Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The cause of suffering is misperception

VIDEO: Misperception is the cause of suffering

(WQ) Buddhism's Four Noble Truths state that the cause of unsatisfactoriness (dukkha) is craving (tanha). It manifests as thirst, envy, greed, selfishness, avarice, and jealousy. But the truth is that suffering (dukkha is a term that encompasses the many shades of unwelcome and unwished for experience) has four causes:
  1. craving (the many shades of greed)
  2. aversion (many shades of hatred)
  3. delusion (distorted perception)
  4. fear (bhava, a form of aversion)

And all of these are based and continually dependent on ignorance into the Four Noble Truths. Self-deception, wrong-view, nescience, misperception -- all are offshoots of ignorance. While the proximate cause of suffering is indeed craving, the distal cause is ignorance. And the ultimate solution is enlightenment (bodhi) not simply generosity and renunciation.

Adyashanti explains it in this way: Have you noticed that all the ways we try to make ourselves feel better don't seem to work in the long run? Treating the symptoms is not the answer; only at the root level does change occur. Freedom from suffering is only possible if we clearly see its underlying cause. In this definitive, direct, and accessible satsang (in the presence of), Adyashanti explains the mechanics of suffering and offers a simple yet powerful way to see beyond the misperceptions that cause suffering.


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