Music has wonderful attributes and means to inspire us. It inspired me with not only the previous blog but also got some ideas kicking in for the current one here. Have been listening to this one on repeat mode while driving, running, working out and it does bring something out with it’s lyrics. It’s a John Newman classic from 2013 that also won a few awards and definitely my attention. Go ahead and give it a hear.
But hey, I am not here to take you on a musical journey. I am here to wake you up to reality and excuse me if it stings.
All of human endeavour through the passage of time and history has been to seek happiness and make lives better for the entire race. In the adventure so far, we have only screwed up most of that time and our resources in waging wars, creating unheard and incurable diseases (at least for now), hating others and ourselves even more. In the 21st century, we still find the human race exploring for happiness and committing to outrageous events in the name of finding happiness. Ever wondered why? The reason what I have come to realise after deep diving into my own analysis is that we have got the very definition of happiness all wrong in the first place. After all that we have done, this sounds to be hurtful as we have come this far for nothing. We have mixed the attribution of “Pleasure” in our lives to “Happiness”. Often it is the ephemeral pleasure that we experience, which blind sides us into perceiving it as eternal happiness. Pleasures are short-lived, little boosts of euphoria that drags us to believe we are happy. And guess what this pleasure does to us?
It makes us strong, confident and wanting for more. When we receive something that is short-lived we yearn for it more, it makes us feel we can strive more and achieve more. Why stop here when you can keep flying. That promotion in office, that new SUV we buy, the yearly raise, that hot chic or stud we made out with all give us pleasures and after a while (and these days very quickly) we want more of it. Suddenly the new designation at work feels the same, the automatic SUV runs on the same road and the more money is still not enough to match the capitalist markets. The sex with the hot partner was good but then how about some variety? Yes, we are programmed and fine tuned to keep striving for more and in the bargain never “STOP” and cherish what he have (uhmm, by the way those are your little packets of happiness which you forgot to sow).
But hey, we know all this and why is it wrong? We have to strive for excellence and better lives for us and our loved ones. So what’s wrong with that. If I don’t do it, others will and I stay behind in the race (holding my d***k in my hand). Besides, what’s this title got to do with what you are saying. Who are these damn angels?
Well my friends, that angel is within you. All that is mentioned above of being tuned to receive timely pleasures also tune us for wants. So much so that when the hard work does not pay off, we shake that angel in us to “SIN” and achieve what we want! When we are not able to receive pleasure at the same frequency, we do tend to deviate in a bid to achieve that. More often than not it is by ravaging that moral code and ethics which was thought to us. We get into lying to get something that we want. We get into robbing stuff from others. We start abusing people around to make things happen by coercion. We wage wars and kill people. Off course our sub-conscious mind knows this is wrong, it isn’t stupid. But our little conscious mind tells stories to our sub-conscious. It cajoles and bribes our sub-conscious to believe what is been done is for the greater good and we keep telling these stories to ourselves to level up with humanity and the moral code which I mentioned above. We tend to think it is ok to sin once in a while to get what we want(no one’s watching).
We think this because we feel we have a unique “Context” or “Purpose” for what we sinned and it is not the same as the cardinal sins which our grandmothers read out to us as kids from story books. More often than not we sin at a time of helplessness where we have run out of all options (mind you not necessarily we have tried out those options) and say to ourselves that a later stage (position of strength) I shall correct this sin which I do today (redemption) and balance my accounting system of morality.
Context and purpose are supposed to bring meaning to what we do in our lives. It also narrates stories to us on why we should or would commit a sin. Think of the person who robs regularly at the food store he has been working since a decade. We would say he is committing a sin by robbing. What if I told you that he robs to feed his family as he has not been paid well by the same employer whom he has been robbing. Then this does not become much of a sin as before as the context and purpose have changed. When a person commits adultery, it is not the sex by itself which is a sin, but becomes blasphemous because of the people around those committing the adultery (the immediate family). It would not have been a sin if the cheating parties were not married or committed to someone else (we would then coin it as gifts of nature!). This is exactly the same way we tweak our sin stories to make it sound more agreeable.
However, deciphering Immanuel Kant’s “Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals”, it simply states that we use people as a means and not an end in themselves. If I gift my wife to make her happy then I am using the gift (means) to reach out to my wife (end). But if I am making my wife happy so that in future, she agrees to whatever I say (fries with extra mayo and cheese) then I am making my wife the means to my own happiness (I am the end). Which again is no less a sin.
It is ok to seek happiness and the little pleasures of life for yourself (yes you deserve it), but when that is done by pulling a trigger on someone then that is definitely breaking the moral code and its sanctity. The time when we see people as means and not an end is when we bring pleasures to ourselves at the cost of others. Invariably we are so accustomed to use people as means to achieve an object as an end that it destroys our basis of eternal happiness and instead gives us doses of ephemeral pleasures.
Ok, if we understand now what it is to sin, why do we do it. As mentioned earlier, we do this because our society has presented us with these cheat codes and hacks. This hack comes in the form of “ABSOLUTION”. We know in our system that if we have sinned as a Hindu, I can take a dip in the Holy Ganges or as a Catholic I can confess to the priest or seek for pardon as defined in the faith I believe and follow. We know there is a way out. When we sin, we keep believing and say to ourselves I will do this until I am sorted and then be the angel I always wanted to be. So, it is ok to keep lying and cheating at work until I get the next promotion and once I become the CEO I shall be the symbol of humanity and preach good to my employees and shareholders. As a person running behind wealth I shall fleece people, if required till kingdom comes but when I have what I want I shall offset it by doing charity and helping the needy. We keeping telling ourselves these stories to paint ourselves with the color of purity.
Some of us then go further in seeking redemption and walk the path of philanthropy for life. We go out to tell people about how not to commit a sin and walk the path of truth, compassion and loyalty. It is hence no surprise to know why it is in the destiny of a sinner to maybe one day become a saint. But how about confessing our sins to the ones we love, before we start preaching it to the world or before we reach to that end goal. Drop all that you have been doing and unwind the screws before you build that golden ship of deceit. For some they still aren’t sure if they can sacrifice it all to do this or let go of everything what they stood for so long.
But what should matter to you is to know from your people when you have sinned is, “Can they love you again?”