Chapter 35 Your World is your Wanting System

In other words, please recognize and meditate on the profound thought that your reality is defined by your desire system.  The author Ram Dass first altered me to this deep insight.  For example, say you are driving down the street and you have a terrible stomach ache, you will start to notice only the drugstores and supermarkets where you can purchase an antacid.  You will not see the gas stations, restaurants, schools, hospitals, or other businesses that you pass by.  They will simply not exist in your world.  It does not mean that they do not exist at all, they just do not exist to you. 


And you are the observer, period.  Now, if you really have to go to the restroom, then you will start to notice all the places you can relieve yourself, and the more desperate you are, the locations you notice will change too.  You will notice the gas stations, restaurants, schools,… but not so much the hospitals because it would take you a long time to park and take the elevator and so on.  If you REALLY have to go, you will notice the backs of dumpsters, maybe a secluded tree by the highway, the dark alleys, and you will not even notice the gas stations, restaurants, schools at all.  If you REALLY REALLY have to go to the restroom, all you will see is a quick place to park your car.


Please recognize this profound implication and use it to gain understanding and awareness.  It is basically your attachments to your desires that form your world.  If you are feeling pain and suffering, you must recognize that your desire system is creating the desire system which is doing it to you.  If you change your attachments to things which are causing you misery, then you will no longer suffer.  This is because there will be nobody to feel this pain.  The pain will simply lift away, and disappear, because there is no place that the pain can land on. 


If you desire something, you will notice that periods of suffering will start to bubble up and surface when you lack that which you are seeking.  If you are totally without desire and without attachment to anything, you can really start to appreciate everything and really be in the moment, as there is nothing to distract you.  As Rass Dass wrote, only the unattached mind can appreciate all the true beauty on this earth.  Therefore, you will note all that you pass by in the car, and enjoy the mystery of all that is. 


Think about it and realize how profound that notion is.  Let’s say you really want a Harley Davidson motorcycle for the summer, but you can’t budget enough money for it.  You then feel anguish and are upset that you don’t have the money to purchase the motorcycle.  Then you feel suffering.  But what if you didn’t even want the motorcycle to begin with?  What if you had NO desire at all for the motorcycle?  Then there would be no suffering.  If you are able to disregard or erase all your desire for the motorcycle, then the suffering that you may experience at NOT having the motorcycle will cease immediately.  Therefore, when you take time to meditate, relax, contemplate, and quiet your mind, the number of things that you desire should decrease in proportion.


To illustrate another example, at this moment there is an IPO for an Internet company going named Facebook.  It is a social networking site with a lot of users who post their lives for their friends.  The founder, a young man named Mark Zuckerberg who is only 28 years old, became an instant billionaire today as of this writing.  There were so many “haters” and envious people commenting about him on chatrooms and stock market websites.  This is all because they wish they were him, a very rich young man who is obviously free of all anxiety over money (hopefully).  It is their own desire for money that creates their envy.  If the negative commenters did not care at all about money themselves, they could not care at all about this story. 


In order to free yourself, take some time of every day to practice quieting your mind.  Take a routine up to take a warm bath or shower, take a jog (to practice nurturing your body), meditate, pray, and contemplate all that you have and are grateful for, and hopefully your thoughts will start to slow down.  If this occurs, then you will have less desires and thus less suffering as a result. 


About youngkim3000

I grew up in Virginia and went to a top tier high school, being so ambitious and wanting fame and fortune like the next kid. I received good grades and then I went off to the University of Chicago where I majored in Psychology and Economics. After a brief but successful "Wall Street" career, I realized that I was not happy and left thinking that a career in the medical field would satisfy me. Then, I did some post Bac work at Northwestern and UIC, and then ended up at UIC Medical School. The problem was I was not happy there either. The structure, the repetition, and lack of being able to be free and spontaneously creative really knocked me down. Having to be subject to constant subjective evaluations sucked my soul dry. As I sought another chapter in my life, then came the financial collapse of 2008-9 which destroyed the "nest egg" and saving that I had worked so hard to build after college--which I so "identified with". I was so depressed at the loss of career and the loss of money that I fell into self pity and a deep seated depression. For weeks on end, I could not even get out of bed. I went to many doctors who could not really help me. I took so much anti-depressant medication and also self medicated with alcohol to dull my mind. One day though, I went to the public library in Niles, IL, and picked up some books on "Self-Help". I figured what do I have to lose? I was already so depressed I could barely get through a day. I picked up books by Wayne Dyer (Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life), Deepak Chopra, Louis Hay, Ram Dass, Osho, and Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth), The Dalai Lama, and revisited my faith in Catholicism. I devoured so many books to unearth just why I was suffering so much. I learned so much about myself and realized that my deep suffering was actually a gift for me to discover myself. Simply put, those words in those books saved my life. I was taking so many drugs and my physical health was in serious jeopardy. I realized that I could not live with myself any longer, and I needed to be free. I realized...that it was my own thoughts that were making me so depressed, as was my own "life story" that I replayed over and over. I realized that my mind was busy creating negative thoughts. Thoughts are "things" and expand. I understood that you do not "normally" choose your thoughts. Just like the digestion of a meal, the mind automatically creates all kinds of thoughts whether you like it or not. Just like you do not "choose" to breathe with your lungs or "choose" to make urine from your kidneys, you "normally" do not "choose" your own thoughts. They just happen, just like digestion. And if you had a bad experience, your mind recreates the negative thoughts without your conscious consent but you are forced to relive them endless times per day. It is only through CONSCIOUS INTERVENTION that you can make your mind change course from recycling negative thoughts. This is just like your breathing. You breathe automatically, but you CAN choose to influence your breathing, you can hold your breath if you are going to dive deep in the water, or you can consciously "slow down" your breath if you are relaxing in meditation and prayer. Once I realized I did in fact have an ability to control my thoughts, I consciously redirected the thoughts to positive uplifting notions. I noted that I had built such a large ego that the collapse of it dragged me down in catastrophic fashion. A big ego is different from self esteem. Both were destroyed, but I learned to regain self esteem through positive affirmations and knowing that the negative thoughts are not reality. I was choosing definitively to live in the past via my repetitive thoughts. I was also choosing to live in an uncertain future that I painted with dreadful possibilities. I realized that if I live in the "now", the present moment, I really did not have any reason to be depressed at all. I discovered I really only live in the "now". The past and future are fictions. It is akin to a motorboat on the water on a lake. The "wake" that the boat produces is the past, my vision of the future is what I can see in front of me, but I really only exist ON the boat in the present moment. I was living my life only on the "wake" created many meters before. Soon, my self-pity slowly subsided as I learned to accept "what is" and not grasp for anything and everything that is valued by Society. I concurred that it was my own "expectations" not realized that were causing such waves of discontent. Once I dropped my self imposed sad "life story", my yesterdays, I came to my senses that there was no need to feel upset at all. That realization hit me like "a ton of bricks" and quickly lifted me out of the well, like a rope thrown down the dark walls of the deep well. I would like to share that it was only that single moment of enlightenment, a "satori" event that forever changed my life, but that was not so. It was a gradual climb out of the abyss (over about a year). I realized that my mind was like a superhighway of blazing thoughts that went through my mind over and over based on the recent past. While my "life story" was going great, I believed in those thoughts, and my ego grew such that I became arrogant and sometimes unkind. Then when my "life story" changed for the worse, I similarly believed in those new negative thoughts with the same passion (which hurt me so deeply throughout my waking hours). I noted to myself that this was why I craved so many "tranquilizers" and medicines that would halt my thoughts. I realized that I was drowning in my negative thoughts and that I was CHOOSING to believe in them. But I learned through focusing on positive affirmations, meditation and prayer, I did not need any more drugs to "halt" my mind from stabbing me to death. Through the filter of society's measure I had evaluated my own life, unable to fully realize that it was all a fiction that my mind had created. I was completely unable to live in the present before this profound awakening. My life had turned into a constant "replay" of the past, the anxiety of the uncertain future...and my destroyed ego. Because of my belief that my thoughts were the ultimate truth, I suffered so deeply... but needlessly. Once I changed the direction of my thoughts, everything changed. The way I looked at my own life changed. I realized that LIFE is not a long emergency where the one with the most toys at the end wins. I realized LIFE is something to be lived fully, and joyfully...not some series of problems to be solved. Once I realized these insights, I realized that I was the creation of my own depression. Although a devout Catholic, I am also deeply moved by the ideals of Buddhism. About Karma and "Dependent Arising"...both of which are also in the Bible (Galations 6, Do not be deceived, God will not be mocked, a person always reaps what they sow). And I was...for the better part of my life, a runaway train into disaster that I was blind to...that I had planted the seeds onto. Putting money, fame, accolades, trophies, and so forth as the ultimate end to my goals sowed the seeds of psychological calamity when the inevitable tides of change occurs in every life. A person who extols those superficial qualities dooms himself/herself to disaster. The only variable is "time". Would it take a long time to find yourself in a train wreck or a short time? It doesn't matter. What matters is how soon can you realize the truth of existence and your place in it...and rise above what Society tries to focus you to believe. Society always makes you compare yourself to others, Society never leaves you alone to just be yourself. You have to exert effort and unlearn what Society has poisoned you with. I am now doing various "work" (not holding down any soul sucking corporate job), teaching, making money through various income sources like buying items at rummage sales and reselling them through Craigslist, asking neighbors and doing work they need, trading stock options when my financial tools indicate that there is a good trade. I am not focused on any "ladder to climb" or any "prestigious career"...and I am so much happier and at peace. I'd rather be "waterboarded" that go back to Corporate America. I have also a solid equanimity, and i am OK with whatever happens, and thus accept what God and the Universe wish for me. I wish to share my newly found wisdom and hope that my story and my interpretation of my newly found contentment can benefit others and I also wish to hear similar stories of awakening. God Bless, thanks for reading my "profile" and leave me your stories of awakening. Outside somewhere is a field where all of us are the same, I cannot wait to see you there...Namaste...
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