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  1. #1

    Default Suffering and life

    Is it a good idea to have the guiding principle that it is good to pursue change which will remove avoidable suffering or is it a good idea to have the guiding principle that even avoidable suffering should endure as suffering is like pain in the human body and requisite to ensure functioning rather than entropy and disaster?

  2. #2
    WALMART
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    As a minorly practicing Buddhist, forgoing attachment that leads to suffering is desirable.


    Though part of me says suffering - and the tolerance of suffering - is a beautiful thing.

  3. #3
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    I believe in always keeping an eye on maximizing opportunities and bringing about more positive things and relationships; moving away from what you know is more negative and not adding to your life. So, taking charge of what IS in your control, and the choices you make. And those choices in turn have rippling effects on your life...certain choices bringing about an accumulation of the potential of more positive things, other choices leading you towards the potential of more negatives/negative energy.

    But to think you can ever get to a point of no suffering is a horrible illusion; it's an impossibility (at least, thinking these things will cease at some point is the illusion; however the perception of the 'badness' of it can shift and less mental suffering could be possible over time, despite the same sorts of events occurring.. i.e. aspects of buddhism). Mostly because a lot of things are out of your control, and we'll always be in the position of reacting to what the people around us do or say, that impacts our lives in turn. Also, the fact that we're biological lifeforms, and are therefore in the same boat as the rest of the animals, susceptible to physical pain, starvation, disease, illness, and of course death.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  4. #4
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    I think we should avoid suffering where we can, but I think it’s important to be mindful about it. I don’t think we’re taught anywhere near enough how to simply cope with it, or just be with it without being overwhelmed by it, so we flee into instant gratuities to get rid of it for an immediate relief which only inevitably contribute to much bigger problems. The urge to ignore it or get rid of it with some kind of instant gratuity leads to addictions (not necessarily drugs- I’m talking about regular behaviors, like too much TV, food or reckless behavior to ‘escape’ unpleasant affect) or avoidant behavior- a lot of which is chosen unconsciously, like we just gravitate away from the discomfort. That aspect of avoiding suffering, imo, is not healthy. Nipping that habit in the bud- and learning to just ‘be with’ discomfort instead of unconsciously fleeing from it- is an important step to getting a lot of bigger things accomplished. And really, avoiding that suffering in the immediate sense only adds up to more suffering later (a kind that’s harder to get rid of), so learning to cope with it *is* ‘avoiding suffering’ in it’s own way. But anyway- as long as conscious effort is being put into deciding whether or not the suffering is necessary to ultimately raise the quality of life, then I think suffering (which doesn’t actually contribute to quality) should be avoided.

    I'm basically regurgitating Pema Chodron here.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    There's a study somewhere about the differences between novice and master practitioners of meditation. Maybe I'll be able to find it later and post it.

    Basically though, the gist of it is that they took two sets of people - those who just learned how to meditate, and those who are master practitioners, and they examined the brain's response to pain while in meditation.

    They discovered that the novice meditators kind of start to shut down the part of the brain that gives pain awareness - it's like they are dissociating during meditation, which really isn't the goal. They block themselves off from the pain.

    The master practitioners were different - they did not shut down the awareness of pain. In fact their awareness increased, they were feeling the pain, yet the brain also showed that they were more calm, had a reduced heart rate, and were very relaxed - almost as if they felt the pain but simply did not agonize over it, they let it pass through without 'judging' it.

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    i think you just learn about yourself. what you can take, where your boundaries are. we're all sensitive to different things. when that balance tips in one direction more than another, that's when you start suffering.

    and when that does happen, i do wish it was easier to go back to balance. there's some fumbling around, trial and error. it gets too much when there's no guidance. no manual for this life ;;

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    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Stress can be good and bad. We all have different thresholds for it and your tolerance can be increased over time in a healthy manner so that you're more functional, but adding so much stress that you cause damage to your body is not a good thing. Life seems to inherently involve stress that is permanently damaging though, at least for now so imo it's not so much a choice as balance where you try to channel that stress in a positive way and mitigate negative ramifications.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

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    God is an evil mastermind that created the game of life so he could play with us and manipulate us to be his obediant and toiling slaves like in video games where you mind control the main character and we endure endless pain and suffering throughout life because of this dark world invented by the evil God!

  9. #9
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Is it a good idea to have the guiding principle that it is good to pursue change which will remove avoidable suffering or is it a good idea to have the guiding principle that even avoidable suffering should endure as suffering is like pain in the human body and requisite to ensure functioning rather than entropy and disaster?
    It will never be possible to remove all suffering. Natural disasters will still happen, people will still get sick and have accidents, loved ones will die, friends will fall out, etc. We can try to eliminate or at least alleviate suffering to the best of our ability, secure in the knowledge that some will remain to teach us whatever lessons it holds.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  10. #10
    Senior Member lightsun's Avatar
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    Is any fair plus just set in the universe?

    “Now, please don't take my statements as all or nothing truths. Can people be fair, good, compassionate, and merciful? Of course people have that capacity. For all the progress that’s happened since our dawn, it has been battle. I am aware of many atrocities. There is female genital mutilation. There is bride burning where the husband dies so the woman is tossed unto a burning flame. There is stoning and "honor" killing which is so sick and twisted. To kill another human being for a perceived loss of self- esteem.

    It was a much needful fight against the usage with the slavery. It was an uphill battle indeed for just the women voting. We’re not in the arena of gay privilege or animal protection yet. No there is a need to get the populace to envision change. I have no belief if a higher ‘God.’ We are interconnected. So we are star children, and mayhap there is some small way to tap to the universal force. But it will be by our own choice, destiny and will not a God.

    Hello people there are still child and sex slaves in the world. Is this fair? There has been slavery since the beginning of time. Is this fair? No. Was it far that there was segregation? No. Was it fair that women had to fight to get the right to vote? No, but it is nonetheless history. Is it fair that there is female genital mutilation going on? Is it fair that there is the burning of widows on their husband’s funeral pyres?

    Is it fair that we are wiping out animal species? I could go on. To equivocate the notion the impartial real universe has fairness is a thought distortion. We have to fight to establish justice and social change, wars even to establish this "fairness". I stand by my original premise that both reality and human beings are generally not fair. The sooner we come to grips with this, the sooner we can deal with reality more realistically in addition to being far more effective of nature. I'm saying we have a whole history of fighting for fairness.

    I very much think and believe this universe doesn't offer any real fairness. It is what or that which we believe, thus it's very so subjective. I shall also equate that we can tap into the universal energy. Thus we are gods, or a mini-god at any rate. We can grow, as well evolve if we only follow the path of cognitive discipline as well an Emotional Intelligence. Without this learning-we will be lost and swayed with emotion.

    Life is not always fair. We must follow our moral conscience. We must fight for the rights of the individual. Whether they be different, or what, is of no consequence. It is our responsibility as a great nation to be the standard-bearer of democracy, as well as the right's and individual freedom. It takes checks and balances. It takes the enforcement of fairness. Human beings seem to have a greed element. There also is the old adage of power corrupts. It also will take better communication skills along with emotional intelligence and empathy to instill fairness.” LightSun

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