Val isn't playing life coach by sharing some useful ideas gathered over 7 decades of life experience and hundreds of books on human nature.
If I know anything about life, it's this: it doesn't have to be so complicated.
-- Emily Ley
The Times of Objective Stress, and Times of Self-Inflicted One
Let's face it -- stress is the sign of our times, which is nothing new, except that it's also one of the biggest paradoxes of our times.
Said in a nutshell: these are the best times ever in the whole long history of mankind; and aside of our peculiar passion for complicating our lives, we don't have much of an objective excuse for being stressed out.
In my childhood -- and we are talking the time right after the WW2 in a devastated Europe, horses and carriages were much of a regular feature on the roads. We had street cleaners whose job was to sweep the horseshit off the roads.
Actually, except for the military vehicles, and a rare truck, it was mostly just that kind of transportation. O.K., we had streetcars on those main streets, but that was it.
Laundry was done manually, while bedding was boiled in a big container for disinfection. To cook our meals, wash ourself -- and of course, I am not talking about anything like a shower -- as well as to have some heat in the house, our folks had to first go chop some firewood and smash some coal chunks for the furnace.
Imagine a life without a TV, while families with a lower than that generally-low income of those times couldn't afford a radio, while a turntable that didn't need winding up was a sheer luxury.
Truth be told, if there was anything good about those days, it was that simple rejoicing over the end of the war and being spared by some miracle. Out of that gratitude people didn't even ask for much, just trying to survive and rebuild their lives from a scratch as best as they could.
Through all those long five years of that horrible war, it would have been ridiculous to even mention anything like a "balanced diet" -- the one that is not helping much these days to ward off all those many needs to see doctors -- regularly.
And yet, with all that objective stress and objective existential fear, and being mostly malnourished -- they showed an incredible leftover stamina to deal with all those challenges, and oftentimes subhuman conditions.
So now we are talking about that basic difference between their stress and the stress of these modern times of the high tech.
Again, their stress was objective and the one that was also mobilizing their spirit to survive -- whereas the stress, better called "distress", of the modern man is mostly subjective, self-inflicted, stemming from some crappy mental routines of complicating their lives.
Well, speaking for myself, with all those memories of a crude struggle for survival, these are the days when I feel as if living in a science fiction scenario -- with all these technical advantages -- which are so miserably taken for granted by so many, and judging by the popular level of tress, hardly appreciated.
Be as simple as you can be; you will be astonished to see how uncomplicated your life can become.
-- Paramahansa Yogananda
Masters of a Mostly Routinized Life -- but Still Tense
When someone tells me they "can't relax", I ask them: "How do you manage to fall asleep at night?"
Indeed, what exactly do we do with all those worries, frustrations, grudges, impatience, and the rest of the emotional, self-inflicted crap -- at our bed time?
How do we succeed to loosen down all muscles and nerves in order to sink into that pleasant oblivion where nothing seems to matter anymore.
And then, how is that mechanism of falling asleep any different from relaxing during the day, except that we don't "overdo it" by falling asleep?
It's truly amazing how we reserve that ability to unwind only for our bed time, so ably sweeping all that gamut of a totally unnecessary stress under the rug -- of course, until the next morning when we sweep it all out again, to continue tormenting ourselves with that same old passion for complicating our lives.
On top of all that, in our daily praxis of living we actually just repeat the same routine acts for which we don't need any additional, strenuous mental activity as if to figure how to do it. So why are we stressed if mostly everything is merely a well routinized repetition?
It's like people are suffering from a selective amnesia, forgetting those simple strategies of living where some exaggerated emotionalism makes no logical sense. We are quick to see that in kids who have no developed discriminatory abilities to differ between imagined and real dangers, so we have to soothe their outbursts of fear -- but then, we are doing the same.
When we hear the daily news, they are loaded with examples of this complicating our coexistence on this planet on a big scale -- and then we are just parroting that tribe mentality as if for the feeling of belonging.
So we buy into our leaders' paranoia over some made up enemies. And we fuss about all other things over which we have absolutely no control. And we live other people's lives, going so damn smart over their domestic problematics, while seeing our own as much "smaller", just because it's ours.
It's truly amazing how people have become proficient at turning something simple into something complicated.
Politically blind, they can't see how they are being used just for votes, while having absolutely no impact on the business of running the country. Once in power, those political careerists act as kings, and no protests, no demonstrations, no public outcries can change anything there.
Learned anything from this pandemic about how little any protests mean?
The time will come when it is bound to surface into open how political leaders and/or CDC got some juicy royalties from the Big Pharma for pushing hard those vaccines -- which may turn out to be mostly effective for their placebo effects -- while also damaging to some others.
Why am I mentioning this detail? Just to make my point slightly stronger when it's about complicating our lives with our collective participation which is not based on anything that we really "know".
Indeed, folks, we "know" nothing other than what highly paid media is selectively giving us. And we complicate our lives over a worldview picture which is totally fabricated by that same media -- while some 8 billion people just live their ordinary lives, away from cameras, away from that grand lie.
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
-- Hans Hofmann
It Was Our Youth Painting It All in Pink
Every so often I hear people of my baby-boomer age group mention those "good, old times". I don't participate in all that nostalgic reminiscing; instead, with a simple, but eye-opening remark I remind them how the only good thing about those times was the fact that we were all young then, and youth had a way of painting it all in rosy colors.
Indeed, if you happen to be in my age group, or just approaching it, you must already be aware how these days we are operating on less than half of those youth hormones that used to give us that extra spark of vitality, with that constant state of horniness running the turbines of our dreams, hopes, and ambitions.
If you asked a young and in-love camel runner in Sahara desert how he feels about his life, he is bound to tell you how even that sandy emptiness looks beautiful.
But don't bother asking the same that old geezer lying in the shadow of his camel, with that empty look resting on the horizon -- as he may tell you just another version of what a stressed out CEO would say stretched on the shrink's couch between two tired sighs: "Life is so stressful and complicated".
Normally I don't like playing a prophet, but with this exception, let me submit my opinion that in some generations to come, it may be embarrassing for anybody to say that they are stressed out. Simply because it's a crazy trait in the collective consciousness, and it's got to stop some time, sooner or later. People will snap out of it, and there are already some massive indications of that going on.
Whether it's becoming more and more obvious or not, but people worldwide are beginning to wake up from this crazy self-inflicted stress. More and more we are hearing about different modalities in stress management, with the grand manipulators of the mankind gradually losing their grip over the public mood.
With so much alternative and holistic approaches to life and psycho-physical well being, the "god-doctor" doesn't sound all that convincing anymore -- of course, other than in emergency situations.
There are less and less people voting and generally trusting politicians. And in some countries in Europe, religion became virtually nonexistent.
We are slowly approaching a consciousness revolution where that "pink color of life" will take over from the morbid colors from constant political conflicts, a medicine that's based on drugs and scalpel, and a religious faith which -- albeit reluctantly -- is approaching the point of realization how that's all just our mind's construct, not a mental reflection of some objective celestial reality.
Youth is good, happiness is good, zest for life is good -- and with that growing awareness even our hormonal decline may take a replenishing turn.
I am saying all this because I am, personally, heavily into my own "process of self-recycling", and with all information from the top sciences of what is possible -- I can intuit how people will be massively snapping out of this present dark passion of complicating their lives.
Life is really good in its simplicity, and there is no need whatsoever to make it complicated.
Here, I got inspired to compose this little rhyme -- a skinny one this time, lol.
What we do during working hours determines what we have; what we do in our leisure time determines what we are.
-- George Eastman
With Calm and Ease
Captain of this mind
I sail some quiet seas
to all evil simply blind
I'm feeling all at ease.
With this smiling soul
I'm blazing new trails
and every little goal
almost never fails.
Painless is this life
joyous and fulfilled
without any big strife
intolerance, fuss or guilt.
Each treasure of heart
I've got by not seeking
being just a little smart
as for modest speaking.
To those who are trying
some new trials is fate
and all hateful crying
only breeds new hate.
So don't search for highs
they are all already yours
just unglue your shut eyes
and step through big doors.
Only with ease and calm
your life becomes whole
with long deserved balm
for your ever aching soul.
© 2022 Val Karas