Strictly Busyness and the Steady Path to Easiness
Early in the morning, in the dark before the crack, I often come to an understanding with myself. In that dreamy mindless state, it is obvious that I am here for happiness, to enjoy myself. My whole being is tuned for enjoyment, and to avoid pain and suffering. Yet the culture in which I was raised, and which served to shape my ego and my identity, has forgotten this simple truth.
Instead my culture pushes me to be productive, to contribute something of value, to become somebody, somehow, some way. It often only takes a breath or two for the indoctrination of my culture to inundate the ethereal yen for enjoyment that sits at my core (and likely yours). I've been told, like you, that the world runs on work, that our country needs more JOBS, that my value as a being is determined by my productivity in the economy. I can be reduced to a number, in dollars and cents, just like everything else.
This is, of course, nonsense. And yet many of us operate, day in, day out, as though these are the guiding principles of the human experience. Yes, sir or madam, it's strictly busyness in these parts. If you're not moving, making, doing, earning, spending, saving, building, investing, you're simply not, well, anything, or anyone worth loving.
If you were born in the last hundred years, chances are, down deep in the dark pit of your heart, you worry about whether you are lovable, worthy of love. This isn't your fault (and it's ridiculous, you're amazing!), but if you ever feel empty and unwanted, take a moment to reflect on your childhood.
What I'm about to paraphrase is known as the Continuum Concept, originally put forth by Jean Liedloff as a model that explains the remarkable happiness of the Yequana, who reside deep in the Amazon.
Each of us is born into an endless, evolving continuum of life. We experience life in contrast and comparison to our expectations of how it ought to go. Our expectations are shaped by eons of evolution to closely fit the most likely, natural experience of being who we are. However in the last few thousand years, and at an accelerating rate, humans have been deviating from our natural way of life. Our culture leads to an experience of life that violates our evolved expectations and leaves us confused, unfulfilled, and utterly lost.
Case-in-point: a baby's expectation is to be carried around by its mother for the first six months of its life. This is the way human infants have experienced their early days for over three millions of years, down through many thousands of generations. Stretching into the mammal kingdom from which we evolved, we can see that a baby's expectation to be held and carried and nursed is as well-founded as Yosemite is made of granite. And yet for whom among us was this ancient, fundamental expectation met?
For most of us in the West, born under the unfalsifiable supremacy of Scientism and Big Allopathy, our first moments were bright, loud, and violent. We were ripped out of and away from our mothers, jabbed and smacked and stabbed, measured and weighed, wrapped in dead fibers, and eventually returned to the opiated arms of our poor mothers, who themselves were born into unspeakable horror.
And so, with such a beginning, it's no wonder we can wake up every day, ignore the glowing, throbbing, pulsing ball of joy within us, and accept the bridle and saddle once more, to be ridden hard and put away wet yet again.