Ratha (papertygre) wrote,

Simplicity of values

Simon Funk via krotty:
You speak of greed, vanity, religion, and spirituality as if they are opposites, whereas I see them as all in the same class. They each promise to define value for you, and yet none is any more objective than the others.

We all begin with the most basic desires: to eat, to sleep, to laugh, to love, and so on. These are our true values, as superficial and simplistic as it may sound, to simply enjoy our time.

To satisfy these values, we must plan for the future, and for this we construct an elaborate hierarchy of goals. To eat next week, we must shop, and to shop we must earn money, and to earn money, we must work, and so on. And each of these has its own subgoals -- we need to drive to and from work, we need to gas the car, we need to open the car door and get out in order to gas the car... It all falls into a giant hierarchy, where as we complete each goal, we look one level up in the hierarchy to find out what to do next, which in turn may throw us back down the hierarchy a few levels, and so on. This is the way we work, subconsciously; it is a mechanism we take for granted, and use for absolutely everything we do.

Things go awry, however, when we loose track of why we're doing it all, when we try to look far enough ahead, or high enough in the hierarchy, that we reach the top and realize we don't know what comes next. And at that point, we invent god or spirituality, or we glorify whatever's on the top (wealth, power, social acceptance -- these are the often the most abstract elements in ones goal hierarchy) and treat them as ends of themselves.

But in truth, there is no objective top to the hierarchy -- it is not driven from the top down, but from the bottom up. We don't spend our days so we can accumulate wealth, we accumulate wealth so we can spend our days. Likewise, life is not a part of a greater spiritual journey. This is the journey right here.

Simplicity is the most beautiful of gems, and it is there for anyone who does not work to avoid it. Let go your complex views of life, and ask yourself simply: what do you enjoy, what makes you laugh, what makes you love? Attain these things, and if you must have a more complicated life, do it simply to better attain these things. That is all. Because that is all there is.
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