April 15, 1994    Story

A Peaceful Mind

Sometimes, in late afternoons, when the sun is about to touch the ground, I find myself standing in some ordinary place, thinking about my own life. I see everything around me tinted orange by the sun. Suddenly the scenery puts me into an introspective mood. I am forced to reflect on my own life. A feeling of guilt torments my body. “Another day just passed...,” I think to myself. No matter how hard I think, I cannot figure out where this guilt is coming from. What else could I have done today? What am I supposed to be doing with my life? I tell myself not to feel guilty. Along with guilt, loneliness and emptiness would hit me hard. They are one and the same thing.

Why can’t I accept my emptiness? Why am I so afraid of it? Life is a constant battle with time. Time is pain. I am constantly worried about how I could fill the time that is coming ahead of me, about how I could avoid facing empty time which mirrors my own emptiness inside so vividly and accurately.

A pretty girl walks by. I entertain a thought about how she could easily fill my emptiness and the empty time ahead of me. I’m running away from freedom. I’m scared of freedom. I just don’t know what to do with it. I know myself well enough to realize that somewhere in my mind I am craving for a relationship which would let me forget about myself like a TV would. I want her to take away my freedom. Isn’t this the ultimate totalitarianism? Aren’t we all seduced to totalitarianism while we detest it morally? Aren’t we all seduced to the idea that our government, our jobs, our family, our media, and so on to take control of our lives? Do we really love freedom like we say we do? In a painting class, isn’t it always easier, when we are told what to paint? Why do people pay someone to force them to lose weight, when they know so well that all they have to do is not eat?

Don’t dedicate your life to anything or anyone. Don’t lead a self-sacrificial life. That is only an easy way out of your self-less existence. You are only sacrificing the self that was empty in the first place. So, essentially, you are not sacrificing anything.

There is such a world where the concept of time vanishes, where there is nothing but void, where there is no such thing as a philosophical question, and where I can smile at the large orange sun that is about to set. Such a world is even logically conceivable. The Bible called it heaven. I call it a peaceful mind.