Spiritual Revolutions take place at the individual level more frequently than they do at the aggregate, societal level. They are very important. They begin as philosophical revolutions and then expand to being spiritual when they take on a fuller, more comprehensive dimension — whether of the individual or the society. A change in thinking sparks a change in everything else. For the individual this means a change in lifestyle; for the society: a paradigm shift.
All is objectively without meaning. Objectively, the Grand Truth is that there is no Grand Truth; good and evil do not exist; nothing can be said of anything beyond that it simply is. In philosophic terms, essence is a creation of the mind of a sentient being: an observer. Existence is all there is objectively. This void of essence, this void of meaning is the “Ultimate Nature,” is “capital t” Truth. So why does anything matter?
It matters because subjectively speaking there is meaning (and if you think about it, how can one possibly isolate meaning from subjectivity? Only a “subject” can observe or acknowledge meaning at all. To speak of it in terms of object is like asking whether a rock thinks abortion to be morally good or evil.). Subjectively there is good and evil, all things appear to possess essence, and we speak of “truths” constantly. Even if we just imbue truth and meaning upon objectively neutral phenomena, that does not make life any less meaningful..
Recently i was considering this prospect: all as ultimately meaningless. So i had to ask myself what kept me from simply descending into hedonism? (or perhaps “ascending into hedonism” to a hedonist. Calling it descending is mere convention, and i suppose it does give away some bias, or perhaps just foreshadows an opinion on my part. Despite having the subtle perspective of negativity that i do, i do not intend to be judgmental or condescending to those who feel differently than me. Please understand this.)
If all is meaningless then why shouldn’t I just party til the cows come home? I say: suffering.
I am accutely aware, much as the Buddha was (though certainly not to his degree of acuity), that seeking to fulfill desires will only be temporary and inherently will sow the seeds of suffering by the act of seeking or the very fulfillment of those desires. A momentary sensory pleasure today is tomorrow’s suffering, whether emotionally or physically. I hate suffering more than I enjoy pleasure of the senses. I think the same could be said for most dedicated spiritual and philosophical individuals in history. However, this is not the case for the general populace, and I see that now.
Much of my life has been seeking to understand why people are the way they are, and why i’m not like that. Part of it is most likely because of this observation, but i think it might more just have to do with the fact that my own subjective experience is the only experience i have ever, or will ever know. I admit to having some degree of jealousy. The road i’m taking is more challenging spiritually and philosophically, my only solace being the reward of the final destination. I wish i could enjoy the fruits of life the way most of you who are reading this can, but i cannot. I never really have, and i doubt i ever will. I see the enjoyment in peoples eyes at things so simple as delicious food, social gatherings, a game, a novel, the beauty of the world, the company of a dear one (or dear ones), and yes, even the enjoyment of substances. That joy i really seem to feel only when deepening my understanding of complex concepts, when i acquire snippets of insight from epiphanies, and sometimes during devoted creative activity.
I know i’m not alone on this, and for people who are like me in this regard, we are unsatisfied by the futility of desires for pleasurable sensory experiences and physical things. For us, we cannot descend into hedonism effectively without probably becoming addicted to the extreme limits of those experiences: heavy drugs, extreme sexual tendencies, hoarding objects, etc. For us, we must follow in the footsteps of the Buddha, the Christ, and virtually every mystic, prophet, or philosopher who has lived. For us, soteriology is tied to suffering. For us, abstract things, non-physical things hold the key to peace, happiness, and more importantly, to satisfaction or contentment.
Whether you follow the path of desire or non-desire to achieve your happiness, you can find a degree of liberating freedom in the fact that you create your own meaning. Seek the Truth, for it lies within you. This is an eternal aspect of reality, for it is simply the corollary of the Truth of no-Truth. When you find you’re suffering, the answer to your transcending that state is simply in a change in thinking; a change in the abstract concepts which you structure your life around; and if you’re one of the individuals who doesn’t care to look beyond desires, try something new — new experiences will change your thinking and take you out of the present state of suffering that you’re in.
Thus, subjective experience is why life has meaning. You have an independent mind with unique thoughts and experiences unlike any living thing that has ever existed in this universe; this is as meaningful as you choose to make it. Whether you choose to transcend the duality of suffering (pleasure/desire and pain/aversion), or embrace desire, or even embrace suffering, life has meaning because you are giving it that meaning. Don’t waste such an opportunity. Do what you must to get the most out of this life as possible. For some of you it will mean embracing a religion or a savior, for some it will be in doing substances and partying, for some it will be in the arts, for others it will be in mysticism or philosophy — but the reality of the situation is that it does not ultimately matter. Do what you must to get the most out of this life as possible. (Yes, I just repeated that sentence, and I did so in order to underscore its importance)
On a final note, i’ll address the title and introductory ideas. What is the seed of Spiritual Revolution?:
A philosophical or conceptual shift in thinking towards some viewpoint that will lead towards an individual or society’s following of the subjective path that will allow them to get the most out of their unique, one of a kind, life or lives. That’s it. Now go embrace yours as i will try to embrace mine.
I deeply apologize for expressing these thoughts so poorly. I pray that i’ll be able to do so better as i continue to follow down this path of mine.
And do note that anything i can see which seems to be new, i can only see because i stand on the shoulders of giants.