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Circumstantial v. Permanent Well-Being: Escaping the Great Alternation and Introducing Another

Everyone wants well-being, and each of us has our own ways of finding it. But did you know that there is more than one kind of well-being? In this article Ron Patterson writes about circumstantial well-being v. permanent well-being and how they each affect our lives in profoundly different ways.


The study of well-being is fascinating and vast. This writing is going to introduce more for you to consider on this topic in the hopes of opening a new way for you to approach and succeed in this territory.

Circumstantial Well-Being, The Unending Alternation

Circumstantial well-being is easy to see and experience. It occurs when we bring ourselves to situations that release energy into us that cause well-being of one kind or another. Vacationing in a new country, buying something, or sitting in the comfort of our home streaming a movie are a few of many thousands of examples that could be listed. The well-being arrives when we consume the experience but quickly departs when it is over. We are then left searching for another well-being experience and the process repeats itself. Over time, this can make people feel like they are living in an endless loop they don’t know how to escape from.

To peer deeper into what is going on we see there are two broad classes of circumstantial well-being. Those that are anchored in comfort and experiences that are already known to us. These have a magnetic nature that pulls us back towards them. The second are those anchored in the excitement of new experience. These have an electric nature and a sense of propelling us into the unknown. As humans we mostly find ourselves forever alternating between the two as we live our lives. The below diagram illustrates how this works.

Comfort Examples

Excitement Examples

· Daily trip to coffee shop · Spending time with your pet · Chilling with friends at home · Relaxing on a sunny beach · Eating your favorite foods · Recalling fond memories

· Partying /going to a concert · Gaming · Shopping/buying something new · Taking a selfie and posting it on social media · Sport betting

The best way to explain this is by an example. You and your friends are feeling restless and are looking for the excitement of something new. You go on a vacation for a week, flying to a new country. You have a stream of new experiences of the “Exciting” kind and life is good. But, after 5-6 days all this newness can become a bit much and now you begin to crave being in the comfort of your homes where everything is known and familiar. Upon arriving home, you each spend the next few days relaxing from your vacation and experiencing the “Comfort” side of circumstantial well-being.

There are thousands of flavours of these two categories to experience, making it easy to alternate back and forth your whole life. Unfortunately, this never-ending cycle can lead some people to have painful feelings such as disappointment, boredom, self-doubt or cynicism about their life. Why would this be the case? Here is perhaps a way to understand. The core problem is that it is fundamentally the same “you” travelling between these two aspects of circumstantial well-being. It’s “you” going on your daily trip to the coffee shop in the morning; and the same “you” going to a music concert that night. It’s hard to spot, but what is really going on with circumstantial well-being is that you are effectively running inside the same microchip of self, as you toggle back and forth. Yes, there may be some small gain of function within self as you learn to cook or play a new sport, but from experience it is not causing fundamental change. Continually coming out from the same circuitries is what can often cause feelings of “same old same old” in one’s life. In ancient times this alternation was represented by a snake eating itself.

Introducing Permanent Well-Being - New Alternations and Possibilities

Permanent well-being is something completely different. It happens when a person can find, build, and activate their “inner self” for real. This means connecting to Universal energies such as healing, clairvoyance, joy, hope and wisdom to name a few. These energies contain fine matter that condense within as you process them, growing new inner circuits. By questing for permanent well-being a person is introducing a profound new alternation into their life as illustrated below.

As you can see in the above diagram, a person who introduces the successful search for permanent well-being in their life is creating totally new possibilities for themselves. They can now alternate vertically (between permanent and circumstantial) and horizontally (between the two types of circumstantial) with their life, according to how they decide to invest their time. Effectively they are opening a new dimension in their life. There is now the existing you and the new you that you are growing. It is the latter that causes a stream of new feelings, perceptions and capabilities. A person will now be growing inwardly for real, even if it is only small to begin. A few amazing things often start to happen as one begins to anchor permanent well-being:

  • There is a growing inner settlement as you now have something inside that doesn’t ebb or fade. This often translates into better balances in life and less need to chase circumstantial well-being for reasons such as external validation or recognition.

  • Both faces of circumstantial well-being renew as there is now an ever changing you experiencing life.

  • One starts to feel the greater possibilities of what it means to be human.

This is only an introductory writing to scope out the territory, so it is time to land. I am sure you may have dozens of questions going on. Much deeper know-how can be shared in the future including some starters on the “How” of going about acquiring permanent well-being.

In the spirit of new possibilities,

Ron Patterson

P.S. Curious question: Is a person’s interest in a spiritual journey proportional to how clearly they see they are living inside the great alternation of circumstantial well-being?


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