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(203) Furta-cor

So, you say you follow the doctrine of awakening, popularly known as Buddhism, and yet you celebrate suffering—isn’t Buddhism meant to extinguish suffering? It’s a magical principle—to remove suffering you must accentuate and seek out suffering; if you increase it, then it will decrease—prepare for war, beget peace. In the mundane aspect this means that exposure to suffering leads to improvement, either you learn to avoid certain behaviours or you learn to surmount them—the suffering endured improves you, elevates you.

However, there is also suffering that cannot be avoided and that is intrinsic to life; and, in this case, I think that the suffering is in some way essential in order to derive any enjoyment from life at all—such suffering will never be surmounted and is ineradicable. Hence we expose ourselves to suffering in this respect in order to become indifferent to it—to “not mind that it hurts”. We do not deny that it hurts, it’s just we have disciplined ourselves not to mind—to be detached from it as we experience it. And, in any case, we recognise that suffering in this respect is essential in order to experience any joy whatsoever—the two depend upon each other.

The world provides ample suffering, it is in its nature—toothache, heartbreak, death. People who refuse to embrace suffering only live a half life—yet all their attempts to flee it will always fail because it is always there. Hence we must turn to face the tiger and, in so far as is possible, alchemically transmute pain into that which is higher; and, as for that which is ineradicable, we must learn to sit with it in a detached way. For the most part, people run away from it and so make it worse—yet it is essential to grow at all. It is only through the fiery contention—blow and counter-blow—that we can burn out our attachment to suffering and so experience it as it “is”.


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