We are going to feel discomfort moreso.
We may as well get comfortable with the feeling of
The consequences of our (largely westernised)
profligate lifestyles over the past few millennia (intensified since the
Industrial Revolution) have started to become manifest.
We may not all be aware of the consequences, but they
are present. More and more, these uncomfortable realisations are reaching a
It’s like a ripple. An uncomfortable feeling may start
out at some point in our cultural pond; but, because we are not near the
source, we do not feel it. However, ripples have a habit of spreading, and
eventually we will notice the ripples of discomfort no matter where we are in
Noticing the ripple, and feeling its effect upon us,
is just the first step. Buddhism calls this the First Noble Truth.
The First Noble Truth (of four) is often translated as
suffering in the English language. The Pali word dukkha has a
larger meaning and includes such notions as uncomfortableness,
unsatisfactoriness, unease, stress, or – discomfort.
If we are going to navigate through the
social/environmental collapse that is upon is, then noticing the discomfort is
the first thing we must get comfortable with.
It is worth looking more closely at the First Noble
Truth. You could be forgiven to think that the word noble here
refers to the truth. However, that too, is a poor understanding of the
original Pali phrase.
In Pali the word ariya, translated as noble,
refers not to the truths themselves, but to the knower of the truths. Noble
has an etymological root in the word gno – meaning to know.
Thus, the original meaning of the First Noble Truth
could be said to be: a person who understands, and has stepped into knowledge
of, the truth of discomfort.
When we step into that knowledge, we begin to become
comfortable in our discomfort. It is a start – there are three more Noble
Truths to navigate.
So, let us not look out on the world with worry,
despair, anxiety, depression, or anger. Let us face our discomfort. Let us
explore it. What does it mean to be uncomfortable? What does discomfort truly