The really happy person is not ambitious and cunning and is not involved in places like politics. The really happy person is not comparing, envious, competitive or ambitious. Society wants you to be ambitious. But, society is miserable. Don’t be a part of our miserable society. Only if you are not ambitious can you really stay happy and free. Always looking at your neighbor’s house and seeing what new things they have purchased (which they will later regret and give away) is a sure fire recipe for depression.
Try to avoid developing a specific social conscience that mirrors those around you. A conscience is not bad in itself. It gives you that subtle voice, that angel on your shoulder, who whispers what is good and what is bad. It is important to have an intuitive sense of justice and the like. But once again, Society that is around you is what makes you completely a slave to its current stage of morality. I am not sure if there is much that is a priori “morality” if at all. Possibly lying, stealing, cheating, murdering, is obviously empirically a priori bad, but the other stuff that models ourselves a new conscience… well I think that is given by society.
There was a time when women was looked at as second class citizens. Remember our history classes and Susan B. Anthony? There was a time not long ago that women could not vote. Remember the Jim Crow laws and how in America African Americans were considered less than human and enslaved? You have to be able to think for yourself at times, and not just obey and listen to Society and adhere to their morality. And this is because things are always changing. Technology is always changing. And people are always changing. And therefore morality is always changing. If you were the son of a high ranking officer in the Nazi Party, would you be strong enough not to accept their society’s morality?
Society, for lack of a better expression, seeks to enslave you, it is the most selfish thing which Society engages you in. Society will use, abuse you, and then when it is through with you, it will toss you aside with all the subtleness of a garbage run. Society trains the young mind via schoolteachers, politicians, corrupt religious leaders, employers, to follow, follow, and then follow some more. They start all this when the naïve and innocent children. Back in the South in the 1800s for example, no white baby was born to hate a black person. And in 1940s Germany, no German baby was born to hate the Jews. That specific society’s morality taught them to do that. That is why you have to be on guard against society.
So many ideas jumble together inside the innocent child and become his and her social conscience. This false sense of “obedience” will stop the growth of the child, much like laying down asphalt over green grass prevents its growth, and thus lays the foundation for supreme suffering in later days. How do you think an elderly white gentleman in Southern America may feel today about how he felt back when he was a teenager about African American people. Very likely, he feels shame and anxiety and depression now because he likely looked down on them. And of course, he feels guilty. The Society of the South at the time taught and trained him to hate the African Americans.
We give this conscience as a society blindly to individuals and thus you think you will be rewarded if you simply employ a good conscience that society gave you. But suppose the social conscience is wrong and you embraced it? You will feel guilty, you will feel pain, fear, trembling, anxiety, depression. Suddenly you are afraid that you will possibly go to hell, and receive bad karma. This is not a question of thinking over the problem more. Rather, you are thinking too much! Stop your incessant thinking. If you have grown in “heart” conscienceness enough, you will simply drop any guilty thoughts that arise, and simply improve, and thereby be able to see directly into any situation you are encountering. Often, your thoughts are often like sand in your eyes, they are painful, and with the sand in your eyes, you cannot see what is in front of you!
Just stop the clutter and the traffic jam of your ceaseless thinking, and the cleanliness of pure joy and calmness will enter your soul. If you only are living from the mind and its incessant thoughts, you cannot see well. There are tens of thousands of thoughts that rush through your mind in all hours of the day. It is like an out of control blaze burning down an entire forest, a rush hour in a busy American city on a typicalo Monday morning. And 90% of those thoughts just repeat themselves from the previous day. It is such a waste of time and it will give you a headache.
Even for me, writing this book was so hard in the beginning because I had not had the ability to even begin to train my brain to stop the incessant thinking. What if this? what if that?, my brain was always spinning out of control… just like yours and most other people. My fourth grade teacher, Mr. Jim gave me a nickname, “Yeah but, what if?” because even as a child I would worry and over think everything needlessly. It interfered with my peace of mind and made me very insecure all the time.
It was only after I started learning to quiet my mind that the creative juices started flowing and I could sit down to write. And slowing down my mind allowed me to treat the people around me so much better. I stopped pestering them with my thoughts all day long. I remember going out on a few dates with girls where I did all the talking and thus turned the girl off. The act of talking started with thinking. If you are filled with endless thinking, you are going to be endlessly talking. Do you like to be around people who just chatter away in your ear? No, it affords you no peace.