How Will I Ever Get Out Of This Labyrinth

“He was shaken by the overwhelming revelation that the headlong race between his misfortunes and his dreams was at that moment reaching the finish line. The rest was darkness. “Damn it,” he sighed. “How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!” – Last words of Simon Bolivar

A labyrinth is a complicated irregular network of passages or paths in which it is difficult to find one’s way. We find ourselves stuck in the labyrinth of sufferings that is fueled by the lies we tell and are told, the expectations we give and have, the inability to forgive and seek forgiveness and the ability to hold on.

Most of us pretend that the labyrinth doesn’t exist. We build a small self-sufficient home in a back corner of the endless maze and pretend we’re not lost. We are there. But then, the maze waits. Waits for us to fuck up and then it scuffles and grabs us when we are at our vulnerable best. There’s no hiding or running or avoiding it. The maze will always stretch out and find us.

Buddha says, “Attachment is the cause of all suffering” which is 100% true but without it, what is the point of relations and connections? Moreover, people get attached to suffering too. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is known to them for a long time.  However, no one can be irrevocably broken. People break, they mend themselves and move on.

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. In the end, people are not just atoms. There’s much more to them. Their thoughts, beliefs, experiences, relationships and actions define them as much as their memories will define them after they are gone. The complete sum of all these defines people. We all have learned in science, energy can’t be created or destroyed. It can only be transferred. In the same way, the complete sum of people can’t be created or destroyed. It gets transferred to a different life form in different shapes and sizes in an entirely different time.Hope is the most beautiful illusion. It lies to us over and over again and the fools that we are, we believe it every single time – things would get better with time. They only get worse and we find ourselves getting more trapped in this ever-increasing labyrinth. 

As many tribulations are wreaked upon us in the labyrinth, there’s a spellbinding beauty in it. The simple realization that it doesn’t differentiate between people. Everyone has to suffer, everyone gets trapped and being together in the maze gives strength and courage.

We don’t need a saviour with a lamp at the end of the tunnel for this is an endless loop – only the body forms and the roles change. We’ll be born again, we’ll form new attachments, we’ll suffer again in a different form for there’s no way out of this labyrinth. The only hope is nothing will stay forever. I will fall, you will fall, the rest of us will fall and so will the earth. Life will cease to exist and on that day, the labyrinth will also fall. However, this falling too can’t stay forever. The earth will be reborn, the sun will rise, the trees will grow, the oceans will be filled with water, the evolution will start till we reach the human form again. On that day, the labyrinth will be back again with full vigour.

Thomas Edison’s last words were, “It’s very beautiful over there.” I don’t know where there is, but I know it’s somewhere and it is beautiful.  I do hope it stays there forever.

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Girish Dutt Shukla

Author of Maroon in a sky of blue

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