Unanswered [0] | Urgent [0]
  

Home / Essays   % width Posts: 22

End of Suffering -- Essay


Rajiv 55 / 400  
Aug 2, 2007   #1
end of suffering?

The question is, that, as nature gives us circumstances which somehow befit us and our deeds in the past, should it not be possible, if we can do that, to make such a turn in ourselves, that Nature has no option but to change as well. Because what we did earlier, if it was wrong, it was on account of some shortcomings. To teach us how what we did is wrong, as per the principles of Nature, she gives us our special reactions, all of which is still within her laws. That is, no one can say she acted unfairly, though people do say life isn't fair.

But if Nature's actions are a unique reaction to who we are, then it should be possible to change her actions by making a real change in ourselves. But we do not have the capacity to recognize a real change, that itself being the reason why we acted as we did. Instead, we reach out to that power beyond Nature who set up the laws that she follows, and this we believe we can, and make an internal posture, a posture of who we now want to be, someone who is definitely a good person, someone who, had we been like that always, would never have been given this suffering, and say, give me some other circumstances which will strengthen me in this better personality, and take away this present suffering. I will voluntarily put myself through the tempering to become really as this. It is like a promise, a pledge.

Sometimes a person may really be so much at the end of his capacity, that he can only ask more and more sincerely for this sort of release from his circumstances of suffering. At one point his sincerity is so genuine that given the new circumstances he is asking, it is certain he will really be a changed person.

Can we not say his circumstances are bound to change, because he has already become a different person?
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Aug 2, 2007   #2
Greetings, Rajiv!

You pose some interesting questions! Tell me if this interpretation is correct: that however we reacted to our circumstances, it is a natural reaction to whatever Nature handed to us?

This phrase is confusing to me, unless you were to put "do" at the end: "and this we believe we can, "

I like your last sentence/question!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP Rajiv 55 / 400  
Aug 3, 2007   #3
Greetings Sarah,

Yes we always acted naturally, so how can we do things differently now?

Perhaps if we can think more at par with the "maker of the laws" instead of being governed by them. And since we are caught up in the actions of these, by birth itself, we can try to extricate ourselves, seek a path out. ( ?)

Thanks.
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Aug 4, 2007   #4
Greetings!

Would we be trying, in that case, to extricate ourselves from the laws of nature? Because that does not sound possible ... or is that your point? That we can, by our actions, change the laws of nature? ("it should be possible to change her actions by making a real change in ourselves.") Is that not like saying that we can change the laws of physics? Do you believe that is possible?

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP Rajiv 55 / 400  
Aug 9, 2007   #5
Greetings Sarah,

Heady as the feeling might be to think ourselves so free, and even empowered to make nature do as we desire, barriers exist as reactions we have already set in motion. Seems sensible then, that the way to recognize these would be to hold still, let them crash around us like high waves on a beach till the turbulence settles, and we feel a freedom in our movements. Our capacity to understand rises, freed from dealing so much with reactions. We may then wish to explore our ability to make changes in the laws of nature, if only to know that we can.

But now, we are probably capable of making the gentlest intervention, not by phvsical force, but by mental action. See if we can really do that, before accepting we are on the correct path.

So we leave nature's laws as they are, the part we understand as physics, chemistry and medicine, and address something different, so relevant yet outside the purview of these. Their efficaciousness. We did talk about this, that what actually happens depends in some way on who it is happening to.

Someone close to me has a disease with no certain cure. Philosophicaly, his condition is a consequence of his past, but not in the normal way, since medically the causes of his disease are not clearly understood. My contention is that continuing as he is, psychlogically, the course of his illness will be like for others with the same condition. But by intervening to change the personal part of it, which to nature is the real part for giving him the extent of his suffering, we can change the course.

Thanks.
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Aug 9, 2007   #6
Greetings!

There is something deeply compelling about the idea that one can change one's future (one might say "fate" in the way it is often used today, not meaning something pre-ordained, but merely what will happen in the future) by changing the way we think about a condition, such as a disease with no sure cure. There is even scientific evidence that indicates the mind's power to affect such circumstances. And certainly, the very least it can do is to give the person more of a sense of power over his situation, reducing feelings of helplessness. Saying "I will do something" is better than saying "I can do nothing." The outcome may or may not be different, but the journey definitely will be. :-)

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP Rajiv 55 / 400  
Aug 29, 2007   #7
Greetings Sarah,

I apologize for taking this time to respond! I was in fact waiting for some turbulence in my life to settle.

I must insist that saying, " I can do nothing" is the better course than saying " I will do something ".

My 'person' is an extremely difficult one. I have had to see him up close and know his ways, some of them decidedly devious. In honesty, I have been one victim of his guiles. I fault him - not for pushing his burden on me, but for never acknowledging that it caused a serious turn to my life, one could even say, a damaging one. Now, that's all water under the bridge. I am happy to see 'vistas' I couldn't have dreamed of, had I walked the common path alone. But he has great difficulty letting go, accepting this weakness in the past.

I was visiting him when I started this post. I think you can see how I would like him to let go, and his suffering and disease will all go with it too.

Thanks.

Rajiv
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Aug 29, 2007   #8
Greetings!

I think failing to acknowledge the other person's stress or negative consequences is one of the biggest causes of resentment in all types of relationships. A good-hearted person often does not mind rendering assistance, but minds a lot when that assistance receives no acknowledgment whatsoever, or worse, when it is turned around and made into something it was never intended to be.

As for "I will do something" vs. "I can do nothing" I think the appropriateness of one or the other depends on the circumstances. You said there was "no certain cure" which I took to mean, he might get better, but a cure could not be assured. If it is known that a person really has no hope of getting better then yes, it might be best just to accept that, say "I can do nothing about it, but I will make the best of the time I have" and let go of the idea that one can change the unchangeable.

I'm glad your vistas are happier these days!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP Rajiv 55 / 400  
Aug 31, 2007   #9
Thank you Sarah for the kind words.

I would like to exercise these two expressions," If it is known..." and "... change the unchangeable."

Does the first not mean, by those smarter than ourselves, and the next, I accept restraints that I would not even attempt to change.

I must admit to discover the truth in the philosophy, if it is so, is a meaning far beyond the closest of relationships. In some ways it may be like it has been with scientists who have often had to put up with the censure of people around them, because they pursued their goal too single mindedly.

That being my intent, my expectation is for my circumstances too to so arrange themselves, that I move closer to discovering that which I seek. I may discover a turn, along the way which defines this truth differently. But that too would be because of the effort made to reach that turn.

My circumstances and I, both act independently, but also in a perfect harmony.

And my pursuit is to 'see', by causing it to change, that individual signature which determines for each of us, their fate, just as you defined it.
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Aug 31, 2007   #10
Greetings, Rajiv!

As with so many things in life, context is important. If I say, "I am going to change the unchangeable," it may be absolute folly; if, for instance I say I am going to change the laws of physics and jump off a cliff, defying gravity. On the other hand, there was once a time when it seemed inconceivable that women could run corporations or hold high political office, and only with hard work by the people who wanted to "change the unchangeable" could that be brought about.

In such ways may 'fate' be changed, in previously unimaginable ways.

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP Rajiv 55 / 400  
Sep 2, 2007   #11
Hello Sarah,

I did think we were getting some clarity in how an eastern perspective overarches the conventionally scientific. I'll attempt to state that again.

In everything we consider scientific, there is room for something more to happen, between our intent and when and as it actually does. To lessen these external factors, we strive to shut them out, creating laboratory conditions. But the fact remains that we do not live in any such controlled environment, and hopefully never will.

The eastern perspective states a law which encompasses the seemingly random external influences, that life is determined by our intent. What makes our lives, moment to moment, are events whose laws we understand in physics, chemistry, medicine, the conventional sciences. The mechanism in a gun will work scientifically, the medicine will do what it's supposed to, but who dies and who is cured and when, there is an indeterminateness here. We may strive to overcome it, but this itself is a subject.

The idea of 'intent' is not as innocuous as it may appear. So ignoring the laboratory-like-conditions, and taking nature's actions as a whole, we are ready to study a science, with a different scope - if we wish to. Let's not forget here, that we are recipients of even what happens to our bodies. Life, or nature, gives us most of our 'feedback, signals, rewards', through what we experience bodily.

Thanks.
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Sep 3, 2007   #12
Greetings!

I will admit that my Western perspective can make my interpretations a bit too literal. Thank you for the explanation; it makes more sense to me now. I do think that we would all be better off if we listened more to the 'feedback' we get from our bodies. Sometimes we forget that we are not invincible.

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP Rajiv 55 / 400  
Sep 3, 2007   #13
Greetings, Sarah.

I wonder though if this made as much sense, '..that we are recipients of even what happens to our bodies.' As, did I say it correctly enough and also, from a 'literal' point of view.

I mean that we are in reality not our bodies, only experiencing through them. The 'incarnation' idea is then not so far-fetched. This body, kind of then, does not belong to us and we are more readily willing to accept the next garb. Well, at least it will be new.

But there's more going on. With each new incarnation comes all else. Of where we are born, the circumstances. For so will be the shaping of our lives starting with our earliest thinking. Our minds are a blank slate, no memory of what happened before then.

Are you with me in all this?

So, we are talking about laws in nature which in their scope go far and beyond those we study in school. Because these must be in place, else our birth would be quite random. Of course, this only if you accept the incarnation idea.

Thanks.
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Sep 4, 2007   #14
Greetings!

I think yours is the most comprehensible explanation I have seen of reincarnation: "This body, kind of then, does not belong to us and we are more readily willing to accept the next garb." It helps to explain the question, "if energy cannot be destroyed, where does our energy go when we die?" This is a question which can bother even those who have no belief in an afterlife.

While we do not all believe the same thing, I think it is always helpful to at least understand what others believe.

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP Rajiv 55 / 400  
Sep 4, 2007   #15
Greetings Sarah,

In the question "..where does our energy go when we die?" would you please explain what is "our energy". Is it the conventional meaning of energy, like in plant-life, with no intellectual content? If it has higher content why do we still call it energy?

Is it that we leave some kind of imprint after we depart, of this higher content?

Thanks.
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Sep 4, 2007   #16
Greetings!

Well, as usual, I find myself needing to analyze something I've never really thought about before; you're good at that ;-) I suppose the answer lies in what one "believes" to be true. Some would say that it is only electrical energy, the sort that causes neurons to fire. Some would say it is the "soul" or some variant thereof. Does it have sentience? I have no idea. We will all find out some day; in the meantime, some people are quite sure they know the answer, while others feel it is pointless to speculate. This is not to say that there is not one "true" answer; merely that the answer is incapable of scientific proof (there's that phrase again). But as we were discussing the concept of reincarnation, perhaps the answer [energy] is, "that which is reincarnated." [I feel like putting a giant question mark at the end of that sentence.]

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP Rajiv 55 / 400  
Sep 7, 2007   #17
Greetings Sarah!

As cultures, mine is reputed to be airy, and yours is more grounded in the real. So I am trying to see truths as you might.

You say, the answer lies in what one "believes" to be true. Does this mean there is a fact that one may believe in correctly, or is all belief an illusion, a clinging to naught.

Or, is 'believing' it so, make it real?

If this last is correct, why not just believe, since it will make it true for us? That there is an imprint we come to in this life, and one we will 'reincarnate' into in the next.

Thanks.
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Sep 7, 2007   #18
Greetings!

I once had a French teacher who said that the divinity of Jesus Christ was a "fact." It was a fact, she said, because she believed it to be a fact. When a classmate questioned her on the difference between belief and fact, she said, "Well, I believe it, therefore it is a fact for me."

One has to admire the conviction behind that point of view, even if one disagrees with the logic. I suppose this demonstrates that the answer to your question as to whether believing something makes it "real" is that, if the person believes strongly enough, it is real for that person. To my teacher, it mattered not at all whether the reality existed beyond her belief; the belief was real enough for her. So, yes, as you say, why not just believe? (if believing makes one happier than not believing). In that way, we live our own truth.

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP Rajiv 55 / 400  
Sep 10, 2007   #19
Greetings Sarah,

For superstitions, one may say "why not, if believing makes one happier than not believing." But something that has not contradicted reason, how can we be sure we are not misleading ourselves from prejudice, when dismissing it as superstition?

Thanks.
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Sep 10, 2007   #20
Greetings!

Ah, there is a lot contained in that deceptively simple-looking question! First, how does one know whether a thing has contradicted reason? For example, to my French teacher, nothing in her view contradicted reason; to a Jew or atheist, her stance might be very much against reason. Secondly, with regards to prejudice, I think I need you to give me an example, because I am not quite sure how you meant that. :-) And when you say "superstitions," what sort were you referring to? Again, one person's "superstition" might be another's "spirituality" or even "religion." Many people in the U.S., for instance, think of voodoo as "superstition," but for the millions who practice it, it is a religion. (That, however, brings in additional issues regarding definitions, as the sort of voodoo most Americans are familiar with is quite different from that practiced in West Africa.)

When I said, "if believing makes one happier," I simply meant that, when something must be taken on faith, if believing in it makes one miserable, then one can always exercise the option of choosing not to believe in it. In that case, it ceases to be "fact" for that person.

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP Rajiv 55 / 400  
Sep 11, 2007   #21
Greetings Sarah,

I cannot see why anyone should be miserable just believing that our existence goes beyond this life. But even so, it can cease to be a fact for them I agree, if they always attribute the cause of each event in their lives to some new fact. Even if they could correlate them to some 'invisible' imprint. This insistence on looking the other way, I see as prejudice.

Thanks very much for your efforts in answering this.

Rajiv
EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Sep 12, 2007   #22
You're welcome, Rajiv! (and I think "efforts" is the appropriate word for it in my case ;-))

Sarah, EssayForum.com


Home / Essays / End of Suffering -- Essay