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.

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5 Responses to “The End Of Suffering, Part 2”

  1. Diane said

    I’ve partially studied the background of Jesus’s reported phrase on the cross, “My God, my god, why have you foresaken me?” as a reference to his one brief expression of what might be interpreted as suffering while on the cross. Some seem to believe this phrase is an utterance of Jesus’s awareness that in bearing and absolving the sins of all mankind through his crucifixion, God needed to temporarily allow him to serve as the physical manifestation of these sins without interference. If the recording of this utterance is accurate, then I believe Jesus likely suffered in this realization, if not suffering for himself, than suffering under the weight of sins that were not his own but belonged to all those that he loved. Out of his propensity for empathy, he may have suffered both in life and in dying.

    • metalyoga said

      Your comment brings the essence of suffering into light with probably the most prime example for study and the many choices we have in how we wish to follow this example, or simply, “do we suffer, or do we not suffer?”. Who can answer that question for us? If Jesus did sense God turn away, indeed forsaking him as his own body became the darkness and shadow of evil and sin, Jesus may have just as easily been quoting Psalm 22:1 as a statement of ritual in his role as the messiah. This version of events is the one I favor most, keeping both the actual dramatic beauty of purity(God) versus the corrupted(Jesus) which cannot be discounted, while retaining Jesus’ heightened awareness of who he is, what his true nature is. What points to this is the use of the word “me” in the phrase, which could only make sense metaphorically in this circumstance, unless we agree that Jesus really does feel utterly alone as an individual and takes it so personally that “me” means himself and no one else. If he means the collective “me”, then he suffers for all of humanity, not for himself, and is relieved of all suffering at the same time. It is like looking at a many-faceted crystal and seeing the many different sides and angles instead of being fixed on only one.

  2. Katherine said

    It’s actually like this..although Jesus suffered but his suffering had superficially camouflaged his victory . He’d won!

  3. Hey Metal Yoga,

    I love your content – pls check out my website and read my story underneath my bio. My friend and I are putting together a really unique retreat – wld be super if you joined us – wld you be interested in featuring our retreat either on your site or email list? I can offer you 4% of anyone who comes through you – One love, Karen http://www.neotaolife.com

  4. Amen! What a great read. Thank you for sharing this with us!

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