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End of Suffering - Some Views


Imprecision

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Recently, I've undergone some suffering.

 

Thereafter, I began investigating my suffering. I came to the following conclusions:

 

1. How can there be suffering? Who is there to suffer?

2. If the thought arises, "I suffer," then who suffers?

3. "I suffer" is just a thought. Thoughts cannot suffer.

4. "I" is just a thought. Thoughts cannot suffer.

5. Is there someone who can undergo suffering? But we have already agreed that "I" cannot suffer.

6. Therefore, there is only the appearance of suffering.

7. "I suffer" is just a thought. If we believe this thought, then there's the appearance of suffering. But it's really just an appearance.

8. For instance, in a movie or a novel, characters appear to suffer. However, characters do not actually suffer, because they are merely characters.

9. In the same way, thoughts create the appearance of suffering. However, thoughts cannot suffer, because thoughts, by themselves, cannot feel, see, hear, think, or suffer.

10. "I hear" is a thought. But "I hear" does not hear. It's just a thought. Thoughts cannot hear. Thoughts have no agency.

11. Upon examination, we cannot point to anything which undergoes suffering. There are bad feelings, but bad feelings do not suffer.

12. Like thoughts, feelings cannot suffer. Feelings arise and then perish, but they do not suffer.

 

Furthermore, I've observed this:

 

1. No one has a problem. Why? Suppose the thought arises, "There's a problem," then who has a problem?

2. Thoughts cannot possibly have problems, because thoughts are just thoughts. Thoughts are like stones. Stones have no problem.

3. So who has a problem?

4. When the thought arises, "There is a problem," then there's the appearance of a problem. However, that's actually just a thought.

 

Even more, I have observed this:

 

1. "I am unhappy" Then, "I must escape from unhappiness."

2. But "I am unhappy" is just a thought. So is "I must escape from unhappiness."

3. So one thought follows another thought. This leads to another thought, "If I do this, I will be happy."

4. But actually, all of these are merely thoughts. Thoughts cannot escape. Thoughts are just thoughts. Thoughts have no agency.

5. Who "must escape from unhappiness"? No one.

 

Then, there's the realisation that thoughts have no referents. The world of thoughts is by itself unaware. The light of awareness reflects off it, giving it the appearance of awareness.

 

The same is with the phenomenal world. The world by itself is unaware, but the light of awareness lends it the appearance of awareness.

 

"I" am not aware, because "I" am just a thought. But because "I" borrows the light of awareness, it appears to be aware. Therefore, there's the appearance of suffering. But how can an insensate thing suffer? The same is with delusion. There's the appearance of delusion, but in reality delusions are merely thoughts. Thoughts cannot be deluded.

 

Therefore, there has never been suffering in the first place.

 

Thoughts cannot grasp things. Thoughts cannot grasp things, because thoughts are merely thoughts. Therefore, thoughts merely appear on the surface of awareness, but thoughts cannot grasp awareness.

 

What is the nature of thoughts? One thought following another thought.

 

When we believe the appearance of suffering, then the thought arises, "We must escape from suffering." Thereafter, one thought arises after another thought. These thoughts try to fix suffering. (But thoughts cannot fix anything anyway.) Then, the nature of reality is obscured.

 

When this is clearly seen, then efforts at grasping things cease. (Not that grasping was ever possible in the first place. Neither is effort possible.) Then, the nature of reality is no longer obscured. It appears clearly.

 

Any thoughts?

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I am lost, therefore I should be found.... Does that count? lol.

 

As a person grows up, he feels a deep sense of incompleteness. Therefore, he longs for completeness. This longing creates seeking, such as seeking for money, love, knowledge, religious experiences, etc.

 

But is this real?

 

Upon investigation, it is found that personal identities are based on thoughts. We generally assume that persons can undergo suffering. For instance, "I undergo suffering." However, "I" is just a thought. So how can "I" suffer?

 

Bad feelings exist - we do not deny this. But does the "I" actually suffer from bad feelings? How can a thought, which is insensate, suffer from bad feelings?

 

When I perceive myself to be suffering, I generally tell myself a story in my mind about my suffering. But this story, like all stories, are based on thoughts. Therefore, the characters within the story are all based on thoughts. Therefore, they are insensate.

 

There are stories which say, "I suffer," and there are bad feelings. But upon investigation, no one actually undergoes suffering.

 

"A person who longs for something and then pursues it" - we see that this is also a story. Therefore, it has no intrinsic reality. However, it borrows the light of awareness and appears real.

 

There is actually no one who undergoes longing, and no one who seeks. If there is no one who seeks, then there is no one who attains, and no one who loses.

 

At this point, the mind rests. Then, peace arises from the end of seeking.

 

My Experience

 

A few days ago, I was very unhappy. Then, I remembered the words of a woman, who said, "To end suffering, you must investigate your suffering on your own."

 

I have read some of her teachings before, but I have never truly understood them. But this time, I sat down at my table with a pen and some paper. I approached the topic from several angles - "Who is suffering," "Is there really a person who undergoes suffering," etc.

 

All of a sudden, I experienced a moment of clarity in my mind. I perceived clearly that all problems built on thoughts. But thoughts cannot possibly have problems. Therefore, there was never a problem in the first place.

 

This discovery was mildly shocking. I therefore continued my investigation from other angles. The logic was incontrovertible. I could not believe I never saw this before.

 

After that day, I continued to experience some unhappiness. But I felt that the quality of unhappiness has changed. For instance, a few times, I would be immersed in my story of personal suffering. Then, I would think, "But that's just a story." Then, the story loses its interest. I then think, "What is real at this moment?"

 

In the blink of an eye, unhappiness vanishes, leaving only peace and clarity behind.

 

Having made my discovery, I also felt that meaning of many texts, which were previously obscure to me, have become straightforward and obvious.

 

I decided to post this on this forum, because I remember seeing several posts by people with interest in practical philosophy. Perhaps this would spark a lively conversation? That would be marvellous.

 

As they say, "Throwing forth a shard of pottery to seek a piece of jade." Therefore, I humble myself in awaiting superior wisdom.

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I don't think I can offer superior wisdom, just agreement. In October I had a realization similar to the one you're describing. The feeling I got from it lasted a good two months. My original realization had more to do with the idea of time, sort of in the same way you're thinking about the idea of "thoughts". None of this stuff exists without us to give it form, if that makes any sense. And those moments in life when we have this clarity are so amazing. I am currently trying to regain that mindset and the accompanying contentment, and reading your post really helped.

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