Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A little personal manifesto

Life is suffering, sometimes. Other times it's pretty great.

The sources of suffering are manifold. Sometimes suffering is caused by gripping and attachment, yes. But there are lots of other causes of suffering. I'm sure you will be able to think of many examples.

The key to reducing suffering depends on properly addressing the cause of the suffering. The starving need food, the homeless need shelter, the sick need medicine, the lonely need community. Let's talk about sitting on our asses with our eyes closed as a noble vocation AFTER everyone in the world has attained basic human rights (and even then it seems like perhaps not the best use of one's time and talents on this earth).

You may not be able to eliminate all suffering -- sometimes life sucks. But maybe you will. If you do, let me know (no prank calls please).

The pursuit of happiness causes lots of suffering because humans experience a wide range of conditions and emotions -- not just one (and not just none). For example love, meaning, and the sacred can all be experienced even in the absence of happiness.

Love it pretty great. We can experience love even in the midst of suffering. Love is why we are here. Most people experience love through family. Some few experience love through work. Some through contemplation, some through play, some through arts, some through music, some through prayer. However it finds you, please honor it and those around you.

No comments: