To attain any sort of pure contentment in life, the mind must first subjugate itself to the following concept (leave ye god(s) outta this…let’s find some meaning and purpose from within perhaps): accept these things: this universe exists (for now it will be interchangeable with the idea of the world), you exist within the world, you and the universe are continuously dynamic over time, you are not alone.
Collectively, we arrive at a general definition of Existence (of something, anything, in particular: not nothing). This is our starting point. Now (and I mean right Now) you are also the sum total of an arbitrarily large, ever-expanding collection of your own memories, experiences, thoughts, decisions et al appended to the lives and collective knowledge/history/memory of all humankind past and present. There’s more: take this knowledge, analyze, then synthesize (or integrate, commutate, associate, whatever the brain does) in order to learn and…you’re conscious! you are so much more than a sum that’s the true beauty of the universe what matters is that you exist now that you existed just before this and you will continue to exist right after this and no future person can refute your statement: I was here.
Empathy is more than just walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, no, and it’s not telekinesis (while I can imagine quantum fluctuations within one’s own brain, it’s impossible for a brain to physically act on another brain) but rather an ability (and here we come back to…) accept that every other human being has a particular perspective in this clusterfuck of a world we live in, and in order to understand existence we must learn to change our perspective if even for a fleeting finite flash can you even imagine what it’s like to suffer as so many humans suffer at this exact moment in time simply a matter of spacial distance separating us from the darkest recesses of human decay (I need only mention History) and what must it be like to live in such depravity fuck these asymmetries but they have to exist for complex design which requires a degree of indifference (or future-blindness) towards what actually will happen emphasizing possibility over reality.
It’s Time: an extra dimension, a fourth degree of freedom with a twist, motion, momentum, dynamism, change, evolution, learning, progress, double covered (Death, following symmetrically). We don’t have to feel guilty or shameful about this locally (ie the notion that billions have come and gone such that we can live now) though guilt makes us aware, no that’s not the end point; what we need to do is accept that this darkness exists accept the worst things that happen with the best things that happen because that’s life the best you can do is empathize. One must develop a rooted (ie overarching) feeling of respect /love/gratitude towards those gone (this links our ancestors to deep memory), then this sense of collective past naturally evolves into a responsibility to live life in the world alongside others with a progressive, cooperative philosophy and a vision of future possibilities. Allow yourself to feel pain and suffering because humans have the capacity to carry incomprehensible loads of baggage, and if you’re fortunate to have lived or feel en medias res a decent life or a great life or a transcendent life don’t forget that you are a single person amongst many striving for (and equally deserving of) the same things: happiness and love and family, the feeling you get when you see a baby smiling up at you and you finally understand the deepest depths and the awe-inspiring alps of the phrase “life goes on.” And these tip the scales in our favor despite the dread of depression, destruction, doom, disaster, our friend Death, that underlie many of our weakest moments: the things that genuinely keep you up at night: not the superficial I forgot to call so and so back or what am I gonna wear to work tomorrow; come on, the sum total of thought vectors directed at you regarding your outfit plus the memories people have of you in said outfit weighed against the memories they retain of your outfits’ past (or past outfits), doesn’t come close to justifying wasting so much time in the combinatorial wasteland known as your closet.
That’s just an easy example: not a criticism so much as a call for balance, awareness, contentedness. Of course the darkness doesn’t linger on your outfit, it wants to remind you of the totality of all those little misdeeds committed, white lies turned black, promises broken, relationships ruined, the time your drunk family member or friend went too far or the time you maybe didn’t bully that kid in any outwardly abusive manner but you refused to even acknowledge his or her existence because you’re a kid and you don’t understand empathy yet. The darkness is omnipresent, but humans have free will
we haven’t learned to appreciate it. Yes you can choose what to wear, and yes you can express yourself with style, but people come first, always.