Mind WorX – Need
INEXTRICABLY woven into the egos belief system is its insatiable need for more. Even people who are so called, ‘Well off’, still crave even more riches, more fame, a bigger and more lavish house, car, or lifestyle etc. If they are identified with their ego, the amount of wealth, possessions or influence they have will make little difference to their hunger for more.
Not only individuals suffer from this greed disease, it is also true for companies, corporations and governments. If any of these institutions are controlled by their collective ego, then they too will have that same unquenchable thirst for more – even if they double, treble or quadruple their profits.
What is the reason behind this need for more? There are many. In the original set of beliefs instilled in us as a small child maybe we were told that we need money and material possessions to give us security, a life of ease, pleasure and so forth. As we grow we tend to pursue these possessions in the hope of their promised rewards.
In the past we may have experienced something that we have judged to be pleasurable or even mind blowing and ‘out of this world.’ This could have occurred 10 minutes ago, a month ago, 12 months ago, or 10 to 20 years ago – it doesn’t matter – the ego thought it was good, so it stored it away with its ‘want again’ images.
Whether this experience was the first kiss of young love, an exciting moment that set the adrenalin racing, something that happened under a drug or some other substance, or just an extra pleasurable feeling – whatever it was – it was permanently stored and cherished by the ego.
When feeling down or lonely, the ego idly sifts through those ‘want again’ images and grabs one that brings about a warm feeling of nostalgia and the ego thinks to itself, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if I could experience that all the time, or at least more than I am now.’ So it craves for that experience again and again and again.
The need for anything at all can only be for what is known. We can’t seek what is unknown, because it is not stored in memory, therefore the ego cannot recall that image and moon about it. You can only seek what you know, which is always in the past.
You have the idea that if you experience this possession, this person or feeling, you will feel better, you will gain pleasure from it, but ideas are nothing but the creation of thought – which is always old and stale. Thoughts can rearrange themselves and appear new, yet they are not really new at all, they are simply the old in disguise.
*”The ego identifies with having, but its satisfaction in having is a relatively shallow and short lived one. Concealed within it remains a deep seated sense of dissatisfaction, of incompleteness, of ‘not enough.’ ‘I don’t have enough yet,’ by which the ego really means, ‘I am not enough yet.’”- and never will be, so the egos search goes endlessly on and on.
There are needs that were originally put in place for our survival. These are the basic needs for sustenance and shelter. Each one ensures the continuation of our body, for without them, we would quickly perish. They are the only legitimate and necessary needs for our life experience.
As for any other needs, they are unnecessary excess baggage collected by the ego in its ongoing quest for pleasure and self gratification – as are most other images stored in memory. All of it is the past. It does not exist. It is dead and gone, remaining only as a remembered, pleasurable residue – the cold ashes of the past.
If you are or have been addicted to smoking say – when you smoked that first cigarette, the ego thought, ‘That’s good, I’d like more of that,’ so it created a folder labeled cigarettes and into that folder it placed a pleasurable image of the smoking experience for later reference.
As each cigarette is puffed from then on, another pleasurable image is added to the folder. Any un-pleasurable ones of say a coughing fit or a bad taste in the mouth are slyly discarded or relegated to the back of the folder by the ego so that only the good ones remain for ready reference.
As more and more cigarettes are smoked, the images in the folder gets bigger and bigger and the ego’s need to re-experience the euphoria increases as it continually refers to the images. As the images grow, the need eventually switches to a craving – something the ego then believes it cannot do or live without.
This same scenario can be attributed to anything that the ego believes it wants badly enough. It can be alcohol, material possessions, sexual pleasure, or an adrenalin rush, or something as simple as health and fitness, love and recognition, or spirituality and enlightenment. As long as the ego believes it can gain something from it, it will pursue it.
The more times the ego experiences that sensation, the more the images grow and the more the ego seeks that experience again. If the ego continues to dabble in any of those images from the past, they will all progress from a need to an addiction, causing undue problems for all concerned.
Even Anorexia is a need worth pursuing as far as the ego is concerned. In this case it’s a need for less. The ego still misguidedly believes it will get something out of starving oneself – consequently there is a folder labeled say, ‘I’m too fat’ or ‘I need to diet to be beautiful’ that contains the appropriate images stored in memory.
Needs, wants and cravings [which are really different intensities of the same thing] will never be completely eradicated by willpower, by force, or by some elaborate detoxification or training program. The reason is those ‘want again’ images still remain in the egos library – enabling the ego to continue to refer to it again in the future, risking the eventual, perhaps inevitable – ‘fall off the wagon.’
The only way to effectively remove the addiction is to remove the offending images from the egos library.
This can and does happen, sometimes by a shock to the system – a doctor may tell you that you have only a short time to live if you continue – or it can happen by going ‘cold turkey’ – the realization that it’s imperative that something be done to remove the addiction. Sometimes the image is so ingrained in the egos ‘want again’ image folder that nothing helps.
In each successful removal of an addiction, the ego has no say in it, the offending image has been removed from memory by something other than ego and hence, the ego no longer has that image to refer to, thus no longer craves for a repeat experience. There are no withdrawal symptoms because there are no pleasurable images remaining to evoke such symptoms.
It is absolutely impossible to need, want or crave anything in the present moment. All of these needs, all of these cravings and consequent suffering, rely solely on memory – and memory only lives in the past – in the egos immense library of folders and ‘want again’ images.
The solution to our insatiable need for more is to simply live in the now where there is no need for anything at all. There is only peace in the wholehearted, unconditional acceptance of the uncluttered present moment.
*A New Earth – Eckhart Tolle
Dan’s Quote: “It is not your job to transform the world for others—
____________but it is your job to transform it for you.”- Abraham