In my last post I posited an idea about how suffering is logical. In that post I suggested that perhaps there is a mechanism we are each empowered with, that allows us to have any experience we might want to experience. But lack of knowledge about that mechanism creates a bunch of mess in people’s lives.
Specifically, I wrote the following:
What if, you were totally free to choose your life experience and that this life experience was just one of an infinite number you have experienced and will experience. If you were totally free, you’d need some kind of mechanism through which you could exercise your freedom and design your experience right? Such a mechanism would need to preserve your total freedom, even when you’re in the midst of your chosen life-experience. What better mechanism than the ability to use “creativity” to create stories which, in time line up life experience with the content of a given story?
In the last post I also described how that mechanism includes a set of indicators – our emotions – which tell us whether we are using our stories to head towards what we’re wanting or away from it. We know when we’re heading in the wrong direction when we experience negative emotion. Negative emotion is suffering.
The logical question that follows such a proposition is: then why are so many people suffering?
My answer to that question is: How many people would read that quote above and agree with it? In the answer to that question, you find the reason why so many people today suffer. It’s because the vast majority of people don’t know two critical components of what it means to be human:
- That they are eternal
- That they are in control of their life experience
Now there’s a difference between “believing” something, and “knowing” it. Some people believe they are eternal. Their religion or philosophy they subscribe to may tell them so. And so they may “believe” it. But their life – i.e. their actual day-to-day behaviors – doesn’t reflect that belief. And, sometimes “belief” isn’t really belief, but more of a “ok, I get it” non-committal type position.
Knowing is born of life experience. You may believe you can fly a plane, but you don’t know it until you actually leave the runway in an actual airplane with you at the controls. The same is true for the two points above. And this is why so many people suffer: they don’t know these two critical components. As a result, they are not “at the controls” of the mechanism that is creating their life experience.
We take a deeper look at this mechanism’s autopilot next week.