What Is Life: A Solo Podcast with Kapil Gupta

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Key Takeaways

  • Pretty much everything we do results from a desire to feel good
  • “There is no significance to anything. And the reason there’s no significance to anything? Because nothing lasts.”
    • How can there be anything significant about something that doesn’t last?
    • “Everything in this life is temporary. Therefore how can it have any significance.”
  • “Happiness, sadness, joy and misery, are all the same”
    • Why? – They only exist in relation to each other
    • “There would be no need for happiness if there was no misery”
    • When one thing requires another, it doesn’t in fact exist
  • “While there is everything in this life, it is all a mirage. It’s passing clouds. It’s one explosion after another. It’s sound that comes and goes. And we as humans get in the way, and as we get in the way, we feel as if it is happening to us, but in reality, things happen in the vicinity of ourselves. They do not really happen to us, because there really is no ‘us’ for them to happen to.”

Intro

What is Life?

  • There are so many angles from which one can view something – an idea, and experience etc.
    • “One can view anything, and all, from any perspective”
    • “The mind is infinite, it travels to all domains in a flash”
  • We’re told by society that we should do this and that, and we should view life from this perspective, and that life is about happiness, and life is about helping other people…
    • “But what is helping other people but a chance to make oneself feel good?”
  • There’s nothing negative or positive about anything – the only question is, “What is the truth?”

We All Just Want to Feel Good

  • “The fundamental existence of many is the desire to feel good”
    • Is this what life is about?
      • We wish to succeed, so that we may feel good
      • We wish to help others, so that we may feel good
      • We wish to become wealthy, so that we may feel good
    • “Everything is related to an ulterior motive for one to feel good”
  • “There are no negatives or positives here. There is no right and wrong. There is no good and bad. It isn’t wrong or negative to want to feel good. It’s an examination of the truth.”

What is life to Kapil?

  • “I think it’s a falling leaf. I think it’s a river that flows toward the ocean without having any interest in arriving at the ocean, nor any interest in being proud of its effort of moving towards the ocean.”
  • “I think it’s the wind that blows…a knock on the door…a clapping of ones hands. Anything and everything that has nothing at all to do with the intellect. That is life.”
  • “Anything at all that does not involve the domain of thought and thinking, or strategizing or intentionality, or wanting to achieve, or hoping to provide, or desiring to gain, or needing to give….where there are not even the seeds of rules, where there isn’t even the shadow of hope. Where what is, is. And there is no opinion about what is.”

There is No Significance to Anything

  • “There is no significance to anything. And the reason there’s no significance to anything? Because nothing lasts.”
    • How can there be anything significant about something that doesn’t last?
    • “Everything in this life is temporary. Therefore how can it have any significance.”
  • Humans feel a constant need for replenishment…to displace what has disappeared – NOTHING is permanent

A Myth That Leads Us All Astray

  • One of the essential myths that lead humans astray – the need to become happy
  • “Happiness, sadness, joy and misery, are all the same” 
    • Why? – They only exist in relation to each other (they’re interdependent)
      • “There would be no need for happiness if there was no misery”
      • “Because they are interdependent, they cannot survive in their own soil”
      • When one thing requires another, it doesn’t in fact exist – It is only a reaction to (aka it is spawned by).
      • Something that is real/true, exists in its own domain – “It depends on no one, and nothing”

Back to the Question of, “What is life?”

  • Let’s think backwards, what isn’t life?
    • “When all the things that one has believed to be significant, when all the things that one has believed to be real, and all the beliefs that one has had are removed…when they are seen through, when they are recognized as a whim of the mind, and an embodiment of societal influence, then the amorphous, unspeakable, nameless, non-entity that remains, is the closest thing to the truth.”
    • “While there is everything in this life, it is all a mirage. It’s passing clouds. It’s one explosion after another. It’s sound that comes and goes. And we as humans get in the way, and as we get in the way, we feel as if it is happening TO us, but in reality, things happen in the vicinity of ourselves. They do not really happen to us, because there really is no ‘us’ for them to happen to.” 

An Important Caveat

  • Don’t just read into the above words
    • “The words must have a communion with one’s interiority, without being touched by the filtering mechanism of the mind, for the filtering mechanism of the mind will repackage them into untruth.”
    • A habit of the mind – it recognizes that when a human hears truth, its job is to remove him as quickly as possible from that truth, in order to keep him within the domain of the mind
    • THIS IS SO IMPORTANT – “Whatever gets through gets through, and what does not, does not.”
      • “Involvement is interference”

What is Life?

  • “It’s nothing and everything. And all the things that one has thought his life really was, it really is not.”
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