Friday, April 12, 9963


Our enjoyment of something is not merely the result of how it affects us.  It’s how it affects us relative to expectations.

We’ve all planned to do something that we thought would be a wonderful experience, only to find that we didn’t enjoy it as much as we’d hoped.  What happened was that we “set the bar” too high, so that even though the experience was enjoyable, the enjoyment did not reach the bar, and as a result we felt disappointed.  If we’d not built up those expectations, we’d have had a much better time.

One reason we build expectations is that we believe that this world is all there is, and that the false self is all we are.  This causes us to try to squeeze all the juice out of life that we can, because this is all we get.  We normally feel sort of empty, bored, or lacking, so we might seek peak experiences in order to make life worth living.  Being empty, we bring nothing to experiences; our enjoyment is dependent entirely on them.

When we get in touch with our true selves, we feel complete, full, and satisfied, even when our worldly situation isn’t perfect.  We are what we are, and nothing can either add to or subtract from us.  When we experience things, we bring ourselves to them, so our enjoyment is not completely dependent on the experiences, but is the result of a combination of experiences and us.  Thus, our experiences do not need to be peak because we bring our own joy to them.  Peak experiences might even seem superfluous since we feel joyful without them.