How Humans Waste Their Lives

A man is born into this world.

If he is not born into an environment that readily gives him food and water, his biology will compel him to seek it out.

He will spend it thinking about, and acquiring, things.

He will pursue an education. He will pursue a career. He will pursue people. He will pursue love. He will pursue hobbies and interests.

And through it all, he will be thinking about things. And acquiring things.

The greatest lie man tells himself is that tomorrow will be different. That life is some puzzle to solve. That, if he cracks the code, he will discover something novel.

For reasons that seem to escape him, his life lacks completeness. Thus, he has two options: Accept his unfulfilling existence, or, search for something more.

The driven man opts to search for something more.

He amasses a great number of things. Money. Property. Family. Recognition. Once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

But his stomach continues to growl.

Eventually, he may come to conclude there is nothing left for him to acquire. This is either because he has amassed all he could, or he viscerally realises these pursuits have, in the end, led him nowhere.

What does he do next?

He pursues more things.

He pursues self-help books. Meditation. Journalling. Positive thinking. Philanthropy.

But his stomach continues to growl.

As he sits and ponders in his chair, a realisation stabs him in the chest.

Perhaps, all along, religion is what he was missing! Of course! After all, did any of his pursuits give him anything?

Man says: “Of course my pursuits led me nowhere! I didn’t have God in my life! Henceforth, I will give myself to God, and I will feel complete.”

But man does not give himself to God. He pursues God.

He prays on the volition that God will give him something back — that God will bring him peace. He does not pray to God because God is great. He prays to God because he thinks God can give him things.

Man believes that every day is not the same because the incidence and intensity of the feelings he experiences vary. If today is bad, tomorrow might be good. Or next week. Or next year.

Good and bad days don’t matter because every event and every pursuit has left him feeling the same way: Desiring more.

Even the pursuit of nothing is a pursuit.

The man who strips life down to its barebones — consuming only that which ensures his basic survival — remains unsatiated.

He is unsatiated because even his pursuit of nothing was approached like an acquisition. The approach says: If I do X, then I will acquire Y. If I renounce this world, I will find completeness.

Do you see a trend? Have you noticed the word “acquire?”

But if acquiring things, no matter how grand or noble, doesn’t work… What does?

Understanding.

And Understanding does not come by way of an acquisition. One cannot set out to Understand.

The seeds of Understanding plant themselves when the ground becomes fertile. The universe throws a life ring to the man who becomes serious about his condition — the man who has sunk to the seabed.

Man spends his life looking for the wines of heaven in the gutters. Eventually, he may even conclude there is no wine.

Is it true, that completeness can never arrive?

No.

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