17 March 2009

The Little Tyrant

I figure that the disparity between what one wants and what is causes much of the non-existential grief in life: self-hate is socially virulent, it's toxic. There are an infinite reasons to hate yourself, but I think most of it all boils down to this: you failed to live up to some expectation and it is your fault. You're unhappy and it's because you're faulty.

I've been into meditation and trance states for a while. I particularly like TMI Hemi-Sync brainwave entrainment. I can't make any testimonial claims for it, but I do find it relaxing white noise. In any case, one day I was feeling especially frustrated. I have too much energy and too many expectations and my imagination got me worked up. I was so pissed at myself for being so weak, for being such a disappointment. So I listened to this white noise and relaxed.

There's definitely something to meditation and alpha, beta, theta activity or whatever. It's peaceful. It's easier to transcend the daily noise and really have some introspection. I tried to find the root of all my frustration and hate and anger, and I saw a little boy, maybe two years old: the little boy was furious that his mother denied him something, so he picked up a china plate he knew his mother valued and smashed it on the floor.

All this anger was a child throwing a tantrum. Emotions amaze me sometimes at how simple they are, and yet they're so incredibly powerful. Life would be meaningless without them.

I recognize the little tyrant fairly frequently in my thoughts: he doesn't get what he wants, dammit! What is this drive? This compulsion is probably in everybody to some extent (there's a stage of child development where the child tests what he can get away with). Maybe it's part of what drives life, a biological imperative. A body, be it a man or a cockroach, will exploit its environment to the fullest extent. It's a crucial part of the code. I don't know.

The other thing about emotions is they aren't logical, they lack reason. Am I going to be happy because I get everything I want and everything is the way I want it? It's a horrifying thought. It wouldn't please me at all. I would be the ultimate tyrant, the Emperor of It All, and it all would be worthless. I'd have the sandbox all to myself and it would be hell.

I try to think about what makes me happy instead of about what disappoints me, and I try to love what I have. If I'd read that a year ago, it would've pissed me off. I would have called it passive acceptance, a failure to have any ambition, a slave mentality. I want so much more! Now, I reason it's pointless to want more when I don't appreciate what I have. Or, at least, why not practice and recognize with what's at hand? I don't want to spend my life chasing the illusion of happiness via material success when I can find happiness now. (It probably won't be because I always get what I want.)

I'm still learning the whole experience of emotions, I think. I don't think they're inherently bad or good of themselves, but it is important to me that I properly express them, and that I don't poison myself, or others, by misdirecting my emotions.

No comments: