Contentment as Part of the Social Contract
H! Welcome to the third video in our “Mind Games” series. Today we are looking at the belief that “Contentment is a virtue.” There are three ways that I can see us understanding contentment as a virtue. I want to look at all three and then tell you why they’re wrong!
The first way I can understand us seeing contentment as a virtue is that we typically view things from the perspective of the mental energy field. The mental energy field views the world as finite, and resources are limited. We have to take the resources we have and somehow divide them in a way that’s equitable and fair, so that everybody has enough to live. From the perspective of the individual, that tells me that I need to make peace with the amount of resources I have. That’s my part of the social contract.
But we as human beings have access to more than the mental energy field. We have access to the spiritual energy field, which is much bigger. Inside that energy field we have access to unlimited creative potential. If we accept the role of creators in our world, we are able to make new abundance, new wealth. Not only are our lives expanding, we are creating expansion for everyone around us. If the purpose of the social contract is to make sure that everybody has enough, we fulfill that much more powerfully by accepting our role as creators, and actually generating more abundance, than in just trying to be content with the limited amount we’ve been given.
Contentment Versus Desire
What happens when you stop being content? You start feeling desire. But when it’s aligned with the mental energy field, desire can only result in competition. If I want more stuff, I have to take it from you. Then I have to protect my stuff because you might take it back from me. I start hoarding my wealth and I build up these walls. Now I’m participating in the vice of avarice, which is a violation of my relationship to the world and my relationship to other people.
Looking at that situation it would be easy to say obviously contentment is the virtue and desire is the vice. But that is only true when desire is attached to the mental energy field. When we use desire to connect us to the spiritual energy field it becomes a lightning rod that draws in new energy, new power, and expands the current wealth. Desire is the intention we have to create, to make something new, to expand and explore. We’re not being competitive; we’re creating something completely new.
Contentment = Gratitude?
The third way I can see contentment being considered a virtue is I think oftentimes we confuse contentment with gratitude. Gratitude is the ability to look at our world and our lives, and see the good things we have. We feel happy for those things and focus on them. When we’re able to experience gratitude we find our hearts lifted, our energy is lifted, and we’re really able to enjoy our world. That enjoyment of gratitude is actually naturally expansive. As we enjoy our blessings more blessings are beginning to flow in. That on its own is a creative energy.
Contentment looks something like gratitude, because in contentment we do try to focus on what’s going well and what we appreciate. But we’re doing so with the idea of a cap on it. I appreciate what I have and that’s enough. Gratitude does not do that. It just opens further and further for more and more expansion.
The Real Virtues: Gratitude + Desire!
Gratitude is part of the creative energy that moves us forward, as is desire. As human beings we’re already aligned for desire and expansion. It’s part of how we move into the world. Our bodies show a constant desire for expansion when we heal from wounds, when we’re restored from sickness, when we grow from a baby to an adult. All of that is the body not being content. It’s making something new.
Since our bodies are so closely connected to our spiritual energy field, they communicate to us the intention and the desire of the spiritual energy field. Which is not only to manifest health and renewal in our bodies, but to then bring that power into the world. I see desire and gratitude as the virtues, and contentment as working against those virtues. I would love to hear your thoughts and perspective. I hope you join me next week for my final video in this “Mind Games” series, in which we look at the belief, “Self-Care is Selfish.” Talk to you then!