Feb 20, 2019

Basic anxiety is happening all the time

Enjoying this post (a) by Chogyam Trungpa:

Sometimes we feel good. Everything has developed ideally for us. We have companionship; we have clothing to keep ourselves warm; we have food in our stomach; we have enough liquid to drink to keep from being thirsty. We feel satisfied.

But any one of those satisfactions can subside. We might have companionship but not a good meal; we might have a good meal but no companionship. Sometimes we have good food, but we are thirsty. Sometimes we are happy about one thing but unhappy about other things. It is very hard to keep together the myriad things that go on and on, up and down. It is very hard. It turns out to be quite a handful, quite a project, for us to keep everything at the ideal level. It is almost impossible to maintain an even sense of happiness.

Even though some of our requirements might be achieved, we still feel anxiety. We think, "At this point my stomach is full of food, but where am I going to get my next meal when my stomach is empty and I’m hungry? At this point, I’m all right, but the next time I become thirsty, where am I going to get a drop of water? Right now, I’m fully clothed and I feel comfortable, but just in case it gets hot or cold, what will I do? I’m completely well equipped with companions now, but in case they don’t keep me company, where will I find more companionship? What if the person who is presently keeping company with me decides to leave me?"

There are all sorts of jigsaw puzzles in life, and the pieces do not perfectly meet. Even if they did meet – which is highly improbable, one chance in a million or less – you would still be anxious, thinking, "Supposing something goes wrong, then what?" So when you are at your best and you feel good about things, you are even more anxious, because you may not have continuity. And often, you feel cheated by your life, because you do not have the facility to synchronize thousands of things at once. So there is natural, automatic pain and suffering. It is not like the pain of a headache or the pain you feel when somebody hits you in the ribs – it is anxiousness, which is a very haunting situation... The conclusion is that everybody is neurotic, that neurosis creates discomfort and anxiety, and that basic anxiety is happening all the time.