The efforts of those people who invented the World’s major religions and political systems were well-intentioned. However, none of them have ever worked to ultimately create a peaceful, harmonious civilization. When we project Utopias to their present-day status and possible futures, most of us can only envision a dystopian world.
An idea for a perfect society arises in the religious or political mind of someone. The idea seems to solve all the problems humans have in working and living together. Anyone who has lived in a family or worked for a company, knows that any long-term life of harmony is just a fantasy. The rules are good enough for others to follow, but not oneself. That the rule of etiquette that it is impolite to discuss politics and religion at the dinner table, is frequently violated, is a prime example.
Even if we set aside the notion of creating an ideal society, and only focus on oneself, we understand that creating a perfect, individual Utopia is improbable. Conflict regarding ones own ideals, personal ethics, and ones actual behavior regularly comes into play. All of us are a bundle of good intentions that sometimes conflict with each other. The most joyful, happy person on Earth is still an apostate to her/himself.
Yet, in our heart of hearts, many of us crave a perfect world. We imagine a beautiful world that is uncontaminated by fear and rigid, stodgy tradition. We dream of a world that allows us to live our most positive, joyful life. We dream of a world in which we are, at last, free to be our utmost selves.
The implication is that we wish to break free of mediocrity. Those people who dare to free themselves of mediocrity have discarded the notions of respectability and conformity. Most of us eventually submit to the practicality of blending into social correctness. We fear the opinions of others around us. When one adopts conformity, the flame of life becomes dimmer. Soon enough, we become comfortable. We soon believe that everybody should live our type of life.
Doesn’t the heart always ache to be free and joyful? Have you noticed that the mind frequently comes up with practical reasons to restrict that freedom? How do we find a happy medium within ourselves?
In the bigger picture, how do we live a life of happy freedom without intruding upon the happy freedoms of others? How do we allow for everyone’s individual Utopias without requiring everybody to conform to an ideal? The eternal question is how can we get everyone to accept a social Utopia if one cannot even live out one’s own Utopia?
These are the questions that come to mind in the dark hours of early morning. These puzzles arise after pondering the state of the World with all of its strife. The conflict between people who have different ideas about how to live life. Daily, we observe how one Utopia pits itself against other Utopias.
The clashing of one improbable dream against other improbable dreams creates the painful nightmare of our present dystopia. One eventually comes to the conclusion that dreams of Utopia are harmful delusions. The idea of a perfect World is not only improbable, it is unsustainable when attempted.
Utopia is only a product of the monkey mind that chatters in ones head all day long. The monkey mind that tries to convince us that life would be wonderful if only people lived the way we want them to live.
The monkey mind reveals itself to be the mind of a tyrannical dictator. Perhaps, deep inside, we want to be the despot who lords over the Utopia we have dreamed up for others to submit to. Naturally, we believe our Utopia is for their own good.
If they conform to our utopian rules, they will be rewarded in the way we deem fit. The ultimate reward will be neverending life within the ultimate Utopia. If they don’t conform, there will be hell to pay.
The conflict among Utopias is one of today’s biggest conundrums.
The Blue Jay of Happiness remembers a reflection from Nathaniel Hawthorne. “The founders of a new colony, whatever Utopia of human virtue and happiness they might originally project, have invariably recognized it among their earliest practical necessities to allot a portion of the virgin soil as a cemetery, and another portion as the site of a prison.”