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Re: Suffering

Nov 13, 1995 08:14 PM
by eldon

Jerry S:

I think we generally agree but have different uses
for the word "suffering".

>To me pleasure and pain are two sides of a duality and the
>pursuit of one always brings the other to us.


>Suffering is associated with the "denial of life"
>yes but also with its acceptance. Pain is inherent in

I agree with this but was using "suffering" in a difference
sense. You are equating it with pain. Pain is indeed an
inseparable part of life. But we can accept it without denial
or make ourselves miserable have a sense of suffering.

>Even when we act in harmony with nature and
>accept life on its terms we still suffer. Suffering lurks
>even in the midst of our joyous moments. This is why
>Buddhism calls suffering one of the four nobel truths.

Yes. Life is often bittersweet. Parts of us hurt even when
we're growing and living a good compassionate life. But
there is a background feeling of delight sweetness buoyance
to life that gives *depth* to the external pleasures and pains.

>As we tread the Path we are told that we
>must "die daily." This act serves as a reminder of our
>mortality and the suffering it brings serves to increase
>our compassion for others.

We give up the notion of mortality when we stop clinging to
external events when we recognize the impermanence of life.
This comes from an appreciation of emptiness of sunyata.
We also strive to build character to acquire skills to
develope ourselves into productive creative participants
in the human drama. This comes from an appreciation of the
dual quality of fullness. There's no notion of misery
suffering in either view. We feel pain and pleasure
excitement and boredom and many other things. But there's
a background awareness to our experience of life akin to
a movie's theme song which qualifies all experience. This
is the "content" of our higher nature that part of us which
survives the mortal personality.

-- Eldon

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