Why do we experience suffering, and see so much of it around us? What can we do about this for ourselves and for others?
It is best for us to start by getting clear what suffering is. It is a simple confusion of end result of something we all do in every moment. It is an action we all take, one which goes mostly unseen, and one which when seen can be stopped. In doing so a deep sense of joy, freedom and bliss is uncovered.
The action which causes suffering follows from the most basic survival instinct we have. This is where we view the world as us looking out at people, places and objects. This difference, of us and of everything else, is what helps us determine what could hurt us or help us survive.
we understand this by dropping our need to understand what is happening conceptually and simply focus on our experience:
senses come in
there is a split of subject / object
this split carries with it an automatic attraction or aversion deeply subconscious
suffering occurs when we mix this attraction or aversion into our senses of who we are
we are this collection of attractions and aversions
and then when what we are attracted to or want to avert doesn't happen we suffer
we see a beautiful iphone and we have an automatic attraction to it.
we desire it
we feel suffering because we don't have it
this may be experienced as agitation, or always imagining the iPhone, or looking at others who already have it and feeling jealous or envious etc.
these are not feelings of joy, freedom or bliss
the world is not aligning in the moment with what we are attracted to
we create suffering in the difference between what object we have sensed, and its implicit attraction or aversion, and what is actually happening right now
once we get the iPhone, we feel happy
this is the feeling of suffering suddenly dissolved as reality has momentarily matched our desires
we associate this feeling with the iPhone, although it is simply the temporary relief from the attraction that we are enjoying, rather than anything related to the iPhone