What’s the point of living through a whole life and attaining wisdom, if you can’t share it with others? It’s utterly useless, if you ask me.
I presume, it’s that exact premise which prompted me to write this blog post.
I have decided to share my wisdom. The wisdom that is all about being in a state of uselessness and why that’s not a bad thing, as long as you are wise enough to realize that you are useless.
Before I dig myself deeper here, let us qualify uselessness. And answer some basic questions.
1) What is being useless?
2) How difficult is it to be useless?
3) Can you really be useless?
Firstly, useful or useless is a relative thing. We often associate being useful with an act that is beneficial to ‘others’. That’s where the problem begins and it’s all to do with our society. We live in a society where if we do nothing, by being still or silent and absolutely void of any stimuli, there is a negative stigma associated with it. The implication is that one is being useless. But in reality, by doing nothing, by creating that void for your mind and body, you are being extremely useful to yourself. Neuroscientists would agree with me when I say that the benefits that come out of being useless are tremendous for your own personal health.
How difficult is it to be useless?
The short answer is – It is very difficult. It needs extreme training and rigorous practice of doing nothing before you can perfect the art of being in a state of uselessness.
I am not kidding.
It was before the birth of Internet. A time when you would walk to the street and stop at the first restaurant to get food and didn’t have to look at Yelp for the 25 different choices you had within a 5 min walk radius & didn’t need to rely on the 256 reviews, before deciding to hail a cab to go to a restaurant 29 minutes away from home.
It was a more adventurous time, if you were up for it, or if you were the kind who didn’t want to torture yourself by processing information, then I guess you resigned everything to fate. Either way, this was also the time, when you could sit and stare at a tree while sitting on a park bench, and do absolutely nothing for hours together. There were no notifications or alerts to prompt you or remind you to check your phones. It was during this time, I practiced my skill. I am not saying that it was easy to be useless back then, it was a bit easier. I often had long periods of time before someone realized how useless I was. So, that kept my determination going. The bottomline is, it is much harder to be useless these days. Almost impossible. Unless, you become a Buddha and walk away from everything. Then you can try to become useless.
Can you really be useless?
I think the answer is yes. Although I am a bit split on this question. By answering this question, if I am being useful to you, then the very premise of this question is flawed. I think that somehow makes this state of being in utter uselessness a distorted reality. May be it doesn’t exist. Even when you are being useless to others, you are being useful to yourself. Right?
That makes me think.
Wait..wait..I know, I know..
You the reader, you are one step ahead of me. I know what you want to ask.
Before you ask me, let me clarify this. You are going to ask me if I thought Buddha was being useless.
I would say – YES. Buddha was able to attain all his wisdom, only after he forced himself into a state of being utterly useless. I would imagine his whole exercise would have turned useless, if he had tried to do something instead of nothing.
Buddha attained wisdom. His wisdom entailed the beauty of doing nothing and why being in a blissful state of uselessness provides one happiness. But, What did he do after all that?
He shared his wisdom with everyone.
Damn!! He became useful.
I think I have lost my own plot here. Never mind.
As Bertrand Russell says, there is much pleasure gained from useless knowledge. Hope you gained much pleasure reading this.
You can read my other posts “On such things”, right here.