Is suffering illusion?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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DarwidHalim
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Location: Neither Samsara nor Nirvana

Is suffering illusion?

Postby DarwidHalim » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:10 am

Dear members,

I would like to ask your opinion about suffering. Is suffering real or illusion?

If I quote from [Samyutta Nikaya LVI, 11]

The First Noble Truth with its three aspects is: "There is suffering, dukkha. Dukkha should be understood. Dukkha has been understood."

My question is:
a) There is (REAL) suffering, (REAL) dukkha.
b) There is (ILLUTION) suffering, (ILLUTION) dukkha.

WHich one is correct according to you?

I would like to introduce you this famous Chinese lesson.

"An old Chinese farmer loses his best horse one day. His neighbors come over to express their regrets, to which the farmer replies, "Good or bad, ... how do I know?"

The next day the prized horse returns bringing with it 6 other wild horses. His neighbors come over to speak of what good fortune has fallen to him. The farmer responds, "Good or bad, ... how do I know?"

The following day the farmer's son begins training the wild horses, but is thrown off and breaks his leg. Again the neighbors come to bemoan what they feel is the farmer's bad luck. He answers, "Good or bad, ... how do I know?"

On the rising of the next sun, army officers come by looking for young recruits to take off to war, but because the son's leg is broken, they leave him with his father. The neighbors come over to exclaim how well everything has turned out, to which the old farmer says again, "Good or bad, ... how do I know?"
"
As from this story tell us, from any phenomena, we cannot say it is good or bad. We cannot tell it is suffering or happiness. At least this is what I have learned from that story.

When compare it with the first noble truth: There is suffering, dukkha.

But from that story, suffering can arise and cannot arise, so "there is suffering, dukkha" is not alwayt true. It depends on your mindset, attitude, attachment, etc.

If something can arise and cannot arise, do you say it as real or illusion?

When you see something as real, how does it help you to get rif of something you don't like it? Do you reject it like an enemy?

When you see something as illusion, how does it help you to get rif of something you don't like it? Do you accept it as what it is because since day 1 you know it is not a suffering, but your reaction?

:anjali:
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

David2
Posts: 930
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Location: Germany

Re: Is suffering illusion?

Postby David2 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:22 am

Dukkha is real, but it is based on illusion.

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acinteyyo
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Location: Bavaria / Germany

Re: Is suffering illusion?

Postby acinteyyo » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:55 am

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

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Ben
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Is suffering illusion?

Postby Ben » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:04 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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acinteyyo
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Location: Bavaria / Germany

Re: Is suffering illusion?

Postby acinteyyo » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:35 am

Last edited by acinteyyo on Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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daverupa
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Re: Is suffering illusion?

Postby daverupa » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:39 am


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Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Is suffering illusion?

Postby Ben » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:53 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Dan74
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Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: Is suffering illusion?

Postby Dan74 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:46 pm

Suffering is empty of any inherent essence. It is really a mass of mental habit built upon ignorance that can be seen through and dissolved. In that sense it is an illusion or a misunderstanding of a sort.

Like Ajahn Brahm has said even in the hells, the door out is always open.
_/|\_

santa100
Posts: 2673
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Is suffering illusion?

Postby santa100 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:43 pm

It depends on the frame of reference. To the Buddha or any enlightened one who has reached pari-nibbana, obviously dukkha no longer holds. But to us mortals, who are still struggling to swim across the ocean of suffering, then sure, dukkha is still very real. Thank you DarwidHalim for the great lesson. And here's another good one straight from Matrix, the movie. The scene is when Neo had just been unplugged from the Matrix and undergoing training by the great Morpheus. They trained inside a virtual simulation and Neo was doing his first "long jump" attempt by jumping from one building to another. The first attempt failed and Neo got a big nasty fall down to the ground (virtual ground that is). When they got out of the simulation, Neo was all tired and stuff, wiping blood from his mouth and said to Morpheus: "You said it wasn't real". And Morpheus replied: "Well, your mind makes it real". So, is Morpheus' suffering real or not real? Well, the only way to know is to see if there's still blood in his mouth... :smile:

chownah
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Re: Is suffering illusion?

Postby chownah » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:21 pm

Last edited by chownah on Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

whynotme
Posts: 479
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:52 am

Re: Is suffering illusion?

Postby whynotme » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:25 pm

Please stop following me

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Dan74
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Re: Is suffering illusion?

Postby Dan74 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:39 pm

Check out this page, whynotme:



In my own words, we perpetuate our own suffering ("Mind is the forerunner of all things"). Once we see that there is a choice, that we don't have to go there, suffering ends. We walk out the door. We've all done it with some things, just not all things. :smile:
_/|\_

pegembara
Posts: 1140
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:39 am

Re: Is suffering illusion?

Postby pegembara » Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:48 pm

A man realise he had a winning lottery number but unfortunately for him, he was too late and was unable to claim "his" prize of a million dollars. He would obviously be very upset thinking he had lost what was "his" for the taking. Would he be right in thinking the money was "his" although he was too late to claim it? The money couldn't have been his in the first place or he would have won it! If it wasn't his, he had no right to be upset.

His illusion/delusion that the winnings was "his" [claiming ownership] caused his suffering.

It is delusion/illusion of ownership (my property, body, family etc etc) that creates dukkha.

Suffering has a cause, that is the delusion of taking things to be me, mine and myself.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Dan74
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Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: Is suffering illusion?

Postby Dan74 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:59 pm

And perhaps the delusion that there is a lottery to be won...
_/|\_

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octathlon
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Location: USA

Re: Is suffering illusion?

Postby octathlon » Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:43 am



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