In a nutshell, the greatest waste on this entire Earth we call our home is the Human Potential. And with the Great Waste this Great Earth will also be laid to waste.

Yesterday my neighbor walked outside to the end of his driveway where he had left his big and beautiful 12 foot “Christmas Tree” for trash pick-up. “It’s too big” he told me as I was also outside taking down the remaining outdoor Christmas lights. “They won’t pick it up if I don’t saw it – but look at it, it’s still alive” he said laughing more out of surprise than out of sympathy.

This 12 foot pine tree was so beautiful that my other neighbor upon seeing it in this neighbor’s house standing upright and decorated (albeit cut off at its roots) declared it “so perfect it looks fake.” He bent over and began to saw it in half and I could feel the hairs on my arms stand up. I was cringing. It was almost as though he were sawing a living animal in half before me. “What a shame” I remarked unintentionally, “what a waste”. He laughed again nodding in agreement and went on sawing.

Yes, this beautiful tree had been cut down in its prime to serve what from a human being’s point of view was “its purpose” and now that it had served its so called purpose was thrown out on the side of the road with the rest of the trash. I suddenly felt so sad and decidedly turned from the death scene when suddenly I found myself facing MYSELF and my own great waste. I turned to enter my house when I was struck with the shock of all the outdoor Christmas lights which I had just taken down and rolled into neat piles on my front porch. I had not had these lights for years, bringing them out year after year, rather I had bought them only this year feeling a little competitively that I “didn’t have enough Christmas lights outside”. Not only had I bought more Christmas lights this year, but I had also bought more ornaments rather impatiently not waiting until the days after Christmas when all seasonal items would be more than 50% less in price.

Why? Because I DESIRED these things NOW. More precisely, I desired to have a nicely decorated home which would fit in well with the homes around me and which would make my children squeal with delight. Had they squealed with delight? I think back for a moment. They had squealed with delight over the neighbors’ lights and inflatable snowmen and Santa’s on display. In fact, they had squealed with delight upon seeing any house with lights and decorations but…ohh!! What have I done??

I remember distinctly now, their delight had never translated into a desire for lights and decorations on our own house. They are young, and had not considered the issue personally. Rather, it was I who had made them consider it! It was I who declared, “Don’t worry kids, Mommy is going to put up lights on our house too!” as if they had been worried. They weren’t worried about “our lights”, on the contrary, they were delighted with what was already visually available to them and had not asked for more. But now I had made this an issue of lack, an issue of competition, an issue of “us” versus “them” and my daughter who is a little older suddenly began to demand specific kinds of lights “like this house Mommy, how come our tree isn’t as bright as theirs?” I stood dumfounded.

What have I done? I had unconsciously transferred my own psychological illness, my own conditioned response comparing myself to others to measure my own ‘worth’ to my sweet innocent little children! How many times do I condition them PER DAY to compare and measure themselves against others through some ridiculously conceived standard? I suddenly felt nauseated and unbelievably shocked and saddened.

Yes, when I turned to face my house feeling disgust over the great human waste I was forced to turn and face my own self, my own desires, my own emptiness, my own contributions to humanity’s destructive nature. I had to face the heaping pile of waste that I myself had produced which represents the great waste of my own potential which I would inevitably transfer to my children who would inevitably transfer it to theirs. This is the face of tragedy and it doesn’t seem to have an end. It’s the face of ambition gone awry attempting to fulfill the desire for ‘more’ wants, a black hole that can never be filled. I was suddenly confronted with the fact that I am nothing if not a consumer.

I am a consumer of energy, of material goods, consuming trash and outputing trash, and as such I am a link in a chain of global wasters ever breathing life into the cycle of waste. I am a waster of energy, a waster of all of Earth’s once plentiful resources, a waster of income without output. In a nutshell I have wasted LIFE itself yet I stand cringing at the insensitivity of the ‘other’ hahahaha! Where, I wonder, is my own sensitivity? Where is my Intending Self? Where is the self who can ACT out of NEED and NECESSITY instead of desire and want?

I have to ask myself “why?” Why have we created a world that does nothing but condition us to consume out of want instead of need? Why have we created a world in which we bombard ourselves with an estimated 600 to 3000 advertising messages per day which condition us to feel empty without meaningless and wasteful products – which condition us to compare ourselves with those around us, causing us to feel ‘poor’ or ‘unfashionable’ by standards which have been created out nothing more than a cycle of GREAT WASTE – a deadly cycle of bloody comparison and competition?

Yes, it is a bloody waste which leads to suffering, which leads to the idea that we ourselves are not enough as we are. We wonder why we have so much anxiety, why our children suffer so much anxiety and depression feeling a sense of entitlement, throwing tantrums, wanting more and never feeling fulfilled when it’s WE who have conditioned them as we have been conditioned to suffer at the idea of our lack which is not at all lacking! Yes, we are bleeding and in reaction we turn around and bleed each other and the earth even more. Will this cycle ever end? Will I ever realize the destructive nature of this waste deeply enough to decide to end my participation in it once and for all?

It’s simple. Man believes he rules the Earth, and this belief wastes him because this belief is based upon a desire for something which he can never have – security. All of his reactions are deeply rooted in a perceived FEAR. But he can never have security if security means avoiding death and degeneration, if security means avoiding LOSS. We live in an external world which is ever in flux, impermanent, ever degenerating to regenerate and loss of things, including body and mind, is inevitable. Security in such a world is an illusion and yet man is psychologically driven to avoid what is unavoidable. The only security is in remaining unattached, living in the moment for the sake of the moment, for the sake of LIVING. Otherwise there is no meaning, but man chases security which is a pursuit of time, a pursuit of the next moment, the next ambition, the next desire, the next dollar, the next thrill, the next food and drink, the next victim, the next abuser.

He chases time afraid that time will catch up to him but in chasing he destroys the only living moment in existence, destroying himself and all that he touches. Yes man is like King Midas, believing that the pursuit of power and pleasure can gain him his security which he measures meticulously by comparing himself to others, but how can he ever be free of his FEAR of loss by filling the bottomless pit of desire with things that he will definitely lose? How can he ever truly feel satisfied with what he has if he attaches himself to the idea that he is lacking in some way, chasing the never-ending chain of trends?

Instead his pursuit of time and material things only gains him more unfulfilled desires, anxiety, depression, boredom, greed, corruption, violence, wasting all of his potential to BE simply and to simply BE. Like Midas his touch will destroy all that is truly meaningful and he will discover the true meaning of “wealth” only when it has been taken away from him by his own hand – when he is on the brink of extinction, too little too late.


[TEDxDoiSuthep – Jon Jandai – Life is easy. Why do we make it so hard?]

Pun Pun Center for Self Reliance


I just can’t continue on this destructive path leading to meaninglessness and suffering, leading to the death of myself and my children.  I have to remove myself from this unending chain of unconsciousness chasing the ‘next’. I must remove myself as a link in this historical chain of cause and effect leading nowhere. Even if I am an army of one against 3000 what choice do I have? I would rather stand as one in opposition to the great machine than remain a part of its misery for the rest of my short life.

To be FREE is an internal state of being FREE from all psychological attachments to conditioned identifications with the external causing us great FEAR of LOSING what we never owned to begin with. Life is not a matter of ownership but a matter of BEING. Come hell or high water I am going to FREE ME from all perceived FEARS, refusing to participate in the Great Waste of human potential so that I may KNOW what it means to LIVE!