Do not struggle for the best bunk in a prison that is scheduled for demolition. Nothing in this life is worth keeping, and you won’t be keeping any of it anyhow — so why struggle against your fellow man in order to have a better bunk in this doomed prison?
The only thing you own is your soul. This is not just empty rhetoric; it is the incontrovertible truth. Even if you don’t think your “soul” (however conceived) continues on beyond this life, the fact remains that your character — your deep-down identity, the immaterial part of you — is all that you are and all that you own. At best, your body is a prison for your soul. At best, this physical world is a prison for your body. Therefore, you live in a prison inside of a larger prison. Everybody does, whether they think so or not. That is why the fantasies of magic and of eternal paradise are so deep-set within the human psyche. We all know that our present limitations are unnatural to us. We all sense, very palpably, that we are encased in this flesh more or less against our will, but we palliate ourselves by trying to bide the time more agreeably. Most of us have willfully forgotten that none of this is normal. We think we can achieve freedom inside of a prison. In the end, however, nothing in this world is ultimate or real — and therefore nothing in this world is satisfactory. Instead of fearing death, or longing for it, we should simply “do our time” and welcome our release when it finally comes. Nobody knows what we did to deserve this purgatory. Maybe life is literally corporal punishment. Maybe it is a school, or maybe it is an invitation to a grand adventure that most of us have forgotten how to begin. Maybe it is all of those things at once. Whatever it is, this flesh and this material world are not our home. Maybe our own egos are not our home either. We should abide in our flesh agreeably, not greedily.