TGU on life-weariness

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

4:40 a.m. I made a note last night to ask about the subject of what I can only call life-weariness. I don’t remember if I had a specific question within that, but I’m sure you’ll think of something. Rita had it in her final years, I have often had it, no doubt many people in ill health or uncongenial circumstances have it either chronically or from time to time. Talk to us about it, and if you need a more pointed question than this, I’ll try to come up with one, but usually a wink is as good as a nod, with you, so please take it and run with it.

Anything we have to say about it is liable to irritate those suffering from it; however, as you have asked, a few words anyway, and then we’ll see where it goes.

  • There is no straight correlation between any two factors. Ill-health alone, poverty alone, depression alone, what we might call faint-heartedness alone – none of these predict whether one may be life-weary.

Stephen Hawking wasn’t; millions of poor people aren’t; Lincoln, Churchill, to mention only two famous sufferers from lifelong depression weren’t; as to the faint-hearted, no examples come to mind. In any case, I see your point. And I presume you would extend your generalization to say that people with combinations of these attributes similarly are not necessarily driven to it.

No, and “driven to it” indicates a basic misunderstanding of the situation.

Pray enlighten us.

“External” circumstances do not drive people to a given emotional state. How could something that is itself a reflection of one’s condition be said to affect that condition?

Feedback; a feedback loop, why not?

Well, there is that. Let’s look at it.

I know: Concentrate, recalibrate, go slow.

Couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

So, then –

  • What you are as you enter the 3D life is determined; what you make of that life by modification through successive choice is your freedom of will. Life is always a mixture of limitation and opportunity. That is the nature of structure.

Interesting way to put it. Obvious, once said. A structure is in itself continuity through limitation, and structure that may be modified by circumstance is continuity affected by choice.

  • Among the freedom is second-tier reaction to an immediate event, and third-tier, longer, reaction to long-term trends, let’s put it.

And if we don’t or can’t bring ourselves to choose optimism, say, we can’t have it injected by circumstances.

The scripture says, “Be strong and of good courage, be not afraid, neither be dismayed.” The very admonition implies one’s ability to not choose this attitude.

All right.

  • What is called “world-weariness” is not the same as what you are calling “life-weariness,” and the difference between the two is instructive.

The former seems to imply a failure of hopes (or perhaps of hope, in general), and the latter to imply – well, I thought I had the distinction but maybe I don’t.

You half have it. It is a difference precisely between external and internal orientation. A life oriented toward the 3D world’s rewards and entertainments and achievements, when it loses savor, is world-weary. In effect, “I’ve seen the show and I’m tired of it.” One oriented toward the internal world loses savor if it comes to the end of its resources or if its external circumstances seem to lead it that way, but as it is not driven by external satisfactions, so it is not exhausted by the exhaustion of those attractions. Is this clearer?

As an abstraction it is. I’m not sure we have gotten very far into it.

One step at a time. The distinction between world-weariness and life-weariness is important to establish first, as without this distinction, some things cannot be logically disentangled.

I see that.

Now we must discuss your own case, and in public.

I expected it, and I asked. If you are going to call me faint-hearted, I don’t know that I’ll argue too much.

No, but it points up an important distinction.

  • “Faint-hearted” is not the same thing as what we might call “un-driven,” or “under-motivated.” The former implies lack of courage; the latter, lack of appetite. These, too, are often confused one for the other.

Under-motivated certainly applies to me. But as it is something we are born with, like any other characteristic, presumably it is a circumstance rather than a character flaw.

Here is an example of what we meant in talking about basic misunderstandings. Who says there is a “normal” setting for motivation or ambition any more than for any other characteristic? Therefore the very language that says “under” motivated, “under” driven misleads, even though it may need to be used in common discussion.

  • Social norms are one thing; psychological commonalities are not the same thing. That is, people’s behavior may sort differently depending upon if it is examined from a societal or from an individual perspective.

And so?

So one’s self-image may be skewed if it reflects society’s expectations and understandings – and it generally does.

Now, in your case, when you are tired of life, what goes into that? Illness, for one thing, certainly, but when your health fluctuates upward, so to speak, does the life-weariness go away?

Not invariably.

When prospects for external success fluctuated over the years, did life-weariness fluctuate accordingly?

Hmm. I don’t know. I’d say, whenever I was busiest, I had less time and attention, perhaps, for life-weariness.

Yes! And that statement masks, or unmasks, an important insight! Which is –?

That life-weariness is as much a choice as its opposite?

Correct. And what did the scripture say, that we just quoted?

Well – that’s very interesting. I already believed the scripture, but when I am weary of life and it is a burden to continue, or let’s say when continuing is slogging, I forget it.

Just so, and that is of course a condition of 3D life – fluctuation of awareness. So the answer is not to try for an impossible stability but to routinize a return to a previous state of awareness.

I don’t think I got that very well, or maybe I tried to bring it through before I really had it.

Put it this way:

  • Since 3D life makes continuity of emotion unsustainable, continuity of purpose, or resolve, must suffice. For this, reminders will assist.

Come to think of it, you are saying that life-weariness, like anything else, is a first-tier reaction to events (or perhaps I should say to general circumstances), and may be modified by our chosen second-tier reaction.

Exactly so. It is one more circumstance of 3D life to be dealt with, but it is not the end of the world, or even of the subject. You will notice, we say nothing here about suicide or let’s say chosen termination of life per se. That is an entirely different subject, though it may not seem so. Here we were discussing how one should cope with a psychological reality, and that is, above all, recognize that it is a choice.

And enough for the moment.

Our thanks as always, and mine in particular for this one. It is always interesting to watch you clarify my thinking, using my pen in hand.

 

2 thoughts on “TGU on life-weariness

  1. “Since 3D life makes continuity of emotion understandable, continuity of purpose, or resolve, must suffice. For this, reminders will assist.”

    A possible ‘revision’:
    “Since 3D life makes continuity of emotion unstable, continuity of purpose, or resolve, must suffice. For this, reminders will assist.”

    Two paragraphs before TGU says “not to try for an impossible stability but to routinize a return to a previous state of awareness.” Such ‘routinizing’ has been of great value in my life … first sitting Zen, now Tai Chi. I suggest looking for then practicing one’s own method of ‘stabilization’ … could be well worth the effort.
    Jim

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