Source: Human Suffering

In the most private spaces of each person’s inner conscious life, a deep dissatisfaction is lurking, a nagging sense that life is somehow out of kilter, misaligned, not quite as it should be.

No matter how rich or secure or successful a person may be, a fundamental dissatisfaction still persists. The reasons for that dissatisfaction are plain. Everything a human being hopes for is in some sense imperfect, disappointing, or hollow. In the end we all die, which is the ultimate disappointment.

The mistake that leads to suffering is the simple delusion that the fundamental dissatisfaction can be extinguished by gaining more pleasure or feeling less pain or, in other words, by getting more of what we want.

The root cause of suffering is that we unrelentingly struggle to get rid of the fundamental dissatisfaction by means of the fulfillment of our desires, and yet that dissatisfaction sticks to us as a perpetual, unanswerable craving.

It can be difficult to realize that the fundamental dissatisfaction even exists, because it is veiled by our restless struggle to get rid of it. Once we realize that it exists, we’re too horrified to accept that it really is unquenchable.

Paradoxically, by facing the emptiness and by surrendering completely to its inevitability, we come to deep peace and no longer suffer.

Pain is natural and inevitable, and all animals feel it, but the condition of suffering is unnecessary.

3 Responses

  1. Ron,

    I feel very complimented by your suggestion however I see myself more as an editor rather than an author…the majority of my blogs were selected and edited from some other source…my job was to put the material together so it was consistent with my perceptions of what I wanted to communicate.


  2. I just read this post, and your three previous June posts, and appreciate them all very much. They are exceptionally well written and deeply insightful.

    Perhaps you might someday consider grouping and publishing in separate pdf form such essays written on common or related subjects.

  3. “The Buddha said that man’s greatest problem is his attachments.”

    “Freud said that people seek pleasure and avoid pain.”

    “The Navajo medicine man can accept a tremendous amount of legitimate suffering, but he cannot accept that which has no purpose.
    To be accepted, suffering must be given a purpose.”
    –Quoted from a book on Navajo Medicine.

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