For myself, the less stimulation I have from the social context I live in, the calmer my world becomes. If I let myself override any guilt that crops up, the sadness that is its inevitable consequence, dissolves momentarily into a blissful state of awareness. The guilt of course, like everyone's, comes from the realization of my many faults and the disasters others have derived from them. These include failures in relationships, especially with my children. I could go on. We all know these sad feelings. The trick is not to wallow in them. "Tune them out."
That simple phrase leads me to wonder in another direction. I have come to believe, like many philosophers do today, that we have very little freedom of choice, but seem to be walking, talking, receivers, or more correctly, experiencers of a universal consciousness. This "state of mind," universal consciousness, can never be entirely shut out even while we are sleeping. From the bark of a crow in the relative quiet of a ravine park on a Surrey Christmas morning, to the sparkle of sunlight on a gurgling creek, every moment we experience is shaped by an external dynamic.
Why wouldn't our social "compasses" be entirely shaped by the herd mentality? Isn't our species' entire evolution influenced by a dull awareness of something greater than our individual selves? Doesn't our definition of this entity transcend individual societies over many millennia of development in the common form of some or other deity?
Could it be that there is a Gaian Consciousness? I can't see it any other way. Very few humans can remove themselves, even momentarily from the state of being, this web of mind, which overrides all. "Awareness" is very engaging. To be able to distort our awareness is as close as we can get to disengagement. That is the primary reason why humans tend to seek to distort our state of consciousness, isn't it? Many of us seek relief from the pain of our social consciousness because we can't hide from "god," even in the Garden of Eden. We are not alone. Humans know that we are part of an entity, whether science knows it or not.
Therefore, one of the few things I can choose to do is to either wallow in the knowledge and guilt of my miserable failures, or, wonder about why it is so many are felled by this common awareness of a less than socially perfect life. I mean, many end their lives at this time of the year in a self-pity fest destined to be dire. The next thought that tries to intrude immediately after the last in my mind is: "What deficiency is it within me that causes me not to be able to feel the guilt as I should?" Could it be that I have moderated the influence my ego has over me, via the use of psychedelics? Maybe that's what they are for?
Maybe it's a strength and not a deficiency? To that some would say psychopathy is not a strength. Lack of empathy is a clinic illness isn't it? Then I realize that I don't lack empathy, at least not for others. This leads me into the knowledge about to whom, and when, to apply it. Being a small part of the imperfect herd of humanity it could only be unbridled arrogance to believe we are better than others. Those who foster and nourish such thinking as individuals, for societies or for nation states are dangerous. When a leader tries toencapsulate a country’s history as being born of war, like Mr. Harper, it iscompelling to understand why. Are not people with dangerous aggressive tendencies always in favor of war as a solution for instilling national pride? Many people believe a strong, firm military stance on the international scene is the definition of a Nation. This is tolerating a mindless endless slaughter of people for every and any reason under the sun. I am not of that camp.
The wonderful understanding which calms and soothes me on a quiet Christmas day, is that I should apply this empathy to myself as well as to others. Forgiving my own faults and bad behaviors is the only option I have that will allow me to live in a healthy mental state. I hope others will achieve this wonderful state and leave off with the ego induced guilt fest. This should be applied especially those who revel in laying it on to others. My ego knows my limitations and isn't afraid of them when compared to others. Long ago I had a close look in the mirror while under the influence of LSD and found I was wanting/lacking perfection. Since then I have learned to accommodate my imperfections into a realistic view of myself.
If a snippet of wisdom can be considered a gift, please accept it in a spirit of empathy and enjoy it peacefully.