Life is Fucked

By Seamus Anthony

How’s that for a positive “personal development” message?

But it’s true; life on Earth is actually pretty fucked up.

We live on an insane planet full of misery, illness and evil. Right now millions of people are dying of horrible illness, injuries caused by accidents, crime and war or they are starving to death. They are starving to death because of “man’s inhumanity to man”, in other words they are dying because those in power are too evil and selfish to do the right thing.

People, often innocent women and children, are terrified, injured and/or dying because of war. Stop and think for a minute what war is, how truly insane and disgusting it is: Governments sending armed soldiers (usually under-educated, immature men who have been encouraged to act like savages) with high-tech weaponry to tear other people’s flesh, to smash heads and bodies in a splatter of gore, to put other people through massive, unbearable agony, burning, disfiguring, severing limbs – babies, children, women, men. The horror is so hard to face up to, so easy to ignore and yet so real for a great number of people.

“Disgusting”, you mutter – but ask yourself this: did you vote for a government that willingly sanctioned this kind of behaviour? Even Obama, while I am more than happy to give him the benefit of the doubt (God knows we could use a saviour) is, unfortunately, more than likely to give the green light to acts of barbarism and violence at some point in his reign.

You Were Never Asked If You Wanted To Be Here

Think about it. It’s one of the greatest tragedies of life, that we were squeezed out of our mother’s wombs only to discover sooner or later that we landed in a world of pain and suffering, some unnecessary, but ultimately unavoidable.

And for what purpose? Nobody knows. Some claim to know, but truly, nobody has a clue why we exist.

And we don’t exist for very long either. If you’re in your twenties, then I’ve got news for you: in the blink of an eye you’ll be in your mid-thirties and you’ll be wondering where the hell all that endless time went as life forces you to work and work and work and work…

So there it is, we all live pointless, doomed lives, and before you and your loved ones eventually die, you will no doubt experience suffering to some extent – most likely by painful, drawn-out illness.

So What Are You Going To Do About That?

That’s my point: Life is precious so what are you going to do with it?

And what are you going to do about all the extra, needless and easily avoidable suffering that evil people and corrupt systems add to the heap on top of the unavoidable sufferings of life? And this question goes for me too because – mark my words – I am as guilty of selfishness and inaction as the next guy.

What are you going to do? Fiddle with another wordpress widget while precious time slips away and while children watch their parents maimed and murdered? Write another top-ten-ways-to-hit-the-front-page-of-Digg while parents watch their children die of curable diseases because drug companies are too profit-driven to reach out and help? Watch another episode of Law and Order when you could be letting your light shine and inspiring people to build a better world?

These are the realities I am facing up to in 2009. What about you? Because soon my friend, you and I will be dead – and what if we ARE held accountable at the end? Will we hang our heads in shame? At this point I still believe that I would, and given the fact that death can come at any time, I know that I need to change this about myself and get moving.

It’s time to mobilize, people! Get busy!

Seamus AnthonyBy Seamus Anthony

Hi, I'm Seamus Anthony. I am an author, artist and musician from Australia. Here at Rebel Zen, I document my journey as an creative artist and human and in doing so, hopefully help you in your own progress through your life of creativity. Go get your free E-book by me: "Taming The Monkey Mind".

19 comments Write a comment

  1. My one gift is getting to the core of something.

    My hope is that via the web it is possible to provide widely information to improve people’s health greatly. The most important factor for health (after physical needs are looked after) is agency – having control over your own life.

    Blogging is a great media for providing this kind of content.

    So, I’m doing it – only small at the moment but with potential to grow hugely.

  2. Wow… Where did that come from?

    I don’t know if there’s much most of us can do to save the world. I’m doing my best to save my little corner of it, most of the time at least. Maybe you’re right, maybe that isn’t enough. But maybe it could be.

  3. @Evan and ShadowDuck – certainly no feel good article but sometimes we need to get away from ‘feelgood’ and just step up and face the pointy end of life. My purpose in writing like this today – and in posting that very challenging photo – is to remind me and you that life is a gift … but it’s a gift with a dark side. So the challenge is how we respond to that – with blinkers or with courage?

  4. Seamus, brother, I feel your pain. Evan and ShadowDuck hit on it. It is about holding true to sharing the love, starting with those closest to you and work your way out as far as your circumstances allow. It is painful to see so much wrong that is out of your ability to do much about. The Zen way is not about focusing on the the negative but putting as much energy as possible in the positive, creating the growth that is the only means of countering the ugly dark side. Be patient and continue spreading the light as far as you are possible. That light will spread to others who will in turn spread it through their respective networks. It has taken a lot of ego, work and time to create the the mess that is causing your pain. We must be patient as it will take time to get better. I have had the benefit of working with many college and high school athletes. Through my interaction with them I have faith that there will be noticeable humanitarian strides for the positives as they come to power. Seamus, my brother, just keep sharing the love. Meditation is a most powerful tool of peace and harmony through its ability to enhance self realization. You are already doing more than you know.

  5. It’s interesting how this “life is fucked” theme is spreading around a bit. I guess I’m just blessed that I was born a natural optimist. I don’t care how bad anything gets, I can find a sunny side. This isn’t sticking my head in the sand. It’s simply choosing what I want to focus on and expand. I remember we had a vacation scheduled the day after 9/11. We went and decided to enjoy ourselves. Others more rocked by the experience couldn’t get this. But it’s all only judgment and perspective.

    I’m pleased you turned your post around. Kinda thought you would. My philosophy is this. Do things that you really want to do so you become more able to be more generous with others. The world doesn’t need any more victims.

  6. “What about you? Because soon my friend, you and I will be dead – and what if we ARE held accountable at the end? Will we hang our heads in shame?” ~ Seamus

    Using fear and shame to motivate yourself or others to action will lead to more suffering.

    Reality contains the fucked, non-fucked and an infinite number of fucked flavors in between. It is complete.

  7. @Greg – thank you for your uplifting comments. It is obvious you are a very compassionate man.
    @Tom – No, no more victims needed.
    @MonkMojo – It is important to note that I do not necessarily believe or disbelieve (is that a word?) in judgment or karma. BUT if either do exist then it would be good to be prepared, and even if they don’t I want to make positive contributions in this lifetime anyway. I don’t know if I agree with your comment about using fear and shame to motivate people, at least not in this context. We actually all should be, I think, a little ashamed of ourselves because let’s face it, there are very few of us in the first world who do anywhere near as much for the less fortunate as we could or should.

    But I do agree with you that reality is complete as it is, Good and bad, Taoism and all that, but that’s no excuse for inaction or lack of compassion.

    It is important for me to point out here that I wrote this article not in a state of emotional despondency but more to get a reaction in the hope that we (myself included) might be spurred on to do more dynamic work to further the positive evolution of life on Earth. I was trying to stir things up a bit because the personal development blogging scene could use a good shake up right now, the lists of “how-to’s” by armchair gurus (myself included) are getting very stale and if I am to continue with Rebel Zen then I need it to cut through somehow, to actually mean something not just be another limp biscuit self-help blog.

    I have read some very aggressive comments under a couple of my articles in Digg lately that while being fundamentally NQR in their blanket dismissiveness of the personal development scene, still struck me as being somehow on the money, i.e. stop spewing theory and get it done. This is my aim this year – Just do it already.

  8. Dude good post, that should give the lifehacker types something to think about on their holidays 🙂

    That is a disturbing pic, but it is reality, and one that everyone participates in to some degree.

    Although what we can do at this stage to turn around the juggernaut of economic growth and civilization that causes pics like this is very hard to know

  9. Pingback: Life is Wonderful | Rebel Zen

  10. OK, first of can’t only look at the bad in life. Not to say we should bury our heads in the sand and pretend it isn’t there. And the ONLY way to ever change the bad is to expose it to the light. Having gone through life-threatening medical situations, I am grateful for life and good health. Yes,life is brief and fleeting, which is precisely why we should make the most of it. Yes, we are going to die, but my faith tells me that death is not the end. I once read an anecdote about a man approaching a town and encountering an old man and a younger one. “What are the people like in this town?” asked the man. “What were they like where you are from?” responded the old man. “Oh,wonderful. The people are helpful, kind, and friendly.” “That is what it is like here”, replied the old man. Delighted, the traveller went on into the town. Not long after, another man came along and asked the same question. Again, the old man asked about where the visitor came from. “Terrible! The people were gossipy, mean, and selfish.” “That is what it is like here.” said the old man. When this man had moved on, the younger man at last spoke up. “They asked you the same thing, but you told each man differently. Why?” “Because”, said the old man, “That is what they will find.”
    So you see, alot of the way things are depends on attitude. Bad things happen, and if I knew why, I’d be God. As for why we are here, I believe it is to help one another, to care about each other, and to leave the world just a little better than we found it. No, we didn’t ASK to be born, so the question is…would you rather not have been??
    Sure there are times when things just basically stink. But we can’t let that overshadow the good stuff. And if you look around, you will see it. But not if you are looking cynically.
    One final thought..if you don’t like the way things are, DO something! It is a cliche, but true..a small pebble can send ripples across a wide lake.

  11. Hi Lori,

    I pretty much agree with everything you said there, although my jury is out on the afterlife question (I’m open to it but I see no convincing proof for either argument).

    This has in a way been a slightly problematic couple of posts (see latest post for the flipside to this one) because it is easy for people to get me wrong, but I wanted to post something that made people stop and think so I guess it has worked from that perspective. I wonder if readers are getting to the end where I make my point, and even if they are getting it once I make it – i.e. getting that I am not despondant but rather I just think we need to look at the blunt realities of life square in the eye rather than bury our heads in nice fluffy pillows of New Age guff.

    All I am saying is: “Life is wonderful AND fucked – so what are you gonna do about it?” I am not saying “Life is fucked – so let’s all go slash our wrists”!

  12. Thanks for this post man. I agree that it is a good idea to shake up the web-based personal development scene. I hope, and am pretty sure, that you are not dismissing the posts you’ve written in the past about the expansion of consciousness as airy-fairy spiritual claptrap. It’s tempting to see people who advocate purely political change like electing someone or violent revolution as the only people who are “doing something,” but I think you agree the quality of consciousness we bring to our doings has got to be in alignment if we are going to lessen the suffering in the world.

  13. I’d like to quote something from Bertrand Russell’s “A Free Man’s Worship”:

    “United with his fellow-men by the strongest of all ties, the tie of a common doom, the free man finds that a new vision is with him always, shedding over every daily task the light of love. The life of Man is a long march through the night, surrounded by invisible foes, tortured by weariness and pain, towards a goal that few can hope to reach, and where none may tarry long. One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish from our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death. Very brief is the time in which we can help them, in which their happiness or misery is decided. Be it ours to shed sunshine on their path, to lighten their sorrows by the balm of sympathy, to give them the pure joy of a never-tiring affection, to strengthen failing courage, to instil faith in hours of despair. Let us not weigh in grudging scales their merits and demerits, but let us think only of their need–of the sorrows, the difficulties, perhaps the blindnesses, that make the misery of their lives; let us remember that they are fellow-sufferers in the same darkness, actors in the same tragedy as ourselves. And so, when their day is over, when their good and their evil have become eternal by the immortality of the past, be it ours to feel that, where they suffered, where they failed, no deed of ours was the cause; but wherever a spark of the divine fire kindled in their hearts, we were ready with encouragement, with sympathy, with brave words in which high courage glowed.”

    I know it’s long, but it has the same theme -life is fucked. But it holds the truth of the human condition: we can’t change some parts, but we can try to make the burdens of others lighter while we’re here. Within us is the power to help or harm, and our only obligation is help where we can and avoid harming others, where possible.

    Every ethical tradition says this. Every mature religion says this. And, at rock bottom, we all know it’s true.

    So, what’s fucked about life is not that it’s fucked, but that we’re so willing to let it stay that way.

  14. I have a clue why we exist!
    life is just a transitory period. We are here to go to the next period but here is where we decide to go, that would be either heaven or hell -if you believe in them-
    if you don’t, keep looking for a reason because all people are not there randomly.

  15. Ok, here is my take. Feel free to bash me, because I know that will make some people feel better.

    We are either here as a fluke or folly. What we do is most likely going to have little or no impact in the long term. No one actually has any REAL answers that make any indisputable evidence. I’ve only got forty years of experience to relate, but the only plan I’ve really got is to suffer fools and try to make enough monetary gains to maintain my existence until I die that will keep those directly related to me physically/emotionally happy (In example food, shelter, entertainment). I don’t have any spiritual leanings that offer any solace. I hate to use the phrase “quiet desperation”, but I can’t find a better fitting phrase. So, I go to my job every day and perform meaningless tasks. I am in a position that I must dole out leadership to those who don’t ask any of the important questions. It’s easy to regurgitate what the higher-ups tell me to say to them. I conform outwardly as if I’m in complete agreement with people who can only see as far as the nose in front of them. And I wait for my useless existence to end. It is true that I could dedicate my life to helping others in hopes of a feeling of self-righteousness that I could use to hold others in contempt (as I have seen none too often). But, the fact of the matter is, I have found no real truth as to why we are here or what purpose it serves. I would, however find some reassurance in knowing that there are others out there who feel the same way and are searching for the tiniest morsel of Truth. Even if you don’t have answers, just knowing that someone else feels my discontent would help. I appreciate your time (which to me is the most valuable commodity) and patience. If you can dispel my disbelief please lend me your thoughts.

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