Doing is divine, so let’s grind through the quarantine!
Doing is divine. Consumption is grotesque. Yet our society has fallen into the trap of consumerism. Nonetheless, we ignore the risks of relying on a consumer economy, and we continue to prop up companies which thrive on exploiting us through excess consumption. Every section of our society, economy and daily life seems to be geared towards consumption, as if we’re convinced it’s possible to infinitely consume. Production is delegated to a select few, and seen as a niche concept which the general public should be discouraged from. Whether intellectual, industrial or artistic production, most consume, and few produce.
This overload of consumption has forced into a state of input overload. We are feeding our minds trash, and our thoughts reflect this to us. Our inner selves are obese, lethargic and overindulgent addicts, addicted to information and dopamine. Our inward lights are being quenched by the constant downpour of toxic information and diet sodas we incessantly gulp down. Is this not a terrible, unfortunate and sickening situation?
In times when the outer world has consumed the inner, it is important to remember that the self is half the world. I mean this in a similar sense to the old Persian saying “Esfahān nesf-e- jahān ast”: Isfahan is half (of) the world, said because the city was so rich with culture. Our inward selves are rich with culture in the same way. Our inward selves are a constituent element of experience, and one of the two frames of perception, the other being the outward experience.
Tragically, many of us have lost the inward self through the deception and usury of society, which has lured us out of the refuge and enlightenment of inward existence. We have been sold false promises of immediate pleasures. False promises of money and power and careers and resumes and retirement accounts and pension plans and social security and tax planning and reverse mortgages: falsehoods which can appeal only to the ego. In this process, our ego has been nourished and the other pieces of the psyche, like smaller trees starved of sunlight by the canopies above, have not had the chance to grow.
Imagine if only we could grow these other pieces of ourselves to be as towering as our egos. What magnificent worlds of being would we unlock? What mysterious transcendent truths lie just beyond the grasp of our comprehension? And how can we grow these other pieces of ourselves?
We must do. We must become doers. Hands to work, hearts to god, as the Shakers would say. The simple act of doing — making — creating — is the divine ideal.
Whether Hindu, Taoist, or Christian, all religious conceptions of the world emphasize the divinity of doing, in one way or another.
- The Hindu sees the universe as a big act — the “acting” of the universe — that existence is a grand drama and we are all but actors in a play of consciousness.
- The Taoist views the world rather more as an organism growing in a system of orderly anarchy. This is known as “Wu Wei”, literally translated as “not forcing”, which means to “jive” with the universe, so to speak.
- The Abrahamic Christian sees the world as having been built from an act of divine carpentry, from God who crafted the world by speech.
Note the importance of action in each conception of the world, and note the implication: being necessitates doing, and doing is the act of God.
As said in John 1:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
If we all work diligently at the tasks we are given, and better the world piece by piece as we do, and take no time for distractions or other needless, mindless uses of our time, and we work in congruence with the natural order, and we complain little and be thankful often, and we hold the continuance of this grand drama — organism — construction — whatever this is — in the utmost regard, and we speak with honesty and truth, and we ensure regeneration over degeneration, and we continue the positive-sum game of biology and existence itself — the expansion of complex novelty — then, we will have made heaven on earth. God’s kingdom lies in wait for those who are courageous enough to work for it.
Let us make enough love that we can take all we need. As was so beautifully said:
And in the end,
The love you take
Is equal to the love you make
~ The Beatles