I Am No One

I am no one. Unlike most other humans, I do not identify as any one particular individual who is separate from other things and people. I am one with everything. Your consciousness and my consciousness is the same thing. The only difference between us is these characters that we are all playing inside our heads.

For a long time I was someone and man that was miserable. Throughout my life I have had many different identities or personalities. Ben the professional tennis player. Ben the failed professional tennis player. Ben the architect. Ben the anarchist revolutionary. Ben the artist and writer. Ben the recluse and introvert. Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben……. What a bunch of bushtit that was.

Why bushtit? Because all those identities or personalities I was identified with did not really exist. Where are they now? Where did they go? What does the tree or the bird care about Ben the architect? What about all those personalities that existed two hundred years ago? Where did they go? These identities are just dreams of our imaginations. As my professor at UC Berkeley once pointed out, “Ben all of your opinions and beliefs only exist within your head, they have no separate existence outside your head. That sky up there could care less about what you think.”

I realize that our personalities or identities do have a social function. They make it easier for us to identify one another and to have things sold to us. Many believe that our separate identities (our ego) are the lungs of capitalism. In order for capitalism to breathe, we all need to purchase these identities that feel unique to us. But it is all a bunch of bushtit.

Being no one is quite wonderful. When you are no one there is no one to bother. I realize that few around me understand so I let them think that I am somebody. I want others to do what they want and unlike the actor Jim Carrey, I have little need to push my agenda or experience on anyone else. I am only writing this because, well……I want to.

You see being no one (not identified with being a specific character in my head) gives me a lot of time and freedom. I no longer have to be caught up in the very time consuming struggle of needing to be someone. I am free to just exist, to enjoy the moment, to not need to strive to be anything more than what I am now. No One. When you are no one, there really is nothing to get done. I mean sure I still clean my house, care for my garden, read books, go to work, listen to music, dress well (I enjoy wearing nice suits everyday) but I am not doing these things to be somebody in the future. I am doing them because I enjoy it in the moment. These various tasks that compose a life well lived bring me pleasure. When I was trying to be somebody, I was always trying to get someplace else and as a result was not able to enjoy these smaller aspects of my life. Now the smaller aspects of my life mean everything.

A person is only irritated being where they are at if they want to be someplace else. If a person has no desire to be someplace else there is the absence of irritation. Ever since I became no one, I have only wanted to be right where I am.

You may be wondering how I became no one? It took a lot of time. Ben the tennis player, Ben the architect, Ben the writer and artist, Ben the failure, Ben the anarchist- these identities did not go away easily. I felt like I needed to be somebody in order to live the life I wanted to live. How wrong I was! I didn’t get that it is impossible to live “a good life,” as long as you are trying to get someplace else. The Ego is never satisfied. It always wants more. It is never happy where it is at and it does not want to give up its pursuit of being somebody. It is relentless and caused me a great deal of unhappiness. Over time and lots of hardship, I was finally able to let my Ego go and become no one. It still comes back from time to time, but I notice it and send it on its way.

I have no place I want to be more than right here. Nothing I have to do. Nothing more I need to achieve. Everything feels full right now. I am free to live my life as it is in this moment without looking to the future. Once you become no one, the future is just a dream that you wake up from.

It can be tough at times because society demands that you be someone. People don’t know what to do with no one. It just makes everyone nervous. People need me to be Ben the architect in order to hold on to something. Fine. I let them do that but once you become no one, none of this matters because who are they doing it to? Society and all these people who put you in boxes, judge you, label you, demand things of you, force you to be someone you are not can not get to you once you are no one because there is no one there to get to! So I let people do their thing, because I am no thing.

It really is quite a wonderful space to dwell in, and even though the outside world is going mad because of their egoic identifications and never ending strivings to be someone, it’s ok. It is just that way things are. Doesn’t bother me since I am no one.

Eventually everyone gets the point. The unfortunate thing is that most don’t get to enjoy the point because they are unable to separate themselves from their ego until they are dead.

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Lazy Person

You are a lazy person. Maybe you can’t help it. Maybe it is just the way you are. I don’t think this is true, but I suspect that you do.

Antithetical to your own popular thought, you are a lazy person. I know you do not think so. I know that in your mind you contrive fantasies of a very engaged and capable person who does a lot. After all, how could you live with yourself not in a continual state of despair if you didn’t fool yourself like this. It takes a very logical and advanced mind to reflect back to itself the truth of its own being. Most mortals continually lie to themselves all the time. It is a preventative strategy against the pit of despair.

Only strong minds can exist in this pit of despair and not be destroyed by it. Most prefer to avoid it. Distract themselves from it because their minds are too weak to handle it.

Your laziness controls you all the time. It grips you by the throat. It causes you to not do what you would like to do. It causes you to not be the person you would like to be. Instead you sleep and sit more than you would like. You consume things more than you can control. You say things and then do the opposite. Your ability to control yourself in the way you would like is outside of your own control. You live in the center of this paradox, which causes you to lose faith in yourself. So much energy is exhausted by continually doing the things you set out not to do. Much confidence in oneself is lost when we continually avoid existing in the ways we would like. Our laziness wins over us, and we become the person we would like not to be.

The paradox of laziness is that it costs you energy. As much as you feel like you are preserving energy by not living in the exact way you would like, by letting go of control over the person you want to be- you are depleting yourself of energy. It exhausts large amounts of life energy to continually go against your best self. To throw yourself under the proverbial bus again and again, saps a person of vitality. You do not see this but the daily failure to be the exact person you would want to be (thinner, stronger, more organized, healthier, creative, intellectually engaged, financially independent), to be fully in charge of all the decisions you make, causes you to lose faith in yourself. Few things exhaust a person like a chronic feeling of bad faith directed at themselves.

Laziness is what grows out of this chronic, self-directed feeling of bad faith. It is like being punched again and again, day after day, by a relentless opponent. Eventually you will give up and just take the punches. All your strength and self-esteem is lost and like a punching bag gone flat, you take punch after punch. Under these conditions who has the energy to do much? Who has the motivation and strength to really sail their ship in the direction they want it to go? No way. I would rather just rest and space out, you say.

Just give up and sleep more than you should, drink more than you want, make yourself sick with stress, watch more tv and porn than you want, have the body that you are not happy with, eat as much as you want, lose the will to organize your life, let things exist on the verge of chaos. Just go with the flow of your lazy life without ever doing anything about it. This is the fate that you lazy person have chosen.

I know you think your life is better than this lazy person. I know you think you do a lot more than you really do. As I said, it is necessary for you to think this way or else you would slip into the pit of despair. Your illogical (delusional) thought processes are a survival strategy. You must avoid thinking logically about certain things because if you did you would have two choices. You would either have to slip into a state of complete existential dread about the meaninglessness of all life or you would have to claim agency, develop a stronger and more disciplined mind and actually change your life (push against the currents of laziness). For the lazy person the option of existential meaninglessness (especially in today’s bleak world) seems to be a much easier option. Do enough to just get by, to just keep your head above water and then let everything else go. Accept living in a state of chaos. The lazy person loves the easier option.

You lazy person know what chaos is, right? I mean, chaos is many things. There is the external chaos of the natural world that we are subjected to all the time. We live in a chaotic universe where anything can happen at any time. We think we are the ones pulling the strings in the external world but this could not be further from truth. You really think that person meant to trip and fall and break their nose? You think they really saw that comming as they were lost in thought a moment before? What is really going on is that nature is pulling the strings all the time and we are victims of this event though are entire lives are often a futile struggle to prevent this from being so.

But we do have greater control over our internal state. In the same way that a water skier glides and jumps over the unstable water through which she surfs, we can do the same internally if we chose. Even though the sea around us is completely unstable and chaotic we do not have to give into this internally. You lazy person have given into the internal and external chaos. You have lost control over yourself. You have become weak inside because you are continually going against yourself. You think one way but you do another thing. You say one thing but you do the opposite. You want to achieve one thing but instead you give up on achieving anything once it gets too hard. “fuck it,” you think to yourself. If you had a best friend who was continually making specific plans with you and then again and again did not show up in the way they said they would- you would lose faith in them. You would resent them. You would stop showing up for them. Why should your inner self be exempt from this?

Laziness is a result of this resentment towards oneself. You have lost faith in your ability to confidently show up for yourself. So why not sleep and eat and drink and fuck and do nothing more? Trying to get a handle on things exhausts you because you are not able to ever show up for yourself (your aspirations) and thus you have given up and become lazy. Just take things as they come, you tell yourself. Keep doing what you can because it is too hard to do anything more. Just make the best of things. Live for the moment. What’s the point of anything else?