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How do you go on in such a depressing world?

I had a whole essay on this but my phone decided to screw up and delete it all so I'm gonna leave it at the question alone.

Comments

  • MingleMingle Veteran

    Basically the future just doesn't look good for us, I see a future filled with hate and violence. The news doesn't make you wanna bring kids into this world does it?

  • Same as it ever was.....

    Shoshinelcra1go
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    @Mingle said:
    Basically the future just doesn't look good for us, I see a future filled with hate and violence. The news doesn't make you wanna bring kids into this world does it?

    Because while global society has occasionally taken a step or two backwards, in general life (meaning social life in this context) on the planet has evolved for the positive over time.

    personlobsterShoshin
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @vinlyn said:

    @Mingle said:
    Basically the future just doesn't look good for us, I see a future filled with hate and violence. The news doesn't make you wanna bring kids into this world does it?

    Because while global society has occasionally taken a step or two backwards, in general life (meaning social life in this context) on the planet has evolved for the positive over time.

    This.

    It really kind of depends on your perspective. It's true that there are potential existential threats to humanity in terms of technological power and the news is generally negative, but if you step outside the daily, weekly or even yearly news cycle and look at broad historical trends humans have never lived in a world that was so healthy, safe, prosperous and other factors.

    ...Nonetheless, as the researchers Ian Goldin and Chris Kutarna argued recently in their book Age of Discovery, we’ve never had it so good. Life expectancy, they point out, has risen more in the past 50 years than the previous 1000: a child born in 2016 stands a fairly good chance of seeing the arrival of the 22nd Century. The likelihood of a violent death has never been lower; on average, we’re better educated than ever, and childhood mortality has plummeted. Among the most striking changes, the last few decades has brought remarkable successes in tackling global poverty: in 1981, almost half the people in the developing world lived below the poverty line; as of 2012, that figure had dropped to 12.7%...

    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160928-why-the-present-day-could-be-the-best-time-to-be-alive

    vinlynlobsterShoshin
  • @person said:

    It really kind of depends on your perspective. It's true that there are potential existential threats to humanity in terms of technological power and the news is generally negative, but if you step outside the daily, weekly or even yearly news cycle and look at broad historical trends humans have never lived in a world that was so healthy, safe, prosperous and other factors.

    Well, put. When I disconnect from the news cycle I find that I am a happier person. It is so hard to avoid politics and the news cycle though. It's in your face everywhere you turn.

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    It's the wolf you feed will win the fight, @Mingle ... If you decide all is hopeless and desperate, then all you will see is hopelessness and despair.
    If you seek the good and the benevolent - and manifest, in turn, such virtuous qualities, then much the same will be returned to you.

    Thus have I discovered for myself.

    Fosdicklobsterelcra1goJamesTimm
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Sumangalo said:
    When I disconnect from the news cycle I find that I am a happier person.

    Bravo.
    No news is a good plan. Stepping outside our partisan and easily influenced self is an effort. Right effort one might say <3

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited August 19

    The first Noble Truth "Dukkha"
    The second Noble Truth " Cause"
    The third Noble Truth " Cessation"
    The forth Noble Truth " Path To Cessation/Satisfaction"

    Adopt these Truths as your guiding light ...Never leave home without them and they will continually shed light on the Path...especially in dark times....

    FosdicklobsterBodhiTzu
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    “If there is no solution to the problem then don't waste time worrying about it. If there is a solution to the problem then don't waste time worrying about it.”

    ― Dalai Lama

    ShoshinlobsterNirvana
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Well said @Bunks.

    Head space, emptied of kerfuffle.

    @federica and others express and experience much the same:
    If you seek the good and the benevolent - and manifest, in turn, such virtuous qualities, then much the same will be returned to you.

    The mind is where you live from. Where do you sit? A good place? A quiet place?

    silver
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @Mingle said:
    Basically the future just doesn't look good for us, I see a future filled with hate and violence.

    The past is also full of hate and violence. With love and compassion as well as wonder and exploration. With need and cooperation along with ignorance and education.

    We learn as we go and people are getting more the same every day.

    The news doesn't make you wanna bring kids into this world does it?

    I think if we stand up for what we think is right and are environmentally conscious then we owe it to the world to bring kids up to do the same.

    lobsterpersonDhammika
  • techietechie India Veteran

    @seeker242 said:
    “If there is no solution to the problem then don't waste time worrying about it. If there is a solution to the problem then don't waste time worrying about it.”

    ― Dalai Lama

    There is no switch inside, which you can turn off and on. Worrying is not something you actively do. It's something that passively happens - in the background of your thoughts, your subconscious. You can't simply 'stop' worrying after reflecting upon a tired old platitude.

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Bunks said:
    Simple answer.

    Stop watching the news.
    Stop watching television at all if you can.
    Don't mindlessly surf the junk that makes up most of the internet.
    Seek out the goodness in the world. And there's plenty of it.

    As the Buddha said, "It is our mind that creates the universe"

    This 👍👍. I deliberately avoid the news channels and specific people I know IRL and on social media. It's for my own sanity.

    Bunkslobstersilver
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @techie said:

    @seeker242 said:
    “If there is no solution to the problem then don't waste time worrying about it. If there is a solution to the problem then don't waste time worrying about it.”

    ― Dalai Lama

    There is no switch inside, which you can turn off and on. Worrying is not something you actively do. It's something that passively happens - in the background of your thoughts, your subconscious. You can't simply 'stop' worrying after reflecting upon a tired old platitude.

    I don't agree. Worry is one of the most profoundly disturbing energies in our minds but you can definitely find the roots of a worry and deal with it. Often a worry about something like war has its origins in worries for loved ones or possessions or disliking the potential for the upheaval of change. All of which reflect attachments to things or ideas.

    Worry is a good opportunity for practising insight.

    federica
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited August 20

    @techie said:

    @seeker242 said:
    “If there is no solution to the problem then don't waste time worrying about it. If there is a solution to the problem then don't waste time worrying about it.”

    ― Dalai Lama

    There is no switch inside, which you can turn off and on. Worrying is not something you actively do. It's something that passively happens - in the background of your thoughts, your subconscious. You can't simply 'stop' worrying after reflecting upon a tired old platitude.

    No @techie I agree with @Kerome; There may well be 'no switch inside' but it is a skill we can - and do - develop. It's called detachment. We talk about it a lot on here.
    Worrying, is an emotional construct. And as with all emotional constructs it has its uses. It is a tool we require, and is part of our make-up of survival. But we use it. It does not use us.
    Nobody is suggesting we can simply 'stop' worrying. But we can develop a wholesome attitude, and teach ourselves that as an emotional quality, it is a good one to cultivate an antidote to....

    KeromepersonFosdickKannon
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited August 20

    I was reading this article in Lion's Roar, maybe it will help you @Mingle

    https://www.lionsroar.com/5-practices-for-nurturing-happiness/

    It holds the view - which I agree with - that happiness and suffering are intertwined. If you can learn to suffer well, with proper awareness of its roots, then suffering becomes much less and you can encourage happiness to arise.

    I actually was searching for it in response to something that Thich Nhat Hanh said in the webcast of the Art of Suffering retreat from 2013, which was that there are certain stages to go through in his recommended meditation on suffering, one of which was generating joy and another generating happiness, and that a good practitioner will be able to do both. It's a very interesting series of talks, for that retreat.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Mind loops ARE something that we can influence as suggested. For those with deeply ingrained karmic grooves, strong medicine required. For example some just repeat mantra to drown out the underlying default murmer/noise of dukkha storm.

    For example:

    Warning computer geek talk

    I have just been writing a program using 'xcowsay' on my now working raspberri pi 3, to play a mantra and display one of my collection of Buddhas

    I was one of the early developers pushing Puppy Linux on the first motherboards ...

    https://www.raspberrypi.org

    End of geek talk

    • mantra and positive affirmation - iz technique
    • walking meditation and concentration exercises
    • hypnosis - yes that is a dream within a dream BUT we may need to improve the dream in preparation for awakening ...
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited August 20

    @techie said:

    @seeker242 said:
    “If there is no solution to the problem then don't waste time worrying about it. If there is a solution to the problem then don't waste time worrying about it.”

    ― Dalai Lama

    You can't simply 'stop' worrying after reflecting upon a tired old platitude.

    No you can't! But the platitude is spoken in the context of the entirety of Buddhist practice. Dedicated meditation practice is an intrinsic and essential part of that. It can be turned off, it just takes practice to change those mental habits. That skill is learned in meditation practice. The more you practice it, the better you get at it. One could even go so far as to say meditation practice, is itself, the practice of flipping that switch. In other words, you flip the switch and come back to just the breathing. Then you keep doing that over and over and over. The more practice you have in flipping that switch, the easier and easier it becomes.

    "And what is the food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen? There is non-stillness of awareness. To foster inappropriate attention to that: This is the food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen.

    "And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen? There is the stilling of awareness. To foster appropriate attention to that: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen.
    SN 46.51 Ahara Sutta: Food

    Giving appropriate attention the the simple act of breathing in and out has the effect of "stilling awareness". But yea, it takes practice to still one's awareness. =)

    personlobsterShoshinBodhiTzu
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Admitting I don't have time tonight to read responses (but will catch up with morning coffee as normal tomorrow). Just a bed time story.

    This weekend I moved my oldest son to his college dorm. We were busy Friday, Saturday, and I got home tonight(Sunday) in time for Game of Thrones, then I spent 2 hours working. In that weekend time, I watched and looked at zero news. Not on the tv, in the paper, or online. We were simply too busy. I enjoyed some excellent meals with my son, lots of laughs with the family, some sadness when it was time to say goodbye again. I helped my middle son patch up from a skateboarding mishap. I shopped with my youngest for school supplies. I hugged all my kids, and my husband. I scratched our dog. I listened to my crazy music loud, and sang along for 6 whole hours. I enjoyed the hot tub at the hotel with some strangers. I took in a wonderful sunset. I appreciated having a good, working vehicle to be able to traverse our state multiple times in the past 2 weekends. I am currently laughing at Golden Girls reruns.

    And I re-discovered something I've discovered many times before: the world goes on no matter how much I observe or respond to it. I can respond to it by loving my family. Or by arguing online and making comments to people who aren't interested in listening.

    I go on by going on. By living my life, and loving it. And by recognizing that the more time I spend not paying attention to everything wrong with the world, everything right comes into focus. Thought of @person when I was thinking about that :)

    It doesn't mean sticking your head in the sand. But immersing ourselves in the news of our world doesn't help us, or anyone else either. What does is being of service, in love and compassion, to those around us. What can we do about everything crazy our president says? About what people across the ocean do to others? What can we do about anything other than what and who we react/interact with every day?

    lobsterdhammachickDhammikaperson
  • BodhiTzuBodhiTzu Among the trees and flowers New

    I view worrisome and anxious thoughts as clouds floating through the sky of my mind. Observe and let them dissipate. The response to the emotion can be detached from the emotion.

    lobsterperson
  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    @karasti. Loving your family is the most important thing you can do. While you are here to love them and they are here to know the comfort of that love. To serve others with fidelity and kindness.

  • ajhayesajhayes Northern Michigan Veteran

    I generally trudge. There is a certain nobility in trudging. Al Bundy (Married: With Children) is a wonderful example of the nobility of trudging. As we plod along, shoulders slumped in defeat, face downward, each step agonizingly long.. We realize that today is not our worst day. It is just our worst day so far.

    Wait, that's not really helping, is it?

    Despite all of the bad going on in the world, I think it is my (our) job to try and be a ray of sunshine. If I can make one person smile per day, it is a good day. Be the change you want to see.

    person
  • I see it as a game. There was once a time in the early days of the universe when no life existed, and, so, no love. Now there is life and love in the universe. The game, to me, is simply to bring more love into existence. This world challenges our capacity to love, but in that challenge is the catalyst for a deeper and more expansive understanding of what love is. I'm not saying that this is the reason for our existence, nor making any bigger metaphysical claims, but that simple focus of learning how to bring more love into existence imbues every moment, no matter what it entails, good or bad, with meaning and hope and purpose. It covers all bases... from the most beautiful to the most hellish. There is no moment where more love is not appropriate. The game is the game. It is what it is. All we can do is make the best of it.

    lobsterperson
  • RefugeeRefugee San Francisco Explorer
    edited August 21

    I struggle mightily with the thought that human life is without any intrinsic meaning and that if our entire planet blew up tomorrow, it wouldn't matter.

    My thoughts lead me inescapably to the conclusion that any sense of meaning a human being derives is a delusion. I see all life, of which our species is but one and not particularly remarkable example, as enslaved to the uncaring desires of DNA, whose metric for success is nothing more than reproduction. Happiness be damned. Consider the domestication of chickens, cattle, and sheep. Their DNA is succeeding better than ever before, but they are amongst the most miserable creatures on earth.

    Consider humans. By all accounts, our brains are hardwired for a hunter gatherer lifestyle. The agriculture revolution is history's greatest con. Did we domesticate wheat, or did wheat domesticate us? The best evidence indicates that foragers lived reasonably satisfying lives surrounded by friends and family and worked for 35 hours a week at most, which is a far cry from today's alienating, materialistic societies.

    This is not to say that the hunter-gathered lifestyle was without pitfalls. Some of them were killed by the local fauna. It happens. There weren't antibiotics, so if you got a nasty cut, it might well kill you. But foragers didn't have huge rates of mental illness, at least some of which can be attributed to living a lifestyle for which evolution did not optimize us. Our brains are 150,000 years old. We are built to roam, to use our hands, to be together in loosely structured tribes of 100-150 people, intimates who knew each other and cared for one another. Instead, we are stationary, deskbound, alienated, lonely, and largely miserable despite having more "wealth" than ever.

    So always, for me, the question of existence boils down to why, and I can never answer it because I think there isn't an answer, that it truly is all meaningless, and yet part of me insists that there must be. This conflict torments me every single day. My logic leads me to nihilism, yet I cannot accept it, even as I postulate that my instinctive revulsion is merely an evolutionarily informed ego defense mechanism attempting to insist that life is meaningful so that I am more likely to go on and reproduce. It's convenient for the self-aware organism to believe that its life is meaningful because this makes it less likely to lapse into despair and more likely to mate.

    I could go on and on, and this brief word dump doesn't even begin to capture the totality of my thoughts. My mother has a pretty good response to this kind of analysis: "we're just here. The alternative is not to be."

    Smart lady.

    Mingle
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I figure, either there is a point/meaning behind life, or there isn't. I can't know the answer but I can live a loving and compassionate life. It makes a difference now, is what I know. If there is a later, then it can't hurt to have done what I could to live a good life when it's time to move on.

    The logical side of my brain usually arrives at "There isn't something more just because I want there to be. The desire is all attachment and part of samsara." but there is more to it than our logical brains, I think, based on my own experiences in meditation and other things. It's possible it's all delusion, but it doesn't seem that way when I investigate it. So, I keep on. If I were to find out, without a doubt, tomorrow that there is nothing - that we die and that's it, it wouldn't change the way I choose to live my life today. I wouldn't suddenly choose a life devoid of morals and delve into debauchery. I wouldn't cease to try to treat people well.

    Once on a weekend retreat, the teacher asked us to spend 5 minutes looking into our minds, and report what we saw/found/experienced. I told him that it was hard to explain, but that there was a sense of vastness, a distinct sense of something more. That is how I continue to feel, even if my logical brain doesn't make sense of it.

    person
  • NamadaNamada Veteran

  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran

    The problem is simply too much thinking.

    "Relax. Nothing is under control."

    What, however, is under our control is our caring for others. Neither you nor I are permanent fixtures. It is the energy within us that matters: our quest for justice and peace, for love and for experiencing joy wherever we may find it.

    What lies outside our reach we must not grasp for too much, if we are to be happy. If my happiness depends on something outside of myself over which I have no control I can never be happy.

    lobsterShoshinperson
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    ... if our entire planet blew up tomorrow, it wouldn't matter.

    It would to me ... :anguished:
    I would have nothing to walk on ... :p

    I like very much what @Nirvana said.
    In Yogacara Buddhism (too advanced for me), they postulate that the entire universe is created and destroyed in each moment ...

    Cosmic! Epic. E Ma Ho. =)

  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    We have friends yet to meet. Friends we will help and friends who will help us.

  • RefugeeRefugee San Francisco Explorer

    I figure, either there is a point/meaning behind life, or there isn't. I can't know the answer but I can live a loving and compassionate life. It makes a difference now, is what I know. If there is a later, then it can't hurt to have done what I could to live a good life when it's time to move on.

    This is where I'm trying to be. While I do try to live a good life and do well by others (or at the very least, cause as little harm as possible), the not knowing drives me to distraction.

    In Yogacara Buddhism (too advanced for me), they postulate that the entire universe is created and destroyed in each moment ...

    I often think about time: how the past is in truth as unknowable as the future. I think about how we perceive time as linear but that's only a matter of frame of reference. Zooming out, one can visualize time as an axis on which the three dimensional space moves and note that all of time is in fact happening simultaneously, that each moment exists alongside every other moment, and that only the passage along the axis gives the illusion that time flows in a linear pattern. At this very moment, we are being born and we are already dead.

    lobsterShoshin
  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    When our mind is stable the world is stable. But without courage we are unable to prevail. Excuses are not solutions. We and we alone create our prison cells. Not what we have become habituated to. The cell door isn't locked save in our mind.

    Shoshin
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