Thursday, August 27, 2015

Desire, Craving, Clinging & Suffering

     "Our minds are governed by a cycle of craving what we don't have, finding it, using it up or losing it, and then being driven by loss, need, desire, or insecurity to crave it all the more. This cycle is at the root of all addictions: addictions to drugs, drink, cigarettes, sex, love, soap operas, wealth, and wisdom itself. But why should this be so? Why are we so driven, often at great cost to ourselves?"
       Marc Lewis. "Memoirs of an Addicted Brain: A Neuroscientist Examines his Former Life on Drugs." Anchor Canada, 2012.

     In 500BCE, the Buddha, through meditative contemplation, learned and taught what neuroscientists are starting to discover: the basic cause of human suffering is the "self" that "clings", craves, desires, etc. See:

     "If you get something that is quite nice, you simply want to keep it, or repeat it, or get something similar to it. Like being in debt, we must continually work to satisfy our desire for sensual pleasures, our wanting. There is no fulfillment to be found by obtaining what you want. Okay, you get some fulfillment for a bit, but no ultimate fulfillment. We usually assume that when we want something and we get it and that feels great, that feeling is due to the fact that we got what we wanted. But have you ever stopped to consider that it might be due to the fact that you stopped wanting? The relief from the wanting produces quite a bit of pleasure. So perhaps a more effective strategy would be to let go of the wanting."
       Leigh Brasington

     "Many people are not aware of this, but strictly speaking, the statues we see of the Buddha, as well as other Buddhist art objects, serve as representations of states of mind rather than of a divinity." 
       Jon Kabat-Zinn. "Mindfulness for Beginners. Reclaiming the Present Moment - and Your Life." Sounds True, 2012.

Dale Johnson

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