Discontent, Progress, and Buddha

 Restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.
—Thomas A. Edison

I was asked, What would Buddha think of this quote?

I’m extremely tired at the moment, but here are some thoughts off the top of my head.

Life is a paradox

From everything I read, this is what I know about the philosophy of buddhism:

Suffering exists
There is a cause of suffering
Cessation of suffering exists
Joy can be achieved.

These are the four noble truths.

Suffering is inescapable.

Why? Because impermanence. Change is the only constant, and we will always be fighting disequilibrium.

I believe we can choose our sufferings, and in turn find solutions that temporarily alleviate our suffering and the suffering of those around us.

Technology and enterprise are the solutions of our efforts alleviate suffering

Discontent is the source of all progress

But there will never be a utopia.

For example, we cure a disease. This increases the number of people alive. But now these people face a food shortage. So the net suffering decreased short term and increased long term.

This is the never ending paradox.

You could sit on a hill and meditate and transcend the body and suffering. That’s good and dandy. But is that any better than inventing a product or create an organization to temporarily alleviate suffering? But in the end is humanity any better off if we now have a greater number of people who have the potential to suffer? I’m not so sure.

My personal aim in life is self preservation, of information, of my ideas and my DNA. This means ensuring the survival of the individuals of the social groups I rely on for my survival, starting with my family and close friends and my company and my community and out and out to my nation and world etc.

Hopefully this makes sense and wasn’t too abstract. I’m really tired.

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