All of us are trying to find something. Trying to find meaning, love, contentment. Because we feel like something is missing. That’s why we keep ourselves so busy, why we kill ourselves with work, why we can’t be still.
This drive is what allows us to accomplish things. So it’s not all bad. The problem is that when we do accomplish things, we often don’t feel that much better. We look back at the road we just traveled, we look down at the mountain we just scaled, and we think to ourselves: this is it? We never seem to fill the void.
“You’ve wandered all over and finally realized that you never found what you were after: how to live. Not in syllogisms, not in money, or fame, or self-indulgence. Nowhere.”
Isn’t that exactly right?
What we have to realize is that more is not the answer to our problems: more sex, more money, more power and renown. These will never satisfy the place inside us that never feels full. Nor will magical thinking, or plant medicines in the jungles of Peru.
No, you don’t fill the void by fleeing from it or by compensating with externals. According to the Stoics, we satisfy it simply by living our life as nature demands. By being good, by being true to ourselves, by focusing, by not wasting a second wishing anything was otherwise or caring what other people think of us.
We just live, as well as we can.