To be calm, serene seems to be the end-goal of many forms of spirituality, as well as of mental practices. Nobody tells you get into some form of meditation or mental treatment so you will get upset.
But this division between being calm and being upset or troubled, like all other opposites, is incomplete.
Imagine somebody who is calm while he harms nobody, while he has no harm done to him, and imagine one who is upset as he witnesses harm done, or gets harmed, or harms another. Those could be two extremes. But that’s not the whole picture.
There can also be one who harms, gets harmed, witnesses harm, or harms himself, while he is calm about it. And no matter how calm he feels, the harm is more or less harmful.
Essentially, the state where things are alright and calm, is mimicked by a state of things not being alright, but yet feeling calm about it, while telling oneself things are alright. Thus, strange things get accepted as being alright.
To view things from a perspective where everything is alright is cool, and I have nothing against it. It doesn’t have any problem, so why should I? But to not do so, to perceive a problem while suppressing the perception of that problem, and swaping it with something else, is a different thing. It is an alteration of what is perceived. It could be called apathy. And oddly enough, if you shook the calamity of such a person, you might get accused of being crazy, as that’s what he’s been taught that sanity means.
Of course, I don’t suggest to jump on the opposite side of constantly trying to find problems and point them out. Actually, one extreme brings about the other. And the constant horrible news that people get fed daily, most often result in apathy about what happens. People are put to resist, fight those news. And constant failure to do that, constant defeat and overwhelm is meant to bring about apathy, compromise. Individual will is meant to get crashed as insignificant. And we get citizens who think they cannot change things, and an inaction-oriented democracy wherein most expect from few to do things for them, and as that rarely happens, people fall into apathy some more. Quite ironic, if you consider that democracy was meant to be the rule of the people or of the majority.
What is the difference between serenity and apathy? They are both calm, but quite a different kind of calm. One is free and equally allows freedom, the other is not. One is responsible, the other is not. One can create, the other passively agrees with and reproduces what is created. Don’t confuse those two.
I’m not suggesting any ‘proper’ perspective here. I don’t have any, either. I only suggest -in all of my articles- to not alloy your perspective, to keep it clean, to not doubt it, to keep it your own, no matter what ‘proper’ pespectives say, no matter what billions of other ‘proper’ perspectives might agree with and reproduce.