The End Of Suffering, Part 2
June 24, 2010
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.