“The beauty of the world is the mouth of a labyrinth. The unwary individual who on entering takes a few steps is soon unable to find the opening. Worn out, with nothing to eat or drink, in the dark, separated from his dear ones, and from everything he loves and is accustomed to, he walks on without knowing anything or hoping anything, incapable even of discovering whether he is really going forward or merely turning round on the same spot. But this affliction is as nothing compared with the danger threatening him. For if he does not lose courage, if he goes on walking, it is absolutely certain that he will finally arrive at the center of the labyrinth. And there God is waiting to eat him. Later he will go out again, but he will be changed, he will have become different, after being eaten and digested by God. Afterward he will stay near the entrance so that he can gently push all those who come near into the opening.” - Simone Weil “The beauty of the world is the mouth of a labyrinth. The unwary individual who on entering takes a few steps is soon unable to find the opening. Worn out, with nothing to eat or drink, in the dark, separated from his dear ones, and from everything he loves and is accustomed to, he walks on without knowing anything or hoping anything, incapable even of discovering whether he is really going forward or merely turning round on the same spot. But this affliction is as nothing compared with the danger threatening him. For if he does not lose courage, if he goes on walking, it is absolutely certain that he will finally arrive at the center of the labyrinth. And there God is waiting to eat him. Later he will go out again, but he will be changed, he will have become different, after being eaten and digested by God. Afterward he will stay near the entrance so that he can gently push all those who come near into the opening.” - Simone Weil

Mudita

Comparison Is A Thief Of Joy

Text: Alex Brown
Artwork: Bug
Mudita, like the evil twin of schadenfreude, is defined in the Buddhist tradition as the vicarious joy one gets through someone else’s good fortune. Arguably the least well-known of the four Buddhist virtues (the other three being loving kindness, compassion, and equanimity), Mudita requires one to tap into a particular strain of empathy. This is most likely a result of its subtlety and the exorbitant nuance dormant within it. It’s easy to feel sorry for (or laugh at) someone’s misfortunes; much harder to revel in their victories as if they were your own.
If you possess a misanthropic outlook towards mankind, subjugating humans as essentially evil and not worth being empathic towards puts you in a precarious place. You then cannot make any sort of headway into honest, unhostile love. The pandemic has been a rough period for everyone in varying degrees. It was a moment of solace and of course at times a bit boring and lonely. And when we feel fidgety, we always reach for the cell phone. This grasping is our attempt to not sit in the discomfort, and simply causes us further discomfort.
Try not to compare yourself to the endless feed of projected exterior imagery, self-deprecating or positive, both tend to be of not much use to us. Power-lust is not cute. Instead re-envision yourself anew, this is a great transition period for everyone to get out there and be present. Obliging ourselves not to posture a preconceived notion of who we are and what we represent. Dress up your little avatar flesh suit in a cute outfit, but don’t take it too seriously and hit those streets. Be the innocent little fishies we are, swirling around the sea together: non-judgmental, present, ready to take it all in and hopefully be surprised. Let’s try to project compassion first and jealousy last, the end goal is no self. So forget who you were this past year, and just let it all trickle off of you.