There are two approaches to escaping the mundane. The first approach to escaping the mundane, the approach mostly preferred by the monkey, is the escape back to the safety of the womb, the regression into the fetus-stage of development. It is a purely symbolic escape. The fetus inside the womb is protected from the outside world and is unconscious, the fetus is well cared for and lives life in a sleep like meditative state where the harsh cold outside world just can’t reach it. The fetus has no worries and is connected to the mother, the source of life and unconditional love and is shielded from painful emotions and the outside world. The womb is eternal bliss on earth, we have no conscious memories of the womb life, only the monkey has in instinctive longing for that stage, the monkey is smart enough to know which tools get the job done. We regress and avoid painful emotions by numbing the processor of emotions, the conscious brain. When the conscious brain is shut down, the “womb state” is achieved and monkey can have respite from the mundane reality for a while, until the nicotine high wears off and the withdrawals set in and we need another hit. The habit ingrains itself and the cycle is complete. The monkey is hooked.
The second approach to escaping the mundane is to move through, and eventually rise above it all. It is to move through our emotions, and to accept reality as it in order to let go. This form of escape is only possible for humans. It is the escape that is not escaping. We stop running from the vicious dog and face it, only to find out it was really friendly puppy and our fear has warped our perception and made us think the dog was hostile. As opposed to the “womb state”, the state we are looking for is a state of detachment, where we as humans reach our full potential and realize who we truly are. This state is beyond comprehension for the monkey, the monkey just doesn’t understand this. The monkey believes only what the monkey sees or what the monkey has known before. This state of realized potential requires faith and effort that the monkey deems pointless. The monkey rationalizes thus: Why not feel good right now all the time? Why suffer now? Why not indulge right now? The monkey is unable to calm down enough to meditate, the monkey fears painful emotions and instinctively runs away from even the hint of them, and the monkey falls back into old habits not because they are useful but because they provide quick escape from the pain of the now. If the mind doesn’t meditate, then the monkey will not realize. The monkey lives a life of slavery to the emotions that it is trying to escape. The monkey falls back into old habits because they are familiar without giving thought to long term negative effects. When we run away from fear, fear defines our lives, when we seek love, we define our lives through love. Both approaches to escaping the mundane can be learned, and it seems that in this modern world mere chance dictates which approach we learn growing up. It is a sad truth that a vast majority of us will not know what it is to reach our full potential as human beings, because we are stuck in old ineffective habits of escaping the mundane reality. There is still hope for us and we can learn new ways. This is what it means to be human, we can have faith and we can have hope and nothing can defeat us in our faith. This one lifetime we each get is the perfect opportunity to start learning new habits that do not destroy our health in the long run, new habits that promote mental and physical well being. Right now is the best time to start doing things that benefit our physical and mental health now and over time. Our lives depend on our ability to learn, adapt and change. When we change ourselves, we inspire others to change themselves as well.