I’ve had some conversations about tranquility this week and some problems arose, such as isn’t my promoting tranquility in another person’s habits manipulating their right to be themselves? To which I responded that all conversation is manipulating the other persons thoughts, but in a way that in the longer view those persons would say that it was okay, and they want the input. It was surprising to me that the question of manipulation arose, because our society is immersed in various forms of mind manipulation that are clearly intended to take away your money, your time, your soul, and not for your personal benefit but for the benefit of those providers. That is what commercial advertising is, that is what employment is, that is what religion is, and yet those institutions are only occasionally given a timid chastisement for controlling others’ behavior and minds. It is strange that my stated goal of helping other people “to be more tranquil with themselves and content with the world around them” is challenged as being some form of moral subversion. Most people are okay with comics trying to make them temporarily happy, but even suggesting that you want to help them become long-term tranquil with themselves seems strangely offensive. Why?
One complaint was that they believed that if they were tranquil they wouldn’t get anything done; that is, they were motivated by being displeased with something and wanting to change it. To which I would say, “Can you change the past?”, to which the obvious answer is no, but they can be upset with it. But, who is upset, the past or you? It’s gone, and it will never return. You are here now, and you can choose to be angry or to be tranquil, which would you prefer? Obviously, you are only alive in the living moment, and your life is made up of living moments. So the question becomes, “Do you want to live the moments of your life in anger? Then why be motivated to challenge the things you don’t like about the past? How many things are there that you don’t like, and would voluntarily generate anger so you would have the energy to change them?”
Isn’t it possible to do things you would like to get done, but all the while be feeling really good and tranquil? Look at the physical reality of things and the ways they relate to one another, and respond to what you can do with those things, and ask yourself, “Can I be effective in changing those things without being angry?” Some sports competitors intentionally insult their opponents to make them angry, because they know that an angry person doesn’t think or even react with their best abilities. Doing something from an angry place will put those competitors at a disadvantage.
When you have inner tranquility you can use your abilities to their limits. When one knows that they are competent to do what they set out to do, then the inner state most likely to be most effective is that of tranquility.
People are who they are and creating tranquility in them is aided by accepting them as they are, a vast array of self-promoting habits.