Thursday, January 06, 2005

Life is painful

Life is painful.

When we face problems in life and the problems gets to us, it gives us pain. A pain in the head and a pain in the heart; sometimes becoming a pain in the neck as well.

Even Buddha taught that life is suffering. Buddha says:

1. Everything in life is painful. There is no way to avoid pain. Nothing in life is ever good enough.

2. The reason for this pain is our desires. We want more and more, so we feel pain.

3. There is hope. There is a way to end pain. The way to end pain is to follow the Noble
Eightfold Path.

4. To learn more, read: Four Noble Truths.

The part on "Life is suffering" is Buddhism's first principle, the Buddha's first noble truth and is often emphasised and perhaps overly so by well-respected academics and Dharma teachers alike.

I think that the truth about the noble truths by Buddha is that Buddha taught four truths
-- not just one -- about life: There is suffering, there is a cause for suffering, there is an end of suffering, and there is a path of practice that puts an end to suffering.

These truths, taken as a whole, are far from pessimistic. They are a practical, problem-solving approach -- the way a doctor approaches an illness, or a mechanic a faulty engine. You identify a problem and look for its cause. You then put an end to the problem by eliminating the cause.

Jesus also knew that life was suffering and showed us this with his life as the "Suffering Servant." He provides a model of how the suffering is to be done. The Passion of Christ depicts clearly the Suffering of Christ.

In fact, the word "suffer" comes from the Latin sub plus ferre meaning "to bear or to allow."
To suffer in this sense is to allow something to happen, perhaps, to allow ourselves to experience the responsibility for life choices which permits consciousness to grow. When we suffer in this sense we are opening ourselves to experience the fullness of life’s diversity as a natural process of growth. Such a "suffering" with life must occur for psychological and spiritual maturity to develop.

When we fear the pains in life, then we avoid the problems . Yet, many times it is through the pain of confronting and resolving problems that we learn.Benjamin Franklin said, “Those things that hurt, instruct.”

What do you want most in life and what are you prepared to sacrifice to attain it?

Can you have a pursuit of happiness and the experience of suffering together in life?


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