By Lauro Pinotti | Translation: Andrea Alves

self-knowledge-signThe teachings of the Great Masters of Light, on the opposite, exist to help us transcend our selfish and common sense. This way, we can achieve relative satisfaction with ourselves, as well as with the world. If suffering is a consequence of our individual perception, we can do something to make it better through self-knowledge. “Designers design channels, archers shoot arrows, potters mold the clay. The wise man molds himself.” This was said by that first oriental man, Gautama Buddha, when he perceived that the common man is easily controlled by greed, lust, pride, covetousness, anger, avarice, and laziness.

Once dominated by them, his interactions with the external world are always in an aggressive and anxious way, what generates the almost inevitable suffering when he doesn’t have his cravings fulfilled. An oriental man, almost 500 years before Christ, perceived the importance of detachment. He realized that a person must live in this world, must use its resources, but shouldn’t get attached to it. In his enlightened purity, he also learned that suffering is the basic problem of human existence. This suffering, however, is not something that comes from outside oneself; it is, indeed, a direct consequence of a limited perception one has about reality. It comes from the adoption of a deficient idea of the world and an incorrect programming.

Not by coincidence, another oriental man (this time from the Middle East) later said: “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Children don’t get attached to the past, or worry about the future. They live the present and are authentic with their feelings, until culture makes them eat “from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” loading them up with preconceptions and anxieties, and banishing them from Paradise.

Dissatisfaction is the result of all cravings and desires that cannot be plenty realized. Most people are incapable of accepting the world as it is… and are taken by the desire for the “always pleasant,” and the aversion to the “negative and painful.” Desires and cravings always create an unstable mental structure in which the present, generally, is not satisfactory. If desires are not satisfied, the person tends to fight to change the present or gets stuck to the past. If they are satisfied, however, the person becomes afraid of the consequent impending changes, and this feeling brings new frustrations and dissatisfactions.

As everything changes and passes, the enjoyment of an achievement has the counterweight that we know it won’t be forever. Similarly to a snowball, the more intense the desire is, the more intense the dissatisfaction will be, when we face the fact that its realization won’t last forever. The “Middle Path,” intuitively defined by Gautama Buddha, seems to be one of the good ways to deal with suffering. Most people seek the highest level of satisfaction of the senses… and are never satisfied. Others, on the opposite, perceive the limitations of this approach and tend to go to the other damaging extreme: mortification. Neither one nor the other, however, seems to be the ideal way. The ideal approach seems to be moderation.

All the bad things that happen in the world, nowadays, seem to reveal that there’s something really wrong in the man’s human being’s heart. If, for instance, there are so many products piling up our supermarket shelves, it is a clear indication that there are as many desires in a man’sperson’sheart. The advertisement companies and the industries know it very well… and use this knowledge to create their campaigns and their new products. To get to know the heart of the modern manperson, this way, we just need a quick and critical visit to the nearby supermarket. There, we will be able to see all the useless poisons man produces to kill himself… and how his inner self remains empty.

The problem of the modern manperson, finally, seems to be the following: he/she has way too many desires, and way too little spirituality! Isn’t this the root of all problems?

*Lauro Pinotti is an architect, master in multimedia, writer, and researcher of “spirituality” and “holistic therapies”.  To contact him: email: Tetere_at_terra.com.br

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