My Struggles Loving The World

Over the last several years fitness has become very important to me, and I’ve been going to the gym four or five times a week, being careful about what I eat, how much I eat, and all of that. I recently switched to a different gym so that I could work out with my cousin, who is only able to work out later at night.  The previous gym I lifted in was owned by a woman who always carefully selected the playlist playing in the background.  It was mostly classic rock from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.  Eric Clapton, Dire Straights, Metallica.  A lot of it great stuff.  However, now at this new gym, they play mainstream pop music, and I’ve been very surprised at how dark and depressing music has become.

Have you guys ever had that feeling when you walk into a place, and it has this depressing energy?  It’s intangible, but somehow you can still sense it.  You just feel that this place is depressing and low energy.  That’s how it feels in there.

So I remember starting this new gym, and on one of the first days in there, I heard this bizarre song playing in the background, radiating throughout the entire gym.  I grabbed my cousin by the shoulder and said, “Are you hearing this song they’re playing on the radio?”  He was like, “What?  I wasn’t even paying attention to it.”  Then we both listened and were very surprised, to say the least.  I found the song on Youtube, and why don’t you all take a listen?

It’s strange to find yourself in the gym, motivational posters on the walls, showing fit people with a positive message of, “There’s never a day off!”; another shows a guy flexing his biceps, “I may not be the strongest, but I’m always doing my best!”  You’re all fired up, ready to hit the weights and then this starts playing in the background.

“I don’t wanna be alive
I don’t wanna be alive
I just wanna die today
I just wanna die
I don’t wanna be alive
I don’t wanna be alive
I just wanna die
And let me tell you why”

The song just goes on and on, about how nobody cares about him, how he’s unloved, and so on.  It was just like, wow, that was dark.  So we go about our workout, doing some bicep curls and tricep extensions, and the next song comes on.  It was this.

“I’m a mess, I’m a loser,
I’m a hater, I’m a user,
I’m a mess for your love, it ain’t new.
I’m obsessed, I’m embarrassed,
I don’t trust no one around us
I’m a mess for your love, it ain’t new.

Nobody shows up unless I’m paying
Have a drink on me, cheers to the failing”

It’s just like, again?  You’re a psychological mess, you hate everyone and everything, you’re an addict, you’re obsessive and embarrassed, nobody loves you either.  Ok.  Wow.  Two songs like this in a row, what are the chances.

So we continue our workout and we hear the announcer, “You’re listening to Spider Radio, playing the top hits of today.”  Top hits?  This is mainstream pop?  Alrighty then.  Get ready for the next song that played!

“Said he tried to phone me
But I never have time
He said that I never listen
But I don’t even try
I got a new place in Cali But I’m gone every night
So I fill it with strangers so they keep ’em alive
She said she told you she knows me
But the face isn’t right
She asked if I recognized her and I told her I might
See, everywhere I go I got a million different people tryna’ kick it
But I’m still alone in my mind
I know you’re dying to meet me
But I can just tell you this
Baby, as soon as you meet me
You’ll wish that you never did
(You’ll wish that you never did)
I stayed a night out in Paris where they don’t know my name
And I got into some trouble with that drink in my veins”

At this point I’m thinking, geez, listening to this is exhausting and depressing.  No time for your real friends and you don’t even try.  Beautiful home but you don’t appreciate it.  Once people meet you they’ll wish they never did?  Out in Paris, one of the most beautiful cities on Earth to walk around and explore, yet you’re disappointed and drowning away your sorrows in alcohol because nobody knows who you are?

Now we come to my struggle.  I want to have peace of mind, and to have that I need to love the world.  I need to see it as myself, and instead of suffering, I will feel compassion and love.  To truly love and have compassion, you have to see people as yourself.  There has to be a deep unity there.  The deepest spiritual states are when you see everyone as everything as aspects of the one true creator, and you see it all as aspects of yourself.  That’s hard for me to do.

But intellectually, just thinking deeply about it all, I came to that conclusion that we’re all one long ago.  Some of you may remember old posts where I thought about wiring people’s brains together and how that would affect consciousness, I pondered if we could exist without an environment to live in, and so forth, and the truth that we are all one became quite clear to me.  However, that’s not how I feel deep within.  I haven’t full integrated it.  I really struggle with that.

I have a lot of baggage and old ways of thinking that I struggle with.  When I hear radio stations like that in this new gym, and I just look at the world in general, there is a giant sense of rejection.  My inner being just holds its nose and wants to get away from it.  It feels like somebody is holding my head over a garbage dumpster and is making me take deep breath after deep breath.  Something within me is screaming, “I’m not here to tell these people how to live their lives, but whatever it they’re doing and thinking, it obviously isn’t working for them.”

Emotionally, this world feels very broken and screwed up to me.  I feel like I’m living in that movie ‘They Live’. I’ve somehow ended up in some alien matrix, surrounded by some strange form of mind control, and most everyone around me is asleep, and there are strange, manipulative beings all around me trying to manipulate all of our emotions and energy, attempting to create as much suffering as possible.  That’s how it feels.

These manipulative beings are always sending messages: Submit, obey, conform, sleep!  There’s no hope!  Be afraid!  Fear!  Terror!  Engage in pointless activities!  Don’t think!  Conform to squirrely religions, give your hope to political leaders who don’t care about you! Consume!  Have sex!  You’re ugly! You’re inadequate!  Buy more stuff!  Drink alcohol!  Escape!  Play violent video games!  Listen to depressing music!  Escape!  Sleep!  Obey!

 You’re powerless!  Only a deity from above can save you in the afterlife!  Put your hope in Buddha, Jesus, Allah!  Until then, give your hope to these people!  Hate this!  Hate that!  Hate the ‘other’, they’re holding you back!  Fight for peace!  Fight the ‘other’!  Hate the Republicans!  Hate the Democrats!  Hate the immigrants!  Hate the rich!  Hate the poor!  Hate!  Hate!  Hate!  Submit to your leaders!  All power exists outside of you!  You are nothing!  You have no power!At this point in my life, I’m just slowly unplugging, and simply observing all of this.  This madness.  What is it?  Why am I here?  Am I supposed to learn something from this?  If so, what exactly am I supposed to learn?

When I got into meditation and bringing peace to my mind, focusing on love, joy, peace, kindness, and the rest of it, all of this darkness just jumps out at me.  The key is not to identify with it.  It’s not so much about “right” and “wrong”, it’s moreso that it seems clear to me that the way they’re conducting themselves causes suffering, both to themselves and others, and that seems like a stupid way to live.

I’m doing my best to try to love everybody and extend compassion out toward everything.  It’s a struggle.  Take for instance when those negative songs were playing in the gym.  I learned a trick from the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh.  Its annoying when you’ve just spent the past hour meditating and you’re in this wonderful state of mind, and you go into the gym fired up, and then the gym’s stereo takes a mental diarrhea in your brain.   But I’ve learned what to do.  You observe, let those thoughts come in, and then from within you shower the thoughts with love, and you offer unconditional love and compassion to these misguided souls and their music.  Then you do your best to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing.  Why are these singers so unhappy?  Why are our leaders so corrupt and greedy?  You keep loving, walking in peace, blessing, offering compassion, and try to understand what’s going on as best you can.  That’s how you unplug from this mind matrix, and love the world more.  I’m working on it.

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