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The hamster wheel: in or out of suffering?

(90 seconds reading time)

In the article on the comfort zone we mentioned how not to make a leap in awareness can lead us to find ourselves “hamsters in the infernal wheel”. Today we’ll see a couple of more frequent ways that keep us prisoners in there.

Way one: all of us, sooner or later, some more some less, go through periods of suffering. And when we have finished the “aspirin methods” though the suffering reaches the limit… perhaps, and finally, we decide to take new paths never tried before, also opening up to introspective methods: instead of continuing to blame others or complain, we start looking at the problem and at the solution within us. And the more effective the introspective methods are, the more we feel the benefit. So here we go out of that suffering, or at least we begin to get out of it…

But … a minute after tasting the feeling of “healing”, here we are again ready to plunge once more, consciously or unknowingly, in the same habits that led us to suffering: the race for false needs that our ego whispers continuously to us (eg the latest model of cell phone), the diving into doing, doing, doing many and many things, one after the other, rather than continuing to practice also that inner listening that had made us feel so well… And here the wheel starts spinning with us tossed inside again, just when we had glimpsed the door to get out!

Way two (if we can afford it): our days flow in fatigue or suffering (or intolerance), but luckily we have ahead our vacation in the Caribbean. Where we believe to regenerate, to recenter ourselves, to find again the lost harmony… We believe, we delude ourselves, but when the plane lands the infernal wheel is already there waiting for us: we only bought a very expensive aspirin and we didn’t take any step forward for our soul…

But… so… where is the exit door? There is only one, there, inside: cultivating the insight in a constant way, as we constantly study, work, eat, sleep, make love. It is not enough to feel better once if we do not continue, even when we feel well, to cultivate what has helped us to get out of suffering. Only with constant attention to our inner world will we be able to gradually stabilize in a new balance, where our soul will be able to grow day by day as all the other things go on outside of us. And when the soul can continue to evolve, unimaginable new dimensions become accessible. As Lao Tzu says:

Insight is a function of the spirit. Because your spirit follows you through cycle after cycle of life, death, and rebirth, you have the opportunity of cultivating insight in an ongoing fashion. Refined over time, insight becomes pure, constant, and unwavering. This is the beginning of immortality.
(Hua Hu Ching – The Unknown teachings of Lao Tzu – by Brian Walker – HarperSanFrancisco)

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