So, there’s that despairing view of life encapsulated in the popular idiom, “Life sucks and then you die.” Hmm… what to do. The dictionary says that “sucks” is “an expression of disappointment.” Okay, well then, life does sucks at times. Like, TOTALLY sucks!
But is life supposed to suck? And if so, how much? And if “life sucks” is the human condition, are we supposed to embrace this or transcend it or both or neither? It seems like life sucks sometimes because the human condition is one of limitations.
Hear me out.
Seems like I have limitations. For example, physical limitations. I’m pretty sure I’ll never bench press 1,000 pounds or run a 1-minute mile. I have mental limitations. I’m pretty sure I’ll never be a Quantum Physicist. I even have emotional limitations. So far, I’ve not been able to maintain a continuous state of good feelings. Sometimes my feelings are good, sometimes there are yucky. Not only that, everything seems subject to change. People change, relationships change, beliefs change, pets die… like almost everything is subject to change. It just seems patently obvious, the human condition has limitations. Good luck trying to “have it all,” there is no “all” here because there are limitations.
And, what if that’s the way it’s supposed to be? Let’s say hypothetically there are many different dimensions. If you are reading this post, you are now in the human one. And, by the way, the human one has limitations. It’s not really a thing to judge as “good” or “bad” – it’s just one of those it-is-what-it-is deals.
Seems like religion wants to punch our ticket to heaven to escape the limitations, while spirituality has the expectation that we can transcend these limitations. What if it’s not necessary or desirable to either escape or transcend this human condition of limitations? Take Jesus, his life was not unaffected by these same limitations. There were moments and experiences when he transcended those limitations, and I think there are times and ways we do too, but for the most part it’s a level human playing field that we are all playing on sometimes it seems that life sucks.
Let’s say we aren’t supposed to either escape or transcend our present human limitations.What if peace, joy, contentment, fulfillment and wholeness happen inside the context of our human condition of limitations. Jesus often said, “The kingdom of God has come.” People looked around and scratched their heads because they were assuming that God’s kingdom and the human condition would have to be two totally different and unrelated things. To which Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God is within you.” Maybe we don’t really transcend (as in, unscathed) by the reality of when “life sucks,” but maybe we transform it into something hopeful. Maybe true spirituality is not seeing different things in your life but seeing those things already in your life, differently.