“Herein lies the crux of the matter. To stand face to face with insecurity is still not to understand it. To understand it, you must not face it but be it.”
— Alan Watts
Plainly and simply, our problems arise out of an illusion of separateness. When you believe that you are a complete individual and that your world is created by you and you alone, you miss out on a remarkable portion of life. Some people never realize that the individual isn’t really an individual, but part of the fabric of everything. You’re a thread that cannot be removed from the sweater. Nothing can be understood in isolation, and a certain calmness arises when you realize that all things and living beings are connected.
Western thinking is often thought to be at odds with this concept of unity and oneness, but take a second to think about even the most pedestrian laws of physics. Nothing is lost, nothing is created. Matter cannot be made anew or destroyed, just moved around. There is X amount of matter in the world and all it does is circulate. You are just a form in a universe of other forms, shifting slowly and imperceptibly into other forms across a timeline far vaster than your human life. Nothing is permanent or impertinent. It’s all just floating around.
This makes life feel remarkable. You can enjoy it without it feeling corny— you really are part of that tree, flower, mountain, and person you love. You’re a part of the homeless guy peeing on your car at 3am. You’re a part of every government building and religious institution in the world, no matter how convinced you are of this or that.
It does not matter how far away a concept or thing feels; you are in and of that thing as a being in the world. Even in death, you cannot leave. You will just become something new. This isn’t magical reincarnation, but a simple organic function.
Your fears and insecurities aren’t something “out there”. In the same sense, happiness cannot be achieved by searching. Regardless of your desired emotional state, it is not a goal nor an object, but a state you are capable of embodying right now. Once you drop your attachment to it, you realize that it is part of you, just like everything else. Instead of searching, yearning, and dying a slow death without ever feeling at peace, realize that you are where you need to be right now. Spend a few minutes each day simply existing, free of thoughts or illusions.