Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

This is the one in a series of (at least) 30 posts I’m going to write this month as part of what Wesley Zhao and I have dubbed No-Blog-Sloth November Challenge. One post will appear here a day from now until the end of November.

I’m currently reading Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa (quite a mouthful I know) and I thought I’d share a passage I particularly like.

If one searches for any kind of bliss or joy, the realization of one’s imagination and dream, then, equally, one is going to suffer failure and depression. This is the whole point: a fear of separation, the hope of attaining union, these are not just manifestations of or actions of ego or self-deception, as if ego were somehow a real thing which performed certain actions.
I really agree with this quote in that any kind of striving for a goal or expected result will at some point along the way result in failure or depression. But I don’t necessarily think that that’s a bad thing. In fact, I would argue that experiencing the entire range of human emotions is not only a good part of our daily lives, it’s a necessary part of it. If you expect to get rich and never be sad again, I would say that you have unrealistic expectations and even dangerous ones.

Eliminating one emotion entirely from your life is a bad thing – there’s a reason why suffering and depression exist and that’s to motivate us to get better. Looking at it that way, and embracing the fact that if you are human will experience, for the rest of your life, the entire emotional spectrum allows us to use the emotions we feel to learn more and improve upon ourselves.


2 Nov 2011, 8:30am | 1 comment


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