New

Even meditators must, from time to time, fear the loss of meditation.

Those who don't meditate probably consider dismemberment an unimaginable horror, but seasoned meditators have enough faith in their practice to know that as horrific as losing an arm or a leg would be, it would still just be another "circumstance". This doesn't mean meditators are fearless, rather that the edge of their fears are further out than most people. Such fears include being tortured and having dementia. No one can meditate through any of those experiences. Having no potential for peace or calm would then undermine the whole point of meditation, and therefore defeat whatever coping shield meditation was supposed to afford.


For the middle-class, there is always another finishing school.

The most frustrating thing for the middle-class is that all their hard work leads them to a place where merit matters less and less. They work their way up the ladder and apply their ingenuity, until at last, they maneuver into a good neighborhood so their children can go to a "good" public school. But what they don't expect is that some of their new neighbors have taken out second mortgages to send their kids to even better private schools.

But it's not enough to go to a good private high school, your kids have to go to good private schools from Kindergarten through 12th grade. It's not enough to get into a good college, they have to get into obscure ones that have expensive liberal arts programs. Quality colleges are followed by exclusive internships, followed by exclusive club memberships, followed by secret handshakes and dog whistles that can only be understood by years of shopping at high-end grocery stores.

Middle-class anxiety is thus a Red Queen-style race, where its members constantly run in place while the world shifts beneath them.


Meditation, by alleviating suffering, can open one's eyes to boundless forms of suffering, i.e. solitary confinement and dementia.

The worst situations in life are the ones you can't meditate or cope through. Even in most awful situations, whether it's imprisonment or divorce, one can find some peace, and in tandem, happiness, assuming you have the right skills. But there are a few situations that are beyond limits of coping, one of which is torture. If someone were to periodically slap you, move you around, or blast music in your ears, it would be too hard to reach a state of anapana, i.e. concentration, wherein you could then find your center and accept the present.

Meditation also only works if you have a mature, neurotypical brain. Some people are wired such that meditation makes them more anxious, not less. Others are afflicted with mind diseases, such as dementia, that make it impossible to build a practice of any kind.

Suffering could then be divided in two: copeable and incopeable. The former could be defined as anything that someone trained in meditation could ultimately find peace with. This division elevates the suffering of those in solitary confinement — which is a mixture of torture and insanity — since their suffering is uncopeable and therefore unlimited. The horror of losing a job or being dismembered is relatively contained thanks to the availability of remedy through a coping mechanism such as meditation.

There is an episode of the British sci-fi series Black Mirror with a torture device that bottles your consciousness into a simulation, forcing you to relive a sequence of your life on loop like Sisyphus. The tormentor can then set an unlimited amount of repetitions, such that the tortured feels like they are living through a nightmare that lasts a million years. That kind of suffering is boundless, and it's possible that through mental delusions, insane asylum patients experience similar millions of pain. While only a tiny percentage of people are trapped in solitary confinement, and only a tiny percentage of people are clinically insane, their level of suffering may tower over a million other pedestrian, situational bits of suffering. Can a million episodes of bodily harm borne by a million neurotypical people compare to one lifetime with a tortured mind?