You caught me on my way out.
Out of eggs. Got to go to the store down the block, pick up some more.
Maybe I’ll grab a few other things while I’m there. Might as well, right? Honestly, I’m jonesing for some tortilla chips.
Hey, hold on – speaking of desire. Ever read about the four noble truths of Buddhism? Basically, they say that all suffering stems from desire. We suffer because we don’t like what we have, because we want more, and because we’re anxious to achieve more than we have already achieved… much in the way I suffer over my desire for salty corn-snacks, I guess.
So here I am. About to go to the store, about to give in to my desire. You might say our society is based around that very idea – the ability to satisfy these desires. We praise shops for their range of products, and we praise cities for their amount of shops, and we qualify our homes by how close they are to the nearest shop. The quicker we can get rid of that pesky desire, the better.
But if all suffering stems from desire, doesn’t that mean suffering, and not desire, is the true cornerstone of our society? I suppose that it’s true, I am going to suffer until I purchase those tortilla chips. But that means my suffering is not constant; it ends when I fulfill my desire – so maybe, our society is really based around the alleviation of suffering. We have stores with displays filled to the brim with things worthy of our desire – food, technology, fashion, take your pick – and corporations that systematically work to make us desire these – and each of these stores sell us a promise: we can satisfy your desire, we can alleviate your suffering.
And so, like a karmic circle, we satisfy our desires to silence the suffering, until the suffering returns like a growling stomach demanding to be fed. More begets more, and deep down, we know. After all, we’re just trying to keep up with the Joneses. Working hard to feed ourselves, to feed our families, our friends – and our own desires.
We fend off the suffering with our gadgets, our clothes and our travels, little by little. Just as I will now fend off my desperate desire for these damn snacks.
Better not forget the eggs, either. I’ve got this new recipe I’m working on, see.
What for? Oh. Cupcakes, of course.