The concept of permanence is hardwired into us. It is one of those great illusions which we never actually need to think about. It is like the assumption that the sun will rise in the morning and that we’ll wake up to continue our day like any other. The thought of an abrupt change to such a basic law would never occur to us. The same wiring applies to how we operate in almost every other way you can imagine. Our habits and routines are what we continually feed until perhaps one or two of us find it all of such a bore of repetitive events that a change is yearned and begged for. But soon enough the new environment is adapted to, accustomed, and learned by rote into a similar way of life where patterns rule your world.
We have to be honest with ourselves. Many will say that they adore the idea of self-development and live their lives according to a constant search for opportunities to test their mantle and whits. But when they say challenge, they mean adventure with the quick-thrills of some romantic notion they carry in their minds of what is fun, pleasurable and self-aggrandizing. To truly challenge yourself means that you acquire an intimate knowledge of your habits and routines, understand what it is about these that binds your being to them, and then actively create a practice and discipline to upset your addiction step by step until you become an individual uncontrolled by them.
Addiction is what it is and our disagreement to this fact is simply the addiction talking through us. A personality based on habits and routines will defend itself with an array of justifications which will muffle out any attempt to show it up for what it is. People are less human and more machine, for it is not a soul which talks through their lips and controls their actions, but rather these addictions to habits and routines. Groups of little tiny desires, like a preference for a warm tub or dark belgium chocolate, add up together and a person defines to themselves what makes them happy and content. Then they engender an overall identity which is nothing more but the sum of all of these disjointed satisfactions.
Of course a path always exists to genuinely develop, but the truth, again, is that no one really wants it. The problem lies with the fruits and rewards being hidden from plain sight as a promise to what they will gain as a result. We are addicted only to desires which are immediately perceived as attainable and worth the sweat necessary to pay for it. A path such as development does not exist in such a way or form, for to develop means to be constantly identifying one’s patterns and breaking out of them in order to stay in motion as a water-like psychology. It is so utterly contradictory to our way of lifestyle and being that any sane man amongst the crowds and mobs of our cities would turn their back and spit on the idea in disgust.
We yearn to think highly of ourselves and it is this lack of sobriety that limits our work towards something worth endearing. A life ripe of inner battles which result in our breaking away from one habit to another towards the fluidity of something else, is not a life of comfort or ordinary pleasure. There is certainly a relief which comes with the gradual liberation from bondage and slavery, but it is not something that window shoppers like us typically realize or commit to when the opportunity arises. We’d rather enjoy the momentary realization of interesting and noble ideas and then dip right back into the deep abyss of repetition without our acknowledging the silly hypocrisy of not acting upon them.