September 16, 2010

Hunger

There are several different types of hunger. There is a hunger for food which of course is quite natural. There is a hunger for love, this too is very natural. There is a hunger though for material items, money, and such that often goes beyond the necessary. This of course is unhealthy. This type of hunger is rarely satisfied. The man with $1 wants $100. The man with $100 wants $1000. The man with $1000 wants $100,000. The man with one million wants another million and on it goes. This hunger for more is quite destructive.

Buddha said that we need only four things; necessary amounts of food, water, clothing, and shelter. Apparently necessary is a word quite unfamiliar to many or if familiar, their definition is not quite right. Necessary is defined as something that is essential or indispensable. We have the notion ground into us from birth that more is better, bigger is better. This way of thinking though leads us down a road of unending desire. When we have desire, we cannot have peace because we have a longing for something we do not have whether we actually need it or not.

We have to break the pattern of thinking that leads to this. Studying the Tao Te Ching or the teachings of Buddha on the subject can help. Re-define what you think is necessary. Is an inexpensive car necessary of do you fall prey to the idea that having an overpriced car is ‘essential’? Ask yourself if you really need that second helping of food. Is you home comfortable or pretentious? Easy questions with easy answers that require hard changes if we are to be content and in harmony.

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