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Happiness seems to be the greatest aspiration of many people; others seek health, some wisdom or wealth. But why do people limit themselves to any of these, when they are really only paths to a greater goal? When anyone pauses to ask themselves why they seek wealth it would be because with wealth they can purchase what they want from other people. The more wealth they have, the more compliance they can claim from other people to give them what they think they want. It is true that wealthy people can obtain some things which poor people can not, but it is only a means to an end.
Wisdom too is not the end in itself, although many would claim it is, but the tools to get what they think they want. It is a form of treachery, but not as obvious a form of manipulation of others’ behavior as is money.
Health also isn’t really an end goal either, although it is obviously necessary to make much use of the possession of money or wisdom or happiness. It becomes apparent that all of these standard four aspects of human questing have their limitations because in the end they are not really what people want, and these are only a means to the true end of their desires.
People want contentment. They want to be satisfied with what they have. They get involved in quests for many things and after a while the quest becomes an end in itself. They become so enraptured with their special thing that they become zombies manipulated by their quest and they abandon the essence of their humanity. They become living cartoon people with flat, easily defined characteristics, with pre-patterned responses to every stimulus. Their lives are made simple by boiling everything down to a few thoughts which they know to be true, and thus there is no need to seek further. Thus they may be totally confident that everything they think or do is perfect. Unfortunately for them, this rigidity of thought cuts them off from most of what living has to offer.
As far as we humans are concerned, the universe we inhabit is infinitely complex and variable, certainly far beyond whatever boxes we can compress it into with our thoughts and words. Once we accept the totality of it all, we can accept the unknowingness of it all; then we can be free to simply participate fully at every moment with what presents itself to us.
To be fully human is to be fully universal.