Discover more from Liesbeth Steur - English
Dissatisfaction is ignorance
Dying to live
Dissatisfaction is ignorance, I read a book by Barry Long with the fascinating title Dying to Live. I have had this book on my shelf for over 20 years and read it several times and each time I read something new. Why now at this moment in my life does this statement touch me so much? I suspect because I can suddenly recognise that it is so. That is why I am now writing it down in my own words. In order to remember it for the future.
When you feel dissatisfied (unhappy, sad) you think that life is something other than you. That you are the subject of life. The dissatisfaction arises from the things that happen to you. Events outside you determine your mood. This makes life the causer of all discomfort and you the victim. A seemingly safe role that admittedly keeps increasing the distance from peace.
Have you ever noticed that life is always there and always going on? No matter how bad the crisis you are going through, life goes on its way and it is always good. And do you know why? It is eternal, true to its mission and it is a constant truth that you and I can so beautifully recognise in nature. So when you now know that you ARE life - and not an entity that is a victim of life - you are part of the big picture. So when you move, the whole universe moves. I imagine that. Eyes closed, I move my arm and see the world moving with me. Or, I think something, don't even utter it and whoop the world has a new thought!?
Being dissatisfied is not natural. That is a self-created condition of man from his victim position. Of course, you can feel quite comfortable for a while but this is inevitably followed by a day or more of dissatisfaction. Striving to be happy is also a nice activity, but always very temporary and very finite. Therefore, as long as that is a life attitude, you as a human being are ignorant. For you then do not know that our natural state is inner joy. That is eternal, unchanging and is within you. And as long as you think you are a victim of life and not BEING life, you can never experience that inner joy.
To know is to feel at one with life, to feel a radar in the big picture. That frees you from discontentment. But man with his history is so addicted to satisfaction-dissatisfaction, satisfaction-dissatisfaction that it is no longer recognised as such. So how do you approach that?
When a feeling of discontentment arises, I usually start by examining the thought that causes the emotion of discontentment. From that, without exception, I find that I believe something that is not true. And then when I take the time to wander and observe nature - that is, take time for life - I remember that I am one with every tree, flower and everything living on earth.
I admit, it is not a quick-fix, it is long training that requires discipline and the results are correspondingly less and less feelings of dissatisfaction no matter how extreme the events that come into my life.
The good news is that those feelings of discontentment give me the opportunity to reflect on myself, to recognise, examine and step by step get rid of my ingrained behaviours. That is the moment when I am part of the whole. And that goes on. Just until I know something and am free from dissatisfaction, the eternal possibility.