Suffering: What, How and Freedom from Part 1
Four Noble Truths also called Noble Realities in modern versions
Suffering & its causes exist in life, whatever we do. This is not doom& gloom, just reality.
- Suffering arises from 1) desire/ graving, 2) hatred/aversion and 3) Ignorance, which means illusions and delusions. Attachment to one of them enhances suffering.
- Suffering ceases when ego-driven attachments cease or are under control. This is Nirvana.
- Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the so-called “Eight fold Path”
Suffering and its causes exist and cannot be prevented.
This is not a pessimistic & hopelessness point of view. It is reality since life is what it is, consisting of many good stuff but also of suffering, dissatisfaction and unhappiness. No one is exempt from suffering but we can deal with it in a more efficient way.
This suffering is called Dukkha but Dukkha has a far broader meaning: anything that we don’t like, oppose, resent and fight against. Human nature and the world you live in are imperfect.
During our lifetime, we have to endure not only physical suffering such as pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, old age, and death but mainly emotional pain such as anger, fear, resentment, jealousy, etc.
Suffering arises from 1) I want :desires/graving , v2) I Don’t want :hatred /aversion and
3) I believe: illusions /delusions also called ignorance.
I want: Desire to have more and more and control things and people.
Attachment creates or will create suffering because everything is transient and loss
I don’t want: Hatred / aversion / negative emotions: the opposite of “I want”
We become attached to them when we resist and fight against rather than accepting them.
I believe: Our illusions/ delusions:
They are endless & a great source of suffering: 1) That we are in control. 2) That we are a permanent, unique, separate self-entity with a self- intrinsic life. 3) That our thoughts / emotions are real & genuine truth. 4) That past and future exist. Here too, attachment can be very powerful
It is interesting to realize that most of our causes of suffering & related attachment are ego-driven.
Obviously, external causes of suffering such as loss of a loved one, disasters, wars, accidents do exist.
They do trigger external suffering but our emotional reaction remains the major culprit.
Self-generated suffering can be reduced if not ceased when we are able to control it.
Nirvana is the final control and liberation of chronic suffering.
Literally, Nirvana means “blowing the flame of a candle ” that is extinction of suffering and its causes. The body-mind will experience freedom or reduction of suffering and non-attachment only after accepting it rather than resistance and fight.
Managing even freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the Eightfold Path
In order to minimize / end suffering, one must follow the Eight fold Path, an ethical, behavioral and mental conduct. This liberation from suffering – if achieved- defines “ awakening or enlightenment.”
This 8 components path to the end of suffering can be achieved by gradually seeking self-improvement. It can happen during this current life or the next ones since every individual is subject to rebirth is subject to karmic conditioning. Craving, hatred, ignorance and other effects may/ will disappear gradually, as karmic-based progress is made through each lifetime. We will talk about this Eight fold Path next week.
Causes of suffering cannot be eradicated but their impacts can surely be managed.