Fuck it is the ultimate spiritual path according to John C Parkin who after doing Eastern spiritual practices for years realized that the modern equivalent to surrender and letting go can be found in exclaiming Fuck It!. He has even opened a Fuck It! retreat centre in Italy which is proving to be popular for some intensive not giving a fuck. As John says:
“Saying Fuck It is like a massage for the mind – relaxing you, releasing tension, giving up on things that aren’t working. Just starting to say Fuck It can transform your life. Saying Fuck It feels good – to stop struggling and finally do what you fancy; to ignore what everyone’s telling you and go your own way.”
Giving up and surrendering is exactly the method used in many spiritual techniques that are aiming at getting at something both immanent and transcendent; it is about the only thing our minds can understand is the giving up and relaxing with the way thing are. Your mind cannot get there so it has to surrender all effort. In Zen practice if your trying to get something out of your meditation your doing it wrong and the answer to why Zen Masters meditate becomes a riddle or koan in itself. As Zen Master Dogen says meditation is simply the expression of enlightenment it is not a cause for enlightenment.
Saying Fuck It stops you from taking things too seriously. I often think this is exactly what enlightenment is, every time there is someone who is angry or suffering it seems that at the heart of their problem is taking something too seriously. And just like the Buddhist talk about not being attached to the world and being free from desire or caring or not giving a fuck is Nirvana. Taking this attitude of fuck it or I don’t care what happens is incredibly liberating and stops from getting too attached to things. This is a care free approach, relaxed, natural and light. Not caring does not have to be devoid of love I just think it can mean not taking things too seriously and enlightening up which allows you to be more joyful and nicer to others because you don’t really have an ulterior motive.
In Tibetan Buddhism the highest meditation practice is called ‘no meditation’. It’s still sitting on the ground silently but it is giving up all technique, giving up all effort to get somewhere and even giving up the subtle conception that your meditating. This is the final stage and is meant to very advanced and the Tibetan Lamas say it should only be practised after years of preliminary meditations and study, but I say fuck it, why not start with this ‘non meditation’ meditation if it’s the ultimate practice? Just sit and just say Fuck it, I’ve arrived.
Saying Fuck It! is a gateway into another dimension of being. It is the gateway into a ‘not doing’ instead of a ‘doing’ it’s an acceptance and surrender to the present moment. This is increasingly difficult for the modern busy person, as a French philosopher says the cause of all people’s problems starts with not being able to sit quietly in a room and do nothing. This dimension of non-doing is actually interwoven with doing things, like the silence that allows sound or the space that allows form. The Buddhist speak of doing things but not giving a fuck about the outcome, that is giving up attachments to results, do the act because it is kind or generous or wise in itself and let go of expectations of reward or benefit.
Another versatile spiritual use of the word Fuck is not ‘giving a fuck’, which as people say, is not giving two fucks about what people think of you, or not giving a fuck about what you wear or how you appear to others or anything else that society puts extra pressure on you for. This can be incredibly liberating and I definitely understand Parkin’s when he describes this as spiritual. Being ‘spiritual’ can come with its own set of assumptions and pressures to be a certain way too, so not giving a fuck and just being your self is often more authentic and dare I say spiritual than anything you can wear, eat or any workshop you can attend.
The Dalai Lama has even come close to saying fuck it when at a public talk he urged people to listen and learn from what he teaches but if something doesn’t suit you or work for you he said to just ‘fuget’. He meant forget it but with his thick Tibetan accent this sounded suspiciously like ‘Fuck It’, and that’s how it was even transcribed in the notes, and it’s how I will always remember his words of wisdom. If something doesn’t work for you then just say fuck it!
Written by Chad Foreman
Try the Fuck That guided meditation below: