A man has needs not just to maintain, but to expand. Throughout his younger years, in his health, his mind is focused on such expansion. He dreams of it, contemplates it, and at times finds himself solely obsessed with it without any knowledge of how such obsession began. Consider a man who lived through his younger years into his older years maintaining his more basic needs just enough to keep him as whole as is needed to remain obsessed with those needs to expand, but with little success in fulfilling them. Such a man couldn't find the circumstances for a calm family life, nor the inner charge to make significant artistic and intellectual creations that he could have then pushed forward.
As this man found himself distanced from his prime, he saw his last chance for creation float out of view. He railed in agony, a renaissance of his prime, where his obsessions once fueled by vigor were then fueled by desperation. As he aged further, becoming barely able to maintain himself, his desires to expand began to fade.
This man's life was a common enough phenomenon, except he didn't use painkillers. He didn't drink his desires away every night, nor declare victories that weren't there. He remained as humble as was necessary to honestly reflect his circumstances. Because he always accepted his failures, and never hid them, his desires to expand faded away without confusion, leaving him without the need to maintain long held illusions of who he is and what he did. His desire to expand died, but his mind, as always, remained lucid.
He more calmly looks back on his life of agonizing desires, that were never met, and expecting only what he's used to, realizes his desires have left, and therefore so too has his pain. This tired, but lucid, man finds that as he reflects backwards on the agony of his life, a life he deemed a failure, that his pain of desire has not simply left him with nothing but the pain of regret. He begins to understand that his past suffering is what he loves the most. He feels gratitude towards the circumstances which allowed it. Momentarily, or from time to time in those latter years of his life, he experiences joy.
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