The Zen of Supreme Indifference Indifference is the strongest force in the universe.
-- Joan Vinge
 
 

The Zen of Supreme Indifference is the key to happiness in the 21st century. And you, too, can experience it to the fullest. How? Read on.

Let me illustrate the concept through an all too familiar setting. Do you hate your job? Do you hate your coworkers? Do you hate the mindless stupidity of your corporate masters? Then you are perfectly prepared for the bliss that is supreme indifference.

Look around your office or cubicle. You see a combination of things, some of which you hate, some of which you love, and some of which you don't care about. You see an annoying coworker approach. You see a tiny piece of lint lying around on the floor, in a corner. Now think of the feelings these two events stir inside. The coworker will cause you to experience feelings like anger, annoyance, agression, frustration, desperation, fear and fatalism in various combinations and to various degrees. On the other hand, the piece of lint will at most cause you to casually observe that maybe the cleaners might have done a slightly better job.

Notice that when you see the coworker, your heart races, you are tense and uncomfortable, and you long for a world in which the coworker is slowly dying a painful death. Whereas when you see the piece of lint, none of those things happen. You just go on with your life.

What's the difference? You guessed it, you simply don't care about the lint. The lint has become a subject of supreme indifference to you, and it does not impede you on your journey towards blissful happiness.

You might observe that wishing a horrible, painful fate on those who annoy you brings its own form of satisfaction and happiness, but don't fall for that common fallacy! Whereas the image of unspeakable suffering by those who cause you to suffer might superficially appear to advance your state of happiness, it is ultimately self-defeating. Why? Because you are only imagining the suffering, and not actually bringing it about. Actually bringing it about will cause much unwanted attention from people who think that causing annoying people to suffer is a bad idea, and they will attempt to prevent or stop you from causing it. And while you are imagining the suffering they so richly deserve in your eyes, their continued non-suffering state will only inflame you further. You need to stop focusing on the source of annoyance, and instead focus on why that source is causing all this annoyance. Only then are you on the road to genuine contentedness.

Look at your coworkers and smile. Remove all concern for their well-being and behaviour from your mind, and just regard them for what they are: objects that occupy a portion of the space-time continuum. You don't wish eternal suffering on their souls, you don't wish them any happiness. You don't hate them. You don't love them. You don't get worked up about what they do to your life, and you don't get worked up about what you do to theirs. There merely exist. And you don't care. You don't care if they live or die. You are indifferent.

Notice that your heart is no longer racing. You relax and calm down. No longer does the sight of them ruin your day. They have become a matter of supreme indifference to you.

Congratulations, you are on the road to bliss. There is only one more thing to deal with: you may not care about your coworker anymore, but he or she is still there, occupying space that could just as well be occupied by something you do care about. Like silence. To bring this about, all you need to do is inform your coworker of the current state of affairs. Sometimes they won't take a hint immediately and go away, but remember, you don't care, so their continued presence doesn't bother you. Likewise, their opinion of you and your newly acquired outlook on life doesn't concern you in the least, no matter how vehemently they might try to bring it to your attention. Just keep informing them at regular intervals of your supreme indifference, and eventually they will bugger off. To accelerate this process, you can refer you coworker to this website, or use a few of a carefully selected list of expressions that colourfully illustrate your genuine lack of interest.

Don't get angry. Don't ask them to leave. Those things will only show that you have not yet mastered the true Zen of Supreme Indifference, they show that you still care. If you persist in now-and-again calmly stating the fact that you don't care if they live or die, they will eventually bugger off, leaving the space they used to occupy available for a wave of blissful silence.

With a little persistence, the methods that apply to coworkers, the most common source of annoyance in the known universe after crying babies, apply equally well to a million other things that separate you from true felicity.

Over the years, many luminaries have extolled the virtues of true indifference. Read about them on the testimonials page.

Now go forth and care not!