The cause of all suffering...

topic posted Mon, January 9, 2006 - 11:24 PM by  कल्कि ॐJuBaLॐ
...This is were I disagree with classical Buddhist thought.

The Four Noble Truths state that all suffering is caused by desire...

I disagree...

I believe that not only all suffering but also all limitation is caused by fear...

Any thoughts on this?
  • I agree .. but also .. why would you fear it when you do not desire it. How far these two really stand from each other. In the end one might just fear to desire and desire not to fear.

    • or desire to fear
      • though one could say that desire is caused by fear... fear of not having what you desire.... One could also say that it is that very fear of not having that house, that car, that girl, that whatever, that drives us toward our goals and thus gives our desires power over us...
        • firstly I have to say .. I really know nothing about buddha LOL, heh. Always started to read something.. but it never really put down any roots. It really want's to elude me ..

          you are probably right. ... fear is the closes from words.. that could describe pain. But again .. it's a sircle. You start from fear and you end up with love... if you would really start thinking.

          but what intrigues me... is the construct of pain. I mean what is pain really. It is the third element .. when the love and the fear are released.. the result or the road is pain... thin red line you walk not to get away but inside of the pain where all the information lies. And if you get that information you'l never feel pain in that certain situation again...:) and then you think you actually know something.. ego hops in and there you are again walking on that thin red line.

          I dont know, Im just talking BS.. im tired.. il sleep now.. peace :)
  • It's not desire - it's attachment... they are different.

    Attachment is both clinging and aversion, and fear can fall under the idea of aversion.
    • I'd say that attachment is a fear based emotion... IMO, the fear of not having said thing(s) causes said attachment... what do you think?
      • no love can be a form of attachment
        • at·tach·ment (ə-tăch'mənt) n.
          1.The act of attaching or the condition of being attached.
          2.Something, such as a tie, band, or fastener, that attaches one thing to another.
          3.A bond, as of affection or loyalty; fond regard.

          Everything is attached... everything is connected... it is the illusion of non-attachment that feeds fear... Fear of being seperated from which you are attached...
          • ;)
            • Fear is suffering, pain is suffering, feeling disconnected, hatred, self pity, are all forms of suffering, but I think what you are looking for is the substance of suffering. The root of its beginning.
              I feel without the substance of suffering, there would be now balance, and no nirvana.
              But I also think that within our DNA we have the largest library of past cultural suffering. So with that knowledge,(and know I ask you the question) HOW DO WE BRAKE AWAY!!!!
              • by choosing love over fear... by awakening to the fact that their is nothing to fear...

                "Fear is the mind killer" -Dune

                When you no longer fear suffering it changes form... it still exists but it doesn't effect you in the same fashion... the same could be said of anything

                Firewalking has been the most transformational experience I've ever had in overcoming fear...
                • > "Fear is the mind killer" -Dune <

                  but isn't fear love? can one not choose fear to experience love? it's like ... + and - AND .. the subjective, the between the so called TAO is. I see t hat there is no way having one without other.

                  > Firewalking has been the most transformational experience I've ever had in overcoming fear... <

                  -- wasn't the understanding of fear .. and love.. the between to let you step in the inferno. I have never done this.. I have an enormous fear of pain of that kind :).. damn. How did it feel.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    I can'tagree with love and fearbeingthe same, contentment and understanding are moreso love. . yet arn't. . .
                    • but what about loving fear. Then they kinda blend with eachother and the notion of fear is lost. So what was fear in the first place? I just keep running in circles trying to define it. ... nope .. nothing.... can't.. ..was fear seperate from love when I had fear or did I just not understand it.
                      I did one session with mushrooms ... when I sensed space warping and I saw my face.. I saw into the past when I walked trough the kitchen as I had done just 5 seconds before. And saw the edges of some spirits and I was not affraid cose I could understand it. But later off shroom I tryed to get there again and when I sensed the same stuff I was so affraid cose I coul'dnt understand it.
                      • Fear = separate, weak, partial
                        Love = connected, strong, whole

                        Everything is connected... everything is One... Therefore being separate is an illusion... as is fear... but... Does that make it less real? No... It's all real... and it's all connected...
                        There is only one source of power... you can be connected and get your power from that source... or you can choose to disconnect yourself from that source and parasitically get your power from others who get power from that source... parasites use fear in order to get your power... they especially play on your fears of being separate, hurt, lost, alone and of not getting that which you need or desire... Which is ultimately bullshit... We are eternal beings... interdependent not independent... One... You might not get what you want... but you will get what you need... That's what Karma is...

                        There is nothing to fear.... not even fear itself...
                        • <We are eternal beings... interdependent not independent... One... You might not get what you want... but you will get what you need... That's what Karma is...

                          There is nothing to fear.... not even fear itself... >

          • J
            offline 24
            You know, I've read this string about twice, and I'm a little confused. I just think there is is a general misunderstanding as to what the Buddha meant by his four noble truths. (Not to say that I'm the best Buddhist, so you should check out what I say for yourself because I could be wrong.) It is attachment to an object/thing is that causes fear (which is a type of suffering). It is also our desire for things or persons or ideas that causes suffering (because many times we see the world wrongly and are dissappointed with reality, thus we reject it causing suffering, or long for it causing suffering (the aversion/attachment connundrum). I also think that this 'everything is attached' is just a misunderstanding of Buddhist thought on emptiness (because while I do not understand it that much), from what I've heard and read (which is not a lot), that all objects are generally empty in themselves as we see them, and they are not only interconnected but completely intertwined. Buddhism (from what I've learned) does not say that we "fear" other things. It says that we arbitrary call things separate (when they are just the sum of many parts and many causes), then we think that these arbitrary thing will end our suffering, but it is our attachment to these empty things that causes suffering via (attachment/aversion) and this suffering results in "fear," "hatred," "greed," etc. I could be wrong about this, and I probably am because I have a very limited understanding of all of this. But, I do think that most of this thread is caused by just a misunderstanding of what the noble truths means. I think first, it's mistranslation, because we look at translated words which don't fully contain the original meaning of the text or thought, then we try to describe those words these "translated" words. Also, the thread here says that there is an illusion of non-attachment. Buddhism says that the illusion is separatness and that we long for these illusions to calm our minds and solve our suffering, when they do not (because they are intrinsically different than how we view them and what we consider they can do to our happyness). Am I wrong about this?... won't be the first time.
            • I see that a distinction needs to be made between desire and attachment, as DangerAngel and Jonny pointed out.

              Though I must say that initially, without contemplating this point further, I would have flatly agreed with Jubal's statement: "I believe that not only all suffering but also all limitation is caused by fear...", because I do believe fear is the major cause of suffering plaguing our planet, and I do see a polar relationship between fear and Love, the latter of which I see as the only way we can overcome our dilemma(s) on this planet. I tend to believe everything in the realm we generally comprehend appears in pairs of opposites. So while considering that and the insight provided into Buddhist thought, I decided that if Fear and Love were at opposite extremes of a circle and one wishes, for harmony's sake, to stay in the center of that circle, one would not wish to pull all the way to the Love side, to avoid fear altogether, or one would offset the balance. Perhaps the ring love and fear embody can be labeled "desire", which seems to be the motivating force behind our actions. We may desire (subconsciously) to pull to the side of fear, because there's a lesson in that. Or we may desire to pull to the side of Love cause there's a lesson in that. So the overall lesson of this circle named desire is don't be attached to either side, fear or love. "Stay in the center watching" ~Lao Tzu Therefore, being attached to the feeling of fear or the feeling of Love is going to cause suffering.

              This pulled me into another idea though. Imagine that instead of being in a circle, sitting between love and fear, you are in a sphere with another ring around you. This ring embodies attachment and non-attachment. The Love/Fear ring is applied vertically, love at the top, fear at the bottom, which, in my view, correlates with the chakra system and gravity/anti-gravity. Then a horizontal ring is around you, representing attachment and non-attachment, two directions you can walk. So always the optimal place to be is in the center, the heart chakra. We can see, through this analogy, the neccessity of fear, as that's what keeps us on the planet, on our toes. Whereas we also need the connection of universal love, emanating from our crown chakra, so we know we are safe, in a vast multiverse that we created.

              Here may be a good place to make a distinction between the love in our heart chakra and the love in the crown chakra, to work around the deficiency in our language and popular thought. As I see it, the "cosmic consciousness" embodied in the crown chakra is synonymous with "universal love", a vast knowing/being of all beingness, a knowing that all is one. The root chakra, responsible for sheer survival on this planet, represents "fear", the feeling of utter separation, "little me, alone on this strange planet". So right in the middle of an awareness that I am separate, and must be on guard, on my toes, and an awareness that I am Everything, is the balance in the heart chakra, an awareness of both realities, a connection to the reality we are collectively experiencing. The crown: "Universal Love" and the heart: a personal love, unique to our station and experience. The "star of David". Obviously, our culture is stuck in the lower three chakras, plagued with fear and material lust. So, I believe strongly that we need to pull mightily to the side of Love, so we can get back in the middle, where we feel harmony, and can take care of business with clear awareness and a feeling of togetherness. If we go all the way up into the clouds (and stay there), we're not paying attention to what's happening on the ground. The middle path.

              So what about that second ring, "attachment/non-attachment"? Well, if the reality we live in can be simplified to us in the center of a sphere with two rings around us, here's my theory: Time is our common reality, "the matrix" in which we percieve these five senses, but not the entire reality, just the program we know. We feel time going backward and forward, which accounts for two directions. In the manifest world, we can walk in one direction at a time, back/forward, side/side. But what we tend not to perceive is that time/reality has another dimention, up/down, which accounts for the "love/fear" ring. On a conceptual level, here borrowing from "taoism", we want to stay in the center, doing without doing. Therefore, we are not walking forward, toward the object of attachment, or backward, away from it. We are floating in place, yet everything gets done. How? By observing that the ring is all illusion. There is no ring, no sphere. Those are a game or a drama. The game will go on, but we need not be attached to the future or the past. By staying in the center and not letting desire take us in any direction, we do what comes to us, by order of the universe. So maybe we should also not be too concerned with love or fear? I still think that's useful, just as is forward/back time. Maybe we should just take a look at where we are in our sphere and make adjustments.

              So how do we avoid suffering? By staying in the center, watching.

              • Oh, and thanks for this awesome discussion, Jubal. You really got me contemplating and helped to develop my own understanding.

                I know there is still much in what I wrote above that could be elaborated on. I just don't want to wear out my welcome here, if I haven't already. :)

                Quickly, "the cause of suffering": being off balance. ;)
                • Understanding- Oneness, Interdependence, Completion, Truth; You treat everyone and everything with great virtue compassion and respect as you realize that it is all a part of you. No need to struggle or cling to anything right? Why try to attach oneself to what one is already a part of?

                  Misunderstanding- Selfishness, Independence, Separate, False; You look out for yourself primarily as it matters more than everything else. Constantly struggling to posses and cling to what you view as separate from you it constantly slips through your grasp and eludes you. Thus creating great suffering on many levels…

                  I like what Thaddeus said below ~8)

                  “F alse
                  E vidence
                  A ppearing
                  R eal”
  • I would say that the cause of suffering is attachment. Desire has an implication of attachment to something. Fear can be a manifestation of attachment (fear of losing something) or generate an attachment to avoiding fear versus experiencing the fear without meaning or attachment to the meaning that we give it. It seems to me that attachment can be underneath fear and desire. Just a thought from a fellow explorer.

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