I encountered dhamma talks from some of his disciples indicating that he did not seem to suffer. I also watched a short film about Ven Nanavira Thera in which a Sri Lankan man said that he did not seem to suffer even when was experiencing physical ailments. However, i equally know that Ajahn Chah at the beginning of his sickness decided to end his life by fasting until some of his disciples persuaded him not to do so, and that Ven Nanavira ended his life.chownah wrote: ↑Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:11 pmAccepting what you relate about chah on faith I ask the questions: Did chah suffer becaue of his inability to control his defecation? and Did chah lose faith when he got sick? Aren't the answers to these questions more meaningful than the reactions of some "disciples" (not knowing anything about them)? Lots of people are incontinent in old age....for alot of them it is just part of growing up....sometimes their family members suffer more from their negative reactions than the aged one who is wearing the diapers.
Based on the above, what is meaningful, to me, is that we don't really know how those individuals which we perceive as "wise" experienced the world. We might have the tendency to believe that they did not suffer because this justifies what we believe.
If we approach all of this with honesty by acknowledging that we cannot be sure, then what worth focusing on would be assessing the potential drawbacks of certain mindsets:
1- A mindset that literally reduces everything to suffering and makes the end of suffering the only goal worth pursuing
2- A mindset that sees suffering as inseparable from ignorance, and makes attaining true knowledge the main driver of his actions
What kind of attitude are the possible outcome of each mindset? An investigative mind would continually seek better answers to the problem of life until reaching certainty, while the first mindset can be a mere glasses we wear to interpret things.
Everything else being equal, herd mentality is more likely to encourage the first mindset. In a group where a common belief system is the binding force, it is easy to engage in an implicit competition where the grimier a view is, the more likely it is associated with wisdom.