Dafremen What are the depths of this compassion? To what extent am I willing to go in order to ease your suffering, your self-inflicted miseries? To what do I owe this profound and inexplicable empathy for you, a stranger?

As I walk down the street, I find my answers in each and every one of your faces. I find the answers in the pain I feel behind your smiles, a pain to which you yourselves have become numb and indifferent. Behind the well hidden sadness in your eyes I find my answer and, imagining your misery, I am moved by the senselessness of it all.

Would that I could be the eyes of your heart for but a day, that you could see the path to your happiness. You could have it all right here, right now, but you do not see how. Like a tourist in a foreign land, you see only a facade of what your life could really be, of the happiness that lies waiting for you. You occasionally dip your foot into the waters of paradise, but no more than that. Imagining happiness a puddle, when in fact it is a pool, you choose not to dive in. Like the cartoon coyote you stand on air for a second or two and then, believing you must, you begin to fall into the canyon of human misery. Did you not fly once, if only for a moment or two? Is it not then possible? Must you fall? Like the coyote, only if you believe you must, will you fall into the trap set by your own desire.

Your insistence on harboring desire to the point of misery is the cause of your misery. The insistence of those around you in pursuing THEIR desires, to the point that it makes others miserable, is also a cause of your suffering.

How it weighs heavy on my heart to see you suffer so. If desire is the wind in your sails and logic your rudder, would you follow that desire into the path of the storm? Into the mouth of the whale? Onto reefs strewn with the shipwrecked lives of those who have sailed that same wind before you? Is that not what your rudder is for? Why then choose to allow your desire to steer you? Logic should navigate, desire should motivate. How it pains me to see you chase the wind when you could set your course for a lifetime of joy.

Pursue your desires for so long as they lead to your happiness. When the pain comes for wanting, when the anger comes for wanting, when the sadness and the emptiness come for wanting, let go of that want, that you may continue to be happy here.

Pursue those desires for so long as they do not set you on a collision course with the happiness of those around you. When the pain shows in their eyes, or the sadness plays across their faces, let go of that want. Do it that you may not create turbulence in the waters around you. The same turbulence that creates THEIR misery, also threatens your OWN voyage into contentment. Do we not all sail in these same waters?

You have the power to create heaven or hell, paradise or perdition here on Earth. You cannot choose your needs, but you CAN choose to be happy or not. You cannot choose what you NEED, but you CAN choose what you WANT. Therein lies your power to choose contentment or misery.

What are the depths of this compassion that I feel for you? Deep enough that I would leave this truth here for you, to perhaps ease your suffering. Deep enough that I would risk being ridiculed, scorned and ostracized by you in order to share this secret with you. Deep enough that I would not go peacefully into my grave leaving these words unspoken, but would weather the storm of your collective derision in the hope that just one of you might hear and be spared needless suffering.

Dafremen I was struck with another one of those strange, unannounced revelations this morning. I guess "unannounced" isn't really the word, more like unexpected. I'd been reading, when it hit me that the relationship between DESIRE and MORALITY was useful, in a capitalist society. See desire is insatiable..PARTICULARLY in an environment without any sort of moral or ethical guideposts to put on the brakes. So consumers spend more when morality is looser, because a moral lifestyle itself requires self discipline and control. A good consumer has little control. That's why they put all of that stuff up by the cash registers. It's called impulse buying aka instant gratification of unexpected wants. Whatever you want...just do it..that's what they tell us, and we do.

What, to my way of thinking, seems most distasteful about the whole thing is that by dropping our moral standards, we are in fact, condoning and abetting self indulgence and desire. What's wrong with that? Simple, the root of the majority of all human suffering is human desire, plain and simple. He wants, she wants, they want and they all can't have all of the time. When they can't have, things get miserable..often violent. On an international level, community level, family level, even within the minds of the individuals themselves, wants create conflict and misery. Misery caused by desire, desire which becomes more habitual with practiced and societally prescribed self indulgence. Consumers buy to satisfy desires and needs. The desires outweigh the needs by a hefty margin these days and it's only getting heftier as we become more self indulgent and materialistic, teaching our children to be the same way.

Who gains by loosening society's moral and ethical safety nets? Whoever's fleecing the consumers...that's who. Funny that they just happen to finance the media ("this show brought to you by _____") which just happens to influence...yep you guessed it, consumers. Who's suffering as a result? We all are, that's who. Unsatiated desire can be awful, like drug withdrawals, an unpleasantness. When we satisfy our desire, we "get our fix". Soon we desire something else and "go back to our dealer" (aka whoever's fleecing the consumers.) The skimpier the clothes get, the more little_brain wants...huh? Pretty girls and guys all around us that little_brain wants. The more little_brain wants her, the more little_brain will spend to get her huh? Nice car, nice clothes..nice shiny things to impress her? Maybe little_brain will nag someone into buying those shiny things or maybe steal the shiny things? OR will little brain just TAKE her by force? Human suffering, want, desire, misery...yowza.

This is liberating? How exactly? It doesn't sound like freedom to me. Sounds like a trap, a cage, a hamster wheel to me. Every major religious figure and quite a few scientific ones have pinned the cause of human suffering on human desire. Still, we create and foster an environment that creates desire of ever increasing strength and in ever increasing numbers. Along with these increased desires, increased misery, increased human suffering, needless suffering. We owe it to each other to make this "getting our desires under control" thing easier to manage. It isn't that ALL desire is a bad thing, it's when we come to desire things so much that it makes us or others miserable, that we've created needless suffering. We deny ourselves the happiness that we so much deserve, simply because we can't let go of some thing or another that we want. We give up time with each other in order to get the money we need to get these things. Perhaps we give up the time in the form of time in jail..some of us..when we want something badly enough. So it's like "Haw haw yo0 got caught Goob. HeeYuk" or "F*ckin @sshole DA" instead of "Damn we blew it teaching this kid to control himself" or "Why couldn't I just let it go man? I just had to have it. Damn."

Notice how these days, we've come to WATCH this type of suffering? The misery caused by human desire?! Think about it, all of the cheater shows and Jerry Springers, the court shows and the soap operas are just showing us the suffering resultant from human desire..and we desire to WATCH it! We're desensitized to human suffering to the point that we sit there laughing, thinking "better them than me." Our fellow human beings. Wow.

If I could, I'd like to call on people out there to think about it. Not about Puritan, ultra-right, overboard morality. About ethical and respectable behavior. About actually getting to know one another before we decide if we really desire one another. About actually getting to know EVERYTHING that we think we want before we decide whether or not we REALLY want it that badly. About putting ourselves in the other guy's shoes because we've already worn them, or because we're thankful that we've never had to. I'd like to call on us all to THINK about exactly what it is that we are becoming as a society. How are we REALLY helping our fellow man right now? Our children? Our grandchildren? These are, in the end, some of the things we can do that will REALLY help us all as a society, that can really give meaning to our existence as individuals, for after we are gone, society lives on. How much do we give? Not in the amount of money that we give, but in the amount of OURSELVES that we give. Our time, emotion, empathy and caring? The personal examples that we present to and accept from one another. I'm not particularly talking about the way we dress, or the jewelry that we have hanging off of our faces(although in some cases, YES it DOES matter.) I'm talking about the way we treat one another and the way in which we allow one another to be treated. Sounds like a lot of happy horsesh*t huh? Lot of trouble huh?

Well ask yourself this question: Who wants to be lonely and wanting?

You? Not me, that's for sure.

When we look inward and focus on what we want, oblivious to our obligation to one another, we forget to look outside at the people who make up the environment we will have to live in. We are creating our own hell by selling out the ONE thing that ever made society worthwhile, the people in it. If we don't stop, it's only a matter of time before we find ourselves sold out as well; living a lonely existence within a society of emotionally cold predators who seek after their own pleasures.

There is only one way to stop this ridiculous slide into an awful mess; we each have to put on the brakes. Help ourselves and help each other get over the WANT, help each other NOT want so much so often. Stop making babies who grow up without parentS, as one of those parentless children..PLEASE knock it off, you're screwing us all, not just each other. More often than not the kids you produce will grow up with that hole inside of them where the two of YOU should have been and they'll waste their lives away trying to fill that void. Perfect little consumers. Perfect little high school killers.

Treat yourselves with respect and demand that others treat you the same. Then return the favor. Care for one another. This could be a really good thing we've got here, if not for our snowballing desires. Don't let "whoever's fleecing the consumers" take it away from us. : )
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