Vanity thought #1070. Life’s over

Sometimes I get caught up in current events. The crash of Malaysian Boeing that has been dominating the news is stressing my brain. There’s a lot of accusations and theories flying around and countries milk the tragedy for political advantage without any shame. Nobody knows what’s going on but everybody knows everything at the same time.

What hooked me up is possible scenarios of what could have happened. Public discourse is very shallow here, people make a lot of assumptions that hold no water once you look at them closely. Getting through all stupid, implausible ideas is very hard but also rewarding. My brain just can’t get enough of it.

In the past three days I’ve learned a lot about maps of Ukraine, where the plane went down, flight data radars, and specifications of air defense systems designed by Soviets in the seventies. Can’t wait to forget all that crap.

Holding a civilized discussion on this matter is impossible, it seems everyone on the internet is out to get someone else. No one is interested in actual facts, only in how to twist them to his political position. Ukrainians can’t hear anything else that might exonerate the rebels or Russians, and Russians can’t take anything said by Ukrainians seriously. The division has split the rest of the world, too, so everyone has become, for all practical purposes, a Russian or a Ukrainian.

Meanwhile almost a hundred civilians have been killed during artillery shelling of just one rebel held city since Boeing disaster but no one cares about them. I don’t think people care about dead Malaysians either, they just want to exploit the fact that it was a passenger plane to the tilt.

I myself also use this tragedy to exercise my brain and I can’t find any compassion to actual victims in my heart. They are faceless and nameless to me, I don’t know their nationalities, I’m not even sure how many are there, but I remember radar and missile ranges and distances between various relevant points on the maps.

I can’t wait until this story blows over for me, it takes all my mental resources and, consequently, I can’t really write about Kṛṣṇa consciousness because I simply don’t think things through anymore.

Generally, though, I’m very well aware of the situation and see this brain storm as a temporary phenomenon caused by the modes of nature. Staying clear of politics and not taking sides or falling for preferred scenarios has also become a useful exercise.

I’m obviously not going to discuss actual scenarios here, suffice it to say that none of what is presented in the media makes any sense. No one knows the cause of the crash. It could have been an extraordinary combination of highly improbable events, a truly sickening terrorist act by respected members of the world community, or simply a human error. It’s not the first time Ukrainians mistakenly shot down a passenger plane. That happens, too.

What is more interesting is that during this investigation I’ve met a lot of people (on the Net) I usually never communicate with. They are naturally very talkative and so I had a glimpse of the kind of life I’ve left behind many years ago. It’s like stepping into a time machine and transferring myself several decades back.

Patriotism, quest for justice, herd mentality, false hopes, hoping against hope, anguish, spontaneous bouts of joy, I’ve seen quite a lot in these few days.

I was just like them, I thought. I could relate to them, I could empathize with them, I could become part of their community again. I could make myself a clever user name and an avatar that would immediately tell everyone how cool I am. I could go out and meet these people in real life, they are everywhere, I can strike a conversation with any of them.

In reality, however, I’ve become too old for this. I just don’t feel things the way they do anymore and I don’t have illusions about their hopes. I mean I’ve spent hours learning the material and their naivety is cute but I can’t share it. They want things to turn the way they desire but it’s only a matter of time before their world comes crashing down.

Russians just held a press conference where they showed a lot of maps, pictures and radar data and asked lots of very pertinent questions. Turns out that there were many more planes in that area and that Malaysian Boeing went off its course and out of its flight corridor. It tried to correct itself, turned back, and then something happened and it lost speed and altitude. All my previous calculations were based on a straight flight path, no maneuvers, and need to be thrown into the bin. Great.

I mentioned that press conference because it filled Russian speaking part of the world with hope and a sense of righteousness. It validated their long held positions and gave them refuge from brutal assault by the world media. Problem is that it doesn’t change the course of the civil war where they back the rebels and that the defeat is imminent. Russians jump in joy while rebels die crashed by tanks. It’s surreal. Is any of them still connected to reality?

I can’t partake in this delusion. Nor can I join “Russians did it” club because I just can’t stay with stupid, I was born and raised that way long before I met the devotees, can’t change myself.

If I wanted to return back to that life I would have to make a lot of compromises I’m not prepared for. That life needs a willful suspension of disbelief. Thanks to my guru and Śrīla Prabhupāda for cleansing me from that kind of illusions.

It doesn’t mean that my material life is over, perhaps I simply have to take birth again to regain my capacity to hope and wish things, but I hope that it won’t happen.

I’d rather live like Lomasa Muni, a sage with unlimited life span, nearly the same as Lord Brahmā’s, but who can’t be bothered to build a proper house for himself because he thinks life is too short to waste time on such temporary arrangements. That’s the kind of patience I want.

I think this approach could be the way to defeat my current obsession – just wait it out, it can’t last. I have no time to deal with such temporary distractions. Force my mind not to think about things, fail, try again, cheat myself into thinking about something else – why waste all this energy on something that would disappear in due course of time anyway?

Not sure if it’s a valid response to mental agitation but I somehow like it, it makes me feel distinctly different from my mind, which should help me to eventually transcend the mental platform, or so I hope. I still have the spunk for that kind of hopes but maybe one day they will disappear, too. Would it be an improvement? I hope so. Oh, darn, I said the word “hope” again.

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