This is a conversation between Teo (The Enlightened One) and Gwaq (Guy Who Asks Questions):
What are you going to talk about today?
I’m going to talk about existence — nothing exists unless we think it exists.
Are you saying that if you don’t believe I exist, then I don’t exist?
Yes. If a man died of AIDS in Africa, and I didn’t know that — he never existed.
So if I punch you — and you flinch, and hurt, and bleed — could I still NOT exist?
If I refused to believe, you still wouldn’t exist.
That’s just insane!
I don’t believe in insanity. Insanity is but a shell some people choose to put on, in order to escape from, if you will forgive the expression, the insanity of this world.
Now you’re being self-delusional.
And what is that? I never heard of such a term, nor do I want to believe it. What did you just say?
You’re being childish and immature.
I would prefer it if you used the term “childlike” — and I’ve never heard of this word, this, “immature”.
What’s the point of this conversation? I can’t believe you wasted my time!
Ah… expectations — imagine if you never expected this talk to be fruitful, to be meaningful, would you be as upset as you are now?
Well, I guess not.
Does happiness not lie in the ceasing of expectations?
Of course not. If we didn’t expect anything there would be no progress — people would just accept everything as it is.
And there’s something wrong with that?
Of course. There are many things we can improve upon. Slavery would still be here if there was no progress.
But is all progress actually good? It seems progress is just a constant cycle of repairing the damage we have caused ourselves through previous bouts of “progress”.
Slavery for instance, was a form of “progress” once — people found that using others as slaves could enable them to spend more time doing more important things like thinking and philosophising — that to them was “progress”.
But surely some progress has to be good?
Progress always has its pros and cons — in the end, we end up with just as many problems as we had when we started trying to solve them.
Advances in technology have enabled us to reduce pollution — the very same pollution that advances in technology helped create.
But it isn’t right to just accept everything without looking to improve. What sort of life would that be?
It would be a content life.
It would be a boring life
…thank you, Teo.