Friday, March 04, 2016

Lojong 1.4: Life is unsatisfying

For most of us, lost in the mindless trance of greed and fear, life is an endless cycle. On the greed side, we see something or someone we want and believe that thing or person or degree or skill will make us happy forever. We pursue that something or someone until we manage to acquire them, we're happy and excited for a minute, an hour, a month, whatever. Some period of time later, we're back in our normal state of dissatisfaction, again lost in desire, looking for the next thing that we think might make us happy forever.

For variety, every so often we'll go around the fear side of the carousel. We'll see something or someone or some situation we find intolerable (it may even be the very thing we thought we wanted last week) and we'll devote our life or some portion of it to eradicating that thing, person, or situation, or removing and insulating ourselves from it.

Thus, for most of us, life is an endless cycle of aversion and attraction, chasing after those things that seem desirable (new car, new house, better job, more money, new mate, more power, etc.) and running from or fighting things that seem intolerable (injustice, politicians, government corruption, rich people, corporatism, elitism, bad art, bad food, terrorism, computer viruses, etc.)



But if we pay attention, we can see that the objects of desire never deliver the permanent satisfaction and happiness they promise. And even if we manage to resolve some persistent problem, another one arises to take its place. We are never truly satisfied, happy, and content. There's always either one more thing we can't live without, or one more thing we can't live with.

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