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By the light of our impersonal study about discontentment we can see two bright new truths: much of our time is spent identifying the so-called cause of our discontented condition, and the rest of our time is taken up trying to change our unwanted situation into what we imagine will better suit our pleasure. Of course this description puts a kind of positive spin on what amounts to one’s never-ending whirl of wishes, but the facts are that these dreams of a better time to come do not originate with our True Self. They are the incessant creation of one’s unconscious thought nature, that ever-seeking, never-quite-satisfied self whose endless aspirations we all know too well!
This level of self knows only the kind of comfort that it can imagine into being. For instance, who among us hasn’t found themselves conjuring up some imagined pleasure when faced with the pain of some contradiction in life that seems greater than our ability to deal with? And this imagined contentment is fine, if we believe an imaginary umbrella has the power to keep us dry in a downpour! To become conscious of this unconscious dynamic effectively cancels its authority over us. We don’t have to live from any such self that is always seeking to exchange what we are in the moment for its more idealized conception of what it imagines can complete us. Key to this finding is that this would-be contented nature is inseparable from the discontentment that it breeds as it drags us through its comparison of what is to what should be.
Here’s something even more surprising about this level of our discontented self: this nature is not just driven along by its unhappiness but, in fact, has no independent existence apart from it. It requires that something always be wrong in order for it to set things right. In other words, the contentment this self seeks only exists as long as its sense of being discontented is allowed to remain. The life span of this discontented nature is the length of time it takes to hand you over to its opposite: the projected pleasure that awaits you when you arrive at your imagined destination. But, as we know to be true, we no sooner arrive at this chosen port of pleasure than we become aware again of what is not right with where we now are. You can see now how the cycle of discontentment starts all over again! [to be continued]