In a world filled with conflict, war, chaos, suffering, starvation, loneliness, corruption, disease, and death, it’s easy to see things pessimistically. There is this prevalent notion that we are a product of our environment, so in order to make the world a better place, we need to change that environment. To complicate this issue, the notion of a need to change is so deeply a part of our conditioning, that we are brought up even from a young age to see change as a good thing, and the idea of striving for a better world is seen as an admirable, righteous, worthy cause. Furthermore, most cultures reinforce the “good” of change by instilling values of consumerism, technological activism, and a constant evolution in our fashion, music, literature, culture, and morality. We live in a world where change isn’t just considered a good thing, it’s considered an integral part of society, the world, life. We are conditioned to believe that change is an inevitable and necessary part of life, reinforced by the persistent and prevalent idea that change is a virtue, and driven by the fear that if we don’t change with the rest of the world, we’ll be left behind.
Yet although change does have a legitimate existence, it exists only as a construct of the Ego, a means of creating an illusionary sense of continuity between the was, the now, and the will be. We are really all part of the same flow, with one moment and the next ultimately just a different expression of the same existence, I am at my core the same person, and there is no difference between you, me, we, us, besides the differences we create for ourselves. Change itself does not have any legitimate meaning beyond what we assign to it, and change does only maintains and existence insofar as we validate it to strengthen the individual Ego as distinct from the whole. In truth, we are all part of the same thing, and the barriers between us are no more than decidedly different interpretations synthesized to forge “appreciation”. I believe different than you believe, but not because my beliefs are better, more valid, or even more useful to me than yours, but because through these differences I develop a unique appreciation of the world distinct from yours.
The truth is that the me of now, the me of them, and the me that is yet to be, there is no actual difference. I am you, we are them, reality is one, and one is all that is and is not. Opinions are differences of interpretation, and these differences separate the one from the all to facilitate appreciation. This is a good thing, for only in appreciation is life meaningful. The reason for the suffering is then not in the differences of opinion, but the ignorance of the purpose of these opinions. It is when people see opinions as a struggle of wills that conflict is created. Ignorance of the truth- that our diversity of opinions, interpretations, perspectives, and values are really just different ways of looking at the same thing- this rejection of the underlying unity of reality is where all suffering originates.
Consider now, where suffering, starvation, loneliness, death originate: Is it in neediness? If this were the case, then why are those living in luxury suffering just as much, if not more as those living with only a little? People with Type-A personalities, they strive for great wealth, power, prestige, and meaning in their lives, and many of them attain of it, but almost all of them die lonely, stressed, and overworked. Some of the happiest people in the world live their entire lives in poverty, never leaving their mark in the world. Drawing upon my own experience, the happiest days of my life were spent living homeless under a creek, not a penny to my name, my only resource food banks and soup kitchens, and the occasional 2-liter generic soda from collecting recyclables. I bathed in the creeks, lived my life poor and homeless, yet I was unbelievably happy. Why? Because I had no expectations beyond my daily needs, and there was no sense of change to cause me suffering. Time itself lost meaning in those days, and it was in this detachment from the expectation-driven reality of the rest of the world, that I finally found true happiness!
One recent scientific study showed that we we have a definitive choice between “meaning” and “happiness”, and that we will definitely have to choose between one and the other. This proves what Aldous Huxley already understood well, and illustrated powerfully in his book “A Brave New World”, a dystypia that illustrates the choice humanity must make between happiness and meaning in life. But I would argue that this choice only exists because of the false conception that meaning can only be found in change. There is this notion that we need to materialize meaning in order for it to exist, that meaning can only be validly synthesized out of change. But to me it is evident that this is fallacious thinking, as change is a illusory construct of the Ego, and furthermore, there is no need to create meaning when the world is already infinitely meaningful to begin with. We already have a world inherently full of meaning, so why would we need to create any more? Whatever meaning we create, as a byproduct of the infinite is, after all, a lesser and counterfeit meaning.
The world is already infinitely meaningful, and change is an illusion fed by the rejection of reality. We change our environment in the hopes of improving our reality or manifesting meaning, when really the key to infinite meaning and happiness lies in loving and accepting our world, our reality, and ourselves, and in realizing the light and beauty within all of us. When we stop rejecting reality and start realizing the beauty and positivity in everything, suffering and loneliness end, and bliss and the infinite meaning of oneness with the world begins. We start seeing the unifying flow in the world, stop noticing the differences between us, and appreciate the universal consciousness through which we are all connected at the core. So if you want to make the world a better place, stop trying to change things, and start loving and accepting the profound beauty and profound meaning of the world as it already is!