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Oliver
16 Jun 12, 13:24
It has occurred to me that despite knowing that sensual craving/lust/indulgence leads to suffering some of us may still preferable to continue to indulge in craving or lust than to give it up despite the discontentment (dukkha). Have you observed this?

What I have observed is that the craving or lust for something has a certain familiar pleasure in itself despite it being known to be out of our reach. For example, denying oneself something that one would consider as a pleasure can bring a type of pleasure through suffering itself. Lingering on that sense of denial or suffering produced by the craving/lust can become familiar, like a habit, as if the denial and suffering provides a sense of ‘self’ or even a continued value in life e.g. “maybe today I will get the X of my dreams”. We may feel that the continued struggle and the suffering that accompanies it has more value than being content with what little we already have.

My point here is that ending suffering may not always be the issue but it can in fact be a form of pleasure in that it reasserts the worth of our values. Can anyone relate to this, is there more to learn from pali suttas or Buddhist philosophy to understand (and overcome) this pleasure in suffering (dukkha)?

Thanks, metta.

Deshy
16 Jun 12, 19:12
What I have observed is that the craving or lust for something has a certain familiar pleasure in itself despite it being known to be out of our reach. For example, denying oneself something that one would consider as a pleasure can bring a type of pleasure through suffering itself. Lingering on that sense of denial or suffering produced by the craving/lust can become familiar, like a habit, as if the denial and suffering provides a sense of ‘self’ or even a continued value in life e.g. “maybe today I will get the X of my dreams”. We may feel that the continued struggle and the suffering that accompanies it has more value than being content with what little we already have.



What you are describing is a worldly happiness - the happiness or the excitement of expectation. The Buddha said that there is another kind of happiness, which is far greater and more sublime than any kind of worldly happiness. If there is a greater happiness achievable, the wise thing to do is reach for it.


Nibbanam paramam sukham- Nibbana is the Supreme Happiness
-Dhammapada

Oliver
17 Jun 12, 10:01
Thanks Deshy

That makes sense now you explain it that way.

What one must do then, is find a way to not reject things but yet not be inclined to desire them either. A middle way where objects have no aversive or attractive qualities in themselves. The way seems to be through insight and understanding that it is us who give value to objects (rather than objects having any intrinsic value themselves).

Metta

Goofaholix
17 Jun 12, 10:40
The way seems to be through insight and understanding that it is us who give value to objects (rather than objects having any intrinsic value themselves).


I think you've hit it on the head. Who's to say the pleasant should be of more value than the unpleasant or neutral? surely the ability to be with either or both with awareness and acceptance is more valuable.

Oliver
17 Jun 12, 10:54
Thanks Goofaholix

The challenge it seems, is to to be with an awareness which doesn't tag objects as attractive or aversive it seems. Something I have noticed is that whilst there is a sense of a me as a person who needs objects e.g. a car, house, family and a good job etc, then there is an underlying reason to tag objects as attractive or unattractive to my needs. For example which people might help me get a good job (attractive). Can we be a householder and free from tagging objects? What do you think?

metta

Goofaholix
17 Jun 12, 11:06
The challenge it seems, is to to be with an awareness which doesn't tag objects as attractive or aversive it seems. Something I have noticed is that whilst there is a sense of a me as a person who needs objects e.g. a car, house, family and a good job etc, then there is an underlying reason to tag objects as attractive or unattractive to my needs. For example which people might help me get a good job (attractive). Can we be a householder and free from tagging objects? What do you think?


I think that's necessary, it's our survival instinct, if you do in fact need a to get a good job it's useful to know which people might help you get a good job for example.

That doesn't mean you have to buy into that and you should be able to just see it as a useful tool that helps you get by.

It isn't a source of happiness, security, or validation, neither is achieving the outcome you desire.

Yes one shouldn't tag objects as attractive or aversive, however you should tag the attraction or aversion that arises in response to them as this aids in understanding the impermanent not self nature of those feeling tones. It helps remind you that the attractiveness or aversiveness is not intrinsic to the object but merely a reaction.

Oliver
17 Jun 12, 11:35
That is a good way of looking at it. Thanks Goofaholix I will put that into practice and observe the results. :)