I recently finished the book Shantaram, definately worth reading. Great story, great characters, and some hard won wisdom in that book. At one point the author asks another what they think suffering is. His reply was, "that is easy Linbaba, suffering is when you are hungry for something"
Now you may or may not agree with this, but I think it is compelling. When we suffer we are actually hungering for something. It might be our true love, or relief from pain, or even for food. Suffering is being hungry for something.
Which got me thinking...
We live in a society that makes us hungry. Infact, thanks to the huge dollars poured into the advertising agencies research, we are made to feel hungry in more and more creative and irresistable ways.
McDonalds used to make you hungry for not only their hamburgers, but for rest, "you deserve a break today, at McDonalds"
Builders, sell you a lifestyle rather than a home, making you hungry for a new lifestyle.
I hate to admit it, but for a moment, a brief moment I felt that my life was somehow incomplete without this cool mobile phone I saw on television adds. Cool people, in cool clubs, with their cool phone. "Its lovely" They made me hungry for coolness, they made me recognize my uncoolness, and realize that my hunger could only be satisfied if I had this phone. THen I would join the cool kids.
In a world that makes us hungry for so many things, (how ironic that the world makes us hungry to look like we are starving), is it any wonder we are all too often miserable? I mean if suffering is being hungry for something, and we are always hungry, are we not always suffering? I am not trying to demean real suffering, there are those suffering in truly horrific ways all over the world and I do not compare my suffering to theirs. However, isn't it strange that our manufactured virtual suffering still hurts? It builds, and grows and can overwhelm us if we are not careful.
I think I need a mars bar, I am suffering