Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Can philosophers help resolve the real problems that people have in their lives?

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Sappho de Miranda
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Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by Sappho de Miranda » Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:58 am

WanderingLands wrote:
I do understand that not every person is blessed by choice, and that Eastern philosophy is more about collectivism as opposed to the modern European society. But you are still missing the entire point of the OP; I am talking about spiritual suffering and the path to finding spiritual truth.
If I have misunderstood you, it can only be that you have not made yourself better understood. So to remove this issue, I have reposted the OP and added some questions and discussion points for you to clarify so that we can return to the example of the 'suffering doctor'. Thanks.
The OP wrote:Here's why suffering is actually a good thing that could happen to a person.

The reason(s) why suffering is actually good for a person is because it is part of a process of thinking and the start of a long spiritual path to Enlightenment and Liberation from the Material world. I believe that judging from my own dark experiences of alienation and loneliness, and from reading up on Eastern Philosophy aswell as Western Philosophy (Stoicism and a bit of Existentialism), that everybody has this huge void metaphorically inside themselves. It is a void of wanting something, but not being able or having the strength to look deep into what it is. I believe that this is why people, in the modern era, turn to looking for material things for long term pleasure; because they are unwilling to explore philosophy, let alone sometimes even explore deep into their religion that they were brought up in for a start.

Even when they are satisfied by material enchantments, there is still the void that is "coped", or shall I say suppressed, in order to keep the material pleasures going and keep the status approval of peers in society. It is only when they embrace the void, and thus embrace suffering by searching, that they start to cultivate their true selves.
Please define 'spiritual', 'spiritual suffering' and 'spiritual truth'.
Please explain what it means to be 'liberated from the Material world'.
Why is it important to be 'liberated from the Material world'.
Please explain what a 'huge metaphorical void' is as it relates to individuals in general but not you in particular.
Please explain what the significance is of 'religion' to your as yet defined 'spiritual suffering'.
When you reference 'religion' what 'religion do you refer to? If by 'religion' you were making a general comment, then please define 'religion' in general.
With regard to your exploration of Eastern Philosophy you must have made yourself familiar with Confucianism. You will have noted then that Confucius avoided spiritual matters preferring to address the common concerns of a moral life. How then do you reconcile your spiritual interpretations of the most significant of Eastern Philosophies?

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WanderingLands
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Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by WanderingLands » Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:27 pm

If I have misunderstood you, it can only be that you have not made yourself better understood. So to remove this issue, I have reposted the OP and added some questions and discussion points for you to clarify so that we can return to the example of the 'suffering doctor'. Thanks.
Okay, well I am not sure if that subject has anything to do with what I'm saying, but if you want to continue that please contact me via private message.
Please define 'spiritual', 'spiritual suffering' and 'spiritual truth'.
Spiritual - To be one with God and having a connection with God.
Spiritual suffering - The state of suffering in a spiritual crises; where there is confusion about what is truth, alienation from other people, dissastification with society. Examples can be endless as it depends on the individual.
Spiritual Truth - The ultimate and absolute truth that binds one with God.
Please explain what it means to be 'liberated from the Material world'.
To not participate in the things that goes on within the Material world aka mainstream society. It can be moving completely far away from it, or you can simply not do the things that many people do within said society: not watching TV; not reading magazines; eating more organic foods or foods that don't come from fast food resturaunts, supermarkets, etc; not listening to mainstream music (rock, pop, rap, hip-hop). It also means that you remove yourself from the artificial memes (or idendities) that are placed in society.
Why is it important to be 'liberated from the Material world'.
Because the Material world represents nothing more than immorality, violence, chaos, war, disease, destruction, alienation, hate, anger - all of the things that negatively impact humanity and all species of this planet in general. To not be liberated means to be sucked into all of these things.
Please explain what a 'huge metaphorical void' is as it relates to individuals in general but not you in particular.
It means that there is an underlying desire that you want that you feel that you cannot find within mainstream society. It's where one is dismayed by the mainstream religions, the attititudes and characters of people in this society, and the fact that there is so much ills in society (corruption, disease, lies, etc) that one feels empty. It can also be on a personal level, such as family problems, financial problems, or social problems.
Please explain what the significance is of 'religion' to your as yet defined 'spiritual suffering'.
Many people may find religion to be too conservative or too strict; to be limiting and so they search for other religions and in doing so, they often find fustration aka "spiritual suffering".
When you reference 'religion' what 'religion do you refer to? If by 'religion' you were making a general comment, then please define 'religion' in general.
A religion is like an identity for many who are brought up and bind to a particular religion. Religion can be either good or bad; one can find spiritual salvation within that religion, or interpret religion in a more fundamentalist way and make it more stricter, or the individual may find religion to be unsatisfying.
With regard to your exploration of Eastern Philosophy you must have made yourself familiar with Confucianism. You will have noted then that Confucius avoided spiritual matters preferring to address the common concerns of a moral life. How then do you reconcile your spiritual interpretations of the most significant of Eastern Philosophies?
I have not read much of Confucious, but I have read about Buddhism, Taosim, and Hinduism, and those are the three that I relate to the most. I don't really know how Confucius' teachings have anything to do with what I'm saying.

randallbenak
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Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by randallbenak » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:36 am

Real suffering is an authentic and realist response to the ragged wounds of living a human life. It's also unavoidable and an essential part of every human life.

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Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by WanderingLands » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:02 pm

randallbenak wrote:Real suffering is an authentic and realist response to the ragged wounds of living a human life. It's also unavoidable and an essential part of every human life.
Agreed. But it can be minimized to strengthen oneself to live the much larger, exhilarating, and beautiful life that awaits out of this ashes.

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Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by sjeff70 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:50 pm

It's not easy to discuss Buddhism with non-buddhists. Just ask forum member Bill Wiltrack!

Enlightenment... opening the third eye, satori, entering the stream, entering the path, whatever you want to call it - doesn't require Buddhism. All enlightenment is is a very simple realization. You're supposed to have a healthy store of merit for its discovery. Realization then sets forth a long path of self discovery until one's karma is fully extinguished.

Many people have discussed enlightenment (Jesus for example, ugh...I can't believe I just said that!), written about it through scripture, what-have-you, for thousands of years. It's not limited to Buddhism, although most link enlightenment with Buddhism.

From a meditator's point of view (or a practicing buddhist perhaps), the problem with most if not all western philosophy is we're still trying to solve life's problems with the intellect. Realization is said to occur beneath the intellect, in a gap in thought. Ultimately meditators are seeking this gap.

Buddhists teachings are truths realized as truths on the path. So buddhist teaching sounds silly to others just like some religions seem silly to some. Probably 99% of the living world is content with their intellect. We're supposed to focus on families and having kids. That's what humans value in life.

Lots of people don't believe in this 'phenomenon', which is a good topic for discussion.

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Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by WanderingLands » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:24 am

sjeff70 wrote:It's not easy to discuss Buddhism with non-buddhists. Just ask forum member Bill Wiltrack!

Enlightenment... opening the third eye, satori, entering the stream, entering the path, whatever you want to call it - doesn't require Buddhism. All enlightenment is is a very simple realization. You're supposed to have a healthy store of merit for its discovery. Realization then sets forth a long path of self discovery until one's karma is fully extinguished.

Many people have discussed enlightenment (Jesus for example, ugh...I can't believe I just said that!), written about it through scripture, what-have-you, for thousands of years. It's not limited to Buddhism, although most link enlightenment with Buddhism.

From a meditator's point of view (or a practicing buddhist perhaps), the problem with most if not all western philosophy is we're still trying to solve life's problems with the intellect. Realization is said to occur beneath the intellect, in a gap in thought. Ultimately meditators are seeking this gap.

Buddhists teachings are truths realized as truths on the path. So buddhist teaching sounds silly to others just like some religions seem silly to some. Probably 99% of the living world is content with their intellect. We're supposed to focus on families and having kids. That's what humans value in life.

Lots of people don't believe in this 'phenomenon', which is a good topic for discussion.
Hello, Jeff (I believe?). I see that you are a Buddhist. While I may not know too much of Buddhism since I am not one myself, I have nonetheless been interested in the teachings and aesthetics of it. I agree with your points on your posts, and it would be an interest of me to discuss the topic of enlightenment.

A lot of people, unfortunately, believe that enlightenment is 'out there' and includes something super spectacular. While there is a fine feeling of this 'enlightenment' (which is to be completely aware of all things that are more spontaneous), I believe that the way people have been speculating (or over-speculating) about this 'enlightenment' has created a gap for them between their conceived notions and what it really is. That's probably what arises dogmatism, as in to defend their point of view, without realizing a deeper higher level of awareness that goes beyond a religion or a philosophy.

I see religions in general being all the same, when you look at their core teachings, mainly regarding enlightenment. I believe that they talk of the same things: that it's an energetic connection with the higher realms or the Universe, and that it's intelligible mainly from the Mind or higher intellect, thus only the individual(s) that may experience this be the ones to do so compared to those whom have not. I believe that tools of experiences like this: prayer, meditation, magic, rituals, paranormal experiences, should thus be looked at a lot more as it does seem to similarly describe the higher realms.

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Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by sjeff70 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:08 pm

WanderingLands wrote:
sjeff70 wrote:It's not easy to discuss Buddhism with non-buddhists. Just ask forum member Bill Wiltrack!

Enlightenment... opening the third eye, satori, entering the stream, entering the path, whatever you want to call it - doesn't require Buddhism. All enlightenment is is a very simple realization. You're supposed to have a healthy store of merit for its discovery. Realization then sets forth a long path of self discovery until one's karma is fully extinguished.

Many people have discussed enlightenment (Jesus for example, ugh...I can't believe I just said that!), written about it through scripture, what-have-you, for thousands of years. It's not limited to Buddhism, although most link enlightenment with Buddhism.

From a meditator's point of view (or a practicing buddhist perhaps), the problem with most if not all western philosophy is we're still trying to solve life's problems with the intellect. Realization is said to occur beneath the intellect, in a gap in thought. Ultimately meditators are seeking this gap.

Buddhists teachings are truths realized as truths on the path. So buddhist teaching sounds silly to others just like some religions seem silly to some. Probably 99% of the living world is content with their intellect. We're supposed to focus on families and having kids. That's what humans value in life.

Lots of people don't believe in this 'phenomenon', which is a good topic for discussion.
Hello, Jeff (I believe?). I see that you are a Buddhist. While I may not know too much of Buddhism since I am not one myself, I have nonetheless been interested in the teachings and aesthetics of it. I agree with your points on your posts, and it would be an interest of me to discuss the topic of enlightenment.

A lot of people, unfortunately, believe that enlightenment is 'out there' and includes something super spectacular. While there is a fine feeling of this 'enlightenment' (which is to be completely aware of all things that are more spontaneous), I believe that the way people have been speculating (or over-speculating) about this 'enlightenment' has created a gap for them between their conceived notions and what it really is. That's probably what arises dogmatism, as in to defend their point of view, without realizing a deeper higher level of awareness that goes beyond a religion or a philosophy.

I see religions in general being all the same, when you look at their core teachings, mainly regarding enlightenment. I believe that they talk of the same things: that it's an energetic connection with the higher realms or the Universe, and that it's intelligible mainly from the Mind or higher intellect, thus only the individual(s) that may experience this be the ones to do so compared to those whom have not. I believe that tools of experiences like this: prayer, meditation, magic, rituals, paranormal experiences, should thus be looked at a lot more as it does seem to similarly describe the higher realms.
Hi Wandering, thanks for your warm welcome upon my first post introduction. I knew we'd run in to each other eventually because I'd been a lurker for some time.

If enlightenment is possible then there is a route to get there. It's surprising to me what little value people place on their individual intentions or actions that we each take in our daily lives. I think this is mostly because of our cultures and influences we receive from others we come in contact with. I believe not enough emphasis is given to merit (in our quest toward enlightenment) which wholly involves our connection with others. We are all connected to each other, even to animals. We effect animals and they effect us everyday. Every single sentient being has some sort of impact on each other, short term and long term.

Higher realms belong to those with good karma or good merit. It's not easy to accumulate good merit. We are taught as children to be good and do good but how many of us actually do good things out of sincerity, other than the good involving family. Not many I have seen in my daily living. Good people are often seen as weak and many do not want to appear weak to others so they never even get started. This is ego. Meditation, prayer, ritual and dogma are important for helping us achieve good merit. I would classify paranormal activity such as omniscience or whatnot as byproducts of those in higher realms, not tools in themselves. I'm leery of most paranormal activity as it is described today.

When I say higher realms we are talking about individuals who are placing others as more important than themselves. This merit has equal wisdom. So while the higher realms may have many byproducts such as omniscience or what-have-you, they aren't used for one's own benefit. These byproducts or Primordial Wisdoms are used wholly for the benefit of others. So I have to ask you...how many people in this world will want to try and achieve enlightenment for the sake of others when 99% of the human population is concerned mostly with themselves? This unfortunately is the predicament we face with ego.

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Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by WanderingLands » Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:54 pm

sjeff70 wrote: Hi Wandering, thanks for your warm welcome upon my first post introduction. I knew we'd run in to each other eventually because I'd been a lurker for some time.
It sure is definitely a pleasure to I guess talk to someone on the Internet who happens to be a Buddhist. Not a lot people, unfortunately, know what actual Buddhism is and what it really teaches. They think of it being attached to the New Age 'spirituality', when it's really about reflection on life and the world and developing a clarity to know Truth.
sjeff70 wrote: If enlightenment is possible then there is a route to get there. It's surprising to me what little value people place on their individual intentions or actions that we each take in our daily lives. I think this is mostly because of our cultures and influences we receive from others we come in contact with. I believe not enough emphasis is given to merit (in our quest toward enlightenment) which wholly involves our connection with others. We are all connected to each other, even to animals. We effect animals and they effect us everyday. Every single sentient being has some sort of impact on each other, short term and long term.

Higher realms belong to those with good karma or good merit. It's not easy to accumulate good merit. We are taught as children to be good and do good but how many of us actually do good things out of sincerity, other than the good involving family. Not many I have seen in my daily living. Good people are often seen as weak and many do not want to appear weak to others so they never even get started. This is ego. Meditation, prayer, ritual and dogma are important for helping us achieve good merit. I would classify paranormal activity such as omniscience or whatnot as byproducts of those in higher realms, not tools in themselves. I'm leery of most paranormal activity as it is described today.

When I say higher realms we are talking about individuals who are placing others as more important than themselves. This merit has equal wisdom. So while the higher realms may have many byproducts such as omniscience or what-have-you, they aren't used for one's own benefit. These byproducts or Primordial Wisdoms are used wholly for the benefit of others. So I have to ask you...how many people in this world will want to try and achieve enlightenment for the sake of others when 99% of the human population is concerned mostly with themselves? This unfortunately is the predicament we face with ego.
The reason why hardly anyone seeks out enlightenment (except for a few or more) society places a lot more emphasis on consumerism and materialistic pleasure above the encouragement of developing merit and a good character. As far as I know, it has gotten really worse, especially in the western capitalist culture, where people are simply out for themselves and are selfish, while at the same time being passive and not really taking a stand for what's right and true, which would mean to reflect on oneself.

In answering to your question at the last paragraph, it would obviously take education and discipline for people to actually seek out Enlightenment. That's the other reason(s) why society is deteriorating; because there is really not much emphasis on discipline and more emphasis on conformity and being passive, meanwhile the 'education' that people are getting is really simply indoctrination and training simply to become another worker for society. I do believe that people are feeling this negative change going on in society, but they don't try to seek out for answers and just continue to live in the small world of conformity.

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Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by NielsBohr » Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:46 pm

WanderingLands wrote:Here's why suffering is actually a good thing that could happen to a person.

The reason(s) why suffering is actually good for a person is because it is part of a process of thinking and the start of a long spiritual path to Enlightenment and Liberation from the Material world. I believe that judging from my own dark experiences of alienation and loneliness, and from reading up on Eastern Philosophy aswell as Western Philosophy (Stoicism and a bit of Existentialism), that everybody has this huge void metaphorically inside themselves. It is a void of wanting something, but not being able or having the strength to look deep into what it is. I believe that this is why people, in the modern era, turn to looking for material things for long term pleasure; because they are unwilling to explore philosophy, let alone sometimes even explore deep into their religion that they were brought up in for a start.

Even when they are satisfied by material enchantments, there is still the void that is "coped", or shall I say suppressed, in order to keep the material pleasures going and keep the status approval of peers in society. It is only when they embrace the void, and thus embrace suffering by searching, that they start to cultivate their true selves.
-Hi WanderingLands,

VoiceOfTime is very severe with you, he is not as such normally.

This is maybe you opt for a point of view opposite to his philosophical needs, which - as need they are - can barely be philosophical.

I re-discover the great philosopher you are, WanderingLands.

Yes, suffering lead to discover some deeper truths, even in the void, because - typically - the belief ignore the void, which it transcend, and then fill.

I think, too, that suffering and loneliness are the only way to learn to love.

Finally, I think we find many truths very deep through some adversity, in life.

Yes it can lead to a strong culture of one's own identity - a personal culture (opposed to social or splendor culture (useful only for communication)) - but, sometimes, we have to open a window, because too much loneliness or suffering can also lead to some paranoïd symptoms.

So this is a question of equilibrium.

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Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by GreatandWiseTrixie » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:38 pm

WanderingLands wrote:Here's why suffering is actually a good thing that could happen to a person.

The reason(s) why suffering is actually good for a person is because it is part of a process of thinking and the start of a long spiritual path to Enlightenment and Liberation from the Material world. I believe that judging from my own dark experiences of alienation and loneliness, and from reading up on Eastern Philosophy aswell as Western Philosophy (Stoicism and a bit of Existentialism), that everybody has this huge void metaphorically inside themselves. It is a void of wanting something, but not being able or having the strength to look deep into what it is. I believe that this is why people, in the modern era, turn to looking for material things for long term pleasure; because they are unwilling to explore philosophy, let alone sometimes even explore deep into their religion that they were brought up in for a start.

Even when they are satisfied by material enchantments, there is still the void that is "coped", or shall I say suppressed, in order to keep the material pleasures going and keep the status approval of peers in society. It is only when they embrace the void, and thus embrace suffering by searching, that they start to cultivate their true selves.
Hmm I've read this all before, but all the people who preach it never isolate themselves like they say to do in their teachings. That is, they don't practice what they preach. Also, they never specify when enough suffering is enough. Suffering can speed up growth, but they never specify how much is needed. Should one abandon their friends, live in a cave, and become a Gollum?

Yes, the prospect of not being dragged down by simple minded, pedantic mosquitos always looking to for flaws in you (which are not flaws, but products of their own misunderstandings), and avoiding people who do nothing but watch football all day, and avoiding the imbeciles who believe in the virtues of human social norms, avoiding these people, it is a virtue, but to what extreme must one isolate?
until one's karma is extinguished
What is the meaning of this? Karma is cause and effect. How does one extinguish such a thing?

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Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by WanderingLands » Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:30 pm

GreatandWiseTrixie wrote: Hmm I've read this all before, but all the people who preach it never isolate themselves like they say to do in their teachings. That is, they don't practice what they preach. Also, they never specify when enough suffering is enough. Suffering can speed up growth, but they never specify how much is needed. Should one abandon their friends, live in a cave, and become a Gollum?

Yes, the prospect of not being dragged down by simple minded, pedantic mosquitos always looking to for flaws in you (which are not flaws, but products of their own misunderstandings), and avoiding people who do nothing but watch football all day, and avoiding the imbeciles who believe in the virtues of human social norms, avoiding these people, it is a virtue, but to what extreme must one isolate?
The levels of suffering mostly depend on types of situations and how people react to it. The extremes of suffering (torture, rape, etc) are bad, and hardly anyone could ever go through such psychological trauma. But nonetheless, there are ways to still cope with suffering and to even transcend it; socially, financially, relationship wise, physically. If a person feels outcasted by society, he/she may either learn to become more introverted to grow as a person, and/or at least find ways to be more successful as socializing. If someone has fallen financially, one can do many things: find some jobs to get on one's feet, retreat from society to live more communitarian, be more fiscally conservative. How one deals with it is up mainly to others, just as in isolation or asceticism; how extreme one wants to go or whether or not they want to do so is up to them.
GreatandWiseTrixie wrote:
until one's karma is extinguished
What is the meaning of this? Karma is cause and effect. How does one extinguish such a thing?
I wrote this post back when I was exploring the Aghori tradition of Hinduism, through reading the Aghora trilogy by Robert Svoboda. I moved away from that whole 'mixed spirituality' thing (which is often put under New Age and Occult) since then when I was exploring more philosophy.

I think that by 'to extinguish the karma', means is to be more in a psychological way. Like for example, to examine oneself and look at the errors that has been committed to try and improve and grow as a person; learn to seek forgiveness from others and learn to forgive oneself. I don't mean at all that we should annihilate oneself in some way.

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Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by Jaded Sage » Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:48 pm

I want you to know there is an end to the type of suffering you describe, and I for one, have achieved it, thanks to the 4 Noble Truths. It is possible.

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Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:40 pm

WanderingLands wrote:Here's why suffering is actually a good thing that could happen to a person.

The reason(s) why suffering is actually good for a person is because it is part of a process of thinking and the start of a long spiritual path to Enlightenment and Liberation from the Material world. I believe that judging from my own dark experiences of alienation and loneliness, and from reading up on Eastern Philosophy aswell as Western Philosophy (Stoicism and a bit of Existentialism), that everybody has this huge void metaphorically inside themselves. It is a void of wanting something, but not being able or having the strength to look deep into what it is. I believe that this is why people, in the modern era, turn to looking for material things for long term pleasure; because they are unwilling to explore philosophy, let alone sometimes even explore deep into their religion that they were brought up in for a start.

Even when they are satisfied by material enchantments, there is still the void that is "coped", or shall I say suppressed, in order to keep the material pleasures going and keep the status approval of peers in society. It is only when they embrace the void, and thus embrace suffering by searching, that they start to cultivate their true selves.
And tell me what chance this person had to embark on the path to enlightenment before he died in pain?

Image

Clearly much suffering has no higher purpose.

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Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by Dalek Prime » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:47 pm

Anyone who thinks this can truly fuck right off, with the knowledge that I'm hoping they have plenty of "good things" in life. And know that I'd be first in line to give you those "good things". :twisted:

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Re: Why Suffering is a Good Thing

Post by Dalek Prime » Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:42 am

Wanderinglands wrote:Here's why suffering is actually a good thing that could happen to a person.

The reason(s) why suffering is actually good for a person is because it is part of a process of thinking and the start of a long spiritual path to Enlightenment and Liberation from the Material world.
Goddammit! The suffering needn't have begun, just as the spiritual path to enlightenment and liberation from the world needn't have been. There's a simple solution, and that is to stop creating new existence that is sure to suffer, and needing enlightenment and liberation from the world. Drives me up the wall that you make excuses for all the shit that never needed to be or happen, and ignore the simple solution.

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