“Happiness is like an orgasm…” but both are better buttered with metta (love)|
A tongue in ear comparative study of Buddhism and Tim-Minchinism, (here forth known as Timinism).
“Happiness is like an orgasm, think about it too much and it goes away….”
Oh yes-yes-yes I screamed as I listened to Tim’s rough-slick-ha wisdom in a clip of Tim making a speech at a graduation ceremony at University of WA a while back. If you haven’t seen it it’s worth a look. You can find it here, https://www.facebook.com/ibrainmap
I’m not really a Tim devotee. I admire him from a distance and like what he has to sing. But I do think Timinism bears closer scrutiny. Following are some of the lessons I’ve uncovered in Buddhism and Timinism (a comparative study) for anyone seeking a path to happiness, or Nirvana or just a good concert or holy/unholy joke. I imagine Siddhartha aka the Buddha would have been a funny guy. The only evidence I have for this is, the statues of the laughing Buddha. Laughing is a sure path to happiness, although it’s only impermanent happiness unless you keep on laughing. Laughing with orgasms, well that’s a matter of individual taste!
Buddha said: In the seen is just the seen, in the heard is just the heard, in the sensed is just the sensed and in the cognized is just the cognized.*
Tim says: in the seen is just the scene, in the heard is just the herd, in the sensed, he’s incensed, and in the orgasm is just the orgasm.
* There’s a famous story behind Buddha’s words, in the seen etc, which he told to Bahiya, some random guy on the street. Bahiya was instantly enlightened, so the story goes. But right then a horse and cart came careening down the hill and knocked him down and killed him. Of course Bahiya passed into Nirvana (which is not technically correct because there’s no such place as Nirvana) but because there was nothing to hold him to Samsara, the continual round of suffering that flesh is heir to, he was extinguished, aka enlightened.
Random Aside: My journey that way has been much more erratic, a bolt of enlightening then the fog of Samsara sets in, I forget the path completely and get lost in sense pleasures for days, weeks, years. I only mention this so you don’t get your hopes up because I don’t think many people these days have that quick hit of enlightenment that Bahiya did, perhaps our modern minds are more like concrete, dense and already set, or thoroughly distracted.
The Buddha gave us: The Four Noble Truths; suffering (dukkha), the arising of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the path out of suffering, leading to liberation and happiness. Buddha’s version of happiness is about liberation not possession or attainment, which is different to how we’ve come to think of happiness in the West, as possessing or attaining something or someone. Buddha gave us a defined path out of suffering that anyone can follow. I’d like to give a shout out to the Buddha, who of course doesn’t exist now, because he’s been extinguished-enlightened, but he sure had an amazing mind to discover what he did under the Bodhi tree.
Back to Timinism, and Tim, who had a more ordinary path of discovery, an Arts degree at the University of Western Australia.
Timinism gives us: nine life lessons for happiness and a good life.
Lesson One; you don’t need a dream, just do whatever is in front of you, make the most of it and life will take care of itself.
Lesson Two; don’t seek happiness. Happiness is like an orgasm… you know the rest. Keep busy and aim to make someone else happy and you might get a bit yourself, happiness that is.
Lesson Three; it’s all luck, you were lucky to be born, so be grateful and drag yourself up by your shoelaces, and they’re not your shoelaces anyway.
Lesson Four; exercise, because this long and luxurious life ahead of you is going to depress you, so get some exercise. There is an inverse correlation between depression and exercise, so jog.
Lesson Five; be hard on your opinions, because opinions are like arseholes.
Lesson Six; be a teacher.
Lesson Seven; define yourself by what you love, not in opposition to things.
Lesson Eight; respect people with less power than you.
Lesson Nine; don’t rush, don’t panic.
Lesson Ten; you will soon be dead, life will sometimes seem long, tough, and tiring and sometimes sad, and then you’ll be dead. There is only one sensible thing to do with this empty existence and that is fill it, with learning, pride in whatever you’re doing, having compassion and being enthusiastic. Just be nice and then you’ll be happier than if you’re not nice.
(Yes I know there are only nine life lessons but there were some other bits that Tim said that deserved a mention).
You can probably see the connection between Buddhism and Timinism for yourself. Most religions and philosophies on life have more in common than differences. That’s why I can never understand why people keep fighting over religion and their one true god. Because, if there is a god, surely it’s up to Her to decide who is going to heaven or what someone’s reward of punishment should be and not their fellow humans. And for those who don’t believe in the god thing, a well-established path to happiness might be a better bet.
Now we’ll loosely explore the similarities between the nine life lessons of Timinism and Buddhism. I’ll just highlight a few relevant Buddhist teachings here.
In Lesson One; Tim speaks of mindfulness, living in the present moment instead of rushing ahead into the future.
In Lesson Two; Tim expounds the dynamics of sustainable happiness, which is not about attainment or orgasm (or thinking about it too much), but about liberation, freeing your (no) self from suffering, the Third Noble Truth.
Lesson Three; Tim speaks of the round of Samsara and a little bit of karma, cause and effect, and taking action, or non action, to change the effect. He also speaks of no self, Anatta, because they’re not even your shoelaces.
Lesson Four; Tim uses the evidence of science and statistics, suggesting the path is not about faith but the evidence of observing your own experience, Right Mindfulness.
Lesson Five; don’t believe what you think, those arsehole opinions, but observe with equanimity, which is insight, Right Thought and Right Understanding.
Lesson Six; teaching is a noble profession and requires giving to others, compassion and Right Livelihood.
Lesson Seven; love the world, love what you do, just love; metta or loving kindness, compassion for yourself and others is the greatest truth taught by every sage. This is the simplest and most difficult lesson to attain, because there are so many schmucks in the world and you have to love them all. Easy to love all the good ones, but loving the others, well that would test a saint. By love, in this context, we mean; accepting and allowing it, or another person, to be as it is/they are, with an open heart.
Why do I say you have to love them all? Because not loving someone in the Buddha’s terms, not sure about Tim’s, is to hold it/them with some part of hatred. Maybe we don’t call it hatred, but it is part of hatred, to reject, treat with disdain, dislike even, according to Buddha. Wow that is some hard path to happiness! If you resist anything it holds you prisoner, gets in the way of liberation and therefore happiness. It’s that simple, and yes, that hard. That’s not to say you should ever put up with abuse. It is about your attitude towards others as much as it is about how you treat them.
Lesson Eight; respect all sentient beings.
Lesson Nine; be attentive to whatever is arising here and now, because that is all there is, this is your whole life now. Everything else is just a mental construct we call past or future, or wishing and hoping it was otherwise, not wise.
Lesson Ten; life is suffering, dukkha, death, sickness and all that other nasty stuff that flesh gives air to. No denying it. It is there, just waiting to storm into your life like a military invasion. So you might as well get used to it and get yourself a good, well-trodden path to happiness so you can tramp on through all that suffering.
I don’t know if you learnt anything here. But I did. I learnt that it all comes down to love and being kind to others. Yeah I know someone already said that. Now the challenge is to live it, and live it, and live it, even when I’m sitting listening to a schmuck. Luckily most of them are on TV, especially in the news, so I can just turn off the TV (which is easy because I don’t have a TV) until I can develop my love muscle. And here we are back to orgasms, funny how we go around and find ourselves back at the beginning. Don’t think about it too much.
May you be happy and laugh often, and may life open your heart to let in the world, which usually means cracking it open with a sledge hammer rather than the gentle warming of the sun. Yes it all hurts, but it’s a good hurt.
And may you find your true path to happiness.
Photo taken at Bellingen Music Festival, July 2015