My Self Limitation

It seems to have been a lifelong preoccupation  of mine to search for ways to be free from sufferring. When one is amidst suffering, all the wisdom that I have come by, does not seem to be helpful in removing it. Ultimately in futility I turn to my humanness as a way of more fully being with it. It seems that it is something that I am not served by separating, numbing, rationalizing, intelectualizing or attaching to it;  all ways of the self. It is more a matter for me of returning to that humanness that lay before the “self”. That  conditioned “self” that has in the past played such a significant role in negotiating life I now see as more of an interference than a help in this.

2 thoughts on “My Self Limitation

  1. I think we have to accept that we can’t become free of suffering as a possibility. When things are going well, life is pleasurable, but something can always go wrong, even if it is something as small as stubbing our toe, and then we suffer.

    If we make avoidance of suffering our main objective, it will be self-defeating. A meaningful life requires some risk-taking. If we tried to avoid every action which might risk bringing suffering upon us, then we would still suffer. We would suffer from boredom.

    But meaning makes suffering worthwhile. The aches and pains we accrue in the creation of something beautiful or in helping out someone we love are generally much easier to bear than those which come to us through some apparently random accident.

    When it comes to psychological suffering I think there are ways in which we can reduce our vulnerability to it. Cultivating unconditional self-acceptance can make us far less likely to suffer as a result of the disapproval of others or to feel debilitating levels of embarrassment. Exposure to situations which cause us anxiety can lead to what they call desensitisation (although this is a bit misleading in that the cessation of the anxiety will make us far more sensitive to all of those aspects of our environment our awareness of which was drained away by the anxiety.) And I’m sure you could tell me more than I could tell you about Buddhist teachings regarding non-attachment as a way to lessen suffering.

    • I can relate to what you say. In a way “suffering” is just a word. Life brings many dimension to the experience. To separate and define each one brings the possibility to see them as separate in their existence. But they are quite interconnected and dependent on each other. I am not sure if Buddhism is attempting to in courage this understanding or not. Sometimes I see the emphasis on “the end of suffering” is too much.It might be that it is more in reference to psychological suffering.

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