Life is painful. This is the first fact, sounded at birth in groanings too deep for words. If I don’t know this, I’ll devolve into that most coarsened of figures—the pleasure seeker.
If I am full of fear, I do not know myself. Not knowing myself, I become identified with my body, focussed on how to protect it, pleasure it and prolong its existence. So deep is my ignorance that I don’t even know I’m afraid.
Grievances are the acidulous fruit of a wrong belief that outer circumstances create or destroy my happiness. In reality, nothing outside of me can do that. Pleasure and happiness are not the same.
Joy is timeless, still and two meters down. Pleasure is pincered by cause and effect. Everything that matters encourages us to look inside ourselves.
Pleasure’s not a problem—until we think we can’t be happy without it.