Sunday, December 2, 2012

Matter of Strategy: Living Existentialism

As announced in my former posting about existentialism (Click here), I want to go further into the matter of Existentialism. I formerly said, that I would like to concentrate/focus on existential Buddhism. Even I will focus on Buddhism, I decided to bring in existential ideas of individuals from different beliefs and world views. Even there is some resistance in my veins to talk freely and openly about this kind of topic (as religion and politics seem to generally cause a lot of useless flame wars instead of constructive discussions), I think it is time to talk more about what I thought, what I felt, what I want to share with you since so long. Do not take it as an offense, do not take it as disrespect. It is just my current subjective view on the whole thing.

Your mind is filled, overloaded, tired. Everything is on your mind, you attach yourself and grab for everything reachable. When our minds fill with ideas, with expectations, with goals... we more and more drive ourselves into a stasis. Slowly we become a standing still pendulum.
"Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless - like water. [..] Be water, my friend." - Bruce Lee
Why do we have to attach ourselves so much on so many things. We suffocate ourselves while we stuff our mind full of expectations, dreams and goals. How do you know, as a human, what is good or bad for you? How do you know that good things are not going to come? Good things that would never have come when the bad things did not happen? Limited is our view on things. Let go and be in perpetual motion. A standstill is deadly and takes away space to breath and to think. Change is inevitable, so why should you become stone. A wall of stone can shatter into thousand peaces. If you are water, you always move, you change your forms and you flow through existence without fear, without suffering.

"Existentialism holds that there are no (or at least few) universal truths about human nature — the individual is what is important, and the individual is free to make his or her life in any way imaginable." - Colin Temple
Existentialism takes into consideration the underlying concepts:
  • Human free will
  • Human nature is chosen through life choices
  • A person is best when struggling against their individual nature, fighting for life
  • Decisions are not without stress and consequences
  • There are things that are not rational
  • Personal responsibility and discipline is crucial
  • Society is unnatural and its traditional religious and secular rules are arbitrary
  • Worldly desire is futile
What does it mean in other words? It means to live means to suffer, to have to go through a lot of problems and pains. It means you grow stronger through life and the way you grow lies in your own hands. This exactly fits to my former mentioned idea of being your own superhero (Click here). Everything in this world is giving to you. You can take it.
"The origin of suffering is attachment." - 2nd Noble Truth in Buddhism
Why do we let ourselves suffer? Because we are able to feel, we got emotions. We are emotionally, mentally, physically and monetary attached to a lot of things. People speak a lot about independence, individual freedom... the fact is, we are never free as long as we live. We have to accept the pain, it is inevitable. Still, we should not into melancholia or become negative human beings.

"Life brought me so I came; Death takes me so I go.
I came not willfully; nor willfully I go."
- Sheikh Muhammad Ibrahim Zauq
Life is a beautiful thing. It can be so beautiful and easy, if you just live... Too often we run from event to event, expectation to expectation, need to need. Give your mind a break, empty it... open your eyes. Look upon the beauty of heaven. Look on the beauty of earth. It is all given to you, and still you do pay so little attention to it because life is making you too busy to live. Isn't that sad?
“Buddhism holds that everything is in constant flux. Thus the question is whether we are to accept change passively and be swept away by it or whether we are to take the lead and create positive changes on our own initiative. While conservatism and self-protection might be likened to winter, night, and death, the spirit of pioneering and attempting to realize ideals evokes images of spring, morning, and birth.” Daisaku Ikeda
Flow through life... See the beauty given to you every morning... that seems fantastic. What more can you await from life otherwise? Stay calm, be productive.... produce positive changes in your life... don't be too attached with anything. Love what stays with you voluntary, not caused by force... do you really have to force things to stay with you?

As I said, we never know the cause of things. Don't be calm like a stone, wild as fire, thin as air... be like water and your life belongs to you. It was not your choice to be on earth and it is not your choice to live.

And remember... does something you force to stay really belong to you?


  1. Does something you force to stay really belong to you?---Good question---Sorry but most of the time,no, it doesn't. Even though you can force it to stay for a short while, it still ain't yours. And that's why we say "Let it be", if something belongs to you, it will always come naturally, no one will ever take it away from you,whatever means he uses.

  2. Reminds me on history lessons about Jean Paul Sartre I learned at junior high school. And the books of Ayn Rand I read as a teenager. One thing I missed in these philosophies is the lack of compassion towards fellow humans. Without, one would live in a cold world.

    You are indeed responsible for your acts, what you think you create. But there are other 'forces' that shape your life and has much influence, out of scope of your own free will. Some cultures call it Karma, but that does not mean one has to stick with it. If your mindset is strong enough, you can reshape your life. It's all a matter of having enough will power to change.

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    2. It is all in your responsibility. You have the choice of compassion in your own hands. It has a lot of compassion towards humans, it just depends on how you want to look on it. If you take a closer look... isn't it better to say "You are able to change, to live the way you want to, to make a choice and a difference." than to say "Destiny has chosen that you must live in the dark pits of misery. You cannot flee, you cannot avoid."

      I think that is all philosophies about Karma do: They tell you when your life is good and when it is not. In the end, I believe that only after your life it can be judged and chosen by an entity that is not human if we have been a good or a bad man.

      All we can do now is making life comfortable for us and for others. In our own priorities.