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Mindfulness and hope

Over the weekend, I read Mark Manson's new book - "Everything is F*cked: A book about hope". I found it to be a lot more mature and well written than his previous book, which I thought didn't merit all the hype and positive reviews that it received.

One of the key messages in the book is to let go of hope and to just be good and true to our values, not with any particular end in mind where such behaviour will lead to something (akin to salvation), but simply for the sake of the values themselves.

I've written previously about how Batman and Captain America are my two favourite superheroes because they embody this spirit to the fullest. Naturally, the message struck a chord and I appreciated the book even more.

Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you're sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. Living our lives in a mindful manner, then, is essentially living a life without hope and one where we live every moment in accordance with our values.

Living without hope is living without expectations. It is not the same as despair, which is the opposite extreme of having hope. When we are attached to outcomes and end results but have lost hope of affecting them positively, that is living in despair.

Living without expectations is to completely detach ourselves from outcomes, and thus remove hope from the equation altogether.

This is the pinnacle of what most religions prescribe and I've personally come across several such examples in Hinduism (and I'm sure other religions have them too).

Even though religions come with several negatives of their own, this particular attribute is something I truly appreciate.

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