Escape Suffering?

The bottom line is "just be"! :wink:


  • edited December 1969
    Escapism: How do we avoid this?, is such a juicy question that I couldn't help but think more on it. This time thankfully with few words...

    On the one hand, our mind causes much of our suffering, and on the other hand it dreams up escape routes for us to follow. These escape routes are those imagined needs – [chref=46]desires[/chref] – that we pursue throughout life. Now, turning off thought eliminates most of the suffering at its source as well as the imagined needs, but that is a little impractical given how immersed in pre-conceptional perception we are. Still, knowing the role our mind plays helps.

    For example, I went through an especially sad (or depressed?) year or so not long ago (my 'low' was especially acute when I awoke). I found that by ceasing to think thoughts, the sadness diminished drastically. Sure I could still sense 'something heavy' was there, but it was [chref=14]indistinct and shadowy[/chref]. Then, throughout the day, the more watchful I was in all action, big and small, the less sad I'd feel. I couldn't really be watchful and also [chref=71]think that I knew[/chref] all at the same time. When consciousness is occupied with sensory perception and motor action, it has precious little left over for thought - especially neurotic thoughts that dwell on themselves in a vicious circle. Thus, it seems to me that the only true escape from suffering is by 'escaping into now', giving all to the moment at hand. Perhaps everything else is a [chref=53]by-path[/chref].

    What caused my down mood? The fact that I still felt 'something heavy' when I ceased thinking suggests that my mood's origin was biological. I'm guessing all animals undergo such biological ups and downs in feeling, but without the ability to think, they can't make 'mountains out of mole hills'. Clearly thought amplifies emotion, making us feel both better or worse depending on the root emotion at the moment.

    As I said in my post, Is Nature Beautiful?, Andy doesn't want to give up the 'better' side, and so accepts (at least rationally) the 'worse' side as part of the deal. Emotionally, I'd guess he still wants it both ways. It comes down either acknowledging differences as real, or [chref=56]mysterious sameness[/chref] as real. Differences are thrilling; sameness is calming. Our [chref=16]ignorance of the constant[/chref] leads us to imagine that we have it both ways – have our cake and eat it two. Nature's way is [chref=70]very easy to understand[/chref]; we just don't like what she says, and instead think we can 'get in free'. Joke's on us. Remember that old Chiffon Margarine TV commercial,... "Its not nice to fool Mother Nature". Indeed!
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