why do we even have to suffer in first place?

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Ryan95227
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why do we even have to suffer in first place?

Post by Ryan95227 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:34 pm

why are we so inclined to suffer anyway. why aren't we just enlightened. why is the world suffering. whats the intention behind it. why must beings suffer greatly and need to overcome that through enlightenment.

Feathers
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Re: why do we even have to suffer in first place?

Post by Feathers » Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:57 pm

Unlike the Abrahamic religions, in Buddhism there's no great creator with a plan - there is no 'reason' for suffering, it's just a fact of life. Nobody in particular is saying we 'must' suffer, it just . . . is. Kinda like gravity or the weather.
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Sam Vara
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Re: why do we even have to suffer in first place?

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:05 pm

Ryan95227 wrote:why are we so inclined to suffer anyway.... whats the intention behind it...?
I think that's an excellent question, Ryan, but it's one that other people usually can't help you with. What were your intentions, and what are they now?
One discerns wrong resolve as wrong resolve, and right resolve as right resolve. And what is wrong resolve? Being resolved on sensuality, on ill will, on harmfulness. This is wrong resolve...
(MN 117)

There aren't really any intentions which govern the whole process, like God's plan for all sentient beings. The only intentions worth bothering with in this respect are our own. As Ajahn Thanissaro puts it:
One of the Buddha's most penetrating discoveries is that our intentions are the main factors shaping our lives and that they can be mastered as a skill. If we subject them to the same qualities of mindfulness, persistence, and discernment involved in developing any skill, we can perfect them to the point where they will lead to no regrets or damaging results in any given situation; ultimately, they can lead us to the truest possible happiness. To train our intentions in this way, though, requires a deep level of self-awareness. Why is that? If you look carefully at the reasons for our disillusionment with good intentions, you'll find that they all come down to delusion: delusion in how we formulate our intentions, delusion in how we perceive our intentions, and delusion in how we attend to their results
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... tions.html

Bakmoon
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Re: why do we even have to suffer in first place?

Post by Bakmoon » Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:41 pm

Ryan95227 wrote:why are we so inclined to suffer anyway. why aren't we just enlightened. why is the world suffering. whats the intention behind it. why must beings suffer greatly and need to overcome that through enlightenment.
This is an extremely important question, and it is one that the Buddha spent quite a long time considering. This is the central question behind the Buddha's teaching of dependent origination, according to which the ultimate cause of suffering is ignorance, avijja, which is defined as not truly knowing the Four Noble Truths, and from this ignorance, suffering comes to be. In the words of the classical definition:

With igno­rance as condition, volitional formations come to be;
with voli­tional formations as condition, consciousness;
with conscious­ness as condition, name-and-form;
with name-and-form as con­dition, the six sense bases;
with the six sense bases as condition, contact;
with contact as condition, feeling; with feeling as condi­tion, craving;
with craving as condition, clinging;
with clinging as condition, existence;
with existence as condition, birth;
with birth as condition, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain,
displeasure, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this
whole mass of suffering.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

Ryan95227
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Re: why do we even have to suffer in first place?

Post by Ryan95227 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:57 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Ryan95227 wrote:why are we so inclined to suffer anyway.... whats the intention behind it...?
I think that's an excellent question, Ryan, but it's one that other people usually can't help you with. What were your intentions, and what are they now?
One discerns wrong resolve as wrong resolve, and right resolve as right resolve. And what is wrong resolve? Being resolved on sensuality, on ill will, on harmfulness. This is wrong resolve...
(MN 117)

There aren't really any intentions which govern the whole process, like God's plan for all sentient beings. The only intentions worth bothering with in this respect are our own. As Ajahn Thanissaro puts it:
One of the Buddha's most penetrating discoveries is that our intentions are the main factors shaping our lives and that they can be mastered as a skill. If we subject them to the same qualities of mindfulness, persistence, and discernment involved in developing any skill, we can perfect them to the point where they will lead to no regrets or damaging results in any given situation; ultimately, they can lead us to the truest possible happiness. To train our intentions in this way, though, requires a deep level of self-awareness. Why is that? If you look carefully at the reasons for our disillusionment with good intentions, you'll find that they all come down to delusion: delusion in how we formulate our intentions, delusion in how we perceive our intentions, and delusion in how we attend to their results
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... tions.html
Why am i even in the cycle of clinging and ru)nning away I know that it was partly due to evolution of surviving but why all this chaos.

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acinteyyo
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Re: why do we even have to suffer in first place?

Post by acinteyyo » Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:11 pm

Ryan95227 wrote:why are we so inclined to suffer anyway. why aren't we just enlightened. why is the world suffering. whats the intention behind it. why must beings suffer greatly and need to overcome that through enlightenment.
Feathers wrote:... there is no 'reason' for suffering, it's just a fact of life. Nobody in particular is saying we 'must' suffer, it just . . . is. Kinda like gravity or the weather.
Suffering is not a fact of life and it certainly isn't "just" there. It is the result of ignorance, originates through conditiones, like gravity or the weather, which also depend on particular conditions.
Why aren't we just enlightened? We aren't because we don't know what should be known and awakening isn't accomplished by mere wishing. Awakening depends on the development of certain skills and insights.
You can ask "why" as often as you like, but it won't bring the end of doubts.
If you really want to overcome doubts you have to start looking at things attentively in order to develop wisdom.
We aren't "inclined" to suffer anyway, one suffers because his or her acts lack essential wisdom which in turn leads to suffering.

There is no "hidden intention behind all this", it's just lack of insight which leads to suffering and makes things complicated.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

SarathW
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Re: why do we even have to suffer in first place?

Post by SarathW » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:45 pm

why are we so inclined to suffer anyway.
A:Ignorance
why aren't we just enlightened.
A:Clinging to five aggregate. Greed and hate
why is the world suffering.
A:Birth is the cause of suffring
whats the intention behind it.
A:No intention. It is dependently originated.

why must beings suffer greatly and need to overcome that through enlightenment
A: There is no any other way to eliminate total suffering.
:)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: why do we even have to suffer in first place?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:07 pm

See the Assāda Sutta

An uninstructed ordinary person does not understand the satisfaction, danger, and escape regarding the five aggregates. This is called ignorance. Fettered by craving and blinded by ignorance, the uninstructed ordinary beings wander endlessly through many existences, not understanding the truth of suffering, and not knowing how to abandon craving for pleasures of various kinds.

However, if a person meets someone who can explain the Buddha's teaching, and then undertakes to practice the teachings properly, he or she can reduce or eradicate totally both ignorance and craving, and therefore reduce or put an end to suffering.

It's a gradual training in morality, concentration, and wisdom to eradicate craving, ill-will, and delusion.
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sam Vara
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Re: why do we even have to suffer in first place?

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:08 pm

Ryan95227 wrote:
Why am i even in the cycle of clinging and ru)nning away I know that it was partly due to evolution of surviving but why all this chaos.
I don't know the answer to that; I don't think I even know anyone who does know, at least in a form they could communicate to me.

I think the Buddha discouraged speculation about the ultimate origins of things, but what we are talking about here is ignorance. We don't know where the ignorance began, but the good news is that we can attack its causes in the here-and-now and eradicate it:
“Bhikkhus, this is said: ‘A first point of ignorance, bhikkhus, is not seen such that before this there was no ignorance and afterward it came into being.’ Still, ignorance is seen to have a specific condition.

“I say, bhikkhus, that ignorance has a nutriment; it is not without nutriment. And what is the nutriment for ignorance? It should be said: the five hindrances.
http://suttacentral.net/en/an10.61 (The whole sutta is well worth reading - I can't recommend it enough).

From personal experience, I can say that the more one practices, and the more sincerely one practices, the less things look like "chaos" and a desperate problem to be solved by means of the intellect.

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Mkoll
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Re: why do we even have to suffer in first place?

Post by Mkoll » Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:31 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:See the Assāda Sutta

An uninstructed ordinary person does not understand the satisfaction, danger, and escape regarding the five aggregates. This is called ignorance. Fettered by craving and blinded by ignorance, the uninstructed ordinary beings wander endlessly through many existences, not understanding the truth of suffering, and not knowing how to abandon craving for pleasures of various kinds.

However, if a person meets someone who can explain the Buddha's teaching, and then undertakes to practice the teachings properly, he or she can reduce or eradicate totally both ignorance and craving, and therefore reduce or put an end to suffering.

It's a gradual training in morality, concentration, and wisdom to eradicate craving, ill-will, and delusion.
:goodpost:

Also, see the poison arrow simile, which I think is applicable here:
MN 63 wrote:"Malunkyaputta, did I ever say to you, 'Come, Malunkyaputta, live the holy life under me, and I will declare to you that 'The cosmos is eternal,' or 'The cosmos is not eternal,' or 'The cosmos is finite,' or 'The cosmos is infinite,' or 'The soul & the body are the same,' or 'The soul is one thing and the body another,' or 'After death a Tathagata exists,' or 'After death a Tathagata does not exist,' or 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist,' or 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist'?"

"No, lord."

"And did you ever say to me, 'Lord, I will live the holy life under the Blessed One and [in return] he will declare to me that 'The cosmos is eternal,' or 'The cosmos is not eternal,' or 'The cosmos is finite,' or 'The cosmos is infinite,' or 'The soul & the body are the same,' or 'The soul is one thing and the body another,' or 'After death a Tathagata exists,' or 'After death a Tathagata does not exist,' or 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist,' or 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist'?"

"No, lord."

"Then that being the case, foolish man, who are you to be claiming grievances/making demands of anyone?

"Malunkyaputta, if anyone were to say, 'I won't live the holy life under the Blessed One as long as he does not declare to me that "The cosmos is eternal,"... or that "After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist,"' the man would die and those things would still remain undeclared by the Tathagata.

"It's just as if a man were wounded with an arrow thickly smeared with poison. His friends & companions, kinsmen & relatives would provide him with a surgeon, and the man would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the man who wounded me was a noble warrior, a brahman, a merchant, or a worker.' He would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know the given name & clan name of the man who wounded me... until I know whether he was tall, medium, or short... until I know whether he was dark, ruddy-brown, or golden-colored... until I know his home village, town, or city... until I know whether the bow with which I was wounded was a long bow or a crossbow... until I know whether the bowstring with which I was wounded was fiber, bamboo threads, sinew, hemp, or bark... until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was wild or cultivated... until I know whether the feathers of the shaft with which I was wounded were those of a vulture, a stork, a hawk, a peacock, or another bird... until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was bound with the sinew of an ox, a water buffalo, a langur, or a monkey.' He would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was that of a common arrow, a curved arrow, a barbed, a calf-toothed, or an oleander arrow.' The man would die and those things would still remain unknown to him.

"In the same way, if anyone were to say, 'I won't live the holy life under the Blessed One as long as he does not declare to me that 'The cosmos is eternal,'... or that 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist,' the man would die and those things would still remain undeclared by the Tathagata.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

pegembara
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Re: why do we even have to suffer in first place?

Post by pegembara » Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:41 am

Ryan95227 wrote:why are we so inclined to suffer anyway. why aren't we just enlightened. why is the world suffering. whats the intention behind it. why must beings suffer greatly and need to overcome that through enlightenment.
We suffer because we were born.

Birth is the cause of suffering. Of course birth is also the cause of joy and happiness, achievements, great friendships etc. The problem is that things that we like never last and never fully satisfy.

Ignorance or not knowing the truth of existence is the cause of birth. The only way out is through breaking the veil of ignorance. That is through the Noble 8 fold path.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

Ahern = Element
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Re: why do we even have to suffer in first place?

Post by Ahern = Element » Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:53 am

Ryan95227 wrote:why are we so inclined to suffer anyway. why aren't we just enlightened. why is the world suffering. whats the intention behind it. why must beings suffer greatly and need to overcome that through enlightenment.
Imo, suffering essentially happens because of craving. In the world, the 'energy' called "craving" is pushing all beings to reproduce & to search & fight for the necessities of life. It is this reproductive drive (which includes other instincts, such as fear of harm or death) that causes suffering when this craving does not get what it wants. It is like a person that gets depressed when their lover they desire departs. Its like a vicious hungry lion that suffers when it cannot eat deer or antelope. The frantic sperms cells that strive to fertilize an ovum are propelled by craving (imo). :pig:
AN 10.62] "A first beginning of the craving of existence cannot be conceived, (of which it can be said), 'Before that, there was no craving for existence and it came to be after that.' Though this is so, monks, yet a specific condition for craving for existence can be conceived. Craving for existence, too, has its nutriment, I declare; and it is not without a nutriment. And what is the nutriment of craving for existence? 'Ignorance,' should be the answer. But ignorance, too, has its nutriment; it is not without a nutriment. And what is the nutriment of ignorance? 'The five hindrances,' should be the answer.

InnerPeace
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Re: why do we even have to suffer in first place?

Post by InnerPeace » Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:45 pm

In my opinion, beings suffer because there is the cause of suffering (ignorance and craving). Do you know someone who doesn't have ignorance and craving? Because there are these two factors as a cause, there is suffering.

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