Sapiens - Deepstash

by Yuval Noah Harari

The most important finding is that happiness does not really depend on objective conditions of either wealth, health or community, rather it depends on the correlation between objective conditions and subjective expectations, like, if you want a bullock cart and get a bullock cart, you're content, if you want a brand new ferrari and get a second-hand fiat you feel deprived.


According to Buddhism, the root of suffering is neither the feeling of pain nor of sadness nor even of meaninglessness. Rather the real root of suffering is this never-ending and pointless pursuit of ephermal feelings, which causes us to be in a constant state of tension, restlessness and dissatisfaction. Due to this pursuit the mind is never satisfied. Even when experiencing pleasure, it is not content, because it fears this feeling might soon disappear, and craves that this feeling should stay and intensify.


People are liberated from suffering not when they experience this or that fleeting pleasure, but rather when they understand the impermanent nature of all their feelings, and stop craving them. This is the aim of Buddhist meditation practices. In meditation you're supposed to closely observe your mind and body, witness the ceasing arising and passing of all your feelings, and realise how pointless it is to pursue them. When the pursuit stops, the mind becomes very relaxed, clear and satisfied.


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