The Struggle

 In Ornamentation, Travelscapes

I was really attracted to the sculptures of this restaurant at Phuket Fantasea called Golden Kinnaree. With the spotlights highlighting the various goddess sculptures, I found them more interesting than the long and various spread of delicious food. Actually I don’t think I had seen so much food in any buffet restaurants before. It was truly a wonderful night to remember.

I love this quote from Gandhi below. It is a big world out there and on the grand scale, the things that we do can really be insignificant. It is what we do as a collective whole that impacts the world. Add up all the insignificant things that every person does and slowly things become significant. The thing is if it is so insignificant for the individual, why do we still do it? … It is because doing what we are meant to do is all that we can have in our lives.

“Whatever you do in life will be insignificant, but it’s very important that you do it.”

Mahatma Gandhi

In a perfect world we would always have our own choices, maybe one of them is the wish that we can do nothing and just lay back our whole lives. We can choose to live quietly and see the world pass us by as long as there is sustenance and shelter. There really is nothing wrong in that notion but there is always an urge to want to do something—it is built into the fabric of our lives. We are not created to keep still and stay in one place, we are here to explore and experience. To really experience something in our lives, we have to move and go for the experience. The problem is we care too much about the outcome and we did not realize that the treasure is in the experience itself. The outcome is insignificant, the experience for you is of great significance. Understand that whatever results that can happen because of our actions will dwindle in impact, it is just a matter of time, if not death will take everything away. The experience on the other hand is something that will affect our whole life—it gives us purpose, and meaning. There is a saying that at the end of the day, the CEO lies beside the janitor and the one with the most experience wins in life.

In the pursing of dreams, goals, ambition and meaning, it is inevitable that one develops the ego. With the ego, you are guaranteed to be in pain and suffering. It comes with the game and there is no way around it. The only way to pure bliss and freedom is to drop the ego and therefore the greatest struggle I feel as a human being is that we have to strive hard to build the ego and realized later that the only release from all suffering is to destroy what we have work so hard to create—that is the greatest irony of life. This irony extends to all parts of our lives, it is like asking since we are all going to die anyways, why are we born into this world in the first place? What is the point in building all these personalities, skills, talents, moral beliefs and dissolve it later on? The only thing I can think of is what is created in this world remains here, the insignificant things that we do remains as a legacy either to make the world better or worse for the next generation; it doesn’t matter how big or small our playing field is, our existence will affect another.

At the end of the day, the CEO lies beside the janitor and the one with the most experience wins in life.

Before we even go out and pursue the experience, how many of us know what is important to us? How do we even find the path that we would like to embark on? In every moment, there is always the basics of making two choices. One is choosing the path of misery and the other is the path of joy, that is always the case. In reality, misery is a learned skill and joy and happiness is our intrinsic nature. All of us have been a child once and before we start gaining clearer memories of our situations, there was a time when fun and laughter is all that we are. Somehow along the way, we are taught that we shouldn’t be happy doing the things we want because there is a moral set of beliefs that we should follow between what is right and what is wrong. There is even a so-called proven path to make a living so that we have a higher chance of survival, so we start climbing the ladder along with millions of others. Being adventurous is risky and slowly we build a cocoon within ourselves, fearful of anything that is not the norm. We start to follow the masses, if nobody is doing it, it must be wrong. Unconsciously we have started to craft our ego based on our beliefs between right and wrong; if it is right we are happy, if it wrong we suffer. Ironically there is still an urge to be different and this fuel the ego further, now we want to differentiate ourselves to prove that we are special. We get competitive and yet we don’t want to deviate from the norm; we want to be with the masses and yet we want to fight the masses. We become schizophrenic and get really confused of who we really are and what we really want. We act as if we are happy with all the materials gains, fame and power but we know deep down we have learned the art of misery.

If all that one knows is misery, it is inevitable that misery is all that one can spread to others. If we observe the world, we will notice that misery is popular. It is the ego’s way of saying I am special. Nobody cares about a person feeling happy and joyful, neither do they care if you are healthy but if you become sick and miserable, everyone sympathizes with you. Nobody looks for a doctor and ask why they are healthy, it is an acceptable fact that you should be healthy because that is your nature; in the same way, you should be happy and joyful because that is also the stuff that you are made of.

Usually when the misery becomes too hard to bear, there will come a time when one starts seeking answers to how he can escape from all these suffering. He will realize that at this point the answers cannot be found from an external source since he believes that all suffering comes from the outside. He will start to turn inwards and discover that the source of all suffering points to the ego, and to find the way back into joy, he would have to drop the ego and all of its illusions.

When one starts to drop the ego, the ego will retaliate in full force to ensure its survival. The real struggle begins because one will find it very hard to function in society without the ego. It becomes harder and harder to survive and to get accepted in society especially when one lives in a city where everybody steps on each other to get ahead. The ego needs to protect itself and it does that by making you believe that it is you. Once you believe in it, the drama starts all over again and you will never be truly free. You will once again be chained by the opinion of others, thinking that it is all for survival and you have no choice. Once that happens, the cycle repeats itself: the urge to be yourself starts again and you can’t be yourself because the ego is the master. This is a waste of time and a waste of life, dragging on and on, playing the game with yourself; in this way one will never find the path to bring out the greatest potential of one’s life.

If you believe that you are this person with this name, these qualifications, these statuses and the world owes you because you deserve so many things, you have chosen the path of misery. If you are a being and recognize that you exists as part of life itself to come here to create, give and live, you have chosen joy and blissfulness. There is no right and wrong, it is always a choice, the only thing is that you are responsible for all the choices you make and so are the outcomes.

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