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Featured Your Suffering

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by SalixIncendium, Aug 13, 2021.

  1. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहं ब्रह्मास्मि
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    In reading through the thread, it appears quite a few of those that responded equate pain, be it physical or mental, with suffering. In other words, it appears to me that some of you find pain to be synonymous with suffering.

    As I see it, pain is a sensation. One has nerve endings and emotions, so as a human, pain is probably inevitable.

    But is suffering inevitable? Suffering is a reaction to that sensation that, in my opinion, is a result of attachment to that sensation.

    Is it possible to have the sensation of pain, but not be attached to it and, as a result of that detachment, not subject oneself to the reaction we call suffering?

    There is a parable in Buddhism that makes reference to two arrows. In the presence of misfortune, two arrows fly one's way. One is inevitably struck by the first arrow, and there is pain. If one is struck by a second arrow, there is even more pain. The moral of the parable is that the second arrow is a reaction to the first, that the first arrow is inevitable, but the second arrow is avoidable.

    In my view, pain is the first arrow, and suffering is the second arrow. In other words, pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

    What are your thoughts on this?
     
    #81 SalixIncendium, Aug 14, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2021
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  2. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    Prima facie I agree; suffering is introspective while pain is qualia.

    I think of anything unwanted as suffering (from there it is a matter of degree).
     
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  3. Martin

    Martin Spam, wonderful spam (bloody vikings!)

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    In the Arrow sutta, the first arrow is bodily pain, and second arrow is the associated mental anguish.
    I think most people would regard both arrows as types of suffering.
     
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  4. Martin

    Martin Spam, wonderful spam (bloody vikings!)

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    Yes, unwanted experience is one way of talking about suffering. Though bodily pain is usually unwanted too.
     
  5. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहं ब्रह्मास्मि
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    I know. I tend to put my own spin on such things after contemplating them for a time. :)
     
  6. Martin

    Martin Spam, wonderful spam (bloody vikings!)

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    A lot of Buddhists would agree with your analysis (pain v. suffering).

    Is this bodily pain v. mental anguish distinction found in Hindu texts? I can't recall seeing it, generally the references are just to pleasure and pain.
     
    #86 Martin, Aug 14, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2021
  7. Martin

    Martin Spam, wonderful spam (bloody vikings!)

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    What do you mean by "neuro-typical"?
    I haven't come across that before.
     
  8. McCallister

    McCallister Member

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    Oh apologies. Just means normal brain. I heard my girls doctor use it and it stuck.
     
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  9. Martin

    Martin Spam, wonderful spam (bloody vikings!)

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    Another book! I'm impressed.
     
  10. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    I got another one coming tomorrow! :D
     
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  11. wandering peacefully

    wandering peacefully Which way to the woods?

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    I understand what you are getting at. I live with a condition that causes my entire body to be in pain at some level 24/7. I do have medication which takes the edge off but the pain is always there. I cannot allow myself to suffer on top of the pain. So I choose mentally to not suffer because of pain. To me, pain and suffering are two separate states. It took a year or so of meditation and mindfulness in order to adjust my thinking and attitude towards my pain in order to learn how to separate the two. In my case, I can choose to suffer or choose not to suffer because of pain and I choose not to.
     
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  12. Martin

    Martin Spam, wonderful spam (bloody vikings!)

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    That sounds like real progress. :)
     
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  13. wandering peacefully

    wandering peacefully Which way to the woods?

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    I probably wouldn't still be here if it weren't for the introduction and practice of the techniques along with the Buddha's advice and thoughts on attachment and suffering.
     
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  14. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    śrī kṛṣṇasya sevāyām - “In Lord Krishna’s service”
    Lol. Feel bad? Seriously? Lol I don’t need or want your or anyone’s sympathy or pity. :rolleyes: I don’t blame myself for anything. Blame is attributing unfavorable effects without providing a solution. It’s within me to control my suffering, I have a solution. It’s certainly not “poor, poor, pitiful little me; oh woe is me”. That’s the lesson Hinduism (y’know, the religion some Baha’i have co-opted without understanding it or us, remember?) and Buddhism teach. It’s one of the goals we strive for in our practice ... eliminating attachment and suffering.

    Therein lies the difference between Abrahamic and Dharmic religions... Dharmic religions are not subject to the will of any controlling God. We even have a measure of control over our karma. That’s also a lesson and goal we strive for.

    When I cry over losing a pet, as happened within the past two weeks, I cry because I’m clinging to what is impermanent. Therefore I suffer. I am forgetting at that time, the entire teachings of, and my belief in the Bhagavad Gita chapter two... that the soul is immortal, it’s the body that gets worn out and cast off the way we take off and throw away old clothes.

    I forget what I profess to believe:

    The Blessed Lord said: “While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor for the dead. ... Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be. ... As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones. ... One who has taken his birth is sure to die, and after death one is sure to take birth again.“
    If I fear I will never see a loved one again even in future lives, I am still attached and suffering; I have again forgotten what I believe.

    So, no reason to feel badly.
     
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  15. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    The entire Bhagavad Gita deals with mental and emotional anguish and pain, i.e. suffering. Arjuna was in distress because he was about to kill his beloved kin and teachers. As a boy he played in the lap of one he was duty-bound to kill.
     
  16. Praise Jah

    Praise Jah Psalm 83:18

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    Why is there so much suffering in the world?
    1. Satan is the ruler of this world. (1John 5:19) Sin entered into the world through Adam's disobedience. (Romans 5:12)
    2. Humans cause others to suffer. (Ecclesiastes 8:9)
    3. Sometimes people suffer because they are at the wrong place at the wrong time. (Ecclesiastes 9:11)

    God is not the cause of our suffering. (James 1:13)

    Yes, suffering will end! Through Jehovah God's Kingdom all suffering on earth will end! (Matthew 6:9-10) At that time mankind will forever enjoy an abundance of peace on a paradise earth! (Revelation 21:3-4) (Psalms 37:9-11)
     
  17. Martin

    Martin Spam, wonderful spam (bloody vikings!)

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    Sure, but is the distinction explicitly made between bodily pain and mental anguish? It might just be a Buddhist thing.
     
  18. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    Indirectly I suppose, but I think that’s even a stretch. Bodily pain isn’t discussed at all in BG.
     
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  19. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    SalixIncendium said:

    Why do you suffer?
    Who is responsible for your suffering when you do suffer?
    Who has the ability to end your suffering?

    Jainarayan said:
    1. Attachment, thinking this is real.
    2. Me.
    3. Me.
    Blaming does not always entail judgment.

    I see him blaming himself in the sense that he holding himself responsible for his own suffering, if he suffers.
    I mean if he has the ability to end his suffering and he still suffers then he must be to blame for not doing what is necessary to end his suffering. This is logic.
     
    #99 Trailblazer, Aug 14, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2021
  20. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    There is no essential difference between Abrahamic and Dharmic religions. Only the names have been changed. If only we were 'better believers' we would not suffer. It is still humans who are to blame for their suffering, not God. If only you were more detached you would not suffer, so you are to blame for not being more detached. For Abrahamics they are to blame because they are all sinners and they need God to save them. It is the same old mumbo jumbo whether they are Christians or Baha'is. I am so sick or religion I could throw up. What religion does to people in instilling blame, shame, and guilt is egregious, even if those believers are unaware of what it is doing to them. Atheists are much better off than believers.
    I also believe the soul is immortal but so what?
    I see that as a rationalization and minimization of death. Otherwise why would people make such a big deal about all the people who are dying of Covid? Why not just rejoice that they have died and moved on and thrown away their old clothes?

    I do not see it that way and it has nothing to so with the fact that I am a Baha'i because the Baha'i teaching is the same as what you believe about the immortal soul and the impermanence of this world. The way I see it is that when we grieve over a pet or a human it is because we loved them and we miss them. There is nothing wrong with that, to love is human.
    The reason I felt bad is because i don't like to see people holding themselves responsible for what "I do not believe" they are responsible for, so even if you do not feel bad I can still feel bad for you because I am a separate person with separate thoughts and feelings. See what I said to Salix above: #99 Trailblazer
     
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