Friday, January 15, 2010

The Illusion of Need

The idea that we need something that we don’t have right now is the root of discontent. We are never completely satisfied with this moment. Even when we get everything we thought we always wanted, it feels like there is something missing. Why? Because we have become so accustomed to waiting for something more, that nothing is ever enough. The habit of feeling dissatisfied has become commonplace in our lives. This is true for the rich and the poor, for the loners and the social butterflies among us.

If you focus on being instead of having, on experiencing this moment in its fullest instead of on the object of your desire, everything comes. It comes by itself. There is nothing wrong with desire; the trick is to desire without attachment. What really matters is what you’re being in each moment. Be present, and keep letting go of the attachment of how things need to look. To be is the most important thing, because that’s what will bring you joy. We think that what we obtain will bring us happiness, but when we are present in this incredible energy of joy, everything brings joy. Why? Because you are the joy. You are the joy. That’s the difference.

Before, things had to look a certain way for me. In order to experience joy, I had to win: I had to be the best at what I did. If not, there was no joy. Now, that has changed, and you know what left with that? The suffering. That doesn’t mean that I no longer have goals or projects: it just means that my fulfillment no longer depends on their outcome. Now, I put all of my passion into creating and exploring my pursuits, but if something doesn’t turn out as planned, I no longer suffer.

Observe your mind. Often you will find that when you feel something is lacking, and cannot rest until it has been attained, it is in reality an excuse to not be present. These are the tricks of your mind to keep you away from yourself. Why? Because if we are totally present, with no distractions, no projects, we have no excuse to keep us from facing the unknown. Our attention is set up to avoid ourselves, to avoid the part of ourselves we have forgotten. But the only thing that can keep us away from this unbounded freedom and completion is fear of the unknown. Because in reality, there is nothing to fear. How can we be afraid of love? We can’t. But we can be afraid of the unknown.

When you see yourself looking for distractions, face the unknown. Be with yourself, without any crutch. Don’t cling to illusions. Dive deep, and then deeper. Know yourself. That is the only thing you have ever really needed.

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