Winny wrote:Desires make me suffer.. But without it, what do I live for? Should I live my life without any want? IDK..
What do you think?
While not technically an economic concern, I would like to add a few comments on the subject of contentment. Contentment is a virtue that has often been misunderstood and, as it relates to consumption and satisfaction, it seems to merit some discussion.
The tacit objective of economics is a dynamic economy where every demand and desire is supplied and constantly renewed in a never-ending and ever-growing cycle. The entire mechanism is fueled by tanha. From the Buddhist perspective, this tireless search to satisfy desires is itself a kind of suffering. Buddhism proposes the cessation of this kind of desire, or contentment, as a more skillful objective.
Traditional economists would probably counter that without desire, the whole economy would grind to a halt. However, this is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of contentment. People misunderstand contentment because they fail to distinguish between the two different kinds of desire, tanha and chanda. We lump them together, and in proposing contentment, dismiss them both. A contented person comes to be seen as one who wants nothing at all. Here lies our mistake.
Obviously, people who are content will have fewer wants than those who are discontent. However, a correct definition of contentment must be qualified by the stipulation that it implies only the absence of artificial want, that is tanha; chanda, the desire for true well-being, remains. In other words, the path to true contentment involves reducing the artificial desire for sense-pleasure, while actively encouraging and supporting the desire for quality of life.
Michael_S wrote:There has been no "suffering" or "dukkha" as a result of this desire to see a film and acting upon it.
Michael_S wrote:The book mentioned a few posts ago about "desire" points out that there are
seventeen Pali words that have all been translated as "desire" into English by various authors.
So, I am uncertain of what the Buddha really meant about all this. Something is getting lost in the translating.
I've read a bit of the Canon (in English) and see some contradiction.
Michael_S wrote:The basics like food, water, air, heat, shelter, etc do not provoke "desires" or "cravings", they are needs.
Michael_S wrote:Anyway, I sit on the Newbie fence as far as Buddhism goes and remain undecided about much of it.
The practice of mindfulness has been helpful to me,
but the idea that all desires lead to suffering is probably not what the Buddha meant.
If he did, then he was mistaken.
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