Desire Is the Root Cause of All Suffering

Desire Is the Root Cause of All Suffering


Desire Is the Root Cause of All Suffering…

You might recognize the title of this post as the 2nd Noble Truth.  If you do not recognize it I highly recommend you run to Google and read up.  I spent a few years of my college life studying and reading the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama more commonly known as The Buddha.  And it was the 2nd Noble Truth that I still connect with on a deep level.

I did an observation study a few years ago on the modern lifestyle and compared it to those who have removed themselves from society to live in the wilderness.  And it was during this comparison that my belief in the idea that desire is the root cause of suffering became incredibly strong.

People who want things usually create stress in their lives.  I reference credit cards as a perfect example.  Consumers use credit cards to buy things they don’t need with money they don’t have.  They want, want, want, want.  And this desire to possess things creates massive amounts of debt which then limits mobility and creates a trap.  The craving to buy things in insatiable.  And this desire to possess things creates unhappiness, discontent, stress and many other ailments of the spirit.  We fall victim to consumerism and run off to the stores the day after Thanksgiving to buy stuff that no one will care about come January.

So why do we do it?  Why do we allow desire to overwhelm us?

Those is the major religions would say it is because “man” is separated from God; and I don’t believe they are far off.

I believe we as a species are discontent because most lack the awareness to keep their mind, heart and soul focused on the appropriate things.   And the appropriate things are love, kindness, compassion, giving, friendship and the like.  Not televisions, clothing, money, mobile phones, shoes, cars, houses, etc.  Our focus must be on relationships with other people, not on material things.

The sad thing is such a small percentage of people realize this truth.   People have become conditioned by consumerism to accept their state of debt which is a modern-day version of share cropping.  They live life with a heavy burden from which they will most likely never find relief.  And it all begins with a sprinkle of desire.

I practice paying for everything with cash.  I do not own a credit card and I have virtually zero debt.  I am free from the chains of desire as it relates to consumerism.  I don’t own a television, we live in a modest home and all of this is by design.  My stress is low and my quality of life is high.  Why?  I recognized the 2nd Noble Truth many years ago and refused to fall in the trap.

I contain my desire for stuff and refuse to allow desire to overwhelm my life.

In place of stuff I focus on people, relationships and experiences.



10 thoughts on “Desire Is the Root Cause of All Suffering

  1. We live in a marketing feedback loop in which the language if marketing becomes the language we use to access each other and ourselves; not that long ago, at least in the United States, the media referred to people as ‘citizens’. A citizen has responsibilities and one aspect of success was being a ‘good citizen’. At some point, I think in the late 1970’s the press began to call us ‘consumers’. A consumer has only one function. We measure the worth of a consumer the amount of merchandise he or she consumes. People without ‘consumer power’ cease to exist and often lose the support of the social system: the homeless. That’s how I understand it.

      1. It may be the downside of unregulated capitalism or it may be the downside of using marketing terms to describe our nation’s people and their responsibilities. Words shape the way we think of others and ourselves.

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