FIRST REAL TRUTH
The first new truth is the truth of suffering. We could have started from anything else more interesting, but this we will leave it thus, given. That is, the approach is going to be the resolution of suffering.
Suffering is the physical pain that occurs in the brain when you have to break brain synapses. This implies that there is a previous construction of useless synapses. This implies that the brain has been set to solve and to take for granted situations that in reality have not been given. And that is called “attachment,” in the case of future situations, and “aversion” to unwanted situations of change. In other words, attachment builds future situations, and aversion projects the present into the future.
If we act with ignorance, of whatever kind, we will make deficient actions that will make us wrong, and this mistake will cause the brain to dismantle the scaffold.
Ethics is summed up in acting without ignorance, only doing the right thing. And the right thing is done when the entropy level of the system has been reduced to zero, through the proper use of information. In other words, make informed decisions.
Acting by faith is a clear example of acting out of ignorance. Faith is not ethical. Close your eyes, that is, refuse to collect any information from the system is the formula of disaster, resembling to handle with a blindfold, refusing to remove it.
Another form of ignorant acting is drunk acting.
Other more common forms of ignorant behavior are distracted or self-absorbed acting. That is why, and for no other reason, attention is fundamental in ethics.
A subtler form of ignorant acting is when it is motivated by attachment or aversion. Wanting a situation does not change it, that would be magical thinking. An example would be to bet on my football team without even seeing if it plays well or badly.
And gross forms of ignorant acting are killing, lying, stealing or misusing sex. All these forms necessarily imply ignorance, either as such, or through aversion or attachment, or two of them, or all together.
SECOND REAL TRUTH
And what is the origin, the condition, the cause of attachment / aversion? It is the emotional reaction.
There are seasons or dwellings of consciousness without sensory bases and attachment occurs in them. That is, without sensory bases there is no contact, but emotional reaction and emotional reaction conditions attachment.
So, what is the cause of emotional reaction?
When something is nice to us it is because it makes us happy. When something is nasty to us it is because it makes us unhappy.
We react with envy because a situation is unpleasant and makes us unhappy. We do it with altruistic joy because a situation is pleasant and makes us happy.
We react with hate because a situation is unpleasant and makes us unhappy. We do it with unconditional love because a situation is pleasant and makes us happy.
We react with cruelty because a situation is unpleasant and makes us unhappy. We do it with compassion because a situation makes us unhappy and we want to obviate it.
However, when we react with equanimity we are not moved by any happiness. Equanimity does not cause suffering.
Our emotional reactions are driven by happiness. The existences we move for happiness, from the smallest to the largest organism.
Being comfortable is also understood as happiness.
For example, an amoeba in the sun is comfortable, until it overheats. Then it moves (aversion) because it is uncomfortable until it finds a shadow. Then she is still (attachment) because she is comfortable, until she freezes and moves back towards the sun (aversion) because she is uncomfortable again.
Same goes for everything. Happiness is the engine of history.
We stick to a situation because the very fact of doing so generates happiness, if not why should we stick to it?
Attachment acts as the syringe of happiness.
A situation dislikes us because it robs us of happiness by itself. If not, why would we generate aversion?
Not understanding the dependence of happiness is ignorance.
Happiness is a drug that creates addiction. When you have it you have a good time and you want more, when you lack and you want to recover. Happiness modulates suffering. Continued suffering without any happiness is what is called depression and is the abstinence syndrome of happiness. This syndrome is the main cause of the shortening of life in humans, leading to suicide.
Suffering has its root and ultimate cause in happiness.
This is the second new truth.
Happiness hurts, happiness kills. It damages those who suffer from it and those around it. It is the drug that kills the most and causes more suffering. And yet, instead of being banned, everyone praises her … why?
Why that whole world is addicted? And every addict loves his drug. Everyone loves happiness just because everyone suffers. Everyone suffers just because they are hooked on happiness. The drug addict seeks in his drug to be well, that is, his happiness. Happiness, in overdose, is toxic.
THIRD REAL TRUTH
The end of suffering passes through the eradication of dependence to happiness. Is an existence foreign to happiness possible? Is an existence alien to happiness desirable? No emotional reaction? It is. And this is the Third New Truth. Just as for an alcoholic to live without alcohol is unimaginable, a human living without happiness can be unimaginable. But it is not at all, quite the opposite. Living detox is desirable from every point of view. Decision-making will only be influenced by available information, not by intoxicants, so efficiency is optimized to the maximum, and it is the start of the end of ignorance. Considering that volition does not exist, and without being conditioned by intoxicants, the behavior is completely ethical. Remark: ethics is a consequence, not cause, of the eradication of happiness. One example is altruism: it improves the life of another existence moved by the happiness that causes you, not moved by removing the suffering of the other, which is no more Than their own ignorance. That has consequences and sometimes undesirable.
FOURTH REAL TRUTH: THE MATRA OF THE END OF SUFFERING
The path that leads to the end of suffering is the same that leads to the end of dependence on happiness. By eradicating this dependence, we eradicate suffering. This fourth truth is summarized in:
"If I only do it because it makes me happy, I avoid it.
"If I do not do it just because it bothers me, I do."
This fourth real truth consists of a process of continuous conditioning. For this we must be very attentive to the smallest actions we do. In all you can find addiction and all, especially the smallest, serve to stop acting moved by happiness.
It really is a way to remove the ignorance provoked by the addiction so that we only act by logic, that is to say, we only act if we evaluate the consequences of what we do. We must remember that the kamma that affects us is always conditioned by our actions. If we avoid generating potentially adverse conditions, we stop experiencing uncomfortable situations. Adding further that, if uncomfortable situations do not affect our behavior, in the long run we are not affected. There is a double virtuous condition: no “bad” things can happen to us, first because we do not provoke them, and second because they are not “bad”: nothing is “bad” if it does not affect us.
Likewise, “good” things will stop us from happening. Nothing we do will make us happy. Of course, we will have more convenient situations than inconveniences. But neither the convenient situations will make us happy nor the unfortunate inconveniences.
While the Noble Eightfold Path is a process of continuous improvement in nine steps, consisting of analyzing behaviors to avoid acting out of attachment, aversion or ignorance, this is much simpler. The attachment is not evident, the attachment does not depend on us, the attachment is given a posteriori. What is up to us is our tendency to happiness. Attacking it we end the attachment, which is its consequence. We should not worry about more things. Only this.
Do not do something borne by the illusion: It is a way to give us a dose of happiness now on credit, that when the illusion is concrete we will not pay, but if it is not concrete we will pay with interest. If you do not want to pay, do not consume.
Here comes any activity that we think conditions something in the future that we consider “good.” Another form of the same is to act carried by rules not demonstrated. It is a form of ignorance imagined by third parties, a way of forcing us to do things that clearly harm us. Either by social pressure or by self-imposition. Here come dietary restrictions, dress restrictions, vocabulary restrictions. In this chapter, fashions enter.
Do something driven by happiness. It does not really work that way. Happiness occurs when the situation is raised and what moves us is the aversion to the loss of happiness that we are experiencing. It acts by observing when happiness is activated. At that time any kind of activity to which happiness leads us is prohibited.
To determine it even more clearly, we can look at aversion. So if passing through a post we see a bag of chips and we “fancy”, to determine if it is happiness or simple convenience, we simply put ourselves in the position of refusing to buy them. If there was happiness, there will invariably appear the aversion to not savoring them. Then, like a capricious child, you refuse the whim.
It is important to note that it is not about typified behaviors but about what drives us to these behaviors. That which moves us is what will cause us suffering. And that, is happiness.
Inertia is another way of surrendering to happiness. The vagrancy, not thinking, to resist leaving the comfort zone.
Anger is another way of reacting to something or someone who takes away happiness.
Eradicating suffering is not going to achieve Wisdom, but at least we will not avoid it. And it is obvious that for a drunk to drive without falls the first thing is to make him sober. But if the guy does not know how to walk, at least when he falls, he will not hurt himself. That is not enough.
There is an endogenous happiness that produces no attachment and therefore suffering and is the one we generate to achieve jhānas. It is pure happiness. This happiness is ethical. And it is useful to end the dependence of “exogenous” happiness, on the basis of saturating ourselves with this happiness so that the exogenous ceases to look attractive. In the end, we abandon both, precisely because the endogenous does not cling.
An immersion in endogenous happiness for a few months is the best way to immunize us against this terrible drug.