Like RJ, I think we all quiet the pain of being ourselves in one way or another. Some with food, drugs and alcohol, sex, exercise, work, whatever. Some with good works, self-improvement, building businesses, public service, whatever. But what about the pain itself? Is it inevitable. Is anyone out there pain free? Can anyone ever really be pain free?
Being human is a painful condition. It’s a joyful condition too. But not as often as it’s a painful one. If you think about your whole life, you spend a great deal of time being unsatisfied. But this is a good thing. Dissatisfaction can lead to innovation, progress, growth. No pain, no gain. Simple. Cliche. Trite.
But what this really means in practice is that we can never be truly satisfied. To be truly satisfied would mean that we don’t progress. We don’t innovate. We don’t grow. We stop.
We can’t be satisfied without being unsatisfied first. But to be satisfied, means we stop being unsatisfied, which shuts off the only way to become even more satisfied. So, it’s all futile, right? There’s no point in trying because we’re all running in place, right?
Wrong. We can achieve satisfaction. Just not for very long. Satisfaction is and should be transitory. It has to be. Just as dissatisfaction has to be our default setting.
This is why I don’t believe in heaven. Heaven, as I understand it, is some sort of perfect place where you hang out and, I guess, be happy all day long. That just sounds really boring to me. And don’t get me started about having to hang out with my dead relatives.
But Wait. Hanging out with dead relatives would make me so unsatisfied that it would motivate me to what? Become more satisfied by moving to a place far away that would way better than heaven. What place would be way better than heaven?
Right here. Right now. Struggling to be better. Not best. Just better.
Pain is good.
Pain: Twinkies for the soul.