.... The more we assume we control what appears, the more attached we become to outcomes. The stronger that attachment, the more we suffer when impermanence teaches the Dharma of Letting Go. To paraphrase the Buddha, you don't get frustrated because of your attachment, you get frustrated by it. We identify completely with this transient mortal unit that launches daily campaigns as a little me arrayed against a universe that seems alternately promising and disappointing and, at worst, hostile because it’s going to kill us one day. We suffer, as Gautama noted, immensely.
Did you ask to be born into a temporal world where the most terrible things can and do happen? Did you create it? New Age platitudes aside, do you really create your own reality? And if you do, why on earth are you creating a world beset by mass delusion, violence, greed, suffering and medications with ten times more side effects than benefits?
Do you subscribe to the notion that the universe is run by a karma crazed Deity so penurious that he forgives debts only on condition they be paid? Such a karmic chartered accountant is a joke. We deny the obvious -- that we have projected a big judgmental God dude up in the sky somewhere in a vain attempt to keep each other in line. The source of most of our suffering, it seems, is that we have not recognized, let alone come to terms with, the absolute miracle that awareness itself happens to be -- infinitely more real than any wrathful Jehovah or 'merciful' jihadist Allah we have projected.
We keep trying to pin the source of awareness on something bigger and better than ourselves. You know, something over there. This never seems to work.
Awareness is always right here, too obviously present at no distance to be noticed.
Rather than deal with this astonishing fact, we posit gods above us, finding it more meaningful to kill one another over unprovable dogmatic presuppositions than to live as blissful aware presence. No wonder we drink.
The truth of WHO we are is profoundly deeper than our thoughts about ourselves. It is a truth apperceived non-conceptually via present awareness which transcends the sense bound, time riddled, karma pestered individual that upbringing and socialization have tarred and feathered us into believing ourselves to be.
Uncontrived awareness free of conceptual fixations yields a dynamic state that is much more in harmony with life's unfathomable flow than is any calculating, dualistic mind state based on identifying with 'this' versus 'that.' We are simply present and free. There is an ease of being similar to the first few moments of getting pleasantly drunk, before alcohol toxicity and dehydration set it. Bad booze example aside, you don’t have to do anything to be worthy of this sublime, impersonal lightness of being. It is who you truly already are and is available, always and forever, this moment. You can pretend it's not the truth of your being but why would you when it hurts to do that. Speaking from oodles of first hand experience here.
Those who have glimpsed Ease of Being in a moment of meditative insight, spiritual communion, weed reverie or drink induced epiphany, will notice how good it feels to be relieved, if but temporarily, of the ego's joyless routines and fixations. What does it tell us about the standard, base line, egoic state we all lock into as the only realistic way to get through each day that, for many of us, it's such a dull monotone drag that a few tokes or double shots can feel like frigging Nirvana by comparison.
Sure, I'm exaggerating. We're the pinnacle of evolution on this planet. No reason at all we shouldn't be happier than our pets. But, generally, most of us have a long way to go before we can even dream of, say, golden retriever enthusiasm... so... biggest evolutionary 'so' I can think of... can we recreate ourselves?
See: Jackson Peterson and Peter Wilberg for brilliant suggestions on how to get started.