The pursuit of happiness and contentment is the basic tenet of human liberty. Human pursuit and its motivations are more complex than rocket science or brain surgery. The latter two having been achieved in the 20th century, but the human happiness – still an illusive cause, for which many surrogates have been tried, and few claimed success.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs start with the basal needs of food and security, then going up the pyramid to higher needs like social validation through family and friendships and ending in enlightenment, which he called self-actualization. Surely human needs do progress in more or less that manner. But there has been a new phenomenon of iteration. Getting more – the economics of unfullment which results in corruption of this chain of proposed satisfaction. Once we get to enligtenment, we should be satisfied – or else, it is clear proof we have not reached enlightenment.
Shri Mataji introduced a top down propogation of satisfaction by granting spiritual self-realization first. The model of contentment would allow for the trickle down of contentment from enlightenment into our various lower needs. This has been reported widely in anecdotes by those who have achieved enlightenment with Sahaja. There are those cases where-in enlightenment was achieved – however, the trickly down effect takes a long time, as one of the links in the chain of satisfaction may take a long time to be satisfied. So the trickle down happens in all but a few areas. So one or two of the points of contentment may still feel the need for more.
The need to have more, wheter in the area of food, money or anything else with the potential of forming an addiction is explained through the blunting effect of our pleasure pathway by Prof. Linden of Harvard, author of “The Compass of Pleasure”. When there is a desire to consume something or experience something out of its natural bounds, then the problem is not addiction to pleasure, but the chase of the initial pleasure.
E.g. An alcoholic does not waste himself on alcohol because is is deriving pleasure out of the drinking game. Rather, he misses the original surge in pleasure that never came back. Result? Addiction to fulfilling that pleasure pathway which is blunted by abuse of the substance, resulting in lowered sensitivity and a vicious circle of consumption, dissatisfaction and more out of bounds consumption.
Meditation’s purpose after enlightenment is to heal the broken parts of our satisfaction chain or pleasure pathways. One way to introspect and find out is to see if experiencing something in a balanced amount satisfies us: balanced diet, balanced social interaction, balanced time spent in meditation, balanced time with family and human propogation.
Wish you balance and peace as we go closer to giving thanks next week. Have a great holiday weekend ahead and may you find the peace to maintain your healthy habits of balanced consumption.