Samsara is about experiences, experiences are about suffering. More experiences, more suffering. I'd wish you good luck on your path Adumbra but unfortunately I can't really see it going anywhere positive.
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
-The Prophet by Kalil Gibran
Not to be avoided, as long as you are in Samsara you cannot avoid suffering, but to be overcome. To end suffering.Adumbra wrote:Here's another annoying question: Is suffering so bad? Or, to be more specific: Is suffering something to be avoided?
wisdom wrote:Suffering may usually be considered in the context of emotions, but in Buddhism suffering means attachment, attachment means suffering.
gregkavarnos wrote:Except that suffering can also be based upon aversion.
Adumbra wrote: 'suffering' is only a word people use to denote a multitude of different emotions that actually have very little relationship to one another. The suffering of a broken bone is a very different thing from the suffering of a broken heart. One I avoid, the other I would not renounce for a million dollars.
Adumbra wrote:I have sometimes been accused in my life of being vain and arrogant and I must admit that it is true. I do feel very highly of myself. However, one thing I try to avoid is degrading others. It seems to me that someone who is truly and utterly convinced of their greatness should feel no need to slander and insult others or persecute those whom they consider to be lesser beings. After all, everything in this world has its place; even the lowly earth worm enrichs the soil. This is how I feel about most people. Not to say that I see them as worms, but I don't despise them just because they are inferior to me in many respects and I'm also gracious enough to acknowledge those few people who I see as superior to myself in every respect (and I'm envious enough to seek to surpass them). Contempt I reserve for the child who uses a magnifying glass to set ants on fire because the only way he can feel powerful is by killing and torturing tiny beings who stand no chance of defending themselves.
I know Buddhism is dead-set against pride and egoism, as are most religions. But to me pride need not be a bad thing and in fact can be beneficial. Proud people are not easily influenced by cults or mass political movements like Nazism. Since they see clearly that no leader or self-proclaimed prophet could be inherently wiser than them, they feel no need to be led or seek answers from such posers. It was my egoism as a teen and young adult which prevented me from becoming a drug addict, since I was simply too proud to allow myself to be enslaved by a pill and the pushers who sold it. It is my egoism right now which renders me immune to all criticism and peer pressure, and taunts. I've been baited before, called a coward, by someone who thought an arrogant person like me could be easily provoked into fighting them. But instead of punching him in the face I just kept walking without even giving him a glance. As far as I'm concerned, if he wishes to see what a coward I am he can always stop talking and try to attack me.
So is egoism always such a negative personality trait?
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