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Buddhism is generally misunderstood as a way to END SUFFERING, however Buddha knew there was no way “out of suffering” – this way does not exist – not even for him, he suffered a lot from all the misunderstanding in his students and finally died of food poisoning, which certainly was not without suffering .
However with right understanding we can end piling unnecessary suffering on the part that is unavoidable.
And Jesus did not die on the cross to relief us from our sins (as another noble illusion) or because he did not know the SECRET of Buddha on how to get “out of suffering” but because he was meant to show that “through suffering – if taken in the right way you can rise from the dead” (coincidently and un-intended I am writing this on Easter-Sunday, after just having another incident that caused intense suffering). It is the esoteric message of Easter that whenever you accept the Cross (the symbol of being pulled by the 2 polarities) you will feel discomfort but you will be able to rise-from-the-dead, not once but thousands of times in one life time. This realization that suffering can become a way for transformation was taken, like anything else, to an extreme where monks and Fakirs would create artificial pain.
It’s a noble illusion that the 8-fold way would “get you out of suffering”. Buddha has given it for those who are not yet ready for the ultimate reality, but want and can work in the right direction . Certainly this way has created some of the most beautiful societies like Thailand, but suffering has not stopped even for those who followed this way to the utmost.
On the contrary Buddhism has given the opportunity to get more suffering by becoming a monk, poverty, no sex, obedience … However through the voluntary acceptance of the causes of suffering (which does not leave much room to blame) many have realized THAT SUFFERING WILL NOT END and that in fact that by resisting it, it will only increase. The Buddhists have realized this ultimate lesson that by accepting suffering, not just in the mind but in actual facts one reduces suffering to its minimum.
The 2 main ways how we increase suffering from the “necessary minimum” are to BLAME and to EXPLAIN. For this reason I always strongly suggested not to use the CoRe system to explain to the client why he is sick, as this will never in the long-run reduce the suffering but always increase it, although sometimes it can give a short-term sense of relief
Once a monk approached him and insisted he answer questions about the origins and extent of the universe and other speculative matters. The Buddha refused, saying that humanity was like a man pierced by a poison arrow and that the good physician’s role was to remove this arrow, not to tell the afflicted man what type of wood the arrow was made from, what type of feather was used for the flight or the biography of the man who shot it. He then said: ‘And why do I not answer all your questions? Because they are not useful… http://www.buddhisma2z.com/content.php?id=286
Also it is a general misunderstanding that it would be a sign of enlightenment if one could stay calm and smiling under the most difficult circumstances. This mistaken perception was created because the first teachers in the west were either Asian and thus where either highly conditioned not to not express emotions or were Indian who have by nature the most sleepy and placid conditioning. (I have lived there for 5 years and know how attractive this can be for a restless western mind).
Of course there is nothing wrong trying to stay calm, friendly, unmoved – no matter how much someone or something offends you – but to think that the fact that you can do it to some degree means that you have somewhat mastered the way to enlightenment will need to be broken down eventually with even more pain. AND it does not mean that you are further away from enlightenment and bliss than some smiling guru who never changes his face in public, particularly if he is Thai or Indian, because you have momentary eruptions of emotional fire.
The final realization will be that “Suffering will never stop” and it will only come from the deepest level of your being when you realize that there are plenty of ways that you attempted many lifetimes to “Make Suffering impossible” that in fact made things worse and prolong it.
Having security (money, titles, property including owning a spouse) – is a way to avoid suffering. Avoiding DLE, risk, the unknown (people, places, occupation and professions) is a way to avoid suffering. Blaming others is a way to fuel the illusion that suffering should not and could not have happened. Explaining suffering is a way to move it from the emotional and physical to the less intense one of the mental level and make it more difficult to accept the unavoidable nature of suffering.
When you realize all this, suffering will not stop and it may even become more intense, but you will be able to turn around so amazingly quickly and life becomes the bliss of ups and downs that we try to imitate on a roller-coaster ride or when we do anything else to tickle our nerves.