1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

The Nature of Suffering, A Few Things I Realized

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by DharmaCatLamp, Apr 25, 2022.

  1. DharmaCatLamp

    DharmaCatLamp Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2022
    Messages:
    216
    Ratings:
    +349
    Religion:
    Hindu with Taoist leanings
    Howdy



    It’s very strange how things work out sometimes. You’ll think you’ve gotten something mostly figured out when an unexpected move or some event happens that will reshape everything you had come to believe. For me recently it was less changing what I believed and more suddenly having an event help me structure things in a more coherent way.

    I know things about suffering, the nature of the world but it was difficult to give a concise picture and more often it came out in bits and pieces. I had a moment that was profoundly disturbing because of what it showed me so clearly. You can know something intellectually but sometimes you need to experience it, you need to glimpse the abyss again to realize how dark it could have been.

    Without giving away too much detail essentially what had happened was I stumbled upon a group of people who were fun to play games with at first but I quickly discovered that one of them was a massive alcoholic. In the past I had nearly drank myself to death on several occasions and decided I wanted to at least give an attempt to help this person. The problem became clear that it wasn’t just the alcohol that was keeping this person back. There was another person there who embraced the idea of being a degenerate. Without giving too much detail the way they were constantly seeking attention, would make unwanted sexual advances and seemed unwilling to listen really reminded me of the way I was some years ago. It was like looking in a grimy mirror and seeing what could have been had certain changes not been made and this was bothering me quite a bit.

    After I left that group I was thinking about my childhood, how much anxiety there used to be among other things. The desire was not to be so weird and so harmful but part of me was constantly urging me to get attention in just about any way I could. One of the only places I ever felt calm before I was 13 was in religious buildings and praying.

    Years later that all seems like it was an entirely different person. Obviously I still have a profound love of religion and spirituality but the anxiety is all but completely gone and the urge to force people to pay attention to me is something I remember but not something that ever really plays a part in my life these days. Don’t get me wrong I still like to talk and share things but now if someone doesn’t want to return the favor it just doesn’t bother me.

    I was trying to figure out what happened that made these changes feel so easy to maintain. Some of it is just getting older and not having the same hideous amount of hormones present but a lot of it I boiled down to a few understandings which I find tremendously helpful. Since I still like to share I figured I would write a bit about these realizations.



    1. The world is not your friend.

    2. Your Problems come from inside and it takes training to get over that.

    3. The Soul is like a pilot and your body is like a broken controller.

    4. Clinging to things always results in dissatisfaction because all things are transient.

    5. There is no one way to live and it will often depend on the situations people find themselves in.

    6. Dharma and God are subtle.

    7. You don’t need God or Religion but they are there if you want them.

    8. Truth will sometimes appear out of nowhere when you are ready for it.



    By the very nature of the world evil prevails and bad things happen. The uncontrolled senses , the desire for wealth and power along with the simple fact that our brains are faulty make it so the idea of reaching utopian peace on this world is nonsensical. Things can get better or worse but if you don’t take steps to train your mind and overcome the issues inside of yourself then bettering the things around you will only do so much.

    It can be interesting to think about how many Buddhist monastics are at peace but then wonder if they are merely at peace because of their environment. Yes your problems are internal and that is the biggest obstacle to real happiness but when your mind is untrained and constantly reacting to things around it the environment matters a lot more. The eventual goal of things like meditation is to make it so you don’t react to the environment so much but at the beginning environment is important.

    You shouldn’t come to rely on being in a peaceful setting because then you are not at peace you are just reacting to your environment. This is part of the reason why so many people who think they have achieved enlightenment (yogis in India or Buddhist “masters”) suddenly become completely undone when they are introduced into a modern environment with modern vices.

    It’s easy to pretend when no one is challenging what you believe or how you behave.

    Number 1 and number 4 on the list go hand in hand. Part of the reason the world is not really your friend is because of the evils that are inherent in the world. The people who abuse and use other people to get their own means but not all of the world is evil/suffering. You may want sex, friendship or tasty food but by themselves those things are not always a problem. The issue comes along from the very nature of those things being transient. They won’t last and the moment you satisfy them there is a new want that will come about. You may even be satisfied for a short time but the nature of those things means you will always want more.

    I do not advocate that you don’t enjoy those things at all but we should be aware of their nature and remain as detached as possible from these things. go ahead and eat a donut for instance but if you can’t get the donut or it doesn’t taste as good as it should of in your head don’t let that cast your emotions in the negative. IT’s just a passing moment.

    When I talk about Dharma and God being subtle I mean by their very nature they are not things we can grasp solidly for all time.

    Chapter 1 of the Tao Te Ching

    Tao (The Way) that can be spoken of is not the Constant Tao’ The name that can be named is not a Constant Name. Nameless, is the origin of Heaven and Earth; The named is the Mother of all things. Thus, the constant void enables one to observe the true essence. The constant being enables one to see the outward manifestations. These two come paired from the same origin. But when the essence is manifested, It has a different name. This same origin is called “The Profound Mystery.” As profound the mystery as It can be, It is the Gate to the essence of all life.

    Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10 Verse 3

    Those who know me as unborn and beginningless, and as the Supreme Lord of the universe, they among mortals are free from illusion and released from all evils.

    I sometimes perform worship and prayer while focusing on images of Kali or Shiva but it is not because I think those are what God looks like. I do it because it fits for me and makes it easier to try and contact the formless. You might have a completely different image and due to the subtlty involved it should not be surprising that people imagine things differently. Don’t get hung up on little exterior things like that it’s just a distraction for you and ultimately you need to do what works for you.

    Humans are inherently limited, we are inherently limited. We reach out and try to describe God or Dharma or Ultimate reality but we are completely unable. It is much wiser to embrace this and understand that truth comes in myriad forms than it is to constantly try to define God.

    The stories of Greek myths, the bible, the gita , the vedas and so many others are just smoke screens which can distract us from the much more complex and subtle way. Because of the flaws in humanity we will build structures that inevitably fail and will lack the ability to be applied universally. We can commune with the divine but the truths we receive are often for us and to share but not expect everyone to live by.

    So much of this comes from the nature of the soul in relation to the body. This part is the most speculative and something that I theorize about but don’t claim to have some special knowledge on. It seems to me that the soul, our consciousness is what we truly are and this body is just a tool. These bodies are imperfect and the brains we have to use to work with these fleshy things often come with their own lists of impairments. We can’t find consciousness in the body because it doesn’t truly reside in the body and we merely confuse it for ourselves.

    If the body is in a bad condition we are going to have a much harder time achieving spiritual goals or even just our own happiness. We may not be the body but because we are currently using these bodies we should do our best to both enjoy and take care of them. Don’t deprive your bodies in ascetic rituals because you somehow think that will make you more holy. It’s a balancing act.

    Understand that everyone else is dealing with their own faulty controller that misguides them and sometimes gives them the urge to do dumb things. Think about how many times you have been wrong or done the wrong thing and try to remember they are in over their heads just like you are. When you mess up don’t hold it against yourself but be willing to learn and move on so you don’t torture your mind without reason.

    Because there is no one way to live you should understand that you will encounter people who are different. They may tell you about some truth they hold very dear or something they don’t like. Don’t worry about it. Do not engage with them meanly but keep a mind open and temper your reactions with compassion. This is difficult to do and I am still working on it as are we all.

    In some cases nonviolence is best but in others you may have to defend yourself. Do not cause unwanted trouble and if you can be sure that you need to stand up for yourself then do so with restraint and do not overstep your bounds. Violence loves to justify itself and the Buddha said anger is a honey tipped poison arrow. Do not let the pleasure of violence sweep you away.

    Ultimately you will want to become an island onto yourself. You will need to come to train your own mind and do your best to increase your own understanding.



    For some people God/Ultimate Reality/ Tao is not what they are striving for all the time. This is fine and some of us are more in tune to that sort of thing than others. I do not believe in hell other than the ones we make for ourselves and try to force upon others. Don’t worry about people going to hell because once you have experienced the divine you’d probably realize it’s not really all that concerned with punishing people. People love punishing themselves and really don’t need much help in that category.

    Don’t worry about finding truth too much. You should look for it but often it will just sort of appear out of the blue when you are ready for it. Development takes time and is often painful but sometimes if you just let it happen it will sort of show up. When I first read the Gita I didn’t much care for it but nearly a decade later I happened to reread it on a whim and it made perfect sense and felt almost like it had been written just for me.

    Truth is often like that and you shouldn’t be constantly trying to have divine experiences. If they happen they happen at the right moment and not a second too soon or too late. You got to go with the flow even though sometimes that is the absolute last thing you want to do. It’ll feel like some folks are speeding past you and other folks couldn’t be going much slower if they were intentionally clinging to the mud but don’t let that stop you.

    I want to be clear that these things aren’t stopping points in my opinion. They are just things to get you started and things that have helped me an awful lot in my little journey. I’ve suffered a lot as I am sure everybody has to some extent but I know that I am happier now than I think I ever would have been without suffering and realizing things along the way.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  2. NArdas

    NArdas Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2022
    Messages:
    174
    Ratings:
    +83
    I choose not to suffer for someone else's imaginary gods
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. DharmaCatLamp

    DharmaCatLamp Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2022
    Messages:
    216
    Ratings:
    +349
    Religion:
    Hindu with Taoist leanings
    It took me a second but I was sure I knew that picture from somewhere. The the phrase "*** TO *** " just came to me and it made me laugh pretty hard so good on ya for that at least lol
     
  4. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Veteran Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2016
    Messages:
    17,487
    Ratings:
    +30,900
    Religion:
    Hindu
    Suffering is a reaction to pain...a choice.

    You may be able to hurt me, but you can't make me suffer. Only I can do that. And I choose not to.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  5. sun rise

    sun rise Śvāna Dharma
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    74,462
    Ratings:
    +38,593
    Religion:
    Love/Omnism
    I'm living proof of that truth. As someone once told me to my chagrin at the time "you are a slow learner". Fortunately I know many other "slow" learners but have learned that it's even helpful because something which is learned deeply is truly learned.

    Amen.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Messages:
    31,987
    Ratings:
    +15,486
    Religion:
    Atheist, Advaita (Non-duality), Orthodox Hindu
    Don't try to change the world or people. That could hurt you.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2013
    Messages:
    40,860
    Ratings:
    +21,284
    Religion:
    Buddhist & scientifically oriented Catholic
    Is yours "imaginary"?
     
  8. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Messages:
    47,673
    Ratings:
    +21,492
    Religion:
    Philosophical Buddhism
    Yep. Navigating through pain is a good way to help negate the effects of suffering weither its physical or mental.
     
Loading...