6 Sep 2000 harrisj   » (Master)

Was thinking about squiggy's diary entry. It's an unfortunately common problem in America. We work hard to get to a place, only to find out that we're not too happy with it, once we make it there. I think Squiggy has the right idea though. Rather than launch into a Midlife Crisis in an attempt to follow paths not taken (in essence, a frantic effort to relive your life differently), I think it's better to become more comfortable where you are. To be perfectly aware of the moment. To stop and look at the sky (or smell the roses), instead of thinking about other projects and racing to work.

It's a Zen thing. Nirvana is not a state of blissful isolation, but a harmony with the world around you. A dissolving of self into the universe, such that there are no dualisms, no distinctions, just existence in the moment. (Nerds can also think of it as a Yoda thing: "Always rushing off, never thinking of where he is, what he is doing!")

I'm not sure why this happens in America. I suppose it could be the promise of the American Dream. Maybe it's the Puritan Work Ethic, driving us to keep working and not relaxing. Of course, we're one of the few nations where people can actually contemplate our lives being different and make it happen. In the third world, if you're born a rice farmer, you die a rice farmer. Something may seem radically important to you, but 20 million Chinese don't give a damn. While we have more options, they can be overwhelming at time. As Devo said, "Freedom of choice is what you've got. Freedom from choice is what you want."

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