the source of our collective unhappiness

September 4, 2010

To look for total satisfaction in oneself is a futile endeavor.  Neither satisfaction nor self really exist.  Since everything changes from moment to moment, where can self and where can satisfaction be found?

Yet these are two things that the whole world is looking for and it sounds quite reasonable, doesn’t it?  But since these are impossible to find, everybody is unhappy.  Not necessarily because of tragedies, poverty, sickness, or death: simply because of unfilled desire.

Everybody is looking for something that isn’t available.  It’s worse than looking for a needle in a haystack; at least the needle is there, even though it is hard to find.  But satisfaction and self are both delusions, so how can they ever be found?

– Ayya Khema, “No Satisfaction”

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