocy? Simple: the pain is not as bad as you think it is. Except in some cases where its actually much worse, in those cases, good luck. But you remember that Teddy Roosevelt quote about fighting in the arena?
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Yah, unfortunately (or fortunately) that's the whole of life. Seriously. Almost every book, every article, every whatever is based on this principle and or giving you more specific details on how to fight. And for the rest of us who don't want to fight in the arena, we can watch Netflix, play video games, and socialize on social media.
There's even a guy called Joseph Campbell who proposed a concept called the mono-myth or "Hero's Journey." Basically, it's a book of justifications to get people to fight in the arena by "hearing their call."
If you need reasons to fight in the arena, so be it, but at the end of the day there can be any number of reasons for doing so… the alternative is always clear: you can watch.
But Wait A Minute, Why Not Just Watch?
Well, if you're human, you'll probably eventually get this "weird" desire to do something… no matter how much sedation you take eventually you'll want "something more." Well, so unless you're content to living with those feelings of "something more" forever, then you ought to fight… but then we reach this idiocy dilemma again… now you want to fight, and yet… you're cheering from the sidelines while believing you are fighting. Oh boy…
And honestly, this would be fine if it worked, but it doesn't. Eventually it'll be impossible to deceive yourself, and this is generally called the mid-life crisis. It's when a male (but now society has moved on to women) works his whole life believing he'll be somebody great but around his 40s or 50s it's becoming much too clear that this is not going to happen… so he freaks out: reality is not conforming to his beliefs, there is a problem.
But of course, it would be foolish to believe that this is a result of poor luck or coincidence or whatever. No, this process starts in your 20s and it's a ticking time bomb waiting to explode in your 40s and 50s. So unless you catch it before your 30s… it's not going to be pretty.
So what does it look like in your 20s?
Belief in belief instead of reality, and being in your 20s there's potentiality, there's options and so it's easy to make reality do what you want it to do and since other people are doing this too everyone joins in a grand circle to mutually affirm their delusions. I'll pretend you're hot if you pretend I'm intelligent. Okay, deal.
Until college is over and you roll into society and the world laughs at you…
Okay, So What Do We Do?
I have no fucking clue. You just have to do it. You just have to be willing to suffer a bit (or a lot) and face the issues head on. But no one will do it then because it sucks. Okay, so you kind of have to guide people into living better lives for themselves right? Give them a way that helps them conceptualize what they have to do so it's easier for them to do it…
Well, someone (or group) wrote The Bible. The whole idea of The Bible (regardless of "facts") is to help people live better lives. And I would say it was a miraculous attempt at doing so and probably worked for a period until it became corrupted. The Bible is very sound in terms of giving people the tools they need to live better lives… some examples:
"Help others. (Selfless)" --People that help others are generally happier than people who don't since they are more involved with people. People-people are happier than loners. Checkmark.
"Pray." --Sublimation of fear and pain into hope and acceptance. Allows a person to stop ruminating over negative happenings and instead direct energies towards healthy coping. Checkmark.
"Sunday mass." --Routine expression of gratitude and gratefulness, reminder to focus on what has been given over what is lacking. Checkmark.
And the list goes on. No one needs religion to do these things, but having religion helps a lot. You don't have to think to do these things anymore, you just follow the structure or ideology or bible or whatever. The Bible was a great attempt at trying to help people be better people for themselves. And it ultimately failed.
So Nietzsche, the philosopher in 1800s with a great mustache and who died of insanity (well... with insanity) came along to correct the decadence that became of The Bible (Christianity).
His life's work was in trying to overthrow Christianity's morality and replace it with a willingness to champion new values, to replace the tabla rasa of old. His value was that of the Dionysus spirit, a greek god whom is known for, in essence, his willingness in spirit to live life: good and bad. There's a particular wildness to it all, a sort of maddening ecstasy… like this perhaps:
Christianity was pulling people away from reality into an "otherworldly" state and as such was inherently dishonest. Decadence was the word. Morality was decadent because it created men and women whom could not enjoy Earthly living and so it had to be destroyed and replaced with another person, the stout Übermensch of Nietzsche's dreams (Zarathustra) whom roamed the Earthly world freely, laughing gaily, grounded in reality...
And what is perhaps most unsettling to me is that I believe Nietzsche overwhelmingly succeeded in his task of overthrowing Christian Morality. I wonder how many writers and poets and ideologies were influenced by Nietzsche… leading to our times now.
And then, I also wonder, how much of Nietzsche was misinterpreted as base hedonism. Oh, is that how we're living now? So it seems maybe a substantial amount…
I'm sure there are more people who have sought to remedy human stupidity, but it's quite the impossibility. The consolation prize of course is that those people who seek to remedy human stupidity are fighting in the arena so to speak… and therein lies a greater problem.
If The Bible (an infinitely beautiful attempt at bettering humanity) and Nietzsche (world-class genius), have both failed to successfully better humanity, what are you going to do? For we are the generation that wants to impact the world, save society, and otherwise do so while pursuing our passions… I'm not here to discourage you. I want people to work on these problems, but it helps to work on these problems when you're not delusional.
Take the goggles off, then paint.
Goggle #1, Your Feelings Are Delusions:
The funny thing is, most people don't actually want to impact the world or save society. They just want to feel impactful, revolutionary, important. And this is an infinitely important distinction because it completely shifts the goal. If your goal is to get a job, then you know you've succeeded when you've gotten a job, you don't stop before that. But if you're goal is to look for a job, well… if you're looking you're succeeding.
And that's what we've been given in our society. As long as we look the part, it doesn't matter anymore. Does anyone care if a person is actually smart? Oh he has a 4.0, he must be. Bullshit. And unfortunately, we begin to buy into these feelings ourselves, we begin to believe that it must be true because we have to do it.
The endless ruminating about how your resume looks, the endless decisions of what Facebook profile picture, what status to post, what Instagram filter, what major to choose, what job, what relationship, what this, what that… it all amounts to nothing. Does changing your resume change what you've done? No, of course it doesn't, but it matters. Horseshit. It matters to society and if you buy into it, you'll end up in your 50s with a great mid-life crisis because you bought in. You only have one brain and it's a stupid brain, it doesn't know the difference between what you're doing and what you're thinking (hint: not the opposite way). What you inherently spend time on is what you begin to inherently value and that plants seeds into your brain which then becomes thought.
And then you start to feel certain ways or believe certain things and sometimes you can't even explain but you just have to go with your gut or intuition.
So you end up traveling around the world. You end up in a string of relationships. You end up switching jobs all the time. And at the end of it, you still don't know what the hell you're supposed to do, but hey: you have a bunch of experiences to show for it, and that's what life is about right?
You have failed to fight in the arena. You were watching the whole time while believing you were fighting. And it's because you believed your feelings. And now, you have a shitty job, less and less people to spend time with, your parents are still your parents, and you're no closer to "having a better life" or doing anything of significance. In fact, you're further than you've ever been.
Goggle #2, So Your Thoughts Are Delusions Too:
And it all started from believing in your thoughts. Because what inevitably happens when you believe in your feelings is you'll start to believe in your thoughts… and hint hint: your thoughts are always influenced by your feelings. Some simple causation here: delusional feelings --> delusional thoughts --> delusional action.
Because the thing is, you can't separate your mind from yourself, the self that is going through things, even when you think you've separated from a situation, you haven't.
That's your house and that's your Mom. Do they still affect your decisions even to this day (even when you don't talk to them)? They aren't with you in college or at your job or whatever, so? A little bit of self-honesty here, do your parent's voices still sometimes linger in your brain?
So if that's the case, then why would any other situation or happenings that are charged with some sort of emotional happening change that sort of functioning? We like to think that we're "independent", "strong-of-will", can make our decisions and what not… horse-shit again. We are infinitely affected by our environments and have very little control over this affect itself… the stimulus.
All humans share the same base emotional affects, we're affected by the same things in the same way, we feel fear as the same thing, love, pain, whatever. The only difference that arises is what we choose to do with those feelings. One person in love may decide to murder their spouse, another a kiss on the cheek. The root feeling is the same: love. The expression, the usage of it, well… you get to choose that.
But then back to thoughts, you see, if you don't choose, or rather you let the emotions dictate the thoughts that then "do the choosing" you'll end up with a pretty basic default: what you've always done. And if you want to change where you are in life, then what you've always done won't cut it, it will get what you've always got.
And the thing is, you're thoughts are what are leading you back to making the same decisions over and over again because everytime they seem reasonable, but they are wrong. If a seer guesses enough things about the future, some things will evidently be correct: those are your thoughts, justifying repetition guised as something new. Don't trust the seer (or fortune-teller).
Thoughts are a giant never-ending staircase death-spiral of death that never-ends and always feels like progress because you're moving, but it leads no where but into more spiraling. Thoughts are cyclical, if you follow them long enough you'll end up contradicting yourself eventually in any decision-making process.
So stop trusting the thoughts… but you won't. Why? Well…
It's highly likely your parents made living actually impossible. In other words, the reason why your thoughts are cyclical is because your parents thoughts were cyclical and this was demonstrated in their parenting.
"Clean your room!"
But it's already clean…
"Just do it!"
"Wash the dishes!"
But we're having dinner soon and..
"Just do it!"
"But you know I love you very much!"
I didn't know love involved dictatorship…
"This is how parents care for their children!"
Within most parents hold a highly contradictory idea… they want their kids to be happy and successful. Actually, this is highly reasonable and possible, but unfortunately requires some skill in parenting to actually pull off. Instead, what happens is inconsistency: when you're feeling pressure from "being successful" the problem (to them) is that you're not happy now. And when you're happy the problem (to them) is that you're not doing enough now.
In other words, it's actually impossible to satisfy them. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. So by the time college and then a job comes, it's also impossible to make any certain decision. Everything is impossible because it has to be impossible because that's default. It's learned behavior.
But contradictory thoughts are pretty painful. They aren't pleasant experiences so it's only natural to want to escape them. Which brings us back to the previous section on sedation. And "positive thinking".
So when you're not sedated, that's where your thoughts cycle between: positive thinking and intense apprehension when the positive thinking breaks down. And the summation of this is simple: the positive thinking comes from not wanting to deal with your own cyclical thoughts. The apprehension comes from the emotional undercurrent of whatever situation your in that breaks down your positive thinking. The conclusion is still one and the same: don't trust your thoughts or feelings because they are bullshit.
So maybe by now you're ready to take off the goggles. Are you ready to see reality for what it is and then from that begin to take steps to make it better (for yourself or otherwise)? Because it doesn't start from your thoughts or feelings, it starts from seeing with clarity what's actually going on, then taking steps to resolve those problems.
So how do you begin to resolve the problems?
It depends. And that's the proper answer for all your problems and everyone else's problems and the world's problems and…
It depends and you try different things and depending on what happens you try other things. You can trust these thoughts. Because they aren't just random thoughts, they are directed at solving a problem. A problem has nothing to do with your feelings, you either solve it or don't.
Your thoughts aren't directed at "making decisions", your thoughts are directed at solving problems. That's the infinite difference, just like with feelings the difference between actually wanting to impact the world versus feeling impactful. Difference.
And actually when this happens, there begins to be a lot less "problems" and a lot more, I just have to do this. And if I can do it then I "pass", and if I can't well… I wait till I can try again.
But again, it's unlikely that you'll do this because the only thing worse than uncertainty is a painful certainty. And just doing things, for whatever curse on humanity was given to us, is fucking painful. It just is (until it isn't… i.e. Doing becomes default) but until it becomes default: it is.
But instead of just continuing to do it, we turn back to our mantras…
The Three Cardinal Pieces of Bullshit:
And society has gotten you to fall into the... wait till I'm 50 to realize I haven't done anything track and then have a mid-life crisis since I thought I was going to be somebody but now my working days are almost over.
It starts in your twenties and sounds like this:
The thing is… people who have found themselves, don't need to go on crazy experiences and soul-searching… they have found themselves, they know who they are. So to find yourself, you need to stop looking and doing all these different things. Just do a few things. What things? It actually doesn't matter, just pick. And if you can't pick, do what you have to (more on this later.).
To trust yourself, you need to stop thinking about what you're going to do. Trust means being able to act without thinking, that's the highest level of trust, no need for explanations, rationalizations, or whatever: you just do it, and after doing it, there's no doubt. Why? Because you trust yourself. But the thing is, you shouldn't trust yourself yet, since the default you have is self-deception: fix that first, then trust yourself.
And people who love themselves… they don't see themselves anymore. There's no conception of a self to love because they have enough self-love to be able to love other people. In other words, how is
Self-love? It's the opposite. It's the appearance of self-love for its antithesis: crippling insecurity. Stop loving yourself, you'll be fine. And yes, that last picture is Spotify.
So Now What?
Start with where you are and where you want to get to. Most people want to be happy, so let's take that as our first goal, personal happiness. Not this fluctuating mess of hedonism in one moment then crippling depression in the next, a stable state of happiness that is consistent and real: in other words, resilient to the ups and downs of normal-living and that doesn't require intense amounts of sedation (hint: alcohol, drugs, and entertainment distraction).
Actually, to be happy is quite easy: stop trying to be happy and make other people happy. Seriously, it's the easiest way to being happy. The happiest people are surrounded by meaningful interactions with other people daily, and I imagine have no shortage of people who want to spend time with them, who trust them with their deepest thoughts and feelings, and in general come to see that person as a good person.
To be in that position is a great feeling, to know another person trusts you enough to share with you their emotions and thoughts, and not only that, but is grateful for your company and believes you to be a positive influence in their lives.
And in fact, the only thing you really need to do in order to do this is to be receptive and listen. To put aside what you're trying to say just for a moment, hear what they have to say, and repeat it back to them. Let them make their own decisions, there are no problems to solve: you're just listening and providing support.
Do that for enough people and eventually you'll have a lot of people who want to spend time with you and are willing to do the above. And by that time, you won't need to go out and get drunk every night or escape into entertainment or "figure out" what to do. It'll be evident that the people around you need you, and time goes there. After that (or before), you're free to spend time on what you like doing which is also not a decision but more-so a willingness to play in the present moment: what draws your attention? Do that.
Because this sign is an accurate depiction of people whom are happy. There is no obsession between decisions because most decisions are awesome. Relatively speaking everything is good, so why does it matter? Just pick. See? It's only when decision points fluctuate between negatives and positives… i.e Good and Bad that things become more agonizing.
But You Still Won't Do It
Because getting there requires some upfront work. The people whom are already happy were lucky enough to have developed their relationships cohesively without fail. But perhaps it's not the same for you, so you'll have to go out and get there. But to do that, to begin to progress requires a dropping of what you're currently doing.
In other words, for a brief period of time you'll have to trade your present-day sedation with some present-day pain in order to get to a future positive rather than a forever present sedation.
Replace it with this:
To get this:
Otherwise you'll just end up doing this:
Why This Is How It Has To Be:
I wish there was a better way. I wish it was the case that sedation could lead to a fulfilling life and that society wasn't twisted and jobs didn't suck and…
But no one gets to make the rules, the rules were ever present before any of us existed. And it's quite simple: the way things are are the way they are because humans are humans, and that means to some degree, everything makes sense when you realize humans are the only animal that believe they are smart while being idiots.
We like to believe in our own self-mastery and control over the environment. After all, look at what we can do:
We're at the top of the food chain because of our minds, and that means something right? Right?
Maybe, but it could also just mean we're cocky as shit and don't believe we have anything to learn from any other animal in the whole Universe. And that to me sounds like the emergence of idiocy again. If what brought us to the top of the food-chain was a willingness to learn (I.e. Try to do things, fail, but then try to do more things), then it also stands to reason that the collapse of humanity also begins at the absence of our willingness to learn (and try to do things, fail, and then try to do more things).
We're becoming increasingly "mindful", or "heady". The world exists in our heads now, in a screen, in some device… the real world is ceasing to matter. And of course this is nothing new, this has been repeated by… well, a lot of people. Those people fighting in the arena, trying to correct the course that we're headed towards.
But we don't have self-mastery, we're still affected largely by our environments (hint: reality) and increasingly our reality is becoming shittier and shittier. We willingly isolate ourselves into rooms and even believe this to be a good thing! (Hey, more space is better right?) But this belief itself contradicts everything about humans, which is that we're inherently social creatures.
But we don't feel completely alone because we have sedation. We have entertainment, in fact, we believe ourselves to be able to spend plenty of alone time. But people, people, entertainment is not true alone time. True alone time is solitary confinement… in other words, the worst punishment known to man.
If it wasn't for the entertainment, if it wasn't for the computer, and all the technology, we'd see that what we're actually doing is willing ourselves into our own solitary confinement. To be "successful" means to have a huge mansion with a lot of space in the hills of Beverly away from society… away from all people. We want that. We want our own misery. BECAUSE WE"RE IDIOTS.
Just stop believing in all the lies told by other people intended to get you dreaming and occupying yourself with insignificant matters (like choosing a major), while time continually passes and humanity marches towards its own death-spiral.
Many many societies, over the course of history have collapsed on account of its people becoming... decadent, and this will continue to happen - and...
But it doesn't. Because I don't believe history has to repeat itself. It's only our belief in history repeating itself that keeps it repeating itself. Just like if we believed that there were no more new places to discover, we'd stop exploring altogether and so confirm our own false belief.
So throw away the lies.
Yes, none of those things matter at all. Because it's all self-mirroring. "Your life, your happiness, your speaking, your hugging, your…" The first thing that must change is to believe in one's own insignificance. "You" don't matter… until you matter.
Accuracy. No one should think they are important until they are actually important, and if this was the case, then to be actually important people would begin to do things that are actually important. But instead of doing this, we just pretend to matter, it's easier. It's idiocy. If we want to matter, just do things that matter. There's no avoiding work if you want to accomplish "things". It's the only way.
And this is bullshit too. Not because it's not technically true, but because a person who believes this, finds value in these words are inherently not doing these two things. Words are bullshit. To say you "love people" and "use things" is to inherently be incapable of doing so with your actions.
This is not to say that speaking isn't an action. In this sense, words are important (though still bullshit), but not for what you believe and what you think, but to what you're saying to another person and therefore what they will think and what they will feel.
If you have to say something, it's likely not true in terms of what is actually going on.
In other words, this is false. Do you think any of those men behind that banner are of quality? Men of real quality don't worry about women's equality because they inherently are treating women equally. They don't need to parade around pretending like they value something they can't actualize in their lives. They don't have to say it: it's real. If it has to be said, it's bullshit.
"I care about you… I just happened to have a bad day and…" --Bullshit.
This doesn't mean there shouldn't be some allowance for human fragility and imperfection, but we also shouldn't believe in things that are not actually there.
To understand any situation inherently means to not use words. Words are for describing an understanding of a thing, it is not the understanding itself. That's why there are images in this essay (the real reason! gasp (or maybe both were valid reasons? (or neither? (see? cyclical thoughts...)))). Those images are better descriptions of what I'm trying to say than anything I could ever say. That's closer to understanding.
Just like when a really bad argument happens (between friends, lovers, parents, whatever) and there's other people there… and there's that silence afterwards, that silence! That's understanding. Everyone knows what happened, there's nothing to say, there's no words that need to describe anything. All understanding comes in that form, to use words to understand is to have not understood already.
Words can only describe partials, they are lies that cover truth.
Like these words. They seem good, aspirational, but they mean nothing. What is anyone supposed to do with these words? But to believe in these words is to inherently believe another lie… that going up is what you should be doing, what is important.
It's not important. Circling back to insignificance, your path doesn't matter. Your "Hero's Journey", discovering your passion, finding success, it's all just words words words that are trying to motivate you to do things. You don't need bullshit to do things, you can just do things: fighting in the arena, there doesn't have to be this grand story you tell yourself while seeking your soul in the digital wasteland to impact society, revolutionize the world, find yourself, do what you're passionate at… etc etc.
And once you begin to realize your own insignificance (not that life is insignificant), there will be once again a great circling… why fight in the arena at all? Well, look around you. There are other people fighting too, they may be your family, your friends, your significant other… and the spectators, they need hope: they want to fight too, but they are too scared, too busy trying to inspire themselves, trying to make the arena something holy and meaningful when it's really just an arena, a bloody mess.
And so once again when your lost searching, fighting, beaten, rotten… the thing that pulls you up every time is never yourself. There's no reason to go on for yourself, you're going to die anyways. The only thing that makes any sense is the people around you. And if that's the case, you'll begin to wonder what's important to them… and it won't be what's important to you.
So How Do You Help Others?
As noted previously, it seems like The Bible ultimately failed, Nietzsche ultimately failed: no one has come to a solid solution that affects everyone on a large scale. Needless to say that these efforts have helped people, and for that there is a redeeming factor, but there is still more progress to be made.
I propose the stupidest solution yet to the betterment of humanity (and therefore each individual):
Trust others. Because the problem of the betterment of humanity is a cyclical problem. If everyone in the world wanted to make the world better (and actually tried to do so), the world would be better. It's in the absence of this or the exploitation of this (I.e. The punishment of people who want to help others) that creates a death-spiral.
Mistrust breeds more mistrust and produces people who used to trust into more people who mistrust. So how do you get around this problem? Well, it's already been resolved, the problem is called The Prisoner's Dilemma.
Two people are being interrogated by cops in separate rooms. They each get a choice to either rat on the other or stay silent. If both stay silent, they both get 1 year of jail. If one rats and the other stays silent, the ratter gets out for free, the silent gets 3 years. If they both rat, they both get 2 years. Rationally speaking, you should always rat, and if both people are reasonable, they'll both miss out on the preferred resolution: them both getting 1 year.
This game can also be played over a longer series, in other words, it's not just one instance, there's multiple rounds of "ratting" or "staying silent". Sounds like life. Do we cooperate or do we look out for our own interests? If everyone cooperates, we all benefit. If everyone takes advantage, we all get shafted in the long-run.
Just so happens that society makes it really easy to take advantage of... society, so people do. And so what you have is a societal structure that is inherently deceptive. "Don't tell anyone, and you'll be fine." getting a fake-id to drink, getting student discounts when you're not a student, getting out of speeding tickets if you do a remedial program, taking credit for someone else's work...
It's too easy! And the cost is always an external personal gain at the loss of "someone" else, but you don't really know that "someone" else, so whatever.
But the thing is, I'm not saying we should change society, it's impossible. The problem is that we then take this learned behavior and apply it (unconsciously at best) to the people around us too. Does anyone really actually trust anyone with anything substantial? Maybe it's because we've all learned how to be con-men and "bargain shoppers". But trust is the fundamental block to cooperation. So that's part one to the solution: trust even when you shouldn't. Someone (hint: it has to be every individual... i.e. you) has to break the cycle.
The aftermath of trusting even when you shouldn't is also very clear: you're going to get hurt. It's inevitable. So what can you do? Nothing, you just have to deal with it. And the difficulty here is dealing with it without sedation.
And if everyone began to do these two things, the reality of the world would begin to improve. Why? Because no one would want to suffer emotional and mental pain forever, the driver to improve situations would be so acute, so pronounced that the only choice would be to figure out a better way, but of course, this situation will only arise if the "idiocy" of trusting is met and no one turns to sedation.
So on a large scale, unfortunately, it will fail.
But For You:
Maybe you'll take up the challenge and force yourself into necessity. Actually, it's probably not necessary for you to take up the challenge because generally speaking things are probably okay for you: not great but not bad. Acceptable.
And for you I would suggest the "easy" route, be mindful of the people around you and you'll be fine. You'll tide out whatever you need to tide out in your life, develop strong relationships, and that will carry you into a meaningful grave. That's about the whole of it.
But I have at least convinced myself that all things of great value are borne out of necessity. We are not motivated by aspirations because if we were then all of society's aspirations would have created a million more entrepreneurs and a million more daring minds. It hasn't done so. Those aspirations are precisely for the people whom won't do anything and continue to cling to their aspirations until their mid-life crisis.
If you fall in that boat, please, stop deceiving yourself. Be content with averageness and form the necessary bonds with the people around you. Success and impact are not correlated whatsoever with a satisfactory life.
But for the rest that are compelled by success, compelled by impact still, that cannot sleep at night knowing they will die only content but having not done anything great, for you: go towards necessity. From the worst conditions spring the best works, as tension, pressure, and pain forces a person into action.
Sink or swim. Don't be distracted by options, options are just distractions that continually get you to spend your time and energy on something that doesn't amount to anything. Greatness does not come from options or wiggling, greatness comes from focus, and the easiest way to focus is to suffer, to go through necessity: to will pain, terror, and fear of drowning so as to work infinitely harder to swim, to "make your mark."
Not that this is the only way… only, if you already cannot focus on accomplishing the great tasks that you want to accomplish, how else are you supposed to accomplish them? Some people don't need pressure to motivate themselves to work, these are the people who have already defaulted to work from since they were little.
But again, we're here because our default is not that. Our default is impossibility, the divided nature of our thoughts, feelings, and being. So to switch this default means to choose a route, and so I have given two here… contentment or impact.
But Let Me Give A Third:
Because maybe you'll do neither. Neither attempt to better your relationships, neither attempt to work on a task of significance. Perhaps you'll slip back into default, sedation: entertainment. Or perhaps, you'll slip into a different route altogether…
Because you see, your relationships, your significance, don't matter. And you'll start to see that if you don't matter, then you'd at least like to know what matters to others…
And for them… what matters is their relationships, their significance…
And if you start to understand this, then maybe you've already stepped down from the audience and began to fight in the arena. And as you're fighting with your friends and family, lovers and strangers… maybe you'll also begin to wish that they could see the things that you see too.