Public Enemy were onto something. They really were. Their song title ‘Don’t believe the hype’ has profound ramifications when applied to our own beliefs. We have consumed so many ideas of what will fulfill us, so much propaganda.
The mind churns out all sorts of formulas for what will make us happy. Don’t believe any of it. It’s all rubbish. All of it.
I’m not talking of practical issues of survival or health, etc. I’m talking about wanting more than that. I’m talking about dukkha, that insatiable existential itch that always comes back no matter how many times you scratch it.
The mind comes up with endless and repetitive ways of scratching that itch. But everything you think will make you happy – none of it will fill that deep dark hole inside you. Yes, it may give you some temporary pleasure, perhaps even some longer lasting pleasure too, but that void inside of you that tugs and tugs away at your insides returns saying “I want more, I want more…“:
It’s even worse when people are involved. Then the “If onlys” start:
If only he did it this way
If only she shut up a bit
If only he was more considerate
If only she did not complain so much
If only he talked less
If only she talked more
Worse still are the “shoulds“:
I should have done ‘x’
He shouldn’t have done ‘y’
I can’t believe ‘z’ happened. ‘z’ so shouldn’t have happened
When it comes to spiritual matters, it’s just as bad, more hype:
I want to feel good forever and ever and ever
I want God to protect me and make me feel good (forever)…
I want to pray/meditate/go to church/satsang more…
I want to be able to do those yoga poses
I want to know all those scriptures and read all those books
I want the ultimate Understanding
I want Enlightenment
See, it’s all bogus. Phoney. Whatever you attain can be lost. I’ll repeat that – whatever you attain can be lost.
Any conceptual understanding gained is a concept that can be doubted or questioned. Eternal Happiness is right here and now. It is ever-present, just waiting to be noticed. And how do you notice it? Just by noticing the truth that you have believed the hype and created your misery.
Don’t believe the hype – then the misery and nagging itch inside that longs for more – that all disappears. And ‘you’ disappear along with it all, for all ‘you’ are is a bundle of thoughts. And what is left when ‘you’ disappear? Ahh, the sweetness of it all…indescribable
So next time you want something really bad, next time you think you know what will make you happy, take my advice: think again. What are you looking for? Will that really make you happy? As I said, it’s all rubbish. See through it all. Remember: don’t believe the hype.