We want to be happy, we want to be successful, we want to be fulfilled—perhaps we want to be rich. But while we want all those things, and possibly other things too, few of us stop for a moment to wonder what this entity is that has the desires.
For most of us, it’s self-evident: I want these things. But what is this ‘I’ exactly, and why does it always want more?
The ‘I’ thought arises from the body and the idea that the body is separate from other bodies and, indeed, the world around it. While that premise is, in fact, false, at least it’s understandable, so that statements such as ‘I am hungry’ or ‘I am tired’ have some meaning.
But it gets trickier with statements such as ‘I want to be happy’. Does the body want to be happy? Does it want to be successful? Does it need a lot of money in the bank?
As we start to observe thoughts—which are the building blocks of these desires—we see that they have their own energy, and are based on experience, or the past. So any desire that is not an expression of a simple bodily need is based in psychological time, from the past to a future moment. Saying ‘I want to be happy’ has within it the seed of a supposed future when unhappiness will cease.
It also has within it the idea of lack—that I am not, right now, happy or fulfilled.
As you start observing this process, you will see that the movement of thought through psychological time is itself the problem, and why you don’t feel happy or fulfilled.