Thank You Disillusionment (by Swifty Flame-Anderson)
"Thank you disillusionment. Thank you nothingness. Thank you clarity. Thank you, thank you silence." Alanis Morissette
If you hear the phrase 'she was totally disillusioned with life', it might commonly be considered to be describing a negative situation. But if we look at the word 'disillusionment' a little closer, it simply means the removal of illusion(s). What is negative about that? Why is it that society has come to consider the removal of illusion a negative thing?
Perhaps it is because the current structure of society is highly dependent on these 'illusions' being maintained. There is not even much of an attempt to hide it. 'Live your dreams,' we hear coming from shiny gurus, priests and politicians. Constantly they are encouraging people to live in their minds, in a jam tomorrow future utopia when everything will finally come together and they can live happily ever after like at the end of a Hollywood movie. Movies, television, advertising, glossy magazines ..... these are some more of the outlets in which hope and dream chasing are relentlessly encouraged.
Lots of different messengers, but the message is always basically the same: you can be happy in the future, but not now. First you have to attain some utopian ideal. First you have to fix life. Not the attainment of happiness, but the relentless, never ending pursuit of happiness. Have you heard that phrase anywhere before? These politicians and film makers are so crafty!
Let us take a look at some of the more common illusions.
Happiness is dependent on favourable circumstances
There are two phenomena which are sometimes referred to as 'happiness'. One is dependent on circumstances and the other is not. To make the distinction, I usually call the first one 'pleasure' and the second one 'happiness'. The words we choose are not that important. But it will help to understand that happiness is not pleasure and pleasure is not happiness. They are two different things. Pleasure is dependent on pleasurable circumstances. Any lasting sense of happiness cannot be dependent on ever fluctuating circumstances.
To be happy, I must improve myself or my life
This notion might be referred to as 'perfectionism' or 'idealism'. Both are based on comparison and judgement of what actually is now with some imaginary ideal in the future. The fundamental assumption is that there is something 'wrong' with how you are now or that there is something 'wrong' with how life is now. It is usually both, because how you feel about life is always a reflection of how you feel about yourself. Guess what! The very notion that there is something 'wrong' with you or with life is the only thing that is preventing you from being effortlessly happy for no reason right now. You are unique and incomparable. Your life story is unique and incomparable. There is nothing 'wrong'. There never has been. There never will be. Just take that word 'wrong' and chuck it out of the window, for good. Life is as it is. You are as you are. That is just fine, wonderful in fact. You are totally irreplaceable.
"Ideals are the whips with which we punish our innocent selves for something that we haven't done." Happy Cow
You've got to have a dream, if you don't have a dream, how are you going to have a dream come true?
If for just a few moments you can step out of that thought-projected future into the present moment, you will see that the 'dream' has already 'come true'. It is only because you reject the present moment and hanker after a future utopia that you take countless miracles that are going on every moment of every day totally for granted. Remember the wonder of being a small child before you had been taught reasons to be unhappy. If you are present in the moment, the whole of life is a miracle right now. The miracle of the incredibly complex biological machine in which you are riding. The miracle of the vastly complex ecosystems that sustain life on the planet. The miracles of our connections with others in silent friendship and love. The miracles of technology that make this global communication and cultural sharing available. These are just a few examples. Look at anything with present moment awareness and you will soon see - it is all a miracle. This does not mean that you will never accomplish anything in the future. Life will still happen as usual, only you will be fully engaged and savouring every moment. Creation and accomplishment then tends to happen effortlessly, with no need for forward planning.
Some time in the future my struggle will end, everything is going to be sweetness and light all the time, happy ever after No it isn't. Life is wobbly. It is never going to be any easier to be happy than it is right now. Happiness is effortless. It literally requires no effort. It is all your struggle and effort, trying to create for yourself this imaginary utopian future, that is the very thing preventing effortless, unconditional happiness.
One day some time ago, I became totally disillusioned with life. What a wonderful day that was. I look not-forward to seeing you join me - now.
"The moment I jumped off of it was the moment I got more than I could handle. The moment I let go of it was the moment I touched down." Alanis Morissette
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