This view may appear as a monologue. It may appear as a “loser’s” coping mechanism. But it may hold truth.
We are all born to lose.
Simple: all of us will die: we lose our houses, lovers, cars, education degrees, prestige–we lose everything.
But is this a bad thing?
It depends on our beliefs.
For an atheist, death turns us into maggot-meat and consciousness dissipates in the eternal wind.
For a Christian, non-believers get jabbed with Satan’s pitchfork and suffer in infinite other possible ways, forever. Yet, believers go to this gold-gleaming paradise with endless bliss and unlimited freedom.
For Buddhists and Hinduists, ones who commit heinous crimes like Hitler and Stalin come back as a lower life form such as a mindless cow chomping cud, or as a human with more severe mental issues to overcome on the way to enlightenment, which is the freedom from fear, the end of suffering.
For agnostics, they really do not know without enough evidence, while acknowledging the possibility of an infinite intelligence orchestrating the beauties and complexities of this universe.
Personally I lean towards Buddhism, but this is my personal feeling without diligent research.
However, maybe one could at least consider “enlightenment.” What if enlightenment–the end of suffering while in the world–was the ultimate end? What if all this insatiable striving for material success, for “making a name for yourself” or becoming “somebody,” or finding the “one,” is all just a Western misperception?
Undeniably, we all want this lasting state of “alrightness,” this sense of peace despite external circumstances, that deep untakeable peace that Viktor Frankl found in a Nazi death camp, who wrote Man’s Search for Meaning . That peace beyond understanding.
Nonetheless, I can imagine the exciting roller-coaster journey of “winning,” of standing with your toes sunk in the doughy sand, sonic-drinking from the surf and seagulls, knowing it was earned through smart and disciplined work. Or going out to the club, one’s heart beating to the music’s beat, letting go and dancing amidst a mass of moving bodies, effecting this unique sense of communion, especially when buzzed by margaritas. Or that intimate experience of the heart-beat from your lover while pressing your chest against his or hers.
Yet, this worldview of constantly pursuing glassy happiness or true love will fail to create lasting fulfillment because the external always changes. You will get old and not desire night-clubs anymore, or you will lose your money, or your lover will leave you. Everything external inevitably changes, will eventually disintegrate, will die.
Therefore, wouldn’t true freedom come from embracing the full acceptance of impermanence, especially death, to have not the slightest bit of fear of death and change? No fear of loss?
Yes, we need to care about external things to a certain extent so we function: so we work to eat, drink, sleep under safe shelter, maintain hygiene, and treasure those we love. But do we have to entangle our sense of self with these things that die? Do we need to feel that constant subtle anxiety from the overly-serious relationship to these things while we participate?
Can inner peace start here, now, not later, not after accomplishing this or that? Can we choose– at least gradually–to be present, here and now. To witness all of now’s sensations, both in the mind and the world?
Maybe we were born to lose our superficial sense of self conditioned deeply into the fabric of our consciousness from our culture. When I say “superficial sense of self” I mean this sense of being a “somebody” only after accomplishing or doing this or that.
What if you are already someone? Even without any major contributions yet? What if we became aware of this constant unease to be busy, and this awareness would allow us to loosen our grip, allowing peace?
Now, I would fit the criteria of an underachiever: making less than $20,000 a year and having a criminal record from a mental illness. And without having attained this state of Christ-consciousness, or enlightenment, I do not serve as the most credible voice of this eastern view.
Yet, what if the Buddhist/Hinduist is the most accurate of reality?
Then that means that most people, including me, are insane for taking these adult child’s games too seriously, acting like donkeys mindlessly and endlessly chasing carrots while fearing the whip.
We can’t deny that we will lose it all in the end: our beauty, physique, our body: everything.
Except, our consciousness may be eternal with the ultimate end of inner liberation: losing fear.
This may be worth contemplation, at the least.
Because we are born to lose.