Life on Life's TermsLife on life's terms. Another often misunderstood phrase. The key word here is "Life". Is it possible the author meant to say something else? You know, like those folks who wrote the constitution or the original scrolls we call the bible. They're always having to have their works amended. They didn't write what they meant. Right?
I choose to look at things the way they are written and then if I don't like it or it doesn't work for me I just set it aside and look for something else.
The general translation most people make concerning this quote, boils down to, "Living Life on Societies terms". I don't see the word society in there. It says we "Live Life on Life's Terms". Life and society are often fused in to one fuzzy thought ball. I heard a commercial about some guy doing a job and getting these offered advantages to help him do his job better and at the end they said, "after all, your job is your life". Really? I didn't know that.
There is another commercial with a mom talking in the background saying how she can't be at school to look out for her daughter but she can make sure that her daughter "feels good about herself" by buying her a certain brand of clothes. According to these ads, as a society, we're nuts. What has a job, clothes, or societies got to do with life? If any thing this is all anti-life: don't think about life; think about how you look.
Another common re-writing is, "Life on gods terms". I don't see the word god in there either.
Let's consider the societal aspect of living life on life's terms. The confusion that exists for most people, in dealing with problems that arise, is they think the problems are a natural occurrence, stemming from life. That life has naturally brought forth both societies and troubles. It's often summed up during a trying time when someone responds to the totality of events with, "Oh well, that's life...". Why is it assumed that suffering, or just downright stupidity, is a natural product of life?
It may a probability for people. Put people on a planet and leave them there without any instructions and all sorts of nonsense will come out it. But by no means is it inevitable, and not a natural phenomena of life. The naturally occurring difficulties of life are almost exclusively - The Weather. What else is life throwing at us?
People constantly seek to establish their identity in reference to their society. This is really, really the hardest role to play. Very few people understand what shapes there society. Why do we have societies? Where do they come from? I'd say societies usually stem from trouble, which stem from people, who are living inside a not so good life-story. We had a pretty good start in the U.S. with the founding fathers trying everything they could think of to protect themselves from the reach of tyrants. The reality of tyranny was fresh in their minds and nothing was of more importance. It wasn't about religion or love your neighbor or the creation of a shining example of a democratic nation. In fact it is a Republic. It was simply-cover as many loop holes as they could think of-to keep them and, by default, the rest of us safe.
Keep in mind these guys thought of other people as their property. Some of them were on the side of the tyrants. This is a pretty good set up as societies go but it won't last forever. It's already a lot different than it was a few years ago and soon it will be even more different. Then it will be gone. All societies change, they die, through self destruction, destruction from outside intervention or natural disaster: there is no permanency to hold on too. So any identity based on societal elements has no permanent qualities to it. Its just a minor role in a short play.
On the other hand life has been going on a long time and there is no end in sight. Figuring out everything we can about it and how we are part of it will provide a clearer picture of ourselves. If we want to be part of life and truly live life on life's terms we need to relinquish our current roles. We really can't live life on life's terms and have our minds continuously occupied with something else. One of the concepts that constantly interferes with any chance of connecting with life is the idea of division.
We have divided it and classified it for communication purposes. We make boundaries between global regions and life sciences. We cut nature up into sections and give the sections names. We separate ourselves from each other as races, colors, ages, money classes. Life has no such boundaries so our whole mind set, our thought world never comes into contact with the reality of life. In short we don't know it. So we cannot live on it's terms. We don't know what they are. Do we? What are they? What are life's terms?
Only plants produce enough new oxygen to support life on Earth. In one year, an average tree inhales 12 kilograms (26 pounds) of CO2 and exhales enough O2 to keep a family of four breathing for a year.
How much are we involved in the stuff that works? This will tell us to what degree we are living life on life's terms. Do our schools work? Does our government work? Does the monetary system work? As far as I know the only thing that man does that really works well is that which copies or makes use of nature. Without depleting it or opposing it in any way.
All addiction is a form of escape. You could say all addiction is the attempt to escape life. But that's not true. No one wants to escape from life. The question we might ask is what has us so scared?
I wanted out of the frustration and confusion. I didn't understand what people were doing. That's not really accurate, I knew what they were doing, I didn't know why they were doing it. Today I have a real clear picture of the cause and motive in all the activities taking place around me. I still get frustrated but I don't feel an overwhelming need to be gone. In fact I never feel like escaping. What are we running from
People don't form these escape habits because they are in fear of real things, like being eaten by saber tooth tigers. It's not that kind of tangible event that causes the neurotic fear that leads to addiction. The fear I'm talking about here drives people to want everything to stop. It's a deep gnawing anxiety that seeps into the bones. It's the spirit killer. It will suck the joy from you until nothing else matters but relief at any cost. Suicide and addiction are sister symptoms of this fear.
There is nothing tiresome or grueling or scary about life on life's terms. Life on peoples terms, societies terms, is a different story. In fact it's a multitude of stories. In order to be free of the past and its stories we must become open minded investigators. We must be willing to not know anything. Before we can learn anything we must be willing to be wrong. I was wrong about a ton of stuff.
At one point I knew that I could discard all the ideas that had somehow gotten inside my head, with no ill effect. There was really nothing in there that couldn't go. At that point I was ready to start living. Before I ditched the nonsense all I'd done was quit using drugs. That was good, but I doubt I could have survived what my thoughts for long. Certainly not for the rest of my life on this planet.