He really was stumped. If there is nothing to strive for, if mind’s natural state is restlessness, if human suffering is an inevitable part of life and if unconsciousness was the very nature of the major reality, why strive so hard to transcend it? There was no place to go, and even if there was, no experience that could possibly take one there. The vicious cycle of yearning and learning, striving and seeking and reaching a state of frenzied bliss would eventually end in ashes and death, only to begin again right from the beginning, with complete forgetfulness of this earlier cycle. However much he grew and grasped in this life, unless he went all the way, he would begin again right from the very start, making the same mistakes, suffering the same sufferings and learning and then forgetting the same life lessons. They may be in a different body and soul and physical surroundings with different human forms, but they would be there. But then this too was the paradox. If everyone strove for happiness in some way shape or form, material, physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual and everyone eventually collapsed into a heap of dust and bones only to start the same striving again, why worry about it at all? Why despair? Why not move in life with complete acceptance of this truth and live and experience each moment as it presented itself to us, whether it was done consciously or unconsciously? Why even try to control that? Well, practically, because human nature is such that it will attempt to improve on every aspect of its present condition, assuming there is a lack. And this included the feeling of lack in a spiritual dimension. So all striving would always exist to eliminate this feeling of dissatisfaction that there is a life that is better, more comfortable, more secure, more peaceful, more blissful, more free and more of everything that is less right now.
Accept it then. Life is suffering. Human nature is to strive to transcend this suffering. No man is ‘better’ than another man, each tries to alleviate this pain in his own way – some have been doing it for longer and so have reached the finer strands of this striving. All intentions are to ultimately go beyond the thinnest strand of Maya until that dissolves into the vast openness of eternity. Where there is no human labels of time, space and concepts created by thought and conditioned consciousness. All that is there is pure Being, with no beginning, no end and no thing. Rejoice, then, that this Groundhog Day that we find ourselves in will repeat for many many many many and many more lifetimes, each time we, and others around us, will forget. But eventually the spell will break and the bonds will evaporate and there will be perfect freedom. It just will not be in your lifetime. So, live, laugh and love a little.
"Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk, to be needed."
--Storm Jameson, writer