If you have ever had the dubious pleasure of watching a show like The Jerry Springer Show, or talking to a surly teenager who had no intention of listening to you, you may well have encountered the conversation-ending one word sentence, "Whatever."
In the UK, the wonderful actress and comedienne Catherine Tate created a sketch show character, teenage school-girl Lauren Cooper, with the unforgettable catch phrases 'Am I bovvered?' and 'I ain't bovvered!' (The mis-spelling of the word 'bothered' reflects the character's regional accent).
One of the things that makes Tate's parody so amusing is that she plays on the fact that Lauren, although she clearly is 'bovvered', insists on telling everyone and anyone that she is not. Watch the colourful characters on a show like Jerry Springer's and you will also be struck by the rather obvious incongruency between what they say and their body language and facial expressions.
The irony here is, that if any of the characters meant what they were saying, then I have a feeling they would not find themselves arguing in front of a live studio audience.
The phrase 'whatever', if actually meant by a person, would lead them straight to love and happiness. Both of these things are intrinsically unconditional. That is to say that they are totally independent of circumstance. So whatever the circumstances are, one is loving and happy anyway. One totally accepts life however it happens to unfold. There is no resistance. This is sometimes referred to as a state of allowing, let-go or surrender. Life has its inevitable ups and downs. One loves and is happy regardless of these. One has let go of the need for circumstances to be 'right' before one can be pleased. One has moved above the pain / pleasure cycle into un-caused, unconditional happiness. One trusts that life will unfold naturally without the need to interfere using our egoic will.
Contrast this state of genuine let-go with the kind of emotional suppression and forced apathy that the faces and the body language of Lauren and those characters on the Jerry Springer show give away. It appears that beneath the veil of words, they do not mean 'whatever' at all, that they are still very much 'bovvered', but choose to pretend that they are not in order to gain a false sense of superiority in the situation.
There is a subtle, but important difference between this suppression and feigned apathy and genuine unconditionally loving let-go. With one the judgement remains, just pushed down, buried beneath the surface where it will build up more and more pressure, like a volcano, until one day .......
Real let-go is the total cessation of any judgement. It is not suppression, but transcendence. It is a realisation that the mind's incessant categorising of things into 'good' or 'bad', 'right' or 'wrong' serves no purpose other than to create misery in the lives of those who listen to it.
If you find yourself saying 'whatever' then ask yourself whether you really mean it. The day that you do really mean it, you will find that your life has become a simple, effortless joy.
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