Some real deep shit, yo:
When you don’t have a lot of real shit going on, you tend to create drama. When you have a good bit of real shit going on, you want to be at peace, you seek things that are calm.
Some people seem to spend their time convincing themselves that they are not happy. They actually build towards this goal, and identify themselves with tragedy and difficulty.
“Real shit (going on)” can be defined in many different ways, but essentially it means that which takes you out of yourself. If you have too much time on your hands, you tend to focus on yourself. There is a sort of black hole in each of us, in the same way there are stars in each of us. The star radiates out for illumination, there for others to navigate by, and is one among many. The back hole is an inward concentration of energy, and is an isolated entity. (We can draw our clues from the universe, as each facet is representational of all else.)
It’s not your fault that you have tragedy. Your responsibility begins with how you deal with that tragedy. In some cultures and languages, tragedy is synonymous with opportunity. It is change, something with no positive or negative value assigned; just change. These are the joints, the scrimmages that keep prying us out of static routine and render us malleable so that we may continue to grow and be shaped, and shape ourselves. We can be shaping ourselves to be someone associated with tragedy. We may use our challenges as a yolk for others – to draw attention, sympathy, or to be calling for help. Of course we don’t consciously feel we are doing this.
Suffering is relative. No one person’s suffering is any greater or lesser than anyone else’s. We may think that the guy who lost a cool million in the stock market is not suffering as much as a child sick with AIDS in a poor African country. But we can never know the whole truth. How things appear to us on the surface is rarely, if ever, indicative of the hidden truths. We tend to observe symptoms in one another, if we are keen, but symptoms and their causes are a complex relationship. It is just not easy to know what is really going on with someone. We should not assume anyone is better off than anyone else. This only creates an idea of our own “standing” and is just more focus on ourselves, and what we think we don’t have.
There is a tendency in each of us to avoid suffering, and there is a conjunctive tendency to fear that change will be difficult, and bring about suffering. So many of us ride the fence, and procrastinate, and keep the “real shit” at bay. We don’t commit, and spend our time pondering options. The more options we ponder, the more outfits we try on, often the harder it is to commit to any one of them. And we live in a world of countless options, so it is not easy. But so long as we ride the fence and procrastinate, we can’t really be living, we can’t have any “real shit,” going on, and so we create drama to occupy us. Of course, again, we don’t think we are doing this, and will likely deny it up and down. “I don’t like drama,” we’ll say, but there we are, creating it. Social drama. Personal drama. One or the other or both.
We may take great issue with something happening far away. We may go out and socialize and get into all sorts of issues with friends and romances, spending all kinds of time on these relationships. We’ll put ourselves in an in-group and talk about the wrongness of the out-group. We’ll look for things to identify with – a cause, a sports team, an ideology. We’ll rally for and champion our cause and beat at its antithesis. We’ll concern ourselves with all sorts of things happening in the world, and with other people, and we may believe that this is living outside of our self. But this far-reach, and these dramas with friends and lovers, they perpetuate the kind of distracted, far-sightedness that keeps us from doing the most important work of all – and that is with what is right in front of us.
Where we are needed is where we are. What we should be doing is what is right in front of our eyes. This is where the real shit is, with the people in our lives, in our community. From our place of solitude (getting to know our self with honesty, contemplating meaning, and getting down to the simple things, the simple tasks, and doing them with practiced gratitude), we become ready for these things that naturally present themselves to us, not what we go out and pick and choose, or stir up, or feed into based on our need to declare our self and who we are to others.
From a place of solitude and honesty, we will do well to pick up the ropes that lay at our feet, to help others with burden for a time, to see in the people nearest us the good of our service, and love.