Since before we developed writing, we have pursued ways to avoid the suffering of unpleasant feelings.
Each individual first notices that certain things distract from those feelings. So we become addicted to these distractions. Yet, eventually, we realize these addictions inevitably increase our unpleasant feelings. Our minds try to restrict our addictions and our suffering increases.
Then, we notice these unpleasant feelings are associated with certain thoughts. We notice ways to distract ourselves from these thoughts, and becomes addicted to them. We build our lives around these avoidance strategies and they become our master. Inevitably, these lifestyle strategies bring us more unpleasant feelings, or suffering, than we originally tried to avoid. Our minds try to restrict those parts of our lifestyle that cause our suffering, yet our suffering increases. We experience powerlessness.
Then, we try to find the source of the thoughts that cause unpleasant feelings, so as to stop them from arising. We seek in the spiritual teachings of other minds, the ways to remove these thoughts from our own minds. We become addicted to this search. We may, in this search, learn that giving up the control of our lives to an external master reduces our suffering, but doesn’t remove it completely. We may realize that we cannot control our mind, by the power of our mind. Regardless of the kind of spiritual practice we take on, we find some inner peace, yet suffering still persists.
We do all this, while knowing from childhood experience, that physically expressing our unpleasant feeling quickly ends the suffering of that moment. Yet, instead of allowing this natural process to occur, we live for our addictions and give up our self determination to external masters just to avoid that feeling of grief.
Then, only because everything our mind tried has failed, and we have totally run out of ideas, we finally allow the release of the emotion we were avoiding all our lives – only when all other strategies have failed and we have given up in desperation. We are instantly transformed and soon realize that our emotions, especially grief, alone have the power to rapidly repair our mind and its thinking – emotions are the immune system of our minds. As our minds are allowed to heal, we are gradually introduced to our inner master, and eventually, inevitably, no longer require any outer master of addiction, lifestyle or religion.
Then, we become our true selves.