Why do we seek change?
The mind needs constant change. As a result, there is a continual turnover of experiences. It is not a place of rest or acceptance of the status quo. Once we identify with the mind as the agent of happiness, we automatically buy into its lifestyle of change, which is dynamic and can be instantaneous. Before we transfer a cup of coffee from the right hand to the left, we may change our mind about something. It can be hard to keep up with that pace of change.
The mind needs constant change.
The mind introduces us to the concept of boredom. When we are bored, it is natural to want change, which the mind can provide. Even if our physical surroundings are not different from day to day, our imagination and interpretation of the drama of life that plays out involve change.
Change implies comparison. For comparison to exist, there must be something in our memory which we can recall. Seeking change through comparison is a convoluted path to happiness. It comes at a steep cost — we lose the ability of spontaneous enjoyment, which comes naturally to little children.
Seeking change through comparison is a convoluted path to happiness.
Take a two-year-old, for example, listening to a song over and over again. Each time the song plays, the child’s excitement will be as it was the first time it was played. An adult sitting through this exercise will have a completely different experience. Soon, the song may seem repetitive, and listening becomes tedious for the adult.
It should not take a two-year-old to teach us spontaneous enjoyment of life. But they can, and they do, if we care to observe them. In the first few years of life, a child does not complain of boredom. It comes later when the child is conditioned to the ideas of change, apathy, and happiness as an object to be attained.
We don’t need a prompt from the mind through thought to enjoy a beautiful sunset. It just happens. We don’t need to think, “How do I enjoy this sunset?” That seems like a silly question. There is spontaneous enjoyment, and in that spontaneity, the mind disappears.