It is a given of life that nothing is permanently and finally satisfying or fulfilling. It is a given of the mind that somewhere there is a person or thing that will be permanently satisfying or fulfilling. Such a chimerical belief and the restless desperate seeking that may follow it can be deeply disheartening and self-defeating.

David Richo


The Illusion of Completion

The search for completion in life is a red-herring. In the context of feeling and purpose, completion is the idea that life will be fundamentally different later, after something is completed. For instance, one may feel that social relations will be different after one has 'completed' getting married, or that life will be different after one 'completes' making a lot of money, or that one can start expecting to be treated well after one 'completes' proving oneself. Circumstances change of course, but the feeling of completion never comes. One occaisionally meets people who can report 'content' but never one who can report 'completion.'

There is nothing to make in life, and nothing to complete. Mission and goals can give life meaning, but what detracts from feeling and purpose is the lack of full participation in relationships based on the idea or feeling of 'something pending.' Also, a great deal of insensitivity to the present situation results from pursuing 'completion' for something else. Still more, the illusion that something is complete, leads to insensitivity. For instance, it is common to view a relationship as 'complete' at marriage, and so the marriage becomes (in the experiencing anyway) a static thing, not a relationship. In life nothing has been completed, and nothing will be completed.