The pursuit of happiness places one in the role of Wile E. Coyote.
The obsessional pursuit causes the elusive bird to take flight. If you approach happiness like a ravenous predator, what do you expect?
Happiness is as fleeting, and as fleet-footed, as any other state of being… thus it arrives as a bi-product of the manner in which one spends one’s days. Thus, a more meaningful question is: How do I spend the days of my life? Do the yearnings of my heart and the cast of my character align with the soul of the world? Have the provisional arrangements I made to avoid the anxiety begotten by uncertainty ossified into the very mode of my being?
If so, the allure of evanescent happiness will rise from the abysmal waters of your despair like the beckoning of a noxious nixie. And this is where the black magicians of the consumer state and the propagandists of the political class come in, i.e. those overpaid, confabulating carny barkers who promise happiness for the price of debt slavery and the fabulists who hawk hope for the price of complicity in the sham of political duopoly.
to keep a grip on reality
Misery might love company; worse, one can be all too easily conned that happiness can be glimpsed, standing among the witless mob, in the artifice of a sideshow, when the main event is the living moment before you. The moments of life unfolding before you do not demand an entry fee; the living moment only desires to be feted with praise. When was the last time you paused and gave it its due? In your better moments, your collaborations with it have provided you with all you need. Happiness has been present all along. It was simply waiting for you to become a better travelling companion and to cease objectifying it as a consumer good or a careerist agenda.
We are all too often myopic, self-absorbed, manic in the pursuit of vain agendas, in the thrall of relentless necessity, alienated by the circumstances of a shallow era and buffeted by the machinations of a self-serving political and economic elite whose hubris embodies the criteria of classic tragedy. By what means do we transform random events into soul-saturated meaning?
One might ask: How is such a thing even possible? And one might add: It is sheer fantasy to even suggest that soul exists?
Indeed, it is, for fantasy itself is one of the means by which soul reveals itself. Accordingly: Reveal the yearnings of your heart and be in dialogue with your true nature.
To renounce fantasy is sheer fantasy, and a dismal variety of it at that, and one made all the more lamentable by the mindset of self-proclaimed pragmatist types who do not realise that compulsive reductionism is a form of fantasy. We, as a culture, are in the waning years of the cultural fantasy of state capitalism.
A clue to the hypertrophy riddling the system is the rise of fascistic elements within the state, for fascism is the vehicle by which capitalism destroys itself, by a form of societal murder/suicide. (The pandemic of mass shootings is the personal microcosm of the cultural macrocosm.)
Crackpot pragmatists make facile declaration such as “Dreaming is easy.”
Dead-ass soul-sick wrong. All too many individuals had their dreams kicked out of them at an early age and have been induced not to grieve for the catastrophe such a circumstance inflicts on both their own character and the collective soulscape.
is regarded as a mere pump,
then the mind languishes in a
Dreaming is difficult. Dreams confront one’s ego with its possibilities and its limits. The numinous spirit of dreams meets the solidity of the world. The marriage of opposites can be painful, but the phenomenon engenders ensoulment, and its attendant states of being, e.g. enthusiasm and grief, praise and lamentation, the beautiful and grotesque…
Ancient wisdom states: Tell me what you yearn for and I will tell you who you are.
Sans dreams: One dwells in a crackpot pragmatists inferno of nada.
If the heart, one’s wellspring of dreams, is regarded as a mere pump, then the mind languishes in a soul-desiccated wasteland. Under such dire circumstances, one is advised to dream oneself awake.
And that does not translate into lapsing into unconsciousness. Withal, it suggests reaching down and touching the bones of the earth and a steadfast communion with Anima Mundi, i.e. literally, the soul of the world.
The act will be painful. The earth is under siege. Her oceans are dying. Her fauna and flora are being decimated. When we denude the seas of abundance, our dreams will mirror the cataclysm. How else would one explain the dearth of imagination that is so-called Reality Television and Celebrity Culture?
We must come back to fantasy to keep a grip on reality.
Illustration by Dan Booth not to be reproduced without his express prior permission