A Life Built on Shifting Sands – A Solo Podcast with Kapil Gupta

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Key Takeaways

  • A human being is ALWAYS putting out fires – there is always something going on that needs to be fixed
  • Every smiling face on social media is hiding a life full of sorrow
  • “This is an empty, meaningless, purposeless existence”
    • “And if there is freedom, which there is, and if there is true peace, which there is, it lies precisely in seeing the full nature and breadth of the emptiness”
  • EVERYTHING eventually turns to dust

Intro

Building a House on Sand

  • Kapil tells the story of a man who came upon a beach, and decided to build a house there to spend the rest of his life
    • Over time though, the people he surrounds himself with, and his profession, everything really, begins to leave an impression upon him, and begins to change him
  • “After years, he doesn’t recognize who he is anymore. He finds that the things that he says are the very same things that others in his life say. He finds himself going through strange emotions such as anxiety, turmoil, pain, fear, and sadness. He begins to have many questions, but all the answers he receives prove to be dead ends. And then he dies never having rekindled or reacquired the freedom that he had when he first arrived at the beach many years ago.”

Why does this happen?

  • “There is this instinctive belief of the mind that the procurement of things, the additions to one’s life in the form of people and wealth and friendships and success….that all of these things bolster a man’s life and create more meaning and purpose, and that they create a richer experience of life.”
    • But if a man really examines his life – “He’ll come to see he’s lost. In every aspect of his life, there are varying degrees of turmoil and unrest. There are endless fractures. Everything in his life is broken, and he’s in the stage of mending and repairing it.”
    • A human being is ALWAYS putting out fires – “There is always something going on that needs to be fixed. NOTHING is ever perfect.”

Why is life such a struggle?

  • “The reason that life is such a struggle is because the human being believes that pleasure leads somewhere”
    • We attach ourselves to people, places, and things because we have not SEEN that pleasure leads only to pain…that attachments lead to NOTHING BUT TURMOIL

What is life really like for 99.99% of us?

  • “Man lives in society, meets with empty people, says empty things, and has a mind that won’t stop chatting. He pursues things in order to help stop it from chatting, and the things he pursues fail at every single turn. He’s told to keep practicing them because he’s told that one day it will come. He then reads books that tell him silly and stupid things which don’t mean anything. He follows one prescription after another in order to get somewhere yet NEVER arrives there.”
    • “Man lives as an addict to his electronic devices”
    • “He reads news about politics that have nothing to do with him. He creates identities in the form of political parties and various different factions and groups in order to add so called purpose and meaning to the emptiness that he considers to be himself.”
    • “He uses exogenous substances such as alcohol, drugs, and other things in order to anesthetize himself from the arduous and tragic state of his life”
  • “This is why I’m almost insulted when I see people smiling” 
    • Every smiling face on social media is hiding a life full of sorrow

Sand Must Shift

  • “When a life is built upon shifting sands, what else could possibly happen but it’s destruction and demolition”
  • “The life that we live, is actually unlivable”
    • The things that we look forward to, lead only to more anticipation 
    • “EVERYTHING is a dead end”

So what should one do?

  • Well – the reason you’re asking this is because you want to “get somewhere”
    • If you didn’t want to “get anywhere” you wouldn’t ask this
    • “The very idea of trying to get somewhere implies there is somewhere to get”
  • So should you just “be”? 
    • Shut up

What You Need to Realize to Obtain Freedom (this is not a prescription)

  • “This is an empty, meaningless, purposeless existence”
    • “And if there is freedom, which there is, and if there is true peace, which there is, it lies precisely in seeing the full nature and breadth of the emptiness”
      • “It is standing with full witness to the plasticness of this society”
  • You need to realize…
    • In the end, your spouse will leave you or die…if you don’t die or leave them first
    • No matter how wealthy you are, you won’t take a nickel with you
    • You will not be cognizant of ANY of your success after you die
    • “Whether your name is celebrated and printed in books, or your grave is stepped upon, is something you will never know”
    • “All things lead to dust”
  • If there is a secret to “freedom”…
    • It’s to recognize that all things lead to dust while one lives

The Greatest Truth

  • “The greatest truth is that there is nothing…there is nothing in anyone’s life of any significance whatsoever”
  • “If man wishes to pursue something, because the pursuit gives him the opportunity to lose himself…losing oneself provides a sense of engagement, and engagement provides a sense of freedom from the torture that is his mundane life. THAT is useful.”
    • But what he gains from that….the end product….will turn to dust

Wrapping Up

  • “Freedom lies in coming to the realization that no one in this world can do anything for you, that all pleasures lead to destruction, and attachment is the road to hell. Freedom lies in seeing that your life is built upon shifting sands.”

These notes were edited by RoRoPa Editing Services

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