Whenever you feel owned by anything- whether it’s a house, a
company, or an identity- drop it. Get rid of it. Why would you keep something
around that purports to be your master, whipping you as you anxiously run
around in circles trying to meet its vague needs?
As long as you try to please some entity you regard as “other”- as outside of your own consciousness- you will never win. You will shovel dirt into a bottomless pit until the end of eternity.
Why? Because you don’t know what these things want. You don’t know what your house wants, nor your boss, nor the labels you’ve attached to yourself. You don’t know what your masters want because they are non-conscious entities. They don’t want anything. There’s only what you imagine they want. And you don’t really know what you imagine.
What you do imagine, oh so vaguely, is that you’re always doing things wrong. It’s never good enough. No matter how hard you try, you cannot please the master. Yet you keep trying anyway. You think you must please your master, yet you haven’t stepped back and realized you’re thinking this. You haven’t even realized that you regard the entity in question as a master. You just take for granted that this is the way things are supposed to be done—putting your life on a starvation diet in the hopes of being deemed as worthy and good.
This is a strange, paradoxical train of thought many of us go through. People think they need to limit their lives in order to move forward. They think they need to restrain themselves and push themselves into air-tight compartments in order to be seen as favorable. They think that by fasting, they will one day become full.
Ironically, people tend to deny themselves not of the things that hold them back, but of the things that would move them forward. They don’t start that project because they think it will take up too much of their time. They don’t adopt that new lifestyle because they think they won’t have enough money. They don’t talk to that person they’re attracted to because they think their current friends and family won’t like it.
Future Plans are for the Present Self; Future Fears are for No One
Maybe you think your master is worried for your safety. Your boss doesn’t want you to quit because he doesn’t want you to be broke. Your girlfriend doesn’t want you to leave because you’ll be lonely. Your identity as a skydiver doesn’t want you to stop skydiving because then you’ll be nameless. Your house wants you to return to it tonight because if you don’t, you’ll be floating through space somewhere.
Tell your master, I appreciate that you are concerned for my safety. The reality is that I am not safe here. There is no life left in this place for me. If I stay here, I will slowly but surely die.
When you restrain yourself from doing the things you really want to do- the things that help you to feel alive, engaged, and aware- you put yourself in danger. If you aren’t aware, you are in a vacuum of nothingness. If you aren’t engaged, you are doing, feeling, and thinking nothing. And if you aren’t alive, then what are you?
It may really and truly appear that you cannot leave your master. If you leave you will be exposed to the elements and starve and lose your family and your car will break down and you’ll stop paying the insurance money and the IRS will come after you and they’ll kill you and you’ll die. And then you won’t know what to do. And you’ll feel dumb and full of regret, because you left your master.
But these very scary fairies are just assumptions. They’re fairies in the sense that they are mythical. You cannot prove that they will happen. How can you prove something that exists in a possible future?
Even if these things were to happen, can you be sure that they would be your end?
I guess it would kinda suck if you died. But it’s not like you can’t die while under the care of your master. He does not make you invincible. In fact, he could even kill you. The roof of your house could cave in, or you could inhale lots of second-hand smoke from your co-workers, or your girlfriend could scoop lots of peanut butter into your mouth while you’re asleep and wait for the stickiness to terminate your breathing. Goodness, what a morbid master you have!
The point is, your master doesn’t keep you any safer than a more conscious way of living—a way of living that is aligned with what you think is best for you. I’d go so far as to say that in the general scheme of life, the majority of things have an equal chance of killing you. So you might as well do what makes you feel most alive and powerful now.
Tell me this. Does it make sense to you that putting off your life now will somehow enable you to be more alive later? Do you really think that slaving away for decades upon decades is an absolutely necessary requirement to enjoying life when you are elderly?
Stop worrying about your future self. That guy is smart. You can make plans and set intentions for him to help him navigate life with clarity. But keep in mind that when you do those things- when you contemplate the future- you are really doing them for your present self. You plan for the future because it brings you excitement and inspiration in the present. Seeing that you have a bright future ahead of you motivates you to get moving now.
Future plans are for the present self. When the future becomes the present, and the moment of decision arrives, your future self will be deciding by using his own intelligence. In other words, he will be living his life without you. In fact, it’s probably better that he live without you, because you can only impart abstractions on him. You aren’t familiar with the exact circumstances he is going through, nor do you see the world the same way he does. The best guidance will come from himself—from who he is. Not from you.
If you have to discombobulate your life in order to get something, it’s not worth getting. How can you “get it together” if you have imploded yourself apart? If you are holding yourself back, how can you move forward?
Step into the flow of higher consciousness. There’s no booming voice from the heavens that tells you what you ought to do. You just know. You often obscure that knowing with your sniveling fears and concerns for your master. But if you say “No” to the noise of external influences for a while, and resolve to listen to your fearless self, then the next step for you to take will become quite clear.
This Conflict Has Long Existed
I know it seems like your masters really love you. I know someone will get upset if you let them go. I know they will call you inconsiderate and irresponsible and perhaps even an un-empathic, soulless, self-centered psychopath.
I apologize to your critics for the harshness, but whatever they think of you is their problem. It’s only your problem insofar as it bothers you. If it doesn’t bother you, or doesn’t even register in your awareness in the first place (such as if the criticisms are not voiced), then it’s not your problem.
The critics are just an offshoot of the master. Trying to please critics is much the same as trying to please a vague master—like trying to fill a bottomless pit. Don’t even start down that slippery slope. Don’t even bother.
Sure, it’s basically true that the introduction of distastefulness, conflict, and sliminess into your relationship with another person is your own doing. But the underlying reality is that you have been feeling all that grossness for quite some time now. It’s been building. It’s only become apparent now, in the form of criticism and external conflict, because you have taken action.
It’s actually quite reassuring to see that such conflict is your own fault. Not because that means you can try to adjust yourself accordingly, so as to resolve it. Rather, the reminder of your responsibility as a creator shows you that you can slice this conflict however you’d like. You can take it as a sign that something is seriously wrong with you, and you need to work on yourself like the dickens so as to make things right. Or you can use this conflict to consider that perhaps the relationship was on shaky ground in the first place: it may be worth injecting some compassion into, so that you can both move on peacefully, but it’s not worth saving and continuing.
The Master and His Slave
Your master makes you think that you have to do something. He wants you to believe that your life is supposed to look a certain way, and then to try your darndest to make it look that way.
The problem is, again, your master’s vagueness and infinite scope. In other words, he’s a jerk. If you can manage to figure out what it is he wants you to do, aside from “Something,” he’ll want you to do it forever. And ever. Endlessly, until you keel over from beating yourself over the head with a hammer because you can’t stand doing it anymore.
Earlier I said that your master could kill you. That was actually a rather conservative statement. The real reality is, Your master wants to kill you.
Really. I don’t think you understand. Your master wants you to die.
Look at it this way. Your master works very hard to keep you alive. He has to be extremely consistent, so as to avoid stirring your fears and insecurities. His consistency is what provides you with a sense of security in the first place.
Being so consistent is very hard work, but thankfully he has you to help him do it. However, this is a bit of a Catch-22. The thing is, if you didn’t come to him in the first place, he wouldn’t have to be so consistent in order to keep you safe, and thus he wouldn’t need you to help him be consistent. So if you weren’t there, he wouldn’t need you. He only needs you if you show up. Thus, it’d be easier for him if you just disappeared.
I know what you’re thinking. You think that your master was there first, and he invited you to help him. The “help wanted” sign was up, the job offering was made, the opportunity stared you in the face… How could any of this be your fault? Didn’t the master create this situation?
Yes, he did (that’s why he’s the master, baby!). But your master didn’t necessarily want a slave. At the beginning, maybe he just wanted a buddy or someone who could help him out. But as you simultaneously began to have silent expectations of each other, as well as expectations of what was expected, your relationship began to become distasteful. It started to move its base to obligation and expectation, rather than freedom and choice. The two of you had to start working hard to keep things alive, rather than just step into the fun like you initially did.
As it went, you both had expectations in some form or another that you were to become a slave, and so you did. You wanted security from your master, and he wanted (as you expected) your labor, and so he gave you security. He gave you the stability and predictability you sought. To do so, he himself had to become stable and predictable. Again, he didn’t necessarily want this, but it just kind of happened. It seemed things had to be this way. The master was not so masterful. Instead, he faced a turning of tables—in a way, you became the master of him. But he would never tell you that. He might not even have realized it himself.
Now that he has a stability-seeking slave in his hands, the master must work very hard to maintain stability. He doesn’t necessarily need the slave anymore—perhaps the initial project he wanted him for has been completed. But he kept the slave around, in order to feed what seemed to be a creation that had gone beyond the scope of his own hands—a creation known as social convention.
And so, the master keeps trying to make things look a certain way, though he doesn’t really know why, and he tries very hard to do something, though he doesn’t really care what the hell he’s doing anymore.
Meanwhile, you, the slave, do precisely the same thing.
As time goes on, the master becomes more and more resentful of the stability-seeking slave, as he works harder and harder to maintain the stability being sought.
Then, one day, the master gets an idea: If my slave were to just die “unexpectedly,” I would finally be rid of him. No one would chastise me for it, because they wouldn’t see it as being my fault. In fact, people might even feel sympathy for me because of it. Some might even reward me. They would say, “You must be so sad—I am sorry for your loss.” Yet they would be the only ones who are sorry. I would be free! Simply firing my slave would not be enough, because people would get upset about it. He must die.
Alas, a person who started off as a guy genuinely seeking help or company has now become an evil, vengeful master. What was once a benign entity has turned into a wielder of fear.
And it’s all because his darn slave wanted to be a slave.
It’s all too common for people to subject themselves to living like robots in order to protect their pride. They think that if they just go through the motions, magical things will happen. If they sacrifice life now, they’ll get more life later.
However, things don’t work that way. Going through life as a pre-programmed automaton one day does not gain you higher consciousness the next. The reality is that life doesn’t care about your sacrifices. I’m sorry.
If a certain task, pursuit, or relationship entails you being a goddamned robot, don’t do it. You’re not a robot, so you won’t be a very good one if you try to be. You’ll end up eventually smashing your face into a bowl of ice cream and sobbing about how this mess could possibly have happened. That will be the case even if you don’t eat ice cream to begin with.
We humans try very hard to control life. We try to make it keep us alive, to give up something special, and to make it appear as though we are its rulers.
But how can we be? Why should we want to be? Life’s victory is inevitable, and we need only see that victory as our own to agree with it.
If we can simply accept life as it wants to be, rather than automate ourselves in the hopes of one day conquering it, then we can at last live—not eventually, but now. There is no need to wait. You are life, so why should you need to jump through hoops to feel alive? What could you possibly have to do to become more alive?
There is nothing. There’s nothing that you have to do, nor do you need to make things look a certain way. The longer you stay caught up in those pursuits, the longer you will put off living, and the more you will struggle.
You don’t become more powerful by conquering life. You become more powerful by being life. Living as you would consciously choose to do so is an exercise of your power and an expression of who you are. These things go hand in hand.
Don’t bother with all that doing and appearing. It’s futile. Those ideas of what you must do and how you must appear are fragile. You are not fragile. When you choose to live, you demonstrate your power, and you become even more powerful. You’re strong. Looks and arbitrary actions do not become you. Conscious choice does.
Just live, man. It’s really not that complicated. You’ve just surrounded it with silly, over-complected fears and expectations. But now it’s time to let those go. Now it’s time to usurp your masters. Now it’s time to live.
Live now. It’s the most intelligent thing you can do.
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