Is Life Inherently Unsatisfying? – Dialectic Two Step
Estimated reading time: 6 minute(s)Question: Is life inherently unsatisfying?
Response: I suggest two little meditations on your question. I want you to reflect on a few memories and notice your response to them.
What was the difference between those two meditations? In the first you experienced, or at least imagined, satisfaction. In the second, that feeling went away pretty quickly.
So how do these little meditations relate to the question. They help to direct your attention to the causes of dissatisfaction. If you believed that “life” is the cause of dissatisfaction, I’d like to remind you that in these meditations, you were only experiencing mind. You weren’t tasting food “in real life” and you weren’t actually spending time with your least favorite person. The shift from satisfaction to dissatisfaction came independent of the real world. It came from you. Beauty (or ugliness) is in the eye of the beholder. Attraction and aversion are personal preferences, not objective qualities of the world.
Life is not inherently anything. In fact Buddhism characterizes life as being empty of any inherent qualities. This is Sunyata.
Projecting the qualities of good or bad to the objects of our senses is the ultimate blame game and the cause of suffering.
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Wisdom lies neither in fixity nor in change, but in the dialectic between the two. - Octavio
Dialectic Two Step, Modern Koans, Verse Us, Say What?, and Minute Meditations all copyright Andrew Furst