Phil for Humanity Phil for Humanity
A Guide for the Survival of Humankind and Helping the World, Society, and Yourself.

Desire is Suffering

I always thought that suffering, psychologically speaking, was caused by not getting what I wanted; however through time, I realized that desire is the real source of suffering.

This suffering has nothing to do with the disappointment of not getting what I wanted, or being disappointed with what I got was not what I was expecting, or working hard to achieve what I want.

The very desire of wanting something, whether it is a new car, girlfriend, or some toy, causes internal suffering in the mind. This suffering can manifest itself in several forms, including depression, stress, and anxiety.

For instance, for over a month, I wanted to watch a new movie on the day it was coming out in the theaters. Iím certain that the anticipation with waiting to watch this movie elevated my blood pressure and made me anxious at times. For no good reason, I was placing unnecessary stress on myself for a movie that I was guaranteed to see. Furthermore, the movie was a major disappointment to me, so I was all worked up for a bad movie.

Alternatively, the effect of suffering can be good too. For example, wanting a better job is a good motivation to go back to school to start a new career.

Therefore whether suffering is either good or bad, it is always caused by desire. So the next time that I am mentally suffering or feeling stressed, I will try to ask myself these two questions.
  1. What desire is producing this stress?
  2. And is this desire worth this stress?

Maybe these questions will help alleviate some suffering. I also hope that you can learn from my experiences and apply this little bit of self help too.

by Phil for Humanity
on 10/12/2007

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