Dissatisfaction and Life Templates

Before I get more deeply into the subject of Karma, I am going to talk a little about dissatisfaction. This is what Buddhists might call dukkha and it is all pervasive. If you look around you do you see anyone who is content, even at peace with where they find themselves in life? Are not most people “after something”?

This grasping for something, perhaps that cure all elixir, underpins life. For most this has material elements, a better job, a new car, more sex, better food or a good night out with the pals. It does not address what is perhaps an underlying malaise, noted but never fully acknowledged, a sort of thirst even an itch. People are forever putting temporary salves on this and yet it never really goes away. If there is grasping, there can never be full satisfaction, for even if the object of desire is attained, then more grasping inevitably follows.

A major cause of this dissatisfaction is the purchase and installation of a Life Template. This is when one buys a ready-made template for life and then tries to fit it to what is actually happening. One might buy the “Successful career, Good husband and Father” template down at the shop of socially accepted templates in the supermarket of life. One then works with that theme for decades only customizing it ever so slightly. All of effort is directed at maintaining that template which one has sold to one’s friends and family. If you don’t stick to that template, they will remind you!

Associated with this template are house, car, kids, annual holidays and delightful family get togethers. Many versions of this template are on sale according to budget.

By trying to fit life to this template dissatisfaction results. People may gripe and moan about this, few do anything to change.

Nowadays we have a whole host of templates. One could be the thrusting career woman juggling corporate success, children and relationships; wanting to have cake and eat it.

People even assign templates to each other and if you do not fulfil the expectations of a template, this causes dissatisfaction for the person who assigned you that template. They then select another more negative template by which they view and judge you. These templates are all by way of an ersatz for reality.

It is by force of WILL that people strive to fit into and propagate, a template. This inevitably causes friction and dissatisfaction. This is by no means the only source of dissatisfaction yet “wanting to have life on your own terms” is a consistent and thematically encompassing overlay which pervades. If you do not get what you “think” you want, you get the hump at life.

Are you living a Template?

Assumed Understanding

I suspect that in many cases people assume that they understand a whole bunch of stuff way better than they actually do. People imagine that they can read others and predict to an extent what they will do under a given circumstance. I can think of several {many} occasions where people have behaved in a particular way towards me and then have been mightily surprised when I have not done what they anticipated. They assumed that they knew and that they knew me.

As a thought experiment if someone presented as a go-getting high tech. entrepreneur what would you expect them to do? How would you expect them to behave? What ethos would they hold and practise?

I’ll wager that in ~99.7% of people, there is no way that people would guess that someone presenting as a high tech. entrepreneur would be an adherent to the twelve principles of Buddhism, which I put up yesterday. It simply would not compute. There are many of these things which I call DNCs, Does Not Compute.

Assumed understanding has these massive DNC shaped black spots, blind spots.

I am a living example of what for many was/is a DNC.

Why would someone who had a tenured relatively well-paid job at a world top ten university resign without another relatively well-paid tenured job to go to?

DNC, DNC…Imagine a Dalek saying DNC, DNC in order to get my drift.


It is related to an HTTP error code.

403 Forbidden

The request contained valid data and was understood by the server, but the server is refusing action. This may be due to the user not having the necessary permissions for a resource or needing an account of some sort, or attempting a prohibited action (e.g., creating a duplicate record where only one is allowed). This code is also typically used if the request provided authentication by answering the WWW-Authenticate header field challenge, but the server did not accept that authentication. The request should not be repeated.

405 Method Not Allowed

A request method is not supported for the requested resource; for example, a GET request on a form that requires data to be presented via POST, or a PUT request on a read-only resource.

406 Not Acceptable

The requested resource is capable of generating only content not acceptable according to the Accept headers sent in the request.

417 Expectation Failed.

The server cannot meet the requirements of the Expect request-header field.

418 I’m a teapot (RFC 2324, RFC 7168)

This code was defined in 1998 as one of the traditional IETF April Fools’ jokes, in RFC 2324, Hyper Text Coffee Pot Control Protocol, and is not expected to be implemented by actual HTTP servers. The RFC specifies this code should be returned by teapots requested to brew coffee. This HTTP status is used as an Easter egg in some websites, such as Google.com’s I’m a teapot easter egg.


I twigged a while back, that because I had renounced something which many people spend a great deal of effort pursuing and is in a highly competitive arena, I am/was suspect. Nobody was willing to believe that I did it of my own free will. People assumed that there was some scandal or that I had been asked to fall on my sword, or that I had been pushed onto it. It is easier for the conspiracy addicted human mind to fabricate some salacious reasons, rather than accept that a being would do this, jack it all in.

We have a DNC here in the garage. It is a right-hand drive Peugeot 207 with 22 Bretagne plates. On numerous occasions people look at me in the passenger seat and without a steering wheel. DNC! It is the combination of a French car, with French number plates and UK steering wheel which is the DNC.

It does not take much to make a DNC for most people.

As a little experiment:

How many DNCs have you got?

In what way might they impinge on your assumed understanding about a whole bunch of stuff?

Recollections Vary

It is possible that “while some recollections may vary” will make it into the quotations book, it is nevertheless a true statement, recollections do vary.  If they don’t vary then people have colluded to provide an agreed recollection, even practised it.

People rarely recall in a manner that puts them in a bad light, in these pays of PR people tend to big themselves up. There is a polar opposite where people can imagine they have done the worst because they want to beat themselves up. But balanced objective middle ground is rare. I mentioned earlier that I have a mild hypothesis that introvert recall is better than extrovert, because the introvert is not actively wanting and seeking to talk. There is a caveat to that, it is possible for an introvert to have had a conversation in his/her head and imagine that they have actually verbalised.

So, we have another soap opera on the front pages. I find it very difficult to engage with this story. It is a bit boring.

I keep thinking, “what did you expect? Doh.”

Expectations do not match reality therefore it is best not have any expectations.

I have had trouble over the years explaining to people that I have very few if any expectations. They expect me to have expectations and when I don’t, I am not believed. They may recall that I am lying about not having expectations. I would recall that they had trouble believing in the concept of no expectations.


Recollections vary, yup, so they do.

Dharma of the Day #5

your expectations and those of others

are the bricks and the iron bars

with which mutual imprisonment

is forcefully maintained;

abandon all expectations


the wish life of the lower mind

creates a concatenation

which manacles the spirit

and blinds true relations;

look very far beyond wishes


the coils of prejudice

squeeze tighter than any Anaconda

circling thought mind

suffocates any nascent growth;

learn to be fluid


the tourniquet of reason

prevents the flow of blood

the cells of new being

are hence deprived;

seek to live like a mountain stream


water does not ever bind

it seeks out new paths

and bends the reeds of circumstance

without damaging them

in so doing it rejoices, daily


learn to laugh like the streams

who caress the mossy beards on all of the rocks

pensive and considerate on their journey

for the banks of a river are merely temporary

water, in time, always merges with Dao


the essence of existence is to merge

to become at-one with the universe

in this water is a great teacher

for water knows its place;

find yours and learn from it each and every morning

pain of loss

Just as there is no loss of basic energy in the universe, so no thought or action is without its effects, present or ultimate, seen or unseen, felt or unfelt.

Norman Cousins


forcing expectations

into papier-mâché boxes

the Dao is not written by will


the universe knows

all the hidden motives



sorcerers spinning plates

have nothing to

breakfast from


straight line simple

with open hand

the sage is never hungry


a single sheep

clothed only naked

is not cold in winter


emotional intensity

shatters limbs

and breaks bonds


even a camel

knows how important

a single straw is


the reed meets the wind

by bending and



even the reed

knows when

to bow


pushing too hard

the intelligent worm turns

and walks away


the fisher catches

no carp today

swimming, in golden pond


the lottery ticket

which never wins

cannot force any joy


the artificer gets

unpredictable outcomes

and does not learn


chasing groundhogs

across autumn meadows

ever in the mist at dawn


the sorcerer’s ball

never lands on

zero or thirty-three


Acting in anger and hatred throughout my life, I frequently precipitated what I feared most, the loss of friendships and the need to rely upon the very people I’d abused.

Luke Ford

Es tut mir leid

This is partially about that curse of expectation and trying to mould others into some preconceived idea of what they should be.


To catch the wings
Of a memory
Es tut mir leid
That I wasn’t
And I couldn’t
That which you
Wanted of me
Es tut mir leid
And in your
Desire to shape
To shape
We lost
We lost it all
Es tut mir leid
And now
Those feather wings
They float
In the wind
And to try
The fingers of fate
You must
That is your lot
And as you draw
Each straw
There is a cost
Es tut mir leid
For dependence
Is not what
You seek
It comes
So to free
The yoke of
Wish to hand
It …..
To you…..
Es tut mir leid
And you wanted
To wash your
And give to me
You wouldn’t
To love
Means to free
And to let go
Es tut mir leid
And now
We are where
We are
The times they are
And man
Come of age
With all the pains
Of birth resonant
With the tear
Of the first tear
That decorates the earth
In all its splendour
And yes
It will be
A mess
So in my passing
Es tut mir leid
That the ears
Of a blind man
Were not yours
And I cry at the need
For immediacy
And I know
That you did
Your very best
Es tut mir leid
That I was a
Burden unto you
And now…
I pick up the dice
And with a flick of the wrist
I roll them
To see
Es tut mir leid
And in my passing
Perhaps I have cleansed
The way
I have
My purpose
So now
To walk
The darkest alleys
And to find
The stray cat
And to light the fire
The fire within
Es tut mir leid