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discontent is the first necessity of progress

“Discontent is the first necessity of progress.”

Unhappiness and feelings of emptiness are familiar to many. What are the roots of our discontent?

In our current system, everything is driven by feeding a system with an insatiable appetite. Without demand, suppliers cannot survive, so it is imperative that demand is stoked, fueled, twisted, and ensured by whatever means ethical or not.

The system is so entrenched that it doesn’t know how to stop unless by raising production and consumption.

Consumption can only keep increasing via an ever-expanding population base, planned obsolesce in products that break down quickly, creating new fads and fashions, and constantly seeking to “fill the void” people feel from being consumers.

It’s a battle to keep this system going with marketing people more and more challenged to create more devious, delusional and empty promises to feed the insatiable spiritual hunger people feel. The more empty the consumption, the more that hunger grows. Eventually the whole system will implode. It has to. When the economic tsunami hits, what will you do?

What if I told you that that whole system was based on deception and the fundamental message being sold is “you are not enough?”

Call it the delusion of economics, or economics of delusion.

The whole system cannot survive if people keep consuming more and more of things they don’t need, ultimately spiritually depleting them. Many end up shallow and miserable because of chasing a false dream.

What if really all human beings are 100 percent worthy 100 percent of the time…

Most people have been misled to believe that happiness is outside of them, that there is some idealised destination, some material possession that if they can gain a hold of, then all will be well. If they can get this external “thing” and grab onto it, hold it tightly, then they will feel whole and complete. In fact, our whole society is geared towards consumerism.

Personal identity and self-esteem are linked to an external factor that may or not be achievable. Fortunately, most goals are achievable, they just take time, resources, circumstance and opportunity. Many give up when they face hurdles and worse, fall into despair when they “fail” to achieve their objectives.

It is virtually impossible to reach all goals, unless they are realistic. It is also impossible for life not to deal unpredictable cards, for the unexpected to occur.

That we should panic and self-destruct when something unexpected and uncalled for occurs, shows how naive and incomplete our education has been as human beings. It reflects our need for wisdom. It’s no accident that depression, anxiety and suicide are so common in our societies. We are seeking something external. We are seeking wholeness from something far out of reach. The void stems from seeking something outside of ourselves.

Henry Miller said something evocative that rings true and provides wisdom – “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”

It is not needed that we change where we are, or where we are going; what is required is to see our world anew.

 

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