Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction
Obviously all human beings desire to reach a state of satisfaction, of contentment and fulfillment. That our desires do not go as we would wish is what is called “life,” and depending on how the subject is viewed, can be intriguing. When the implications are considered, because the dissatisfied heart of human beings is the motivation for the progress of culture, that which is wrong with the world at large is not to be easily resolved. That is, when dissatisfaction exists, human beings seek improvement, reforms are undertaken, and progress is made. Even so, if the level of dissatisfaction is too high, the results can be distressing. Too high a level of dissatisfaction leads to conflict that may even extend to destruction of self. There are those instances on the individual level when an abundance of dissatisfaction is the cause of peril such as family discord, dissension among friends, arguments and wrangling, despair, and intervention by law enforcement or judicial proceedings. Throughout society as a whole, occurrences such as the formation of extremist groups can lead to the throwing of Molotov cocktails and other destructive acts. Civil disturbance and war can also break out, so high levels of dissatisfaction are not to be casually dismissed.
In contrast to those who are dissatisfied to some degree are those individuals who are said to be good-natured, easy-going, and to not have not a care in the world. They do not seem to be dissatisfied with anything and always appear satisfied. But it is usually this kind of individual who has no ability or potential, whose existence does not seem to contribute to society at all. In which case, satisfaction will not do; neither will it do to be dissatisfied. It seems impossible to discern which is the correct condition to aim for. The conclusion, however, is not that difficult. When all is said and done, it will not do to lean one way or the other: it is sufficient to try to skillfully balance both extremes. Such is easy to proclaim but quite difficult to put into practice, and it is this very uncertainty that may be the “life” of life. The essential point to keep in mind is to maintain flexibility, not choosing one extreme or the other, but to constantly be mentally prepared to change one’s outlook or perspective. The fundamental for such an attitude is love and sincerity which, when individuals possess, will allow them to make contributions to society, be successful, and obtain good fortune.
Eikô, Issue 200, March 18, 1953
translation by cynndd
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“Manzoku to Fuman,” which originally appeared in Eikô, Issue 200, March 18, 1953, was reprinted while Meishu-sama still living in the anthology of teachings, Goshinsho: Shûkyôhen (Divine Writings: Volume on Religion), page 95; March 25, 1954, and has also appeared in English translation. Citation is given below for reference.“Contentment and Discontent,” Foundation of Paradise, 1984, page 369.
“Contentment and Discontent,” Teachings of Meishu-sama, Volume Four, 2007, page 32.
“Not Too Much, Not Too Little,” Reaching for Faith, 2010, page 42.
“Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction,” Meishu and His Teachings, no date, page 59.