You just need to let go of the pain, of the suffering. Let it go, that's what they say. Let go of your worries, let go of anxiety. Let go of loneliness, and friendship will just happen, let go of the bad, just let go of the bad.
How much money is poured into this? Funding on top of funding, books, seminars, DVDs - just let go of the bad stuff, that's what they say, and we buy into it because it makes sense to us. It makes sense in our heads that if we can just let go of the bad stuff, things will get better.
So just let go of the bad stuff.
Except it doesn't work, does it? Let's be honest. Let's look at this clearly - it doesn't work. It doesn't ever work. It might make you feel a bit better for a while, but then you could just as easily chalk that down to the false hope that this time, with this new technique, this new amazing idea, this fancy new way, this spiritual teaching, this rational reason - whatever - it will work, and you won't have to live like this anymore.
That hope is a powerful thing, and a bitter thing too. Because it never works. Ever. For anyone.
And of course, if things are going well, just in general, we can backward rationalise how we got there in ways that make rational sense, and go "well, I let go of the bad stuff" - but that's not what we did. That's not how joy works.
The blunt fact is that telling ourselves to let go of bad stuff is a ridiculous thing anyway. It's like telling someone to let go of the burning coal they're holding in their hand.
If letting go was an option, we wouldn't be holding onto it in the first place.
The problem isn't that we grasp on to the bad stuff. The problem is that we grasp on to the good stuff.
Love, happiness, peace, success, creativity. We grasp onto that, because we want to. And we never let go, we never, never let go. Never let go of love, never let go of peace, never let go of success, never let go of the good stuff.
But can we hold on to the good stuff? Nope. Never. Never, ever. Not once, not for anyone. It never works.
And yet we persist. Hold onto the good, we say, although it never, never works. Let go of the bad, we say, although we never, never can.
We tell people to do this, and think we're giving them good advice. We support and popularise the people who say these things, and feel like we're doing the world a favour.
But it never works. It never works.
And the reason it doesn't work is that we've got it upside-down. You can't let go of the bad stuff - if you could you wouldn't be holding onto it.
But you can let go of the good stuff. Let go of love, let go of friendship, let go of hope, let go of joy.
Let it go. Let the good stuff go.
If it's real, you don't need to hold onto it for it to stay.
You have to have faith in reality. Faith that the good things that are real won't vanish like morning dew under the noonday sun.
But we have lost the way, and have no faith in reality. We have faith only in ourselves, little petty fictions we. Faith only in our little beliefs, our little postures. And it doesn't matter that they never, ever work. What matters is that we can fool ourselves for another day.
We don't have to live like this. Spread the news of this, tell people. There is a different way, something that breaks the mold, something unseen but simple, elegant, and powerful like you've never read about, and I could never find the words to describe.
Let go of joy. Let go of peace. Let go of love. Have faith that they are real and they will not vanish, and if they do vanish and are not real, then they were worth nothing anyway.
Let go of the good stuff and the bad stuff cannot keep you holding onto it by pretending to be good.
By saying "If only you could to the root of this anxiety you'd be so happy" or "if only you could get to the bottom of this despair, you'd be free."
If you can let go of the good, the bad cannot pretend it is a path to good.
If you cannot let go of the good, the bad will always play this game, every time, and win, every time.
It makes of us these terrible, grasping, craving animals, fouling up our lives and the world in which we live them.
The revolution starts with us, personally us. There is another way.
Spread this. Support this. No human misery and damage is random, and none of it is necessary. We are at a depth now where we can change this, in ourselves and our world, forever.
We can remake this world, if we have the daring.