Literature has been one of the most valuable tools in my life. I read a lot of non fiction. I didn’t read a lot growing up. I only started reading a few years ago, and I remember exactly why.
A few years ago, I was beginning to suffer from loneliness and depression. I felt pretty guilty about it because there was nothing actually wrong with my life’s situation. I had an angel girlfriend. I had a job I liked. I had okay health. I actually had a car. But I couldn’t shake the feeling of loneliness and emptiness. So I did what I thought was the right thing to do and started reading self-help books. I quickly went down this rabbit hole of non fiction Self Help, Buddhism, Cosmology, Philosophy, Theology, Eastern and Western, Poetry, Taoism, and Hinduism. I read some of the Buddhist Cannons. I read some of the Bhagavad Gita. I read through the works of Carl Sagan, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and Stephen Hawking. I read work by the great Mahatma Gandhi. I read some work by Lao Tzu and some by Confucius. I read a lot of books. I couldn’t put em’ down.
What have I learned?
I realize now more clearly than every before that mental suffering is very much a component of perspective. What perspective do we look from with our mind’s eye? Is it truthful? Is it pure? Is it analytical and divisive? Is it gracious and humble? This is all a matter of perspective. Literature changed my perspective. Literature showed me the path of the saints and sages which have showed me closer to the way.
They’ve pointed me in and said, “Look. Now, you see?”
“Yes, I see that now”
So my perspective changes. And all by itself, the suffering melts away. It only existed because I gave it the platform to. Now, I could say a lot about what I’ve learned from what I’ve read. It would never end. I can say this though. I have learned that I am small and relatively inconsequential to the entire cosmos. I’m smaller than a speck of dust. That is true. I looked, and I see, I can’t deny that. I’m very small to all of creation. And even as that is the fact, my life (as well as yours) is bestowed with our necessities. Do you see that? If you see that, than all your worries will melt away.
All the cells in your body are doing something more complex than you can consciously manage on your own. It does not ask what you need. It works for you regardless of how you think and feel. Do you see that?
The trees give you cool shade without asking. It is it’s nature to give. It give you the oxygen that you require to live, but it does not ask it you need it. It just gives. That is it’s nature. That should be your nature to. In true essence, how are you different from the tree? Mother earth has made you both. It seems that the tree is being a better tree than you are being a human. Because no matter what, the tree keeps on reaching towards the sky and giving shade, oxygen, nourishment. Are you giving back to life, or are you only taking?
If you have a human superiority complex, you better drop it! Leave your phone at home, go into the mountains, sit and observe. How are you really different from the life around you? I don’t think we are very different. Different geometry? Yeah, no doubt. But same essence.