External Misconceptions

Does seeking pleasant surroundings violate the concept of “happiness comes from within”? Isn’t it easier to find happiness while external conditions are pleasant?

The search for comfort and pleasure becomes a distraction, prolonging the search for internal satisfaction. Our experience as embodied beings demonstrates that the senses are not a means to happiness, and that life is not a condition to cling to or manipulate, merely appreciate.

So I shouldn’t try to improve my life? I’m better off in the worst possible conditions, avoiding places I find pleasant?

You seek particular surroundings not because they’re pleasant, but because that’s where life’s narrative leads you. External circumstances and internal urges guide your path through life. Did you create the varied destinations of life? Did you create the inclinations leading you to prefer one over the other? Do you decide whether twists of fate allow completion of your journey?

If life is so predetermined, why do I have a desire to influence it?

An observer often sits restlessly, anxious to affect the outcome of characters he watches. But an experienced audience realizes the nature of its participation: as admirers, not directors of action.

But I really want to influence life, and I feel as though I can.

By all means try. It often takes failure and frustration to prove life is beyond control. And even then, such lessons are slow to take hold.

Why all this nonsense? Why do I have to go through this process?

Why not? If not this, what else? Nothingness? And consider how wholeheartedly you engage with books and movies — meaningless endeavors in which you passively observe. The process is simply clearing up your confusion and seeing life for what it is.

So what is life then?

Watch.

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