I am reminded in reading Hariods Brawns book “The Way of Contentedness” that the human individual seeking to address the need for happiness through the conditioned self is doomed. Hariod may not be saying it as directly as such but the indication seems to be that. what the self seeks is a state of contentment and that the ways in which it does this are inadequate for that purpose. I would add to this that these ways are the source of conflict and other destructive acts.
I have always felt that the precipitating evolutionary development that has fueled our futile human grasping had to do with perception as it relates to the development of the separate self, and with that change of perception, the loss of awareness of an ultimate connection that is inherent in life and being. So there is a price to pay for the development of the specialised human cognitive capabilities that have been specific to this individuated consciousness. The separate self experiences a coinciding aloneness and a never-ending urge to again experience a sense of security that it once knew prior to its new way of seeing life and has now lost. The realisation of what is in fact occurring seems to be lost in the individual striving. Perhaps it is that to experience a separate self requires that we forget that experience that was part of a more vast realisation, or perhaps we are deterred from it. Is it that what has shifted has to do with a change in how we perceive self, other, and the world and the relationship between all. Humans are inherently connected to all else but come to perceive themselves to be less than that. We perceive the form but not what it has come from.
Hariod explores this with the reader with a twist that seems to be helpful for modern readers suggesting that the individual self is searching for contentedness, however he may define that. Individuals may refer to this and frame it in many different ways, happiness, etc ., but in the end it is a striving for something that they think that they do not have and that focused intent will bring to them. The perception is that through that striving they can come to be content.
The striving itself seems to be a product of the separate self. It arises out of the delusion of the sense of me and the perceived need to sustain me, disabling any ability to see outside of that frame of reference. But as I have mentioned there is something inherently lacking in that sense of separate self that fuels the striving for contentment. So we have a planet full of dis content, deluded selves pursuing individually imagined needs all looking for contentment that will never arrive, contributing to a collective process that is equally deluded. Out of that there is conflict and war mostly because we become attached to our individual centred delusion of self and what it has created and is attached to, We project and perpetuate our limited notions on a global scale in our grasping onto collective ideologies that reinforce this perception of our individual selves.
I think that both Hariod and I would agree that it is only through presence as it influences our awareness that we might end this folly. In seeing, in a more direct way, the myth of the self that we have created and that our families and cultures have created and reinforced we can maybe lessen the impact of this not so intimate way of relating to ourselves,others and our planet.