Join Date: Jun 2007
You ask why would anyone choose suffering (over what). Iím not sure you understand suffering, what it is and why the average person holds on to it. There is no judgment in saying this only an observation. Reading the Buddha and the Christ you will know the answer from the perspective of great men. They tell us important things about the world and told us the world simply is pain and one must be prepared to give up the flesh to achieve something else. They realized the world (object) is less important then our attachment to it. Weíve heard this so often and we know they were talking in a physical/spiritual term. There exists a relationship between them.
Youíre focus is on half of a puzzle. But you should see something immediately, you see it your way, just as in your pawn analogy, itís a perspective of importance related to free choice and individuality, and there is something greater then the suffering. In a way the suffering you see over shadows and hides the suffering you donít see.
Suffering is manifested related to the attachments we hold in and to the material world. The simplest analogy is when Jesus told the rich man to give up his wealth to obtain heaven. In spiritual terms this man could be said to live in squalor just as the person in your world does. We look at suffering having to do with to pain or some condition I wouldnít choose for myself, but suffering also can involve pleasure. Suffering is not one sided as you think.
What you see are attachments of the world we all make and how strong they are. This also is a realization one of choice and how we hold on to choices we make. You done a good thing AL, youíve made an observation and made a decision about that observation. I wouldnít end here but examine it further. Youíre trying to tell yourself something, thatís all. Youíre opening your eyes and your awareness is expanding.
Weíre here to learn something, whatever that may be, some lesson we need to learn. Most donít recognize this and will take offense thinking I donít have to learn that lesson (put before us) among others or that I would know something that simple. You think this person should know, but they do not. Of course I know youíre making a judgment about this person which may be completely from your perception, your ego, totally off the mark, or true. But that itself isnít important if you look at the awareness behind it. I think you understand that concept as we all do, so I wonít go there. We construct reality and live life around them. The idea of attachment is what youíre talking about and the basis that causes suffering, the unwillingness to let them go, to even let suffering go.
Attachments cause so much what I call future suffering because we must (eventually) let them go. We are in constant struggle with this. In the end we must learn how to let them go even if you donít realize. This is the most painful part of life. The fact a person wonít give up squalor of any form shows how hard it is give up (attachments) because these attachments mirror us and how we (want to) see reality. And donít for an instant imagine yourself as having progressed in one leap to the present level you now hold. You acquired learning along the way, that is, if you ďseeĒ.
This journey takes forms over many lifetimes. This situation may simply be where they are on the path. This is their journey, not yours. We know the power (force) attachments of this world hold because no person can force another to change, the person themselves must see differently. I would tell you, donít get caught up in the here and now. Understand we interact with reality as well as being its part. Youíre making a judgment based on ďyour ownĒ experiences and perception of what you think right and wrong, donít make a moral judgment.
You see whatís important to you and really see yourself. You donít even know yourself, you are learning about yourself, we all are. Our being here is one of exploration, of finding self, taking all the bumps (as you define them) life offers. You will have your own and you wonít define that as others do. It is what lesson this person is suppose to learn, what you walk away with to change. You are exactly right when you say who in the right mind wouldÖ? This recognizes illusion has identity and illusion is equal to material substance. I would rather have this because this is what I see as real. I wonít give this up, I canít. Life is an ongoing dialogue.
Our 5 senses not only filter reality but make reality, itís all the vast majority of the world want to lives by. They canít live without it (or think they canít), we on the other hand are open to learning to. There is only a different potential with us. What if along the way we slip backward once in a while, it is of no consequence, all things being equal.
I want you to understand attachment are such things as pleasure, fear, pride, yes even pain, all of it can and does hold us back. I see you saying they could do better (I just canít see why they donít get it), but thatís not their focus. As you say, there is ripple after ripple, these ripples are other choices. Many times people substitute something else for something else, not knowing or because they canít find what they want in this confusion you can see around them. This is a problem with addition to. But unless you know what that is, we cannot even begin to judge. Every one of us knows if we are to move on we must transcend and give up such things as prejudice, love, hate, joy of a earthly nature all the things we are comfortable with so we can move forward along the path. All of us will in the end but this is a (long) process. I would encourage you not to focus to long on this, this is merely a distraction that keeps you from progressing yourself. Accept more and you will gain more.
In truth, there is nothing wrong with anyone being as they are, they may be so for the rest of their life, even into the next if that is their focus. Thereís absolutely nothing wrong with this, this is about letting go of the physical and an awakening. It satisfies them right now. People not only choose suffering, but hold on to it. To give it up is to give up oneís view of reality and to give up what we are addicted to. Giving up one version of reality and not having another is impossible.