On July 16, 2017, I tagged along with my hubby to his live interview at the ANC Top Story (Abs-Cbn) regarding the recent armed conflict in the country. But I decided to stay at the network’s conference room and waited for him.
I embraced the idle moment by reading. But few minutes passed, I decided to go to the end corner of the studio, sat behind the cameraman and watched the live show in front.
As usual, my hubby used the analogy of Sisyphus, an absurd hero in Greek Mythology who rolled a large stone to the top of a hill from which it rolled down again.
Chaos and tranquillity continued to exist on the opposite sides. War and peace in the country was a never-changing loop. The peace remained on the process and the process remained in “the midst of” and never reached its end.
Therefore, war was never finished; and peace never existed. War never ended. When one war ended, another one will surface. Brawling never ended. Everyone exchanged blows with one another. When one fight was over, another one will come.
As Boy George sings, “War, war is stupid and people are stupid and love means nothing to some strange quarters.” War!
War remained war. There can never be peace without war on the other hand. Perhaps, peace is war because some of us who are doltish lovers need to rage in war.
But the only war that we must occupy ourselves is the never-ending fight with the only enemy: the lower self. Once the battle with this antagonist comes to an end, quietus will be brought to fruition.
Affected by world capitalism; influenced by religious fundamentalism; transformed by global modernism; governed by political organism; and perhaps infected by the microorganism of the tyrannical ego, we created more chaos.
As we remained in a muddle, we can never be free of the difficulties of lifepeace.
How can we delight in stillness when our egoistic lifestyles are surrounded by competitiveness?
How can we create a good governance when leadership is being exercised with unscrupulousness?
How can we escape from fear of world war when every sovereign wants to keep ahead of its opponents and all the Mephistophelian dignitaries amuse themselves and cackle delightfully in playing dirty tricks and games with the world and its citizens?
We cannot enjoy the world as a manifestation of love and unity if we refuse to use spiritual ammunitions and become guns that could just fire bullets of love and aim for nothing except fighting for the love of the One.
Some of us wanted to stay at the summit and carry heavy loads. We never desired to escape from the hurly-burly of earthly life and dissolute pursuits that we have the resemblance to the absurdity of Sisyphus.
“He is as much so through his passions as through his torture. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” Says Camus.
Cloaked by the mantle of egoism, we loved to occupy ourselves with tasks which are Sisyphean in nature: physically demanding, repetitious but never finished.
We find pleasure as we hankered for the corporeal world, hence, we never stop fighting and killing one another.
Akin to Sisyphus’ joy, albeit temporary, we find blissfulness as we carried a huge rock on our shoulders only to find ourselves mangled by the heaviness of our worldly ambitions and useless aspirations in the end.
What is the use of hankering for insignificant matters that could damage our essential nature? What is the advantage of struggling to reach the highest point of our shallow passions such as power, wealth and eminence that in the wink of an eye we will only leave them behind when we depart this life?
A heaven-sent advice from Hafiz would somehow transform us into warriors of the untamed ego and lovers of the greatest love,
“Run my dear, from anything that may not strengthen your precious budding wings. Run like hell my dear, from anyone likely to put a sharp knife into the sacred, tender vision of your beautiful heart.”
The temptation of the world; the pleasure of the flesh; and the whisper of the evil-commanding ego could shackle us if we will not run like hell from these real enemies.
If we change the world by dropping bombs or using firearms to end lives, we cannot create satisfactory resolution instead we create a world full of explosive annoyance that will definitely throw us into the blazing fire of material and spiritual upheavals.
Unless we change what is inside our hearts, no god can change our conditions, no master can transform our dispositions and no miracle can quieten our unsound minds. We remained blinded by the shallowness of the rebellious ego: to become a powerful and an affluent ignoramus.