"Life is like a sh*t sandwich - the more bread you have, the less sh*t there is!"
I found these words written on the wall of a pub toilet in Norfolk and was impressed, not so much by their vulgarity, as by their apparent sincerity and the strength of feeling that seemed to lie behind them.
I believe that this down-to-earth poet was expressing a fairly common approach to life...
Get as many nice things as you can - Avoid as much suffering as you can
This approach to living can work quite well for a while, but many people have found that there comes a point in our lives where, despite our best efforts, the nice things are frustratingly diminished and the suffering has alarmingly increased
The simple philosophy of the down-to-earth pub poet is frankly not sustainable for most of us, as any browsing of autobiographies will show.
Why does "chasing good experiences - avoiding bad experiences" eventually fail?
The simple strategy of the pub poet quoted above is the strategy of "disconnection". For example, contact with people brings us a combination of good, bad and neutral experiences. If we run away from (or attack or punish) others, whenever we have bad experiences with them, over a period of time we find ourselves becoming more and more isolated ("in a rut") from others.
As our separateness (poor communication, lack of communication, misunderstandings & perceptions of inequality) increases, our bad experiences also increase. For example we indulge increasingly in the mechanisms that psychologists call 'projection' and 'polarisation'. As Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth:
"'Tis the eye of childhood that fears a painted devil !"
What can we do to reduce the accumulating rage, fear and misery of demonisation, victimhood and mind-reading that accompanies separateness?
We can simply begin the healing journey back to interconnectedness (wholeness).
World Healing Day: overview
Healing - what is it?