Thread: The Path of Wisdom

  1. #1

    The Path of Wisdom

    This is an article from the Buddhism Now website:

    The Path of Wisdom by Ajahn Sumedho

    Sometimes people criticize Buddhism because they say it’s pessimistic — we just talk about suffering; why not talk about love? Love is much more in­spiring than suffering, isn’t it? Talking about universal love is a very inspiring subject. There is nothing wrong with contem­plating universal love, either. But if that’s all we are doing, then it can be merely a whitewash over inner pain and anguish. We might want to love all beings and live in a world of unity and total love. That might be a very appealing idea. What is it that prevents us from that unity? If we trace it back, we will find it’s the ignorance that we have about ourselves. The suffering that we create in life is always the tendency to divide and separate, compare, accept and reject. So the Buddha emphasized the Noble Truth of suffering — not as an absolute, pessimistic view, but as a truth that we can be free from. The Buddha said, ‘I teach only two things — suffering and the end of suffering’.

    Now the suffering side of Buddhism seems to be an ob­session with Buddhists. Every­thing is suffering, suffering, suffering. The Buddha said, ‘I teach two things.’ He didn’t say, ‘I teach one thing — suffering.’ He said, ‘I teach two things — suffering and the end of suffering.’ So the end of suffering is one of the things he taught. And this comes about through our ability to reflect mindfully on the way things are. This is what we call ‘the path of wisdom’. By investi­gating life as we experience it, being willing to accept pain, looking at suffering, looking at despair, looking at anguish — not from the critical position of how it should or shouldn’t be, but from the reflective mind of ‘there is this’ — we begin to see that all suffering arises and ceases; it has no permanent quality; it has no essence. Suffering is not ultimately true at all; it’s merely an illusion that we are committed to and that we produce and create in life through never having awak­ened to truth.

    Continues at the link below:

    Any comments about the article?

  2. #2
    Forums Member mjaviem's Avatar
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    Jun 2021
    I think it's not pessimistic but realistic. Dukkha has a broader meaning. I think it does not only mean deep suffering but it also means subtle levels of suffering, like so subtle that one doesn't even notice it most of the time when it is at this level. This is why it is realistic to see it like this.

    Pessimistic is to think that the world is suffering but I think the world is the way it is. The suffering is just in the very grasping at things. I think we 'misinvolve' with things so wrongly that we inevitably suffer (even without noticing this fact).

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