A few things about suffering…

  • Suffering comes from beliefs in stories, and we can look at this in a few different ways…
    • It comes about through the discrepancy between our stories of what is and should be. In my own experience, that is the only place I find it. (For instance, physical pain is just pain, not suffering until there is a “should” added, saying it should not be there.)
    • Suffering happens whenever there is a belief in any story, because any story has a “should” in it and life will or can always show up differently from any should in any story.
    • Suffering is there as soon as there is an I with an Other, and this I with an Other is created as soon as there is a belief in any story. There is an identification with a particular perspective and identity, and there is a disidentification with their reversals. From here, an I with an Other is created. There is an exclusive identification with one part within the realm of form, we become an object in the world, and are the mercy of the larger whole. We want things we don’t get. We lose things we have and want. We get things we don’t want. We are stuck with things we don’t want.
  • This suffering can happen in many forms and at different levels of intensity, from a slight sense of unease to full blown suffering.
  • As anything within the realm of form, suffering is a guest, living its own life.
    • We can invite it in or not, in different ways, but it still lives its own life, on its own schedule.
    • As as with any guest, we can relate to it in different ways. We can resist the experience of it, push it away, try to escape, and it only becomes stronger. We can allow it, in a wholehearted and heartfelt way, and it shifts.
  • When what we are awakens to itself, suffering falls away. (What we are… this field of awakeness and form inherently free from an I with an Other, yet functionally connected with this particular human self.)
    • There is a release from identification with stories, so suffering also falls away. And there is a release from identification with resistance, so suffering falls away that way too. (This happens to the extent awakeness notices itself as awakeness.)
    • Suffering is recognized as no other than awakeness itself. It is just a manifestation of awakeness itself, of God, Buddha Mind, Brahman. It is perfect. Nothing is missing.
    • Suffering is recognized as never happening to an I with an Other. It just happens within God.
  • At the same time, there is a natural compassion when suffering happens in other human selves.
    • It is experienced as real, so is real. It is God who temporarily forgot what it is, so experiences suffering. It is God suffering. (Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.)
    • And this human self naturally does what it can to alleviate this suffering.
      • It takes it seriously, because it is experienced as real so is real.
      • It uses whatever means it has to alleviate suffering in the short term, in any of the conventional ways. (Emotional, informational, instrumental/practical support.)
      • If there is interest in the other human self, and it asks, this human self can also help exploring suffering more in depth, helping it arrive at a more complete release from it.
  • As with anything else, this has to be explored and come alive in our own life. Believing anything about it helps in a temporary and surface way at best.

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