The world is completely and utterly fucked.
There’s war, hunger and inequality everywhere. Even in the most wealthy parts of the world, terrorists are still blowing up random innocent people. The government lies to you.
People behaving like mindless robots, trapped in this 9-5 rat race that makes you crazy, tired as fuck and goes against your very nature. And to cope with that they ruin their bodies with junkfood and numb their minds watching stuff on television that they like to talk more about than their own life.
The whole world is going crazy and I’m not even insane enough to think I’m not a part of it.
The big guys care so much about money that they’re willing to fuck each other over in the process of getting rich. We are plundering the planet’s resources at an alarming fast pace. But we’re so addicted to our own luxury lifestyle that we’re not even willing to do something as simple as give up meat -or buying clothes that were not made by slaves- to help fix it.
As individuals we are fucking powerless against the big institutions or the “sheeple mentality” of those who don’t care about it. And even if you care, good luck changing the world on your own. Every time you just as much as fart, you’re contributing to climate change. (I’m not even kidding! Your farts contain methane, which is definitely a contributing factor. Though unless you’re an exceptionally prolific farter, your methane production will probably not outweigh that of the dairy industry 😉 )
We idolize people who are famous for no apparent reason other than already being famous. Rappers stopped articulating their syllables somewhere in 2010. And this generation of boy bands is nowhere near as awesome as the backstreet boys were (but of course, back then I thought they sucked ass because they weren’t metal).
We’re trying so hard to be politically correct that it’s starting to get even more offensive than the very things they’re protesting against
Everything about the society we live in sickens me. I’m going to find an alternative way to make some money, buy a piece of land far away from all this and start some kind of community with people who don’t suck (unless they suck in a pleasurable way). I think I’ll call it “PEOPLEWHODON’TSUCK-VILLE”. But if you can come up with a catchier name, be my guest. Also, if you happen to own an island that would be a good spot to start it, call me.
…is what I think about half of the time.
What Do I Spend the Other Half of My Time Thinking?
I often find myself just taking a walk, standing in my room or riding my bike somewhere and feeling incredible for the very same reason Snooki is famous: None whatsoever.
I feel a surge of energy through my body with every breath I take. I’m humbled by my own existence and I feel something you could translate as:
“How fucking awesome is it that I get to be alive? I get to walk around in this physical reality with all these plants and animals. With this sky full of stars that also exist, one of which who gives me the heat and light my body needs. I get to explore this world through all my senses and there’s a never ending supply of awesome things to feel, see, or otherwise learn about. This ‘life’ thing is the best thing that ever happened to me (so far).”
Often when I’m listening to someone I enjoy being with, I dose off for a few seconds and literally think to myself “How awesome are you? How awesome is it that you exist, in this beautiful body, with all your beautiful thoughts and feelings, and that you are sharing them with me? How fucking great is it to be in your company right now?”
I’ll still hear every word they say, but those thoughts just keep lingering in the back of my head as well. If you know me very closely in real life, you may have had moments in a conversations where I haven’t spoken in a while and it seems like I was not listening to you. You may even have called me out on it. But honestly, when that happens, 99% of the time the reason is that I was simply admiring your existence. There, I said it.
Call me a hippie for those thoughts, I like them. I’ll even take it one step further:
I’ll look at a cat or a bird that crosses my path and feel a sense of wonder and amazement for the fact that it’s just as alive as mee. I look at a tree and admire its perseverence for withstanding life for so long and growing so big.
I can sit by the shore all night and feel as if the ocean is a living organism that takes breaths just like me. I even feel the same way standing on a bridge over the high way. I’ll feel as if the cars pass in a rhythmic fashion, just like my breath.
When I wake early, I love listening to the whole city awaken as if it is one being and all the humans are just little cells in it, including me. I often feel like I’m interconnected with every single thing that exists. And I love feeling how these influence each other. How the music gets people to loosen up and forget about their worries at a party, or how we affect each other’s emotional state as people.
Nothing beats the awesomeness of the simple fact that I live in a reality where we can interact with other people, eat blueberries and make lists of things we want to do that we’re probably never going to do but still make us feel pretty awesome when we think about how someday we might do them.
Do these 2 conflicting moods I frequently experience mean that I’m manically depressed?
Nah, because of these perspectives are actually true. They’re not even delusional, in both cases I just leave out some vital information about the world and focus on one particular part.
How Reality Is Actually Created
There is a lot of mumbo jumbo going around about how everything in your reality is created by your thoughts. There are also a bunch of pessimists out there who say it’s not. As usual, the truth is somewhere in the middle. There are both subjective and objective comments to the nature of reality. Gravity, for example, is a real thing. You cannot just out-think the laws of physics and defy them.
But once you respect the objective parts of reality, you can add subjective layers on top of them that change how you experience those objective facts. So you could say that your thoughts control everything except for that objective facts. The only problem is that most of the time we confuse the two.
Some examples of where the objective part ends and the subjective part starts would be:
Example 1: You walked in on your wife fucking the mail man? Objective truth.
Does this mean women are evil?
Maybe that only your wife is evil and you shouldn’t generalize?
Or perhaps that all women are great but you just lack a little technique in the sack and you need to ask the mail man for advice?
That’s the subjective part of reality you create. The "meaning" you give to it.
Example 2: Your neighbor bought a new expensive car.
Is he a snob that only cares about appearances?
Is he just a passionate car enthusiast who saved some money to pay for his hobby?
Are you in a disadvantaged position financially and does it make you mad that it’s always the people who don’t deserve it that get lucky, while you keep working hard and never seem to get a break?
You get it, that’s the subjective part. And the larger the scale of something happening, the more complicated the objective truth gets, and the harder to look it at without using subjective glasses.
Example 3: President makes the decision to invade a country and kill a bunch of innocent people.
Is he doing it for money and oil?
Is he an evil warmonger who sees it as a fun game?
Is he doing it because the local dictator does even more horrific things and he wants to stop them?
Is the local dictator doing those things because it’s the only thing that keeps the country from breaking into civil war?
Is western culture totally fucked? Is the local culture even more fuckeder?
Is your president a trustworthy guy that makes his seemingly irrational decisions based on intel that you and I don’t have, but when revealed could actually teach us this war was actually the option that left the least casualties in some sick twist of fate?
Every attempt to answer those questions is already colored by someone’s subjective experience because the situation is too complex. So maybe we shouldn’t bother. It’s not like we’re going to stop that war either. Though we can choose to not fight it when drafted, or we can travel to the war-zone and help as a volunteer nurse. But other than that, there's no point in wasting thoughts about it.
The reality you experience is always a co-creation between what really is, and the way you choose to look at it.
Both of my realities from the start of this article are equally accurate.
Humanity’s accomplishments are truly awe-inspiring, but also horrific and cruel.
Our society is beyond fucked up, but also gives us more freedom to pursue science and self-expression than we ever had during any other time in written history.
The world is totally fucked but at the same time we should be grateful we get to walk it.
It’s all there, and you can choose what to focus on.
When you focus on the bad things, the world becomes a horrible place and humans are the devil. When you focus on the positive things in this world, it becomes heaven on earth.
You could argue that the second point of view is delusional because it is completely ignorant of all horrible hate, suffering and mistreatment that is going on in this world, and you’d be right.
It’s important to stay informed of that. And we all should. But you can’t dwell upon it constantly. If you just as much as try to understand all the evil and suffering in the world, it will make you depressed (I tried it before, even an isolated incident like a local rape is hard to wrap my head around).
It took me a long while to find the balance between these 2 world views, and it was one of the most confusing things I’ve ever been through. Especially considering that a lot of the coolest things about life are paid for with some painful things. And that some of the most offensive things about the world are also what keeps it stable. I guess that’s growing up and all. But I found it confusing as fuck.
Luckily, now that my confusion has settled down a little and I no longer see the world as heaven nor hell, the new, balanced perspective is actually still pretty damn awesome. 🙂
Does This Mean I Should Just Sit Around and Do Nothing About It?
If the world is fucked any way and I'm not going to be the one to change it all, what's the point?
That was my biggest question these past few months as well. Should you stop protesting and become an ignorant bystander? I don't really believe that's actually doable, unless you eat enough junk food, take enough meds and watch enough TV to keep your thoughts at bay until you fall asleep.
Should you then fight for the causes you believe in, knowing that it’s a fight you can’t win on your own?
Lately, I've been examining how I dealt with situation where I was confronted with some of the less pretty parts of the "system". Most of the time I took the second approach. I kept stubbornly fighting, rebelling and disagreeing until the very end. It only caused the institutions responsible to reign down harder on me until I felt hateful and bitter. You can see this is not a good solution, because being hateful and bitter is what causes people to do harm in the first place.
When you try to fight against evil, it will just consume you and you'll become a part of it, while you still believe you’re doing good.
Do you think a terrorist would blow up himself if he didn’t believe it was some sort of revolutionary act of good either?
It’s delusional to think that death and destruction won’t always be here, as it’s part of nature’s way to restore balance. No matter how cruel every individual act can seem to us. You can hate it and complain all you want, but unfortunately your hate is more likely to create more of it than to stop it from happening.
Even if you manage to not get consumed by your own anger towards evil-doers, it’s still a game you can never win. You can live the most conscious lifestyle possible, but the bank will still invest your money in warfare before you get paid. And part of your taxes will still go to safe havens for priests that rape little boys as a past-time activity.
On the other hand, when I choose to focus on the good that I can do, on what I can do to make the lives of everyone I meet a little bit better. Or what sort of things I can write about that empower people to be happier and simultaneously make others happier by behaving more consciously. That’s when I start to experience that crazy hippie mindset, which is the most enjoyable thing ever.
If you find yourself raging against the powers that be, there’s a pretty big chance you have some time left on your hands to do more good.
Stop walling in your frustration before it gains momentum, and find a way to add beauty to the world right now in every moment, no matter how small. Now keep doing until you’re so busy doing good things in this world, that you barely have time to direct your focus on anything else
There’s a million ways to look at the world, but whatever your way of looking at it: This society is made up of all the people in it.
It’s easy to look at that big picture and complain. But based on my experience, when you do that, it’s usually just a sneaky trick your mind plays on you to avoid responsibility for your own life and project it on the outside world.
So when that happens, zoom back in and start the revolution in your own little corner of this earth.
What can you change about your own behavior today?
Because not only is the rest completely outside of your control...
How can you expect to make the rest of humanity more loving if you’re stuck with feelings of frustration and bitterness yourself?
Receive Pepijn's new articles by email.
While there's enough articles here to fill a couple of books and sell them, keeping them on this site where you can read them all for free would be much more awesome! And it's amazing people like you who make that possible. If you feel like these posts have helped improve your life, please consider making a donation.