Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Suffering vs pain

Thanks heaps Bookbird for the great comment. Your point about the noble truths of Buddhism is a valuable one I think. Suffering of our own making. I've heard it said that Pain + acceptance = pain and Pain + non-acceptance = suffering. I reckon that mindful acceptance is an amazing thing to behold. Really hard to do though in the face of the ego and our tendency to get attached to our judgements each moment. Especially when it comes to the human need to attribute meaning to things and not just let them be things.I think it's perfectly understandable that we wish to overlay meaning on our experiences to give our lives weight. I do it all the time. Just today I said to my daughter that she was a 'good girl' for eating her dinner. Would she be a 'bad girl' if she refused. She might not be hungry afrter all. She might just reckon that the food isn't her thing. It makes me feel like a 'good' 'competent' and 'valid' parent if she does eat the food though and this drives my thoughtless evaluation of her behaviour. I did give it a second thought though. I reckon that second thoughts aren't real unless they are part of a configuration or 'gestalt' that I have insight into and that makes my relationship with the world a self aware and compassionate one.

Existentialism posits that we create meaning through choice and action moment by moment. It speaks of isolation, meaninglessness and pain as being central to common existence, however freedom going hand in hand with these truths. Compassionate and loving thoughts and actions come I think from an awareness that although there may not be some grand narrative, there can be your own narrative crafted moment to moment like a windblown crag exposed to the ceaseless comings and goings of the roaring wind and sea. This vista can seem cold, stark and brutal one moment, and the next fresh and luminous, while ever changing and relational. I reckon reading the section of Alan Watts' 'The Book' where he muses on relativity and relational configurations and patterns vs the 'newtonian billiards' view of the world is like having a veil of delusion lifted from your eyes momentarily only to have it gradually come back to rest. Until that is the next moment of clarity. Speaking of which....onward and ........onward.

Cheers big ears'!

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