Given a lot of stuff that I've been reading here with issues people are struggling with, I thought I'd share a reading from one of my favorite books. It's called, "Fuck It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way" by John C. Parkin (unfortunately it's a very hard book to get in the US at the moment). The book talks about how saying "Fuck it" can be the perfect western expression for the eastern philosophy of non-attachment that you find in many Zen and Buddhist traditions. There are lots of chapters with titles like "Say Fuck It to Parenting" and "Say Fuck It to your Relationships" (where he makes a small argument for polyamory) etc.
This particular excerpt is from a chapter called "Say Fuck It to Your Issues". I'm putting it out there just as food for thought, nothing else. It may resonate with some people, it may not. It's cool either way. I definitely can't claim guruism on this as it's something I have to work on every day.
So after talking a bit in the chapter about how we can sometimes be caught in an endless cycle of processing and trying to work out our issues. He then goes on to say this:
So, thus far; we have two paradigms, two ways of seeing life and our journey through it:
- to focus on the pleasure, and ignore the pain, at whatever cost
- to focus on the pain, and forget about all the pleasure.
There is, of course, another way. A way where we accept that life is just a dance between pleasure and pain. If you ignore pain, it doesn't go away. If you try to heal pain, there's still more there. Because pain is part of life.
Life is pain and pleasure in equal measure.
And a funny thing can happen. When you finally accept this, you can stop naming these things, too. When you give up your obsession with clinging to pleasure (paradigm 1), or chucking out the pain (paradigm 2), you can just live and experience. You can stop moving towards something and moving away from something else.
You can just be.
And recognize that life is just, well, life.
(let me know if you want to hear what he has to say about saying Fuck It to relationships