My long time readers will recognize that I’ve written about this before. More recent readers will find this new. I take my dog for a walk every day, unless it’s really storming and dangerous, ie. lightening, hail, etc. She’s a Husky, Malamute cross and they have been bred throughout history as sled pulling dogs, so it’s safe to assume that she pulls on her leash. I’ve never been able to convince her otherwise. But the constant pulling is indicative of something one may not notice. She has a desire to be, “somewhere else.” No matter where we are, she always looking or sniffing out something, “over there”; never satisfied with where she is now. She’s always seeking out, something else.
The behavior strongly reminds me of humans. We are never satisfied. We are constantly looking, searching, for something we don’t have, something we don’t know. We desire, we want, we long for, something else. We wish we didn’t have to go to work today. We wish we weren’t stuck in a meeting. We wish we didn’t have to be in school today. How often do we see bumper stickers that say things like, “I’d rather be golfing,” or “My other car is a sailboat,” or something like that? We have this overwhelming, over powering desire to be somewhere else, doing something other than what we’re doing right now. The question is, why?
Human history is populated by discoverers. People traveling all over the world, discovering new things, seeking answers, sometimes finding them. I’m constantly brought back to the question, why? Why are we so dissatisfied? And what exactly, are we looking for? When we find the answers we seek, we’re not satisfied by them. We want more, we want to keep looking. I’m doing it right now, by asking why. I’m seeking answers to questions that I have. Why do I need answers? Why can’t I just be satisfied by living in the moment, eating, breathing, and being?
There is something within us all, in our minds, that causes us to want more. We are never satisfied. And the problem is, discovery is a violent act. Every time we discover something, something else gets destroyed. When we find new information, the old information gets destroyed. Digging up artifacts destroys the ground, or the mountain, or the ocean we’re digging in. Finding out that a friend is not really a friend destroys a relationship. It’s destructive and yet, we keep doing it. We can never be satisfied.
What causes this human condition? Why do we have this untamed desire to know? Lot’s of articles have been written on the subject. Psychology Today has one. Here’s another from FractalEnlightenment.com. And another from The New Yorker. These are all very informative, but none complete the picture. They all say there’s a satisfaction in learning answers, but that’s really not it. We’re never satisfied, and we keep seeking. I want to know why.