We are going to feel discomfort moreso.
We may as well get comfortable with the feeling of discomfort.
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 wider consciousness.
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 the pond.
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 feel like.Only then will our discomfort become a noble truth.