Werner Erhard with the Dalai Lama in 1979.Credit: Werner Erhard Foundation
I get some of my greatest insights in life when I do simple things like having a shower, boiling the kettle, or in this case, opening the fridge. I was opening the fridge recently and as I did,the phrase, “this is it and I’m satisfied,” came to my mind.
It was a distinction, or phrase, I learned from a Landmark Education seminar many years ago and I thought how incredibly profound and simple it is because I notice how much of my life is spent in a state of ‘this is not it and I am not satisfied!’
What I learned from that phrase was that when I can be in the present and accept things they way they are – that is, love them the way they are, and the way they are not, with no judgment – well, that’s pretty close to joy as I see it.
The trouble is the way we are constructed is, ‘this is not it and I am not satisfied…but I will be when I have x, y or z, or when something changes, hopefully, and normally for the better.’ Werner described suffering as, “things shouldn’t be this way.” Most of our lives, most of the time then is probably spent suffering.
I began thinking about Werner, whom I met on a couple of occasions and I found myself saying, “wow he was a genius!” Then a thought followed that, “No, I don’t think he was necessarily a genius – he just went searching (to find out what made human beings tick.)”
And that option – of searching – is available to all of us, all of the time.