Principle 1: The Pursuit of Life
Principle 1: The pursuit of life isn’t objects, actions, or outcomes, but experience
There are many beautiful, colourful, exciting, and shiny objects in the world you could want to collect. There are also incredible places you might want to visit, strange things to try, and challenging things to do. But behind your desires for these objects, actions, and outcomes, is a core desire – to experience.
Why do you want that perfect partner? To show off in front of your friends? To snuggle up to at night? To have someone next to you to take the pressure out of every day living?
But what’s behind that? Why do you want to show them off in front of your friends? Why do you want to snuggle up to them at night? Why do you want to have someone to share the pressures of life with?
When you keep asking yourself “In this present moment, why do I desire this?”, you’ll get to a point where the only answer left is “Because I want to experience (insert your desired experience here)”.
When you get to a point where you answer “I want to experience (insert your desired experience here)”, without drifting away from asking why things are important to you and towards explanations and justifications of why that drive exists (either based on scientific theories or past experiences), the only place to go is “Because it feels good” or “Because that’s what I want”.
Experience is the core drive behind all desires and wants.
You want to experience connection, you want to experience ease, you want to experience a sense of power, control, freedom, excitement, or some other sensation that is currently lacking in your life.
This is the first core principle of Vedanism – the pursuit of life is experience.
EXERCISE: If you want to see this principle in action in your own life, write down a list of things you want in life – they can be objects (like TV’s, cars, money, etc…), outcomes (a promotion, to win at something, to get a girlfriend / boyfriend, etc…), or actions (to travel to xxxxxx, to try a specific activity, etc…) or anything else you want.
Once you have that list, start working through the list and start asking yourself “Why do I want this?” When you come up with an answer, ask it again “Why?”. Then again. Then again.
Don’t drift off into a scientific explanation about the processes or brain functions that create this desires, stay focussed on why it’s important to you in this moment.
Keep going until you get to a point where the only answer you can come up with is “Because I want to experience xxxxxx” and then move onto the next item on your list.