The Simple Art of Not Being Miserable - ANCAPRA

 


In the novel by Herman Hesse, Siddhartha, the title character and his friend leave home, repudiating all possessions, to look for spiritual lighting.


They decide to live on the road, homeless, to travel far from the known to the unknown. It is not a life of ease, but it is one that embraces.


When they are hungry, they fast. When they are unemployed, they meditate. When looking for answers, wait. And as they move from one place to another, they risk increasingly on their goal.


Eventually, however, they are separated, occurs due to their meeting with the Buddha itself. After listening to the legends on the illuminated and then seek it, both are impressed with their calm and the deep depth of their teachings. The friend, Govinda, stay behind to become his student, while Siddhartha, although appreciating what he has learned, decides to continue with a more individualistic search.


This search takes him through space and time: he is established in a city, falls for a woman and, over the years, becomes a successful entrepreneur. This, of course, does not fulfill it either, so he leaves. The next stop at him, the last stop of him, is a small house on a river where he lives with a ferryman.


The ferry is a simple and quiet man, but he has a tacit wisdom that trains anyone who finds it. Living in the presence of him, after many more years of concern and suffering of the whole search, Siddhartha, eventually, at a sudden moment, is at peace.


At the end of him, Govinda, who is still looking for enlightenment, hears on an older ferryman that people whispered has the answer. This ferryman is Siddhartha, who has now assumed from the ancient mentor of him on the river.


When Govinda tells him that he is still a search engine, the old friend of him, just before he finishes the book, shares what he has learned after all these years:


"When someone searches," Siddhartha said, "then it happens easily that his eyes only see what he seeks, and he is able to not find anything, not understanding anything because he always thinks only about what he is looking for, because he has a goal Because she is obsessed with her goal. Searching means: Having a goal. But finding media: being free, be open, have no goal. "


The Problematic Zone of Fixation


The story of Siddhartha and his friend are in a very different world than we occupy. It is a simpler world, one with fewer forces that balance the minds.


The search for it, too, is not the unhealthy that you can follow. Airing towards compliance is, in general, much better than many of the things that occupy our desires in modernity, think about money, state and pleasure.


The main problem, however, is the same. It is the root of all the self-inflicted misery.

Happiness, or more precision, lack of unhappiness, is a product of the relationship that exists between our subjective expectations and objective reality. In the long term, a feeling of peaceful satisfaction is reduced to the objective reality that gives us more than our subjective expectations.


We all have some influence on what this reality has to offer, but ultimately, many things are out of our control. The only solution, then, is to adjust our expectations when managing our personal wishes.


In some spiritual traditions, such as Buddhism, the response, in general terms, is minimizing, and if possible, eliminate desire. Not only the desire for vices, but also the desire that leads to the search for the search that both Siddhartha and Govinda will spend their lives in search of.


Unfortunately, the probability that the average person renounced desire and will find enlightenment is a small one. That said, what anyone can learn to do, which is a healthy step in the right direction, its fixing zone expands.


We all have things we want, and we all have things we are looking for to achieve. But many of these things are much more negotiable than we do.


Sure, what makes more money can make your life better, and of course, winning that prize or capture the praise of someone who admire may be affirming life, but if there is a world of people who can live completely at peace without these things. - And almost always, no matter what you want, the chances that you can, too.


When we want something, we look at him. We promised our time and our mental energy, and in the process, we developed a unilateral obsession that leads to misery at any time, reality does not correspond. This is so true about the desire to be safer than itself, since it is to look for a specific pleasure.


The only way not to fall into this trap is to expand the area of ​​its fixation when the time arises. It is to loosen the definition of your wishes so that you can accommodate feedback given by objective reality. And that is possible if you are willing to go back and let go.

To zoom out and adjust your subjective expectation is to be free of affliction.

 Better Questions, Better Life


One of the reasons why we look at things and then we give it difficulty to let it go is because we started with the wrong foot: we started asking the wrong questions.



Almost everything that motivates it to take action begins with a question, whether you do it or not. The simple reason is that before wishing an answer, you must first define what you are looking for.


Most of the things we seek come from borrowed ideas. Depending on the culture in which we grow, we are molded by socioeconomic forces that shape our mind before we are mature enough to know better. By the time we grow up, many of these ideas are so deeply embedded in us that we do not even realize.


The question of meaning, for example, is one of these cases. In the Western world, we are growing more and more secular. Religion is in decline. You can see that as good or bad, but in any case, it opens a question: What is the meaning of life? In what, in fact, is it significant at all? Why?


In a predominantly religious environment, the answer to these questions is so obvious that even if they occupy your mind from time to time, they really do not cause misery because their existing belief gives it an answer. However, in a secular environment, these questions take many to a spiral of nihilism, the belief that nothing matters. This fixation, then, more often than not, causes a lot of undue pain.


Now, here is a third approach as formulated by Alan Watts:


“If the universe is meaningless, so is the statement that it is so… The meaning and purpose of dancing is the dance.”


By redefining the context, as formed by the expression of the question, we completely refuse a problem, which in this case is the potential pain of living in a meaningless world. As Watts implies, who are you to set the meaning in a world that is simply here? A world that you do not even understand? Maybe the frame that is watching is the wrong. Maybe your brain is not even able to ask the right question.


Questions create context; The context defines the limits; The limits determine the fixation; Fixation, then, limits or improves its subjective capacity to live in a way that invites or repels misery.


The solution to most problems is not to fight against them, but to make better questions.



The Takeaway


Both Siddhartha and Govinda spent all his life looking for enlightenment, but it was not until they just stopped looking at him, they found him.


The question they had arranged was the wrong, and their inability to consider the possibility of having to rethink their initial premise forced them through a road full of years and years of incorrect responses.

Humans are scheduled biologically to wish things. It is encoded in the survival machine to which we refer to as our body. However, this process of eagerness leads to a close fixing zone that prevents us from experiencing reality in a way that is propitious to avoid misery.


To fight against this, we have to develop the flexibility to remodel the content of these desires, since we obtain more information from the objective world.


We have to learn to release the subjective expectations incompatible that we rigidly anchored us to reality so that we can consolidate us new in a more adequate direction, slowly moving away from the finding of finding.


It takes a lot of work, and even more courage, to look at yourself and decide that maybe it is the time we saw things from a different angle, with a different question, but it is precisely this type of work that is rewarded.


Avoiding misery is not easy, but it is simple. You are in that you take the right steps.

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