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The Answer to Suffering

Updated on January 27, 2016

Suffering Is Not Optional

To live is to suffer. What is optional is how long we choose to continue to suffer.

All it takes is education and dicipline. First we must know the reason we are suffering and then we must be willing to accept the facts as they are and adjust our thinking and behavior accordingly.

Aside from Chronic disease we can end our suffering. Even in Chronic disease it can be made more bearable.

The Root Of Suffering

The basic reasons why we suffer must be realized and accepted, the first being denial of the impermanence of all things. All things, people places and situations are subject to change. We all age and are subject to illness. We all experience loss of those we love. Things grow old, are lost or are taken from us..

Natural disaster and chronic illness is a world wide phenomenon that is not a respector of or people or places. It can happen to anyone in any location.

The things we hold dear out live their usefulness and deteriorate. They bring happiness for a time and then we lose interest and the happiness they supplied is replaced by a feeling of wanting.

The people we love in the beginning supply a means of filling the emptiness we feel. After a time they become the subject of our dissatisfaction and disapproval and give us an escape from the insecurities we feel. They are a source of fear that we will lose them, and inevitably we do.

Change Brings Insecurity

In todays world constant change and instability are built in to the system. The system only works in an environment of obselessence.

Our lives are all about the next big thing. We are constantly seeking something, some place or someone to distract us from the impermanent nature of all things.

There are few of us who remain living in the town where we grew up. Families are spread out across the world and many are seldom in contact with one another. Most adults hold as many or more than 10 jobs in the life of their career.Our lives are in a constant state of flux which makes it difficult to establish a feeling of home.

Home provides a security that comes from little else. Security can be found in sameness, whereas change creates a groundless feeling and causes us to want to grasp onto that which feels familiar. With change we become insecure and dissatisfied.

The Only Thing That Does Not Change

That would be Change itself. The fact that everything in life will inevitably change, grow old or die.

Hard as we try to deny this fact and attempt to distract ourselves from it's reality, it remains and will forever remain the basic, most essential truth.

What left to us is to awaken to these truths and to begin to hold our lives in a different light.

What Can Be Done?

Our salvation lies in becoming aware of our true nature. When we finall accept the impermanence of life, and begin to pay more attention to how we are living each moment, choices are presented to us.

The present moment is the only time we have the choice to behave differently.The past is behind us and cannot be different than it is. the future is yet to be determined. This leaves only the present moment available in which to create a more satisfying existence.

Remaining aware of our moment-to-moment actions and choosing to be more kind and more aware, not only of ourselves but of how our actions affect others, is the only way to lessen suffering in life.


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    • Oztinato profile image

      Andrew Petrou 

      2 years ago from Brisbane

      I was enjoying this Hub about suffering! However I would like to see more written here as it's a neglected topic. This topic inspired Buddha to start a new religion of peace and detachment so it's a hugely important existential dilemma facing us all.


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