• leo
    704
    It seems there is no suffering without desire: when we want to live we suffer if something threatens our life, when we want to die we suffer if we are forced to stay alive. When we want to be around people we suffer from being alone, when we want to be alone we suffer from being around people. When we want something we suffer from not having it, when we want to not have something we suffer from having it. And so on.

    So we might say, in order to not suffer we have to desire nothing. But if we desire nothing then we do nothing, and we do not live. Does that mean that suffering is inextricably linked with life? No, because we haven't yet proven that desiring something necessarily implies suffering.

    Indeed it is possible to desire things and not suffer from not getting them, if we are already content with the way things are. Buddhism understands that, and that's why it says the root of suffering is not desire, but attachment to desire. However not being attached to desire means not being attached to life itself, if something threatens your life and you desire not to suffer then you are supposed to be content with the situation and accept your fate. If someone steals from you or kill your loved ones you are supposed to not be attached to things or to your loved ones in order not to suffer. And that's something most of us will not accept. I see being detached from our desires as giving up on life itself, and letting others decide our life for us. As long as no one bothers us we can live that way, but if some natural phenomenon or someone attacks us we are at their mercy, and we leave our fate in their hands.

    So does that mean that being attached to life necessarily implies suffering? No, because there is a possibility Buddhism hasn't taken into account. The way things are, all of our desires cannot be met, some are mutually incompatible, which leads to suffering. The key point is, "the way things are". The way things are now, suffering is inevitable. However things change, through our actions, through what we do. Buddhism gives up on life and does not attempt to change the way things are, yet in principle it could be possible to progressively change the way things are to get to a state where all of our desires are met. There is no proof that this is impossible. Desires aren't set in stone, and neither are beliefs, both change. In principle it could be possible to attain a utopia, in which we would all live in harmony in such a way that no one suffers.

    And even if one doesn't ascribe to the view that such a utopia is possible, at least many can already agree that we can do better to reduce suffering in the world. I see it as important to realize that Buddhism does not provide the only way to overcome suffering. In a way the solution of Buddhism is to give up on life, but that's not the only solution, we don't have to give up on life.
  • khaled
    1.1k
    if something threatens your life and you desire not to suffer then you are supposed to be content with the situation and accept your fateleo

    I don't think this is correct. In Buddhism, Zen and Daoism you're not "Suppsoed to" do anything. The whole point is to stop trying to attatch yourself onto anything and to "act naturally". If screaming in pain is what's "natural" for you you're not supposed to opress that. In Zen, Buddhism and Daosim the only think you're supposed to do is not interfere (aka you're supposed to do nothing)

    it could be possible to progressively change the way things are to get to a state where all of our desires are met.leo

    Psychologically and Neurologically speaking that is actually impossible for an extended period of time. You wil ALWAYS continue to want things. Buddhism isn't about supressing that, as that is just another want. You can't just go like "I want to not want things" that's a contradiction. Buddhism is about not interfering so you go like: "". You're still allowed to have emotions, just don't support or supress them.

    Buddhism doesn't end suffering, it reduces it significantly by showing you that anything you try to do to reduce it only makes it worse

    I recommend "The way of Zen" by Alan Watts, it's been a good read so far for me and it will adress precisely what buddhism is promoting much better than a coment can
  • ovdtogt
    384
    Tao is the path to finding your equilibrium (balance). We are all riding bicycles endeavoring not to fall over.
  • Possibility
    781
    Indeed it is possible to desire things and not suffer from not getting them, if we are already content with the way things are. Buddhism understands that, and that's why it says the root of suffering is not desire, but attachment to desire. However not being attached to desire means not being attached to life itself, if something threatens your life and you desire not to suffer then you are supposed to be content with the situation and accept your fate. If someone steals from you or kill your loved ones you are supposed to not be attached to things or to your loved ones in order not to suffer. And that's something most of us will not accept. I see being detached from our desires as giving up on life itself, and letting others decide our life for us. As long as no one bothers us we can live that way, but if some natural phenomenon or someone attacks us we are at their mercy, and we leave our fate in their hands.leo

    I recall that we’ve clashed over this discussion before. I think it’s possible to desire and to enjoy life, without being ‘attached’ either to that desire or to life. I think that by ‘attached’, what is meant is an inability to let go, or to recognise the impermanence of desire and life and everything. If someone steals from you or kills your loved ones, you will experience loss. That’s unavoidable. What most of us will not accept is that the experience of loss is unavoidable even if no one steals from you or kills your loved ones. If you EXPECT something to be always where you want it, you will suffer from losing it. If you EXPECT the continual interacting presence of another in your life, you will suffer from losing them, too. But it’s possible to have something or love someone without suffering from its loss - and it has nothing to do with being content with the way things are - quite the opposite. We do it by recognising (as Carlo Rovelli states) that the universe is made up of events, not things. We interact for a time and then, necessarily, things change, and the connection we once had is no longer the same. That’s not to say it’s no longer a connection: just not the same.

    So does that mean that being attached to life necessarily implies suffering? No, because there is a possibility Buddhism hasn't taken into account. The way things are, all of our desires cannot be met, some are mutually incompatible, which leads to suffering. The key point is, "the way things are". The way things are now, suffering is inevitable. However things change, through our actions, through what we do. Buddhism gives up on life and does not attempt to change the way things are, yet in principle it could be possible to progressively change the way things are to get to a state where all of our desires are met. There is no proof that this is impossible. Desires aren't set in stone, and neither are beliefs, both change. In principle it could be possible to attain a utopia, in which we would all live in harmony in such a way that no one suffers.leo

    It may be theoretically possible to attain a situation in which we would all live in harmony in such a way that no one suffers, but not one in which no one experiences loss of any kind. There can be no life without loss.

    And even if one doesn't ascribe to the view that such a utopia is possible, at least many can already agree that we can do better to reduce suffering in the world. I see it as important to realize that Buddhism does not provide the only way to overcome suffering. In a way the solution of Buddhism is to give up on life, but that's not the only solution, we don't have to give up on life.leo

    Buddha may have appeared to have ‘given up’ on life, but I think he was demonstrating his point in the most enlightening way: the only way to effectively overcome all suffering in one’s life is to cease to live. I’m not convinced he was expecting anyone else to actually copy this - the lesson is not always a path for us to follow, but an opportunity to learn where the path goes without taking it ourselves.
  • A Seagull
    117
    Suffering is voluntary.

    We live in a wonderful world to which we have been adapted over millennia.
  • leo
    704


    I’m glad you replied, I wanted to mention your ideas at some point in the OP but my post was getting too long.

    I wouldn’t say we ‘clashed’ on this in the past, more like we disagreed, in the end I want the truth to come out I never try to impose my ideas onto others, it’s simply when I’m convinced that I see something that the other side doesn’t see that I become more persistent, but even if the other side still disagrees after all my efforts I don’t keep ill feelings, maybe simply a little sadness that we couldn’t come to agree, sometimes there are things we simply aren’t ready yet to understand, this counts for others but this counts for me too, I don’t claim to have reached the whole truth but I believe I’m closer to it than I used to be.

    I disagree that there can be no life without loss. Loss is an interpretation, you can be far from someone and still feel connected to them, feel that you haven’t lost them. You can see death as a passage rather than the end, and consider that you are still connected to your loved ones who passed away and that you will see them again. Seeing things that way you don’t have to see loss in life, only change.

    Also I see desire and suffering as more fundamental than loss, since for instance if one doesn’t desire anything there is no life and thus no loss.
  • Possibility
    781
    I wouldn’t say we ‘clashed’ on this in the past, more like we disagreed, in the end I want the truth to come out I never try to impose my ideas onto others, it’s simply when I’m convinced that I see something that the other side doesn’t see that I become more persistent, but even if the other side still disagrees after all my efforts I don’t keep ill feelings, maybe simply a little sadness that we couldn’t come to agree, sometimes there are things we simply aren’t ready yet to understand, this counts for others but this counts for me too, I don’t claim to have reached the whole truth but I believe I’m closer to it than I used to be.leo

    You’re right - ‘clash’ was the wrong word. But we do continue to disagree, and from your reply here, I have a feeling we’re going to pick up close to where we left off, and perhaps even go over the same ground again. I’m fine with that, and I do enjoy these discussions with you. They are both respectful and challenging.

    I disagree that there can be no life without loss. Loss is an interpretation, you can be far from someone and still feel connected to them, feel that you haven’t lost them. You can see death as a passage rather than the end, and consider that you are still connected to your loved ones who passed away and that you will see them again. Seeing things that way you don’t have to see loss in life, only change.leo

    I agree that we can be far from someone and still feel connected to them, that we haven’t lost them. This is an understanding that what we lose in physical connection is only part of the connection we’ve had with them all along. But you can’t say that we haven’t lost something here - we’re just not suffering from that loss, because we recognise that there is more to our loved one than the physical or temporal aspects we’ve lost. And we have lost those aspects of them - you can call it change, which refers to either loss or pain, or both, but I see it as roughly the same awareness. Denying the loss is denying that they had a physical or temporal aspect at all, which I don’t believe is being honest with ourselves. But I don’t think we’re that far from understanding each other here.

    Also I see desire and suffering as more fundamental than loss, since for instance if one doesn’t desire anything there is no life and thus no loss.leo

    This is where we differ, because I consider an experience of loss/lack to be fundamental not just to life, but to existence - to all forms of interaction in the universe. I pair loss/lack because they refer to the same basic sense of incompletion (although loss has a temporal aspect). Without interaction, there can be no loss, but there is loss without desire and without life. There is no desire without an experience of lack, however.
  • Spirit12
    26
    What are the difference between constructive, deconstructive/reconstructive and destructive suffering?
  • Spirit12
    26
    Like if we are doing push up vs being forced to do pushup
  • ovdtogt
    384
    We suffer in many ways: illness, pain, fear, cold, hunger.... And then there is the suffering we cause ourselves: jealousy, envy, hatred, fear...
    How much you suffer from these things you have a certain amount of (mind) control over.
  • leo
    704
    I’m fine with that, and I do enjoy these discussions with you. They are both respectful and challenging.Possibility

    :up:

    But you can’t say that we haven’t lost something here - we’re just not suffering from that loss, because we recognise that there is more to our loved one than the physical or temporal aspects we’ve lost. And we have lost those aspects of them - you can call it change, which refers to either loss or pain, or both, but I see it as roughly the same awareness. Denying the loss is denying that they had a physical or temporal aspect at all, which I don’t believe is being honest with ourselves. But I don’t think we’re that far from understanding each other here.Possibility

    Sure, but any change can be interpreted as a loss. The night can be interpreted as a loss of the Sun, the day can be interpreted as a loss of the night sky, the absence of happiness can be interpreted as a loss of happiness, the presence of happiness can be interpreted as a loss of however it is we felt beforehand. Even the loss of suffering can be interpreted as a loss. Talking of loss this way is simply talking of change. Usually we refer to loss as something leading to suffering, but equating loss with change misses that negative aspect of loss.

    Loss in itself doesn’t lead to suffering, it is only if there was attachment to what is lost that there is suffering, only if there was a desire to keep experiencing what is no more experienced, to stay connected to what we have become disconnected from. As the Buddhists say it is attachment to desire that leads to suffering, or more precisely when we are attached to something and we lose connection to that thing. It is attachment + loss that leads to suffering, not loss alone or attachment alone. However while Buddhists see loss as inevitable because of the way things are, and thus conclude that in order to not suffer one has to be attached to nothing, I believe it is possible to progressively change the way things are so as to eventually get to a state where we never experience attachment + loss at the same time, and so a state where we never suffer.

    Because we are not always attached to the same things, and so loss (change) is not necessarily accompanied with suffering. For instance we can have a good time with someone and be attached to that experience while we live it (such as spending time with a friend), and then move on to other experiences and not suffer because we don’t remain attached to their physical presence, as we say goodbye and separate physically we remain connected through our memories, and so the change is not experienced as a suffering. Similarly if we come to know for sure that we will see our loved ones again, and we remain connected to them in some way, we will not suffer from the loss of their physical presence.

    This is where we differ, because I consider an experience of loss/lack to be fundamental not just to life, but to existence - to all forms of interaction in the universe. I pair loss/lack because they refer to the same basic sense of incompletion (although loss has a temporal aspect). Without interaction, there can be no loss, but there is loss without desire and without life. There is no desire without an experience of lack, however.Possibility

    When loss is equated with change I agree that change is fundamental to existence, there is no existence without change.

    But I’m not certain that there can be change without desire and without life. That’s the view of physicalism, which assumes that everything that exists behaves according to physical laws, that these laws were not created by a being and that nothing can break these laws, but I disagree with that view for various reasons. It is possible that there is no existence without at least a being, that existence and being necessarily go together. It makes more sense than saying that somehow for unexplainable reasons being and consciousness arose from dead particles that behave according to unchanging laws which are there for no reason at all.

    I’m also not certain that there is no desire without an experience of lack. Desire seems to me to be the will to create change. Sometimes that will stems from a lack, but sometimes not, for instance one can love someone while not lacking anything, we can have the desire to share with others what we have rather than the desire to take what we need. But I can agree that desire is the will to create a change that is not already there, to make happen what is not happening yet, so you could say that “what is not happening yet” is lacked, but that lack is not necessarily personal, it can be a lack perceived in others, for instance while thirst stems from a lack of water in our body, one can love others without lacking love. I do agree that a lack perceived in others can still count as a lack, but it’s important to not see all desire stemming from a lack in our own body (maybe that’s not what you meant but just in case I felt it important to point out).

    I agree with the idea that desire is linked to incompletion, through desire we create change to fulfill something. For instance through the desire to end suffering we progressively change our beliefs and the world. Maybe once we reach truth, once we reach completeness, complete fulfillment, there would be no more desire as we would already have the world/existence we strive for, no more suffering, and only universal love, harmony and unity.
  • Possibility
    781
    What are the difference between constructive, deconstructive/reconstructive and destructive suffering?Spirit12

    Like if we are doing push up vs being forced to do pushupSpirit12

    The question is, are you suffering if you choose to do push ups, or are you simply experiencing pain? Are you suffering if you’re aware that the pain is constructive or reconstructive? Why or why not? There may be a part of you that calls it ‘suffering’, but you wouldn’t entirely agree, otherwise you wouldn’t choose to do them. In my view, to call push ups we’ve chosen to do ‘suffering’ points to different levels of awareness in the body that contribute to the mind.

    On the other hand, we may be led to believe we have no choice but to do push ups - what you refer to as forced. There would be more of a consensus from you that this is ‘suffering’, but it’s still a perception that the pain has no aim (constructive/deconstructive/reconstructive) - which in my view is a lack of awareness. If the person ‘forcing’ you to do push ups is holding a gun to your head, then the pain you’re experiencing is preventing a bullet in the brain. If they’re a drill sergeant in the army, then the pain you’re experiencing is preventing what you would consider to be greater suffering: humiliation, pain and loss from isolation, exclusion, etc. If they’re a boot camp instructor, then the pain is a consequence of your decision to get into shape - a reconstruction of your body, as it were.

    But in each of these situations, the reality is that you still have a choice - you’ve simply excluded your alternatives. There is no imperative here, no force, except the one imposed through ignorance, isolation and exclusion. You can choose to get a bullet to the brain - except you exclude that option because your systems are geared towards the survival of the organism, and are completely unaware of anything beyond this. When you predict a bullet to the brain, for instance, that prediction comes with an overwhelmingly negative affect, and your systems will do what they can to prevent it. At a broader level of awareness, you’d be convinced by evolutionary theory that your motivation is survival, which fits with this negative affect. But if your awareness extends beyond this - to the recognition, for instance, that your interaction with the universe extends beyond your survival - then a bullet to the brain is still a choice, and there are many other things to consider.
  • ovdtogt
    384
    So we might say, in order to not suffer we have to desire nothing. But if we desire nothing then we do nothing, and we do not live. Does that mean that suffering is inextricably linked with life? No, because we haven't yet proven that desiring something necessarily implies suffering.leo

    Suffering has a strong linear relationship with unfulfilled desire. However this is merely mental suffering and is relatively harmless compared to other forms of suffering: Hunger, pain and fear.
  • Spirit12
    26
    So you believe choice exists within suffering. In the cases where one does not have choice, is a slave to playing out the pain, then this is truly suffering.

    Complaining at your arms getting stronger in a place where you have choice not to do pushups is not suffering.

    What think you of will or agency and how much agency do different people have? Do we all have opportunity of choice?
  • Wallows
    9.6k
    I see being detached from our desires as giving up on life itself, and letting others decide our life for us. As long as no one bothers us we can live that way, but if some natural phenomenon or someone attacks us we are at their mercy, and we leave our fate in their hands.leo

    That's rather jumping to conclusions, that attachment to desire equates with life itself. Why does this conclusion seem correct to you?
  • leo
    704
    Suffering has a strong linear relationship with unfulfilled desire. However this is merely mental suffering and is relatively harmless compared to other forms of suffering: Hunger, pain and fear.ovdtogt

    Mental suffering makes people kill themselves, so I wouldn’t say it is relatively harmless.

    There can be a strong feeling of hunger or pain without suffering. Masochists enjoy pain for instance (to some extent). There is suffering associated with these feelings when there is attachment to one’s own body and when these feelings are perceived as a sign that the body is threatened.

    The feeling of fear is not necessarily associated with suffering either, it is when again it is perceived as a threat to something we are attached to, such as our body. When that feeling is not perceived as a threat to something we are attached to it is not associated with suffering, for instance many people enjoy scary movies or rides for the thrill, because fundamentally they know they are not risking something they are attached to.

    And unfulfilled desire is not necessarily associated with suffering either, as long as we are working to fulfill it and believe that we will fulfill it we do not suffer, it is when we stop believing we will fulfill it that we lose our connection to it and we suffer.

    It really seems like attachment and loss are what are fundamentally linked to suffering rather than desire. Attachment + loss = suffering (or more generally attachment + perceived/believed/imagined loss = suffering).

    But attachment is important to life/existence, so in my view we should rather try to minimize simultaneous attachment+loss rather than try to become detached from everything. I’d prefer an existence where we’re all connected rather than an existence where we’re all detached from everything and everyone. Well people who want to be detached from everyone can go in that direction if that’s what they want, they’re not bothering anyone. But maybe they mistakenly believe that such a thing is possible, maybe there always remains something we can’t detach ourselves from.

    That's rather jumping to conclusions, that desire equates with life itself. Why does this conclusion seem correct to you?Wallows

    I said that desiring nothing implies doing nothing, but maybe that’s mistaken. Maybe it’s possible to be in some sort of free state where we can experience change without actually desiring anything because we already have what we desire.
  • Wallows
    9.6k
    I said that desiring nothing implies doing nothing, but maybe that’s mistaken. Maybe it’s possible to be in some sort of free state where we can experience change without actually desiring anything because we already have what we desire.leo

    Well, there seems to be multiple things going on here.

    First, it's assumed that we possess desires that are entirely available in discerning to the conscious mind, where in fact we do have many "desires" that are unknown to us, which can be called volitions.

    Second, it's assumed that needs are tantamount to desire, which I don't think is entirely true. There are some very deep needs that are prone to manipulation of them, such as the need for water.

    Third, there's a sort of fatalism present in the above. In that, it's assumed that we have desires that are not prone to denial and that in any case, we have a desire to fulfill our desires, no matter how outlandish they may seem or even detrimental to one's life. This presents a situation where, only in "heaven" will we have all our desires fulfilled, as long as they are allowed by some higher authority.

    Does any of that make sense to you?
  • Brett
    1.1k


    I see it as important to realize that Buddhism does not provide the only way to overcome suffering. In a way the solution of Buddhism is to give up on life, but that's not the only solution, we don't have to give up on life.leo

    I don’t think your comments about Buddhism are entirely accurate. In Buddhism life is suffering, that’s what life is. It’s the emphasis we put on things that brings our troubles. If we concentrate on ourselves we will have nothing but worry and suffering. Buddhism asks us to accept ourselves as a temporal embodiment of the truth, of Buddha nature. Buddhism doesn’t ask us to give up on life, in fact the opposite.

    However not being attached to desire means not being attached to life itself, if something threatens your life and you desire not to suffer then you are supposed to be content with the situation and accept your fate.leo

    It might appear that way, but life is precious in Buddhism, not to be tossed aside so easily. So I wouldn’t accept that sort of fatalism.
  • leo
    704


    Sure it's important to keep in mind that there are unconscious desires (which may be uncovered), thanks for pointing that out, but a Buddhist attempts to be detached from all desires, not just the conscious ones, so let's assume that I refer to all desires including the unconscious ones when I talk of "being detached from our desires".

    I don't see a fundamental distinction between between need and desire. I would say needs are a subset of desires. Needs are those desires that we believe we have to fulfill or else we will lose something important, whereas other desires could be seen as "nice to have" if they are fulfilled.

    Regarding your third point, if I understand you correctly, yes clearly there are desires that lead us down paths of suffering. As I mentioned in the first post some desires are incompatible, for instance if person A desires to hurt person B and person B doesn't desire to be hurt then both desires cannot be fulfilled. But it would be extremely premature to give up based on this sort of observation, because as I mentioned our desires aren't set in stone, many of them change throughout our life, through understanding the world and ourselves we can come to see which ones are worth pursuing and which should be abandoned, our beliefs can change too, so in principle it could be possible to reach a state where all people come to have mutually compatible desires that can be fulfilled.




    Yes Buddhism doesn't tell us to kill ourselves, it doesn't explicitly tell us to give up on life, but in the world we have now, being completely detached from our desires means being completely at the mercy of outside forces that threaten our life, so if some terrorist tries to kill a Buddhist, or if the Buddhist has a severe infection that threatens his life, what is the Buddhist going to do if he is detached from his desires? Wouldn't he let the terrorist or the infection kill him and simply watch it happen, not opposing it? He cannot suffer by being completely detached but he can also die pretty quickly depending on what threatens his life, and if we all behaved like that what hope would there be to ever change the way things are now? That's why I don't see "being detached from our desires" as a global solution to suffering, it can help some people in some situations, but if we all did that the human species wouldn't last long.
  • leo
    704
    Here is an interesting insight: we could see feelings as perceptions, just like with see sight or smell as perceptions.

    For instance the feeling of hunger or thirst tells us something about ourselves, about our body, that other senses do not see. The feeling of fear tells us something about what might happen. We can do that with all feelings. And where I want to go with this is that the feeling of love would tell us about the connections between ourselves and other beings or other things, whereas the feeling of suffering would tell us about these connections being destroyed. That fits quite well with the observation that when we are attached to something or someone, suffering occurs when we lose that attachment.

    Love and suffering would be senses that tell us about real connections that exist and that the other senses do not see.

    Going down that path can give quite an amazing picture of the world and existence.

    Belief is a feeling too, it would be a window into the future that we create through our actions.

    Desire is a feeling as well, it would tell us what we are going to do, and gives us the opportunity to change course.

    Seriously, think about it. What if we've been misinterpreting feelings all along?
  • Wallows
    9.6k
    Sure it's important to keep in mind that there are unconscious desires (which may be uncovered), thanks for pointing that out, but a Buddhist attempts to be detached from all desires, not just the conscious ones, so let's assume that I refer to all desires including the unconscious ones when I talk of "being detached from our desires".leo

    How can you be detached from an unconscious desire?

    I don't see a fundamental distinction between between need and desire. I would say needs are a subset of desires. Needs are those desires that we believe we have to fulfill or else we will lose something important, whereas other desires could be seen as "nice to have" if they are fulfilled.leo

    I don't think it makes sense to generalize every volition to some kind of implicit desire, don't you think?

    Regarding your third point, if I understand you correctly, yes clearly there are desires that lead us down paths of suffering. As I mentioned in the first post some desires are incompatible, for instance if person A desires to hurt person B and person B doesn't desire to be hurt then both desires cannot be fulfilled. But it would be extremely premature to give up based on this sort of observation, because as I mentioned our desires aren't set in stone, many of them change throughout our life, through understanding the world and ourselves we can come to see which ones are worth pursuing and which should be abandoned, our beliefs can change too, so in principle it could be possible to reach a state where all people come to have mutually compatible desires that can be fulfilled.leo

    Yes, well my point was that desires aren't always acted on, so it's not as forceful a matter that one always has to act on their desires to attain happiness or that not doing so will produce suffering?
  • ovdtogt
    384
    Do you know what relative means?
    A need is essential to survival.
  • Possibility
    781
    Sure, but any change can be interpreted as a loss. The night can be interpreted as a loss of the Sun, the day can be interpreted as a loss of the night sky, the absence of happiness can be interpreted as a loss of happiness, the presence of happiness can be interpreted as a loss of however it is we felt beforehand. Even the loss of suffering can be interpreted as a loss. Talking of loss this way is simply talking of change. Usually we refer to loss as something leading to suffering, but equating loss with change misses that negative aspect of loss.leo

    Yes, and it has been interpreted in these ways in various cultures and philosophies. But it’s more than an interpretation - it’s an awareness of various aspects of reality, and how we interact with change at each dimensional level. Referring to all of these, including death, as ‘change’ is a five-dimensional awareness - recognition that we interact with an aspect of reality beyond spacetime. I think perhaps you and I take this aspect as a given, but not everyone does, and so they’re likely to suffer from loss experienced at a four-dimensional level rather than see it as ‘change’.

    When loss is equated with change I agree that change is fundamental to existence, there is no existence without change.

    But I’m not certain that there can be change without desire and without life. That’s the view of physicalism, which assumes that everything that exists behaves according to physical laws, that these laws were not created by a being and that nothing can break these laws, but I disagree with that view for various reasons. It is possible that there is no existence without at least a being, that existence and being necessarily go together. It makes more sense than saying that somehow for unexplainable reasons being and consciousness arose from dead particles that behave according to unchanging laws which are there for no reason at all.
    leo

    That’s not necessarily physicalism - a view I also disagree with. Change occurs in chemical reactions, without desire and without life. You don’t need to be a physicalist to recognise this as a reality, and you don’t need to believe in the existence of a being beyond time to be aware of existence beyond time. That’s my view - it’s far from conventional, and probably requires another thread to explain properly, but I don’t see particles that were never alive as ‘dead’, or see being as necessary for existence.
  • ovdtogt
    384
    life: a replicating chemical reaction.
  • Possibility
    781
    So you believe choice exists within suffering. In the cases where one does not have choice, is a slave to playing out the pain, then this is truly suffering.

    Complaining at your arms getting stronger in a place where you have choice not to do pushups is not suffering.

    What think you of will or agency and how much agency do different people have? Do we all have opportunity of choice?
    Spirit12

    I think it’s very much dependent on awareness of choice. We can’t always choose our circumstances or what happens to us, but as human beings we always have the capacity to choose how we respond to each interaction - if only we were fully aware of that capacity. I think we suffer from ignorance, isolation and exclusion in this respect, more than we suffer from pain, loss or humiliation.
  • Possibility
    781
    life: a replicating chemical reaction.ovdtogt

    More like a self-replicating system of interacting chemical reactions.
  • ovdtogt
    384
    More like a self-replicating system of interacting chemical reactions.Possibility

    Yes. I just wanted to express it in the least amount of words possible.
  • Spirit12
    26
    I think it’s very much dependent on awareness of choice. We can’t always choose our circumstances or what happens to us, but as human beings we always have the capacity to choose how we respond to each interaction - if only we were fully aware of that capacity. I think we suffer from ignorance, isolation and exclusion in this respect, more than we suffer from pain, loss or humiliation.Possibility

    I like what you think, reading back it make sense. You have even included possibility of man suffering due to ignorance of a early asymptomatic cancer even though he feel nothing from it and you have also removed suffering from some forms of pain where they do not belong.
  • Spirit12
    26
    This raise question, can a happy man be suffering?
  • Possibility
    781
    This raise question, can a happy man be suffering?Spirit12

    Not according to himself. But it’s certainly possible for outside observers to assume suffering where there is none.
  • Spirit12
    26
    Is being in state of denial not a form of suffering? Here I observe man to be happy. I don't know though. He could be happily walking into ambush with three attackers down street. Maybe even I tell him about attackers but he choose not believe and is wilful ignorance which in this case could be seen as someone who just is not suffering yet?
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