I looked up at the sky and I saw an eagle soaring freely, as if nothing hindered its flight. Jealousy flooded me as I yearned to be as free, to soar like this eagle in the sky, with nothing presumably hindering my flight. For so long, I have struggled to gain this freedom of flight, yet every movement down on the ground feels like a deeper hole I am digging for myself, causing me to year the flight of an eagle even more so.
For so many, life is a routine, get up in the morning, shower, drink coffee, go to work, unreflective living, "going with the flow" as they say. Nothing seems to hinder them, and they become like the eagle I yearn to be.
But this is where the biggest difference resides, unreflective living. Soaring like the eagle might look like what we all yearn for, but we yearn for reflective soaring. The eagle is not aware of its soaring, it is merely responding to stimuli, its hunger pangs, leading to evolutionary responses to kick in. It needs to soar, to fly, to search for food, to move from one point to another.
This is not what I am jealous about, as my jealousy and desire to live would cease as soon as I enter this framework or mindset.
Living freely, soaring like the eagle in the sky, seems like a desirable thing, but this requires one to fundamentally change who and what we are.
My jealousy does not stretch this far. It ceases at the moment I change who I am at this moment. In some sense, this relies on the idea of there being an opposite, an "other", against which I can contrast myself. Without this "other" I cannot begin to be jealous of the radical freedom of the eagle. So, in some sense, my jealousy is ridiculous, because that what I yearn for is something I cannot achieve, I cannot get it because as soon as I achieve this goal of radical freedom, I cease to "grasp" it. As soon as I get the radical freedom, I cease to be the person who sought to gain that freedom.
And this is the fundamental paradox I am living, I know what I really want, but I know what I really want is not achievable.
The grass is always greener on the other side, most say. But it is funny how this sentiment holds an incredibly deep sentiment that most people hide from. Everything on the other side of the fence looks better because it is something different, something else, the "other" we compare ourselves to. As soon as we jump over the fence, the grass is no longer greener, and the original side from where we jumped over in the first place becomes the "other side" again. From our current position then, the supposed "greener side", our original position looks more "green" than we originally anticipated.
The paradoxical nature of perspective. Similar to happiness and desire. We never yearn to be happy, and our desire is never a desire to be fulfilled. We desire to desire, we yearn to always be on the lookout for something that makes us happy. We are like a pig walking with a stick tied to our backs and a carrot dangling in front of us. At that moment, we are the happiest, even though we cannot know this. Similar to the jumping over the fence, as soon as we get to the other side that we so long yearned for, we begin to yearn to return from where we came. As soon as we catch the carrot dangling in front of our eyes, we yearn to have it dangling there again. It is never the eating of the carrot we yearn for, but rather always yearning for the carrot that we yearn for.
I know that I am yearning for radical freedom, something I know when I get it, I will yearn for something else, to be busy again. In the moment of pressure, you never appreciate what you have. You cannot stand back and reflect on the matter because in that moment you are fighting for whatever cause. In the moment, we forget to appreciate what we have, because as soon as we jump over the fence, we lose what we had.
Soaring like an eagle in the sky might look like freedom, yearning for what is on the other side of the fence might be desirable, but if we manage to catch the carrot dangling in front of our eyes, do we know what to do with that carrot?
In any case, I hope that you enjoyed these haphazard philosophical musings. It has always piqued my interest to think about this situation in which we desire something but as soon as we get the desire we somehow feel a sudden loss. Maybe I am the only one that feels like that. It is similar to reading a book. We desire to read the book, but never to have it end. (That is if it is a good book though.) When the book ends, we feel a kind of sadness. Similar to movies that you can only watch one time. You desire to watch the movie, but as soon as it ends, you desire to be the person who has not watched it, so you can watch it again with a "clear mind". All of these examples point to the rather simple conclusion I have in mind: I wish we could experience the same thing twice without losing our "innocence", so to speak. Sometimes I think about how I might see life if I return to my 18-year-old self but with all of the knowledge I have acquired throughout the years. Alas, this would be like eating the carrot I am running after.
For now, happy reading, and stay safe.
All of the musings are my own, albeit inspired by the eagle high up in the sky. The photographs are also my own, taken with my Nikon D300.