SuttaCentral

"Life is Suffering"


#81

I would just like to add…
Life is suffering due to changing phenomena which i am identified with.
Impermance is only suffering when it concens me (my views, my attachments ,my family,my feelings etc).
I do not suffer on account of a thing changing if that thing is not mine.


#82

I agree. Views of self attached to that suffering need to be understood. :pray:t4:


#83

Just, there are millions of things in life that I’m not identified with. Are there ‘two lifes’? One identified, attached, demanding consciousness, being in the foreground of the drama, - and the other a subcurrent, unidentified, unattached, going on unnoticed, drama-free, yet underlying life as a whole, like the flow of blood in my veins that doesn’t care at all if the mind is attached to anything?

In a way, this is obviously the case. That Buddhism doesn’t mention the latter is significant I find, in that it is concerned with the mind/consciousness, and not with life as such.

I know the following is not what you mean, but since my concern is a proper description of Buddhist fundamentals I take the liberty to take the sentence literally… It sounds like the phantasm of an obsessive control-freak. If we ask common people “Do you live your life wanting to completely control it?” the ones with some historical awareness would point out the hubris in the question of a man wanting to be god. Sure, we want to expand our control in life, but normal maturity consists of accepting that full control is not possible.

Moreover, to any farmer, and especially the ancient farmer of India, the lack of control was a daily experience city dwellers cannot fathom, with floods, droughts, crop-disease, etc. The ‘wanting to control’ aspect, I think, should be located in the unconscious, as part of the fabric of the unconscious mind, not of man. Transposed to man the want of control is neurotic and is bound to create paradoxical problems in the navigation of normal life - which I think we can see in meditation as well, that we have to be very gentle in the exercise of ‘control’ so much so that I don’t think we can call it ‘control’ at all, but rather energy or maybe really sammā-vāyāma.


#84

A Noble truth must apply to all. The present translation of the Noble truth yields false when it’s applied to Arihants.

A non-Arihant -> The life is suffering -> true
An Arihant -> The life is suffering -> false

This therefore is the wrong translation. The correct translation is this.

A non-Arihant -> A life conjured pleasant or unpleasant leads to suffering -> true
An Arihant -> A life conjured pleasant or unpleasant leads to suffering -> true

The Noble truth speaks of a function of the mind - not an external object or situation.

The Arihant’s mind never finds the life pleasing. Therefore he does not mentally suffer even if he is about to get run over by a bus.

(Link deleted)


#85

Life is suffering, from a conventional standpoint, is untrue. There is happiness it in it (as well).
The arahanth has emotional suffering, is also untrue.
In terms of arising and passing away of phenomena; that impermanence is suffering; no one controls it or can control it. It’s happening incessantly as long as samsara persists. It permeates the arahath while he is alive. This isn’t an emotional suffering- its wisdom. It also stop when nibbana-dhatu manifests upon attainments. This is at the four steps of attainment.


#86

Thanks for stating the obvious. That’s why we conventional people should also not run around promoting Buddhism in this way. Maybe an arahant can, properly explaining what they mean.

Also, we have in the suttas that the Buddha teaching dukkha-samudaya-nirodha-magga was conditioned:

And when he knew that X’s mind was ready, pliable, rid of hindrances, joyful, and confident the Buddha explained the special teaching of the Buddhas: suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path. (AN 8.12, AN 8.21, AN 8.22, MN 56, MN 91, DN 3, DN 5, DN 14)

So the Buddha was also not walking around teaching randomly “dukkha!”, leaving aside that there is a big difference between ‘There is suffering’ (majority of suttas) and ‘Life is suffering’ (absolute minority of dukkha-Buddhism).


#87

I haven’t been proven wrong, that the early Buddhist were seeking happiness! Sensual pleasures were a type of happiness but they were searching something even better - and even more refined were the jhanas and even more, nibbana.

Ha! Is this a Greek caricature, of some sort?

I don’t think the Buddha was describing ‘absolutes’ - it was a personal perspective of unsatisfactoriness which allowed the practitioner to let go at the level of latent tendencies.


#88

Sorry what’s this Jambudvipa theory of Sri Lanka being the birthplace of the Buddha being promoted here, and covertly in this linked presentation! It’s been denounced in Sri Lanka as well!


#89

Ajahn Sona explains the First Noble Truth very well in the recent Youtube video about The Four Noble Truth. He cuts through the nonsense and misunderstandings and addresses the many ways in which Westerners spin the Buddha’s teachings to reconcile the extreme beliefs in the eternal heaven or the material anihilationism.

In summary:

  1. There is suffering: unsatifactory existence is a merry-go-round
  2. There is a cause to suffering: ignorance about the conditioned existence being subject to anicca (aka nothing lasts forever)
  3. There is an end to suffering: there is a cure (since it is posiible to put an end to suffering, it is a choice to get off the merry-go-round)
  4. There is a way leading to the end of sufferring, that is The Noble Eightfold Path: prescription on the ending of suffering, the intentional practice to get off the merry-go-round.

#90

That is because it contains the truth about the Buddha. The last section has been updated there. Read and be specific with what/why etc.


#91

Here is the pertinent information about this