Or, How to practice being a sane person without a spiritual bone in your body.
Everybody slips into a funk from time to time. I’m talking about an “ignore every call-I don’t wanna meditate, I’m watchin’ Law & Order and eatin’ ice cream” kinda funk. These bad moods are to be expected. They’re the mental equivalent of the common cold.
Often times these funks are immune to the formalities of our spiritual practice. Not because our formal practice is impotent in the face of a rotten attitude, but because we lack the inspiration and/or motivation to stop eating Cheetos and get off the couch! Some pretentious ass “spiritual” friend of yours might suggest, “Why don’t you try meditating on the couch…you know, like mindful of every chip you eat.” So, let me rephrase my previous statement: We lack the required inspiration and/or motivation to do something we don’t want to do.
These bad moods are incredibly rigid, self-centered states of mind. When we are possessed by one of these shitty attitudes we have a very definite idea about how things should be, and at the present moment, things do not even remotely resemble our expectations. We get trapped in our heads, thinking about what we think, until we are so far removed from reality that we can no longer distinguish between actuality and figments of our imagination. Insanity begins to dominate, as the entire field of awareness is reduced to a bitter pattern of thought revolving around some form of disappointment, which emerged as the result of a disagreement between reality and an extremely narrow idea we held about ourselves. In short, when something doesn’t go “our way” we develop an obsessively resentful form of tunnel vision. This is what I mean by rigid.
These moods are self-centered in that the value and worth of everything in our environment is calculated by how it affects us, which means that everything is measured against the rigid expectations previously mentioned. From this point of view, life is transformed into an inconvenient chore; something that we have to get up and go do. We feel completely cut off from life or lifeless. So we don’t get up and go do it!
We expect to be comfortable. If something contributes to this comfort we consider it to be “good,” but if it is seen as an obstacle to our comfort it is labeled “bad.” We cling to those things that are good, and push away those things that are bad. If we are unable to successfully hold hostage the good things or fail to keep at bay the bad things, then we start to pitch a fit or wallow in self-pity. The fit and/or pity party is what I am calling the common funk.
Fits and pity parties are very logical. They are calculated insanity. These nasty attitudes are constructed or assembled by patterns of thought, which come together in a tightly regulated sequence. It maybe that neither the pre-conceived idea nor the fore-drawn conclusions are objectively rational, which suggests that the inbred process that facilitated this movement from point A to point B is also disproportionate, but all three—the original miscalculation, the obsessive system of elaboration, and the disastorous conclusions—are, from a subjective point of view, perfectly logical. So long as the basic assumption isn’t questioned—our true nature is comfort—everything adds up.
When this subjective experience reaches escape speed, the situation becomes too dense, and all perspective is lost. This loss of objectivity is the result of blindness or ignore-ance. With no other reference point at our disposal, other than the irrational point of reference that set the cycle in motion,our inconsistencies appear to be consistent. Crazy people do not know that they’re crazy.