As human beings, we have the tendency to complain about the state of things or about someone essentially, we just crib a lot. That is why we tend to constantly feel miserable about events going on in our lives. The paradox is we so completely dedicate ourselves with tenacity and determination to reach the space that we are in at the moment, but when we finally reach that platitude or goal, the same factor that was driving us, motivating us or that which we thought we could not survive without, does not hold any significance for us anymore. We are back at the base camp, the Crib Spot.
We never seem to be happy at any point of time. We seem always to be in a state of dissatisfaction. To look at it differently, dissatisfaction as a state of mind is needed, otherwise the wheels of society will not move and the structure will not function. But, how does one manage this sensibly and in a balanced manner?
The answer to this way provided by Gautam Buddha. His first lecture- at Sarnath’s Deer Park- called Dhammachakkapavattna sutta- addressed this very question as to why humans are always on the edge. It was called the Chatur Arya Saccani or Four Noble Truths i.e, practical, clear, easy to understand and to follow. The first point was to accept that there is a problem which is dukkha, or sorrow.
The solution was to find out the cause of this problem, which was addressed in the second noble truth called Dukkha Samudya, causation. The cause is linked to twelve states or nidanas which set in motion a cycle where each state is attached to the other and in the process, sets a chain of action in motion. Once the problem is identified, it needed to be addressed. Again like a deft physician, Buddha prescribed the practical remedy, which was the Astthangika Marg or the eightfold path. This was bereft of any rituals, mumbo jumbo or any deep abstract metaphysical interface. The four noble truths laid down by the Buddha explicitly highlight there has to be acceptance and there has to be analysis of the cause element. Ignorance is the main trigger that sets off this never-ending cycle of wants.
We are ignorant of the fact that everything is in a state of flux; nothing is permanent. This theory is called Patticasamuppda, the wheel of life that surmises why we go through conflicts and challenges. Craving, the Buddha says, begins because of sense-object attachment. We do not want to associated with things that we detest, or get separated from things that we love. We keep succumbing to this never-ending chain reaction.
So what is the way out? It is the Madhyama Marg or middle path that could help us address this; which is, doing all our activities in a judicious, sensible manner, attaching the right importance to it. Actions should be done with alobha, generosity; adosa, goodwill; and amoha, knowledge.
Accordingto Gautam Buddha the basic factor is to accept that there can never be a perfect situation and one has to strike a balance and find middle ground. Most importantly, do not get attached to situations howsoever good or bad they may be, as they are all at the end of the day, fleeting states.
Simply stop cribbing; just savour the moment.