Question: The main thing in the cause of stress is the never-ending desire to receive. But is there something wrong with the desire itself, doesn’t it lie at the very basis of life? Without it, there would be no fulfillment in life.
Answer: What is wrong is not the desire itself, but the attempt to fulfill it at the expense of others. We are in a constant competition with each other throughout our entire lives, measuring our success relative to others.
We all exist in one system and there was a time when we were connected to such an extent that we felt ourselves as if we were one person. There were many people in the world, but egoism was so minimal that we felt no difference between us. That is how it was in primitive societies. Then the desire to receive began to grow and we began to make distinctions: this is my family, that is your family, and over there, that is his family.
Before that happened, people lived as one commune, as if under communism, where everything belongs to everyone equally, like in a tribe. But then we began to distance ourselves from this unity: here is my wife, my children, my cave. Distinctions and divisions started to be made with respect to professions as well, as it is written: “Go and earn from each other.”
Our egoism is growing non-stop. That is why competition began and we started judging who is more successful and who is less. This is how we have been advancing until the present day. But now competition has grown to worldwide proportions because mass media affects us by showing the entire world to us on our television and smartphone screens.
They obligate us to compete with the entire world, showing us how everyone is more successful than we are. It is not surprising that people are gripped by depression.
Question: You think that the desire to be first is bad? But it is responsible for making the individual strive to be successful.
Answer: It is a bad desire. The person needs peace and happiness, not outstanding achievement.
Stress means that the external influences on the individual’s egoistic desires are greater than he can bare, that although a person is driven to fulfill the desire to receive pleasure, he is still unable to easily achieve the goals that are set before him. The difference between the desire for pleasure and the ability to acquire fulfillment for it creates a stressful state.
It is obvious that an average person will never be able to acquire all that he sees in the media. We are constantly living in a state of low-grade, chronic stress due to all the potentials for pleasure that are shown to us on the screen: clothes, sports, beauty. This relates to women and men equally.
Stress affects us on many levels. Ultimately, we will reach disillusionment and we will see that the condition is hopeless; we will leave this race for pleasure and reassess our values. Eventually everyone will realize this. Then we will see that we need to take a different route and search for pleasure in a completely different place.
There we will also compete to receive fulfillment, but differently. The one who brings the biggest benefit to others will be considered more successful. Pleasure from bestowal to others is much greater than egoistic fulfillment and does not lead to any stress.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 7/27/17