Talk with a confused friend
Talk with a confused friend
by Reza Ganjavi
She said she was confused about some things in her life. We talked.
Many people are confused. One indication is the widespread abuse of alcohol and drugs. Why else would the guy stink of alcohol at 10 in the morning on the bus or constantly use numerous kinds of drugs? Every addict is confused, including cigarette addicts because they live with conflict and conflict is confusion. Luckily she doesn’t have these problems.
I am not sure what problem she has but here are some general remarks about confusion and unhappiness which apply to most humans as we are very similar in our experience of living. Please keep in mind I use the term “we” to refer to “many” and not “all” people as there are also those who are free from one or more of the following. When one is aware of conditioning one can be free from it as it shows its face and it can resolve in the light of attention…
Our education trains us to be problem-solvers so we need problems to solve and when we don’t have problems, we make problems. It’s a wonderful thing to see how the brain is used to, has the habit of, being in a state of having problems.
To have clarity, to think clearly, order is necessary – order in every aspect of one’s life.
Emptying is an important action which comes in awareness. With emptying, space and order come.
Insight into and understanding of the confusion brings change, naturally.
If confusion has to do with an incomplete or disorderly past event or relationship which one cannot do anything about, seeing it is the act of emptying. “Insight is action”.
What we are, all layers of our consciousness shows itself in daily life and in sleep – there is no subconscious if we are attentive – it’s always bubbling up if we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings and their habitual ways.
A psychologist has to be very clear to help someone but most psychologists are confused and unhappy themselves and thrive on patient’s confusion. Same thing with psychiatrists – many want to solve problems that require insight with drugs instead.
Taking care of the body is important with proper food (e.g. non-meat, non-drug (yes sugar and caffeine are both addictive drugs)), exercise (e.g. walking, yoga), rest, etc. This does not mean one cannot be happy if one drinks coffee or takes added sugar that’s so common in foods, but caffeine causes stress in most people and if someone is suffering from stress and confusion, caffeine does not help. Sugar causes all kinds of hormonal and other problems (see my website‘s nutrition section for more info). Both these substances contribute to mood-swings. Good moods and bad moods. It is possible to live without mood swings and have a stable level of energy.
The brain is physical so its state of being is affected by state of body’s health. Happiness is related to how the body is treated.
One of the best ways of emptying the mind is writing – also talking to a good friend. In the process one gets to see other aspects of the problem and the problem can fall away, disappear.
As long as problems are bundled in the mind and not expressed/emptied, it is one blob, one bundle. When emptied one can see ingredients of what makes up the problem and seeing the ingredients is important for cleanup.
Very important to ask in daily life, when one is not feeling ok, “What is wrong with me?” Often a little unnoticed thing can bother us but when we ask the question and understand the cause, it falls away.
The key to change is seeing what-is.
The key to insight is seeing. The ability to see and understand requires not judging what one sees and if one does that, to see the judgment without trying to change it. Another key point is to not separate what you are from what you see. The seer is the seen. If one separated the seer from the seen, in that division there is conflict and loss of energy which is necessary for understanding and change.
Thinking is over-emphasized in most cultures and educational systems. We think too much about things that thought was not meant for and doing so we are bound to get confused. Thinking, being based on past experience which is always limited, and being based on physical brain cells which are also limited because they’re matter, is always limited. Where there’s limitation there is division because borders by definition divide. Where there’s division, there is conflict otherwise there would be no need for division. So thought, when applied inappropriately to psychological matters it was not meant for addressing, creates division, conflict, and confusion. Therefore thought needs to find its right place and be quiet about many aspects of life. Being quiet it can be spontaneous and it can give way to a different kind of movement which is not of thought and time.
Psychological time as the limitation of the past and its projection into the future is an illusion. The future is unknown. Change has to happen now otherwise a person remains what s/he is now.
Aside from personal confusion that may or may not exist, the brain has a default habit of falling into sorrow because of general mankind’s sorrow. One can take sorrow and uproot it in one’s life with the power of attention.
One may have a history of depression in the family but doctors are quick in terming it pathological. I’d say it’s more societal, environmental, cultural. Look at high suicide rate in some rich countries. But pathological problems do limit some people and there is a right place for drugs in certain cases. I’ve seen too many cases where doctors rush to drugs because that’s all they know.