Subtle sullied slander slips off the lips of the slightly slick and savagely shrewd.
A gross number of expectations towards nearly anything and everything fill the bright minds of modern men. Happiness is nearly impossible for many otherwise sensible souls for the simple reason that their thoughts and feelings are chained to an enormous array of preconditions. The length, width, and breadth of every action and event must be weighed and measured by a biased snare of judgments. People and their ticks will be seen as if enlarged and engrossed by a magnifying glass, where pimples are seen as malignant tumors, in need of urgent and earnest repair. Alas, agitation runs amok, as joints twitch the limbs of motion, compelling every able body to gossip ever more about the meaningless, the trite, and the trivial.
The state of contentment is always available. It is what exists when the clutter of erroneous and nervous thoughts is wiped clean, at least for a moment, from a man’s attention. It is simple and yet the bustle of modern living aggravates the pressure of over-thinking into a seemingly inexorable condition. It is fairly hopeless to consider it possible that even a Buddha-like figure could stroll into the chaos of high-paced cities and expect the roaring crowds to do anything but continue on in their aimless march. What many seem to disregard is the fact that this hapless state of affairs stems from the severe degree of over-saturation that marks our times. The population and its products cycle upwards at a disproportionate rate to which no natural setting can oblige.
One may not be able to escape such times or such conditions, yet awareness of the reality, and terror, of the situation is at least hopeful. It is hopeful because it implies a man still retains the capacity, however slight in strength, to distance himself and his persona from what is happening, in order to witness himself and the world a tad more objectively. Rivers of stressful hormones can diminish and abate in a few moments after such an effort is made. The higher ground of awareness, where a man faces the fact that he is not in control, and that nothing can be done in the storm but to accept it. From there and then, perhaps, he can work to align and orient himself in a direction where winds blow less grisly. This is the good in the bad, that can always be had, when the merit of misfortune is found beneath the clad.
To step seven steps back will change many things as a man expands it as a factor of his mindset. People and their errors become less an issue, and one begins to see himself more clearly in the actions of others. The mirror shows more and more the true face of a man who before thought himself to be of a higher or lower grade, or at least grossly different to the norm. The same unpleasant issues and distasteful habits of disgrace are found, little by little, to exist in every man, only in varying proportions. One man’s nose may be larger or more crooked, but all men have a nose nonetheless. So it goes for all of the characteristics and dispositions found in every single breathing man on this Earth, where everything that can exist or happen, will and does exist and happen. None stand out in the face of that.
One of the notable points that I got of Pascal’s philosophy is that the point of all our trouble and worries isn’t the end result. We do not desire having these troubles and worries fixed and simply getting the end result. What we desire *is* the trouble and worry, since that is what keeps us from dealing with reality on a daily basis.
But as you are saying in you writing, at what point does this become a vicious cycle of mindless wander and self fueling stress?