Have we evolved to be unhappy?

Dr. Ronald D. Siegel said yes.  He believes that certain instincts and intellectual abilities that have helped our species prosper over the past few million years have created some pretty negative consequences for us as individuals.  Due to the exceptional neocortex of our brains compared to other mammals, we have the abilities to learn, remember, think and plan.  However, these abilities also give us a lot of headaches.

Dr. Siegel gave a funny example, “Fred and Wilma were early Homo sapiens living in the plain of East Africa about 40,000 years ago. They have evolved quite a bit from their Homo erectus ancestors, developing enormous brains. They used their brains to do all sorts of marvelous things that helped them survive: to think abstractly, plan for their future, find novel solutions to problems, and trade with their neighbors.

But their brains also gave them trouble.  They worried about rhinoceroses and lions, were envious of their neighbor who had a bigger cave, and got into arguments over who should haul the water on hot days.  When it was cold and rainy, they both got irritable, remembering how much better they liked the sun.  They noticed changes around them, fretting when there wasn’t as much fruit on the trees, roots to eat, or insect larvae (a favorite treat) to snack on.  When their neighbors got sick or died, they were distressed to realize that this could happen to them too!  Sometimes Wilma got upset when Fred looked at other women…

Even when everything was going well, they had thoughts about what had gone wrong in the past or what might befall them in the future.  In some regards,  things haven’t changed much over the last 40,000 years.  Our brains-marvelous as they are-continue to give us trouble.”

He thinks that natural selection only takes the survival of species into account, but not the happiness of individuals.  In fact, he said humans have a higher tendency to remember negative events as they help us to be aware of danger.  Our tendency to seek pleasure and avoid the suffering of pain is the root of many emotional problems.  So is it possible for us to be peaceful? He thinks the solution to human suffering is to be mindful of every present moment.

Reference: “The mindfulness solution” by Dr. Ronald D., Siegel


Your Relationship with the Present Moment

Inner Space

What kind of relationship do you have with your life, which is the present moment? Do I want the present moment to be my friends or my enemy? Once you have decided you want the present moment to be your friend, it is up to you to make the first move: Become friendly towards it, welcome it no matter in what disguise it comes, and soon you will see the results. Life becomes friendly towards you; people become helpful, circumstances cooperative. One decision changes your entire reality. But the one decision you have to make again and again – until it becomes natural to live in such a way.

So ask yourself, am I treating Now as no more than a means to an end? (i.e. Making the future concerns and moments more important than Now) Do I see it as an obstacle? (i.e.Treating Now as a world of problems that you need to solve before you can be happy) Am I making it into an enemy? (i.e. When you hate what you are doing, complaining and cursing about your surroundings or judging what should or shouldn’t happen) These three questions is an excellent way to unmask your ego and bring you into the state of Presence.  Presence is the inner space, the awareness of the aliveness inside you.

Reference: “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle

Nettle tea

Nettle leaves has a nickname called “stinging nettles”.  It is a kind of weed that grows in the garden and it will give you a stinging feeling when you touch it.  It may not be very pleasant in its plant form.  However, it is a great source of iron, fibres, proteins, and other important minerals for our bodies!  Some herbalists claimed that it can help to make hair shinier, eyes brighter and blood cleaner.  Some even said that it can help stimulating hair growth in balding men.  I drank this tea before for about 3 months.  It gave me a lot of energy and detoxed my body.  You may find this kind of tea in health food stores or organic food stores.

Knowing About Yourself Vs Knowing Yourself

“Nothing you can find about yourself is you.  Nothing you can know about you is you…  Most people define themselves through content of their lives.  Whatever you perceive, experience, do, think, or feel is content.  Content is what absorbs most people’s attention entirely,  and it is what they identify with.  When you think or say, “my life”, you are not referring to the life you are but the life that you have, or seem to have.  You are referring to content-your age, health, relationships, finances, work and living situation, as well as your mental emotional state.  The inner and outer circumstances of your life, your past and your future, all belong to the raelm of content-as do events, that is to say, anything that happens.  What is there other than content?  That which enables the content to be-the inner space of consciousness.”

“A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle

Who you think you are

“Your sense of who you are determines what you perceive as your needs and what matters to you in life – and whatever matters to you will have the power to upset and disturb you.  If small things have the power to disturb you, then who you think you are is exactly that: small….”

“Nobody can tell you who you are.  It would just be another concept, so it would not change you.  Who you are requires no belief.  In fact, every belief is an obstacle.  It does not require your realization, since you already are who you are.  But without realization, who you are will not shine forth into the world.  It remains unmanifested which is, of course, your true home.  You are then like an apparently poor person who does not know he has a bank account with $100 million in it and so his wealth remains unexpressed potential.”

“The fact is whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world.  You are withholding it because deep down you think you are small and that you have nothing to give… Try this for a couple of weeks and see how it changes your reality: Whatever you think people are withholding from you – praise, appreciation, assistance, loving care, and so on-give it to them.  Then soon after you start giving, you will start receiving…The source of abundance is not outside you, but it is from within.”

“A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle

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