Is it true that we spend too much time doing and not being?

Uncertain's picture

One of those late night rants, those modulated murmurs and voices in my head that has no real direction and continues to keep me awake.

Is it true that we spend too much time doing and not being?

We pursue happiness, yet the results are usually futile. The efforts are self defeating and we need to indulge ourselves in what makes us happy without knowing it - we simply be happy.

We as humans pursue progress, yet sometimes we are not better than our forefathers. Science has advanced, but our morals have come to a standstill. Democracy is sometimes the tyrannical rule of the majority. Our worth has been measured by superficial achievements in chapters of history, and simply we just need to 'be' - a state of being content and be sustainable and responsible in our ways.

And the realisation that understanding a concept doesn't mean you can do anything about it. Just because you have grasped a better understanding of poverty, depression or the apathetic nature of society does not mean you know how to solve it. In fact, you don't even know the way around it or how to avoid it. You are part of it.

Knowledge is not empowering. That's a lie. Knowledge disempowers you. So does emotions, your allegiances and loyalties, and your conscience. Yet they are so fundamental in our morals, goals and what we seek.

So you become stripped to the bone and detach. There is the foul, repulsive process of decay in between. But when it's complete - you're bare and clean and much more respectable. Not so much dead, but a living sedation. Nothing can kill you again.


the mouse that roared's picture

Well, that's a cheery take on it.

I disagree that knowledge disempowers. The world's problems are not easy to solve, and there are no perfect solutions. But my philosophy is if I can even make my little corner of the world better, make some people's lives easier, find what I love and do it well--then my life is well lived. There is plenty to do in the world. Detachment is not the answer, and if you think knowledge disempowers, you haven't learned enough. Detachment isn't respectable; it's cowardly. The only thing we can do is live our lives as morally as we can.

At least that's what I think.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. --Anais Nin

jeff's picture


The problem with pursuing happiness is that it is seen as something in the distance with obstacles between you and it. Rather than seeing how much happiness can occur the entire way toward that bigger goal.

"People who are happy are slugs... They do not move the human race forward."
-- Camille Paglia, on Oasis

Uncertain's picture

Things to clarify

Thank you for your very optimistic view the mouse.

That just makes me look horrible now doesn't it? Truth is, like you said we can't help them all. And it does disempower you, please don't tell me I haven't learned enough. We might have disagreeing opinions, but your one isn't superior just because we disagree and you think I haven't supposedly 'learned' as much as you. We all want to make a change, but it's simply because of our great desire to help others that gives knowledge a burdening responsibility. My premise for drawing my conclusion is because of a desire to help others, and not because of selfish gains. It's because we want to make that change but being limited in what we can do that it becomes disempowering.

Detachment is a really strong word. A better explanation may be being realistic in what we can achieve. By detachment I mean a detachment from the damaging yet futile emotions that tear us apart instead of helping others.

It's good to be hopeful and optimistic and idealistic and wanting to help others. But knowledge does disempower you, and it's important to keep that in check while continuing to help others. If you want a few out of a plethora of examples, just look at this site. Look at how many people are well-intentioned but unable to help others and feel terribly bad about themselves. This applies to those who want to help their friends, comfort their partners, or please their parents. A controversial example is perhaps the most caring individual, pat, who had the knowledge of many people's problems and tried to help but couldn't help them all. He tried to leave the site because he had to get away (detach) from the burdening knowledge of all our problems before he goes under (remember his post). It's not selfish or cowardly, it's simply being realistic and looking after yourself a bit more.

Don't get me wrong, continue helping others around you if you can. Just don't destroy yourself in the process.

Indie's picture

Amazed again..

It's pretty painful but true what you said . It sucks when our eyes are filled with lies and many colored advertisements steal our smile. To be happy , we don't have to be suffocated or know too much.

Hope that your journal entry will open the other's eyes , as it happened to me.