I have just caught myself sitting here on Facebook, with four chat windows open. I’ve sent messages to each person, expecting different things in return. I looked to one person for friendship and a sense of commune. I looked to another for connection, for affection and love. I looked to another to feel wise and knowledgeable on the subject I am passionate about. And I looked to another to feel needed.
In conversation with the first friend, I sought certainty. In the last, I sought variety. In the second I sought connection and love. In the third, I sought significance. These are four of the 6 basic human needs. I’ve spoken about this topic extensively on my YouTube channel. When three or more of the 6 basic human needs are met, the activity which is fulfilling these needs becomes addictive. Once we’ve identified this, the question then becomes one of constructiveness and positivity. When we find ourselves addicted to certain things – be they social interactions, activities, drugs, people – it’s always beneficial to ask ourselves, “Is this constructive?”
We may often find that, in asking ourselves about how constructive an activity is, we begin see many things that we engage in regularly are purely habitual and that we no longer make any active, conscious choices take part in them. For example, I get in from seeing a friend and the first thing I do is put on my laptop and start up four different conversations with four different people. Why? It’s habitual. It’s a habitual distraction from being alone, that’s what is really is. What’s funny is that I’ve spent the majority of my life alone, by choice. I have spent more days and nights alone than I have with people. I enjoy it. A lot of us enjoy our own company and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
In fact, it’s healthy to enjoy our own company, it provides us with a sense of knowing ourselves on a deeper level. I mean, just imagine if you never spent a minute alone for your entire life… Your ability for self-reflection would be inept, perhaps even non-existent. It’s also healthy to enjoy being around others. Being around others provides us with variety and more-often-than-not contrast and thus expansion. To be able to carefully balance the two desires is key when it comes to happiness, I feel.
In times like this, when we catch ourselves doing something like I have here – in indulging in forced communication with others just to distract myself from the present moment and how I’m really feeling – it’s always beneficial to take a step back from the whole thing. It’s also key to question what we are looking for in doing these things. Do we want certainty? Variety? Significance? Connection or love? If we are trying to fulfil these needs by doing something which is destructive, it’s worth taking a second looking at what we’re doing.
Now, I’m sure, on the face of it, me sitting down after being out and starting up four different conversations on Facebook doesn’t sound destructive or negative. To be honest, it doesn’t have to be. It becomes destructive when it is the go-to action as soon as we are alone. If starting lots of chats on an Instant Messenger is our default choice of action as soon as we’re on our own, then are we trying to avoid thinking about something, or dealing with something?
These are all questions I’m asking myself now. Remember, there’s no right and there’s no wrong. No good, no bad. And so, if we’re feeling like what we want is to have our needs met conditionally for a little while, then why not play that game?! If we’re feeling like doing that is destructive or that it is an distraction, then we can play that game too! Truth is, we’re already, always, playing a game. This whole life is an illusory game. The rest of the experiences within it are like mini-games. Side-Quests if you will. It is impossible to not play the larger game of life, you are always playing it. Even if you decided to go and live in a cave for ten years, eat nothing but mung-bean sprouts and drink nothing but cows’ urine while sitting on a stool crafted entirely of dung-beetles’ handiwork and banana skins… you’re still playing the game – just in a different way. And in that particular case, You’d be playing it in a very different way.
So, I would suggest that now is as good of a time as any to take it all a little less seriously. It’s just an elaborate virtual mind-scape anyway. A virtual mind-scape which has been imagined up by the collective energetic consciousness which we call Source or the Tao. A virtual mind-scape, thought up by the Tao… Just ’cause. Just because it wanted to see what it’d be like. So, go on… See what it’s like. Experience the highs, experience the lows. Go take mind-altering substances, go study with a guru in the Himalayas. Go dance in the street in a pink tu-tu shouting “I’m Old Gregg!” at the top of your voice if you want to. There’s no rule that says you can’t have fun. So why not make a life of it.
I often speak about being “like water.” Water has many lessons to teach. I would say that having fun is being like water, as well as the other things I’ve mentioned before. After all, you don’t ever see water begrudgingly existing as water. It’s always like, “FUCK YEAH! I’M FUCKIN’ WATER MAN! I DO WATER THINGS AND STUFF! WOO YEAH! WATCH ME FLOW!” I mean, sure it doesn’t say that. Water has no mouth, silly. But it shows us that. Among many other things. So go, my friends and be like water. Flow with the current of life and grab life by the love!
I love you.
Live! Love! PLAY!