Sufficiency without number
by Antonio Dias
Sufficiency is an attitude not a quantity.
Chasing after desires we have lost any sense that happiness can be anything other than a list checked off. Pursuit.
Nothing could be more destabilizing. Either for an individual or a culture. And, before we get caught up in some form of zealotry…. Yes, the desire to control others, even how we our selves behave, according to some plan, any plan; is just as much the pursuit of happiness as any visible sin such people decry. At its foundation such zealotry is still the worship of Ego sublimated into a projection onto a higher power.
Life, beyond our cultural blinders, does not treat happiness in this way. There are desires, every living thing has a multitude of desires, and much energy is spent on achieving them. But, when desires are not fulfilled, most everyone but us, will deal with what is or perish. Together, this is a driving force behind life and its evolution. Desire, along with any form of impulse, anything at all, is not held above or outside of what is.
Organisms have ways of coping with these situations even to the ultimate – as in final – condition at the point of death.
For us, having raised fear of that single moment above all else, we have derailed our abilities to cope. This has led to an endless bargaining with the goal of removing us from life’s necessities. Starting with the necessity that we die and proliferating from there until all that we do is spread death and an un-dead, non-living as we pile on reactions to our fears.
Our brains carry immense processing power. The conditioning and projections this generates overwhelms our capacities as organisms to deal with what is. But we still have these capacities. They can be uncovered. We can, by realizing how we have been seduced – not by Bad Guys and Evil-doers, by our own Egos – we can disarm these illusions and regain our capacities to cope.
To cope. That sounds so, un-desirous. Compared to Pursuing Happiness?
Look beyond the noises made by tragic figures parasitizing the entire world to fulfill their own narrow desires. Think of the CEO of Exxon Mobil and his updating of “Let them eat cake!” as a prime example. Or the elites at Monsanto headquarters dining on “Organic Food” while protecting the “rights” of the poor to eat “What they like.”
To cope is to find balance. It is not a lesser state. It is the only realistic state. Anything else is a denial of what is. To cope is to find sufficiency.
“This is enough.”
It’s not to say, “This is the best possible Panglossian world! That is the kind of false equivalence Ego, wearing its “Reason Hat” likes to make. Being reasonable, as a trick, a way to narrow a multitude of possibility down to two stark black-and-white choices and forcing us to choose.
“How else can we know when we have enough?”
There is a capacity to know what is sufficient. It is part of our homeostasis. No organism could survive without it.
So what happens when we start counting? Look at every case.
Overeating? We diet. We count calories.
Valuing our lives? We count money.
Protecting what is being lost? We generate statistics. Plan ways to sharpen our ability to count the death toll.
In every case counting takes us away from knowing what we already know. It pushes us into a cycle of projection and delusion that only makes matters worse.
The reasonable are dying to interject! “What would happen if we stopped counting? Chaos!”
Running along that old trail taking what could be a clear view, looking at a situation for what it is, without agenda or prejudice, and turning it into a chance to force us into some arbitrary polarity. “Yea, Chaos is the only other option.”
Reason is a tool. Like any tool, if it is given free reign – in this case in our worship of desire above life itself – it leads to technology, the tyranny of the tool. Used in this way reason quickly becomes, well, unreasonable. The Nightmares of Reason, as Goya was able to show us right back at the start of the so-called Enlightenment, are there waiting for us whenever we give ourselves over without awareness to reason’s dictates. This is the mechanism behind our Religion of Progress. This is how we have populated the halls of power with imbeciles with high IQs, ready to destroy everything in their Pursuit of Happiness.
Here is the most pathetic aspect of the play of power today. On every side, especially on “sides!” That’s how these things work, Polarize! Polarize! We are surrounded by hollow people invested in power and blind to the destruction they unleash.
This is not only true of the “One Percent” we love to hate.
This morning, I passed a “regular guy” out working in his yard on a beautiful June day. What was he doing? Spraying some form of Roundup® on his gravel driveway. This not more than a few hundred yards from the salt pond he spent so much money to live next to.
Why was he doing this?
Because he hates weeds. The gravel on the house-plan was supposed to stay “clean.” Weeds are ruining his life!
A pathetic “victim?” Surely, that’s how those who gain by keeping him in a zombie-like state see it. It’s how they want to keep him too.
No amount of numbers of opposing forces. No battle of ideas will change this situation. It is not open for negotiation. So long as we stay trapped in the realm of reason we will continue to see these multitudes of small destructions adding up to putting all of life itself at risk.
No amount of bargaining will change this. To bargain is to succumb to the nightmares of reason.
When we stop counting. When we stop bargaining, stop rationalizing. We can discover sufficiency. It comes to us each without number. It moves among us without number. It connects us to our strength and alleviates our fearful addiction to power.
That does not mean that once we have x number “on our side” we will win.
Sufficiency exists here, now. It is not about The Future. It holds us where we are.