In virtually every post on my blog, I start with the same statement: life is suffering.
Life is Suffering
This is not a frivolous, pessimistic or simplistic statement, it is the result of reflection about existence. Moreover, it is not a statement of mine, it was theoretically made by Buddha, 500 BC. And it is an irrefutable truth.
Senescence, or the aging process towards death, is nothing but a path of suffering. But, it is a natural path of suffering: hunger, thirst, sleep, tiredness, displeasure, and death. When nothing is done, when no individual enterprise is done to remedy such feelings, suffering springs up.
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To live is to build up a life
Therefore, life is suffering. Everything you can do or build from there, is a path to the realization of pleasure and bliss. If nothing is done to the contrary, one suffers; if something is done, suffering is healed. It didn’t cook: hunger. Cooked: satiety.
At times of the year or in life, where leftovers tend to be longer, as autumn and winter, this feeling that suffering is imminent become palpable. It is as if we could perceive a certain frequency of radiation in the air that makes us aware of the arrival of pain.
For Christians, or for those who, like me, are raised in the Christian world even though they are not one, this feeling is even more vivid. We look forward to the arrival of the final and definitive suffering. We await the fulfillment of the prophecy of the prophecies. We hope, even if involuntarily, the fulfillment of Pedro’s words (I think it’s Pedro) in his Apocalypse.
For more than 1500 years, the West has had its leaders, inspired by Christian books, more or less fervent, but inspired by Christian rules. This is very interesting, as Christians these rulers look to the present and the future. In the near future, the guarantee of the food and the ceiling. But, in the distant future, the arrival of the apocalypse.
We see this projected in infinite Hollywood films in our time. We see this projected in several books. We see this repeatedly being reinforced by the cultural production of the most fundamentalist country in Christianity: the USA.
Of course, they are Christians, but they are not idiots, so when we watch or read this cultural production, we do not see a fight between the West and Gog and Magog. But the projection of this reference contextualized in contemporary “enemies”.
Gog and Magog
For those who don’t know, Gog and Magog would be people from the barbaric east that would bring war and initiate the end of the world. When Christianity spread throughout Europe, it was the texts of the apocalypse, announcing the fall of Rome that gave the impetus for the new faith. And, with the assumption of Christianity in the Roman Empire, they were the inspiration of their rulers until their end, in the 15th century, with the fall of Constantinople.
The apocalypse never came. But Christians do not give up trying to find these enemies that will bring down the Roman empire (Christian world).
Taking the Americans into account, we can make a list of them: the Native Americans, the English, the German Nazis and Fascists, the Communists, the Vietnamese, the Japanese, the Communists, the Chinese …
I live in a small European country, a fundamentalist Christian country. So fervent about the faith that, in 1500, they were the propagandists of the Protestant Reformation, and they took up arms to fight against the Papist Catholics.
Here, you don’t see contemporary enemies, enemies contextualized on all sides, as Americans do. Here the apocalypse for the plague is expected and, therefore, prophylaxis is sought.
The main one is controlling.
In Switzerland, municipalities know absolutely everything about their residents. In Switzerland, everything is paved, timed, cataloged, tabulated and, mainly, public. Nobody knows what happens inside your house, but they know how much money goes in and how much goes out. In small communes and big cities, life is like living in the countryside, everyone knows everyone.
Advantage, Switzerland is the safest country in the world, with the second-highest quality of life. The disadvantage, you cannot easily be a criminal or a contravention. But, intimacy is not lost, no one invades privacy. Nobody comes without warning and nobody enters without ringing the bell.
But, trying to postpone the end of the world, everything is tabulated.
Life is suffering and senescence is its natural path. Then, the end will come, but we will know when it is and what we need to do to go.
I don’t believe it and I’m not even preaching about it. In fact, I think this is a silly thing, typical of Judeo-Christian culture. If you are Hindu or Buddhist, it doesn’t even make sense. If there is an end, it will be a new beginning, then it is a part of the whole process. If you are an atheist and have endeavored to change these core beliefs in your life, this will be nothing more than an old wives’ tale.
But in difficult times, that dark feeling that accompanies Christian darkness spreads and a frenzy grips everyone. Identification is a selective, organized and fast process. I explain by examples:
On Wednesday, March 11 – 2020, it was foreshadowed that there could be a blockade in Switzerland. It wasn’t quarantine, it wasn’t a curfew. Just a month-long block. Switzerland, very democratic, discussed this possibility.
People went into a frenzy for markets to buy the stock for which they were prepared during 50 years of the cold war, the stock of the apocalypse. Canned and non-perishable items sold out on the shelves and, in the frenzy, also the toilet paper vanished.
A minority of the population (a select group) went to the market, lined up at the checkout counters, parked in their designated spaces, and in less than 6 hours, they ran out of toilet paper.
The idiotification of a select, organized and fast group.
We were not on the verge of a nuclear attack. It was a virus, a fast, voracious and murderous virus. But we would not go to nuclear shelters, in the following days we would have open markets.
But, the belief that the end of the world is coming is always a background in the mind of every normal occidental person. Thus, after several days of reports about Italy, when news of a possible blockade arrived, the belief at the end of the world took over these select and organized groups, generating an exacerbated, if not comic, reaction.
We, Westerners, are poisoned by this certainty that everything will end in fire, in plague and who knows what else. But, there is not, there will not be an end of the world. We will all die and that’s for sure. Each in his own time, each of us will cease to exist. Whether we will have another life, whether we go to heaven or hell, that each with his own fairy tale decides.
But, we will all die, inexorably.
But, there is no end of the world. The apocalypse will never come.
Americans also like to tabulate things. And amazingly, there is a correlation between education level and belief in the apocalypse, there is a relationship between education level and religious fundamentalism. Just as there is a correlation between schizophrenia and the belief in flying saucers (I’m not talking about life on other planets, but saucers that come from kidnapping people in Texas and Minas Gerais).
Yes, it takes a certain degree of school ignorance to be able to believe in a god who kills and punishes those he created and cares for. It takes some difficulty to realize that this apocalypse tale has been told 1300 years ago and has not come true. It takes a lot of effort not to know that Christians were sure that the world would end in the year 500, then in the year 1000, then in 1500, then in the 2000s.
The efforts to ignorance
It is necessary to suffer from a deep and voluntary ignorance in order not to see that life flourishes even in the gap of bricks and cracks in the asphalt. Immense efforts must be made to destroy self-criticism and rush to the markets to stock up on toilet paper.
Even if it was the apocalypse, will you die with your ass clean? What’s the idea? Light fires against the virus? Throwing toilet paper full of shit on the virus?
Suffering is certain and death is inexorable, but it will be with a clean ass.
But the end of the world has not come, it will not come, this is a fairy tale. Life persists and existence transcends life itself. Thus, even when death comes, there is a continuity of self in the offspring that follows and, if it is exhausted, life persists and, even if it ends, existence, energy in the form of matter, will transcend the extinction of life.
We need to understand the simplicity of this.
We need to understand what basic science teaches us. We are not eternal as individuals, but we exist as life for a short and intense time (from our tiny point of view) because we are mediated by emotions and feelings. And they are intense, they give us a lot of sensations and experiences. We are each a unique and absolutely fantastic experience of existence.
Science is the answer
But that does not give us greatness. We remain minuscule even when combined with billions. This does not give us greatness, it just shows us that if tiny as we are, we exist as a unique and fantastic experience, imagine how the rest should be?
Imagine if we could lie on a beach and feel the approach of the sun’s rays, the breezes cooled by the sea, or the force of the ocean in a simple wave?
Imagine if we could see a picture of our planet from the moon? Imagine if we could recognize other planets in the night sky? Imagine if we could see pictures of the Saturn rings?
Don’t even dream about it. In a flat-earther west, while our western countrymen rush to buy toilet paper until they run out of stock (“in heaven only I will have a clean ass”), the “Chinese enemies” build huge hospitals in 10 days for their peers.
Where is the republic, democracy, and freedom?
Magog builds hospitals, Christians … clean asses.
School is the answer
The lack of school consumes our collective, turns the collective into a mass without identification with its peers. We go back to using maces and roaring when the stranger appears, we fight over a piece of meat. Christians who deliver hunger to their peers. Magog builds hospitals and donates equipment.
But we will have toilet paper stock for 10 years. So, nothing to worry about.