An ordinary man’s way of viewing the world is topsy-turvy relative to reality. This is the hardest thing to seriously consider, let alone accept. We are willing to explore the possibility of our being upside-down only to a certain extent. For to take it any further than that would mean to think less of ourselves in many respects. Our self-image and all of the bright or dark qualities we ascribe to our perceived strengths and weaknesses would be severely affected and in need of immediate re-evaluation. And who is willing to make the effort to re-evaluate the stepping stones of what we think of ourselves? This is the type of effort which is given a nod and the tribute of lip-service, but never taken on as a task of priority and significance. For we are not truly convinced or persuaded to even consider the chance that the situation is so extreme.
As long as we move along our days in a more or less zombie-like way, following the motions of habit and patterns of the past in order to repeat our future in the same fashion, things seem rather fine. It does not matter that the world is in as much chaos as it is, nor that its horrors have reached a magnitude of obscenity. We are, after all, on the right side of the fence, with comforts to enjoy and troubles to avoid which are all relatively estranged from the events we see and hear of on the news. It is not close to us and therefore contains an element of unreality, where our sentiment is numb to any foreign plight as if it were seen through the lens of a piece of fiction. In the end our lives remain the same, without a clear or obvious connection to anything other than the usual pattern of events which we can expect to unfold with the same certainty as the assumption that the sun will rise tomorrow.
So too do we lean upon our judgment towards the people in our lives and believe that pointing to others or something always external will assure us the seat of innocence. The belief in the voice in our heads is so strong that it doesn’t matter that something said or done in one moment contradicts another in the next, for an engine of justification in our minds, like the propaganda artists of a government, ensures that we are given the right series of reasons, excuses and ideas to put ourselves in the right. We are unconscious to this mechanism, this internal messenger of the ever good or bad news, devised of falsities, or diluted truths which can be just as bad, if not worse. For we believe it is us, something intrinsic to our identity, which we without fail keep our ears open to as one would to a dear friend. How interesting that the enemy is indeed so close to the gates! In fact, how amusing that the enemy has always been on our side of it.
The greatest piece of advice is to take everything seriously except ourselves. For our thoughts and associations convolute everything into this reversal of sanity. We are too self-indulgent to unconditional ideas in our head which make us believe all sorts of silly things. It is this influence within us which creates or compounds problems and pulls us down into the depths of unnecessary woe and suffering. We can cry and moan of many things which in actual fact do not, and have never, existed in the shape and form we have conjured. It is strange and odd to realize in a certain special moment that many of our plights are simply fictions to which we for some reason or another have always found ourselves believing from the very moment of their arisings. It is in such moments that we can breathe out fully and relax ourselves back into the sobriety of reality.