Suffering

SalixIncendium

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What is your view on suffering? What does your respective religion teach about suffering?



In my view, suffering isn't inherent to being human or being alive for that matter. Suffering is a choice.

There is a Buddhist parable of two arrows:

When one is faced with adversity, two arrows fly in one's direction. Being struck by an arrow will inevitably cause pain. What determines whether or not one suffers is how one reacts to being struck by that arrow. One can become focused on the pain that arrow brings and remain ignorant of the trajectory of a second arrow flying in their direction, and be struck again by that second arrow which brings suffering, or one can be aware of the pain of the first arrow, accept it for what it is, and shift their focus to being aware that a second arrow that is approaching and avoid being struck again.

The moral of the story is that one can focus on what is bringing them distress, or one can accept that what is causing pain is temporary and will soon pass, do their best to navigate through while it's there, focus on the big picture, and have gratitude for that which is in the world that brings them contentment.

In summary, pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.
 
What is your view on suffering? What does your respective religion teach about suffering?
It's in the nature of the world – this world is one of finitude and contingency, ergo there will be suffering.

Knowing why alleviates the pain, to some degree. Suffering is ignorance, and vice versa.
 

 
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one can accept that what is causing pain is temporary and will soon pass, do their best to navigate through while it's there, focus on the big picture, and have gratitude for that which is in the world that brings them contentment.

My mum suffered from multiple sclerosis for about the last thirty years of her life. She gradually lost the use of both legs, then both her hands, she spent about the last fifteen years of her life paralysed from the neck down. She went into a coma and was rushed to hospital, her breathing was a horrible gurgling sound, nicknamed the death rattle. The doctors said she had hours to live and there was nothing they could do for her. We called a priest, although none of us had a faith at the time, we just thought it was what you should do as mum was bought up a Catholic.

As the priest prayed my mum’s breathing seemed to change, the gurgling sound disappeared. About ten minutes after the priest walked out the door, mum came round and started to speak, she had no recollection of anything that happened in hospital, or that the priest had prayed for her. We thought it might have just been a temporary reprieve, but she lived another eleven years.

Having our mum back was a mixed blessing, because she had suffered with multiple sclerosis for about twenty years prior to the coma. Before the coma, there were times she said she wanted to die, she had also asked us to help her die. After the coma my mum regarded her healing as a blessing, despite her paralysed body, and she said she was not ready to die after surviving the coma.

I really could not understand how she seemed to just accept being paralysed from the neck down, she rarely complained and often seemed more worried and concerned about our problems than her own. She had a faith in God and she sometimes used to say that she is ready to meet Jesus now. People might have said that it would have been kinder for her to have passed away in hospital. But somehow through my mum’s faith in God, I also found a greater faith myself.

I can only say that I will never meet a stronger person than my mum, she was so kind and caring too. Sometimes it seems that God tests us in extreme ways. We all die; faith and trust in God helps us to look forwards to a greater good life after death.
 
Suffering....thoughts on suffering?

For me it seems quasi participatory.

When I am in extreme pain or extreme hunger it seems when the dial goes far enough the receptors turn off and the suffering goes away.

Then there is a level where you suffer suffering. The woe is me.

Are you OK?
Do you hurt?

Well I am never ok any more, and every step hurts, every move hurts...but since everything is on the dial that level of the dial being at 3 or 4 normally that is my new zero... so while my answer to both those questions is yes, my answers is no because it stops the questions. (Unless you are my doc)

So am I suffering? Nah, we have moved on from that when we zeroed the scale.

Can I run, no, climb flights of stairs, no, keep going without a nap, no, attend events I have loved in the past, no, pass clubs and play for hours with friends, no, drive a car, no...am I suffering from not being able to do what I would like to do.....no.

I can be wore out, in pain, barely roll over and daydream, lost in my memories, and reliant on others for everything...as I see it, they are suffering caring for me more than I am suffering.

I suffer when I am in intolerable, uncontrollable pain...but that ain't often....and when it subsides, (kidney stones, gall stones, angina, embolisms) that pain which was so severe I nearly blacked out (or did) immediately becomes a vague indescribable memory.

Divorce, repos, lost jobs, natural deaths are all just pebbles on the road of life. I have not ever really suffered.

I have not been in war or starvation with people dying all around me... I have had temporary pain in this temporary body....but have not really suffered.
 
I find it interesting, that people often ask why God allows suffering..
..but NOT why God allows enjoyment. 😐
Can you please elaborate on how this answers the question you quoted? I don't think anyone asked in this thread why God allows anything.
 
Well I am never ok any more, and every step hurts, every move hurts...but since everything is on the dial that level of the dial being at 3 or 4 normally that is my new zero... so while my answer to both those questions is yes, my answers is no because it stops the questions. (Unless you are my doc)

So am I suffering? Nah, we have moved on from that when we zeroed the scale.
Poor old @wil
Hang in there bro
 
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