Suffering is directly linked to wrong identifications. Let us take for example the well known figure, Jesus Christ. It is important for all to understand that based on what Jesus Christ represents, if he were crucified, nailed to a wooden cross and left there to die, he did not suffer. The phrase “suffering Christ” does not make any sense to someone who truly understands the story of Christ. A figure like Christ knows exactly who he is, and has no wrong identifications or attachments, no fear of dying and death, and therefore no suffering.

Attachment is a source of suffering, a cause of suffering, and even an expression of suffering. The source of attachment is the desire for repetition of pleasure. This does not mean to put a negative connotation on pleasure and to restrict it. Avoiding pleasure, inviting pain, mortifying and torturing the body, these are all wrong identifications. In worshipping Life, loving Life, we use our beautiful senses and experience pleasure always, maybe for a moment, maybe for a fraction of a second. To seek these pleasures to be repeated, to want to capture the individual or object that has caused the pleasure in order to own it, possess it, dominate over it, exploit it, him or her, then we suffer.

There is pain in life, and it is unavoidable. You don’t go inviting it either. Pleasure is also unavoidable. If you run away from pleasure , afraid that it will excite, run away from pain, afraid it will create a permanent imbalance, you are destined for suffering.

Lastly, we are all conditioned to take care of our bodies so that we may continue living, clinging to the body, obsessing with the body, because we identify with this body as ourselves, who we are. Such a desire to cling to the physical body brings the fear of dying or death. The body becomes the center of all your attention, bringing no openness, no receptivity to open out to life, isolation from overprotectiveness. This is a kind of suffering that is the result of this inhibition of being infatuated with the body, obsessed.

To be more specific, it does not allow you to mix with people, to be with them, an inhibition in the movement of relationships, always being on your guard. Your image of yourself always has to be protected. This keeps you in a shell, weaving around you a nest of your knowledge, inheritance, ideologies, unable to receive anything new. This causes a clinging to the old, an inability to live creatively, to meet death as a culmination of the act of living, a fear of everything.

It may even be that alone and free to act on our own we do not display any of these characteristics, but in the presence of certain members of our family or acquaintances we are somehow forced to act along the paths of suffering, as a conditioned form of respect, or a difficulty to escape the suffocating grasp of a personality that dominates all attention like a black hole. A respect for old, obsolete ways of being that no longer have a place in the world of progress and enlightenment is disrespectful to all parties present, creating another dimension of tension and suffering the longer we allow ourselves to give in to it.

Once we are aware of all the paths leading us to suffering, and luckily they are few and easy to understand, we can see clear as day the habits and characters of others that create suffering manifesting before our eyes, and then we can also see them in ourselves. The obligations, distractions, and pace of our modern world is not enough to cloud this awareness, and the whole of life for everyone is waiting to be enriched by our wiser actions.

The End Of Suffering

June 10, 2010

Humans go through suffering, and this is fact. But what is suffering? Before that is answered, let us dwell on one very important fact just as strong as the one previously stated: suffering is not warranted. When we suffer, we walk in the light that illuminates a life, routines, movements, experiences being experienced from a perspective of weakness caused by a confusion about who and what we are.

Physical pain and hurt is not suffering. Let’s be clear on this. It is my understanding that those who have studied and specialize in Hatha Yoga can avoid to a very great extent physical pain and sickness, adding longevity to the body. Even so, physical pain and hurt is just a way of life because we have these biological bodies as our vehicles to experience life itself fully.

So, what does suffering have to do with how well you know yourself? This is getting to the root of the issue and once you understand it, it is simple and freeing. Suffering is directly related to ignorance about one’s own nature, about the existential existence, about one’s own being. In this way of seeing reality, if I do not understand what life is, then I identify with things that are smaller, compartmental, fragmentary. On this level, the inner substance of my being isĀ  not perceived. My body is not me, and if I were to say “I am sick”, or “I am dying”, it is a wrong identification. If I were to instead equate my knowledge and thoughts with the essence of my being instead of my biological structure, equating my views and memories with who I am, saying “I am hurt”, to go on identifying with the experiences, then suffering begins. Both manners of equation lead to suffering, identifying with the physical and identifying with the psychological. If this identification doesn’t take place, not the identification with the body and not the identification with the inner workings of the mind connected to Egotism, then the essence of life is something additional, something qualitatively different, there is no suffering.