Suffering

“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Suffering seems to be a part of life on this planet, we can’t get away from it. We all have to deal with suffering in different forms and levels, from mild to intolerable.. But what is suffering, and why must we?

From suffering we get experience, yeah, but who needs that kind of experience, right? So, look at it this way – suffering is a gift, if you believe we are here to learn and grow, and to gain experience. Suffering tempers the soul for when we finally leave this school and go out on our grand adventure into whatever awaits us out in the universe. Just try to remember that you’re not suffering because of what is happening to you, but because you think it’s not supposed to be happening. Ah! Let that sink in. In suicide, most don’t want to die, they just want the suffering to end, whether the pain be physical or mental.

Let’s look a little closer at suffering. Theologians believe that God allows us to suffer because of free will, or, freedom of choice. Others believe that the cause of suffering is attachment. The Bible says that during times of suffering we should look beyond the present and focus on the latent benefits we receive rom it. The Bible also refers to another aspect of suffering called Time and Chance. Basically that good and bad things happen to people regardless of whether they are good or bad . For example: The Bible tells of eighteen people who lost their lives when a tower fell on them. Jesus said about this: “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.” He said that the accident at the tower was not divine punishment directed at the victims for their sins. Although poor construction may have played a part, it was strictly time and chance as far as the victims were concerned..

In Buddhism, suffering or, Dukkha is an important concept. It refers to the basic pain and unsatisfactoryness of everyday life. Dukkha is one of the four Noble Truths, and one of the three Marks of Existence. Dukkha, translated as “All is all”, is the foundation of Buddhism, and all of its teachings are based around it. The Buddha said: “I teach suffering and the end of suffering.”

The three marks of existence:

1: Dukkha – suffering

2: Anatto – no-self

3: Anicca – impermanance

 

The four noble truths:

1: Suffering and pain exist in life.

2: This suffering is caused by selfish craving and desire.

3: This selfish craving can be overcome.

4: The way to overcome this misery is through the Eightfold Path.

 

The eightfold path:

1: Right view.

2: Right intention.

3: Right speech.

4: Right action.

5: Right livelihood.

6: Right concentration.

7: Right mindfulness.

8: Right concentration.

In science, suffering is categorized as physical or mental, but I’m writing about suffering in the broad sense; any feeling, sensation, or emotion that is unpleasant, be it mild, or intolerable. The theory of Hedonism states that good and bad consist in pleasure and pain. Epicurus’s doctrine states that we should first seek to avoid suffering, and that the greatest pleasure lies in a profound state of tranquility.

In the brain there are many structures and physiological processes involved in suffering. According to studies using neuro-imaging, the Cingulate Cortex activates when the person feels suffering from physical pain as well as social distress.

So now we know what happens in the brain when we suffer, why we suffer, and why God lets us suffer. My personal belief is that we are here to learn and grow and be tempered. It’s kind of like a boot-camp, if you will, to get us ready for the universe. I endured US Marine boot-camp, and believe me, those Drill Instructors made us suffer! But we knew it was to get us ready for what may come later. I survived boot-camp and four years as a Marine Infantryman, thankfully in peacetime. Although our bodies won’t survive our incarnation here on earth, our souls will. And they will go on to soar out into the universe, to shine as a spark of God. And shine we will because of the lessons and suffering we endured on this beautiful, but tough planet. God bless and protect you all.

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”

-Khalil Gibran

 

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

 

Kelly Curtis