Countries in Comfort

There are many people in countries in our world today who love to talk about the standard of living statistics or the ‘best place in the world to live’ because their country ranks at No. 1 in the world.

I know I have bragged to others about how great it is living in my country, the luxury of it, the beautiful countryside and mountains of Norway. This is not just appreciating the beauty of our country but gloating and supremacy; of both deserving the luxury we live in and being better than other countries further down the list.

I am here considering this and realising how this attitude may be arrogant, indulgent, individualistic and inconsiderate. The focus becomes less and less about community and working together for the common good of all, instead shifting more and more to how good a life an individual can attain, or the individual family, or just smaller groups, no longer caring for the whole, just about the self and one’s closest.

With these values, greed, self-image and materialism can take over.

We call it ‘the good life,’ a high standard of living, but is this truly living or is it just an existence, one in comfort? For instance, becoming more disengaged from one’s true inner values, thinking that material wealth collates to happiness and that happiness is the ultimate goal in life, instead of realising that life can be about true love, joy and harmony.

In my experience, no true joy has been found in material wealth, only fleeting moments of happiness never sustained, always followed by a come down, a dip or a depression.

With true love for oneself and all of humanity, comes joy and harmony with no need or craving for the next hit of happiness, just living life in a constant flow of contentment.

It would seem that many of us thirst after material possessions: to own at least one house, maybe more, a winter cabin in the mountains, a luxury yacht, cabin cruiser or chalet by the sea, or all of the above – a Mediterranean villa, new cars and motorcycles, several holiday trips per year, the latest technologically advanced computer equipment, this season’s latest fashion in skiing gear, bicycles worth $1000’s, expensive wines, whiskeys, cigars and cognacs.

In this, are we not then teaching our children the same material values and the same excessive lifestyle – actually teaching them to be exactly who they are not, spoiling them completely?

We are not supporting them to hold their kind, loving, considerate, harmonious, joyful and generous nature, often leaving them alone in their rooms to be parented by TV, Internet, on-line gaming, Facebook, App this and App that, death metal, gangster rap, etc. Is this type of lifestyle a responsible way for us to support our younger generations?

The race to attain material wealth can lead to the fact that we are no longer listening to what our own bodies are communicating to us as we go into competition and stress, living trapped in our minds instead of a truly healthy, loving and joyful life.

Given that we are living in so much comfort, then why is illness and disease on the increase?

Consider what is happening to the ageing population in Norway. By the time we get to our 50’s – or 40’s and even younger – we are getting sicker, with more and more cases of mental illness, cancer, diabetes, stress, burnout, etc. If we take a moment to consider a few examples:

  • New cases of cancer in Norway are climbing through the roof. Between 1954 and 2013, the number of new cancer diagnoses in men has more than quadrupled and in women the number of new cases has more than tripled. There are no signs of a slowdown in this trend. [1]
  • Diabetes cases in Norway are increasing at an alarming rate. In 2014 roughly 4% of the population were taking diabetes medication and it is conservatively estimated that there may be somewhere between 2% and 4% more cases undiagnosed. [2]
  • Mental illness affects between 30% and 50% of the adult population in Norway, at some time during their lives. [2]

This begs me to ask the question, “What is it about the way we are living that is giving rise to this upsurge in ill health?”

Is it that we don’t seem to think it can happen to us, until it does?

People are more afraid of being killed by terrorists than the real killers listed above.

What I’m talking about here is not just the abuse we submit our bodies to, with our overeating and alcohol consumption, but also our disregard for our bodies – how we use them as an instrument for our own pleasure and self-indulgent habits. These irresponsible habits are our lifestyle choices that are causing the rise in ill-health.

The fact is that this tsunami of ill-health flooding over us is bankrupting health services around the world, causing even more ill-health for those working within these overloaded systems.

If we consider this along with the comforts that are being sought by some, e.g. luxury lifestyles with yachts and holiday homes being prioritised over and above personal health and wellbeing, are we not collectively out of balance?

Moreover, in our comfortable way of choosing to live, I observe little effort is being focused on our own responsibility for the prevention of the tide of illness and disease.

The simple act of taking a moment to ponder on how we are living our lives, considering how we can best care for ourselves and others, could help us all to live in harmony together, in a greater state of true health and feeling the joy of life. And if we truly consider this, we might come to the conclusion that every person on the planet is the same as we are, no matter their colour, religion, nationality, gender, age or size.

We might also conclude that material wealth is not our true happiness, as happiness is always temporary until we get the next fix, be that a new car, a glass of wine, a great film, a sporting event, a sugary delight – they are all forms of temporary happiness.

Living a privileged life in a beautiful place may make us feel better and more deserving than others, but while we bathe in comfort we are detaching ourselves from humanity, taking part in material competition with each other, isolating ourselves instead of living together in harmony with everyone.

Ignoring the true messages our bodies are giving to us is compounding in its effects to produce an ever-sickening global population that none of us can escape, in spite of our wealth.

Inspired by the presentations of Serge Benhayon, which I feel offer a genuine way out of these worldwide health issues that are embedded in the lives of all of us.

By Christopher Murphy, Kindergarten Assistant and Universal Medicine student, Norway

[1] Kreftregisteret (Institution of Population Based Cancer Research) (2014) Cancer in Norway 2014. http://www.kreftregisteret.no/Global/Cancer%20in%20Norway/2014/cin2014-Special_issue.pdf

[2] Folkehelseinstituttet (2014) Folkehelserapporten 2014. (The health of the population report 2014, The Norwegian institute of public health). http://www.fhi.no/dokumenter/4313e1cf39.pdf

Further Reading:
Why We Should Not Hide In Comfort
A Comfortable Life Versus A True Life
Comparing Myself To Others

796 thoughts on “Countries in Comfort

  1. Very well said Christopher. What you’re talking about is very exposing as it asks us to look at to look at the true state of our own countries and not just place blame on governing bodies but take responsibility into our own hands for we make up the people who represent the whole.

    1. Great point Susie – we can easily sit behind our TV, computer screen or the newspaper and point a finger or shake our head – and blame others, but in the end we are all part of this – and only together can we change it.

      1. Wonderful point Jane. We cannot sit back in our comfortable lives and point the finger at something happening out there. We are all inextricably linked together one seamless whole and own responsibility is significant. It often makes me remember that old poem by Francis Thompson: ‘All things by immortal power/Near or far/ Hiddenly/ To each other linked are/ That thou canst not stir a flower/ Without troubling a star’. Our every move must expand our harmony . . . and pointing a finger would certainly trouble a star!

  2. Christopher, you show here how being proud of ones own country is in fact, (if we are totally honest and look at it from a much bigger picture) being arrogant, indulgent, individualistic and inconsiderate.

  3. We can claim to live in a ‘lucky country’ but do so in comparison to another that isn’t deemed so lucky. Why do we consider one country better then another? It is because of basic human rights, or standards of living or weather patterns, the list could go on but needless to say we say it’s better due to a comparison to something that we deem worse. If we bring this to a world of energy and begin to be aware for every better we put into the world a worse is created and likewise for every worse we create a better. It’s our choice to keep living this way or we can stop and ask the question, better or worse, lucky or unlucky does it truly feel any different? At many points in my life I have seen this play out and always strived to not be in the worse or unlucky and not being aware of the trap this creates. We can only run this energy for so long and by looking at the world as it is you can see things are catching up with us. This isn’t about perfect either but as I said about energy, how things truly feel. We need to bring this back to earth in a big way and while it may not be popular, again we bring things back to energy and be aware there is no such thing, only energy. What will we choose next?

  4. We use many things to avoid the stillness and wealth we hold within. What you described here Christopher is just that, an avoidance of our own wealth. It’s the searching on the outside, creating false bravado only to miss all that lives within.

  5. This blows out of the water the temporary fix in the search for ‘happiness’ when happiness is not it – and temporary fixes are just that and not sustainable. – “We might also conclude that material wealth is not our true happiness, as happiness is always temporary until we get the next fix, be that a new car, a glass of wine, a great film, a sporting event, a sugary delight – they are all forms of temporary happiness.”

  6. A great point Christopher, to consider our choices at this level and the responsibility each of us in fact has for what we contribute to the whole. To see countries as being ‘sick’ when the whole population making them up is not thriving makes sense. I have watched those who have studied and developed through the Universal Medicine teachings and therapies (myself included) and see the complete reversal of the trends you described. It is the answer humanity is looking for, just not necessarily the answer that is always popular. Taking responsibility for one’s choices to live in such a way as to support our own vitality and wellbeing at every level, and therefore what we are contributing to every other person in life, is a commitment for life.

  7. beautiful Christoph, very needed blog on what we are needing to see that we are allowing & doing in countries.. and how we are used to be bound to a lack of awareness over the reality and responsibility that we have as individuals and society, communities, humanity, countries. This blog sheds a light on what is truly now a matter that we need to go that little step deeper to feel what it is that countries are lacking, before we blame anything or anyone else.. Worth pondering on.

  8. This makes perfect sense Christoph, when a country has their collective head in the sand of the obvious corruption, abuse, disharmony and discontent within the populace and it’s systems, then we can safely say it is a country in comfort. That would apply to most I can think of actually!

  9. I can see how this very much relates to how I am with myself at times. It seems the push is always to see yourself as better, better body, better mind, better car, better job, better house, better girlfriend etc You may have one that you see through and say you’re equal to another but at the same time you hold one in your pocket as a backup. You may see you live in an area where everything is the same or your job the same but you hold a better girlfriend or the way you hit a golf ball as better than someone else. It seems for me the default is always to be better than something or someone. I can see how this relates to countries as well and countries are really just made up of a lot of people. This then confirms or answers the question how do you begin to see a “country in comfort”, you expose the ‘better’ or comfort in you in all corners.

  10. Though I may want to indulge in comfort and have aspired for the comfortable prestiges in life I am learning, as this article so brilliantly exposes, this is not the way to live as it damages the health and well-being of us all in society. What I am discovering is that, rather than back off when life seems to get tough, I am being called to commit much more than I had been doing so. Indeed, it’s the comfort – the wanting to have it easy and the erroneous belief that it’s all too much of an effort to evolve – that draws in disasters. Allowing myself the freedom to evolve allows a true ease from which to live and allow those natural impulses to support one another in ways that are true.

  11. I love the directness of your blog, the choice we make to disregard our bodies and the choices we make for them which impact, not only our own health, but equally that of our family, our community, our country and our world. It is so easy to make life about personal comfort but in so doing we contribute to the mess we see before us. Very sobering.

  12. Although there are stark differences in standard of living, in reality I don’t think there are any countries that offer anything more than comfort and status quo. If any one dares to be different or true to themselves there are individuals and systems ready to bring them down. This has repeated time and again in history. It is only when we accept having our silence or compliance off, that we can ‘believe’ that we are actually comfortable. The tension to return to our true nature and live in brotherhood is felt no matter what material comforts we may have acquired.

    1. You are quite right in describing the peak though there are plenty of countries that are far away even from these peaks and perhaps such countries need to come to a similar peak before realising that there is further to go to get back to who you are.

  13. This is a magnificent peice of writing, we are so spoiled in the wealth of the countries we live in that we forget to see that there is much going on in the world, that is seemingly not effecting us but in truth it is, providing us in some way with a reason to hide in comfort, and not choose to step up in responsibility and take care for Humanity.

  14. I find it perfectly reasonable for a country to claim when it does something particularly well – it does not mean that it is able to do everything well. However, if that is taken as a reason why one does not need to be truthful – after all, things are going well – then Christopher is right, such thinking is a dead end.

  15. Our ‘thirst for material possessions’ is there because we are not connecting to ourselves and we need something on the outside to fill the emptiness we feel but don’t want to feel. We therefore get caught in a life of comfort to distract ourselves from feeling what is really going on. As you point out Christopher, our ‘self-indulgent habits’ are ‘irresponsible’ and are affecting the health of all of us. But if we can face this emptiness and address our hurts we soon banish this cloud of unhappiness and connect with the shining sun of joy within that needs no distraction or comforts – we know then that we are enough and that love is.

  16. ‘People are more afraid of being killed by terrorists than the real killers listed above.’ This statement shows how we are so willing to blame another before taking responsibility for ourselves. Our avoidance of taking responsibility blinds us to what we are doing to ourselves by our indulgent choices. Our comfort is killing us, physically and energetically.

  17. “People are more afraid of being killed by terrorists than the real killers listed above.” This is a very sad truth Christopher, we are, not that we should turn a blind eye to these things as its good to be aware of what is going on, but when are we going to start taking responsibility for our own bodies and how we are treating them before the inevitable hits the fan. How much more suffering and dis-ease do we have to endure?

  18. Australia is a good example of this too. It is easy to make money here and you can have a “good” life without much effort. Yet all of the “good” is based on the material. We have shocking statistics with human rights and our health statistics are not in good shape – just to name a couple of blights on our good image. There is far more to life than our material status yet when we have material comforts we can easily sit there and coast, instead of using that as a platform on which we can deepen and enrich our lives.

  19. Comfort= addiction to ways of doing (movements) away from ourselves and what we truly represent. In this sense, every country, wealthy or otherwise, could be said to be in comfort. A materially well-off life, on the other hand, brings up specific ways to be in comfort.

  20. It is fine to live in a beautiful place in a home that you love and without economic hardship. What matters is the way one lives in this environment. Is every movement and thought loving, respectful inspirational, and thus holding of all of us?

  21. The kind of comfort you are describing here Christopher is exactly what keeps so many of us blind to the real issues facing humanity. Mind you, poverty or any other condition can do the same thing. Either way, they all keep us focused on the self and our ‘inner circle’ (the network of family and friends we care about) rather than the big picture and our brothers elsewhere on the planet.

  22. Yes we often aspire and invest in a life that we assume will give us something back (comfort) so that we will be secure and ‘set for life’…but what if this actually inhibits us from growing deeper within ourselves?

  23. “no true joy has been found in material wealth, only fleeting moments of happiness never sustained” so well said Christopher, this is where so much of todays society is lost, due to the fact they are caught up in wanting ‘happiness’, which as you say can only ever be fleeting. Whereas true joy is lasting, and definitely not found in material wealth.

  24. “People are more afraid of being killed by terrorists than the real killers listed above.” This shows the discrepancy we live in and our disconnection to what is really going on.

  25. Christopher, what you have called out here is really huge. I know for me I too have felt ‘how lucky am I to live in Australia’, feeling great it is to be in such a beautiful country, the land of the free. Along the way, being quite ignorant to what is actually going on across the world, choosing instead to live in the not only the Australian bubble, but the State and local areas we are from. This is how many people do live, not looking, thinking, wanting to know what is happening in the world. Its like if it isn’t happening in your own back yard, its easy to ignore the atrocities going on elsewhere. This isn’t and doesn’t foster a oneness, that we are all connected.

  26. It is such a stark difference – living for individual gain or living for absolute equality. There is a beauty in considering everyone else on the planet and our part in the greater whole. In contrast, living considering only oneself is quite ugly. In our desperation to survive and thrive we forget that we are all in this together, and we can’t survive without one another. Best to take care of the whole in this case or we are absolutely doomed.

  27. Using the body as ‘an instrument for our own pleasure and self-indulgent habits’ is championed in our world and looked upon as a success. Boxing rings, eating competitions, aggressive sports, extreme modelling and all the pleasures that go along with it – the list is endless really. When we realise that the body is designed to express our highest and most divine light, the light of the Soul then we will be a lot more discerning with how we move and treat it.

  28. The countries that are doing well and are exploring a new way of being, should be going out to the war-torn countries to support and show all that there IS another way.

  29. It is crazy and completely out of context when people are more concerned about terrorists then they are about their own health.

  30. I have always considered where I live to be a place so full of comfort and yet when I began living what is truth, this same place also does not ever allow me to remain in comfort, which is absolutely brilliant. No matter where we are born in, what industry we are in, how the world is, it cannot affect us if we simply just live what we know is true. Any reaction is a diversion of living what is true, so coming back to simplicity is cool : as knowing true wealth is not because of money, now I do not need to reject money, I just need to live what I find truly fulfilling and full within my heart.

  31. We are more comfortable than ever before (in the West for sure) yet also definitely sicker, so the comfort does not work for us, perhaps this is because our bodies are made to work, and this is something we have sought to avoid through the technology and leisure time opportunities we have developed. Perhaps we will attain a truly healthy status when we consider that everyone must be healthy and cared for to be living in wellness, not just our pockets that we call countries.

  32. We are all only as strong as the weakest link – if we look at this globally there is a bit of work to do.

  33. Countries in comfort, such a great blog Chris. I hadn’t thought about countries being in comfort before, but it is totally true. We are the sum that make up the whole, so if we are sitting and living in comfort of course that is going to impact an entire country.

  34. ‘People are more afraid of being killed by terrorists than the real killers listed above.’ That’s such an interesting and scary thought Christopher because the statistics reveal that you are more likely to die from all your abusive choices than from an attack from terrorists – time for a reality check and a responsibility check I feel.

  35. ‘This begs me to ask the question, “What is it about the way we are living that is giving rise to this upsurge in ill health?’. A very much needed question, Christopher but one that it seems as a collective we are reluctant to look at… possibly because that would mean we would have to change our behaviour, make different choices and come out of a comfort we like, (which is in fact indulgent and literally killing us)?

  36. Perhaps the no.1 ranked country in the world, if it should be measured at all (which of course is nonsense) should be the one that is most open in it’s borders to others, that doesn’t discriminate by religion or race or sex, and that is not myopic in its view of the outside world. Of course the very ideas of countries itself does not support the natural care that we have of people, that shines through in disasters but should become our everyday.

  37. Bhutan is a country that looks to ‘Gross National Happiness’ rather than Gross Domestic Product as a measure of their success. Their ethos is wellbeing takes precedence over economic growth. The necessity of solid fiscal development notwithstanding, this feels like a beautiful way for a nation to let its citizens know it’s about people first.

  38. ‘With true love for oneself and all of humanity, comes joy and harmony with no need or craving for the next hit of happiness, just living life in a constant flow of contentment.’ This is wonderful. I am reflecting on my life and how I went from one hit of happiness to the next, bit like an addiction I couldn’t go long periods without. So I’d book up segments of happiness -a film, tasty food. Once it used to be through drink and clubbing and now it can even be subtle – little escapes done for relief not confirmation of me in divinity. So they could look the same – a swim, or a walk, but one feels like a glass half empty whilst the other feels like it’s building a foundation already there that supports me to walk in the world with greater authority of who I am and the love that can shine through me. One looks to the outside world to deliver something I think I need – recognition, a compliment etc. and the other allows what it is within to express.

  39. Recently I walked down a beautiful leafy suburban street in a ”sought after area’. There was a time when I would have wished to live there, seemingly away from the more obvious areas of poverty and blatant disregard that can be seen in some of these areas. I wanted a haven away from the suffering that many are just more upfront about and not hiding behind the niceties of life.

    But in my job I have the privilege to see behind closed doors and so often those who are living a seemingly easy life are also feeling empty and joyless, disconnected with themselves, suffering relationships for the convenience of wealth. And I realise that there is no haven on this world. Knowing another is suffering, if I am honest, means I cannot rest easy in any kind of glib self-content. There is no separation between us and trying to pretend otherwise means I am not walking ahead to inspire others to follow.

  40. A great blog to raise the point of balance. Yes it seems we strive for betterment and for the individual. Yet in truth we are actually making for a sicker population. And I also feel that we don’t think it can happen to us until it does. A real opportunity for change.

  41. Comfort has been really in my face over the last little while, so it is great re-look at this blog. There are so many threads to pull with this subject. There is nothing wrong with living in a beautiful home and driving a luxury car – it is simply the vibrational quality in which we drive that car or live in the house that matters. I know that this has been said before but it bears re-iteration. The ‘comfort’ that is destroying us is the use of matter or energy to numb and console ourselves from not having lived in a connection. religious way – i.e. not even yet living what Jeshua taught a couple of thousand years ago.

  42. We need to look beneath the facades of countries doing ‘well’ and see a) what the quality of living is like for the people who live there, e.g. how is mental health, obesity and wellbeing? Are people living vital lives? And b) the relationship between that country and all others. An ‘amazing’ country where revolutionary laws might be in place or the people are genuinely joyful and vibrant should share this inspiration with all 196 others so that we can globally bring back vitality, love and responsibility.

  43. If they tried to conduct the same surveys of the most joyous nations, I’m not sure there would be the tools to measure such a thing nor is there a preparedness to look at what a joyful life looks like. The focus is on material wealth, success and progress.

  44. The increasing illness and disease rates show us clearly that a comfortable life is not it, but how much are we able to be honest with ourselves and expose collectively the truth that this reality is presenting to us?

  45. “Given that we are living in so much comfort, then why is illness and disease on the increase?” Great question Christopher, there is so much that we are in comfort about and a lot of the time, the ‘so called do gooders’ who are just the masses in society are the ones who are in the most comfort and creating the most harm, because they are sitting back looking at others and judging those who are not living how they are.

  46. I live in New Zealand, a country that is always up in the top few of the most popular countries to visit and considered to be very beautiful geographically, which it is. We succeed very highly in many sporting codes, especially rugby, but we have one area that we really to not want to be in the top few. That is for our mental health statistics, with our youth suicide rates amongst the highest in the world and I am sure that our physical health statistics are way up there too. I feel that we focus so much on some of our achievements that we lose sight of the truth of what’s truly going on behind those glorious scenes.

  47. What’s also usually connected to material competition but is in a league of its own too, is intellectual competition, career success and basically putting one life style above another – all create conflict within oneself (got to be better, do better, achieve more) and against one another. I’ve very much been caught up in gaining social standing through profession and it’s felt so ugly and dismissing of my true qualities. For, in order to succeed in the way that I wished I put my true knowing aside and people pleased to get recognition.

    Everyone loses out this way because here is yet another person discarding the gold within themselves and not shining forth but getting sicker. Where are people going to be inspired unless we live the beauty we all hold within and let go of the empty ideals of accumulating more accolades or material possessions? The love we are that is the true gold is not something to be coveted but shared.

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