Life is suffering!?

As I lay here wide awake at 6 in the morning, worrying about my dismal personal situation, a philosophical truth washes over me like a cool wave of water, taking with it my worries, if only for a moment.

Life is suffering, my friends. Does this make me a nihilist? I don’t think so. I’ve often been accused of being a nihilist for my position on creating new life. I argue that it is immoral since all humans will suffer at some point, and that creating new life is condemning that life to suffer without its consent. But I digress…

Yes, life is suffering. The psychological data shows that most of us suffer much more than we think over our lives. Everyone suffers on a daily basis. Everyone. We will, during our average day, suffer at least one moment of physical or emotional pain, discomfort, frustration, worry, anger, boredom, dissapointment, sadness, resentment, depression, longing or anything else that one would consider to be suffering. All of us will. Sometimes these periods of suffering get stretched out for days, weeks, months or years on end.

Since life is suffering, could it be that life itself is a character test, in which we are to see how much suffering we can take without giving up or despising our existence?

We all suffer. Every day. We are all in the same boat. No matter how rich, poor, young, old, beautiful or ugly everyone will suffer today in some form. Suffering is the great equalizer. It unites all humans.

This makes me feel better. At least, for now…

Focus only on the negative and the negative will be all you see.
Believe only in the negative and the negative will be all you find.

I didn’t suffer at all today–nor did I yesterday. As a matter of fact, the last time I felt real pain was around the middle to the end of Nov. when I realized my Charley-cat was most probably the victim of a raccoon attack while we were in Germany.

Why is this site so full of gloom and doomers? Is it nihilism, determinism, fatalism, or simply being tired and having an out of control feeling?

Today, we successfully returned everything I’d gotten my husband for Christmas (because they were too big) with no trouble and with pleasant conversations with the clerks. We then went to the clock repair shop where I’d left an antique German wall clock my Mother had given me and that I’d wanted to give to my daughter for Christmas. I’d waited too long to get it back for Christmas, so I’ll give it to her for her birthday. The shop owner was a delight when we took the clock in and was a delight when we picked it up today.

People smiled at us; we smiled at people; we laughed at ourselves and each other. It’s been a good day!

I even took my walk–and the sun was shining!

Answer #1: Yes, but only when you expect it not to be.

Answer #2: Yes, but only when you laugh.

The truth of the matter is, suffering is a gift. It is an opportunity to become deeply aware of the gravity, the grit, the grain of existence. Without true suffering, this quality of depth and wisdom would otherwise be difficult if not impossible for most to achieve.

What do you think made Van Gogh a great painter? Mahatma Gandhi a great leader? Mother Teresa a shining beacon of selfless love? Suffering was embarrassed by all, then magnificent gifts to all of humanity were the result. Are you in to Christian thought? Then ask yourself why God the Father allowed God the Son to suffer on the cross. Get it? Fact is, sometimes there is just no other way to grow.

I would contend, if one is attempting to escape suffering, one might as well then attempt to escape love.

Look at it this way. If you are suffering, know then that this is a matter of degree. In other words, there will forever and always be those who suffer more. Indeed, your suffering may be someone else’s nirvana.

If I may be so bold to offer advise:

Embrace it.

Become it.

Let it flow through you.

Realize that you are far-and-away more than your suffering.

Then go out and help someone else come to that same conclusion.

Life is not suffering, people who think it is life it wrongly.

Buddha also said life is suffering.

We will eventually be separated from every pleasure, and our separation will feel like suffering.

To escape rebirth we have to learn self control and self awareness, eventually realizing there isn’t even a self to control or be aware of, but we control our emptiness and save it from rebirth through balance and neutrality.

If we didn’t suffer, would pleasure have any meaning?

Ofcourse it would. But enlightenment is higher than pleasure or pain.

And can one obtain enlightenment without suffering?

certainly seems that way

the best way to prepare is to fortify yourself against the continual barrage of bullshit that you will have to endure throughout the day.

highly developed awareness

life contains more suffering than pleasure. so if you are living life for the hedonistic aspect, it never really made any sense to me at all.

enlightenment, knowledge whatever the fuck you wanna call it, or any other purpose seems more legit than claiming I live life for the pleasure. lol

of course living a life is full of suffering for everyone… there is nothing out there that is evaluating our sorrow…we just need to move on…

Well for sure, one can suffer greatly attempting to obtain enlightenment. But this is only because there is no such thing as enlightenment. Strange but true.

I started another thread about the illusion of enlightenment here:

Move on? Move on… from what? To what?

What if I told you that your experience IS you, that there is no difference between this, and yourself? To put it another way, that you are exactly what you have become aware of? Let’s suppose this hypothesis is true for a moment, just for the sake of conversation.

Okay, so now - Where are you going exactly when you “move on?”

“Realize that you are far-and-away more than your suffering.”


You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world, that is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could avoid.
[Franz Kafka.]

Given that what y’all say is true, what is human suffering? Is it an abstract? If so, on what is it based? Is it physical pain?–psychological/emotional? Why do we, as humans, feel that we must experience ‘pain’ in order to be human? Or am I taking this too far?

Christian religions take the Biblical parable of Adam and Eve’s fall from grace to explain sickness and death within the human species as well as to explain the Crucifixion and Death of Christ. Is, then, saying that “life is suffering,” a way of justifying the Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus–the main tenets of the Christian faiths?

If so, this thread is in the wrong place. Just saying.

existential pain loneliness isolation meaninglessness etc. physical pain, suffering, humanity torturing its own species basically everything.

we dont its just part of the human condition. so understanding the human condition is understanding reality and the universe and vice versa.

the OP didnt mention religious faith at all. either way that makes no sense

Okay, duality, but must we succumb to existential pain and loneliness all the time? Does there never come a time when we can recognize and accept the fact that we cannot ‘go into’ anyone’s mind any more that someone else can get into our mind? That’s basically our existential loneliness, isn’t it? Why should we not try to transcend existential ‘suffering’ and stop piling angst upon ourselves?

I know I’m the only one who’s mentioned religion in the thread; given some of the responses, it seemed appropriate. :slight_smile:

“Why should we not try to transcend existential ‘suffering’ and stop piling angst upon ourselves?”

Hmmm, let’s try some word replacement games with this quote. Here we go:

“Why should we not try to transcend existential ‘love’ and stop piling angst upon ourselves?”
“Why should we not try to transcend existential ‘peace’ and stop piling angst upon ourselves?”
“Why should we not try to transcend existential ‘identity’ and stop piling angst upon ourselves?”

Point being, as long we have a “self” and something that piles against that self, (such as suffering.) Then we are trapped in divisive thinking which leads nowhere. That is, we end up pitting one concept of self against the other.

This is at the crux of today’s Christianity. The struggle between good and evil becomes as a dragon swallowing it’s own tail. More to the point - It is an endless struggle to shun something which is deemed evil. In this context - suffering = evil.

Okay, who exactly is the self that suffers?

Is it:

A - The devil?
B - The same self that also feels bliss?

If the answer for you is “A”, then I wish you the very best and please send me a postcard from the war front.

But if the answer for you is “B”, then why would you try to deny yourself, this, or any other experience which may lead to the evolution of your very soul?

Care to enlighten me a bit on that one?
…oh forgot, that can’t be done.
So how about merely give me your illusion a little more clearly, perhaps?